National Voluntary Accreditation for Public Health Departments
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is supporting the implementation of a national voluntary accreditation program for state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments. The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), a nonprofit 501(c)3 entity, serves as the independent accrediting body. PHAB led the development and testing activities, with significant participation from local, tribal, state, and national leaders and launched the national accreditation program on September 14, 2011. PHAB began accrediting health departments in 2013.
Benefits and Impacts of Accreditation
Health departments participating in national, voluntary accreditation may expect benefits similar to those reported by local health departments with state-based accreditation programs.
CDC's Role in Accreditation
CDC provides funding support, in-kind support, incentives, technical assistance, and other support.
Preparing for Accreditation
Concurrent with PHAB activities, CDC and many national partners are working to ensure state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments are engaged in and aware of these efforts and are prepared to seek accreditation. See links to the many resources available to support readiness efforts.
- CDC has released Advancing Public Health: The Story of the National Public Health Improvement Initiative [PDF – 12.3MB], a compendium describing how public health departments used National Public Health Improvement Initiative funding for accreditation readiness and other performance improvement activities.
- The Public Health Accreditation and Prevention Status Reports (PSRs) Crosswalk is a resource for health departments working to meet national accreditation standards and for departments considering the path to accreditation. The PSRs can play a valuable role in
- Providing and highlighting federal data for consideration in data-driven efforts
- Pinpointing opportunities for action
- Exploring and developing new policies
- Impact of Accreditation – Public health departments undergoing national, voluntary accreditation through PHAB are reporting a range of benefits, including improvements in quality and performance. Read the Evaluating the Impact of National Public Health Department Accreditation—United States, 2016 MMWR report to learn more.
- Accreditation Support Initiative [PDF – 230KB] – CDC supports national partners in funding local, tribal, and territorial health departments to undertake accreditation readiness activities. Sites are selected through competitive application processes. Since 2011, a total of 220 awards have been funded. More information about each initiative can be found through the organizations that coordinate each process for tribal health departments, local health departments, territorial health departments, and state or regional public health associations.
- CDC Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) and Inclusion of Accreditation-Related Language[PDF – 257KB] describes the accreditation-related language in CDC FOAs and provides a table with links to FOAs that include accreditation-related language. The table is updated periodically to reflect new FOAs.
- CDC fact sheet — National Voluntary Accreditation for Public Health Departments [PDF – 83KB]
- PHAB website — standards, accreditation guidance, and other resources for the national accreditation program.
- List of accredited health departments
- Page last reviewed: July 17, 2017
- Page last updated: July 17, 2017
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