Public Health Expertise Network of Mentors (PHENOM)
Program Description

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Mentoring Peer Resources CA Healthy Communities Institute

By Betty C. Jung, MPH, RN, MCHES® P.H.E.N.O.M. Program Director

Citation: Jung, BC (2002 - 2023). Public Health Expertise Network of Mentors Program Description.
From Southern Connecticut State University Alumni Magazine, Spring '03:


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 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

Source: Southern Magazine. Spring 2003

Philosophy & History of Phenom (1993-2013)
Competencies Details 2013-2014


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:

PHENOM Mentee 8A6. Tier 1: Participates in professional development activities, which include training, mentoring, peer advising and coaching.
PHENOM Mentor 8B6. Tier 2: Provides opportunities for professional development at the individual and group levels.
PHENOM Program 8C6. Tier 3: Ensures availability of professional development opportunities for the public health workforce.

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"

  • 7.6.1 Develop a personal plan for professional growth and service
  • 7.6.3 Explain the major responsibilities of the health education specialist in the practice of health education
  • 7.6.4 Explain the role of health education associations in advancing the profession
  • 7.6.5 Explain the benefits of participating in professional organizations
  • 7.6.6 Facilitate professional growth of self and others
  • 7.6.7 Explain the history of the health education profession and its current and future implications for professional practice
  • 7.6.8 Explain the role of credentialing in the promotion of the health education profession
  • 7.6.9 Engage in professional development activities
  • 7.6.10 Serve as a mentor to others
  • 7.6.12 Engage in service to advance 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: 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.

  • Objective 3a: Public health practitioners who have volunteered to be a mentor for PHENOM, and who are a CHES or a MCHES must have at least one academic degree in Public Health.
  • Objective 3b: These PHENOM mentors must ensure that their biosketch is current and up-to-date during their year of service, and that they are available and can be reached at the E-mail and/or phone listed on the Online PHENOM directory ;
  • Objective 3c: These PHENOM mentors must complete one year of service, beginning July 1st to June 30th of the following year.
  • Objective 3d: These PHENOM mentors must document at least one mentoring activity during their year of service, which can include any of the following:
    1. Responding to a PHENOM Blog inquiry;
    2. Mentoring an individual about Public Health career options and/or sharing one's professional expertise, if contacted via PHENOM directory or listings ;
    3. Mentoring an individual at the work place, at a professional meeting/or conference, or online (e.g., social media forum) about Public Health career options and/or sharing one's professional expertise and mentioning one is a member of PHENOM;
    4. Writing an article for a publication in which one shares their professional expertise and mentioning one is a member of PHENOM.
    5. List PHENOM as an organization one is involved with on a professional social network profile (e.g., LinkedIn; ResearchGate;
  • Objective 3e: These PHENOM mentors must, for purposes of program evaluation, complete:
    1. An Mentor Activity Log for each mentoring activity one performs;
    2. An Annual Mentor Evaluation Form upon the completion of the one-year term of service.
  • Objective 3f: Upon successful completion of Objectives 3d and 3e, these PHENOM mentors will be provided with documentation that they can submit with their CHES/MCHES CATEGORY II CECH CLAIM FORM (Professional Service - I served as a mentor) to National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.(NCHEC) for 1 Category II CECH for each year of voluntary service.


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:

  • Assess the program's progress towards achieving its stated mission, goals and objectives;
  • Provide feedback that can be used to improve the program.

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:

  • (1) Is asked to fill out a one-page Annual Evaluation Form evaluating his/her mentoring experience;
  • (2) Has the option of continue or discontinue his/her participation.

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.


QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, ETC. can be directed to the P.H.E.N.O.M. Program Director, Betty C. Jung. She can be reached:


"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)

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Published on the Web: July 1, 2002
Major revisions to incorporate PHENOM's approval to offer Category 2 CECH.

Updated: 12/25/2022 R361
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