Health Department awarded National Accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Benton County Health Department announced today that it achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The Benton County Health Department is among the first 200 local, state and tribal health departments to be accredited out of roughly 4,000 total departments in the United States.

The national accreditation program, jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, works to improve and protect the health of the public by setting standards against which governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance.

“We are excited to be recognized for achieving national standards that prioritize continuous quality improvement,” said Charlie Fautin, Deputy Director of the Benton County Health Department and Public Health Division Manager. “The accreditation process helps to ensure that the programs and services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. We have worked tirelessly over the past six years to achieve this national recognition.”

To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.

“By continuing to improve our services and performance, we can be sure we are monitoring, protecting and meeting our communities’ health needs as effectively as possible,” Fautin said.

Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. Across the nation, health departments provide a range of services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; ensuring access to safe food, water, clean air, and life-saving immunizations; and, preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.

The national accreditation program was created collaboratively over a 10-year period. PHAB worked closely with state and local public health experts, researchers, and practitioners to create accreditation standards, measures, and processes that promote high quality health departments. Since the program’s launch in September 2011, hundreds of public health departments have applied to Public Health Accreditation Board for accreditation.

“Achieving accreditation indicates that Benton County is dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the community by striving to continuously improve the quality of the services it delivers,” said Ray (Bud) Nicola, MD, MHSA, chair of PHAB’s Board of Directors and affiliate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle. “Accreditation also promotes consistency in meeting standards. Residents of a community served by a nationally accredited health department can be assured that their health department has demonstrated the capacity to protect and promote the health of that community.”

Benton County joins eleven other accredited health departments, including Linn County and Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division.

Learn more about public health in Benton County at co.benton.or.us/health/page/public-health or youtu.be/t-32yZncrks.