Health departments in Camden, Glynn, and McIntosh counties have been awarded $39,300 to support progress in meeting requirements of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), the first and only voluntary national accreditation program for public health departments. The Coastal Health District will use the funding to create community health improvement plans in those three counties where community health assessments were recently conducted.
A total of 29 local health departments from 19 states received this funding through the Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI). The ASI was created in 2011 to promote national accreditation readiness among a greater number of local health departments and support their varying needs to reach accreditation. Funding for the ASI is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support and administered by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
Community health assessments in Camden, Glynn, and McIntosh counties were completed in November 2013 to help identify what kinds of health-related problems are prevalent in those communities and issues that may contribute to those problems. Assessment findings were based on public data along with results from local surveys and focus groups.
"The purpose of the assessments was to identify health-related vulnerabilities in the population so that we can figure out how make some positive changes in those areas," said Diane Weems, M.D., district health director for the Coastal Health District. "It's going to take a collaborative effort to find and implement solutions and thanks to the ASI funding, we can now take the next steps to do just that."
The assessments, commissioned by the Coastal Health District and compiled by students in the College of Coastal Georgia Public Affairs and Health Informatics Programs, can now be accessed online and at public libraries in the respective counties.*
The Coastal Health District is made up of public health facilities in eight counties: Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh. Coastal Health District officials plan to conduct similar community health assessments and look for funding to create community health improvement plans in additional counties as opportunities become available.
More information on the Accreditation Support Initiative, including a full list of selected local health departments and descriptions of the work they have been funded to complete, can be found at www.naccho.org/asi.
*Disclaimer: Awards are pending execution of a contract with NACCHO and successful completion of project deliverables.