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PPHR Applicant Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply for Project Public Health Ready

The governmental entity that has the primary statutory or legal responsibility for public health in a tribe or at the local level is eligible to apply for PPHR recognition.  

To be eligible, such entities must operate in a manner consistent with applicable federal, tribal, state, territorial, and local statutes. A health department must meet one of the following definitions1 to apply for PPHR recognition:

Tribal Health Department
A tribal health department is defined, for the purposes of PPHR recognition, as a federally recognized tribal government2, Tribal organization, or inter-tribal consortium, as defined in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, as amended. Such departments have jurisdictional authority to provide public health services, as evidenced by constitution, resolution, ordinance, executive order, or other legal means, intended to promote and protect the tribe's overall health, wellness and safety; prevent disease; and respond to issues and events. Federally recognized Tribal governments may carry out the above public health functions in a cooperative manner through formal agreement, formal partnership, or formal collaboration.
Local Health Department

An LHD is defined, for the purposes of PPHR recognition, as the governmental body serving a jurisdiction or group of jurisdictions geographically smaller than a state and recognized as having the primary statutory authority to promote and protect the public's health and prevent disease in humans. This authority is defined by the state's constitution, statute, or regulations or established by local ordinance or through formal local cooperative agreement or mutual aid. The entity may be a locally governed health department, a local entity of a centralized state health department, or a city, city-county, county, district, or regional health department.

Regional Entity

Any eligible local or tribal health departments, as defined above, may apply jointly for PPHR recognition if certain essential services are provided by formally sharing resources, and the manner in which this occurs is clearly demonstrated. The formal resource-sharing must be centralized in a regional agency, and that agency must hold primary responsibility for public health response activities at the local level. Interested entities should refer to the Regional Guidance document and contact NACCHO for further discussion and guidance regarding their eligibility.




1. Adapted from Who is Eligible? Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).

2. As evidenced by inclusion on the list of recognized Tribes mandated under 25 U.S.C. § 479a-1. Publication of List of Recognized Tribes.