The Role of the Public Health Training Centers in Advancing Public Health Department Accreditation

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In the past few years, the drive for public health department accreditation has continued to build momentum. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes, “Engaging in accreditation catalyzes quality and performance improvement within all public health programs and can help health departments be better prepared to proactively respond to emerging and reemerging health challenges”. Many organizations support accreditation efforts, including the Public Health Training Centers (PHTCs), which have been providing workforce development support since 1999. This article describes how one PHTC, the Midwestern Public Health Training Center, has supported capacity building for accreditation in partnership with other state-based organizations through the development of three major accreditation readiness activities: accreditation workshops, informational videos on Public Health Accreditation Board standards and measures, and competency-based workforce development assessments. Given the current and emerging public health challenges, the need for a well-prepared workforce is more important than ever to strengthen the public health system, and by engaging in activities to meet the accreditation standards, public health departments will be better positioned to respond to these challenges. PHTCs will continue to have a critical role in capacity building for accreditation.

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