Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
Community Search

2/22/2019 » 4/3/2019
2019 Step Challenge

CPHA Awards and Fundraiser

Mentoring Committee
Share |

CPHA Mentors On Request  (MOR)


 Our History

In 2007, research showed a new kind of threat to the public’s health: a growing shortage of public health workers. Contributing factors included our aging workforce and population, not enough training programs and poor health habits and health literacy among our general population.

CPHA responded with a long-term goal: Prepare youth and undergraduates as future public health advocates, leaders and health literate citizens with the help of CPHA members.  We formed a Mentoring Committee, called Mentors on Request (MOR) and armed them with activities and tools to engage youth and young adults in public health, from the classroom to the community.  Since 2007 the MOR has grown from 7 organizational members to 45. 

 The MOR Leadership Team and MOR Career Mentors

If educators and students wish to get in touch with these mentors,  please email

The MOR Leadership Team 

CPHA’s MOR Leadership Team works together to increase the range of public health career mentors and opportunities for experiential learning for Connecticut’s students, their educators and young career professionals. 

MOR Co-Chairs

N. Chineye Anako, MPH, CHESDirector, Community Health and Well Being
Cyndi Billian Stern, MA, MPHCo-founder, CPHA MOR, Vision Health International                                                                             Joan Lane, MPHPublic Health Specialist, Naugatuck Valley Health District


MOR Leadership Team of 2019 includes:

Maureen Couvares, MPH Lead Health Educator, Manchester  High School
Randy Domina, MPH, Workforce Development Coordinator, Public Health Systems Improvement, Connecticut Department of Public Health
Celia Meyer, MS, National Programs Coordinator, Health 360, Inc.
Lisa Michelle Morrissey, MPH, Director, Health & Human Services, City of Danbury
Deb Risisky, PhD, Assoc. Professor of Public Health, Southern CT State University


 Our Organizational Members consist of local health, hospital, private non-profit and educational institutions. They include:
    (Click here for the full 45-member list) 
CT Children’s  Medical Center.
CT Department of Public Health
CT Association of Directors of Health
Hartford Food System
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England,
HOSA Future Health Professionals,
Southern Connecticut State University
University of Connecticut Graduate Program in Applied Public Health
University of St. Josephs
Yale School of Public Health


MOR Career Mentors  Learn more about public health career pathways  by viewing and/or connecting with our MOR mentors.


Maritza Bond, MPH is the Director of Health and Social Services for the City of Bridgeport, where she leads efforts that promote, prevent, and protect city residents. Prior to joining the City, Maritza served as Executive Director of Eastern Area Health Education Center (EAHEC), Inc, bringing educators, health care professionals, and community leaders together regionally and statewide to ensure health care access and enhance the workforce. In 2015, Maritza was awarded the Health Equity Super Star award from the Connecticut Health Foundation and was the 2015 Rural Health Leadership Fellow. She was a 2008 CT Health Foundation Leadership Fellow and has served on various boards and committees statewide. Maritza holds an MPH with an MPA certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Connecticut.

Click here for MOR Mentors.

 Photo Above: Elizabeth Schwartz, N. Chi Anako, Jenna Lupi with Crystal Schindo, Joan Lane 


To get in touch with career mentors, email


Our Strategy

 We outlined a three-pronged plan to grow a knowledgeable and diverse public health workforce, as well as healthier future generation.

 · Start young: We targeted high school and community college students.  In K-12, students NEVER thought about public health as a career option because there were no courses by that name; hence, majoring in the field was an unusual choice for an undergraduate. 

Step Challenge











Photo: Students from Manchester and New Britain participating in Past Step Challenges. 

 · Recruit mentoring organizations, not individuals: Often mentors’ passion for their field turns to burnout when they are the only ones doing the mentoring in their organization.   Hence, we asked leaders of public health organizations to be members, to spread mentoring efforts across the staff.

 · Shape mentoring activities to fit schedules: We offered mentors experiential learning opportunities that fit their schedules, from one-hour classroom presentations to one semester internships.   Next, we provided materials and training using PowerPoints with short entertaining videos that illustrate what public health is and does. Later we added an internship guide (Making Internships Work) and a Speed Mentoring Guide.

 Our Reach, Our Recognition  

 Photo: Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell, recently chosen as next Commissioner of CT DPH, speed mentoring at the CPHA Annual Meeting·






· With our MOR members we have reached approximately 15,000 students over the past 11 years.  Highlights of these activities include:

· Training Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) members to present our introduction to public health, Adventures in Public Health ( see under Resources) at high schools across the state.

·Holding Public Health Speed Mentoring Programs: These successful Career Mentoring Activities have drawn among the largest audiences at CPHA Annual Conferences and at Southern CT State University. (See our Speed Mentoring Guide).

· Launching MOVE and MENTOR Step Challenge with HOSA Future Health Professionals, an internationally recognized program to boost youth engagement in public health. Check out the story in The Nation's Health.

 ·A Public Health 101 blended curriculum, written by CPHA members, has been taught in Newtown and New Haven high schools since 2012 as a full-year course and several more high schools use one or more public health units in related classes.

 MOR to Come: 2019 Priorities

 MOR future plans take into consideration our 2018 survey of CPHA MOR members, the growth of public health undergraduate enrollment in the state, and our continuing partnership with HOSA. Over the past 10 years Connecticut has gone from two undergraduate programs to more than 10 programs that offer either full undergraduate degrees or coursework in public health at the undergraduate level.  HOSA CT Future Health Professionals continues to expand to new high schools and colleges in the state. To provide this growing population with the experiential learning that will prepare them for the public health workforce, we will work to:

§  Hold a Mentoring/Preceptor Training for educators and MOR members (employers) to prepare students for public health careers.

 §  Hold Speed Mentoring events to connect students to career mentors through our higher education and public health organizational partners. 

 §  Post CPHA and MOR members’ workplace learning opportunities from capstones to projects to internships.

 §  Post CPHA MOR Career Mentors Stories:  Offer educators and students opportunities to view videos, short essays and links to existing interviews with public health professionals about their career paths.

 §  Help educators and their students connect with CPHA MOR Career Mentors.

 §  Expand and replicate in other states our internationally recognized HOSA-CPHA MOVE and MENTOR Partnership.

 §  Recognize outstanding MOR mentors at CPHA Awards event.

 §  Develop a model internship assessment form aligned to core competencies described by the Council on Linkages. 

 §  Develop a grant with the CPHA board to fund this work.


Resources and Professional Development Tools

 Adventures in Public Health  (2018 update)

 This PowerPoint covers hot topics and careers in public health and  provides short videos and  engaging activities  that introduce students to the field. It is designed for users to select public health topics they wish to focus on, depending on audience need and interest.

Health Literacy: Don’t Leave School Without It (2018 update)

 Speed Mentoring Guide.


How to become a CPHA MOR Organization  

We welcome educational institutions, non-profit and for-profit organizations that have a goal of  preparing young people for community service, healthier lifestyles and careers in public health.  Click here for the MOR Registration Form.

For more information about the CPHA MOR, please contact the MOR Chairs:  

 MOR Photo Gallery

 Public Health Mentorship panel:  

 Richard Sugarman, Hartford Promise,

 Frances Padilla, President of the Universal Health Care Foundation

 N. Chi Anako, Director of Community Health and Well Being,

 Trinity Health Care

 Tracey Scraba, Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer at Aetna

 Anthony Dias, Vice President of Data Services for the CT Hospital Association

                         Michael Pascucilla, Director of Health for the East Shore District Health Department. 




Photo: Fawatih Mohamed-Abouh, Adjunct Professor - Department of Community Medicine & Health Care UConn Health teaching a health literacy program







  Speed Mentoring at the 2018 Annual CPHA Conference







 Photo Above: Elizabeth Schwartz, N. Chi Anako, Jenna Lupi with Crystal Schindo, Joan Lane 

Photo Above: Fawatih Abouh-Mohamed with Elaine O’Keefe, Maritza Bond  

Students learn about Adventures in Public Health at Middlesex Community College


Photo: Cyndi Billian Stern at MXCC Health Careers Program  







Teacher Training

Photo: Team building with infographics: a MOR Public Health program in Hartford.

Sign In

Latest News

Follow CTPublicHealth on TwitterLinkedIn

Connecticut Public Health Association © 2019.