What is the Public Health Accreditation Board?

In order to improve the health of the public, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) has developed a national voluntary accreditation program for state, local, territorial and tribal public health departments.  Officially launched in September 2011, the goal of the accreditation program is improve and protect the health of every community by advancing the quality and performance of public health departments.

Three prerequisites to apply for national accreditation are: (1) a community health assessment, in which a health department assesses the health status and the public health needs in the community; (2) a community health improvement plan, which maps out exactly what the health department is going to do as it works with partners to improve the health status of its jurisdiction; and (3) a strategic plan for the health department, which sets forth a health department’s priorities and how it plans to accomplish its strategic goals.

What are the 10 Essential Public Health Services?

The 10 Essential Public Health Services provide a guiding framework for the responsibilities of local public health systems and the basis of accreditation standards.  The Essential Public Health Services are listed below.

  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.

What Can Local Health Departments Do Now to Prepare for Accreditation?

Local health departments can demonstrate excellence to their communities by preparing for accreditation now.  Accreditation materials can be accessed by clicking here.