The Public Health Mentor Toolbox has been developed to support Wisconsin public health professionals in their career development. Mentoring focuses on the overall professional development of an individual, and can be defined as:
“a process in which an experienced individual helps another person develop his or her goals and skills through a series of time-limited, confidential, one-on-one conversations and other learning activities”
~Center for Health Leadership and Practice
The origins of the concept of mentoring extend back to ancient Greek literature. In Homer’s The Odyssey, the main character (Odysseus) leaves to fight the Trojan War. He entrusts his only son and heir, Telemachus, with Mentor. Highly regarded by Odysseus, Mentor is responsible for the child’s well-being for many years. While mentors in today’s world are not entirely responsible for their mentees – nor is a relationship long term – they do provide significant guidance, support and learning that can lead to professional growth.
This website provides the basic tools needed for a potential mentee to find a mentor. Specifically, the site provides:
Who is the public health workforce?
The public health workforce is broadly defined to include individuals in both governmental and non-governmental settings who are addressing the essential services. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. (1997). The Public Health Workforce: An Agenda for the 21st Century; A Report of the Public Health Functions Project.
Thus, the public health workforce includes individuals working in health departments, clinics, community-based non-profits, academia and in other settings.
Through a grant awarded to the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, funding for the Mentor Toolbox was provided by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health from the Wisconsin Partnership Program.