By Madison Ferraro, NACCHO Senior Program Assistant
One of the organizational aims for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is to support and advance the work of preparedness professionals in local health departments (LHDs) and partner agencies. The Roadmap to Ready program is one of the key ways NACCHO fulfills this goal, offering an invaluable mentorship opportunity for new emergency preparedness coordinators and their experienced counterparts. The program connects individuals just starting out in the field and those who have years of insight to share, ultimately paving the way for a highly skilled and efficient preparedness workforce of the future.
Currently in its second year, boasting 101 highly satisfied alumni from across the country, NACCHO is seeking both mentor and mentee applicants to join the 2017 Roadmap to Ready cohort. Designed to foster the development of LHD preparedness staff who have been in their role for two years or less, Roadmap to Ready is a comprehensive training program, which includes a two-day, in-person introductory workshop, bi-monthly interactive webinars, access to a virtual community sharing space, and, most importantly, ongoing one-to-one mentorship throughout the entire year. Each mentee is assigned to a team led by an experienced mentor who provides guidance on the skills, connections, and resources the mentees will need to successfully prepare their local jurisdictions for new and emerging threats.
By completing this yearlong program as a mentee, new preparedness coordinators gain the knowledge they need to successfully navigate the complex landscape of public health preparedness. Equally beneficial for the participating mentors, experienced professionals can ensure their preparedness efforts will continue to thrive when it is time to pass the baton to a new cadre of preparedness workers.
NACCHO is currently accepting applications for both mentor and mentee participants through December 9, 2016. Applications are available at the following link. Additional information including eligibility and participant requirements can be found by visiting the Roadmap to Ready webpage.
Potential applicants must be available to attend one of two introductory trainings, which will be held in San Diego, California on March 28-29, 2017 and in Atlanta, Georgia on April 24, 2017. This workshop is mandatory for both mentor and mentee participants, as it provides an overview of the key policies, issues, and resources critical to sustaining and growing public health preparedness capacity. These topics provide the groundwork for what each Roadmap to Ready mentor team will focus on throughout their year together. In an effort to address potential barriers to attendance due to cost, NACCHO is offering need-based scholarships subsidizing travel finances for both mentor and mentee applicants. Selected applicants deemed eligible to receive financial support will be notified in January 2017.