April 18, 2023

Dear colleagues,

We have become aware that a for-profit health care entity has released what they have labeled as a “Local Health Department Accreditation Program.” We wanted to reach out to the field to clear up any confusion.

PHAB Accreditation for local, state, Territorial, U.S. Army, and Tribal health departments is the sole U.S. national, voluntary, peer-reviewed accreditation program. In 2007, we began a four-year period of program development and testing that involved volunteers and staff from APHA, ASTHO, NACCHO, NALBOH, NIHB, CDC, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as well as local, state, and Tribal health departments. We then released our first set of Standards and Measures and began accepting applications for accreditation in 2011. Earlier this year, we marked the 10th anniversary of the first cohort of health departments that were accredited. Since that time, another 450 health departments serving over 90% of the U.S. population have been accredited. We are the sole public health accreditation program that meets OMB A-119 circular requirements that guide federal participation in and support of accreditation programs.

Following extensive input from the field and an open vetting process, we issued the most recent, updated version of the national public health accreditation Standards and Measures in July 2022. At the same time, we released our new Pathways Recognition program that was developed in collaboration with NACCHO and after extensive input from and testing by Tribal and smaller local health departments. In 2019, we began offering accreditation for Vital Records and Health Statistics units, with NAPHSIS and extensive field input.

Similarly, our Center for Innovation and our Center for Sharing Public Health Services have developed a set of tools and free resources to support health departments and state-based public health systems in innovative ways to modernize and transform public health.

PHAB’s national accreditation program for health departments and our other programs and services have been created by practitioners for practitioners to advance and transform public health practice. I deeply appreciate the hundreds of volunteers from departments across the country who have devoted tens of thousands of hours to develop and implement these programs and services alongside our staff.

Please contact me or any member of the PHAB staff with any questions.

Sincerely yours,

Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN

President and CEO