Online Program

Strategies to Promote Peer Learning Among Health Officials : Lessons learned from the Primary Care Office Mentor Program

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Danielle Garrett, Masters of Public Affairs, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA
The world of public health is changing rapidly, so it is important for practitioners of all varieties to stay connected to their colleagues and up to speed in their field. Mentor programs are an important tool for training new officials, fostering collaboration, and sharing the newest information and best practices. This year, ASTHO implemented two programs to help foster mentoring, peer-to-peer learning, and TA assistance for state primary care offices. One program is a formal learning exchange program, where PCO Directors and Staff applied to be mentors and mentees. ASTHO covered the cost of a site visit and the pairs are expected to conduct other communication over phone and e-mail. The second tool is a web-based gathering place for PCO Directors that includes a discussion board, calendar, document sharing tool, announcements and task features. All PCO Directors are registered for the site and may post as often as they see fit. This presentation will examine both programs individually and as a pair to compare the effectiveness of each program in fostering peer-to-peer learning and exchange of best practices. It will explore the cost and benefits of the resource intensive in-person program and the more informal virtual platform and look at how these programs might complement each other. While the findings will be specific to Primary Care Offices, the lessons learned can inform others who are considering mentoring or peer-to-peer learning programs as a way to foster collaboration and best practices in public health. 

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Compare the benefits of a formal in-person mentoring program with the benefits of using virtual tools to promote peer learning. Discuss ways in which virtual tools can complement traditional mentoring programs. Identify which mentoring and peer learning tools are most appropriate for specific needs and individuals.

Keyword(s): Professional Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the lead staff member at ASTHO developing and managing the Primary Care Office Mentor Program and SharePoint site.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.