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Association of State and Territorial Health Officials ASTHO

Health Care

Health Officials Endorse National Accreditation for Public Health Departments

Standards development supported by CDC and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 13:26

(ASTHO: Arlington, VA) -- The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) has launched the first national voluntary accreditation program for public health departments. As a founding organization of PHAB, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) believes accreditation will drive continuous quality and performance improvement in all U.S. public health departments.

“ASTHO has fostered the goal of continuous quality improvement in public health agencies,” says Paul Jarris, executive director at ASTHO. “PHAB accreditation sets benchmarks through performance standards and measures that will help our members enhance the quality of the services they deliver to the community and improve organizational performance. ASTHO endorses PHAB’s standards and processes for accreditation as the sole voluntary national accreditation program for public health departments. These standards provide a blueprint for state and territorial public health practices, ensuring quality and improved accountability in state and territorial health departments. We strongly recommend that state and territorial health agencies attain voluntary national accreditation.”

Public health departments play a critical role in improving and protecting the health of America’s communities. However, there has not been a national system for ensuring their accountability and quality until now. With PHAB’s accreditation process, public health departments can measure their performance, get recognition for their accomplishments, demonstrate accountability within their communities, and engage with the community about the health department’s capacity.

ASTHO commends PHAB for this program and acknowledges the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which supported development of a voluntary national accreditation system.

ASTHO resources to support accreditation readiness can be found here.

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Association of State and Territorial Health Officials ASTHO

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) supports efforts that protect the health of all people and engages in a wide range of scientific, educational, and policy issues on behalf of public health. ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing public health agencies in the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia, and more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, formulate and influence sound public health policy and ensure excellence in state-based public health practice. ASTHO’s primary function is to track, evaluate, and advise members on the impact and formation of public or private health policy which may affect them and to provide them with guidance and technical assistance on improving the nation’s health.