For the first time, health departments across the country now have the opportunity to become accredited – just as universities, hospitals and parks do now.  Launched today by the Public Health Accreditation Board in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the national accreditation program encourages health departments to achieve the highest standard of work and enhance the quality of services they provide to the community members they serve.

At a Sept. 14 news conference in Washington, D.C., Paul Jarris, MD, MBA, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, left, and APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), share their views on the launch of a landmark program that aims to accredit all of the nation’s health departments. Initiated and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the voluntary accreditation program will protect and improve Americans’ health by advancing the quality and performance of all of the nation’s public health departments — state, local, territorial and tribal. (Photo by Teddi Dineley Johnson/The Nation’s Health)

The accreditation process itself aims to spur innovation among public health practitioners who are on the front lines of meeting their community’s health needs and challenges.

“Accreditation is a powerful way to publicly recognize that health departments are doing a good job, while at the same time driving them to continuously improve, “said Judith A. Monroe, an APHA member and deputy director at CDC’s  Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.

Go here for more information about the accreditation process.