Leadership in adolescent health: developing the next generation of maternal child health leaders through mentorship.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-014-1619-4
Leadership development is a core value of Maternal Child Health Bureau training programs. Mentorship, an MCH Leadership Competency, has been shown to positively affect career advancement and research productivity. Improving mentorship opportunities for junior faculty and trainees may increase pursuit of careers in areas such as adolescent health research and facilitate the development of new leaders in the field. Using a framework of Developmental Networks, a group of MCH Leadership Education in Adolescent Health training program faculty developed a pilot mentoring program offered at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine Annual Meeting (2011-2013). The program matched ten interdisciplinary adolescent health fellows and junior faculty with senior mentors at other institutions with expertise in the mentee's content area of study in 2011. Participants were surveyed over 2 years. Respondents indicated they were "very satisfied" with their mentor match, and all agreed or strongly agreed that the mentoring process in the session was helpful, and that the mentoring relationships resulted in several ongoing collaborations and expanded their Developmental Networks. These results demonstrate that MCH programs can apply innovative strategies to disseminate the MCH Leadership Competencies to groups beyond MCH-funded training programs through programs at scientific meetings. Such innovations may enhance the structure of mentoring, further the development of new leaders in the field, and expand developmental networks to provide support for MCH professionals transitioning to leadership roles.