Tuscarawas County Health Department Awarded National Accreditation Through the Public Health Accreditation Board

Dover, Ohio — The Tuscarawas County Health Department announced today that it has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).

The national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and ultimately transforming the quality and performance of the nation’s state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments. The Tuscarawas County Health Department is one of fewer than 300 health departments that have thus far achieved accreditation through PHAB since the organization launched in 2011. However, hundreds of health departments across the country are preparing to seek accreditation through PHAB, the non-profit organization that administers the national public health accreditation program.

“We are pleased and excited to be recognized for achieving national standards that foster effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement,” said Katie Seward, Health Commissioner of the Tuscarawas County Health Department “The accreditation process helps to ensure that the programs and services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. With accreditation, Tuscarawas County Health Department is demonstrating increased accountability and credibility to the public, funders, elected officials and partner organizations with whom we work.”

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 nearly 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.

“Whenever you see our seal of accreditation, you will know that Tuscarawas County Health Department has been rigorously examined and meets or exceeds national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health,” Seward said. “By continuing to improve our services and performance, we can be sure we are meeting the public health needs of those we serve as effectively as possible.”

Public health departments play a critical 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.

The Tuscarawas County Health Department is unique in that it offers a wide variety of non-mandated services in addition to the services required to be offered by the State.  Services such as the Alcohol and Addiction Program; Medical Clinic including acute and chronic care, OB-GYN services and well-child visits; Project DAWN; WIC program; nuisance/housing and mosquito programs; and many health education initiatives. A full list of services can be found on their website at www.tchdnow.org.

This announcement kicks off the Department’s Public Health Week’s Celebration. “It’s National Public Health Week and we are excited to be celebrating 100 years of public health for TCHD and Ohio”.  Additionally, as a way to give back to the community and celebrate TCHD’s 100-year anniversary and newly accredited status the Health Department in partnership with the National Guard and the Ohio Department of health will host a free healthcare weekend at Buckeye Career Center on August 10 and 11.  More information about that event can be found athttp://www.tchdnow.org/guardcare-2019.html

“The Tuscarawas County Health Department joins the growing ranks of accredited health departments in a strong commitment to their public health mission,” said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The peer-review process provides valuable feedback to inform health departments of their strengths and areas for improvement so that they can better protect and promote the health of the people they serve in their communities. Residents of a community served by a nationally accredited health department can be assured that their health department has demonstrated the capacity to protect and promote the health of that community.”

The national accreditation program was created collaboratively over a 10-year period by hundreds of public health practitioners working at the national, Tribal, state, and local levels. Since the program’s launch in September 2011, hundreds of public health departments have applied to PHAB for accreditation, and hundreds of public health practitioners from across the nation have been trained to serve as volunteer peer site visitors for the program.

“Achieving accreditation indicates that the Tuscarawas County Health Department is dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the community by striving to continuously improve the quality of the services it delivers,” said Ray (Bud) Nicola, MD, MHSA, chair of PHAB’s Board of Directors and affiliate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle. “Accreditation also promotes consistency in meeting standards. With an ever-increasing number of health departments now applying for and PHAB Toolkit Document becoming accredited, you will be able to expect to receive the same quality of public health services wherever you go in the United States.”

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.

For more information, or to schedule an interview with Commissioner Seward please call (330)343-5555 x164 or email director@tchdnow.org.

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