Greetings from PHAB:
It is finally fall at the PHAB office, and we are ready for it! Summer may be fun, but when the weather gets cooler and the leaves start falling, we can tell that a change is happening! I was reading that in literary circles, autumn may refer to ripeness, change, maturity, beauty, or preparing for an end - just before the winter and a new beginning. For many people, fall is a time to reflect as the year is approaching its end; gathering harvests of the year; and thinking about all of the possibilities for a new year. PHAB is no different. We love seeing the "harvests" of accreditation as we hear about your stories and what your health department accomplished with accreditation. We are also excited about the new possibilities of 2020 as we plan to accredit some new areas of public health. Our organizational life is reflective, but not planning to be dormant as the new year approaches.
At the end of this calendar year, I plan to retire from my position of President and CEO of PHAB. This decision comes after much reflection on my own part about life and just how short it can be. I still believe in the promise that public health accreditation has to offer, but it's time for me to spend more flexible time with my family. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much I have enjoyed our relationships. It's because of you, accreditation supporters, that the program has developed and grown as it has. I will forever be grateful for this time I have spent at PHAB's helm and for your part in ensuring PHAB's success.
In December, I will introduce you to PHAB's new President/CEO, who will lead the next several years of PHAB's growth, development and improvement. I am excited about the potential that the new person will bring to the position. I would also like to ensure you that I remain committed, as does our Board of Directors, to ensuring a smooth transition.
F. Scott Fitzgerald said that "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." Here's to fall and the promise that it brings!
Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN
Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN
President and CEO
PHAB BOARD OF DIRECTORS: News & Notes
Accreditation Committee Bids Farewell to Two Long-Term Members
PHAB has a number of highly visible, hard-working committees, but the Accreditation Committee is key to the accreditation process. Committee members spend long hours reading site visit reports and making accreditation decisions. They also advise PHAB on changes in our review process that will strengthen the program. And they remain committed to fairness.
The terms of committee members rotate, and so PHAB must bid farewell to long-term Accreditation Committee members Chris Atchison from Iowa and Burt Wilcke from Vermont. They will complete their terms of service
in December 2019. PHAB thanks Chris and Burt for the hard work they provided to PHAB through the years.
F. Douglas Scutchfield to Receive APHA's Sedgwick Memorial Medal
The American Public Health Association (APHA) announced it will award the prestigious 2019 Sedgwick Memorial Medal for Distinguished Service in Public Health to F. Douglas Scutchfield, MD, the Peter P. Bosomworth professor emeritus at the University of Kentucky's College of Public Health, for his outstanding accomplishments in academic medicine and public health. Dr. Scutchfield, who is the founding dean of both the San Diego State University School of Public Health and the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, is being honored for his work on public health accreditation and public health services research and mentorship, among numerous other accomplishments. The award will be presented Nov. 5 during APHA's 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo in Philadelphia. Dr. Scutchfield served on PHAB's Board of Directors from 2012 to 2017 and chaired the Accreditation Committee throughout his Board tenure.
The entire PHAB family joins in thanking "Scutch" for his service to PHAB, and extends its congratulations on this well-deserved achievement.
PHAB NEWS, NOTES & UPDATES
Benefits of PHAB Accreditation Reaching More Communities as Covered Population Continues to Climb
PHAB awarded national initial accreditation status to seven more health departments in August, bringing the benefits of national accreditation to 80 percent of the U.S. population. In addition, three health departments achieved national reaccreditation in August, thereby extending their accreditation status for five more years. As of August 21, 2019, a total of 36 state health departments, 236 local health departments, three Tribal health departments, and one statewide integrated local public health department system (Florida) have achieved PHAB's prestigious accreditation designation.
