Alexandria, VA -- Strong public health departments engaged in effective community partnerships make all communities healthier places to live, work, learn, and play. Striving to fulfill their crucial mission, more and more health departments are placing their work for review against the rigorous national standards set by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Today, PHAB announced it has awarded initial accreditation status to nine local health departments, and national reaccreditation status to four local health departments. With these decisions, the benefits of being served by a PHAB-accredited health department now reach 81 percent of the U.S. population.
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 transforming the quality and performance of governmental public health agencies in the U.S. and abroad. To receive national accreditation through PHAB, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets a set of public health quality standards and measures.
"The nine health departments that achieved initial accreditation in November have successfully demonstrated a consistent and continued commitment to improving public health in their communities," said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. "We celebrate that achievement with them, and we also celebrate with the four health departments that were awarded reaccreditation. In achieving reaccreditation, these four health departments are ensuring their communities that they will continue to evolve, improve, advance and become increasingly effective at improving the health of the populations they serve."
PHAB's national accreditation program provides standards for state, Tribal, local, and territorial health departments, as well as Army installation departments of public health. Nearly every state in the nation has at least one PHAB-accredited health department within its borders.
"Accreditation for local health departments is essential," said Colleen M. Bridger, MPH, PhD, Assistant City Manager for the City of San Antonio, Texas, and former director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, which in November achieved national initial accreditation through PHAB. "It is the public's assurance that their health department is meeting national standards. I'm proud of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District's staff and leadership for the way they rolled up their sleeves and jumped into this work. I've known for years that San Antonio's health department is stellar, and this is one more validation of the first-in-class team working every day to protect the public's health."
The benefits of being served by a nationally accredited health department also moved northward into Michigan in November, where the residents of Lansing celebrated the accreditation of Ingham County Health Department. Michigan is now home to eight PHAB-accredited local health departments.
"PHAB accreditation is a reflection of a community-wide commitment to 21st century public health," said Ingham County Health Department Deputy Health Officer Joel D. Murr, MPA. "It's an achievement and advantage for all of Ingham County. The high standards will drive continuous progress, advancing health and well-being across all segments of our population. The Ingham County Health Department is proud to be a nationally accredited local health department."
PHAB's national accreditation program, which launched in 2011 with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has become the national standard for public health in the United States. The credential has now been achieved by 36 state health departments, 243 local health departments, three Tribal health departments, one statewide integrated local public health department system, and one Army Installation of Public Health. Among the local health departments to achieve national reaccreditation in November is Columbus Public Health in Columbus, Ohio.
"Columbus Public Health is proud to be nationally recognized by the Public Health Accreditation Board," said Health Commissioner Mysheika W. Roberts, MD, MPH. "Reaccreditation recognizes the hard work we do every day in our community to protect the health and improve the lives of residents. We are honored to join other nationally accredited health departments to advance and transform the quality and performance of public health here and across the country."
National initial accreditation was awarded November 19, 2019 to:
- Canton City Public Health, Canton, Ohio
- Cleveland Department of Public Health, Cleveland, Ohio
- Defiance County General Health District, Defiance, Ohio
- District 4 Public Health, Georgia Department of Health, LaGrange, Georgia
- Ingham County Health Department, Lansing, Michigan
- Portsmouth City Health Department, Portsmouth, Ohio
- San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio, Texas
- Stanislaus County Health Services Agency - Public Health Division, Modesto, California
- Trumbull County Combined Health District, Warren, Ohio
National reaccreditation was awarded November 19, 2019 to:
- Columbus Public Health, Columbus, Ohio
- Kane County Health Department, Aurora, Illinois
- Licking County Health Department, Newark, Ohio
- Tulsa Health Department, Tulsa, Oklahoma