Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Former Tooele County Commissioner Myron Bateman cuts the ribbon at the Rabbit Lane Pathway ribbon in June 25. Community efforts to increase opportunities for a healthy lifestyle were part of the Tooele County Health Department’s recent accreditation.

June 25, 2020
Health department earns accreditation for next five years

Tooele County Health Department continues to improve its processes and programs to help residents of the county become healthy, according to a national non-profit Public Health Accreditation Board.

The accreditation board gave TCHD high scores last week after the department provided information from more than a year on its programs.

“We applaud the Tooele County Health Department for demonstrating its increasing effectiveness in improving the health of everyone in Tooele County,” said Joe Finkbonner, chair of PHAB’s board of directors. 

“We are so pleased to again be recognized by PHAB for achieving national standards that foster effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement,” said Jeff Coombs, executive director of TCHD.

“We hope this announcement, coming as it does in the midst of our rapidly unfolding public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will reassure our community, our partner organizations, our funders and our elected officials that the services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. By continuing to improve our services and performance, we can be sure we are meeting the public health needs of those we serve as effectively as possible.”

The Health Department achieved national initial accreditation status through PHAB in March 2014, after undergoing a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it met a set of quality standards and measures. Last week’s announcement goes a step further by demonstrating that the TCHD has the capacity to become increasingly effective at improving the health of Tooele County.

“We are extremely pleased to be at the point in the accreditation program where the Tooele County Health Department, along with many others, are successfully maintaining their five-year accreditation status through PHAB,” said PHAB President and CEO Paul Kuehnert “In so doing, these health departments are assuring their communities that the value of accreditation is long-term — not a one-time recognition — and that continual improvement is the hallmark of a 21st century organization.” 

TCHD scored 94.85% with the aggregated score of the 342 other accredited health departments at 89.8%.

“We are very pleased to score so high,” said Amy Bate, public information officer for TCHD.

“This whole process is voluntary and what it has done for us has helped us to reach a higher level of quality and performance in every aspect of our work and to continually improve and advance and become more effective at what we do for the populations that we serve,” she said.

Reaccreditation covers quality improvement, performance management, accountability, transparency, and the capacity to deliver the Ten Essential Public Health Services which are:

1- Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems

2- Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community

3- Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues

4- Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems

5- Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts

6- Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety

7- Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable

8- Assure competent public and personal health care workforce

9- Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services 

10-Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems

“Reaccreditation is a very long process, it took us over a year to complete and it is good for five years but we have to continually be working on specific criteria during those five years and show how we meet quality standards and measures and submit annual reports, showing that we are continually doing self-evaluation and striving for continual improvement. All requirements and updates are submitted to PHAB annually,” Bate said.

She said areas where the department scored 100% were Communication, Community, Intergovernmental Relationships, Planning, Policy, and Quality Improvement/Performance Management. 

“The only area where we scored a little bit lower was in Labs where we scored 75%. We do not have our own lab and we rely upon the state or private labs for our testing,” Bate said. 

 

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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