National Mentoring Month: 5 Ways to Say “Thank You”

Since January has been declared as “National Mentoring Month“, we encourage you to reflect on those who have encouraged and guided you, and made a positive impact on your lives.

In the field of public health, we especially cherish those who have helped our workforce develop and grow. So take the opportunity this month to specially thank or honor your public health mentor.

Teacher Blackboard“When I was at the University of Michigan, I was fortunate to have had two great, renowned mentors – Avedis Donabedian and John Griffith,” recalls Dave Rogoff, Director of the Center for Leadership in Public Health Practice. Under their encouragement and mentorship, Rogoff learn a lot about the public health field. “Both could be brutally frank, when necessary and both taught me to take a systems’ view toward problem solving.”

Here are a few ways you can say “thanks” this week to the mentors who influenced you:

  1. Contact your mentor directly to express your appreciation.
  2. Contact staff or administration who promote mentorship programs and express your gratitude for their support.
  3. Write or record a tribute to your mentor and post it to YouTube, blog or website, Twitter feed, or Facebook wall (like we did here.)
  4. Send your mentor a “Thank You” card or e-greeting.
  5. Pay-it-forward and become a public health mentor in FPHTC Online Mentor Program!

Rogoff notes the significance of his mentorship when he recalls a memory from one of his college lecture classes. “Dr. Donabedian presented a formula he was developing for his book, “Aspects of Medical Care Administration”.  As the student, I had pointed out that he had left out a component of the formula. Dr. Donabedian turned and looked at the formula on the board and said “you’re right” and later cited me in his book for pointing this out!”

Mentoring in public health continues to be in high demand. Your participation in mentorship can impact the mentor and mentee, as well as, the future of the public health field.

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