News release: Minnesota Department of Health among first in nation to earn national accreditation

News Release
June 19, 2014

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Minnesota Department of Health among first in nation to earn national accreditation

Public Health Accreditation Board designation recognizes high-performing health departments

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today announced it has earned national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. Until this week, only two state health departments and 29 other health departments nationwide had achieved accreditation. The only other Minnesota public health organization to achieve accreditation is the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department.

The national accreditation program, launched in 2011, is jointly supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It sets standards against which the nation's more than 3,000 governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance. 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.

According to Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger, accreditation has a variety of benefits for MDH as well as for the communities and people it serves.

"Accreditation is more than just a formal recognition of a department's effectiveness and quality," Commissioner Ehlinger said. "Accreditation provides a solid framework for identifying improvement opportunities, building accountability and credibility, and connecting more closely with those we serve."

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) was established in 2007 to serve as the national public health accrediting body. PHAB's accreditation process is designed to advance quality and performance within tribal, territorial, local and state public health departments through a process of measuring health department performance against a set of nationally recognized, practice-focused and evidence-based standards.

"Achieving accreditation indicates that the Minnesota Department of Health is dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the community by striving to continuously improve the quality of the services it delivers," said PHAB Board of Directors Chair Dr. Leslie Beitsch. "Accreditation also promotes consistency in meeting standards. With an increasing number of health departments becoming accredited, you will be able to expect to receive the same quality of public health services wherever you go in the United States."

PHAB reviews accreditation applications several times each year, and this week accredited 13 health departments – including two other state health departments. With the addition of these 13 organizations, a total of 44 local and state health departments around the country have received PHAB accreditation. More information about PHAB and the accreditation process can be found online at


Media inquiries:

Michael Schommer
MDH Communications