Nine health departments were awarded reaccreditation status by the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation (NCLHDA) Board on May 18, 2018. They are Caswell County Health Department, Forsyth County Department of Public Health, Madison County Health Department, Moore County Health Department, Northampton County Health Department, Onslow County Health Department, Randolph County Health Department, Transylvania Public Health, and Wayne County Health Department.
“All of the agencies recently achieving reaccreditation have much to be proud of. They have not only demonstrated their ability to meet a set of important performance standards, but excelled in many areas. Through reaccreditation, these agencies demonstrate a strong commitment to continuously work to improve the quality of services provided to their respective communities,” comments Amy Belflower Thomas, NC Local Health Department Accreditation Administrator.
Reaccreditation with Honors designation was awarded to four agencies- Forsyth County Department of Public Health, Northampton County Health Department, Onslow County Health Department, and Randolph County Health Department. This honorary designation was implemented for the first time in Fall of 2017 to recognize agencies that especially excelled in their accreditation assessment by missing one or fewer activities within each of five standards set by the NCLHDA program. The program is especially pleased to see that this special recognition was achieved by such a diverse group of local health departments- including rural, urban, large, and small health departments.
North Carolina is the first state in the country to mandate accreditation for its local health departments. The purpose of the accreditation program is to assure a basic level of capacity and services in each of the local health departments across the state. Since the pilot program involving six local health departments began in 2004, all eighty-five health departments have been initially accredited in NC and, as of May 18, 2018, have been reaccredited at least once. The process of accreditation includes three major components – a self-assessment completed by the agency, a site visit by a multidisciplinary team of peers to review performance standards, and determination of accreditation status by an independent Accreditation Board comprised of state and local public health officials, Board of Health members, County Commissioners, and public members.
The NC Local Health Department Accreditation program is a collaboration of the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (part of the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors.