Media Contact: Keith Coleman [email protected]

The transformational investment will significantly improve Missouri’s public health infrastructure and strengthen public health across the state.

June 5, 2024 – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) and the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) are leading efforts to improve the state’s public health infrastructure. Through investment in public health accreditation for all local public health agencies, MDHSS is supporting accreditation-related activities to enhance the readiness and effectiveness of public health services statewide.

Public health accreditation ensures that health agencies meet national standards for delivering essential public health services, enhancing their capacity to respond effectively to public health challenges. As part of this effort, the MDHSS is covering the cost of the PHAB Readiness Assessment for all local public health agencies in the state that are interested and are offering incentive funding for this effort. Nearly 50% of all local public health agencies in Missouri have taken advantage of this opportunity either by completing the Readiness Assessment or attending a PHAB training.

The PHAB Readiness Assessment evaluates the departments’ readiness to pursue accreditation, identifies strengths and areas for improvement, and assesses capacity in key areas of public health. The assessment will also provide a snapshot of the state’s collective public health capacity and guide the state’s efforts to build and strengthen public health infrastructure.

“This investment will undoubtedly result in transformative public health programs and services across the entire state of Missouri,” said Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN, PHAB President and CEO. “Accreditation enhances the quality and effectiveness of public health services and fosters a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. We look forward to supporting Missouri’s journey toward creating a bold new public health infrastructure that will result in better outcomes for Missourians for years to come.”

Missouri also uses other PHAB tools to build capacity, strengthen infrastructure, and promote public health system transformation. Missouri is a member of the PHAB 21st Century Learning Community, where MDHSS and other partners collaborate with 17 other states to share leading practices and promote systemwide transformation. Additionally, local public health agencies in Missouri are undertaking the Foundational Public Health Services (FPHS) Capacity & Cost Assessment to understand the resources and expertise needed for delivering foundational services as outlined in the national FPHS framework.

These efforts combined underscore the collective commitment to improving the health and well-being of communities through systematic transformation and alignment with national standards of public health practices.

To learn more about the MDHSS, visit

To learn more about PHAB’s Tools for Public Health Transformation, visit


About PHAB

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) is a 501(c)(3) organization and is the sole national accrediting body for public health in the U.S. PHAB supports health departments in their work to serve their communities with many tools and resources, and helps strengthen health department infrastructure, workforce, and data modernization efforts to promote public health system transformation.