Nine More Health Departments Demonstrate Adherence to Public Health Accreditation Board’s Rigorous National Standards

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Accreditation Highlights a Health Department’s Commitment to Protecting and Improving the Health of its Community

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The work done to be nationally accredited is difficult, but worth it. We are a stronger health department and are confident that we are engaged in work that is making a difference in Eau Claire.

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) today announced it has awarded national accreditation status to nine governmental public health departments. Through the efforts of the national accrediting program, a total of 220 governmental public health departments plus one statewide public health department system have successfully placed their work for peer review against national standards, bringing new levels of transparency, credibility, and recognition to their mission to improve the health of the communities they serve.

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 in 2011 with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PHAB’s accreditation program is the national standard for public health in the United States. A hallmark of the national accreditation program is its ability to catapult the nation’s governmental public health departments toward greater levels of excellence.

“This group of newly accredited health departments reflects PHAB’s mission to bring the benefits of accreditation to communities of all sizes throughout the United States,” said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Several of the health departments accredited this month serve populations in the hundreds of thousands, while four are small health departments that serve fewer than 50,000 people. This range of diversity shows that with the proper planning and support from their community partners, health departments can work to ensure their programs and services are as responsive as possible to the needs of their communities.”

To receive accreditation through the program, 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.

Commenting on the accreditation of Eau Claire City-County Health Department in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Health Officer and Director Elizabeth Giese, MS, PHRN, said the pursuit of national accreditation has been a “journey” made possible by the commitment of staff, board of health members, colleagues, and community partners.

“To us, national recognition means that we are deliberately focused on using data, listening to the needs of the community, and working with community and partners to make improvements,” Giese said. “We also are focusing on quality, best practices, efficiency, and outcomes. The work done to be nationally accredited is difficult, but worth it. We are a stronger health department and are confident that we are engaged in work that is making a difference in Eau Claire.”

The value of receiving accreditation serves to recognize the professional dedication and quality of services public health staffing delivers to improve community health status, said Ronald Osterholm, health director at Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health in Mason City, Iowa.

“Achieving accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board is an honor, and confirms that Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health’s quality of service meets a national set of standards,” Osterholm said. “Achieving PHAB accreditation verifies the commitment and dedication of the board of supervisors, board of health and health department staff to providing the highest level of public health to our community.”

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.

National accreditation status was awarded Feb. 20, 2018 to:

  •     Cascade City-County Health Department, Great Falls, Montana
  •     Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, Mason City, Iowa
  •     City of St. Louis Department of Health, St. Louis, Missouri
  •     Eau Claire City-County Health Department, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  •     Florence County Health Department, Florence, Wisconsin
  •     Lincoln Trail District Health Department, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
  •     Logan County Health Department, Guthrie, Oklahoma
  •     Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County, Dayton, Ohio
  •     West Central District Health Department, North Platte, Nebraska

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 To subscribe to PHAB’s e-newsletter, click here.

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 at, or click here to sign up for the PHAB e-newsletter.

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