The PHAB Center for Innovation serves as a national initiative guiding health departments in using innovation as a tool to drive change and improve health and equity. The Center for Innovation:

  • Drives public health transformation through collaboration, thought leadership, and systems-based learning.

  • Collaborates with partners to explore how equity is and should be embedded in public health transformation, including developing strategies to implement innovation processes that intentionally include equitable practices.

  • Provides a learning space for health departments’ innovations.

  • Identifies and fosters innovations in health departments and public health system by:

    • Collecting lessons learned and success stories from grantee programs and learning comm
    • Developing and sharing resources, tools, education, and expertise to guide health departments in developing or replication innovations in their community.
    • Connecting innovators within public health and across sectors.
  • Monitors, disseminates, and builds the science of public health innovation.

Our Work

Public Health Frameworks

The Foundational Public Health Services (FPHS) and the 10 Essential Public Health Services (10 EPHS) are two frameworks used to guide public health.

The 21st Century Learning Community

The 21st Century Learning Community (21C) is a group of states focused on intentional state-wide public health system transformation using the FPHS;

The FPHS Capacity & Cost Assessment

Supports health departments and health department systems to assess their current spending and capacity towards the FPHS determine the needed investments…


The governmental public health workforce needs resources and support. Tools support health departments with their workforce planning efforts.

Data Modernization

To serve our communities equitably, governmental health departments need access to modern, real-time, hyperlocal data and tools.

Service & Resource Sharing

Helps public health departments and systems collaborate and share across boundaries, with the common goal of encouraging better health and equity in the communities they serve.

Cross Sector

Identify and support public health, healthcare, and social services organizations striving to build stronger, sustainable connections to better meet the goals and needs of the people they serve.


The PHAB Center for Innovation host webinars around topics that are of interest or address questions health departments have around public health transformation.

In recognition of The Center for Innovation’s five-year anniversary, we contracted with NORC at the University of Chicago to conduct an impact evaluation. View our key accomplishments.

Relationship between Accreditation, Innovation, and Transformation.

The FPHS framework outlines the unique responsibilities of governmental public health and defines the minimum set of services that must be available in every community. Several states are working to transform their governmental public health system using this framework and are participating in the 21C initiative to share their learnings and learn from others. As Foundational Capabilities are being addressed at the state level, PHAB has also identified and infused Foundational Capabilities in its Standards & Measures and Pathways, a recognition program to support local health departments on their performance improvement journey.

Federal funding paired with renewed commitments to achieving health equity presents an opportunity for transformation in public health at all levels. PHAB’s national accreditation program and the Center for Innovation’s focus on public health innovation offers the chance to strengthen health departments and advance public health practice to create conditions for all communities to thrive.