Greetings from PHAB,

March and April are important months for many reasons. This week is National Public Health Week. Changing our health means ensuring conditions that give everyone the opportunity to be healthy. The PHAB staff are undertaking a walking initiative in which we will, over three months, have collectively walked the same number of miles as the length of the Appalachian Trail! That's exactly 2,189.2 miles, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. We hope you are also doing something to celebrate National Public Health Week -- not just this week but all month long!

March 2017 was full of March Madness for college basketball fans. Since March Madness brackets are all about the numbers, we thought we would provide you with some relevant PHAB numbers that make us very proud.
45: The number of states in PHAB's system with health department accreditation activity.
407: The total number of health departments in PHAB's system.
178: The number of individual health departments that have achieved PHAB accreditation as of March 14, 2017.
1 with 67 health departments: The number of integrated local public health department systems accredited under the centralized states integrated local public health department system model.
178,255,529: The number of U.S. residents (unduplicated) now served by an accredited health department.
The numbers are indeed impressive, and you helped make all of this happen! Whether you have provided technical assistance, education/training, consultation, site visitation/reviews, funding, and/or are affiliated with one of our accredited health departments, your contributions represent the hard work and dedication needed to make public health strong throughout the nation. Everyone here at PHAB thanks you. Another great way to celebrate National Public Health Week!
Issue #66
April 2017
In This Issue
Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN 
President & CEO 

PHAB Board of Directors Holds Quarterly Meeting in Alexandria, VA 
The PHAB Board of Directors held its quarterly business meeting in Alexandria, VA, March 29-30. Highlights of the meeting are noted below.
  • PHAB's financial report indicates that PHAB expenses continue to be decreasing as PHAB works hard to contain costs in the work that we do.
  • Reaccreditation policies that clarify the application of the regular reaccreditation requirements to local health departments in centralized states were approved. These will be housed in a companion document to the reaccreditation requirements on PHAB's website.
  • Discussion of the status of PHAB's major initiatives:
    • Vital Statistics Accreditation Module
    • Army Public Health/Preventive Medicine Accreditation
    • Tribal Public Health Accreditation Support
    • Territorial Accreditation Support Initiative
    • Site Visitor Performance Management Initiative
    • Small Health Department Accreditation Initiative
    • DIS Certification Project
      (These projects all reflect work in progress that is leading to some products and services that will be available soon, so stay tuned to PHAB's newsletter for those announcements.)
  • PHNCI Innovations Roadmap discussions.
  • Discussions about the National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems and how it relates to accreditation.
  • Discussions with Ron Bialek, president of the Public Health Foundation, on that organization's accreditation support and observations.
PHAB appreciates the hard work of our Board of Directors in guiding the organization. 


Sixteen More Health Departments Demonstrate Capacity to Protect and Promote Their Communities' Health
Demonstrating their commitment to improving health and delivering quality public health services to their communities, 16 more public health departments have been awarded national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). These recent decisions bring another 4.5 million people into the expanding network of communities across the nation whose health departments have demonstrated their strong commitment to the improvement of their community's health and continuous quality improvement in the services they provide.

National accreditation status was awarded March 14, 2017 to:
  • Bethlehem Health Bureau, Bethlehem, PA
  • Cecil County Health Department, Elkton, MD
  • Center for Human Development, Inc., La Grande, OR
  • City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services, Nashua, NH
  • Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, CT
  • Denver Environmental Health, Denver, CO
  • Hamilton County Public Health, Cincinnati, OH
  • Jackson County Public Health, Medford, OR
  • Jessamine County Health Department, Nicholasville, KY
  • Lake Cumberland District Health Department, Somerset, KY
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
  • North Dakota Department of Health, Bismarck, ND
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
  • Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department, Shawano, WI
  • Union County General Health District, Marysville, OH
  • Washington County Public Health Division, Hillsboro, OR
Read the press release here.

In Elkton, Maryland, staff of the Cecil County Health Department gathered on Tuesday, April 4, to celebrate the health department's March 14, 2017 accreditation. (Photo courtesy Cecil County Health Department.) 

