Greetings from PHAB:
If you are like the PHAB team, we are excited about the new year and the opportunities it may bring. We all get a little weary, however, with the many new year inspirational quotes we hear about starting anew, letting go of the past, etc. But one quote by Rachel Wolchin did capture my attention: "The new year means nothing if you are still in your comfort zone." When I read it, I immediately thought about accreditation. If a health department team uses accreditation as it was intended, the only comfort zone will be in knowing that their public health services are on solid footing. But the quest to improve those services will keep each year a fresh year, as that health department constantly seeks to do better and work smarter. So, my slight change in that quote would be "Accreditation means nothing if you are still in your comfort zone!"
PHAB's comfort zone is also changing, as you will see from reading about all of our activities in this newsletter. In late November PHAB said goodbye to two long-standing board members. We will also soon launch the Vital Records/Health Statistics Accreditation Program as well as the customized Army Public Health/Preventive Medicine Department accreditation standards and measures. Please see the call for site visitors for these two programs and respond soon if you are interested.
Thank you for your ongoing support of high quality public health by not just thinking ahead, but also thinking outside of your normal comfort zone. Here's to a year of a stronger public health system!
Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN,
Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN
President and CEO
PHAB BOARD OF DIRECTORS: News & Notes
PHAB Board Tackles Packed Agenda at November Meeting
November 2018 ended on a busy note for PHAB's Board of Directors, as members gathered in Alexandria, Virginia, for a quarterly meeting that featured a packed agenda and some heartfelt farewells. Highlights of the meeting included the presentation of awards to departing Board members Dr. William Riley and Dr. Harvey Wallace, both of whom completed their terms in November after serving on PHAB's Board of Directors for many years. We will miss their
Also during the Board meeting, Delton Atkinson, MPH, former Director of the Division of Vital Statistics within CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), was recognized by the Board for his tireless work to initiate the development of Vital
Records/Health Statistics accreditation. Mr. Atkinson retired from NCHS last year but was present for the approval of the standards and measures and process guide. Also present was Steven Schwartz, PhD, current Director of the Division of Vital Statistics at NCHS, and H. "Mac" McCraw, Senior Public Health Advisor, Division of Vital Statistics at NCHS. (See photo next section.)
Additionally, the Board appointed Kathy C. Vincent, MSW, to the Accreditation Committee. Familiar to many in the public health field, Ms. Vincent works as a consultant on public health issues. Prior to her retirement from state service she served in leadership roles at the Alabama
Department of Public Health for 18 years. In that role, she was responsible for management and operational issues, the development of agency directions, resolution of agency and staff issues or questions, and oversight of agency federal/state legislative activities. She also oversaw the Bureau of Home and Community Services; the Bureau of Professional and Support Services, which included Public Health Nursing, Nutrition, Social Work, Workforce Development, Management Support, Women's Health, Rural Health, Minority Health, and Pharmacy; and the Bureau of Children's Health Insurance.
Ms. Vinson has been active in the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), serving on several committees. She is a past chair of the Public Health Leadership Society and the Public Health Foundation Board of Directors, and is a former member of the National Academy of State Health Policy and the American Public Health Association. She served on the Public Health Accreditation Board's Standards Development Workgroup and has served as a PHAB site visitor. She currently serves on the boards of the Equal Justice Initiative, Medical Advocacy and Outreach of Alabama, Alabama Arise, and the Chemical Addictions Program.
She is also a member of the advisory committee for the School of Public Health at Central Michigan University. Ms. Vincent received her undergraduate degree from the University of Montevallo and holds a graduate degree in social work from the University of Alabama. She is a licensed certified social worker.
|Kathy Vinson, left, with PHAB Chief Program Officer Robin Wilcox in January .
In other official Board business, the Board of Directors appointed Louise Kent, MBA, and Katherine Cain, MPH, to PHAB's Evaluation and Quality Improvement Committee. Ms. Kent is retired from the Northern Kentucky Health Department, where she led performance improvement activities. Ms. Cain is the Deputy Director for Planning and Performance in the Bureau of Policy, Planning and Performance at the Louisiana Department of Health's Office of Public Health. The Board of Directors also reappointed Dr. Les Beitsch to another three-year term on the Board. PHAB's current Board of Directors (pictured below) is well-positioned to lead PHAB into the new year and beyond. You will read about their most current work throughout this newsletter.
