Beaufort County Health Department accredited

Published 8:14 pm Monday, September 1, 2008

By Staff
Joins list of 40 accredited departments across state
Newsroom Manager
The Beaufort County Health Department has been accredited by the State of North Carolina.
According to Stone, accreditation has two fundamental purposes: to certify the capacity of a local health department to deliver essential services to its service community and to stimulate and assist in the performance improvement of a local health department.
Accreditation of a local health department certifies to the general public that the agency has an appropriate community mission and purpose, has the resources needed to accomplish its mission and purpose and can demonstrate that it is accomplishing its mission and purpose, according to Stone.
North Carolina is the first state in the country to mandate accreditation for its local health departments.
The accreditation process began in North Carolina in 2004. Since then, 40 local health departments have been accredited.
The process of accreditation includes three major components: a self-assessment completed by the local agency, a site visit by a multidisciplinary team of peers to review certain performance standards and determination of accreditation status by an independent accreditation board made up of state and local public health officials, board of health members, county commissioners and members of the public.
The accreditation process is a collaboration of the N.C. Division of Public Health, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the N.C. Institute for Public Health, part of the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Input is also gained from the N.C. Association of Local Health Directors.
Observations recorded by the site visit team concerning the Beaufort County Health Department included that the Health Department facilities are clean, very secure and have excellent signage throughout all areas; that it is apparent that the Health Department places great respect on its clients and that the agency supports and nurtures a non-discriminatory environment; that county manager Paul Spruill appears to be highly supportive of public health and is knowledgeable of public health issues; that Holloman is extremely proud of her staff and their accomplishments and appears to have a realistic approach to handling challenges and gaining needed resources; that the agency is highly supportive of continuing education and training for all staff; that it is apparent that Beaufort County has a solid Environmental Health program; that the management team is clearly a cohesive group that supports the mission of the Health Department; that members of the community spoke very positively about the Health Department and that it is well-received in the community; and that the Beaufort County Board of Health is active, engaged and supportive of the health director and staff and is providing needed leadership.