Public Health Accreditation is a voluntary national program developed to measure health department performance against an established set of nationally recognized, practice-focused, and evidenced-based standards. Public Health Accreditation is overseen by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Accreditation required the close inspection of our core programs, policies, and processes to ensure that they not only met the standards set by PHAB, but that we continuously work to improve how we deliver Public Health to everyone who lives, learns, works, or plays in Howard County.
Public Health Accreditation is divided into twelve (12) domains of public health service. The first ten (10) domains address the Ten Essential Public Health Services; Domain 11 addresses the management and administration of our organization; and Domain 12 addresses governance (how we interact with our Board of Health and the Maryland Department of Health). Standards are the required level of achievement our health department is expected to meet, while individual measures provide a way of evaluating if each standard has been met. Ultimately, the Howard County Health Department (HCHD) had to submit over 350 required examples for evaluation.
HCHD was accredited on August 21, 2019. Accredited status lasts for 5 years and requires annual progress reports to ensure continuous program and process improvement. A list of the state, local and tribal health departments who have achieved accreditation or reaccreditation nationwide is available here.
The Public Health Accreditation Board is currently showcasing the benefits Public Health Accreditation brings to health departments and the communities they serve through the following two videos:
Reaping the Benefits of Accreditation Across the Nation
The accreditation assessment process provides valuable, measurable feedback to health departments on their strengths and areas for improvement.