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District Names Gurleen Roberts to Head Accreditation Efforts

June 2, 2014

Gurleen Roberts has been named the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Coordinator for the North Central Health District (NCHD). This position was recently created to support the district’s efforts in pursuing public health accreditation. As the QA and Accreditation Coordinator, Roberts works with others to communicate, monitor, and implement policies and procedures within the District.

Gurleen Roberts, the North Central Health District's new Quality Assurance and Accreditation Coordinator.

NCHD currently is working on the first step of the accreditation process, pre-application. That includes three prerequisites: community health assessment (CHA), community health improvement plan (CHIP), and strategic plan. The NCHD has completed one CHA through partnerships with Mercer University and Fort Valley State University's Master's in Public Health graduate students along with a mini grant received from GDPH.  12 CHAs for the other 12 counties in the district are underway. The NCHD hopes to finish all the CHAs, the CHIP, and the strategic plan by spring 2015. Their intent is to submit their PHAB application by summer that same year.

The NCHD, with help from Georgia Southern University's Office of Public Health Practice recently formed a Quality Improvement Council and has written their QI plan. They will be implementing a project related to improving HIV testing within one NCHD county. Based on the results of this pilot project, it may be implemented in the other 12 counties.

One of the benefits and challenges of accreditation for the NCHD is representing and collaborating with 13 diverse counties. The population demographics can vary drastically from one part of the district to another; however, the process of accreditation will allow NCHD services to increase efficiency in reaching the population within each county. District-wide collaborations can assist counties with particular needs. PHAB accreditation will also help quality improvement and create more partnerships within the district.

Amber Erickson, District Epidemiologist said, “I am very excited about our new position.  The accreditation process will provide our district with a means to show our communities that we are committed to providing quality services and programs.  It will also provide us with a structured, research-based approach to developing and implementing health improvement and strategic plans. The addition of a full time accreditation coordinator will move the accreditation process along and shows that our leadership sees the importance of public health accreditation.”

Roberts graduated at the top of her class with her Master of Public Health on May 2, 2014 from Fort Valley State University. During graduate school, she interned for the NCHD's Epidemiology Unit, assisting with accreditation activities. She received her Bachelor's degree in Nutrition Science in 2010 from the University of California, Davis. Roberts is originally from Sacramento, California and moved to Georgia in 2012 due to her husband’s military relocation.

Roberts said, "As an intern at the North Central Health District, I loved being able to contribute my knowledge to improving our community's health. I feel honored to be chosen to help the accreditation efforts of the NCHD, and also look forward to assisting in quality improvement."

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