As Dave Knowlton and I were transitioning the leadership of the Quality Institute, he wisely wanted me to build my own team. One of my first hires was Janan Dave, who I brought to the Institute to lead our Mayors Wellness Campaign. She has been with the Quality Institute for two years now and under her stewardship the Mayors Wellness Campaign has expanded its scope well beyond active living and healthy eating to address critical issues such as advance care planning, health literacy and chronic disease management.
Janan refreshed our campaign toolkit to support the mayors, created a newsletter to share their work, created an evidence-based rubric for the “Healthy Town” award, and obtained grant funding to further support our work.
I watched Janan develop relationships with the mayors, health departments and our members. Her management helped the campaign thrive. I gave her just enough guidance, but lots of room to run. The results speak for themselves with more than 380 mayors involved now and multiple grants supporting the campaign.
It’s been a joy to work with Janan. But, as with many of the bright lights that come to work and learn at the Quality Institute, I knew she had her heart set on further education and challenges. This summer Janan will leave us to begin that journey as a fellow in the America India Foundation William J. Clinton Year of Service Fellowship in India. The fellowship pairs a very select number of highly skilled young professionals with leading NGOs and social enterprises in India to create effective projects that are replicable, scalable, and sustainable. She’ll spend ten months on service and fieldwork, on the ground in the field of public health and social enterprise, honing her skills creating lasting change.
Mentoring someone is like parenthood. When the people you mentor leave your heart breaks, but it also fills with pride at the same time. Mentoring rising stars in the world of health care is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.
I believe we all have an obligation to mentor those with less experience than ourselves. We must share our insights, passion, experience and knowledge to help the next generation of health care leaders. The mentoring relationship is based on collaboration and shared commitment.
Mentoring is a powerful way to give back to society. It takes time and patience, but helping someone find their way and improve professionally can be as fulfilling as your own successes. Throughout my career I was lucky to have great mentors in both the public and private sectors. From the legendary New Jersey attorney Joe Markowitz, to former Majority Office leader Kathy Crotty, to DOBI’s Don Bryan — and, of course, Dave Knowlton — I have strong mentors to thank for my successes.
I know that Janan will take what she gained at the Quality Institute with her and will forever be part of the Quality Institute family. We wish her good luck and thank her for all she’s done for the Quality Institute and to support mayors and community wellness.