By Betty C. Jung, MPH, P.H.E.N.O.M. Program Director
Citation: Jung, BC (2002 - 2016). Public Health Expertise Network of Mentors Program Description.
From Southern Connecticut State University Alumni Magazine, Spring '03:
"PUBLIC HEALTH MENTORING GROUP"
As a recent graduate, Betty C. Jung, M.P.H. '93, envisioned a mentoring program that would provide students with advice on the public health field--from selecting the most useful classes to finding a job. Enlisting the aid of 22 of her classmates, she formed the Graduate Alumni Mentor Program, serving as program coordinator. During the next 10 years, the program evolved and grew impressively. Now known as the Public Health Expertise Network of Mentors, (P.H.E.N.O.M.), the program is administered entirely over the Web and features 24 mentors, most of whom are SCSU alumni. The Web site www.bettycjung.net/Phenom.htm also includes pages devoted to the most frequently requested topics, including finding a job, research methods, biostatistics information, and public health resources. Jung currently serves as the program director.
P.H.E.N.O.M. has been approved by the international Web-based mentoring organization, Peer Resources Network.
If you are interested in becoming a public health mentor or would like more information on the program, contact Betty Jung via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Southern Magazine. Spring 2003
HOW PHENOM MEETS THE CORE COMPETENCIES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
The Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice "Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals" provides competency-based guidance for public health practice. This document was updated June 2014. Since this may be done every few years, rather than list all the competencies addressed on this webpage, you can see table I developed in recent years to highlight those public health practice competencies PHENOM addresses on the Competencies Details 2013-2014.
PHENOM strives to enhance the practice skills of public health mentees and mentors in the area of "Leadership and Systems Thinking Skills" in the following ways:
Source: Adapted from June 2014 Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals. p. 23.
PHENOM also strives to support those certified as a Certified Health Education Specialist or Master Certified Health Education Specialist to achieve many of the sub-competencies for "COMPETENCY 7.6: Promote the Health Education Profession"
Source: National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc (NCHEC)'s Areas of Responsibilities, Competencies, and Sub-competencies for the Health Education Specialists 2010.
MISSION, GOALS, OBJECTIVES
MISSION: To provide public health professionals opportunities to mentor anyone interested in the field of public health.
GOAL 1: To provide the Internet community with an on-line directory of public health practitioners who have offered to serve as career mentors to anyone interested in the field and the practice of Public Health.
GOAL 2: To provide the Internet community opportunities to access the collective expertise of PHENOM, via an online blog.
GOAL 3: To provide public health practitioners who are certified as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) or a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) the opportunity to earn 1 Category II CECH for each year of mentoring service provided as a mentor for PHENOM.
The goal of the evaluation process is to ensure that the program is a meaningful venture, fulfilling expressed wants and needs of mentors and those who utilize the program. Utilization data are gathered anonymously on all PHENOM pages. These data are used to assess how the pages are being used and by whom.
The primary objective in gathering evaluation data from mentors and those who use the Webpages and contact mentors is to:
Mentors are asked to complete the Activity Documentation Form for each activity they perform, or, provide a summary of its contents to the program director at the end of each yearly tenure.
At that time, each Public Health Mentor:
The program director analyzes all data collected from those visiting the pages and contacting mentors and from mentors and compiles statistics regarding activities, which are available as: Annual Program Reports .
Mentors are acknowledged for their participation by being listed on the P.H.E.N.O.M. Appreciation Page and A Certificate of Appreciation is issued to mentors completing the annual evaluation. Beginning June 2013, all mentors who are certified as either a CHES or a MCHES can earn 1 Category II CECH for each year of mentoring service.
WHAT ARE WE ALL ABOUT?
By June 2013, we will have been providing mentoring services for 20 years! Basically, we are a group of volunteer public health professionals interested in helping people to learn more about the field of Public Health, and to explore career opportunities in this discipline. Those who volunteer are given the opportunity to share the professional expertise they have developed while working in the field, and in return enhance their professional growth and development in the process. Using Internet technology, we can mentor virtually anyone who has access to the Internet. Most contacts are handled over E-mail.
While the Public Health Expertise Network of Mentors (P.H.E.N.O.M.) Program continues to be a service program of the Public Health Alumni Chapter's Service Committee, providing resources to the students attending Southern CT State University's Public Health and other academic programs, we have expanded to accommodate the needs of the Internet's professional community by enhancing communication in this ever-growing medium.
