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Crook County Health Dept. receives re-accreditation

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Crook County

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) announced the names of three public health departments that successfully completed a rigorous review process to maintain their national accreditation status on June 15.

In achieving the prestigious accreditation designation for five more years, Crook County Health Department was one of the three.

This means the department has successfully demonstrated a commitment to continuously improve and advance, thereby becoming increasingly effective at improving the health of their community.

PHAB, the nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that administers the national accrediting program, works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and transforming the quality and performance of governmental public health agencies in the United States and abroad.

PHAB’s national accreditation program, which launched in 2011 with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has become the national gold standard for public health in the United States.

Crook County was one of the first small health departments to become accredited, in September of 2014, of the 54 nationally. To date, nearly 300 health departments – including state, Tribal, local and Army Installation Departments of Public Health – have achieved accreditation through PHAB, and the benefits of being served by a PHAB-accredited health department now extend to 82 percent of the U.S. population.

Commenting Monday on the re-accreditation of Crook County, Muriel DeLaVergne-Brown, Director, said she wants to thank the department’s staff and community partners for their work to achieve and maintain accreditation status through PHAB.

“During these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and issues around social justice, it is reassuring to know our community is served by a public health department that has demonstrated the capacity and ability to deal with these events,” DeLaVergne-Brown said.

As noted by PHAB, “Maintaining accreditation through PHAB is steadfast proof that these health departments have demonstrated a consistent and continued commitment to collaborative efforts to keep their communities safe from diseases and injuries, promote good health, and protect them from hazards. We applaud them and congratulate them for their tireless work to assure that their communities will continue to reap the benefits of being served by a nationally accredited health department.”

To receive national accreditation through PHAB, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets nationally established public health quality standards and measures.

Serving a population of fewer than 26,000 people, the Crook County Health Department in Prineville is the smallest of the three health departments to achieve re-accreditation status through PHAB this week.

Speaking on behalf of the department’s 25 employees, DeLaVergne-Brown called the achievement “a great accomplishment” for all the staff: “It demonstrates our commitment to accountability, quality, and the importance of public health accreditation to improve everything we do. As a small public health department, it can be done, and it’s worth it.”

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