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Accreditation Support Initiative Sites (2011-2012)

NACCHO/CDC Accreditation Support Initiative Awardees

In fall 2011, CDC Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS) provided funding to NACCHO for two support initiatives to promote accreditation readiness activities in health departments. These initiatives are intended to stimulate quality improvement and progress in seeking voluntary national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Project activities include efforts to meet the identified PHAB per-requisites, compliance toward PHAB standards and measures, and support payment of accreditation fees (limited to 50 percent). The project period for both initiatives is November 2011 through May 2012.

These two initiatives, which total less than $1 million, demonstrate how small amounts of funding can be of great interest and value to health departments in their accreditation readiness efforts.

#1 - Accreditation Readiness Support for Health Departments and Support Organizations

This opportunity was available to all public health departments (state, local, territorial and tribal) as well as organizations that assist local and tribal health departments (e.g., state health departments, public health institutes, state associations of county and city health officials) to prepare for or undertake accreditation activities. Approximately 130 applications were received, illustrating heavy interest.  Twelve awardees were identified to receive funding between $14,000 and $40,000 each: 

Local Health Departments (LHDs)

1. Erie County Department of Health (PA)
Funded to create a workforce development plan, develop a performance management system, and implement at least one quality improvement process within the health department.

2. Madison County Health Department (KY)
Funded to update and complete the agency’s strategic plan, establish and maintain electronic documentation storage processes, and pay part of the PHAB application fees. The health department has applied for accreditation.

3. Missoula City-County Health Department (MT)
Funded to support the accreditation coordinator position and pay part of the PHAB application fees. The health department has applied for accreditation.

4. Public Health–Idaho North Central District (ID)
Funded to establish a formal quality improvement (QI) program with a written plan and a documentation process for QI activities, and train staff in core QI principles.  

5. Oneida County Health Department (WI)
Funded to support staff time needed to finalize PHAB documentation requirements and update policies and procedures.

6. Worcester County Health Department (MD)
Funded to complete and publish the three PHAB prerequisites, complete documentation of compliance with PHAB standards, and increase staff competencies related to identifying PHAB documentation needs. The health department has applied for accreditation.

7. Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center (OR)
Funded to complete a departmental strategic plan and integrate it into the tribal health improvement plan; evaluate public health laws and develop a guide to assist staff and providers in understanding their roles and responsibilities in enforcement; and ensure that staff workforce competencies meet the needs of the community.

Support Organizations

1. InterTribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
Funded to increase awareness about public health accreditation and the application process among tribes in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada; to develop a tribal-specific accreditation readiness tool for conducting a community health assessment; and to increase opportunities for tribal public health systems in Arizona to communicate and coordinate about public health accreditation.

2. Iowa Department of Public Health (supporting work of multiple LHDs)
Funded to conduct formative research to identify current practices of Iowa LHDs relating to their performance management systems, and provide technical assistance on how current activities may either be formalized or adjusted to meet PHAB standards. Findings will be used to inform the development of a performance management curriculum for all of Iowa’s LHDs.

3. Missouri Institute for Community Health (MICH)
Funded to provide technical assistance and consulting services, focused on strategic planning and quality improvement, to five Missouri LHDs preparing for PHAB accreditation. The five LHDs include: two rural LHDs that are accredited by MICH, two rural LHDS not accredited by MICH, and one semi-metro LHD not accredited by MICH.

4. New York State Association of County Health Officials
Funded to provide technical assistance to facilitate and complete a strategic planning process in four model LHDs of different sizes and types. These strategic plans will serve as models for the other 54 LHDs in New York state served by this organization.

5. North Dakota State Association of City and County Health Officials
In a joint collaboration with the North Dakota department of health, funded to create a public health accreditation infrastructure serving 28 health departments; review PHAB standards and measures and familiarize LHDs with examples of acceptable documentation; support seven LHDs in developing a CHIP; and complete a performance improvement plan.

#2 - Accreditation Readiness for Large Metropolitan Jurisdictions

Through ACA funding, a total of $600,000 was available to support accreditation readiness efforts in large metropolitan jurisdictions. The opportunity was limited to health departments serving populations of more than 1.5 million but not directly receiving funding through the CDC national public health improvement initiative. In addition to the work described below, each LHD must also engage a “connector site,” (i.e., smaller LHD) to assist them in preparing for accreditation. Six jurisdictions were selected as awardees, receiving up to $62,000 each:
1. Columbus Public Health (OH) (collaborating with Franklin County Public Health)**
Funded to strengthen its existing QI plan, develop a training annex to the existing workforce development plan, and link both documents to its strategic plan. Additional project activities include providing targeted QI training for staff and partially funding an accreditation coordinator position. The health department has applied for accreditation.

2. Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (TX)
Funded to update and improve its current performance management system to enhance accountability; to identify and formalize existing performance management and QI processes; and to expand efforts to create a culture of QI in the department.

3. Miami-Dade County Health Department (FL)
Funded to support staffing and travel needs for the accreditation coordinator and other staff, and pay part of the PHAB application fees. The health department has applied for accreditation.

4. Public Health–Seattle & King County (WA)
Funded to support dedicated staff to develop a department-wide performance management system that includes a process to determine, collect, and report on achievement of goals, objectives, and measures.

5. Southern Nevada Health District (NV)
Funded to receive training on and complete significant portions of the MAPP process that will result in a completed first draft of the community health assessment.

6. St. Louis County Department of Health (MO)** 
Funded to begin working on a community health improvement plan based on the MAPP framework, draft a strategic plan for the department, and implement the first phase of a continuous performance management system.

**Applied via Initiative #1, but received funding ACA funding under Initiative #2.