Also, in keeping with the Board of Directors' commitment to connecting innovation with accreditation, Board members participated in an interactive presentation about Garrett County Health Department's (GCHD) work with their Universal Community Planning Tool (UCPT). Using open-source technology, the UCPT is built on a popular content management system designed to seamlessly integrate with other systems and be easily deployed in every community. GCHD developed the tool to help its rural Maryland community create a shared vision based on county-level data by engaging 1,800 residents to date. The tool's transparency builds trust between agencies and the community alike. Ultimately the tool aims to increase health equity through community engagement with health improvement planning and the collection of local data with partners from across a range of sectors.
PHAB Board members paused for a photo with PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, right, during a quarterly meeting on November 28, 2018. From left are Claude Jacob, Hugh Tilson, Bruce Dart, Ron Chapman, Celeste Philip, Rex Archer, Paul Halverson, Joe Finkbonner, Wilma Wooten, Bud Nicola, Carol Moehrle, and Les Beitsch.
PHAB Board Member Rahul Gupta Named 'Public Official of the Year' by Governing Magazine
Governing Magazine recently presented the prestigious "Public Official of the Year" award to PHAB Board member Rahul Gupta, MD, MPH, MBA, FACP.
Dr. Gupta is one of 10 outstanding leaders in state and local government to receive the 2018 award, which was presented November 28, 2018 at an event in Washington, D.C. The magazine presents the award annually to leaders from state, city, and county government who exemplify the ideals of public service.
In September, Dr. Gupta joined March of Dimes, where he serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical and Health Officer. Prior to that, he served from 2015 to 2018 as Commissioner and State Health Officer at the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health. While there, he gained national recognition for leading the state's opioid crisis response, which culminated in the passage of West Virginia's new Opioid Reduction Act which expands the availability of naloxone throughout the state and limits when and how often doctors can prescribe opioids. He also launched a number of other pioneering public health initiatives at the health department, such as the Birthscore program to identify high-risk infants. PHAB congratulates Dr. Gupta on receiving this honor!
PHAB NEWS, NOTES & UPDATES
Nine Health Departments Awarded Accreditation in November:
PHAB Welcomes First U.S. Army Health Department and Second Tribal Health Department
Committed to achieving the highest standards of public health practice, nine health departments achieved PHAB accreditation on November 20, 2018. Included in the November decisions are the U.S. Army's first public health department to achieve national accreditation, and the second Tribal health department to achieve PHAB accreditation.
Since PHAB's accreditation program launched in 2011 with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, more than 240 health departments have achieved the prestigious designation.
National accreditation status was awarded November 20, 2018 to:
- Greene County Public Health, Xenia, Ohio
- Harris County Public Health, Houston, Texas
- Iowa Department of Public Health, Des Moines, Iowa
- Oneida Nation, Oneida, Wisconsin
- Princeton Health Department, Princeton, New Jersey
- Richland County Health Department, Sidney, Montana
- Sandusky County Health Department, Fremont, Ohio
- Scott County Health Department, Davenport, Iowa
- USA MEDDAC Fort Riley Department of Public Health, Fort Riley, Kansas
Staff of Knox County Health Department in Mount Vernon, Ohio, celebrated the department's accreditation on October 12, 2018. The department was awarded accreditation through PHAB on August 21, 2018.
PHAB Board of Directors Approves Final Standards and Measures for Vital Records/Health Statistics
past few years, PHAB has been working with the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS), CDC, and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) on the development and testing of accreditation standards and measures for statewide vital records and health statistics functions. We have provided updates in our newsletters as the work has progressed. On November 28, 2018, the PHAB Board of Directors approved the final standards and measures and process guide for this new accreditation program, which will be launched officially in a few weeks. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting endeavor!
NAPHSIS Executive Director Shawna Webster (right, seated) and PHAB Board Chair Joe Finkbonner, approve the final standards and measures for Vital Records/Health Statistics on November 28, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Standing, from left, are Steven Schwartz, Delton Atkinson, Liza Corso, H. "Mac" McCraw, and PHAB Immediate Past Board Chair Bud Nicola.
Inclusive Health Panel Convenes at PHAB in October to Review Case Studies
Under a grant from Special Olympics International, PHAB has been working to identify promising practices from accredited health departments that have intentionally focused on including individuals with intellectual disabilities in their work related to health promotion, emergency preparedness, and general program planning. An expert panel of individuals with content knowledge and representatives of the case study health departments gathered at PHAB on October 24, 2018, to review the case studies for publication on PHAB's website. These case studies are intended to encourage other health departments to consider intentional inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities in their public health work. Look for the case studies to be finalized and posted in February.
