Leadership in Adolescent Health: Developing the Next Generation of Maternal Child Health Leaders Through Mentorship

Emily A. Blood, Maria Trent, Catherine M. Gordon, Adrianne Goncalves, Michael Resnick, J. Dennis Fortenberry, Cherrie B. Boyer, Laura Richardson, S. Jean Emans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-313
Number of pages6
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Mid-career and senior adolescent health faculty, with the assistance of a coordinator and a biostatistician, and funding from the William T. Grant Foundation, designed a pilot mentoring program for interdisciplinary adolescent health fellows and new junior faculty offered at the annual Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) meeting in 2011: the Research Forum and Mentoring Program. Information on the program was distributed to SAHM members in the summer and fall of 2010 via the SAHM membership listserv and newsletter, as well as to all Adolescent Medicine training programs including all of the MCH-funded LEAH programs. Applicants provided a biographical sketch, a personal statement, a proposed project outline, and a recommendation from a home institution research mentor, fellowship training director, or division chief. The applicant was given the option to provide a list of desired mentors. They were also asked to commit to attending the Research Mentoring Forum at the SAHM meeting if selected. Once applicants were selected, mentors with expertise specific to each mentee’s project were recruited by the senior team of three faculty who through two conference calls developed a list of productive, expert research faculty based on track record of mentoring, content area for scholarship, PhD/MD, rank, and stated goals of the mentees, with an emphasis on engaging LEAH faculty. Mentors were Associate or full (7/10) Professors and had experience mentoring for a mean of 24 years. All mentees had a Division Chief and a project, and 9/10 had home mentors. All mentors were asked to agree to their match and to confirm their availability to attend the SAHM Meeting in 2011. Selected mentees were notified of their assigned mentor via email in December 2010 and each mentor was sent the biographical sketch of their mentee match at this time. Mentees provided a 3–4 page concept paper or manuscript in progress along with specific questions regarding their project 1 month prior to the Mentoring Forum, and a week later mentors and mentees were sent a brief overview of the program as well as information on mentoring and asked to complete an exercise on mapping a Developmental Network [], discussed earlier.

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the Maternal Child Health Bureau/HRSA for the funding of the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH)projects: T71MC00009 (Boston LEAH, PI Emans), T71MC08054 (Johns Hopkins LEAH, PI Adger), T71MC00006 (Minnesota LEAH, PI Resnick), T71MC00003 (UCSF LEAH, PI Irwin), T71MC242100202 (U Washington LEAH PI Walker), T71MC0000820 (Indiana LEAH, PI Rickert), DC Baltimore Research Center on Child Health Disparities P20 MD 000198, from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (PI Cheng); and the William T. Grant Foundation (#12119, PI Emans) for the initial phase of this project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Adolescent health
  • Developmental networks
  • Leadership
  • Mentorship


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