Issue #81 January 2021
Greetings from PHAB:

Paul Kuehnert
PHAB President & CEO
The dawn of 2021 brings with it a new U.S. Congress and federal administration that promises new and exciting opportunities for public health. The challenges we faced in 2020 were multifaceted and demonstrated clearly the critical need for adequate and sustainable investment in public health infrastructure in order to protect and promote the health and well-being of our communities. 

As we mark and mourn the more than 400,000 lives lost nationwide, we must convey the urgency of building an infrastructure that prioritizes preparedness, accountability, partnership, and equity - areas that are reinforced through PHAB's national accreditation program. To that end, PHAB endorsed the Public Health Infrastructure Saves Lives Act (PHSLA) last year, which called for a $4.5 billion investment in public health. We are hopeful that this, or similar, legislation will gain traction in the new Congress and provide much needed support to state, territorial, local, and Tribal health departments and the communities they serve.

What you can expect from PHAB in 2021

Our 2020-2022 Strategic Plan outlines several areas of focus for the upcoming year. I'd like to draw your attention to three areas where PHAB will be working in the next few months to better support health departments:
  • Advocacy. We will assure that our voice is a part of the national chorus calling for sustained, equitable investment of needed resources for public health at all levels. You will see PHAB work alongside other national public health organizations to strengthen the nation's public health infrastructure, including our support for the legislation like the PHSLA.
  • Standards and Measures. We are completing work begun in 2019 to update our standards and measures based on the insights, experience, and feedback from accredited health departments and other stakeholders. Key among these insights is the importance of assuring that equity, anti-racism, and inclusion as fundamental concepts are integrated into all aspects of the Standards and Measures. Stayed tuned this year as we finalize what will become Version 2022 of our Standards and Measures, and plan to participate in the vetting of Version 2022 later this year. We value your feedback and look forward to incorporating your input into this process. 
  • Communications. We are currently assessing our communication capabilities to better reflect our mission, including our ability to provide technical assistance and/or other resources to support accredited health departments across the country in telling their story. You may notice some changes as we evaluate the effectiveness of our current strategies, including the newsletter and our presence on social media. If you don't already, be sure to follow us on Twitter
The challenges that beset us in 2020 have not miraculously vanished with the turning of the calendar to a new year. Those challenges are still with us and we will, no doubt, face new ones in the months ahead. Progress may not be easy or steady, but our experiences in 2020 have equipped us with the resiliency needed to persevere. I look forward to moving forward together with all of you in 2021. Happy New Year!

Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN
PHAB President & CEO
Upcoming Webinar

Presenters: Juliann VanLiew, Director, Unified Government Public Health Department; 
Kevin Grieme, Health Director, Sioux District Health Department; Annette Seibold, Health Officer and Director, Florence County Health Department

This session will feature a dialogue with the directors of three PHAB Accredited health departments, representing one small, one mid-sized, and one large health department. The discussion will address the challenges that they have faced during their COVID-19 response, particularly maintaining a focus on quality improvement and performance management. The challenges of leading through the pandemic will also be explored, along with the impact of PHAB accreditation on public health leadership and system response. 

Through participation in this webinar, learners will be able to:
  1. Explore the challenges that health departments have faced in sustaining performance management efforts during COVID-19. 
  2. Describe varied strategies to integrate performance management and quality improvement into daily work, including pandemic response efforts. 
  3. Identify elements of the PHAB standards and accreditation process that support health departments in assuring effective public health response and leadership in the context of COVID-19.
Updated Guidance Document - Temporary Changes to the Accreditation Process
We appreciate the commitment of health departments that are pursuing accreditation and reaccreditation as they serve the needs of their communities during the pandemic. PHAB will remain as flexible as we can to support you. Based on feedback we have received from the field; we have released an updated guidance document that describes temporary changes to the accreditation process. This includes changes to the extension request process, the dates for document submission, and documentation for reaccreditation. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Accreditation Specialist.
PHAB Data Portal

Check out PHAB's data portal to get a snapshot of how health departments like yours have been assessed on accreditation measures. View this brief video to learn more about the site. We are continuing to add new functionality to the portal. Next up: data on the action plan and customizable reports for accredited health departments. Please contact with questions and suggestions.
Standards and Measures - Version 2022
Progress on the revisions to the Standards & Measures continues. Most recently, we held several listening sessions with representatives from Tribal Nations who provided feedback we will use to draft Version 2022. We also convened a think tank on healthy aging. Visit our site to read a summary of the healthy aging think tank and a related tip sheet
State Public Health Associations: Capacity Building Opportunity to Support Local Health Departments

With support from the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC CSTLTS), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is pleased to offer an opportunity to provide support for performance and community health improvement topics to local public health departments (LHDs) through statewide public health associations. The purpose of this opportunity is to advance the ability and role of statewide associations to support LHDs, particularly in efforts to build health department internal and external infrastructure, and systems and performance improvement capacity. 

There is flexibility in the type of available support and statewide associations are encouraged to submit an application detailing their needs or ideas. Examples may include direct funding to support planned activities, identification of national/federal speakers, assistance in developing a webinar series, among others. NACCHO and CDC will follow up on all applications with an intake call.

Please note that requests for T/TA should be made by state public health associations. LHDs who are interested in opportunities to improve their systems capacity should send this information to their state level associations so that they can apply.

Applications are now open and will be accepted on a rolling basis. To review the complete announcement, including a link to the application, please visit the website
For More Information

PHAB's E-Newsletter is distributed on a periodic basis to more than 6,500 public health professionals. The PHAB E-Newsletter is the best way to stay abreast of important news and updates related to PHAB's national accreditation program, as well as to learn about the activities, technical assistance, and resources available through PHAB's partner organizations. To subscribe to the newsletter, click here

For specific questions about PHAB or the national accreditation program, please contact:

Marita Chilton, Director of Accreditation, for information about the 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.114.

Jessica Solomon Fisher, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, for all matters related to the Public Health National Center for Innovations, communications, and other strategic initiatives. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 116.

April Harris, Accreditation Specialist, 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.

Jennifer Jimenez, Triona Gateley Neff, Chelsey Saari, Brittan Williams, Accreditation Specialists, for information about the accreditation process for health departments. Jennifer may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 107; Triona may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 124; Chelsey may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 130; and Brittan at or 703-778-4549, ext. 115.

Catrina Kerrison, Executive Assistant/Office Coordinator, for general office inquiries and questions related to PHAB's governance. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext.100.

Jessica Kronstadt, Vice President, Program, Research & Evaluation, for information about public health accreditation-related research and evaluation, as well as student opportunities. She may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 117.

Paul Kuehnert, President/CEO, to talk about accreditation-related strategies, partnerships, long-range planning at PHAB, the Board of Directors, committees, and think tanks. He may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 103.

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

Mark Paepcke, Senior Vice President, Finance and Business Operations, for information about fees and contractual information, or e-PHAB. He may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 104.
David Stone, Director of Education and Technical Assistance, for information about PHAB's education services, including orientations and learning events. He may be reached at or 703-778-4549, ext. 105.

For a full listing of PHAB staff, click here. Be in the know! Subscribe to PHAB's E-Newsletter!

Public Health Accreditation Board
1600 Duke Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314  
Phone: 703-778-4549
Fax: 703-778-4556

For more information, visit  
Copyright 2020 | Public Health Accreditation Board