Health

County Public Health Earns National Accreditation

The County of San Diego’s Health & Human Services Agency has recently earned national recognition for its work in keeping the region healthy, safe and informed about health issues and concerns.

The County health department achieved accreditation from the national Public Health Accreditation Board, becoming one of six other California health departments to earn the honor.

The national accreditation process was developed in recognition of the importance of having a strong infrastructure to address public health challenges that the nation faces today. These include the epidemic of chronic disease, protecting the public from infectious diseases, responding to emergencies, and advancing health equity across a diverse population.

“Protecting the public’s health is a tremendous responsibility that we take very seriously,” said Chairman Ron Roberts, County Board of Supervisors. “This achievement validates the systems we have in place and the commitment of our staff and partners to work together in support of a healthy and safe region.”

Earning public health accreditation is a rigorous process requiring review of more than 100 measures by an expert panel. The panel assesses processes and procedures in critical services, including investigating public health problems such as foodborne illness, active tuberculosis, and communicable disease; educating the public about health issues like Alzheimer’s disease, chronic disease, and maternal and child health issues; enforcing public health laws and regulations related to beach closures, hazardous materials, and restaurant inspections; and preparing for and responding to public health threats, emergencies, and disasters such as wildfires, Ebola and Zika virus.

Public health services are delivered not only by the public health department in San Diego County, but also by the Department of Environmental Health and the Office of Emergency Services.

Live Well San Diego is about working toward a shared vision not only across County departments, but with our partners throughout the region as well,” said Health and Human Services Agency Director Nick Macchione. “This accreditation recognizes that we are making significant progress in achieving that aim.”

The national public health 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 improve the quality of their services and performance. Only 135 health departments have achieved accreditation.

“The accreditation process is an important measure to assess how the County effectively provides public health services to 3.2 million residents from different communities who have diverse needs,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H.

More information about public health accreditation is available at www.phaboard.org.

Craig Sturak is a group communications officer with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact