FAQ’s for Health Department Accreditation


What is accreditation?

Public health departments can become accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) similar to how hospitals and schools can become accredited. PHAB has developed a set of standards that assess the functioning of health departments based on the 10 Essential Public Health Services. This set of standards defines public health and serves as the foundation for quality and performance improvement efforts nationwide. Accreditation assesses a local health department’s ability to address the following domains:

1.      Assess:
         Conduct and disseminate assessments focused on population health 
         status and public health issues facing the community


2.      Investigate:
         Investigate health problems and environmental public health hazards 
         to protect the community


3.      Inform & Educate:
         Inform and educate about public health issues and functions


4.      Community Engagement:
         Engage with the community to 
         identify and address health


5.      Policies & Plans:
         Develop public health policies
         and plans


6.      Public Health Laws:
         Enforce public health laws


7.      Access to Care:
         Promote strategies to improve
         access to health care services


8.      Workforce:
         Maintain a competent public
         health workforce


9.      Quality Improvement:
         Evaluate and continuously improve processes, programs, and interventions


10.   Evidence-Based Practices:
         Contribute to and apply the evidence base of public health    


11.   Administration & Management:
        Maintain administrative and management capacity


12.   Governance:
        Maintain capacity to engage the public health governing entity 
        (Todd County Board of Health)



What are the benefits?

Accreditation displays our commitment to community health across the local public health system, and demonstrates to the public and policy makers that the Todd County Health Department is achieving high standards in the work that it does internally and externally.

How do we become accredited?

The Public Health Accreditation Board standards focus on population health – the health and health outcomes of the population that lives, works, and plays in our community. Throughout the process, we will demonstrate how we addressed our community’s public health needs, as well as our internal capacity to manage program operations.


Our Accreditation Team began working to identify documents meeting the PHAB standards in 2016. These documents will be submitted to PHAB within the next two years. Once documentation has been submitted to PHAB a Site Visit Team will spend around two days at the Health Department and hold meetings with staff members, partners, and governance representatives to discuss how the Health Department meets the Public Health Accreditation Board standards. A few months after the site visit we will receive word from PHAB on our accreditation status. Accredited status lasts for a period of 5 years, and at that time Health Departments must apply for reaccreditation.


Examples of Health Department documentation to be submitted to PHAB:

  • Board of Health (BOH) minutes reviewing and approving policies.

  • Todd County MAPP minutes reviewing local data and updating CHIP goals.

  • Kentucky food laws and regulations and TCHD enforcement of those laws and regulations.

  • Agency wide policies and procedures.    

  • Emergency operations plans and procedures. 


What strengths and areas of improvement will we identify through the accreditation process?

One of the goals of the accreditation process is the opportunity to identify our three greatest strengths, and our three greatest opportunities for improvement. Once we have officially submitted all documentation to PHAB, site visitors will come and perform an on-site evaluation. They will issue us with a Site Visit Report that will detail areas that they recognized as strengths and opportunities for growth as well.

What happens when we become accredited?

Being accredited is a starting point for our continuous improvement. In order to maintain the accredited status, we will have to submit annual reports to PHAB describing how we are addressing our areas for improvement. After five years of being accredited, we will apply for reaccreditation.