Below is a news release that was issued on March 6, 2015 from the Public Health Accreditation Board: Nearly 113 Million U.S. Residents Now Reaping Benefits of National Public Health Department Accreditation Accreditation Recognizes Health Departments' Commitment to Better Serve Their Communities ALEXANDRIA, VA, March 6, 2015 -- The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) announced today it has awarded five-year accreditation status to seven more health departments. This week's decisions by PHAB's Accreditation Committee mean that another 1.3 million people can now be assured that their health departments demonstrate the capacity to protect and promote the health of their communities. Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. 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. PHAB, the non-profit organization that administers the national public health accreditation program, aims to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation's Tribal, state, local, and territorial health departments. Since the program's launch in 2011, 67 health departments have been awarded five-year accreditation status, bringing the total population now served by a PHAB-accredited health department to 112,626,448. "Our efforts this week solidified the process that we have developed within the Accreditation Committee for the recognition of those health departments who have achieved the high standards required for accreditation," said PHAB Accreditation Committee Chair F. Douglas Scutchfield, MD. "The health department actions were all unanimous among the committee, following active discussion of the health departments up for review. We are anxious to see more health departments join the growing national network of accredited health departments." National accreditation status was awarded March 4, 2015 to: * Allegany County Health Department, Cumberland, Maryland * Burke County Health Department, Morganton, North Carolina * Clinton County Health Department, Plattsburgh, New York * District of Columbia Department of Health, Washington, D.C. * Harford County Health Department, Bel Air, Maryland * Linn County Public Health, Cedar Rapids, Iowa * Pierce County Public Health Department, Ellsworth, Wisconsin "The health departments that were accredited this week were noted as having sound, organized operations; as embracing a culture of quality; and as transforming public health through strengthening partnerships and collaboration in their communities," said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. "It takes a real commitment to quality and performance improvement for health departments to undergo the accreditation process. I hope that these communities will join with PHAB in congratulating their health departments for wanting to serve them better." This week's decisions also mark another milestone for the national public health department accreditation program, as Iowa has now joined the growing family of states with at least one PHAB-accredited health department. "Linn County Public Health and its staff are truly thrilled to obtain national accreditation through PHAB today," said Health Director Pramod Dwivedi. "As a local health department, we now stand out among the best in the nation. Today, our excitement is boundless also because Linn County Public Health becomes the first in Iowa to achieve this milestone. The tribute goes to all of my staff who worked diligently to meet and exceed the rigorous standards of accreditation." For more information, contact Teddi Nicolaus at (703) 778-4549, ext. 118, or email [email protected]. Learn more about PHAB and accreditation at www.phaboard.org. About the Public Health Accreditation Board The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) was created to serve as the national public health accrediting body and is jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The development of national public health department accreditation has involved, and is supported by, public health leaders and practitioners from the national, tribal, state, local, and territorial levels. Learn more about PHAB or sign up for the PHAB e-newsletter by visiting www.phaboard.org.