On June 19, 2014 Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD announced the news that Vermont had become one of the first five state health departments to receive national public health accreditation.
Accreditation is a significant achievement, with approval granted by the Public Health Accreditation Board. 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 become accredited, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.
What ACCREDITATION means
The accreditation process has challenged the Health Department to think critically about the way we work to protect and promote the health of Vermonters. It allows us to identify processes where improvements are needed, and it has given us the opportunity to strengthen our culture of continuous quality improvement. Public Health accreditation reinforces the role of health departments and partners in delivering the 10 essential public health services. To maintain accreditation, reports are submitted each year after the initial approval, and departments must be reaccredited every five years.
In announcing Vermont’s accreditation, Dr. Chen pointed out that this is an acknowledgement of the hard work performed every day by Health Department staff:
"We have demonstrated that Vermonters are served by a high performing public health department and workforce at our central offices and laboratory in Burlington, and through our 12 district offices around the state."