Editor’s note: The Health Department will receive grants this year with a total value of $350,872. Below, interim Health Director Rae Dick details the awards
“We have applied and received many grants this year,” Dick said.
- The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
2021 MRC Operational Readiness Grant Award: $10,000 towards Capacity Building towards COVID Response
- MDPH Public Health Shared Services Grant: $295,872 per year… for 3 years.
The town was awarded as Host agent, a shared services grant with the towns of Dracut, Lowell, and Acton for three years.
The grant is paying for a shared Accreditation Coordinator, a Grant Manager, and a Community Health Coordinator. All positions are Full-time.
The Community Health coordinator position will help with community health assessments, strategic planning, programming, community education, tobacco control, and substance abuse.
- Six Individual FDA Retail Standards Program Grants. $45,000
- The grants are for Inspectional Equipment such as Laptops, software, thermometers, data loggers, flashlights, test strips, head covers, and many more inspectional supplies.
- The grants have also paid for four new iPhone with cameras for four inspectors in the HD this year.
- The grants provide funding for attending advanced training on food safety and Foodborne Illness investigation throughout the year. The funding pays for all food inspection policies to be put in writing, meeting standardized training standards, and accessing the top food safety violations in our communities food establishments.
- The funding has also provided virtual food safety trainings for all food establishments in Westford this year. These grants and programs help our department continually improve our food inspectional program, provide Food safety education for the food establishments, provide them with educational training and materials, and it also improves our relationship with the establishments.
- We do our very best to not only inspect the establishments per the federal and state codes, but we try very hard to help them with education, trainings, and any questions they may have for us throughout the year. The Town of Westford is the only town in the state of Massachusetts that operates on the 2017 Federal Food code.
These grants help our department improve and provide more services, purchase necessary equipment, and provide workforce development training with no additional expense or cost to the taxpayers.