Geauga Public Health recently announced it has achieved national accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board.
Geauga Public Health has been working on this for several years, according to a news release.
It is fairly common for health districts going through the process to get what is called an “action plan” to address opportunities for improvement that need to occur prior to receiving the accredited status, according to the release. However, Geauga Public Health did not receive an action plan which it demonstrated that it met all the requirements upon initial review.
In their executive summary report, the accreditation board noted the following as Geauga Public Health’s three greatest strengths:
• Partnerships/Relationships — GPH appears to have strong long-standing relationships with partners, particularly with those in the Partnership for a Healthy Geauga which is responsible for the development of the CHA and CHIP.
• Engagement of Target Populations — GPH demonstrates the capacity and ability and to ensure target populations are engaged in the development of policies that will affect them in order to ensure buy-in and support.
• Preparedness/Response — Northeast Ohio Region Mutual Aid Agreement and Emergency Response Plan establishes a partnership across jurisdiction lines to assist in 24/7 emergencies and surge events. Having a shared plan and a formal agreement in place shows commitment to ensuring resources are available as well as a unified response during emergencies.
Also in their executive summary report, the accreditation board noted the following as Geauga Public Health’s three greatest opportunities for improvement:
• Engaging Target Populations — While also identified as a strength through the strong COVID-19 examples provided, GPH is encouraged to ensure the engagement of the target audience during development of a health education message or strategy in order to get input to help shape the final content.
• Culture of Quality Improvement and Performance Management — The Public Health Impact plan which includes the QI and PM plans was fairly new at the time of submission to PHAB. An opportunity exists for GPH to continue building on this momentum to ensure a culture of quality and performance improvement is instilled across the department as a way of doing business.
• Access to Care — The GPH is encouraged to conduct an in-depth assessment of the availability of health care services in Geauga County – consider assessment of provider types, location, Medicaid acceptance, available public transportation, and other factors.
After achieving accreditation, Geauga Public Health will engage in annual reports to the accreditation board and will need to go through the process all over again in five years.