ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) 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 of the nation's public health departments.
"ASTHO has fostered the goal of continuous quality improvement in public health agencies. 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," said ASTHO Executive Director Paul Jarris. "ASTHO endorses PHAB's standards and processes for accreditation as the sole voluntary national accreditation program for public health departments. These standards provide a blue print for state and territorial public health practices, ensuring quality and improve accountability in state and territorial health departments. They set a baseline of quality for public access to the same range and quality of health services no matter where you are in this country. 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 Diseases Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who supported development of a voluntary national accreditation system.
"As the go-to resource for state and territorial public health, ASTHO is well-situated to provide dependable guidance to states and territories preparing for accreditation and, in partnership with our members and PHAB, to improve the health outcomes for all persons served by U.S. state and territorial health agencies," said Jarris.
ASTHO resources to support accreditation readiness can be found at: http://www.astho.org/Programs/Accreditation-and-Performance/Accreditation/
SOURCE Association of State and Territorial Health Officials