Tallahassee, FL - Today, Interim State Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip announced that the Florida Department of Health has received first-in-the-nation national accreditation as an integrated department of health through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). This seal of accreditation signifies that the unified Florida Department of Health, including the state health office and all 67 county health departments, has been rigorously examined and meets or exceeds national standards for public health performance management and continuous quality improvement.
“For the people of Florida, this accreditation is a testament to the department’s ability to keep communities ahead of emerging health threats while promoting best practices to meet ongoing health challenges,” said Interim State Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip. “I want to thank Dr. John Armstrong for his leadership and dedication to make Florida the first-ever nationally accredited integrated department of health. This achievement demonstrates the passion and commitment of 15,000 public health professionals and numerous community partners to improving public health.”
The announcement comes after more than a year of compiling data to support the accreditation process. The process included visits to multiple county health departments where PHAB representatives did thorough site reviews. Today’s announcement represents accreditation for all 67 county health departments, the Tallahassee offices, bureaus and divisions.
Public health departments play a crucial 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.
"PHAB is pleased and excited to recognize the Florida Department of Health for achieving national standards that foster effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement," said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “By going through the accreditation process, Florida's statewide public health department system is ensuring the integration of the programs and services provided by the central office and the 67 local public health departments. We congratulate this integrated system of 67 local public health departments and the state health department for demonstrating a consistent and continuing commitment to improving public health in Florida."
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 more than 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.
About the Public Health Accreditation Board
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 www.phaboard.org.