Ohio law states that all local health departments must achieve national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) by July 1, 2020. Because of this mandate, the Meigs County Health Department (MCHD) has been working since January 2015 to gain this status.
Becoming a PHAB accredited organization involves a lot of work creating and/or revising eight required plans and numerous policies regarding things like communication, ethics, information technology, and health promotion. It also requires us to gather hundreds of pieces of documentation. A large portion of this work has been done in 2017 with the last of the required plans being completed.
The Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) was completed in June. It was a ten-month process facilitated by the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College and involving many local organizations who are all members of the County coalition called Get Healthy Meigs! (GHM!). The CHIP contains five priority areas that GHM! will work on for the next five years including Substance Abuse, Maternal and Child Health, Workforce Development, Chronic Illness, and Healthy Behaviors.
The Strategic Plan was a six-month process involving MCHD staff and Board of Health members from all levels including Senior Management, Supervisors, Program Managers, and Front-Line staff. The Strategic Plan is a three to five-year plan with four priority areas including: Communication within the agency and with stakeholders; Sustainability through funding opportunities, community outreach, and identification of services that are of interest to the County; Enhancing Internal Capacity through training and additional staff; and Achieving and Maintaining PHAB Accreditation. Each of these priorities has several goals and strategies to meet those goals.
The Performance Management/Quality Improvement Plan was a four-month process involving Senior Management, Supervisors, Program Managers, and Front-Line Staff. Performance Management allows the MCHD to monitor processes and programs to see where we might need to make improvements through the process of Quality Improvement.
In addition to the plans, the MCHD has gathered and processed nearly 300 pieces of documentation that will be submitted to PHAB once the Accreditation Coordinator attends a two-day training in Virginia sometime in 2018.
The MCHD will begin the formal Accreditation application process in November 2017.
If there are any questions about the Accreditation process or Get Healthy Meigs!, contact me at (740)992-6626.
Michelle Willard is the Administrative Assistant and Accreditation Coordinator at the Meigs County Health Department.