National initial accreditation was awarded August 21, 2019 to:
- Coconino County Health and Human Services, Flagstaff, Arizona
- County of Riverside Department of Public Health, Riverside, California
- Delaware County Health Department, Jay, Oklahoma
- Howard County Health Department, Columbia, Maryland
- Richland Public Health, Mansfield, Ohio
- Vanderburgh County Health Department, Evansville, Indiana
- Washoe County Health District, Reno, Nevada
National reaccreditation was awarded August 21, 2019 to:
- Kansas City Missouri Health Department, Kansas City, Missouri
- Livingston County Department of Health, Mt. Morris, New York
- Wood County Health Department, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Cuyahoga County Board of Health staff joined for a group photo in late August to celebrate the health department's achievement of initial accreditation.
Join PHAB's Site Visitor Team and See the World! Qualified Volunteers Now Being Recruited!
PHAB is issuing a call for more site visitors to conduct peer review for initial accreditation, reaccreditation, Army installation accreditation, and state Vital Records and Health Statistics (VRHS) Unit accreditation. Site visitors play a central and pivotal role in PHAB's accreditation model.
PHAB offers in-person training in Alexandria 3 to 4 times a year for site visitors who wish to review documentation for initial accreditation of state, local, tribal, or territorial health departments; Army installations; and VRHS Units.
As an alternative to in-person training, those interested in reaccreditation peer review should note that PHAB offers two webinars that will prepare individuals to review narratives and other documentation. The reaccreditation webinars are self-study and will be followed by a conference call to review the case study. A reaccreditation site visit does not require travel; it is instead done "virtually" and can be completed in four hours or less.
Seventeen public health professionals paused for a photo on Sept. 24, 2019 during a two-day site visitor training event at PHAB's office in Alexandria, Virginia.
Site Visitors AZ Snyder and Christa Cupp Selected for Inclusion in de Beaumont Foundation's Inaugural "40 Under 40 in Public Health"
PHAB is pleased to announce that two members of our site visitor team, AZ Snyder and Christa Cupp, were recently selected for inclusion in the de Beaumont Foundation's inaugural edition of
40 Under 40 in Public Health.
The list recognizes young leaders whose creative problem-solving skills and innovative solutions are going far to improve communities across the country.
Site Visitor Christa Cupp
is a public health educator at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Office of Policy & Practice Alignment
. Site Visitor AZ Snyder
serves as the director/health officer at the Pierce County (Wisconsin) Public Health Department. AZ and Christa are among the 24 women and 16 men from 23 states and one U.S. commonwealth who were selected for their creative approaches and innovative solutions to improve community health. (Read about their
Nominees were evaluated by a distinguished panel of professionals from the nonprofit, business, and higher education sectors on their demonstrated leadership, contributions to the health of their communities, and collaboration with other organizations.
Christa joined PHAB's site vistor team in 2018 and is presently on her second site visitor assignment. She holds a bachelor's degree in community health education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, a Master of Public Health from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and maintains a Master Certified Health Education Specialist certificate. Site Visitor AZ Snyder joined PHAB's site visitor team this year and is presently participating in her first site visit assignment. She holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
In a recent Q&A with PHAB, Christa and AZ shared their views on the importance of being a site visitor for PHAB.
to read their thoughts on the topic.
Data/Surveillance/Informatics Think Tank Members Meet in September
As PHAB continues to work on revisions to the initial and reaccreditation standards and measures (Version 2.0), we continue with think tanks and expert panels. The Data/Surveillance/Informatics Think Tank was held on September 10-11, 2019 in Decatur, GA. The purposes of this think tank were to
review the current health department accreditation standards and measures related to surveillance, informatics, and data use for decision-making capacity; to discuss any pertinent changes in public health practice related to surveillance/data/informatics and/or support for health departments work in this area; to recommend potential revisions in the accreditation standards and measures as PHAB prepares updates for its accreditation standards and measures; and to provide input into the review of the ten Essential Public Health Services. Participants included representatives from state and local health departments, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Public Health Informatics Institute, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, National Association of County and City Health Officials, and NORC. The materials from this think tank will be available by mid-November on PHAB's website at
Members of the Data/Surveillance/Informatics Think Tank gathered for a meeting in Decatur, Georgia, September 10-11, 2019.