The P.H.E.N.O.M. Directory is an on-line directory listing volunteer mentors for the current academic year. An on-line directory was first posted in 1999 to enhance dissemination of mentor information to those who access the World Wide Web. In essence, such outreach has extended beyond the physical boundaries of a college campus to the virtual worldwide Internet community. Through this medium, mentors can be reached with E-mail.
We also maintain a P.H.E.N.O.M. Blog in which all mentors have the opportunity to collectively respond to mentoring requests with written responses. Those questions and answers of broader general interest are posted here.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A MENTOR?
As a public health practitioner you can provide valuable insight into what employers expect of those with a college preparation in Public Health. More than in any other field, Public Health is broad, not only in scope, but in the variety of settings one can practice in. Those with a Public Health degree can bring their special skills to work settings that are not necessarily viewed as traditional Public Health settings. By making yourself available, via E-mail or phone contact, you will be able to share your academic, professional expertise and work experiences with those interested in the field. Such sharing enhances your professional growth as well.
HOW DO I BECOME A MENTOR?
Renewable one-year voluntary terms of service follow the academic calendar. By completing a Public Health Mentor File Form and submitting a resume, a brief profile (biosketch) can be developed and posted on the on-line P.H.E.N.O.M. Directory . Those interested in your areas of expertise would then contact you for advice, information, etc. Opportunities to respond to PHENOM Blog queries is another way you can mentor others.
Recruitment usually occurs during the Spring (April - June) for the following academic year. Preparation of the annual online directory occurs during July and August. The Online Mentor Profile Form is available on the Internet all year. If you want more information, E-mail Betty C. Jung, Program Director.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME AS A MENTOR?
For the time you are serving as a mentor, keep track of your contacts/activities on the Mentor Activity Log. This will help the program director to assess the types of services the program is providing and to develop other types of activities to meet the needs of individuals contacting mentors. At the end of the academic year you will be expected to submit these forms and to fill out the Annual Program Evaluation Form . At that time you can choose to continue for another year, or take a break. Your feedback is essential to the annual program report.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AS A MENTOR?
You may or may not get contacted. Most contacts are made via E-mail. Responses can vary from 5 - 30 minutes (the time it takes to write an E-mail response). Telephone contacts last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Contact data are being collected for purposes of assessing and evaluating program activities. You can be proactive and mentor others in whatever circumstances you may find yourself in - the workplace, meetings, conferences, etc.
Content includes questions about what a mentor is doing at his/her workplace, questions regarding one's professional expertise, how to become certified in a specialty area (e.g., health education credentialing, registered sanitarian requirements, etc.), academic course requirements in public health courses, what kinds of skills are expected for a particular public health discipline (i.e., best evaluation methods for health education interventions, types of statistical programs an epidemiologist may need to know, etc.), to name a few.
If you are a CHES or a MCHES, your willingness to mentor others about your professional expertise will be recognized. Upon meeting the objectives of PHENOM Program's Goal 3, you can earn 1 Category II CECH for each full year of voluntary service.
QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, ETC. can be directed to the P.H.E.N.O.M. Program Director, Betty C. Jung. She can be reached:
HOW MENTORING CONTRIBUTES TO THE LIFE OF A PROFESSIONAL
"One of the most satisfying and traditional ways in which young professionals begin learning about professionalism is to seek out those whom they identify as mentors."
"Whether the mentor relationship is formal or informal, the best mentors all share the same qualities: respect for each other, a shared vision to reach a common goal, trust, acting as a pipeline to new experiences and growth, creating a safe place where mistakes can be made, providing challenges, listening, giving advice, imparting wisdom, and providing inspiration. The mentor will become a lifelong friend and colleague."
"Mentorship opportunities also are available for the seasoned professional...experienced and well-established health education professionals in various community health settings (e.g., community-based organizations and agencies, hospitals, local and state health departments) serve as mentors to the prospective or new professional."
"At any level, volunteer opportunities are a part of community health education practice that can provide excellent formal and informal professionalism experience for new and seasoned health educators. By volunteering one's time and skills, the notion of professionalism is reinforced; that is, being a professional is not about looking the part but about actually doing the job. An expected role of any professional is that one has a social responsibility to the community in which he or she lives."
Citation source: Bensley, RN & Brookins FJ. (2009). Community Health Education Methods. A Practical Guide. (pp. 55, 56)
PUBLIC HEALTH WORKFORCE RESOURCES