NACCHO is pleased to announce the seventh cohort for its Mentorship Program for the Retail Program Standards, made possible through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 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 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 health departments to critically assess and improve their retail food regulatory programs.
NACCHO’s mentorship program, now in its seventh year, has successfully increased local health departments’ participation in and conformance with the Retail Program Standards. The program 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 will 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 benefits of the mentorship program extend well beyond the mentorship program period for many of the participants.
This year’s cohort consists of 26 participants, including eight mentors and 18 mentees, from across the nation (see map below). Participants begin the program in December and will complete it at the end of August 2018.
The following are the participants and proposed components of the Retail Program Standards mentees will be working on for the mentorship program:
Mentor: Cumberland County Department of Public Health
Mentees: Richmond County (NC) Health Department (Standard 7) and Randolph County (NC) Health Department (self-assessment)
Mentor: Fairfax County (VA) Health Department
Mentees: Rappahannock Rapidan (VA) Health District (Standard 4), Angelina County and Cities (TX) Health District (Standards 2 and 4), Cumberland County (NJ) Health Department (Standards 2, 4, and 9), Marion County (IN) Public Health (self-assessment, 3, 5, and 6), and District of Columbia (Standards 2 and 3).
Mentor: Mohegan Tribal (CT) Health Department
Mentees: West Hartford-Bloomfield (CT) Health District (Standard 4 and 5) and Chatham Health District (CT) (Standards 4, 7, and 9).
Mentor: New River (VA) Health District
Mentees: Central Virginia (VA) Health District (Standard 2)
Mentor: Oakland County (MI) Health Division
Mentee: Union County (OH) General Health District (self-assessment) and Chelsea (MA) Board of Health (self-assessment, 1, 5, and 7)
Mentor: Rockingham County Environmental Health
Mentees: Lee County (NC) Environmental Health (Standard 4) and Marlborough (MA) Health Department (Standard 4 and self-assessment)
Mentor: Southern Nevada Health District
Mentees: First District (ND) Health Unit (Standards 3 and 9), North Dakota Department of Health Division of Food and Lodging (Standard 4), and Seattle & King County Public Health (Standards 5 and 7)
Mentor: Washoe County Health District
Mentees: Mahoning County (OH) District Board of Health (Standard 4)