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Greetings from PHAB,



We are almost ready! The pre-launch materials have been completed and are now on the PHAB website! This is the first in a series of events in support of PHAB's launch of public health department accreditation this coming fall. We couldn't be more excited! Please check them out and see what you think.


We are also updating our website to better serve our customers, and the work to develop the online accreditation information system (now called e-PHAB) is moving along nicely. We are also completing the finishing touches on the online orientation so that we can get it to the vendor to "make it happen". The online orientation will be available before PHAB accepts applications, which will be here before you know it.


PHAB continues to appreciate of our national partners, our funders, and all of the many volunteers who helped us to get this far. It truly has been, and continues to be, YOUR public health accreditation program. I hope that you find your comments, feedback, creativity, and hard work reflected in Version 1.0 of the materials.


PHAB values quality improvement as the foundation for our work. So, you will still see plans for future Think Tanks so that we can continually refine and improve our standards, measures, and processes.


In this issue, you can read all about the new accreditation materials, our most recent events and linkages, and of course, see if your questions are answered in Word on the Street. You will also read about our newest staff member, David Stone, PHAB's Accreditation Education Specialist.


Keep working on those pre-requisites! We want to see YOUR application as soon as we open our doors to accept them. 


Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN

President and CEO

Issue #33

June/July 2011

In This Issue
Accreditation Materials Now Available
New PHAB Staff Member
Accreditation Specialist Position
Tribal Public Health
APHA Mid-Year Meeting
US Public Health Service Conference
MI Prepares for Accreditation
IOM Committee on Accreditation
Certificate in Performance Improvement
Word on the Street

Kaye Bender (April 2011)

Accreditation Materials for Launch Now Available!

As promised, the following materials are now posted on the PHAB website:


  • Guide to National Public Health Department Accreditation Version 1.0
  • PHAB Standards and Measures Version 1.0
  • PHAB Accreditation Fee Schedule 2011-2012
  • PHAB Education Services


Guide Cover     S&M Cover    


All potential health department applicants planning to apply for accreditation anytime between the fall of 2011 and December 2012 should review these materials carefully for changes from the previous versions. Other supporting materials that will be made available by the end of summer prior to the launch include:


  • PHAB Acronyms and Glossary of Terms Version 1.0
  • Accreditation Readiness Checklists
  • e-PHAB Statement of Intent Information
  • e-PHAB Application Information

PHAB Welcomes New Staff Member

David StonePHAB welcomes David Stone, MS, to the staff, full-time effective July 5, 2011, in the position of Accreditation Education Specialist. David will be responsible for managing the development and implementation of PHAB's education services. Prior to coming to PHAB, David was the Administrator for the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation Program, housed within the NC Institute for Public Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health since January 2008. In that position, he was responsible for the oversight of the program, directing program staff, and serving as the liaison for the partners involved in local health department accreditation. 


David has over 27 years of public health experience. He spent over nine years in local public health serving as Assistant Health Director in Appalachian District Health Department and as Health Director in Surry County, North Carolina. While director, the Surry County Health & Nutrition Center became accredited in January 2007. Prior to that, he was with the NC State Laboratory of Public Health for 14 years as a Medical Laboratory Technologist and a Lab Improvement Consultant. He is a past president of the North Carolina Public Health Association and of the Western NC Public Health Association.


Many of you will remember David's very important role with PHAB as a consultant for the development of the site visitor training. He will add accreditation experience and expertise to the PHAB staff. 

Accreditation Specialist Position Open for Recruitment

PHAB announces an opening for an Accreditation Specialist. View the position announcement online, and interested applicants should send a current CV and three professional references electronically in Word format to Robin Wilcox, Chief Program Officer of PHAB at The subject line should read "Accreditation Specialist". The position will be posted until August 1, 2011 or until it is filled. Questions regarding the position should be directed to the same email address.

