National Public Health Accreditation
- Improve agency quality and performance, and
- Ensure that agencies are accountable to their governing bodies, policymakers, and the communities they serve.
Public health accreditation provides consistent standards so that people in different states, counties, and regions have access to the same range and quality of services. Accreditation also helps maximize scarce resources by encouraging strategic investments to improve people’s health, demonstrate accountability to residents and elected officials, and spur innovation as departments work together to meet community needs.
The national accreditation program is currently voluntary and officially began in 2011 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Monterey County Board of Supervisors authorized the Health Director to initiate our national public health accreditation application process in May 2011. The five-year process includes obtaining public and community partner input in developing a number of new assessments and analyses such as these:
- Community Health Assessment (analyzing our health outcomes for gaps in equity)
- Strategic Planning and Implementation (to set goals for improved health outcomes)
- Community Health Improvement Plan (determining efforts and timelines to address existing equity gaps)
- Local Public Health Systems Assessment (a look at the agencies that comprise the broader health care system, and the ways the agency services are collaborative and linked)
- Workforce Development Plan (assuring the availability of health professionals and improving standards of practice)
- Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (continuous and ongoing efforts to achieve measurable improvements in the efficiency, effectiveness, and equity of population health services)
Public Health Accreditation Board: http://www.phaboard.org/accreditation-overview/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/stltpublichealth/accreditation/
Association of State and Territorial Health Officers: http://www.astho.org/t/pres_chal_article.aspx?id=6361&terms=accreditation
Public Health Accreditation
Monterey County’s Community Health Assessment is a systematic examination of health status indicators for our population that will help identify key problem areas and important assets in our community. By looking at health indicators by age groups, race and ethnic groups, gender, and other socio-economic factors, we expect quantifiable inequities will emerge, for which we, our community partners, and interested residents will explore root causes that can be diminished with collaborative efforts.
Monterey County Health Department’s three 2011-2015 Strategic Plan Initiatives are to:
- Empower the community to improve health through programs, policies, and activities
- Enhance community health and safety by emphasizing prevention
- Ensure access to culturally and linguistically appropriate, customer friendly services