Accreditation and Innovation to be Spotlighted at APHA’s 144th Annual Meeting, Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 in Denver

This entry is part 1 of 42 in the series Focus on Accreditation and Innovation
 by Teddi D. Nicolaus, BS

Focus on Accreditation and Innovation addresses current issues related to the Public Health Accreditation Board’s national public health department accreditation program, and the Public Health National Center for Innovations. This series highlights the experiences and perspectives of accredited health departments and explores topics related to the Standards and Measures, research and evaluation findings, and the latest innovations in public health practice.

Teddi D. Nicolaus, BS

Here in Alexandria, Virginia, the leaves are starting to fall — a sure sign that the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA) is right around the corner. With more than half the US population now served by a health department that is accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), accreditation will be much in the spotlight as the curtain goes up on the world’s largest gathering of present and future public health leaders. APHA’s 144th Annual Meeting & Exposition, to be held Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 in Denver, will feature a range of sessions tied to accreditation, quality improvement, and performance management. In addition, PHAB’s newest division, the Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), will be on hand to share the many ways PHNCI is leading the charge to foster innovations in public health practice that promise to advance a culture of health.

PHAB kicks off its conference program on Monday, Oct. 31 with a session (3144.0) titled “Ensuring Sound Leadership and Governance in an Innovative Health Department.” PHAB Board of Directors member Paul Halverson will moderate the 10:30 AM to noon session, during which PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender and PHAB Board of Directors Chair Bud Nicola will discuss how health department administrators, managers, and governing entities can use lessons learned from the accreditation process to ensure sound leadership and governance while fostering innovation.

Sessions tied to accreditation will continue on Tuesday, Nov. 1, with “Do You Want to Enhance Your Health Department’s Performance? Get Accredited” (session 4207.0). Organized by APHA’s Council of Affiliates, the 12:30 PM to 2 PM session will look at the progress made by several of APHA’s affiliated state and regional public health associations after receiving grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assist health departments on their journeys toward accreditation.

Also on Tuesday, Michael Meit, a public health senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, will present “Lessons Learned from the National Evaluation of the Public Health Accreditation Program” (session 4376.3). The 5:10 PM session will highlight lessons learned from NORC’s evaluation of the public health accreditation program, including the initial impacts and outcomes experienced by accredited health departments. Also on Tuesday, the National Association of County and City Health Officials will present “Public Health Workforce Perception of Workplace Environment and Job Satisfaction: The Role of Local Health Departments’ Engagement in Accreditation” (session 4389.0). The 4:30 PM session will explore findings from various surveys that uphold the benefits of PHAB accreditation on workforce development in local health departments.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, innovation in public health practice will be spotlighted during a 10:30 AM to noon session titled “Strengthening Local Health Department Performance Using the Accreditation Process and Data Rich Performance Enhancement Tools” (5096.0). During the session, PHAB Accreditation Education Specialist David Stone will present “Transforming the Delivery of Public Health: How the Public Health National Center for Innovations is Leading the Charge.” The session will explore PHNCI’s purpose and goals, including the push to transform public health through the implementation of foundational public health services, the engagement of cross-jurisdictional sharing, and the exploration of a uniform chart of accounts.

As conference-goers plan their schedules on their mobile apps, they’ll also want to make sure to include a visit to Booth 520 and Booth 522 at the Public Health Expo at the Colorado Convention Center, where representatives from PHAB and PHNCI will be on hand to share information and answer questions about their important work in accreditation and innovation.

For session room numbers, consult the APHA program book on-site. For more information about PHAB, visit or contact PHAB Communications Manager Teddi Nicolaus at 703-778-4549, x118, or via email at information about APHA’s 144th Annual Meeting and Exposition, visit

Teddi Dineley Nicolaus, BS, is the Communications Manager at the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), overseeing efforts to effectively and accurately promote PHAB’s mission and foster a greater understanding of accreditation’s impact. Previously, she worked as a health reporter for The Nation’s Health, the official newspaper of the American Public Health Association in Washington, DC. Her journalism career spans more than two decades as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. [Full bio]

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