June 20, 2019

Chicago Department of Public Health Announces National Reaccreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board

Erica Duncan    erica.duncan@cityofchicago.org

Chicago — The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that it has successfully achieved national reaccreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), thereby extending its accreditation status for another five years. The Chicago Department of Public Health is the first big city to have achieved re-accreditation through PHAB thus far.

“We are pleased and excited to be recognized again for achieving national standards that foster effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement,” said CDPH Acting Commissioner, Allison Arwady, M.D. “The re-accreditation process helped us to ensure that the programs and services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. With re-accreditation, the Chicago Department of Public Health is demonstrating ongoing accountability and credibility to the public, funders, elected officials and partner organizations with which 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 re-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.

“CDPH joins the growing ranks of re-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.”

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 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 Chicago Department of Public Health is dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the community by striving to continuously improve the quality of the services it delivers,” said Joe Finkbonner, MHA, Executive Director of the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board in Portland, Oregon. “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 wherever you go in the United States.”

CDPH's public health agenda, Healthy Chicago 2.0, has an ambitious sense of purpose for Chicago and includes bold actions and goal-driven results. With an end goal to make Chicago the healthiest city in the nation, Healthy Chicago outlines 12 health priorities that CDPH and its community partners collectively address to improve the health and well-being of all Chicagoans.

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