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National Voluntary Accreditation for Public Health Departments

CDC’s Role in Accreditation

Funding Support

CDC’s Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support (CSTLTS) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation co-fund the Public Health Accreditation Board’s (PHAB’s) accreditation activities. CDC also provides in-kind staff time and technical expertise to develop and continuously improve accreditation by contributing to PHAB think tanks and committees and by engaging subject matter experts and programs across CDC.

CSTLTS also supports other national partners—such as the American Public Health Association, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Indian Health Board, National Network of Public Health Institutes, and Public Health Foundation—to prepare health departments for accreditation by providing technical assistance, quality and performance improvement tools and training, and communication about accreditation.

Incentives & Other Support

CDC is uniquely positioned to play a strong role in promoting accreditation through incentives, both financial and nonfinancial. Examples of support and other incentives from CDC include the following:

  • The Strong Systems, Stronger Communities (SSSC) initiative provides support to health departments in completing projects to improve their performance, meet national accreditation standards, and promote interconnection across the public health system to improve population health. SSSC is administered in collaboration with national partners (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Indian Health Board) and builds on the success of the former Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI). ASI provided awards to 268 health departments during 2011‒2018 and demonstrated that even small amounts of funding can advance accreditation efforts.
  • CDC provides opportunities to use cooperative agreement and grant funding, such as the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, to support accreditation efforts
  • CDC notices of funding opportunity [PDF – 267 KB] (NOFOs) include standard accreditation-related language, which may 1) ask about accreditation status and 2) allow the use of funds to support accreditation efforts, so long as the use is consistent with the spirit and authority of the NOFO
  • CDC’s Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) is a highly competitive, two-year training program providing PHAP associates with hands-on experience in public health settings. Many associates assist their host health department sites with accreditation readiness activities and provide much-needed staff support to these efforts. In addition, the application for prospective PHAP host sites asks whether the health department is accredited through PHAB.

CDC’s Role in Building Strategic or Programmatic Linkages

Considerable work has been done to identify and build connections between PHAB accreditation standards and public health programs, key initiatives, and emerging topics of interest to the public health community. CDC frequently plays a vital role in these explorations by leading the efforts, providing subject matter expertise, or supporting PHAB in its work to explore these topics. In many cases, these efforts have informed updates to the national standards, produced documents that summarize the key linkages, or developed other kinds of resources.

CDC-developed articles and resources highlighting these connections include the following:

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