The efforts of public health departments impact every resident every day in the state of Utah. Ultimately, it's those residents who will benefit from our accreditation status, as the process has helped us identify how we can improve the quality of our services and performance.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (PRWEB) November 22, 2017
From preventing epidemics to responding to disasters and protecting against environmental hazards, injury and preventable death, state and local public health departments in the United States work every day to fulfill their important work of protecting and promoting the health of the communities they serve. Through the achievement of national accreditation, a growing number of health departments have demonstrated a commitment to having their work reviewed against national standards. This week, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) announced it has awarded national accreditation status to 13 more health departments. The decisions mark a new milestone as the number of governmental public health departments accredited through the nonprofit national organization now surpasses 200.
Since the launch of the national accreditation program in 2011, a total of 211 public health departments and one statewide integrated local public health department system have achieved national accreditation status through PHAB. Currently, another 158 health departments are seeking accreditation and more are entering the process each week. PHAB is the non-profit, non-governmental organization that administers the national public health accreditation program, which 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.
With this week's accreditation decisions, the transformational benefits of being served by a PHAB-accredited health department now reach more than 213 million people across the United States, which means that nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population is now served by a health department that meets PHAB's rigorous national standards for delivering quality programs and services to their communities. To receive accreditation through PHAB, a health department or integrated local public health department system must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted peer-reviewed assessment process.
"So much has changed in our nation since PHAB accredited the first health departments in 2013," said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. "We are seeing alarming increases in emerging infectious diseases, gun violence, natural disasters, climate change, terrorist threats, health inequities, and food and water contamination, to name just a few of the increasingly complex issues that fall under a health department's purview. Achieving accreditation assures people and communities that their health department has the capacity to protect and improve their health and well-being."
Demonstrating the capacity to provide quality services to the nearly 3 million people it serves, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) in Salt Lake City this week became one of 31 state health departments to achieve national accreditation through PHAB.
"Our pursuit of national accreditation began years ago and has been a significant undertaking for the entire department," said UDOH Executive Director Joseph Miner, MD, MSPH. "The efforts of public health departments impact every resident every day in the state of Utah. Ultimately, it's those residents who will benefit from our accreditation status, as the process has helped us identify how we can improve the quality of our services and performance."
Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) in Boston, Massachusetts, this week became one of 179 local health departments across the United States to achieve national accreditation through PHAB. Commenting on the department's accreditation, BPHC Executive Director Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH, reflected on her department's excitement at being recognized for achieving national standards that foster effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement.
"Over the last two years, we have ramped up our efforts with staff and key community partners to prepare us for accreditation," Valdes Lupi said. "Achieving accreditation allows us to demonstrate increased accountability and credibility to the public and partner organizations with which we work. Through our accreditation journey we've been able to build on our strategic priority of advancing health equity by strengthening our collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders to ensure that all Bostonians have opportunities for achieving optimal health."
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.
National accreditation status was awarded November 14, 2017 to:
- Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA
- Cattaraugus County Health Department, Olean, NY
- Clermont County Public Health, Batavia, OH
- Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department, Wisner, NE
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment,Topeka, KS
- Laurel County Health Department, London, KY
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
- Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services, Glencoe, MN
- North Central Health District 5-2, Macon, GA
- Tri-County Health Department, Greenwood Village, CO
- Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, UT
- Winnebago County Health Department, Rockford, IL
- Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency, Woodland, CA
For more information, contact Teddi Nicolaus at (703) 778-4549 ext. 118, or email email@example.com. Learn more about PHAB and accreditation at http://www.phaboard.org, and by signing up for the PHAB e-newsletter.
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 department 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 by signing up for the PHAB E-Newsletter or by visiting http://www.phaboard.org.