Accreditation program to benefit county health department

  The Prairie County Health Department was recently accepted into a pilot program for public health accreditation by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services along with seven other counties.   Despite the important role public health departments play in communities, a national system for insuring accountability and quality hasn’t been established – until now.  Other community services and organizations have seen the value of accreditation including schools, daycare centers, police departments and hospitals.  

The goal of the public health accreditation program is to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of all health departments in the country.
This program will provide resources and funding to the health department as it works on public health accreditation over a two year period.  
The first portion of the program requires the health department to complete an internal assessment geared towards strengthening the quality of services delivered to county residents.  
A community health assessment will take place in the second portion of the program.  When the assessments are completed, the health department will work with the community to create a health improvement plan for Prairie County.  
After this two year process is completed, the health department will be able to apply for accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board.  
Megan Olson, AmeriCorp VISTA volunteer for the health department, along with another VISTA volunteer from Richland County initiated applying for this program.   
“We are very excited about this opportunity because it provides the funding to hire a part-time RN for the duration of the two year program,” stated county health nurse Joan Hubber.   
If you have additional questions about this program, please call the health department at 635-2020.
Published Nov. 25, 2009

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