FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 4, 2013) — The Franklin County Health Department, Three Rivers District Health Department and Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department are three of only 11 health departments in the United States to receive the first ever national accreditation status by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).
Three Rivers District covers Owen, Carroll, Gallatin and Pendleton counties, and Northern Kentucky Independent District is based in Erlanger and includes Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties. The PHAB accreditation status is for five-years and includes annual reports.
Of the 11 PHAB accredited health departments, two are states and the rest are local facilities. With three local health departments accredited, Kentucky captured one-third of the facilities in this first distinguished PHAB cohort, more than any other state. (Oklahoma received state accreditation along with two locals.)
There are now more than 125 local, state and tribal health departments that have applied for PHAB national public health national accreditation, including many others from Kentucky.
“This is a truly historic moment in public health,” said Kaye Bender, RN, FAAN, PHAB president and CEO. “With accreditation, we now have national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health and a mechanism for recognizing high performing public health departments. These are the first of many health departments that we look forward to being able to recognize for achieving national standards that foster efficiency and effectiveness, and promote continuous quality improvement.”
PHAB administers the national public health accreditation program as non-governmental, non-profit organization that is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. PHAB has set rigorous standards and measures for all essential public health services, health department administration and governance.
Achieving national accreditation “demonstrates your commitment to improving your community’s health” and that accreditation signifies “that this health department is a top performer and is providing a high quality of public health services, leadership and accountability to its constituents,” said Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield, PHAB board member and University of Kentucky College of Public Health professor.
The Franklin County Health Department began preparing for national public health accreditation in 2008 with the formation of a health improvement coalition, Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP), which have contributed to several successes including the provision of dental treatment for qualifying children at all public elementary schools, the integration of physical activity into the elementary school curriculum, the creation of smoke-free environments and nearly $100,000 in grants thus far.
“We are obviously thrilled to be included in this first ever national PHAB cohort of accredited health departments. This came about through our strong community partnerships and because of our terrific staff who continue to excel and give 200 percent, no matter what comes their way,” said FCHD Director Paula Alexander.