Advancing a Career

Mentor Helps Physician Take a New Career Path
Dr. Dayna Wolfe is a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. She has been hard of hearing since birth, has scoliosis, spina bifida, and advanced degenerative joint disease. She wears hearing aids in both ears, and communicates in both English and American Sign Language.

Wolfe has enjoyed a distinguished career in private practice, as a consultant and as the Director of Community Medical Services for Axis Healthcare. She was the 2004 University of Minnesota Human Rights Center, Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellow under which she ran a sustainable workshop in the region of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, helping villagers with disabilities craft assistive devices. During the fellowship year, she also co-edited "A Health Manual for Women With Disabilities" published by the Hesperian Foundation.

When Wolfe decided to change the direction of her career in a way she believed would more accurately match her current interests and abilities she contacted Rehabilitation Services to help her to enter the Medtronic ABLED Mentorship Program. Medtronic is currently the world leader in the medical device industry and ABLED is one of many Medtronic-sponsored employee diversity special interest groups focused on mentoring opportunities.

Wolfe asked to be matched with a successful Medtronic executive, and was matched with Sr. Talent Development Specialist Marlene Gravlin, from Medtronic Talent Development Solutions, part of the Global Business Solutions Division.

Before meeting Gravlin, Wolfe searched for gainful employment with a new career direction for a year without success. Employers would see her credentials and assume she would be either too expensive, or that she would not stick around for long. Gravlin guided her through a "talent marketing make-over," and she was hired by Medtronic within five months. She is now one of two Principal Clinical Educators in the Learning and Performance Development Division of Medtronic.

Wolfe's primary career aspiration is to make a sustainable contribution to the world that will ease the suffering of humanity. She is also currently working on a series of books which aim to foster self-pride and guide the social integration of youth with disabilities with able-bodied kids.

For consultation and support, contact your regional Disability Employment Specialist (800-328-9095).

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