New Infographic Showcases the Value of PHAB Accreditation
With this newsletter, PHAB is excited to unveil a new, one-page infographic showcasing the value of PHAB accreditation. The new resource, the Value of PHAB Accreditation: Strengthening Health Departments to Better Serve Their Communities , provides a visual representation of data from the evaluation of the national accreditation program conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. The colorful infographic presents six key themes, or benefits, that have emerged from the findings: quality improvement, partnerships, accountability, strengths/weaknesses, workforce, and resources. The new infographic is available here as a free download. Printed copies will also be available at various national conferences in the coming months. Health departments that wish to give printed copies of the new infographic to staff, community partners, and decision-makers may purchase quantities (printed on a heavier card stock) at PHAB's online store.   

"While having the accreditation certificate is a valuable asset, it's going through the process that reaps the greatest benefits to the health department," said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender. "Health departments will vary in their direct benefits, and we have captured some of those demonstrated benefits in this at-a-glance resource."

For more information about the value of PHAB accreditation, please visit the "Benefits" page of PHAB's website

"Accreditation Works!" Series Features Four New Stories and a New Video From Hennepin County Public Health Department
PHAB is excited to announce the availability of five new additions to its popular Accreditation Works! series. In March, four new narratives were added to the home page feature, online at
  • Accreditation Process Brings New Energy and Focus to the Activities of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, by Katrina Howard, MPH, CHC
  • Accreditation Puts Performance Management into Peoria City/County Health Department's Best-Practice Toolkit, by Nicole Ingold, BA
  • PHAB Accreditation Process Puts La Crosse County Health Department Staff on Path Toward a Common Goal, by Diane Panzer
  • PHAB Accreditation Brings Some Expected and Unexpected Benefits to Oregon Health Authority's Performance Management System, by Joey W. Razzano, MBA
This week, PHAB was the grateful recipient of the first "Accreditation Works!" video! Submitted by Hennepin County Public Health Department in Minneapolis, Minn., the 3 and 1/2-minute video was developed and produced by a team that included Public Health Director Susan Palchick along with Susan Moore, Lori Imsdahl, Tomoko Townsley, Thia Bryan and the health department's QI Council.

"We are better because of accreditation and want to encourage other departments who are considering accreditation," said Susan M. Moore, MPA, Accreditation Coordinator at Hennepin County Public Health Department. "With this video we hope to demonstrate our commitment to accreditation and the cornerstones of quality improvement, community engagement, and using data to advance health equity. We thought that video was a more dynamic medium to convey this message."
The video can be accessed via PHAB's home page and is also available here.   

PHAB Participates in CDC/OSTLTS Public Health Improvement Partners Meeting
One of the primary successes of accreditation system development and implementation is the collaborative work that the national public health partners do under their funding agreements with CDC's Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS). In continuing that good work, PHAB was pleased to be able to participate in the Public Health Improvement Partners' in-person meeting in Atlanta, GA, Jan. 23-24. The meeting convenes partners for strategic and operational planning and networking to support coordination across funded cooperative agreement work plans focused on public health improvement. PHAB is so pleased with the work that the partners have done and will do in the future, and it was indeed a pleasure to meet with them to discuss this upcoming year of continued collaboration.

PHAB was pleased to be able to participate in the Public Health Improvement Partners' in-person meeting in Atlanta, GA, Jan. 23-24, 2017. 
Evaluation and Quality Improvement Committee Meets
The Evaluation and Quality Improvement (EQI) Committee met at PHAB's Alexandria, Virginia, office on March 28. Committee members provided valuable feedback about how PHAB can continue to support health departments after they are accredited. The group also provided suggestions about how PHAB can use the Annual Reporting process, as well as ongoing communication and other resources, to assist health departments on their continuous quality improvement journeys and on preparation for reaccreditation. Building on the ideas that arose during the meeting, PHAB will be seeking additional input from accredited health departments about the types of support that would be beneficial after a health department completes the initial accreditation process.

The Evaluation and Quality Improvement Committee met March 28 in Alexandria, VA. From left are Colleen Svoboda, April Harris (PHAB), Julia Heany, Ron Chapman (committee co-chair), Robert Hines Jr., Jaime Dircksen, Sara Warren, David Souleles, Susan Ramsey, and Jessica Kronstadt (PHAB). Not pictured are William Riley (committee co-chair), Kim Gearin, and Greg Randolph. 
PHNCI Unveils Innovation in Governmental Public Health: Building a Roadmap
The Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), at PHAB, is pleased to announce the availability of Innovation in Governmental Public Health: Building a Roadmap. This roadmap describes what innovation in public health practice might look like as health departments consider, develop, and implement innovation ideas. This work is being considered as an early developmental concept, which will be improved over time. Therefore, the definition, characteristics, and organizational culture listed should all be considered as "working" for now, with more definitive versions to be developed as PHNCI learns more from the public health field.

