Issue #80 November 2020 
Greetings from PHAB:

Paul Kuehnert
PHAB President & CEO
We all know that we are in an unprecedented time. With a pandemic public health has not been adequately funded or staffed to respond to, a renewed movement toward racial justice, and a historic election, our resources, time, energy, and, likely, mental health are stretched thin. As I conclude my first year as the President & CEO of PHAB, I have been reflecting on all that 20
20 has brought, and taken, from our lives.
Owen Arthur said, "For he who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything." And at PHAB, we are looking ahead to the coming months with hope. While I do not minimize the impact and trauma that COVID-19, racism, and political divisiveness has caused, we do have reason to hope. Since April, we have been inspired by the renewed movement toward racial justice, with more energy and community activism than I have seen since my days as a community organizer in St. Louis and Chicago from 1969-1972. In recent days and weeks, we have seen some substantial movement toward science-based public policy at state, Tribal, and local levels as we address the surging COVID-19 pandemic. With the promise of effective vaccines on the horizon in early 2021 and a new administration that is pledging new levels of energy and commitment to fully meet the challenges posed by the pandemic, we have reason to hope that more resources will be put toward state, Tribal, local, and territorial public health and public health infrastructure soon.
Our hope is tempered by our knowledge that health departments have been stretched well beyond their limits. Leadership and frontline workers are tired and have faced personal and professional challenges unlike any we have seen before. And yet, nearly every day, I hear a new, inspiring story of a public health worker or department that demonstrates our passion to work relentlessly to improve the health, well-being, and equity of our communities.
We want you to know that we hear you and we see you. And at PHAB, we have been making adjustments in our policies and practices to support you. From amending accreditation policies and processes to creating flexibility for grantees and adjusting our own expectations about how we accomplish our work, we have worked hard to position PHAB to remain a partner to advancing public health practice through innovation and accreditation during this remarkable year.
Our new organizational strategic plan is a direct response to this turbulent environment. With leadership and guidance from our Board of Directors and national partners, our new plan, which runs from October 1, 2020-March 31, 2022, is now final and is summarized below. We hope that you see yourselves reflected in it, for all that we do at PHAB is meant to be in service to you, our public health heroes.

What the strategic plan means in practice:
1. Reinforce the need for public health system improvement and the role of accreditation 
This priority reflects our focus on building strategic efforts with our partners to support public health infrastructure, the education of policymakers, and enhance our own and health departments' abilities to communicate the value of accreditation to our stakeholders.

2. Advance governmental public health through innovation
This priority focuses on the identifying, celebrating, and disseminating innovative practices in health departments and the incorporation of innovation into PHAB processes and products.
3. Achieve health equity and anti-racism
This priority reflects PHAB's unequivocal commitment to incorporating anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of our work, internally and externally.
4. Strengthen standards and resources to support health departments' capabilities
We are committed to updating our accreditation standards and measures during the next year and releasing a new version of them early in 2022. As part of this priority, we will also provide new tools and resources that are useful to health departments working toward improving their performance.
5. Retain accredited health departments
This priority reflects our focus on serving our customers, through assessing and streamlining processing and exploring the incentivization of accreditation/reaccreditation.
6. Ensure programs and services meet continuum of health department needs
Our efforts here will focus on the development of new PHAB programs and products to recognize health department performance along a spectrum, both those that are not-yet-ready to be accredited and to those who wish to demonstrate excellence beyond the existing standards and measures.
Together, these six priorities will chart our course for the next 18 months. We will continue to seek and use your feedback to inform our work during this time and make course corrections as needed. I invite you to explore our strategic plan in detail  and stay engaged with PHAB as we do our best to meet your needs. And as always, we look forward to your feedback.

Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN
PHAB President & CEO
COVID-19 and Accreditation 

Based on health department feedback received in spring/summer 2020, PHAB has made a number of temporary policy and process changes to the accreditation program to accommodate health department responses to COVID-19. Please take a moment to tell us how PHAB can support your accreditation efforts at this time:
Congratulations to Health Departments Receiving Accreditation/Reaccreditation This Month
PHAB extends our congratulations to four health departments for their achievement of accreditation/reaccreditation on November 13, 2020.

National reaccreditation was awarded to:
  • Central Michigan District Health Department, Mount Pleasant, MI
  • El Paso County Public Health, Colorado Springs, CO
National initial accreditation was awarded to:
  • Ross County Health District, Chillicothe, OH
  • Unified Government Public Health Department, Kansas City, KS
Please join us in celebrating these high-performing health departments! Click here to read the full press release.
Quality Improvement Corner

Updated Improvement Resources

Welcome to Quality Improvement Corner, where PHAB Accreditation Specialist April Harris, MPH, CHES, shares quality improvement resources. 

April Harris
Amid our current public health environment, connections and sharing have never been more important. Are you interested in resources to stay engaged and continue improvement efforts in your health department? We've compiled several of our national partner's resources and learning communities that may be helpful to you and your improvement work. Check out a few new strategies to stay connected! Click here to read more.
Grant Opportunity for Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health (Deadline: December 8, 2020)
ASTHO and NACCHO have released a Request for Proposals to fund up to 50 communities at $50,000 each to evaluate their work to advance health equity by addressing social determinants of health (SDoH). The purpose of this funding opportunity is to identify and learn from multisector coalitions with a demonstrated history of addressing the SDoH outcomes related to chronic disease conditions, focusing on the built environment, clinical-community linkages, food insecurity, social connectedness, and tobacco-free policies. In order to build the evidence-base for collaborative approaches to SDoH, the project will evaluate and assess through technical support the impact of the coalitions' recent SDoH experience and highlight successful strategies and interventions. Local, state, tribal, and territorial health departments are encouraged to apply.
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