National Public Health Accreditation and Public Health Improvement

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), a non-profit organization, was created in 2007 to develop and implement a voluntary national public health accreditation program. The program’s purpose is to help state, local and tribal public health departments assess their current capacity to carry out the 10 essential services of public health, and guide them to become better by improving service, value and public accountability. These enhancements lay the groundwork for improved health outcomes and support health care reform efforts.

Health Departments seeking accreditation submit their best evidence that they meet PHAB’s Standards and Measures Version 2022 which are evidence-based, public health practice standards. Documentation is reviewed and assessed by a team of public health professionals. Three pre-requisites must be in place before submitting an application: health assessment, health improvement plan, and an agency strategic plan. Additionally, health departments must show adoption and implementation of a performance management system. DPH has adopted the Turning Point Performance Management Framework and uses a Performance Dashboard to monitor health improvement and agency performance.

Current status of Accredited Health Departments in Connecticut
  • City of Bridgeport Department of Health & Social Services (May 2023)
  • Naugatuck Valley Health District (initially accredited in 2015, and have been reaccredited)
  • Norwalk Health Department (initially accredited in 2014, and have been reaccredited)
  • Stratford Health Department (initially accredited in 2016, and have been reaccredited)
  • DPH Accreditation Status: Accredited March 2017, submitting materials for reaccreditation in 2023
  • A map of accredited health departments across the nation can be found here
Specific benefits and rewards of accreditation are listed below:
  • Allows public health agencies to engage in continuous quality improvement
  • Furnishes measurable feedback on the agency's strengths and challenges
  • Provides a "seal of approval" validating the agency's services to the public
  • Raises the visibility of public health in the state
  • Demonstrates accountability to taxpayers, funding sources, and elected officials
  • Increases the agency's credibility to its constituents
  • Within the agency, it improves staff morale, Increases understanding of roles and duties of staff in relation to the agency's mission and the delivery of essential public health services
  • Has the potential to increase access to resources that support quality and performance improvement, address infrastructure gaps, and support new programs and processes
  • Provide access to and eligibility for future funding and grant opportunities

Updated: July 2023