Accreditation's Role in Bolstering Resilience in the Face of the Zika Virus Outbreak

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Abstract

The Florida Department of Health (Department) received accreditation status as an integrated public health system from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) in 2 phases: the State Health Office received accreditation in June 2014 and the 67 county health departments received accreditation in March 2016. Six weeks after PHAB awarded accreditation to the Department as an integrated public health system in March 2016, the World Health Organization declared the Zika outbreak in the Americas a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Even in that short time, integrated public health accreditation, along with the other components of the Department's performance management system, allowed the Department to address this public health emergency, especially in Miami-Dade County, where the impact of Zika was significant. This case report describes the local response in Miami-Dade County and supporting statewide efforts. Public health departments should consider how public health accreditation could strengthen their ability to fulfill their public health mission. This article provides rationale for state and local health departments to seek accreditation.

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