PHAB Board of Directors and Tribal Standards Workgroup Learn More About Tribal Public Health

As part of PHAB's ongoing commitment to learning more about Tribal public health, the PHAB Board of Directors and the Tribal Standards Workgroup attended two major events during the May 2011 Board of Directors meeting in Alaska. After the PHAB Standards and Measures Version 1.0 were approved on May 24, 2011, the participants celebrated the inclusion of the Tribal standards into the state and local standards. A traditional Alaska Native dinner was held at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, AK. The collective work of the group was blessed by a Tribal elder, and participants were treated to some traditional Alaska Native music and dancing.


Participants continued their learning experience by attending a series of presentations by leaders from the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. Following those presentations, the group received tours of the Alaska Native Medical Center and the Anchorage Native Primary Care Center. The experiences greatly enhanced understanding of the Alaska Tribal Health System. Very special thanks go to Dr. Jay Butler, Valerie Davidson, Matt Dixon, Beverly Wooley, Lorena Skonberg, and Evangeline Dotomain (NIHB) for working with us to make it all happen.


Dr. Ward Hulburt, Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Division of Public Health for the state of Alaska, also provided remarks to the PHAB Board of Directors about his work over the past several years in the Alaska public health environment.

Accreditation a Topic at the APHA Mid-Year Meeting on Health Reform

Dr. Terry Cline, PHAB Board Member and Oklahoma's State Health Officer, provided comments on preparing for accreditation after having been a beta test site. Oklahoma was the only state with three beta test sites: a state, a local, and a Tribal health department. Dr. Cline described the beta test experience and lessons learned that are assisting them in their preparation for pursuing accreditation. Dr. Cline was joined on the panel, entitled "Public Health and Quality Care" by Dr. Christina Welter, Deputy Director, Cook County Department of Public Health (IL); Dr. Lee Francis, President/CEO, Erie Family Health Center (IL); Dr. Mary Mincer Hansen, representing the IOM Committee on Public Health Strategies to Improve Health; and Dr. Bonnie Zell, Population Health, National Quality Forum.


Accreditation of health departments was also part of the discussion in a session entitled "Achieving Prevention and Wellness," which was presented by Dr. Adewale Troutman, University of South Florida; Dr. Judy Monroe, CDC; Dr. Janet Collins, CDC; and Larry Cohen, Prevention Institute. Communication points about accreditation were included in an interactive session entitled "Engaging Policymakers and Other Leaders: How Public Employees Can Advocate Effectively for Public Health and Prevention," which was presented by Tom Quade from the Akron City Health Department (OH) and Chuck Alexander and Elizabeth Wenk from Burness Communications.

Public Health Leaders Learn About PHAB at the US Public Health Service Conference

PHAB exhibited at the 2011 USPHS Scientific & Training Symposium entitled "Public Health Leadership: The Key to a Healthier Nation" in New Orleans, LA, on June 20-23, 2011. More than 1,000 public health providers and administrators from federal, state, and local health agencies attended and learned about the purpose, scope, and process of public health accreditation at the PHAB exhibit booth. Highlights from the exhibit hall included conversations with employees from the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, the Bureau of Prisons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Disaster Medical System, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service, the National Institutes of Health, and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Michigan Prepares for National Accreditation

Dr. Kaye Bender from PHAB and Liza Corso from CDC joined several state and local health department speakers in an all-day conference entitled "Envisioning the Future: Michigan's Health Departments and National Public Health Accreditation." The conference was filled with great ideas for selecting and showcasing examples from health departments for potential use in accreditation preparation. The conference also demonstrated the strong partnerships between academia and practice as it was convened by the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Office of Public Health Practice.

Institute of Medicine Committee Recommends Public Health Department Accreditation

On June 21, 2011, the Institute of Medicine released their second report in a series on public health improvement. This report, "For the Public's Health: Revitalizing Law and Policy to Meet New Challenges," calls for all levels of government to adopt a structured approach to considering the health effects of any major legislation or regulation. In addition, the report also recommends that federal and state policymakers review and revise public health laws so that they adequately address current health challenges. 


