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Johnston health department reaccredited with honors

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SMITHFIELD — The Johnston County Health Department was among five departments across the state awarded reaccreditation status by the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation board on Nov. 16. The other county health departments were Greene, Cherokee, Iredell and Union .

“All of the agencies recently achieving reaccreditation have much to be proud of. They have not only demonstrated their ability to meet a set of important performance standards, but excelled in many areas,” said Amy Belflower Thomas, N.C. local health department accreditation administrator. “Through reaccreditation, these agencies demonstrate a strong commitment to continuously work to improve the quality of services provided to their respective communities.”

“Reaccreditation with honors” is an honorary designation implemented in 2017 to recognize agencies that especially excelled in their accreditation assessment by missing one or fewer activities within each of five standards set by the accrediting agency’s program.

North Carolina is the first state in the country to mandate accreditation for its local health departments. The purpose of the accreditation program is to assure a basic level of capacity and services in each of the local health departments across the state.

Since the pilot program involving six local health departments began in 2004, all 85 health departments have been initially accredited in North Carolina and, as of May 18, have been reaccredited at least once.

The accreditation process includes three major components — a self-assessment completed by the agency, a site visit by a multidisciplinary team of peers to review performance standards and determination of accreditation status by an independent accreditation board composed of state and local public health officials, health members, county commissioners and public members.

The N.C. Local Health Department Accreditation program is a collaboration of the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (part of the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors.