The Livingston County Health Department (LCHD) achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The goal of the national accreditation program is to improve and protect the health of the public. This is accomplished by advancing and transforming the quality and performance of the nation’s public health departments. LCHD is one of fewer than 250 health departments that have achieved accreditation through PHAB.
“We are excited to be recognized for achieving national standards that foster and promote continuous quality improvement,” said Dianne McCormick, health officer of LCHD. “The accreditation process ensures that the programs and services we offer are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. With accreditation, LCHD is demonstrating increased accountability and credibility to the public, funders, elected officials and partner organizations with which we work. LCHD has worked very hard to earn this recognition and it would not have been possible without the help of our dedicated staff and community partners.”
Since its launch in September 2011, 236 public health departments have received PHAB accreditation. LCHD is now one of seven accredited health departments in Michigan. To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, peer-reviewed assessment process. This process ensures health departments meet or exceed quality standards and measures.
LCHD began the process of preparing for PHAB accreditation in 2014. It involved numerous hours of documentation preparation and countless community collaborations, which all led up to an extensive site-visit review in April of 2018. During the PHAB accreditation process, LCHD was evaluated in 12 competency areas:
- Conducting and disseminating assessments focused on population health status
- Investigating health problems and environmental public health hazards
- Informing and educating about public health issues and functions
- Engaging with the community to identify and address health problems
- Developing public health policies and plans
- Enforcing public health laws
- Promoting strategies to improve access to health care
- Maintaining a competent public health workforce
- Evaluating and improving processes, programs, and interventions
- Contributing to and applying the evidence base of public health
- Maintaining administrative and management capacity
Maintaining capacity to engage the public health governing entity
Achieving national accreditation assures that LCHD is striving to achieve best practices in these 12 areas of focus. It also holds LCHD accountable for its efforts towards creating a safe and healthy community for all.
“We are proud of earning our accreditation status and feel confident that when the community sees our seal of accreditation, they will know that LCHD has taken steps to meet or exceed the national standard for public health,” said Lindsay Gestro, emergency preparedness coordinator. “Continuing to improve our services and outreach methods ensures that we are meeting the needs of those we serve as efficiently and effectively as possible”.
“The Livingston County Health Department joins the growing ranks of accredited health departments in a strong commitment to their public health mission,” said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The peer-review process provides valuable feedback to inform health departments of their strengths and areas for improvement, so that they can better protect and promote the health of the people they serve in their communities. Residents of a community served by a nationally accredited health department can be assured that their health department has demonstrated the capacity to protect and promote the health of that community.”