PHAB Issues Call for Commissioned Papers
As PHAB continues its work to refresh its standards and measures for both initial and reaccreditation (Version 2.0), one of the ways that information is gathered is through commissioned papers. PHAB has two calls for commissioned papers that are available for interested party response.
PHAB is commissioning a paper on the topic of community engagement in order to better understand the state-of-the-art and direction of public health department work on the development of healthy people in healthy communities through authentic partnerships. The commissioned paper will address topics as noted in the call and make recommendations concerning what health departments should be expected to do to support and cultivate effective and authentic community engagement. This information will be used by PHAB for further discussion and consideration for future accreditation standards.
to download the call for this commissioned paper.
PHAB is also commissioning a paper to better understand the state of the art and direction of state and local public health department administration and management work. Once the paper has been completed, PHAB will convene a think tank of thought leaders to review the recommendations from the paper. A set of proposed requirements related to Domain 11 will be developed for consideration of inclusion in Version 2.0.
to download the call for this commissioned paper.
PHAB Announces Launch of New Bridge Education Portal
PHAB is pleased to announce the launch of
, our new education portal. Previously, PHAB's education products were located across four different sites, requiring a
separate login for each. With
Bridge, all of our educational products will be available with a single sign-on. Several modules are presently available on Bridge, with more under development. PHAB's online orientation has been updated and is now on Bridge. The orientation for reaccreditation and vital records and health statistics accreditation are also available. Other courses now available include:
- Using the Readiness Checklists
- Documentation for Accreditation (five-part series)
- The Role of the Accreditation Specialist
Based on how you register, materials will be made available to you based on interest or role. Some materials are limited to specific users, while others are available to anyone. A
is available to help you with registering and navigating the features of Bridge. This guide will be revised and updated as new content is added.
New Infographic Showcases the Value of PHAB Accreditation
Click here to download
Health departments that wish to distribute printed copies of the new infographic to their staff, community partners, and decision-makers should contact PHAB Communications Manager Teddi Nicolaus.
Standards and Measures Documentation: Tips for Success
This is the fifth 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 addresses the requirements for the collection of primary data.
Initial accreditation Measure 1.2.3, and Reaccreditation Measure 1.2, Requirement 3, both require examples of primary data. Some health departments express concern about collecting data. Isn't it complicated? Isn't it expensive? Isn't it time consuming?
Primary data is defined in PHAB's glossary as "data observed or collected from original sources, ranging from more scientifically rigorous approaches such as randomized controlled trials to less rigorous approaches such as case studies."
Health departments start by looking at broad, high level, secondary data. Secondary data, such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, the county health rankings, or census data, can provide a wealth of information concerning the population's health. Those data can raise red flags and point the health department to where it needs to understand more about its community and more about an issue in its community. Data at the county level will not tell the community about the reality of the population's experience, what the population's perspectives and priorities are, or what community resources or resilience can be mobilized to address situations that cause poor health. The purpose of the collection of primary data is to create an increasingly robust, accurate, in-depth, and precise understanding about the complexities of the community. Primary data are required to better understand causes or contributing factors, specific situations, and potential solutions. Click here to read more.
Public Health Design Thinking Workshop Now Available Through PHNCI
As a public health strategist for your community, you need the ability to think boldly and create new ideas. Design thinking gives you the skills to do this and is an emerging practice for agencies with a focus on innovation. Design thinking is a discipline focused on the needs of people, the technical feasibility of an idea, and its overall business viability. The Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), now offers a full-day workshop that will give you these skills, so you can put design thinking to immediate use. Visit our website to learn more or request a workshop.
QUALITY IMPROVEMENT CORNER
Welcome to the fourth installment of Quality Improvement Corner. Here, PHAB Accreditation Specialist April Harris, MPH, CHES, talks about the importance of a quality improvement culture.
