State Health Department Applies for National Accreditation

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 8, 2013) – State Health Commissioner, Nirav R. Shah announced today the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has submitted its application for accreditation to the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), the national accrediting organization for state, local, tribal and territorial health departments. Public health department accreditation is a new process to measure health department performance against nationally defined standards, and recognize those health departments that meet the standards.

"While there are standards for schools, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, and daycare centers, there had 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," Commissioner Shah said. "Completing the accreditation process provides the State Health Department an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of our services and also showcase the high quality programs associated with the Department."

The main goal of public health accreditation is to advance the quality and performance of all health departments throughout the state and the nation. To receive accreditation DOH is required to complete several prerequisites, including a state health improvement plan known as Prevention Agenda 2013-17. The plan was completed in December 2012 by the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC), at the request of DOH, in partnership with more than 140 organizations across New York.

New York State's Prevention Agenda 2013-17 establishes goals in five priority areas and measures progress toward achieving these goals, including reductions in health disparities among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and persons with disabilities. The five priorities are:

  • prevention of chronic diseases;
  • promotion of healthy and safe environments;
  • promotion of healthy women, infants and children;
  • promotion of mental health and prevention of substance abuse; and
  • prevention of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, vaccine-preventable diseases and healthcare-associated infections.

Prevention Agenda 2013-17 will serve as a blueprint for local communities and agencies including local health departments, hospitals and other community organizations that are conducting community health assessments, identifying local priorities and developing, implementing and evaluating plans for improvement.

Additional information on Prevention Agenda 2013-17, is available at: