Accredited Health Department seal

What is public health accreditation?

Public health accreditation is a voluntary process undertaken by health departments to measure their performance against a set of nationally recognized standards.  The national accreditation program is administered by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and is jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The goal of public health accreditation is to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation’s state, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments.

When was Scott County Health Department accredited?

Scott County Health Department (SCHD) achieved accreditation through PHAB in November 2018.  SCHD is proud to join health departments in the state of Iowa as well as nationally as an accredited public health entity.  A complete list of nationally accredited health departments can be found here:

How do health departments achieve accreditation?

To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure the department meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures established by PHAB. The standards measure the ability of a health department to deliver the ten essential services of public health as well as support an infrastructure for financial and personnel administration and governance.  Supporting the core public health functions of assessment, policy development, and assurance, the 10 Essential Public Health Services, include:

  • Monitor health status to identify community health problems
  • Diagnose & investigate health problems and hazards in the community
  • Evaluate the effectiveness, accessibility & quality of personal & population-based health services
  • Develop policies that support individual & community health efforts
  • Enforce laws/regulations that protect health & ensure safety
  • Research for new insights & innovative solutions to health problems
  • Link people to needed personal health services & assure provision of health care when unavailable
  • Assure competent public & personal healthcare workforce
  • Inform, educate, & empower people about health issues
  • Mobilize community partnerships to identify & solve health problems

The assessment involves a thorough review, including both the assessment of thousands of documents describing the services provided by the department, as well as an in-person site visit conducted by public health peer reviewers who assess the department’s performance against standards. 

What does accreditation mean for Scott County?

The seal of public health accreditation informs the community that SCHD performs at a high level and is able to effectively meet the public health needs of those served. This demonstrates SCHD’s increased accountability and credibility to everyone — the public, funders, elected officials, and partner organizations.  According to PHAB, 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.

Where can I learn more about public health accreditation?

Information on public health accreditation and PHAB, as well as research and evaluation on public health performance improvement, can be found at