A Successful Wrap-Up of NHPHA Public Health Mentoring Pilot Program

by Emily Goulet, Workforce Development Coordinator

IMG 6018In early May, the NHPHA Public Health Mentoring Program 2018-2019 concluded with a Celebration and Reflections Event. We celebrated each mentor and mentee pair with a certificate of completion and some much-deserved cake! We heard from participants about how the program was very rewarding for both mentors and mentees and, in some cases, life-changing. We discussed the possibility of hosting the program again, and we received great feedback from the participants. It was very rewarding for us to witness the testimonials to the program, as well as see firsthand the strong relationships between mentors and mentees.Congratulations to our graduating class of mentors and mentees! We were thrilled to have such wonderful mentors and mentees. Congratulations to our mentors: Karla Armenti, Joan Ascheim, Semra Aytur, Marcella Bobinsky, Beth Boucher, Lisa Bujno, Katie Bush, Amy Cullum, Gloria Fulmer, Anna Ghosh, Katrina Hansen, Meg Henning, Marc Hiller, Rebecca Sky, Trinidad Tellez, and Neil Twitchell. Congratulations to our mentees: Samantha Bartol, Kelly Bogert, Alyssa Carlisle, Bridgette Carrier, Meagan Durso, Juliette Gonzalez, Alexandra Hampton, Jennifer Howley, Lauren Paradis, Jessie Sagona, Nick Simeti, Emily Sorey-Backus, Sonya Spery, Nicole Viau, Maria Walawender, and Erin Wallace.

Nick Simeti, a mentee and MPH student talked about his goals for the program: “One of my goals for this program was to explore jobs and internship opportunities for the upcoming summer. This was my goal even before our first meeting. Through the help of my mentor and other resources I was able to reach that goal.”  He will now be working in an internship for the City of Concord Code Administration for the summer.

Another mentee, Maria Walawender, an early-career professional, talked about how her career goals changed through the program. She helped her mentor with a research paper.

“It was through the experience of talking about sea level rise on the seacoast that I fully developed my interest in environmental health.”

Now she wants to pursue graduate school in environmental public health.

Mentor Katie Bush spoke about how this program happened at a transitional phase in her life, and this program helped her to take a step back: “We live in a fast-paced world, data and information swirling all around us. It can be difficult to slow down, to find time to connect on a personal level, and to find time for self-reflection. This program provided a thoughtfully curated space to slow down, to connect, and to reflect.”

Another mentor shared, “It is really great to step back and think about public health issues that you don’t have time to think about because you’re too busy doing your deliverables. You can think about the public health issues that inspired you to get into public health in the first place.”

The program evaluations demonstrated that the program was very successful all around:

  • 100% of both mentors and mentees would recommend the program to others
  • 91% of mentees felt strongly that the program was valuable and worth their time
  • 93% of mentors felt strongly that the program was valuable and worth their time

Here is a comparison of the program goals, as assessed in December and then May. In both the graph of the Mentee Program Goals and the Mentor Program Goals, each goal improved over the course of time.

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NHPHA evaluated the program throughout and learned that while it was very well received by all participants, there were many suggestions for improvement that will be considered going forward. We hope to repeat the program, as funding allows, and will keep our membership informed of our outreach efforts to recruit new mentors and mentees.


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