The Scott County Health Department (SCHD) announced December 11 that it has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The national public health accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation’s state, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments. SCHD is one of fewer than 250 of the nation’s nearly 3,000 health departments that have thus far achieved accreditation through PHAB since the organization launched in 2011.
“SCHD is very pleased to have been awarded accredited status by the Public Health Accreditation Board. The process involved an effort by our entire staff that concentrated on quality improvement and documenting how our programs and services met or exceeded national standards,” said Ed Rivers, Director of the Scott County Health Department. “We’re very proud of the work we do in the community, and having the Public Health Accreditation board validate that work by awarding us accredited status demonstrates our commitment to excellence.”
To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures established by the Public Health Accreditation Board. The standards measure the ability of a health department to prevent disease and injury, prepare for and respond to public health emergencies, and promote health behaviors in its community, among other services.
“We underwent a thorough review that included a site visit by public health peer reviewers who assessed our performance against standards. When you look at our seal of accreditation, you can rest assured that it means the Scott County Health Department has undergone a rigorous assessment process to ensure it is performing at a high level,” said Rivers.
The Scott County Health Department provides a variety of programs and services to protect, promote, and preserve the health of Scott County. Services range from health inspections to childhood immunizations to initiatives that promote policy change to improve the health of communities and workplaces. SCHD also plays a critical role in the community-wide Quad Cities Community Health Assessment and implements a Community Health Improvement Plan with goals and strategies to improve the community’s top needs.
“Accreditation means that SCHD has met national standards for high quality public health services, leadership, and accountability. With accreditation, we are telling the community that our health department is a top performer and that we are meeting the public health needs of those we serve effectively. We are demonstrating increased accountability and credibility to everyone — the public, funders, elected officials, and partner organizations,” said Rivers.
“The Scott County Health Department 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.”
For more information on the programs and services provided by the Scott County Health Department, visit the Health Department’s website at www.scottcountyiowa.com/health.