Alexandria, VA, August 28, 2018 — The number of health departments demonstrating their desire to be transparent and accountable to their communities continued to grow larger this week as the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) awarded national accreditation status to 12 more governmental public health departments. Across the United States, the population now served by a health department that has achieved PHAB’s rigorous national standards now surpasses 70 percent, with more health departments seeking the credential each day.
PHAB, the nonprofit, nongovernmental 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. More than 235 health departments across the United States have achieved accreditation through PHAB since the organization launched — with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – in 2011.
“Accreditation gives health departments the opportunity to tell the communities they serve that they are doing the best job possible,” said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “As evidence of this, stories about accreditation’s value and impact are starting to pour in from all over the country,” she added. “Health departments are telling us that accreditation has accelerated their journeys toward establishing a culture of quality improvement, lifted them to new and higher levels of accountability, given them a framework for setting priorities in difficult economic times, or has opened the door for funding opportunities. We expect to hear many more of these comments as more health departments become accredited.”
This week’s accreditation awardees include the Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, in Madison, Wisconsin. Serving a state-wide population of 5.7 million, it is the 32nd state health department to achieve PHAB accreditation.
“We are so pleased to join other recognized accredited health departments across the United States,” said Karen McKeown, RN, MSN, state health officer and division administrator for the Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, in Madison. “Like them, we have demonstrated our ability to meet the rigorous public health standards necessary to deliver quality public health services to Wisconsin residents. They can be confident that we are meeting the public health needs of those we serve, as effectively as possible, as we work toward our vision of everyone living their best life.”
To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a specific set of standards and measures. The peer review process provides valuable feedback to inform health departments of their strengths and areas for improvement so that they can better protect and promote the health of the people in the communities they serve.
Across the nation, nearly all states now have at least one PHAB-accredited health department (Tribal, local, and/or state) within their borders. This week’s accreditation decisions add four more local Ohio health departments to the accreditation map, bringing the total number of PHAB-accredited local health departments in Ohio to 24. Among them is the newly accredited Marion Public Health in Marion, Ohio.
“For Marion Public Health, achieving PHAB accreditation is a major mile marker on what we know is an ongoing pathway toward a healthier community,” said Health Commissioner Thomas Quade, MA, MPH, CPH, HonFRSPH. “That marker tells us we are headed in the right direction and boosts our confidence that we are prepared to keep moving forward.”
Marion County’s pathway to a healthier community crosses the pathways of other entities also working to improve life for those who call Marion home, Quade added.
“Our pursuit of a broader culture of health and the achievement of health equity has caused us to blaze new pathways that intersect with those of novel community partners,” Quade said. “Because of our shared pursuit of all things that foster health, reaching this accreditation mile marker is a celebration we share with many other travelers in our community
National accreditation status was awarded August 21, 2018 to:
- Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
- Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Madison, WI
- Knox County Health Department, Mount Vernon, OH
- Lincoln County Health and Human Services, Newport, Oregon
- Livingston County Health Department, Howell, Michigan
- Logan County Health District, Bellefontaine, OH
- Marion Public Health, Marion, OH
- Onondaga County Health Department, Syracuse, NY
- Plumas County Public Health Agency, Quincy, CA
- Saint Louis County Department of Health, St. Louis, MO
- Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Springfield, MO
- Williams County Combined Health District, Montpelier, OH
About the Public Health Accreditation Board
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.
For more information, contact Teddi Nicolaus at (703) 778-4549 ext. 118, or email [email protected] Learn more about PHAB and accreditation at www.phaboard.org, and by signing up for the PHAB e-newsletter.