Of particular interest to PHAB is the recommendation that states should require health agencies to provide the Ten Essential Public Health Services as the standard of practice and make certain that adequate funding and staffing are in place to provide these services. Previously developed by a consortium of public health groups, the list of services includes basic functions such as monitoring the health status of communities, diagnosing and investigating community health hazards, mobilizing community action, enforcing laws that protect health, and evaluating population-based services. State laws also should require public health accreditation to ensure a uniform standard of public health practice, says the report, and every health agency should have adequate access to attorneys with public health expertise. Click here to access the press release and full report.

Public Health Certificate in Performance Improvement at the University of Minnesota

Beginning this fall, public health departments will be taking steps to become accredited by PHAB. One of the major features of PHAB accreditation is the demonstration of quality improvement capabilities. However, many public health professionals have not had training and development in quality improvement. The School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota is offering a graduate Public Health Certificate in Performance Improvement. The performance improvement certificate offers an online curriculum to learn and successfully apply a quality improvement project in a public health department. This fall the first group of graduate students will enroll in a new, highly interactive and experiential program targeted to the working public health professional.


The Public Health Certificate in Quality Improvement accommodates busy schedules, while offering a challenging and rewarding educational experience. Students will learn how to evaluate a process, determine if it needs improvement and develop and apply appropriate quality improvement methods in their work settings. The program features:

  • Online format allows for optimal convenience;
  • Highly interactive learning environment;
  • Collaboration with other public health professionals;
  • Nationally recognized faculty; and
  • Capstone course leading a quality improvement project within your public health organization.


Applications are now being accepted for the fall semester which begins September 6, 2011. Visit this website for a more detailed program description, and contact Katy Korchik, Program Coordinator, at if you have any questions about this new and exciting opportunity.

Word on the Street


1. My health department has been preparing for accreditation using the draft standards and measures that were prepared for the beta test. Can you please tell us the basic changes that are included in Version 1.0? 


A summary of the revisions to the PHAB Standards and Measures Version 1.0 can be found on the PHAB website, but some of the changes include:


         A purpose statement was added to each measure

         Significance information was added to each standard and measure

         Documentation is now required, usually two examples for most measures

         Guidance specific to each documentation item is provided

         All standards are applicable to Tribal, state, and local health departments

         Measures have been included that describe the community health assessment

         Domain 9 has been revamped

         Domains 11 and 12 have been revamped

         General rearranging, rewording, and updating



2. We understand that the accreditation process has also changed slightly. Can you please identify those changes?


The Guide to National Public Health Department Accreditation Version 1.0 does include some changes based on feedback received from the beta test and elsewhere. A summary of those revisions can be found on the PHAB website, but some of the changes include:


         The in-person training for Accreditation Coordinators will be provided after submission of the online application, not before

         The entire process is paperless

         There are four readiness checklists, not just one

         Statement of Intent time frame waived for 2011-2012

         Application form shortened

         Site visit report format and content were revised

         Scoring scale expanded to four categories

         Health department post accreditation reports are annual

         Appeals procedure has been included



3. We know that PHAB is developing an online information system. Will the format for the accreditation tools look like the paper versions when that system has been completed?


PHAB is developing an online information system (called e-PHAB) that will allow the health department applicants to submit everything to PHAB electronically. It will also include the site visit reports and annual reports. Our intent is to operate an entirely paperless system. The format will not look exactly the same as the paper copies or the website version, but all of the content will be included.



4. Why did PHAB decide to use the population of the jurisdiction the health department serves as the major factor for determining the categories of health departments for the fee structure?


Through the beta test, PHAB learned that population served is a good proxy for estimating the potential complexity of the health department. The complexity of the health department determines the amount of work that the PHAB staff and the site reviewers have to do. It also changes less frequently than other potential factors such as health department budget and FTEs. Census data population numbers are standard, generally accepted numbers.



5. When will the online orientation be available to health departments?


PHAB expects the online orientation to be completed and available for health department use by early fall 2011.



If you have a suggestion for future segments of Word on the Street, please send them to Travis Parker Lee, PHAB Program Specialist, at

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