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DeKalb County Board of Health Awarded National Accreditation


Decatur, Georgia – May 10, 2016 – The DeKalb County Board of Health 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 the nation’s state, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments.  The DeKalb County Board of Health is one of fewer than 200 health departments nationally that have thus far achieved accreditation through PHAB.  However, hundreds of health departments across the country are preparing to seek accreditation through PHAB, the non-profit organization that administers the national public health accreditation program.

“We are pleased and excited to be recognized for achieving national standards that foster effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement,” said Dr. S. Elizabeth Ford, District Health Director for the DeKalb County Board of Health.  “The accreditation process helps to ensure that the programs and services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community.  With accreditation, the DeKalb County Board of Health is demonstrating increased accountability and credibility to the public, funders elected officials and partner organizations with which we work.

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 nearly 3,000 governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance.  To receive accreditation, 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.

“Now when you see the PHAB seal of accreditation on DeKalb County Board of Health facilities, you will know that the agency has been rigorously examined and meets or exceeds national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health,” says Vickie Elisa, the PHAB Accreditation Coordinator for the agency.  Elisa helped to coordinate a three year process leading a team of 35 public health staff through the rigorous process.  “The agency received over 29 areas of excellence, meaning that they set high standards in the areas of community partnerships, communications, diversity, environmental health services and working strategically with numerous partners on health improvement and disparities issues through its Community Health Improvement planning processes and its use of Community Health Assessment data.

Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities.  In cities, towns and states across the nation, health departments provide a range of services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; ensuring access to safe food, water, clean air, and life-saving immunization; and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.

‘The DeKalb County Board of Health is the second health district to receive accreditation in the State of Georgia.  It received a grant from Healthcare Georgia Foundation and technical assistance from Georgia Southern University to assist with its three year accreditation process.  On March 11, the agency was awarded its status.  The agency held a PHAB Accreditation Celebration on April 29 for its staff, community partners and board members.

For more information about the accreditation process, contact the DeKalb County Board of Health at (404) 294-3700 or visit

About the Public Health Accreditation Board

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), established in 2007, was created to serve as the national public health accrediting body, and is jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The development of national public health accreditation has involved, and is supported by, public health leaders and practitioners from the national, Tribal, state, and local levels.  Learn more about PHAB or sign up for the PHAB e-newsletter by visiting