Announcing Sixth Cohort in NACCHO Mentorship Program for the Retail Program Standards

Made possible through a new cooperative agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), NACCHO is pleased to announce the sixth participant cohort for its Mentorship Program for the Retail Program Standards. The peer mentorship program provides opportunities to learn, share experiences, and acquire tools and resources related to the FDA’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards).

Developed by the FDA, the Retail Program Standards guide local health departments in designing and managing a retail food regulatory program, and provide a means of recognizing programs that meet the standards. The program consists of nine standards that enable local health departments to critically assess and improve their retail food regulatory programs.

NACCHO’s mentorship program, now in its sixth year, pairs retail food regulatory program practitioners who are experienced in applying the Retail Program Standards with those newly enrolled and/or looking for assistance, guidance, tools, resources, and recommendations for continued success. Participants design plans for reaching program milestones, conduct self-assessments, develop improvement plans, and conduct verification audits, among other learning activities. Moreover, participation in the mentorship program helps to strengthen relationships between retail food regulatory programs, states, and regional FDA offices.

The mentorship program has been growing since its inception in 2012. The first year included nine local health departments; the second cohort grew to include 15 local health departments; the third cohort included 18; the fourth cohort included 24; the fifth cohort included 27, and the sixth cohort includes 31. Participants begin the program in November and will complete it in at the end of August 2016.

The primary benefits of the mentorship program are to:

  1. Facilitate progress and achievement of the Retail Program Standards;
  2. Provide the opportunity to learn from an experienced peer mentor; and
  3. Facilitate networking such that folks can continue to progress on the Standards after the formal mentorship program has ended.

The sixth cohort includes:

Mentor: Calhoun County (IL) Health Department
Mentee: Jersey County (IL) Health Department

Mentor: Chatham County Public Health Department
Mentee: Cumberland County (NC) Department of Public Health Environmental Health Division
Mentee: Gaston County (NC) Environmental Health Division, Food and Lodging Program

Mentor: Fairfax County Health Department (VA)
Mentee: Central Shenandoah (VA) Health District
Mentee: Chickahominy (VA) Health District\
Mentee: District of Columbia Department of Health Food Safety & Hygiene Inspection Services Division
Mentee: Englewood (NJ) Department of Health
Mentee: Northwest Georgia Public Health District 1-1
Mentee: Rappahannock Rapidan (VA) Health District

Mentor: Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (TX)
Mentee: Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale County Environmental Health Dept. (GA)
Mentee: North Shore (WI) Health Department

Mentor: Kansas City (MO) Health Department
Mentee: Gasconade County (MO) Health Department

Mentor: Lake County General Health District (OH)
Mentee: Mahoning County (OH) District Board of Health

Mentor: New River (VA) Health District
Mentee: Lenowisco (VA) Health District

Mentor: Oakland County (MI) Health Division
Mentee: Health Department of Northwest Michigan
Mentee: Lee County (NC) Health Department

Mentor: Southern Nevada Health District (NV)
Mentee: First District (ND) Health Unit
Mentee: Washoe County (NV) Health District

Mentor: Vineland Health Department (NJ)
Mentee: Cumberland County (NJ) Health Department
Mentee: Hoke County (NC) Health Department
Mentee: Snohomish (WA) Health District

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