Health department reaccreditedPublished 4:07pm Monday, July 1, 2013
The Beaufort County Health Department received notification last week that its efforts to earn reaccreditation paid off. The department learned of its reaccreditation by way of a letter from the N.C. Local Health Department Accreditation Board. The reaccreditation came just days before Roxanne Holloman, the county’s health director, retired Sunday. The reaccreditation status took effect June 21. It expires June 21, 2017.
The health department goes through the reaccreditation process every four years. Earning reaccreditation means the department meets stringent standards, provides required services and operates efficiently.
“I feel this accreditation speaks well of the agency and the leadership provided by retiring director Roxanne Holloman. It sends a signal to the public that the staff seeks to provide a higher level of services which might not be available in some other rural North Carolina counties,” according to County Manager Randell Woodruff. “Beaufort County is fortunate to have such a qualified and professional staff available to focus on public health issues. The accreditation will most likely play a beneficial role in the recruitment of the new director of public health that is currently ongoing as well.”
The notification letter was dated June 26.
“The focus of North Carolina’s Local Health Department Accreditation is on the capacity of the local health department to perform at a prescribed, basic level of quality the three core functions of assessment, policy development, and assurance and the ten essential services of public health. It is required by legislation that all health departments maintain accreditation status. Beaufort County Health Department, I am pleased to say, remains among the 78 accredited health departments in NC,” reads the letter signed by Dr. Robert Blackburn, chairman of the N.C. Local Health Department Accreditation Board.
In 2002, the N.C. Division of Public Health and the N.C. Association of Local Health Directors undertook an initiative to develop a mandatory, standards-based system for accrediting local public health departments throughout the state. Since 2002, the North Carolina Institute for Public Health has provided accreditation staff support.
The accreditation/reaccreditation process includes the following three components:
• an agency self assessment, which includes 41 benchmarks and 148 activities;
• a three-day site visit by a multidisciplinary team of peer volunteers;
• determination of accreditation status by the N.C. Local Health Department Accreditation Board.
In the Beaufort County Health Department’s case, it met the benchmarks and 147 of the 148 activities, according to Stan Cohen, a veterinarian and chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Health. Cohen also said the team that evaluated the local health department needed only two days instead of usual three days to do its work because the local health department is well organized.