The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) has announced that the Ventura County Public Health Department is among the first 25 local public health departments in the nation and the first in the State of California to be awarded reaccreditation status. The accreditation demonstrates a consistent and continued commitment to collaborative efforts to keep communities throughout Ventura County safe. The rigorous accreditation process requires commitment to quality and performance improvement.
“The Ventura County Public Health team is deeply committed to protecting and improving the health of every member of our community, including identifying and overcoming disparities and barriers to leading a healthy life. This recognition is a well-deserved validation of that commitment and their efforts,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers. “During this unprecedented pandemic, we are fortunate to have such a dedicated, recognized public health department with the capacity and ability to respond effectively to protect the lives of all community members.”
PHAB is a nongovernmental nonprofit organization that administers the national accrediting program, which 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.
Ventura County Public Health Director Rigoberto Vargas, MPH, expressed gratitude to the department’s “outstanding and diverse team of public health professionals dedicated to protecting health and promoting the well-being of all residents in Ventura County.” Added Vargas: “We are especially proud to have been the first health department in California to have been accredited, and now to be the first to be reaccredited. Achieving reaccreditation, all while also responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, further demonstrates that indeed, Ventura County Public Health is a high-achieving department that’s not just meeting, but largely exceeding, national standards for health department excellence.”
“This week’s accreditation decisions arrive in the midst of the most challenging time in modern public health history, with pandemics of infectious disease and systemic racism posing unprecedented threats to the health and safety of people and communities,” said PHAB President and CEO Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN. “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.”
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.
“This is a tremendous recognition and excellent reflection of the dedication and quality work that we have serving the community,” said Chief Deputy Director Ventura County Health Care Agency Barry Zimmerman.
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. PHAB-accredited health departments range in size from large state health departments serving tens of millions of people to small local health departments serving communities of fewer than 50,000 people. There are approximately 3,000 local health departments in the United States eligible for accreditation. Currently, there is a total of 36 state, 255 local and 3 Tribal Departments of Public Health that have achieved five-year initial accreditation or reaccreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board, bringing the benefits of PHAB accreditation to 82 percent of the U.S. population.