Members of the Inclusive Health Panel joined health department representatives on October 24, 2018, to review case studies focused on including individuals with intellectual disabilities in work related to health promotion, emergency preparedness, and general program planning.
PHAB Issues Special Call for Site Visitors for Vital Records/Health Statistics and Army Public Health Preventive Medicine
PHAB is issuing a special call for site visitors for both Vital Records/Health Statistics accreditation and for Army Public Health/Preventive Medicine accreditation.
Army Public Health/Preventive Medicine: PHAB is looking for site visitors with Army public health/preventive medicine experience or other military public health preventive medicine experience to join our regular site reviewers as Army installation reviews are being conducted. We are in need of 4-5 qualified individuals who can attend site visitor training this coming spring. If you have these credentials, please take a moment to visit our site visitor
and submit your application by February 15, 2019. If you are already a trained PHAB site visitor and have these credentials, please email Jeff Lake, email@example.com, and let him know.
Vital Records/Health Statistics: The PHAB VRHS site visit team is composed of two individuals, one with state health department experience and one with vital records/health statistics experience. Applicants must have:
- At least five years of professional public health experience in a state health department or in state health department vital records and/or health statistics services,
- Leadership or management experience as demonstrated by supervisory responsibility for one or more programs or units, and
- A baccalaureate or higher degree.
Individuals who have not participated as a site visitor for state health department accreditation may want to consider being a site visitor for VRHS accreditation. For more information, contact Jeff Lake, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-778-4549, ext. 110.
Uniform Chart of Accounts Available for Local Health Departments
The Public Health Activities and Services Tracking (PHAST) team at the University of Washington, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, invites local health departments (LHDs) to join the second phase of the Uniform Chart of Accounts (UCOA) project as practice partners and help them set the standard for comparing expenditures and revenues in public health.
Participation is important. Local health departments can use the UCOA to make the evidence-based case for public health funding decisions, better understand the costs of programs and services, analyze revenue sources, and improve budgeting and performance management. The UCOA can also reduce the burden of external reporting and allow local health department administrators to benchmark performance across agencies.
PHAB Accreditation Takes to the Airwaves with New Video and Ad Campaign
If you happened to be near a TV in Chicago or San Diego this past fall, you might have spotted PHAB's familiar logo and message on the screen. In October, the American Public Health Association (APHA) selected PHAB as one of just a few organizations to be spotlighted on APHA TV Live. PHAB's six-minute video -- tied to APHA's 2018 Annual Meeting theme of "Health Equity" -- was seen by thousands of conference attendees on TV monitors located throughout the San Diego Convention Center. In addition, it was shown continuously on the APHA TV channel throughout the four-day meeting at select San Diego hotels. View the video here.
But that's not all: if you happened to be in the Chicago TV market on Thanksgiving day watching the Bears-Lions post-game show on CBS, you might have spotted a 30-second spot about public health department accreditation. No, you weren't imagining it. PHAB is partnering with the Community Partnership Division of CBS for some free messaging about the importance of public health department accreditation. Based on Nielsen data, during the first two weeks of the campaign an estimated 3,447,000 adults 18+ saw the PHAB segment, and several million saw it when it went back on the air the week of December 10 for two weeks. See the ad here.
Standards and Measures Documentation: Tips for Success
Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of columns in which PHAB staff share tips for successfully demonstrating conformity with various PHAB Standards and Measures. Here, PHAB Chief Program Officer Robin Wilcox discusses Measure 7.1.1: the assessment of the availability of health services.
The last column in this series addressed the intent of Domain 7 to improve community systems to ensure that the population has access to needed health care services. That column focused on the identification of populations who lack access to care and the characteristics of the community that can decrease or increase access. In general, Domain 7 requires multi-sectoral collaboration, in-depth analysis of the populations who lack access, creative system-thinking, and community systems-level changes.
Some health departments have asked questions specifically about Required Documentation 3 of Measure 7.1.1, which addresses "emerging issues in public health, the health care system, and health care reimbursement" and requires consideration of how they impact access to care. Specifically, PHAB has been asked if an increase in a particular disease (e.g., Zika virus, flu, antibiotic resistant TB) is considered to be an "emerging issue" for this Required Documentation. Emerging diseases are addressed in the measures that relate to surveillance in Domain 2 and data analysis in Domain 1. The focus of Domain 7 is the system of care and how people access it, not the health issues that are prevalent.
