NACCHO is pleased to announce the eighth 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).
The Retail Program Standards guide health departments in designing and managing a retail food regulatory program, and they 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 eighth 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 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 23 participants, including six mentors and 17 mentees, from across the nation (see map below). Participants began the program December 2018 and will complete it at the end of August 2019.
The following are the participants and proposed components of the Retail Program Standards mentees will be working on for the 2018-2019 mentorship year:
Mentor: Fairfax County Health Department, VA
Mentees: Erie County Health Department, OH (Self-assessment); Fairhaven Board of Health, MA (Self-assessment, Standards 1-7); Marlborough Health Department, MA (Standard 3); and Union County Health Department, OH (Standards 1,5, and 6)
Mentor: Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale Health Departments, GA
Mentee: Chickahominy Health District, VA (Standards 4 and 7); Angelina County & Cities Health District, TX (Standard 3); and Trempealeau County Health Department, WI (Standard 4)
Mentor: Jersey County Health Department, IL
Mentees: Madison County Health Department, IL (Standards 1, 3, and 6)
Mentor: New River Health District (VA)
Mentees: Lord Fairfax Health District, VA (Self-assessment and Standard 2) and Prince William Health District, VA (Self-assessment and Standard 2)
Mentor: Southern Nevada Health District, NV
Mentees: City of Arlington, TX (Standard 3); Amarillo Environmental Health Department, TX (Standards 3, 4, and 6), and Randolph County Health Department, NC (Standard 9)
Mentor: Vineland Health Department, NJ
Mentees: West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District, CT (Standard 4 and 7); Chatham Health District, CT (Standards 4 and 7); Lincoln County Health Department, MO (Self-assessment and Standard 7); and Jefferson County Health, WV (Self-assessment, Standards 1 and 7)