New York State Health Department Celebrates National Accreditation Through the Public Health Accreditation Board

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 23, 2015) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and marked this achievement today with a program featuring American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin, M.D. and New York Academy of Medicine President Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D.

"The New York State Department of Health is proud to have obtained accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board which recognizes both our commitment to advancing the quality of our programs, as well as the efforts of our dedicated staff," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "Accreditation demonstrates that our department meets national standards for public health agencies and helps us pursue our vision for promoting the health of all New Yorkers."

PHAB was established in 2007 to serve as the national public health accrediting body, and is jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The national accreditation program works to improve and protect public health by setting standards to advance the quality and performance of the nation's tribal, state, local, and territorial public health departments. Since the program's launch in 2011, nearly 130 health departments have applied to PHAB for accreditation, and hundreds of public health practitioners from across the nation have been trained to serve as volunteer peer site visitors for the program.

"The New York State Health Department is one of the first of many health departments that we look forward to being able to recognize as a high-performing public health department," said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. "The peer-review process provides valuable feedback to inform health departments of their strengths and areas for improvement, so that they can better protect and promote the health of the people they serve in their communities."

"Achieving accreditation indicates that the New York State Department of Health is dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the community by striving to continuously improve the quality of the services it delivers," said PHAB Board of Directors Chair, Leslie M. Beitsh.

"Accreditation also promotes consistency in meeting standards. With an ever-increasing number of health departments now applying for and becoming accredited, you will be able to expect to receive the same quality of public health services wherever you go in the United States."

"Assuring the health of our communities depends on having a strong public health system in place," said APHA Executive Director, Georges Benjamin, MD. "Having achieved accreditation, the New York State Department of Health is now even better positioned to deliver quality programs and services to meet the health needs of New Yorkers. I congratulate the department for being a leader among its peers and for its commitment to excellence in public health."

"I congratulate the New York State Department of Health for achieving accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board," said New York Academy of Medicine President Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D. "This honordemonstrates that New York is meeting and surpassing national standards for performance and community engagement thanks to the outstanding public health professionals across the state who are truly committed to making New York the "Healthiest State", a goal we all work towards in the implementation of the Prevention Agenda 2013-2017."

To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures. One of the requirements was the development of a state health improvement plan known as Prevention Agenda 2013-17. This plan serves 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.

For more information on Prevention Agenda 2013-17, visit:

Photos from today's accreditation celebration are attached.

Image of the commissioner unveiling a plaque

Image of the commissioner with a plaque