Honor places departments among first in nation to meet standards
Three of Kentucky’s local health departments are among the first in the country to earn accreditation status by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department, the Franklin County Health Department and the Three Rivers District Health Department join eight other health departments that have been granted 5-year accreditation status from the organization.

“We are thrilled to learn that three of our local health departments have earned accreditation by the PHAB,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes. “We commend leadership and staff of Northern Kentucky Independent District, Franklin County and Three Rivers District health departments for their hard work and dedication toward meeting this goal. You are raising the bar for public health standards across the country.”

PHAB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of tribal, state, local, and territorial public health departments. In recent years, the organization developed a set of rigorous standards of public health performance and quality and a process to measure public health department performance against those standards.

An accredited public health department must meet a nationally defined set of standards that measures the health department’s performance and rewards or recognizes those that meet the standards.  Accreditation status demonstrates the ability of that health department to deliver the 10 Essentials Public Health Services and the three core functions of public health: assessment, assurance and policy development. The 10 Essential Services provide a working definition of public health and a guiding framework for the responsibilities of local public health systems. 

They include: 

1. Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
3. Inform, educate and empower people about health issues.
4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
7. Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
10. Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.

“At a time when our federal and state resources in public health are increasingly shrinking, and we are being asked to do more with less, these health departments are continuing to move public health forward,” said Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield, M.D.  “We congratulate these three health departments for their leadership, dedication to public health and commitment to improving the health of their communities.”

PHAB provides a structured process to identify performance improvement opportunities, develop leadership, improve relationships with the community, foster efficiency and effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement that can ultimately lead to improved health status for Kentuckians. 

DPH plans to apply for public health accreditation in 2014 and has an office dedicated to performance management, quality improvement, and accreditation preparation called the Center for Performance Management (CPM).  CPM staff includes a performance improvement manager, local health department accreditation liaison, state accreditation coordinator, quality improvement nurse and technical adviser. 

For more information regarding public health accreditation, please visit www.phaboard.org or contact CPM.KDPH@ky.gov.   


The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human services and health care programs, including Medicaid, the Department for Community Based Services and the Department for Public Health. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.



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