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Nine public health departments in eight states receive accreditation


By Steven Ross Johnson
Posted: March 21, 2014 - 7:15 pm ET
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Local public health departments in Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin this week received five-year accreditation status from the Public Health Accreditation Board, a national accreditation program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which sets quality standards for public health departments across the country.

“Nine more health departments have demonstrated their commitment to ongoing performance management and quality improvement, and we are so pleased to confer accreditation on them to recognize those efforts,” said Kaye Bender, PHAB president and CEO in a written release.

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The latest additions brings the total number of PHAB-accredited public health departments to 31 across 16 states. For Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Virginia, this marks the first such recognition for a public health department within their states. Wisconsin now boasts the highest number of accredited public health departments with five, followed by Oklahoma and Ohio which each have four accredited departments, followed by Illinois with three and Washington state with two.

Launched in 2011, the accreditation program sets national standards and measures that state, local, territorial and tribal health departments should follow to improve the health of the populations they serve Standards include: conducting community health status assessments; investigating health problems and hazards; educating the public on health issues; and developing and enforcing public health policies.

To achieve accreditation, public health departments must go through a multi-step assessment process that is peer reviewed. Once accredited, departments are required to submit annual progress reports detailing the ways in which they have continued to meet standards.

Follow Steven Ross Johnson on Twitter: @MHsjohnson

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