The Roundup -

Richland County Health Department Achieves National Accreditation


December 5, 2018 | View PDF

Sidney, Montana — The Richland County Health Department announced today that it 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 Richland County Health Department is one of fewer than 200 health departments that have thus far achieved accreditation through PHAB since the organization launched in 2011.

“We are excited to be one of the smallest health departments in the country to be accredited. The department staff dedicated 3 years to achieving this honor not only for our department but the entire county”, said Judy LaPan, Department Administrator. By achieving accreditation, “Richland County Health Department 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.

The Richland County Health Department has worked tirelessly for 3 years to ensure the systems, policies and programs were in place to best meet the health needs of our community. This included working through the Communities in Action process to develop the Community Health Assessment and the County Strategic Plan, and working with various stakeholders and community members, as well as our staff and coalition members.

Additionally, the department developed a comprehensive management system that provides a structure for measuring our performance in all aspects of the public health services we provide. A quality improvement process was included to ensure that the department maintains a high standard in the services provided. “By continuing to improve our services and performance, we can be sure we are meeting the public health needs of those we serve as effectively as possible. The bottom line is that we have the capacity, along with our partners, to create an environment where all residents of Richland County can be healthy and enjoy the highest quality of life.”

“The Richland County Health Department 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 improvement, 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.”

The Richland County Health Department joins Missoula, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Cascade, Yellowstone and Flathead Counties in becoming accredited.


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