Kent County Health Department accredited by national board
The Kent County Health Department has received accreditation by the national Public Health Accreditation Board, only the second health department in the state to be accredited.
The KCHD began preparations for completing the accreditation in January 2012.
PHAB, with headquarters near Washington, is an independent nonprofit organization that administers the national public health accreditation program, which aims to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation’s tribal, state, local and territorial health departments.
“The application process for PHAB is difficult, requiring hours of reviewing documentation and identifying areas for improvement,” said Adam London, health officer for KCHD. He offered high praise for KCHD staff’s dedication to the accreditation process.
In July, PHAB representatives came to Kent County to review KCHD and credited it in several areas, including “collaborative intent.” Organizations in the community told PHAB they felt KCHD is a “neutral convener” — bringing together entities with varying interests to find solutions to complex issues. PHAB said its reps learned KCHD is consistently looking for opportunities to collaborate with groups, agencies and other partners regarding public health.
Other findings by the PHAB reps are that KCHD has a commitment to performance management systems, a strong foundation for quality improvement, and the staff is committed to assessment and continued improvement.
“Each time PHAB’s Accreditation Committee meets, we are excited to see a growing number of health departments for their review,” said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender. “The peer-review process provides valuable information to inform health departments of their strengths and areas for improvement, so they can better protect and promote the health of the people they serve in their community.”
Out of more than 3,000 health departments across the country, approximately 50 have received accreditation through PHAB.
KCHD employs nearly 260, including public health nurses, sanitarians, health educators, technicians and public health administrators. KCHD operates one main clinic and four satellite clinics throughout the county.