Exploring Vital Records/Health Statistics Accreditation
For more than two years, PHAB has been working collaboratively with the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) to explore the feasibility of accreditation of vital records and health statistics functions in each state. NAPHSIS is the national nonprofit organization representing the state vital records and public health statistics offices in the United States. Formed in 1933, NAPHSIS brings together more than 250 public health professionals from each state, the five territories, New York City, and the District of Columbia. This collaborative effort has been guided by a working group made up of vital registrars and other similar leaders. This group met again at the PHAB office in February 2017 to review the results of a 2016 alpha test of standards and measures developed by the work group and to discuss the next steps in the developmental process. Representatives from the National Center for Health Statistics and the CDC Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support also attended the session. Stay tuned to the PHAB newsletter for updates about this very exciting project.

PHAB has been working collaboratively with the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems to explore the feasibility of accreditation of vital records and health statistics functions in each state. A working group (pictured above) met at the PHAB office in February 2017. Representatives from the National Center for Health Statistics and the CDC Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support also attended the session.

Guide to National Public Health Department Reaccreditation Now Available for Purchase Through PHAB's Online Store
PHAB is pleased to announce that printed copies of the newly released Guide to National  Public Health Department Reaccreditation: Process and Requirements, are now available for purchase through PHAB's online store. Copies of the 84-page, spiral-bound book may be purchased through the online store for $5 per copy. Shipping costs will also be applied accordingly. The new Guide can also be downloaded here, free of charge.
This Guide, which presents the official requirements and process for the reaccreditation of public health departments, pertains to accredited health departments that submitted their application for initial accreditation on or before June 30, 2016.  

