The Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Public Health announced today that it has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. The national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and ultimately transforming the quality and performance of the nation’s state, local, tribal and territorial health departments.

The Department is one of fewer than 300 health departments that have achieved accreditation through PHAB since the organization launched in 2011. There are nearly 3,000 governmental public health departments in the U.S.

Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, said she is pleased to share this news during National Public Health Week.

“This week is set aside to focus on the responsibilities that individuals and public agencies have to improve health and make our communities better,” Gee said. “With this accreditation, the programs and services offered by our Office of Public Health have been recognized as performing at the highest national standards.”

Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. In Louisiana, the Office of Public Health provides a range of services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; ensuring access to safe food, water, clean air and life-saving immunizations; and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.

The Public Health Accreditation Board is jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. According to the board, accreditation is assurance that programs and services provided by local health departments are as responsive as possible to the needs of communities.

“This accreditation shows that the Louisiana Department of Health stands ready to meet the public health needs of those we serve as effectively as possible,” said Dr. Alexander Billioux, assistant secretary of the Office of Public Health. “Accreditation demonstrates that the state health department has been rigorously examined and meets or exceeds national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health.”

To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.