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MSDH chosen to test new program

JACKSON — The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has been chosen by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) as one of 30 health departments nationwide to participate in a test of the new national voluntary public health accreditation program.

MSDH was selected from more than 145 applicants to work through the accreditation process and provide valuable feedback prior to the national launch of the system in 2011.

“By serving as a test site, we are afforded the early opportunity to influence the accreditation process and ensure our state public health standards are aligned with the national standards,” said MSDH state epidemiologist Dr. Mary Currier. “We are proud to have a hand in shaping the national accreditation program and advancing the quality of public health.”

While there are standards for hospitals, schools, law enforcement agencies and even daycare centers, there has not previously been a nationally recognized set of standards for public health departments despite the critical role they play in preserving and promoting the health of communities and residents. The goal of public health accreditation is to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of all health departments in the country.

A total of 19 local, eight state and three tribal health departments will participate in the test, including the state health departments of Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Washington, Iowa, Oklahoma and Wyoming. MSDH will receive technical assistance for accreditation and quality improvement, funding to support quality improvement projects and funding to cover the costs of providing detailed feedback to PHAB. The test period extends from fall 2009 through the end of 2010.

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