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Alumni Leader Spotlight: Emily Abner, Norton Healthcare

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Meet Emily Abner, a program coordinator at Norton Healthcare's employee experience team. Since joining in 2016, Emily has been a driving force behind various initiatives, including the successful launch of the Norton Healthcare Alumni Network in 2021.

Full of big ideas and a passion for recognition, Emily Abner is a program coordinator with the employee experience team at Norton Healthcare, located in Kentucky. She’s been with the organization since 2016. Emily has launched many programs during her time with the organization’s employee experience team, including her newest project, the Norton Healthcare Alumni Network, and has recently used her skill set to modernize and refresh Norton Healthcare’s service anniversary awards program. It has been an absolute pleasure working with Emily and seeing the Norton Healthcare alumni program grow.

We sat down with Emily to hear about her background, what her day is like, and what she’s currently listening to.

Emily Abner

PeoplePath: Tell us about yourself & your professional background. 

Emily: I have been with the organization for eight years and started as a receptionist in one of our infectious disease offices. During that time, I completed my BA from Northern Kentucky University.  Soon after graduation, I transferred to our Human Resources department.

In my free time, I enjoy cooking - Italian food is my favorite  - and I recently took up a new hobby, sewing. 

PeoplePath: What was your favorite working experience before now?   

Emily: My first role at Norton Healthcare was not only my first time as a receptionist, but also my first time working in health care. I learned so much in those first two years. I have more knowledge about infections than I ever thought I would!  

One of the most important lessons during that time was just how essential making connections is.   

My co-workers became friends. Friends that I still have today.  I think that is one reason why I love being a part of our alumni network.  Connections are so important, and they truly make you feel a part of something bigger. 

Norton Healthcare Alumni Network portal

PeoplePath: How did you start working in corporate alumni networks?  

Emily: The Norton Healthcare Alumni Network is my first venture with corporate alumni networks.  We know life happens and sometimes employees choose to leave an organization, but we were noticing the boomerang effect.  Employees were leaving but coming right back.  

We decided to build our alumni network to make sure that once an employee left, they had an opportunity to stay connected - no matter where they were on their journey - and still be a part of the Norton Healthcare family. 

PeoplePath: What does a typical day look like for you? What do you most look forward to?  

Emily: Honestly, it depends on the day.  Every Monday we hold our onboarding sessions and welcome anywhere between 80 to 150 new hires. I do a lot of HR tasks on this day.  The rest of the week, I am in and out of meetings, creating content for our alumni platform, and managing the service side of our recognition platform.  I wear many hats as a program coordinator! 

The thing I look forward to most? Working alongside my wonderful team! I feel so lucky to work with such amazing people day after day! 

The Modern People Leader PodcastPeoplePath: What are you reading or listening to?  

Emily: Recently, I’ve been listening to the Modern People Leader podcast. The hosts chat with different HR leaders about their perspectives on different topics.  My director, Jason Coffey, and I had the opportunity to chat with them about recognition at a conference this past September and I really enjoyed our conversations.  For my non-work-related reads, I’ve been diving into a lot of Sarah J. Maas. 

PeoplePath: What do you see as the greatest benefit to an active and vibrant corporate alumni community? 

Emily: I feel like a broken record at this point but the greatest benefit in my eyes, is the connections.  All humans want to feel like they are a part of something bigger and an active, vibrant alumni community allows for just that. It fosters friendship, closeness and growth.  It gives users an opportunity to still be involved in the organization they helped build.  

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