Health Department Prepares for Accreditation
In 2002, the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors undertook an initiative to develop a mandatory, standards-based system for accrediting local public health departments through-out the state. The focus of North Carolina’s Local Health Department Accreditation is on the capacity of the local health department to perform at a prescribed, basic level of quality the three core functions of assessment, assurance, and policy development and the ten essential services.
The program focuses on a set of minimal standards that must be provided to ensure the protection of the health of the public, but does not limit the services or activities an agency may provide to address specific local needs. The program has three components:
- An agency self-assessment, which includes 41 benchmarks and 148 activities;
- A three-day site visit by a multidisciplinary team of peer volunteers; and
- Determination of accreditation status by the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation Board.
Accreditation is achieved by appropriately meeting a set of benchmarks either by direct provision or assurance of required services and activities.
The Madison County Health Department’s site visit is scheduled for
May 5-7, 2009.
UPDATED INFORMATION FOR ACCREDITATION:
We survived!! Thanks to everyone on the board, the staff, and most importantly, to Jan Lounsbury, our leader in this process. We were notified in writing on May 27, 2009, that we met 100% of the activities/benchmarks!! Official notification is scheduled for July 17, 2009, in Raleigh before the full Accreditation Board. A lot of hard work took place over the last 1 ½ years and some things were placed to the side, but we would all agree it was well worth it. The work in not done as re-accreditation will be scheduled in 4 years. At that time, everything from May 8, 2009 (the day after our site visit) through the coming 4 years will be assessed. But for now, will enjoy the moment and encourage you to do the same.