Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) was granted national accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).
KCPH joined the Oregon Health Authority and 14 other local public health departments in Oregon by garnering this honor. Accreditation, which is valid for five years before the need for reaccreditation, means:
- The measurement of health department performance against a set of nationally recognized, practice-focused and evidenced-based standards.
- The issuance of recognition of achievement of accreditation within a specified time frame by a nationally recognized entity.
- The continual development, revision, and distribution of public health standards.
“This was a process that reflects the high level of performance and quality offered by every division of KCPH,” said Director Jennifer Little. “Being able to achieve this honor during the current pandemic speaks to the level of dedication and commitment shown by public health employees. Not even half of Oregon’s local public health authorities are accredited.”
Oregon’s list of PHAB accredited agencies includes:
- Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division (Portland)
- Benton County Health Department (Corvallis)
- Center for Human Development, Inc. (La Grande)
- Clackamas County Public Health (Oregon City)
- Coos Health & Wellness (Coos Bay)
- Crook County Health Department (Prineville)
- Deschutes County Health Services (Bend)
- Jackson County Public Health (Medford)
- Klamath County Public Health (Klamath Falls)
- Lane County Public Health (Eugene)
- Lincoln County Health and Human Services (Newport)
- Linn County Department of Health Services (Albany)
- Marion County Health & Human Services Public Health Division (Salem)
- North Central Public Health District (The Dalles)
- Washington County Public Health Division (Hillsboro)
- Yamhill County Public Health (McMinnville)
Oregon public health agencies, including KCPH, began exploring accreditation in 2014. In the seven years it has taken to achieve the milestone, KCPH has had three directors and numerous changes in other staff. KCPH submitted more than 330 pieces of documentation to PHAB in March 2018 for accreditation consideration. The accreditation site visit happened in December 2018 and 22 areas were earmarked by the site visitors for improvement. Those improvements were completed in May 2021 and PHAB announced full accreditation on August 27.
“I am extremely proud of this achievement and the team that made it possible,” said Little. “No one would choose a school that wasn’t accredited and our community can be reassured that KPCH can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other departments nationwide.”
The mission of PHAB is to advance and transform public health practice by championing performance improvement, strong infrastructure, and innovation.
PHAB’s initial accreditation assesses a health department’s capacity to carry out the ten Essential Public Health Services, manage an effective health department, and maintain strong and effective communications with the governing entity.
Reaccreditation is necessary for a health department to continue to be designated as accredited. Reaccreditation focuses on assessment of an accredited health department’s continued improvement and advancement thereby becoming increasingly effective at improving the health of the population they serve. PHAB is a 501(c)(3) organization.