The increased incidence of a disease can certainly put a strain on the health care system and may also require extra public health efforts, such as increased flu immunization clinics, reconsideration of quarantine policies, or targeted health education. However, Required Documentation 3 of Measure 7.1.1 is requiring that the collaboration consider how the health system is changing. Some examples of emerging issues for health care might be an increase in the number of doctors who are joining concierge medical practices, an increased use of convenient care clinics by the population, or the closing of certain hospital services. Examples of emerging issues in public health could be the shift from direct services to community health development or planned changes in the community transportation system. Changes in reimbursement structures, rates, or payment mechanisms can create or exacerbate access issues.
These systems-level emerging issues must be considered in any effort to develop strategies to reduce barriers to health care (Measure 7.2.1, Required Documentation 2). Emerging public health, the health care system, and health care reimbursement issues can be challenges and/or opportunities and must be factored into efforts to increase access to care. Therefore, the incidence or prevalence of a particular disease is not an appropriate example to meet the intent of Required Documentation 3 of Measure 7.1.1
PHNCI Releases Updated FPHS Materials and New Implementation Guide
Since their development in spring 2013, the foundational public health services (FPHS) have been used by many states to describe both the infrastructure and programs that no health department should be without, and to estimate service delivery costs. Based on several years of work by 21st century states (Ohio, Oregon, and Washington) and others in the field, PHNCI is excited to release a suite of
, including an updated
document that describes the alignment between the FPHS and accreditation,
and a brand
new implementation guide
that can be used to guide the building of a strong public health infrastructure through FPHS implementation. All materials can be found at
QUALITY IMPROVEMENT CORNER
Editor's Note: Welcome to the second installment of Quality Improvement Corner. Here, PHAB Accreditation Specialist April Harris, MPH, CHES, shares recent changes to the accredited health department's Annual Report process.
In the spirit of continuous improvement, PHAB has been working to revise the Annual Report template. A survey was conducted of a subset of accredited health departments. Based on that feedback, in particular the desire to have the Annual Report process better prepare health departments for reaccreditation, PHAB worked with the Evaluation and Quality Improvement Committee to revise the Section II template. The new version went into effect on January 1, 2019.
Section II maintains a focus on health departments' quality improvement and performance management journeys, but there are several notable changes. First, the template that health departments submit will be different for each year. Some questions will be consistent from year to year, but there are several questions that will only be asked one year. This is designed to reflect a progression as health departments advance towards reaccreditation. Another significant difference is that many of the questions reference specific Reaccreditation Measures. PHAB encourages health departments to begin reviewing the measure requirements in the
Guide to National Public Health Department Reaccreditation
as they complete the new forms. The forms also include some considerations for health departments to help in their preparation. It is PHAB's hope that the revisions will help lay the groundwork for meeting reaccreditation requirements, while also giving health departments the opportunity to share their work and receive feedback.
For example, questions such as "What internal and/or external factors have facilitated your health department's progress in PM/QI since you were accredited?" will be asked in each Annual Report. This could be an opportunity for health departments to discuss a staff training opportunity that helped develop new QI champions. Other questions, such as "Provide an example of how the performance management system informed, steered, or guided quality improvement (Measure 9.2 RD3)," will be asked only one year but are aligned directly with specific reaccreditation measures. PHAB has also added several optional opportunities for health departments to identify areas in which they may like additional resources or feedback.
Moving forward, health departments can reference the Timeline for Section II Form document on the accredited health department portal to determine the correct form to submit. As always, the Word templates will be made available on the accredited health department portal.
NIHB Announces Strong Systems, Stronger Communities Tribal Awardees
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) recently announced the selection of 10 Tribal health departments for the Strong Systems, Stronger Communities (SSSC) initiative. For this first cohort of SSSC awards, NIHB will provide a total support package of $90,000 to the 10 Tribal organizations. This opportunity builds on a former project, NIHB's Tribal Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI), and continues its commitment to strengthening Tribal public health systems by offering support and technical assistance to Tribes as they complete projects to improve their performance, meet national public health accreditation standards, and/or promote interconnection across the public health system to improve population health.
Three awardees will be participating in a self-assessment cohort exploring national public health accreditation. These Tribes will receive training, create a performance-improvement team, and engage in a self-assessment of their current public health capacities in relation to the Public Health Accreditation Board's Standards and Measures. The Self-Assessment Cohort Tribes are Lummi Nation, Taos Pueblo, and Fort Berthold Diabetes Program (Three Affiliated Tribes- Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation).
The Performance/System Improvement Cohort includes Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Forest County Potawatomi Community, Lower Sioux Indian Community, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Sonoma County Indian Health Project, and Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.
