TULSA, OK – [August 21, 2013] – The Tulsa Health Department announced today that it has achieved national public health department accreditation status through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation’s more than 3,000 Tribal, state, local and territorial public health departments.
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.
“We are proud to have received word from the Public Health Accreditation Board that the Tulsa Health Department has achieved national accreditation status,” said Tulsa Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “Only 20 health departments in the country have achieved this status. I am thankful to have a department of outstanding employees with a supportive Board and community partners who helped make this possible.”
Public health department accreditation standards address a range of core public health programs and activities, including environmental public health, health education, health promotion, community health, chronic disease prevention and control, communicable disease, injury prevention, maternal and child health, public health emergency preparedness, access to clinical services, public health laboratory services, management/administration, and governance.
“I am proud of the efforts of Dr. Dart and his entire staff to receive national accreditation,” said Tulsa County Board of Health Chair Patrick Grogan, D.V.M. “This demonstrates increased accountability and credibility to everyone with whom the health department works— the community, elected officials and partner organizations.”
Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. THD provides a broad range of services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; ensuring access to safe food, clean water, and life-saving immunizations; and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies in Tulsa County.
Despite that critical role, there had not been nationally recognized standards for public health departments until now.
“Achieving accreditation indicates that THD is dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the community by striving to continuously improve the quality of the services it delivers,” said PHAB Board of Directors Chair Carol Moehrle, MD. “Accreditation also promotes consistency in meeting standards. With an ever-increasing number of health departments now applying for and becoming accredited, you will be able to expect to receive the same quality of public health services where you go in the United States.”
The national accreditation program, jointly sponsored by the Center 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. Since the program’s launch in September 2011, nearly 130 health departments have applied to PHAB for accreditation.
“Our seal of accreditation assures Tulsa County residents that our agency puts the community first,” said Dr. Dart. “People can expect to receive our absolute best, every day.”
Tulsa Health Department
Since its establishment in 1950, the Tulsa Health Department serves as the primary public health agency to more than 600,000 Tulsa County residents, including 13 municipalities and four unincorporated areas. THD’s mission is to sustain an equitable system that prevents disease, promotes healthy living, and ensures preparedness. The agency is dedicated to empowering citizens to make healthy choices that carry forward for future generations. THD was among the first health departments in the U.S. to receive national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board.
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 by visiting www.phaboard.org.