Meigs Health Matters

Update on gaining national accreditation

By Michelle Willard - Contributing Columnist

The Meigs County Health Department (MCHD) has been working relentlessly since February 2015 to gain national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) by July 2020 as required by the Ohio Department of Health and State law. Future funding (approximately $500,000) is dependent upon the MCHD’s success in this endeavor. We have made tremendous progress toward reaching that goal in 2016.

In January 2016, the MCHD’s Quality Improvement (QI) Plan was completed. QI uses data from tools such as customer satisfaction surveys to analyze performance efforts. When it is determined that a process needs improvement, a QI project is done. QI projects can be done for individual programs (for example determining how WIC could decrease the number of people not showing up for their appointments). QI projects also can be completed agency-wide such as the following project that was conducted this year. From March to May, surveys were conducted at various businesses and events asking if people used the Health Department’s services, what services they used and how satisfied they were with the services they received. Using the information from this survey, we can work on ways to outreach more effectively to let people know what services are offered.

The MCHD Branding Policy was completed in May 2016. The purpose of branding is to increase the visibility of an organization, and to communicate what an organization stands for and what it provides. The MCHD adopted the public health logo, which is designed and marketed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). The customizable logo is now found on all new signs, letterheads, business cards, address labels, etc. that are connected to the MCHD. As part of branding, a new, more user-friendly website ( was unveiled this year.

The MCHD’s Workforce Development Plan was completed in October 2016. Workforce Development focuses on staff training. An assessment will be completed annually by all staff and will help identify any areas where employees may need or desire additional training to better perform duties.

The MCHD has been partnering with local organizations and community members through a Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) group named Get Healthy Meigs! Through the efforts of Get Healthy Meigs! and Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, a Community Health Assessment (CHA) was completed in 2015. The MCHD and Get Healthy Meigs! are now partnering with the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College to complete a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) with assistance from a grant awarded by the Ohio Department of Health. The CHIP, which is anticipated to be completed in January 2017, will provide ways for the Get Healthy Meigs! partners to help make improvements on the issues that were identified in the CHA. The MCHD will develop its Strategic Plan based on the CHIP.

In addition, the MCHD has implemented Ethics and Employee Recognition Policies this year. An Emergency Response Plan, which also is a requirement for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Grant, is updated annually.

What’s planned for 2017? The MCHD will have to create and implement a Performance Management Plan and System. Performance Management is the process of communication between employees and supervisors to ensure that agency and personal goals are consistently being met. Goals that aren’t consistently met become QI projects to determine the reason.

Additionally, the MCHD will have to create a Strategic Plan which is the process of creating measurable goals and objectives that will help the MCHD achieve the Mission and Vision for our agency.

Finally, there is a minimum of nearly four hundred documents that must be located or created, and then processed to be submitted to PHAB. Members of the Accreditation team have completed almost half of that process this year. We hope to have most of the documentation created and/or collected and be able to apply for national accreditation by the end of 2017. For more information contact me at (740)992-6626.
Update on gaining national accreditation

By Michelle Willard

Contributing Columnist

Michelle Willard is an administrative assistant with the Meigs County Health Department.

Michelle Willard is an administrative assistant with the Meigs County Health Department.