ASTHO Releases New Resources on Health Equity and Accreditation
Aligning Accreditation Readiness and Opioid Response Activities:
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) is pleased to share some new resources to help public health departments leverage their accreditation-related activities in the areas of health equity and opioid response.
Health Equity and Public Health Department Accreditation:
Health equity is the opportunity for all people to attain the highest level of health possible. Public health departments play an essential role in providing comprehensive programs and services to the community to address health inequities. Through this issues brief, ASTHO explores innovative programs and policies implemented by health departments to adopt a system-wide approach to health equity, which also align with the PHAB Standards and Measures for all health departments.
PHAB accreditation can help health agencies prepare for and respond to emerging public health issues. By systematically aligning specific accreditation activities with public health priorities, an agency can reduce duplication of efforts amid limited resources and enhance efficiency towards a common goal. This blog explores how the Oregon Health Authority leveraged accreditation-related activities to address the opioid crisis.
NACCHO Announces New Award to Recognize Excellence in Upstream Work in Rural Communities
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is now accepting applications for a new award recognizing excellence in public health practice in rural communities. During its inaugural year, NACCHO will select five rural local health departments who are engaging in successful community work to address the social determinants of health. Awardees will receive $5,000 and recognition at NACCHO Annual 2019. NACCHO will conduct interviews with awardees and their partners to explore key factors for success to inform future capacity- building opportunities. Visit NACCHO's
Rural Social Determinants of Health
page to learn more about the award and application.
PHAB STAFF CORNER
Bulbul Bhattacharya Honored for Five Years of Service to PHAB
|Bulbul Bhattacharya receives five-year recognition award from Kaye Bender.
The year 2018 marked a five-year anniversary for PHAB Data Analyst Bulbul Bhattacharya, MPH. Bulbul joined PHAB in March 2013 and spends most of her time sorting through and analyzing e-PHAB data.
Bulbul is part of the Research and Evaluation team at PHAB. When you see a report from PHAB about performance on the standards and measures, or how many health departments are accredited or in the process, it is highly likely that Bulbul prepared that report. PHAB is pleased to have her as part of our team!
WORD ON THE STREET: Accreditation Questions & Answers
1. Now that PHAB is ready to launch the vital records/health statistics accreditation program, does that mean that PHAB intends to develop other program modules?
No. The functions of the statewide vital records and health statistics units are unique and different from the general public health functions of health departments. The
National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS), approached PHAB five years ago
with standards that they had developed to guide statewide systems in this work. PHAB, NAPHSIS, the National Center for Health Statistics, and CDC worked to ensure that performance could be measured with the standards and to test the process. These are related to, but very different from, state health department accreditation. Therefore, they merited their own accreditation module.
2. I noticed that PHAB announced the accreditation of an Army public health department in the last accreditation decisions. I also noticed that PHAB is requesting feedback on customized Army public health accreditation standards. Can you please explain how one Army public health department received accreditation when the customized standards are just now ready for vetting?
The Army public health department at Ft. Riley in Kansas, applied and went through the accreditation process as a local health department. PHAB posted guidance on its website for installations that had wished to do that in the past. Since that time, the Army has requested that PHAB customize its standards and measures in order for accreditation to be more applicable to the Army public health/preventive medicine setting. When the standards and measures now posted for public vetting are approved by the PHAB Board of Directors, PHAB will use them for any future reviews of Army public health departments.
3. Who at PHAB may we contact for specific questions and technical assistance?
You may contact:
Mark Paepcke, Chief Administrative Officer, for information about fees and contractual information, or e-PHAB. He may be reached at
or 703-778-4549, ext. 104.
Robin Wilcox, Chief Program Officer, for information 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, Chelsey Saari, Brittan Williams, Accreditation Specialists, for information 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; Chelsey may be reached at
or 703-778-4549, ext. 130; and Brittan at
or 703-778-4549, ext. 115.
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.
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.
Jeff Lake, Volunteer Services Manager, for information 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, Education Services Manager, for information about PHAB's education services, including orientations and learning events. He may be reached at
or 703-778-4549, ext. 105.
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.
Jessica Kronstadt, Director of Research and Evaluation, for information about public health accreditation-related research and evaluation. She may be reached at
or 703-778-4549, ext. 117.
Teddi Nicolaus, Communications Manager, for media requests and questions related to PHAB's E-Newsletter, website, online store, 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, for all matters related to the 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, the Board of Directors, committees/think tanks, and student opportunities. She may be reached at
or 703-778-4549, ext. 103.
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