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Mentoring Committee
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Make a Difference, Grow our Workforce, Connect with Youth

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

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 are rarely taught about the field of public health and the many career options within it because there are limited courses with the name “public health” in it. Thus, majoring in the field was an unusual choice for an undergraduate. 
  • 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. Therefore, we asked leaders of public health organizations to be members and to spread mentoring efforts across their 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.

 MOR Leadership Team

N. Chineye “Chi” Anako, MPH, CHES: Regional Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Community Health and Well Being, Trinity Health Of New England
Maureen Couvares, MPH: Lead Health Educator, Manchester High School
Randy Domina, MPH: Workforce Development Coordinator, Public Health Systems Improvement, Connecticut Department of Public Health
Joan Lane, MPH: Public Health Specialist, Naugatuck Valley Health District
Celia Meyer, MS: National Programs Coordinator, Health 360, Inc.
Lisa Michelle Morrissey, MPH: Director of Health & Human Service, City of Bridgeport
Deb Risisky, PhD: Associate Professor of Public Health, Southern CT State University
Cyndi Billian Stern, MA, MPH: Co-founder, CPHA MOR, Vision Health International

Join the 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 email us at: