The MNE assessment process requires collaboration among a variety of stakeholders. Building a team of different subject-matter experts is critical to the success of your MNE assessment and action plan development and execution. Find common ground, be respectful, and use clear communication to build a mutually beneficial relationship among team members.
Start with considering who should be part of your team. Engage community stakeholders and consider a diverse group of members. The size of your team will vary depending on your resources, support, and internal process for moving through the MNE assessment and action plan stages. A team of 3–5 members might work well.
- Nutrition and health promotion educators who can provide subject-matter expertise. Examples include registered dietitians, diet technicians, nutrition care or diet therapy specialists, health promotion coordinators, and public health nurses.
- Leaders who can provide needed support and resources. Examples include enlisted senior leadership.
- Community partners who can provide knowledge and support for MNE interventions. Examples include food service operators and managers from the dining facility or galley, commissary, Exchange, and other food service venues.
- Organizations that can support marketing and promotion efforts. Examples include your public affairs office or marketing department.
- Councils, working groups, or teams already in place that can support, promote, and collaborate with your efforts or leverage existing initiatives. Examples include the Commander’s Ready and Resiliency Council and Community Action Team.
- Other “health influencers” who might be interested in improving the military nutrition environment. Examples include fitness center managers or single Service Member programs.
You can help sustain MNE improvement efforts by building a process with a well-rounded team in place. A successful team shares responsibilities, shows collaboration, and optimizes the impact of MNE enhancements on the local military community.
Consider which responsibilities and roles each team member will have based on your MNE strategy.
- Who (individual or group) will conduct the mNEAT assessment?
- How do you prep and implement an action plan? Who will contribute? What buy-in is needed?
- Which resources are needed to assess and monitor MNE evaluations?
Meet with your team regularly to maintain engagement and interest from team members. Work together to set clear expectations, identify opportunities for improvement, and develop practical solutions and interventions. Document your progress and identify successes and challenges.
Build your team with local installation or ship resources and consider visiting different food venues to involve more stakeholders. Engage with your Service headquarters as needed to coordinate efforts and resources.
Solid teamwork determines your success, so build an effective team with communication, respect, and clear roles. If you have any questions on how to get started, contact the CHAMP MNE team at firstname.lastname@example.org.