What promoted you to become a volunteer Site Visitor for PHAB?

I have a supportive employer in the Office of Policy and Practice Alignment (OPPA) within the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Public Health. OPPA provides resources, capacity building, and technical assistance surrounding the Foundational Public Health Service model and leads efforts to improve the organizational competencies of health departments across the state. Having a staff member that is a trained site visitor has expanded OPPA’s understanding of the PHAB standards and measures to provide enhanced support to our partners.

What is your favorite part about being a PHAB site visitor? Can you share an experience as a PHAB Site Visitor that had a lasting impact on you?

The camaraderie and the challenge. Between the pre-site visit calls and the site visit, the relationships built among the site visit team and the accreditation specialist are unique and strong. We each bring our own perspectives. Having the opportunity to engage in robust dialogue surrounding the measures always “fills my bucket.” I’ve looked to each site visit as an opportunity to engage with other public health professionals across the country, which ultimately broadens my perspective and understanding of public health practice.

In late October 2019, I was part of a site visit team, including the accreditation specialist, that really jelled. We had a wonderful, diligent, and supportive site visit team chair. As a team, we really had intentional and robust discussions about the measures. I’m not sure if its because this was one of the last times I travelled before our world and public health changed in 2020, but I have fondly thought back to this site visit over the years.

What is the most important thing you learned as a PHAB Site Visitor?

Read once, read twice, apply what you’ve read, and reflect. In the moment, it is so easy to get caught in the weeds, that you forget the overall intent and impact of the work. So it is good to go back, check, and reflect intent. Not only does this apply to the standards and measures, but so many other personal and professional experiences.

How do you believe being a PHAB site visitor enhances your personal and/or professional growth? Has being a PHAB Site Visitor supported you in your work at your health department?

In my role in OPPA, part of my responsibility includes providing technical assistance to health departments, including accreditation, and implementing other Foundational Capabilities in the Foundational Public Health Services model. The knowledge I have gained has been invaluable and I have been able to support others in OPPA when questions arise about accreditation. Additionally, I have been asked to write sections of our PHAB Annual Report over the years.

Why should others consider becoming a PHAB Site Visitor?

If you are looking for a unique experience to build your understanding of the application of the Foundational Public Health Services Model and the standards and measures while building professional connections, becoming a PHAB site visitor is right for you!

Christa Cupp

Western Region Director, Office of Policy and Practice Alignment Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Department of Health Services

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