In the public health world, we hear the term "assessment" used quite frequently. Assessment is not only one of the three core functions of public health, but is also consistently used throughout PHAB's Standards and Measures. It is the foundation for many public health activities, including quality improvement (QI). Whether your health department is just beginning its journey to foster a culture of quality improvement or working to sustain progress for an active and continuous quality improvement culture, a QI culture assessment is an important step. A Quality Improvement (QI) Culture is defined as shared beliefs, perceptions, norms, values, and expectations of individuals and the organization regarding QI and customer satisfaction.[i]
At times, it may feel as though the QI plan is the first step to establishing a culture of QI, however, an assessment is often needed to collect baseline data, track progress and determine how best to proceed with planning efforts. A QI culture assessment is a natural starting point when drafting or revising your health department's QI plan, so that areas for improvement are clearly identified and incorporated into formal planning. A QI culture assessment can support the ongoing need to advance QI efforts in a health department by providing data on key themes, such as training, which is instrumental in building a culture of QI. Assessments may also reveal strengths among the health department's QI culture, which is a great way to engage and motivate staff to continue improvement work. Click to read more.
PHPIX Update: Transition Now Underway of Former PHQIX Website to a New, Online PHAB Learning Platform
Stay tuned, because PHAB is moving closer to launching the Public Health Performance Improvement Exchange (PHPIX), which encompasses the former PHQIX website. Over the next year, PHAB will continue its work to transition the previous PHQIX site to become a new platform that will provide examples, resources, and recognition related to quality improvement and performance management to help health departments operate more efficiently and effectively and better serve their communities. You can stay up-to-date on the transition here:
PHAB Participates in Annual Conference of National Association of Local Boards of Health
PHAB joined boards of health members from around the nation in in August for the
National Association of Local Boards of Health
(NALBOH) 2019 Annual Conference in Denver. With the majestic Rockies serving as a backdrop, the event -- "Climb Every Mountain: Embracing the Challenges of Board Governance," offered many opportunities for NALBOH members to learn about the roles and responsibilities of boards of health as they relate to accreditation. At an Aug. 15 breakout session, PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender presented on the topic: "What Every Board Member Should Know About Foundational Capabilities of Public Health." Since the release of a 2012 Institute of Medicine Report on financing public health, a great deal of work has been done to address the recommendation that a core set of public health services be identified for funding of public health departments. The session focused on how the foundational capabilities align with the six core functions of governance as well as with accreditation.
Click here to download a fact sheet
, Also on Aug. 15, Dr. Bender presented at a special interactive session titled "Health Departments and Administrative/Governance Accountability: Are We Managing the Right Things for Accreditation?"
NALBOH offers the only national conference that focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing boards of health in their unique governance roles.
||NALBOH members whose work is associated with an accredited health department gathered for a group photo on August 15, 2019 in Denver.
NACCHO and CDC Announce Year 2 of Strong Systems, Stronger Communities Technical Assistance Cohorts for Local Health Departments
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), with support from the Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is pleased to offer Year 2 of a technical assistance (TA) opportunity, Strong Systems, Stronger Communities (SSSC) TA Cohorts for local health departments (LHDs). The SSSC initiative provides support to he lth departments in completing projects to improve their performance, meet national accreditation standards, and promote interconnection across the public health system to improve population health.
Through the 2019-2020 SSSC TA Cohorts, NACCHO will support LHDs in moving upstream to address social determinants of health and health equity by improving the implementation of the community health improvement plan (CHIP), using principles of quality improvement. Each team will hold an Equity Action Lab with their communities, in which they will identify a meaningful goal and design rapid-cycle improvement tests to achieve gains within a short period of time. This training and TA opportunity will include travel to a workshop in Washington, D.C., along with virtual training and TA throughout the project period.
New Resources Available from ASTHO
deliverables from the state, territorial, and freely associated health agencies that participated in ASTHO's 2019 Public Health System Improvement Cohorts. If you are working on accreditation sustainability, reaccreditation, performance management systems, or updating agency plans, you might find these resources helpful. Examples include sustainability plans, performance management team charters, community health assessment frameworks, and more!
to access the final deliverables.
