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North Central Health District


NCHD County Health Departments Receive National Accreditation Through the PHAB


PHAB-Accredited Health Departments Demonstrate Capacity to Serve Their Communities Well

NCHD and each of its 13 county health departments have achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and ultimately transforming the quality and performance of public health departments. NCHD is one of fewer than 200 health departments that have achieved accreditation through PHAB since the organization launched in 2011.

“Our entire staff is excited to be recognized for achieving national standards that demonstrate our commitment to providing high-quality services within our counties,” said NCHD Accreditation Coordinator Miranda Helms. “The accreditation process helps to ensure that the programs and services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of each county. With accreditation, NCHD and our county health departments demonstrate increased accountability and credibility to the public, partner organizations, our county boards of health and other elected officials.”

The national accreditation program, jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sets standards against which the nation’s nearly 3,000 governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance. To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.

“Whenever you see our seal of accreditation, you will know that NCHD has been thoroughly examined and meets or exceeds national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health,” said Helms. “We continuously improve our services and performance to make sure we are meeting the public health needs of those we serve as effectively as possible.”

Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. In cities, towns and states across the nation, health departments provide a range of services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; ensuring access to safe food, water, clean air, and life-saving immunizations; and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.

NCHD works to address community health concerns as identified in each county’s community health assessment. NCHD provides each of its 13 counties with a wide variety of services through each county health department. Each health department is staffed by a team of professionals who work tirelessly to protect the community they serve. County health departments can provide:

  • Family planning services
  • High-blood pressure and diabetes services
  • STD and HIV testing, treatment and counseling
  • Immunizations for children and adults
  • And much more

For a full list of services provided by NCHD, visit

“NCHD joins the growing ranks of accredited health departments in a strong commitment to their public health mission,” said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The peer-review process provides valuable feedback to inform health departments of their strengths and areas for improvement, so that they can better protect and promote the health of the people they serve in their communities. Residents of a community served by a nationally accredited health department can be assured that their health department has demonstrated the capacity to protect and promote the health of that community.”

The national accreditation program was created collaboratively over a 10-year period by hundreds of public health practitioners working at the national, Tribal, state, and local levels. Since the program’s launch in September 2011, hundreds of public health departments have applied to PHAB for accreditation, and hundreds of public health practitioners from across the nation have been trained to serve as volunteer peer site visitors for the program.

“Achieving accreditation indicates that the county health departments of NCHD are dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the community by striving to continuously improve the quality of the services it delivers,” said Ray (Bud) Nicola, MD, MHSA, chair of PHAB’s Board of Directors and affiliate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle. “Accreditation also promotes consistency in meeting standards. With an ever-increasing number of health departments now applying for and becoming accredited, you will be able to expect to receive the same quality of public health services wherever you go in the United States.”

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), established in 2007, was created to serve as the national public health accrediting body, and is jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The development of national public health accreditation has involved, and is supported by, public health leaders and practitioners from the national, Tribal, state, and local levels. Learn more about PHAB or sign up for the PHAB e-newsletter by visiting

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