Message from the Accreditation Coordinator, Debbie Young

In February 2013, the Health Department was one of the first in the nation to be accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Accreditation means that NKY Health has met national standards for providing high quality public health services, leadership and accountability and demonstrated their ability to assure the delivery of the 10 Essential Public Health Services.

Since PHAB Accreditation status lasts for five years, NKY Health was due to apply for reaccreditation in February 2018. For much of 2017, twenty-two members of NKY Health staff worked on one of three teams , led by team captains, Dr. Lynne Saddler, Ted Talley and Steve Divine, with oversight and guidance from co-accreditation coordinators, Louise Kent and Debbie Young.  The process was long and many hours of hard work was put into the development of the documents needed for the reaccreditation application. The application was submitted on April 5, 2018 (2 months prior to the June deadline).

NKY Health staff’s effort truly paid off, as only one measure (of 31 measures) was reopened in our pre-site visit report.  The final step in the reaccreditation process, a virtual site visit, occurred on December 3, 2018. The District Director or Health, accompanied by members of senior staff and the accreditation coordinator gathered around a conference room table for our virtual site visit (held via panoramic camera and GoTo Meeting) with our PHAB Accreditation Specialist and two PHAB volunteer site visit reviewers to answer questions regarding our reaccreditation efforts.  During the first hour, NKY Health staff answered questions surrounding NKY Health’s Fundamental Essential plans, specifically, the Community Health Assessment (CHA), Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), Strategic Plan, Emergency Operations Plan, Workforce Development Plan, Performance Management System and Quality Improvement plan. The second hour concentrated on 4 domains (Domain 1, 3, 4 and 11) specifically selected by the site visitors for discussion.

An official report was issued to NKY Health on December 27, 2018 indicating that ALL 31 MEASURES WERE DESIGNATED AS “MET” BY PHAB; 0 MEASURES WERE REOPENED. The report contained the following comments (in summary form):

NKY Health areas of excellence:

  • NKY Health has demonstrated a true commitment to continuous quality improvement
  • NKY Health documentation was of high quality and completeness
  • NKY Health does an outstanding job of utilizing visual data to communicate health disparities and issues to all audiences
  • NKY Health has developed a strong and consistent brand strategy that clearly communicates their mission
  • NKY Health is skilled at using data to drive community decision making

Two areas of focus were identified:

  • Linkage of excellent work back to CHA/CHIP
  • NKY Health is encouraged to share successes and strengths with other Local Health Departments in venues of shared learning

We anxiously await the final and “official” determination of reaccreditation. The PHAB Accreditation Committee will meet on March 21, 2019 and NKY Health will be notified of their decision within two weeks following the Committee meeting.

It is important to remember that accreditation and reaccreditation would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the entire Health Department staff.  The documentation submitted encompassed the work of each and every Health Department staff member, District and Local Boards of Health, management and community partners. While the work put forth to obtain reaccreditation status is a temporary process, the quality work that is done each and every day at the Health Department is the backbone which enables us to remain a PHAB accredited Health Department.