Registration Now Open for the 2017 NALBOH Conference
Celebrating 25 years of improving board governance, the National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH) will hold its annual conference August 2-4 in Cleveland, Ohio. Themed "Celebrating Innovations in Board Governance: the Past, Present and Future," conference activities will provide attendees with information, skills, and resources focused on the six functions of public health governance. The conference will also provide time for attendees to learn about and share information on critical public health issues. All sessions will touch on at least one of the six functions of governance. View the full registration brochure and register today. For more information, call 920-560-5644.
Registration Open for the 15th Annual Public Health Improvement Training (PHIT)   
Registration is now open for the 2017 PHIT Conference, which will be held June 13-14 in Albuquerque, NM. The conference will include sessions on performance improvement, quality improvement, workforce development, and accreditation. PHIT offers hands-on training and networking opportunities for all experience levels in a variety of ways to advance organizations' success. As one of the planning partners for the conference, PHAB will provide a session on the reaccreditation process and writing narratives. Find details at the PHIT 2017 registration site. Seating is limited and registration will close by May 10, 2017, or sooner, when capacity is reached.
NNPHI/CDC Launch phPIN Online Portal
NNPHI, in partnership with CDC's Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, has launched a new online portal component of the Public Health Performance Improvement Network (phPIN). The portal's communications toolkit serves as a hub for performance improvement professionals to collaborate, converse, and expand on the collective knowledge of the group. The phPIN Online Portal's communications toolkit will serve as a guide for disseminating information about the online community through active social channels and an email listserve to those engaged in performance improvement activities. The kit includes email correspondence, social media guidance, newsletter submission information, and accompanying media images. For questions, contact Jessica Wehle.
Register Now for the Next NACCHO Performance Improvement Webinar
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) will hold a performance improvement webinar at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, April 13. The webinar, "Health Equity in Performance Improvement," will feature strategies for incorporating health equity into health departments' internal and external performance improvement work. Two local health departments and partners will present ways in which a commitment to health equity shapes their performance improvement work: one in community health assessment and improvement planning (CHA/CHIP) and one in quality improvement and performance management. Participants will learn how committing to the advancement of health equity can guide performance improvement efforts. Register here for the webinar.
MAPP Training Set for June 15-16 in Albuquerque, NM
The National Association of County and City Health Officials, in partnership with CDC and the Health Resources and Services Administration, will conduct a Mobilizing for Partnership through Planning & Partnerships (MAPP) training in Albuquerque, NM, on June 15-16, co-locating with the Public Health Improvement Training. MAPP is a community-owned planning process that results in a community health assessment and community health improvement plan. MAPP works as a framework to help communities prioritize public health issues, identify resources for addressing them, and take action. MAPP partnerships consist of a wide array of community partners from across sectors, working together to improve population health. Click here to register. For more information contact Andrew Lahn.
ASTHO Offers Leadership Resources for Accreditation and Performance Management
With funding and collaboration between the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and CDC, and in partnership with PHAB Board of Directors member Ronald W. Chapman, MD, MPH, ASTHO has published two guides discussing how public health executive leaders can implement performance management and champion PHAB accreditation efforts within their agencies. Both resources, Health Department Accreditation: A Guide and Perspectives from Leaders to Their Peers as well as Performance Management Systems in State Health Agencies: Guidance and Perspectives from Leaders to Their Peers, were developed with input and guidance from key informant interviews with current and previous state health officials as well as results from an environmental scan of resources available in the field. 
ASTHO Publishes First Post in Quality Improvement Tools & Methodologies Blog Series
The first in a series of blog posts focused on quality improvement initiatives taking place within state health agencies features PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender. In this first blog post, Dr. Bender contributes her expertise about the importance of performance management and quality improvement, especially as it relates to accreditation. Future blog posts will feature examples of specific quality improvement tools, methodologies, and practices that state health agencies have found particularly useful for improving programs, processes, and initiatives. Stay tuned to the PHAB newsletter for updates about when new posts are available.
ASTHO Releases New Issue Brief
Working with its Maternal and Child Health team, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) has developed a new issue brief titled Using Maternal and Child Health Quality Improvement Efforts to Advance State Health Agency Accreditation. The new resource shows how programmatic work can tie into the accreditation process and how accreditation can help leverage programmatic work. This issue brief illustrates how state health agencies can align their IM CoIIN work with accreditation activities, highlighting the Oklahoma State Department of Health's efforts to incorporate IM CoIIN activities into its accreditation process through health improvement planning, collaboration with internal and external partners, and quality improvement initiatives.

2017 Practical Playbook National Meeting: Opening Keynote Speaker Announced
The Practical Playbook is pleased to announce two of the plenary presenters for the 2017 National Meeting, which is set for May 31-June 2 in Washington, D.C. The opening keynote speaker will be Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH, Dean of the College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Khan will share his perspective on the future of public health and healthcare in the context of current potentially game-changing dynamics. He will also share his insights into what is needed to forge successful cross-sector collaborations that engage academic, public health, primary care, and community organizations. The World Café Session will be facilitated by Ahmed Calvo, MD, MPH, Director of the National Leadership Fellowship, Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, and Senior Fellow, Thought Leadership and Innovation Foundation. Dr. Calvo will use an "Open Space" approach to lead a tabletop dialogue. Register here for the Practical Playbook.


Catrina Kerrison Joins PHAB
Catrina Kerrison
PHAB is pleased to announce that Catrina Kerrison joined the PHAB staff in December in the role of Executive Assistant/Office Coordinator. A U.S. Army veteran, Catrina brings a wealth of experience to her new role, including more than 20 years of business management experience and several years of experience as a volunteer for various non-profit organizations. A graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, she holds an AA degree in Business Management and a BSBA degree with a concentration in Business Finance. A native of Washington, D.C., Catrina is a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society. She is also a licensed real estate broker in the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia, with more than 19 years of real estate sales experience. Welcome Catrina!
Special Delivery: PHAB's Extended Family Continues to Grow!
The weeks leading up to the holiday season were especially joyous ones for the extended PHAB family as we celebrated two new additions.

In November, PHAB Senior Accounting Specialist Daniel Hennig and his wife Debs celebrated the birth of their second child, Wilberforce David Hennig. Wilber entered the world on Nov. 23, 2016 weighing 8 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring 21 inches in length. "Wilber is named after William Wilberforce, the evangelist, politician, and philanthropist who helped end the English slave trade in the 1700s," proud papa Daniel says. Wilber is doing well and enjoying being the little brother of Eleanor Hope Hennig, who was born in July 2015.

