NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, the City of New Orleans announces receipt of national accreditation for the City’s health department through the independent organization that administers the national public health accreditation program; Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The health department is one of the first health departments across the country and the first in Louisiana to receive accreditation through the program which works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation’s Tribal, state, local and territorial public health departments.
“When we set out to transform our City’s health department in 2010, we understood that we would not be able to fully reach our target to lead the nation in economic growth and job creation until we focused on improving the quality of life for our residents,” said Mayor Landrieu. “ Today, our health department is one of the first in the nation and the first in the state to receive national accreditation and our residents have better access to quality services through a department that focuses first on health promotion and prevention.”
Since 2010, the health department has shifted focus towards improving the public’s health through population-based services. Today, the health department leverages community resources to offer evidence-based programing across priority areas including violence prevention; healthy lifestyles and Fit NOLA; family health; primary and behavioral health care; and emergency preparedness. The health department has used the Public Health Accreditation Board’s standards as a blueprint for its transformation into a model health department that effectively addresses community health priorities.
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 more than 3,000 governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance. To receive accreditation, the health department participated in a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer reviewed assessment process to ensure the department met or exceeded a set of quality standards and measures.
“This is a richly deserved recognition of excellence for one of our important partners,” said District B Council Member LaToya Cantrell. “I am proud of our team at the Health Department and the hard work they put in on behalf of all of our citizens.”
“Becoming one of the first in the nation to be accredited is testament to the ongoing transformation towards a stronger, more effective health department,” said Charlotte Parent, Health Department Director. ”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, the City’s Health Department is demonstrating increased accountability and credibility to the public for which we work.”
“The City of New Orleans Health Department is one of the first of many health departments that we look forward to being able to recognize as a high-performing public health department,” 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.”
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, nearly 130 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 City of New Orleans 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 PHAB Board of Directors Chair Carol Moehrle, MD. ”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.”