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Three Kentucky Health Departments Achieve National Accreditation Status

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) awarded five-year accreditation to 11 public health departments, three of which were from Kentucky. The national accreditation – the first of its kind – sets standards against which the nation’s agencies can continuously work to improve the quality of their service and performance. Those awarded are the first of many that are currently preparing to seek national accreditation through PHAB.

Accreditation was awarded to:

"We are very pleased to be recognized by the PHAB as a high performing health department," said Dr. Lynne Saddler, Director of the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department. “This validates the quality of the work that we do, under the guidance of our Board and in conjunction with our partners, like UK CPH, as well as our commitment to continuously improve and perform in carrying out our mission."

To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, peer-reviewed evaluation process to ensure that it meets or exceeds specific quality standards and measures. These standards measure performance in the ten essential public health services plus administration and governance.

The Three Rivers District Health Department Director, Georgia Heise, DrPH said, “We are thrilled; Three Rivers staff, Board, and community members have been working really hard for a long time to build an operational culture that meets the PHAB domains, standards and measures. The process has made us a more effective and efficient health department. The designation of "accredited" lets those we serve know that Three Rivers is always trying to improve and provide the best possible service in the most cost effective way possible.”

Paula Alexander, RN, MSN, Director of the Franklin County Health Department commented, “We are excited 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%, no matter what comes their way. We also have very supportive, very involved, nationally recognized Board of Health and we could not have started this journey nor can we continue it without that support.”

PHAB is a national program, jointly supported by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which aims to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation’s state, tribal, local, and territorial public health departments.

“It is a testament to the commitment of public health leaders in those departments and in Kentucky that so many were from our commonwealth. All Kentuckians need to get behind the passage of the bill to require accreditation of health departments which has languished in the legislature for three terms, “commented F. Douglas Scutchfield, MD, Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health and Medicine.

The University of Kentucky College of Public Health is honored to have worked with the health departments and look forward to your continuous work to strengthen the quality and performance of public health practice.