Public Health Services Maintains National Public Health Accreditation Status
The Public Health Services department, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, has maintained national public health accreditation, since May 17, 2016, and was re-accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) on August 21, 2023. The recognition signifies that the County has demonstrated meeting national standards and measures in providing quality essential public health services—which include assessing population health; investigating public health problems; informing and educating the public about public health issues; mobilizing community partners; creating policies and plans; enforcing public health laws and regulations; enabling equitable access; supporting and building a diverse and skilled workforce; maintaining a strong public health infrastructure; improving and evaluating services; and advancing health equity across a diverse population.
What Was Involved?
To become re-accredited, the County of San Diego successfully underwent a rigorous review of 242 pages of narratives and an estimated 50 reports and examples, including more than 20 new or updated policies, to demonstrate conformance to 31 measures. Additionally, the County of San Diego received high marks from reviewers after a one-day virtual site visit on July 24, 2023.
Teams of County staff were interviewed about how the public health department puts policies into practice and works with the community to achieve the County’s vision of a just, sustainable, and resilient future for all. PHAB’s standards and measures address the full array of public health functions (assessment, policy development, and assurance). The 10 Essential Public Health Services are stratified across these three functions and represent 10 of the 12 Domains for PHAB’s Version 1.5 (2016). Also, two (2) Domains are related to administrative capacity and governance.
Why Is This Important?
Launched in 2011, national public health accreditation is a relatively new accreditation process in the field of public health for State, tribal, local, and territorial jurisdictions. It was developed out of recognition of the importance of a strong infrastructure to address public health challenges that the nation faces today. These challenges include combating the epidemic of chronic disease; protecting the public from emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases; responding to emergencies, in a time when terrorism and climate change are factors; and advancing health equity across a diverse population.
County of San Diego Accreditation by the Numbers
- The County of San Diego joins over 360 State, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions that have achieved accreditation.
- The County of San Diego is one of twenty-seven California re-accredited health departments (full list here).
- The County of San Diego was one of the first counties to receive initial accreditation designation in May 2016 from PHAB's expanded standards and measures.
- See the press release from PHAB announcing the 16 newly accredited or re-accredited public health departments (August 21, 2023).
For More Information
See the PHAB website for more details on the benefits, standards and measures, process, and research related to public health accreditation: http://www.phaboard.org/.