Health dis­trict earns na­tional ac­cred­i­ta­tion

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - SAN­DRA BRANDS sbrands@cov­

Af­ter a rig­or­ous peer re­view, the Gwin­nett, New­ton and Rock­dale (GNR) County Health De­part­ment was na­tion­ally ac­cred­ited through the Pub­lic Health Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Board (PHAB) in Au­gust. It is one of just three of Ge­or­gia’s 18 health dis­tricts com­prised of one or more of the state’s 159

coun­ties to re­ceive such an ac­cred­i­ta­tion.

“This ac­cred­i­ta­tion hon­ors our en­tire com­mu­nity and rec­og­nizes our abil­ity to col­lab­o­ra­tively ad­dress health is­sues of our time,” said the Health Direc­tor, Lloyd Hofer, M.D., M.P.H. “We are grate­ful for our ded­i­cated staff and will­ing part­ners as we con­tinue to work dili­gently to­ward a healthy, pro­tected, and pre­pared com­mu­nity.”

The two other Ge­or­gia health dis­tricts to re­ceive ac­cred­i­ta­tion through PHAB are Cook and Dou­glas Pub­lic Health De­part­ment and DeKalb County Board of Health. The three Ge­or­gia dis­tricts are among the 151 health agen­cies PHAB has awarded ac­cred­i­ta­tion to across the United States.

Tara Echols co­or­di­nated the health de­part­ment’s ac­cred­i­ta­tion ef­forts. The ac­cred­i­ta­tion, she said, “demon­strates our com­mit­ment to qual­ity im­prove­ment and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment.”

PHAB is jointly sup­ported by the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) and the Robert Wood John­son Foun­da­tion, a na­tional non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to im­prov­ing health and health­care for all Amer­i­cans.

The PHAB stan­dards used to award ac­cred­i­ta­tion are based on the 10 es­sen­tial pub­lic health Ser­vices set form by the CDC and the Na­tional Pub­lic Health Per­for­mance Stan­dards Pro­gram. Those ser­vices in­clude: com­mu­nity health as­sess­ment and reg­istries; di­ag­nose and in­ves­ti­gate in­fec­tious dis­ease out­breaks; health ed­u­ca­tion and health pro­mo­tion; part­ner with pri­vate sec­tor, civic groups, non-gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions, faith com­mu­ni­ties and other com­mu­nity-based groups; strate­gic and com­mu­nity health im­prove­ment plan­ning; en­force­ment of and re­view of laws; ac­cess to health care; pub­lic health work­force and lead­er­ship; eval­u­a­tion and con­tin­u­ous qual­ity im­prove­ment; and iden­ti­fy­ing and shar­ing best prac­tices and par­tic­i­pat­ing in re­search. The Gwin­nett, New­ton and Rock­dale County Health De­part­ments is in part­ner­ship with the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Pub­lic Health. For in­for­ma­tion about the Gwin­nett, New­ton and Rock­dale County Health De­part­ments visit www. gn­

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