Public Health Accreditation Board Now Bringing Benefits of Accreditation to 56 Percent of U.S. Population

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12 More Governmental Public Health Departments Demonstrate a Commitment to Excellence

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... just going through the process helps these health departments to focus on the areas that are vital to making their work better for their communities.

The number of governmental public health departments that meet rigorous national standards of performance continued to climb this week as the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) awarded national accreditation status to 11 local public health departments and one state health department. With the November accreditation decisions, another 3.3 million people can now be assured that the programs and services they receive from their health departments are as responsive as possible to the needs of their communities.

PHAB, the non-profit, non-governmental organization that administers the national public health accreditation program, aims to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and ultimately transforming the quality and performance of the nation’s state, Tribal, local, and territorial public health departments. Launched just five years ago with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PHAB’s accreditation program has quickly grown to become the reliable national standard for public health, bringing the benefits of being served by a PHAB-accredited health department to more than 173 million people, or 56 percent of the U.S. population.

“PHAB is so pleased that another group of health departments have put their work out for peer review against national standards,” said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “As they have noted, just going through the process helps these health departments to focus on the areas that are vital to making their work better for their communities. We especially welcome the first West Virginia health department to the accreditation community — Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in Charleston, West Virginia.”

Demonstrating the capacity to provide quality services to the nearly one million people it serves, the Montana DPHHS Public Health and Safety Division this week became the 20th state health department to achieve national accreditation through PHAB.

“We are so incredibly excited to have received accreditation,” said Montana DPHHS Public Health and Safety Division Administrator Todd Harwell, MPH. “Becoming accredited affirms that the public health programs, services, and coordination that the state provides are high quality and that we are meeting very high standards. In addition, we are using the feedback from accreditation to improve the programs and services provided to Montanans.”

Eleven local health departments also achieved PHAB accreditation this week, including Pueblo City-County Health Department in Pueblo, Colorado. Commenting on the department’s accreditation, Director Sylvia Proud, MS, expressed pride in the health department and the organization’s efforts to achieve accreditation, noting that it highlights the commitment and professionalism of the staff.

“We have already experienced significant benefits going through the process of accreditation, and we are committed to the process of making improvements so we may continue to advance the health of Pueblo County,” she said. “The Pueblo City-County Health Department takes the health of our community seriously and we appreciate this validation of our continual efforts. We are honored to have gone through a process similar to hospitals, law enforcement, and fire departments, in order to receive accreditation.”

National accreditation status was awarded Nov. 15, 2016 to:

  •     Cleveland County Health Department, Norman, OK
  •     Flathead City-County Health Department, Kalispell, MT
  •     Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services Public Health, Eureka, CA
  •     Pasadena Public Health Department, Pasadena, CA
  •     Pueblo City-County Health Department, Pueblo, CO
  •     Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, Greeley, CO
  •     Barry-Eaton District Health Department, Charlotte, MI
  •     Dallas County Health and Human Services, Dallas, TX
  •     Garrett County Health Department, Oakland, MD
  •     Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, Charleston, WV
  •     Montana DPHHS Public Health and Safety Division, Helena, MT
  •     Yamhill County Public Health, McMinnville, OR

Across the nation, public health departments are on the front lines of protecting and improving the health of people and communities. Health departments provide a range of 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.

For more information, contact PHAB Communications Manager Teddi Nicolaus at (703) 778-4549 ext. 118, or email tnicolaus(at)phaboard.org. Learn more about PHAB and accreditation at http://www.phaboard.org.

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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.

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