In December, Jessica Solomon Fisher, Chief Innovations Officer at the Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), and husband Scott Fisher joyfully welcomed their first child into the world. Miles Chasin Fisher made his debut on December 7, 2016 weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces and measuring 19.5 inches in length. According to his mom, "Miles has an affinity for bath time, eating, and cuddles, and is a joy and wonder to his parents and his four-legged brother, Atlas."

The entire PHAB family joins in congratulating the Fisher and Hennig families!
WORD ON THE STREET: A Roundup of Accreditation Questions & Answers

1. Does PHAB understand that health departments are worried about additional budget cuts and the potential effects on health department services?
Yes. While PHAB is not a lobbying organization, we do monitor the current activities that may affect governmental public health department funding. PHAB's Board of Directors considers the dynamics of government funding and the potential and actual effects, and PHAB keeps that information updated so that it informs our decisions. We know that these issues relate to the concern over PHAB fees. We wish we had the resources to lower the fees, but we have set them as low as we can to cover our costs so we can stay in business. However, if health departments wish to talk with us about their specific situation, all they have to do is call.
2. I recently saw the PHAB logo on a promotional brochure about the VMSG Dashboard Public Health Performance Management System. Does this mean that PHAB has endorsed that vendor?
No. PHAB has not authorized that vendor to use our logo. PHAB does not endorse or recommend any particular product. We have not reviewed their system, so we cannot say if the product would be helpful in meeting the PHAB standards and measures. Simply purchasing a product or system will not demonstrate that the health department is in conformity with any measure. There is no product that can substitute for having actual performance management practices systematically in place throughout an organization. The selection and purchase of any documentation support system is strictly up to the health department and is not a requirement or recommendation from PHAB.
3. I keep getting information about the Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI). How does the work of the Center relate to PHAB's work?
PHNCI is a division of PHAB, established in November 2015. PHNCI is working to spark and align innovations in public health practice. As public health departments adapt to meet the growing and changing needs of their communities, the need for strategic coordination to help incubate and share innovative ideas is greater than ever. What PHNCI learns from exploring innovations in public health practice will inform accreditation standards and measures in the future.
4. Who at PHAB may we contact for specific questions and technical assistance?

You may contact:
Mark Paepcke, Chief Administrative Officer, to talk about fees and contractual information, or e-PHAB. He may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 104.

Robin Wilcox, Chief Program Officer, to talk about interpretation and meaning of the PHAB Standards and Measures as well as the accreditation process. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 106.

Marita Chilton, Triona Gateley, Jennifer Jimenez, or Brittan Wood, to talk about the accreditation process for health departments. Marita may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 114; Triona may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 124; Jennifer may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 107; and Brittan at or 703-778-4549, ext. 115.

April Harris, to talk with accredited health departments about maintaining accreditation and to assist accredited health departments as they prepare for reaccreditation. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext.125.

Catrina Kerrison, to talk about general office inquiries and questions related to PHAB's governance. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 100.

Jeff Lake, Volunteer Services Manager, to talk about the recruitment, selection, and assignment of Site Visitors and Teams as well as PHAB's Accreditation Reserve Corps. He may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 110.

David Stone, Accreditation Education Specialist, to talk about PHAB's education services, including orientations and trainings. He may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 105.

Genny Lush, Program Specialist, to talk about statements of intent, applications, and accreditation process issues. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549 ext. 113.

Jessica Kronstadt, Director of Research and Evaluation, to talk about public health accreditation-related research and evaluation. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 117.

Teddi Nicolaus, Communications Manager, to talk about news, media requests, marketing, and promotions. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 118.
Jessica Solomon Fisher, Chief Innovations Officer, Public Health National Center for Innovations at the Public Health Accreditation Board, to talk about all matters related to the new Center. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 116.
Kaye Bender, President/CEO, to talk about accreditation-related strategies, partnerships, long-range planning at PHAB, PHAB Board of Directors, committees/think tanks, and student opportunities. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 103.

If you have a question for a future segment of Word on the Street, please send it to PHAB e-newsletter editor Teddi Nicolaus.

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