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Local public health district earns national accreditation

After a rigorous peer review, the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale (GNR) County Health Department was nationally accredited through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) in August. It is one of just three of Georgia’s 18 health districts comprised of one or more of the state’s 159 counties to receive such an accreditation.

“This accreditation honors our entire community and recognizes our ability to collaboratively address health issues of our time,” said the Health Director, Lloyd Hofer, M.D., M.P.H. “We are grateful for our dedicated staff and willing partners as we continue to work diligently toward a healthy, protected, and prepared community.”

The two other Georgia health districts to receive accreditation through PHAB are Cook and Douglas Public Health Department and DeKalb County Board of Health. The three Georgia districts are among the 151 health agencies PHAB has awarded accreditation to across the United States.

Tara Echols coordinated the health department’s accreditation efforts. The accreditation, she said, “demonstrates our commitment to quality improvement and community engagement.”

PHAB is jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health and healthcare for all Americans.

The PHAB standards used to award accreditation are based on the 10 essential public health Services set form by the CDC and the National Public Health Performance Standards Program. Those services include:

• community health assessment and registries;

• diagnose and investigate infectious disease outbreaks;

• health education and health promotion;

• partner with private sector, civic groups, non-government organizations, faith communities and other community-based groups;

• strategic and community health improvement planning;

• enforcement of and review of laws;

• access to health care;

• public health workforce and leadership;

• evaluation and continuous quality improvement; and

• identifying and sharing best practices and participating in research.

The Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments is in partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health. For information about the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments visit