January/February 2020 JEH: Direct From CDC/Environmental Health Services
January/February 2020 Journal of Environmental Health (Volume 82, Number 6)
Public Health Department Accreditation and Environmental Public Health: A Decade of Collaboration
Justin Gerding, DHA, REHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN, Public Health Accreditation Board
Liza Corso, MPA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
About a decade ago, a group of environmental public health professionals from state and local health departments, federal and national public health organizations, and academia engaged in discussions and provided much needed input on the development process for a revolutionary advancement in public health—national voluntary accreditation for public health departments. The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) formally launched the program in 2011 and accredited the first cohort of health departments in 2013. Since that time, PHAB has made significant progress accomplishing its mission to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and transforming the quality and performance of governmental public health agencies. As of August 2019, almost 80% of the U.S. population was served by accredited health departments.
This month’s column explores the process and collaboration that went into the creation of the accreditation standards, as well as the current work being done to update the standards.