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EHOPAC Mentoring and Orientation Program
The Environmental Health Officer Professional Advisory Committee (EHOPAC) invites Environmental Health Officers to participate in its Mentoring and Orientation Program. The program is open to officers of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps) as well as Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) civil service environmental health professionals.

With the recent increase of Corps officers called to active duty, this is a good time for both senior and junior officers to get the latest information about the Mentoring and Orientation Program. It is the EHOPAC’s hope that the word will get out to all newly commissioned officers on how the program can benefit them. Feedback surveys report that participation in the program is of great benefit to junior and newly commissioned officers. The resource materials provide excellent guidelines to both junior and senior officers for a successful mentoring process.

The program pairs senior (mentor) and junior (protégé) environmental health professionals to build a foundation for a successful and rewarding career in the Corps. The goal of the program is to foster long-term career development, professional growth, and to make the transition to the Corps as seamless as possible for those officers who have just been called to active duty.

The EHOPAC Mentoring and Orientation Subcommittee pairs mentor and protégé applicants based on HHS Operating Division and geographic location. Once the pairings are approved by the Chair of the EHOPAC and the EHO Chief Professional Officer, the mentors and protégés are notified by the Mentoring and Orientation Subcommittee. The program lasts for one (1) year, but mentors and protégés are encouraged to maintain contact after the official program ends. Mentors do not take the place of supervisors. The purpose of a mentor is to provide information specific to each protégé for his/her career goals and options.

Topics that are covered by mentors include, but are not limited to, healthcare and other benefits; uniforms and military courtesy; awards; assignments and special details; planning specialty career tracks; being competitive for promotions; and being successful in the Corps culture. Becoming a mentor is an excellent way to help strengthen the careers of junior EHOs, which makes the category and the Corps stronger. Being a mentor is one of the benchmarks for promotion in the EHO category and is an excellent way to show leadership.

Additional details, such as how to become a mentor and protégé are available at http://ehopac.org/index.cfm?fa=mentoring. Please note that the Web site will soon be moving to the USPHS.gov Web site. The new webpage link has not been determined at this time. Any questions should be directed to the Mentoring and Orientation Subcommittee Chairman, CDR Chris Kates, at (816) 426-2833 or at chris.kates@hhs.gov
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