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Stephen Covey

Why national accreditation matters for public health departments

While high profile medical breakthroughs grab today's headlines, it is the low-tech, high-touch work of public health departments that keep most of us healthy every day. Each community needs a competent and effective health department that can be trusted to protect the public's health.

National public health accreditation, a process started in 2011, is one way of ensuring that health departments meet recognized standards and are ready to take on a multitude of public health challenges. But how does the accreditation process work, and in the end, does accreditation really work? That was a question that we, the Harford County Health Department, first asked before submitting our...