TRAIN Learning Network Reaches Milestone, Surges Past 2 Million Health Workers
The Public Health Foundation
announced last month that the Train Learning Network now reaches more than two million professionals, volunteers, students, and others - expanding learning opportunities to the public health workforce. Many accredited health departments have used TRAIN to meet PHAB's workforce development standards and measures, build skills, and increase capacity.
Uniform Chart of Accounts: Benefits for Local Health Departments
Local health departments (LHDs) face many challenges, including limited funding and resources. The
Uniform Chart of Accounts
(UCOA) can help your LHD operate more efficiently by helping you understand the total costs and programs and services; identify gaps in services; analyze revenue sources; and improve budgeting processes, performance management, and external reporting. And what's more, the UCOA can help you achieve PHAB accreditation by fulfilling the requirement for Standard 11.2: "Establish[ing] effective financial management systems."
In addition to helping your LHD with benchmarking, communication, and budgeting, the UCOA enables apples-to-apples comparisons among participating LHDs and helps fill in the national picture of what it costs to fund public health systems nationwide. Knowing what it costs to provide a basic set of public health services is the first step in building the case for continued funding for important programs.
The UCOA complements, but does not replace, your LHD's unique chart of accounts. With technical assistance and online resource, you'll match your LHD's financial data to the UCOA format. Once you've submitted your financial data, you'll see it in interactive visualizations that "help you look at the revenues and expenditures across the various capabilities, rather than simply those generic line items that you so often have in your city budget" (Health officer from participating LHD). We're also working with current and future UCOA participants to develop our data visualizations, ensuring that we incorporate your needs into useful tools to facilitate better decision-making.
o get involved, visit
or email Melinda Schultz at
to review the memorandum of understanding and sign up for the next kick-off in early November.
NIHB Now Selecting Awardees of Strong System, Stronger Communities Grant
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is in the process of selecting awardees for Strong Systems, Stronger Communities, a funding opportunity provided by NIHB and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NIHB will be announcing six performance and system improvement awardees who will be completing projects to bolster their public health systems, such as engaging in strategic planning, conducting a community health assessment, or strengthening their public health workforce. Awardees may also focus on increased coordination between their public health department and other Tribal programs.
NIHB will also award three self-assessment grants. These Tribes will receive funding and technical assistance to conduct an assessment of their public health capacity using the PHAB Standards and Measures.
NIHB looks forward to announcing the recipients of these awards later this month. For information on previous awardee projects, and other Tribal public health improvement resources visit NIHB's
Strengthening Tribal Public Health Systems website.
WORD ON THE STREET: Accreditation Questions & Answers
1. I understand that PHAB has an initial accreditation review fee and an annual accreditation service support fee. When does the annual accreditation services fee kick in?
The Initial Accreditation Review Fee is based on services provided by staff, peer reviewer's travel and training, the subscription to e-PHAB, and the accreditation coordinator's in-person training, and is due with the application.
The Annual Accreditation Service
s Fee supports the ongoing process of the health department as it goes through the accreditation life cycle and is invoiced each year, beginning 12 months after the Initial Accreditation Review Fee invoice. The Annual Accreditation Services Fee also covers the reaccreditation process so the health department does not need to concern itself with additional budget dollars at the time it is eligible for reaccreditation.
Both the Initial Accreditation Review Fee and the Annual Accreditation Services Fee are reviewed each year and published in January. The year is defined as running from July 1 of that year through June 30 the following year.
2. 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.
PHAB's E-Newsletter is distributed on a periodic basis to more than 6,250 public health professionals. The PHAB E-Newsletter is the best way stay abreast of important news and updates related to PHAB's national accreditation program, as well as learn about the activities, technical assistance and resources available through its partner organizations. Click here to subscribe.
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