Our work to achieve accreditation status has helped us align our programs with our strategic priorities and identify ways to improve the health and quality of life in Illinois.
Alexandria, Virginia (PRWEB) August 10, 2015
In keeping with their mission to improve the conditions in which their communities can be healthy, four health departments this week were awarded five-year accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The decisions bring another 6.5 million U.S residents into an expanding national network of communities served by health departments that meet national standards for delivering quality programs and services.
PHAB, the nonprofit organization that administers the national public health accreditation program, aims to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation’s state, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments.
National accreditation status was awarded August 4, 2015 to Central Valley Health District in Jamestown, North Dakota; Thomas Jefferson Health District in Charlottesville, Virginia; the Illinois Department of Public Health in Chicago; and Washtenaw County Public Health in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Since the launch of the national accreditation program in 2011, 79 governmental public health departments have achieved accreditation through PHAB. With this week’s decisions, the benefits of national accreditation now reach 39 percent of the U.S. population, or nearly 121 million people. In all, 28 states plus the District of Columbia now have a PHAB-accredited health department within their borders.
Public health departments are on the front lines of improving and protecting the health and well-being of people and communities. Across the nation, health departments provide services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; ensuring access to safe food, water, clean air, and life-saving immunizations; and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.
“Four more U.S. communities are now experiencing the benefits of their health departments being nationally accredited,” said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “These four health departments represent a wide variety of size and organizational structures — all working with their communities to improve the health status of their jurisdictions.”
Demonstrating the capacity to provide the highest quality of services to the 12.8 million people it serves, the Illinois Department of Public Health this week became the eighth state health department to achieve PHAB accreditation. With the addition of Illinois, the growing network of PHAB-accredited state health departments includes California, Florida, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Washington.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, MD, JD, expressed pride in the state health department’s accomplishment.
“This achievement is a reflection of our dedicated staff who work to protect the health and improve the lives of all Illinois residents,” Shah said. “Accreditation helps to ensure that the programs and services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. Our work to achieve accreditation status has helped us align our programs with our strategic priorities and identify ways to improve the health and quality of life in Illinois. We want to thank our community partners for their strong support and look forward to working with them to fulfill our mission to improve public health for all the people of Illinois.”
Marking yet another milestone for the national accreditation program, North Dakota’s Central Valley Health District — which serves a population of 23,000 people — has become the first PHAB-accredited public health department in North Dakota.
“Central Valley Health District is pleased to be the first North Dakota public health agency to receive PHAB accreditation,” said Unit Administrator Robin Iszler, RN. “Our agency worked hard to achieve this accomplishment. The residents, policy-makers, and community partners have a mission to make our community the healthiest place to live, learn, work, and play. PHAB accreditation assures our community that the Central Valley Health District’s public health work aligns with that mission.”
To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of public health quality standards and measures. Hundreds of health departments are currently preparing to seek national accreditation through the program.
For more information, contact Teddi Nicolaus at (703) 778-4549, ext. 118, or email tnicolaus(at)phaboard(dot)org. Learn more about PHAB and accreditation at http://www.phaboard.org.
About the Public Health Accreditation Board
The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) was created to serve as the national public health accrediting body and is jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The development of national public health accreditation has involved, and is supported by, public health leaders and practitioners from the national, tribal, state, local, and territorial levels. Learn more about PHAB or sign up for the PHAB e-newsletter by visiting http://www.phaboard.org.