Department of Public Health and Wellness Awarded National Accreditation
Louisville’s among the Top Five Percent of Health Departments in the Nation
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (October 4, 2016) – The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).
The national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and ultimately transforming the quality and performance of state, local, Tribal and territorial public health departments throughout the nation. The Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness is one of 151health departments out of nearly 3,000 across the U.S. to achieve accreditation through PHAB since the organization launched in 2011.
“We are very pleased and excited to be recognized for achieving national accreditation,” said Dr. Joann Schulte, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “The accreditation process helps to ensure that our programs and services are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. With accreditation, Louisville Public Health and Wellness is demonstrating increased accountability and credibility to the public, funders, elected officials and partner organizations with which we work.”
The national accreditation program, jointly sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sets standards against which the nation’s governmental health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance. To achieve accreditation, health departments must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to assure it meets or exceeds quality standards and measures.
Mayor Greg Fischer said the accreditation reflects progress on his goal of making Louisville a much healthier city.
“The Department of Public Health and Wellness plays a critical role in protecting and improving the health of our citizens, and I applaud Dr. Schulte and her team for this well-deserved recognition,” the mayor said.
With its community partners, the department has been working to realize the goals laid out in Healthy Louisville 2020, a 59-page report that details data on key health indicators such as local rates of cancer mortality, chronic disease, tobacco use, low birth weight babies and obesity, and lays out specific goals to improve health in Louisville. The department also continues to ensure safe food throughout the community by performing more than 10,000 inspections and investigations each year at Louisville restaurants and events like the Kentucky State Fair and the Kentucky Derby. It provides free stop-smoking classes for those wanting to quit, and is the only health department in Kentucky that is testing mosquitoes for Zika.
“The Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness joins the growing ranks of accredited health departments in a strong commitment to their public health mission,’ said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The peer review process provides valuable feedback to inform health departments of their strengths and areas for improving, so that they can better protect and promote the health of the people they serve in their communities. Residents of a community served by a nationally accredited health department can be assured that their health department has demonstrated the capacity to protect and promote the health of that community.”
“Achieving accreditation indicates that the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health is dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the community by striving to continuously improve the quality of the services it delivers, said Dr. Bud Nicola, chair of PHAB’s Board of Directors and affiliate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health.