Issue #79 September 2020 
Greetings from PHAB:
Paul Kuehnert
PHAB President & CEO

The past six months have been a time of tremendous challenges for public health in the United States, unlike any other in the past 100 years. Not only are we dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic but we are doing so in a difficult economic environment, one in which millions of community members have lost their jobs, businesses have been shuttered, and revenue streams for state and local governments have shrunk dramatically. Further, the recent deaths at the hands of the police of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Prude and so many other African-American men and women have highlighted the pervasiveness of racism and injustice in our society and raised the urgent call for the public health community to respond to the public health crisis of systemic racism and health inequities.
PHAB has sought to be responsive and supportive to health departments during this crisis. Initially, we paused all our accreditation and other program activities for the three months from late March through June. Based on direct feedback from accredited and "in-the-accreditation-process" health departments (click here to see a complete report of the survey conducted in May and June), we are doing whatever we can do to make sure that the accreditation process is not burdensome as public health deals with these crises. We intend to be as flexible as possible while health departments respond to their communities' needs while continuing their commitment to performance improvement through accreditation (click here for details regarding how and what we are doing to accommodate health departments' needs during this unprecedented crisis while also maintaining the value and integrity of accreditation).
Over these past few months, we have also taken some time to work with our national public health partners to better understand and anticipate the near-future needs and opportunities of public health and PHAB by conducting a strategic planning process. While the process is not yet completed, it will be in a few weeks' time. I look forward to sharing both the continued commitments and the new priorities that we will be focusing on in the next edition of our newsletter. So, please stay tuned!
In the meantime, thank you for all that you and your colleagues are doing each day: to respond to the current crises; to protect and promote the health of our diverse communities; and to create the conditions in which all community members have fair and just opportunities for their best and healthiest lives!

Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN
PHAB President & CEO
PHAB Provides Flexibility for Applicants during COVID-19 

PHAB has released Supplemental Guidance for PHAB Accreditation Procedures to provide flexibility for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance was developed based on the results of a survey of accredited and in-process health departments and of volunteer site visitors. These procedures will be in place through the end of June 2021 and address such topics as: extensions, documentation examples, site visits, the documentation review process, and Annual Reports. PHAB has also released an Addendum to its guidance on acceptable examples focused on COVID-19 examples. PHAB will evaluate all these temporary changes. Health departments should reach out to their Accreditation Specialist with any questions. We are inspired by health departments' response efforts and are here to support their accreditation journeys during these difficult times.
Revised 10 Essential Public Health Services Now Available
Yesterday, as part of The Futures Initiative: the 10 Essential Public Health Services, the Public Health National Center for Innovations at PHAB, the de Beaumont Foundation, and a Task Force of public health experts for the reveal of a revised version of the 10 Essential Public Health Services. A recording of the launch event, including the Q&A, is available for viewing.

To ensure the framework continues to serve as a roadmap to protect and promote the health of all people in all communities, we encourage you and your organization to join us by adopting the revised framework - updating your website and teaching materials, hosting internal discussions, and sharing the revised 10 EPHS framework with key stakeholders are a few ways you may consider in order to adopt.

We've also put together a free digital toolkit with adoption resources. The toolkit includes a variety of easy-to-use content, including downloadable graphics, a comparison document that demonstrates the relationship between the revised and original framework, research materials, slide decks, and more. View the complete toolkit at
Accreditation in the News

PHAB Congratulates Newly Accredited and Reaccredited Health Departments
On September 1, 2020, eleven health departments were accredited or reaccredited. We congratulate each of them as they achieve this milestone and look forward to continued work together as they move forward in their performance improvement journeys. Read more in the press release and join us in congratulating the following health departments:
National initial accreditation was awarded September 1, 2020 to:
  • Denton County Public Health, Denton, TX
  • Ontario County Public Health, Canandaigua, NY
  • Schuyler County Health Services, Watkins Glen, NY
  • Seneca County Health Department, Waterloo, NY
  • Steuben County Public Health, Steuben, NY
  • Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Branch, Visalia, CA
  • Wayne County Public Health, Lyon, NY
  • Yates County Public Health, Penn Yan, NY
  • Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center, Pendleton, OR
National reaccreditation was awarded March 17, 2020 to:
  • Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL
  • Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma City, OK
PHAB Accreditation Featured in The Hill
Last month, PHAB's Vice President for Programs, Research and Evaluation, Jessica Kronstadt, and Erika Martin published an article in The Hill entitled "The recipe to rebuild a more robust and resilient public health system." The recipe includes funding for public health infrastructure, PHAB accreditation and innovation as a means to enable health department to respond to future emergencies and move toward equity. It further highlights the importance of equity, working with partners, the use of the evidence base and quality improvement, all of which are included in PHAB standards and measures. Read the article here.
COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program
PHAB's COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program Checklists were developed to support accredited health departments' COVID-19 contact tracing efforts. The checklists itemize key elements of a COVID-19 contact tracing program and focus on those elements that must especially be considered for a rapid expansion of the number of contact tracers conducting COVID-19 investigations and follow-up. Depending on local circumstances and resources, contact tracing initiatives are likely to take many forms. However, PHAB's checklists will benefit health departments no matter how they are implementing COVID-19 contact tracing in their jurisdictions. For more information and to access the checklists, click here.
Quality Improvement Corner

Introducing Quality Improvement to New Staff

Welcome to Quality Improvement Corner, where PHAB Accreditation Specialist April Harris shares information about introducing quality improvement activities to new health department staff. 

April Harris
Think back to your first day on the job - bombarded with documents, signatures and introductions. While it is an appropriate time for health departments to introduce the basics of their work environment, including a culture of quality improvement, it can be an overwhelming time to absorb new information. It's important that health departments set the tone early for a new employee that quality improvement is more than a checkbox on a list of required trainings.  Onboarding activities should be the starting point to many other opportunities to understand and get involved with QI.  Read more about introducing QI to new staff here.
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!

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