Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson Food Quality Improvement Program

For me, the most memorable part of being a PHAP associate for the City of Minneapolis Health Department (MHD) has been working on a local healthy food access program and a national food program, simultaneously. I was a project manager for the Minneapolis Staple Foods Ordinance, a citywide policy requiring licensed grocery stores and small food stores to increase their community’s access to healthy foods. I was also a project specialist working on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Retail Program Standards, a nationwide quality improvement program designed to create uniformity in food regulatory programs and enhance the services they provide to the public.

The FDA program provides funds for completing projects and training to enhance adherence to nine topic areas, or standards, regarding quality and compliance in how health inspectors perform their duties. As a project specialist, I completed the self-assessment for the MHD Food, Lodging, and Pools division to identify where it can have the greatest impact on retail food safety. Next, I enrolled MHD environmental health staff in the FDA Retail Program Standards curriculum to begin the standardization process. At the same time, I developed a program to train all 18 MHD health inspectors to conduct compliance assessments for the Staple Foods Ordinance. With both projects operating simultaneously, I gained hands-on experience in the field plus administrative experience in the office.

PHAP is a training program, so I never once thought I’d be the one doing the training. But, thanks to PHAP, I got to develop my knowledge and expertise in defined areas of public health, train colleagues, and help start new programs at MHD. This entire experience has been very rewarding, particularly because my work has become a part of MHD’s standard procedures for conducting compliance assessments at all 238 licensed grocery stores in Minneapolis and for new stores in the future. My PHAP experience is the foundation for my career in public health, and I’m excited to see what’s next!.

Up Next: Lauren Linde, Infectious Disease PreventionRight Arrow