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National Public Health Accreditation

Logo graphic for the public health accreditation board.

In November 2015, NMDOH was awarded public health accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). PHAB’s voluntary national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and transforming the quality of the department. Achieving public health accreditation demonstrates the department is delivering the essential core functions and public health services according to a set of nationally recognized, practice-focused, and evidence-based standards.

NMDOH’s accreditation status means the Department succeeded in its pursuit of organizational excellence according to PHAB’s nationally recognized standards. Public health departments play a crucial role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. Accreditation provides a framework for the Department to identify performance improvement opportunities, improve management, develop leadership, improve relationships with the community and deliver the Ten Essential Public Health Services. This framework improves the Department’s ability to keep communities ahead of emerging threats while promoting best practices to meet ongoing health challenges.

Accreditation is not a one-time recognition and NMDOH will apply for reaccreditation in 2021. The reaccreditation process builds on initial accreditation and allows the opportunity for NMDOH to show our commitment to continuous improvement and how the department addresses essential public health services. The Office of Policy and Accountability (OPA) coordinates the department’s efforts to remain in the National Public Health Accreditation program. Reaccreditation ensures the Department continues to evolve, improve, and advance, thereby becoming increasingly effective at improving the health of New Mexicans.

Public Health Accreditation Board Standards and Measures (Version 1.5)

EPHS Color Wheel

PHAB’s Standards and Measures, adopted in December 2013, is based on the Three Core Functions of Public Health and the Ten Essential Public Health Services. The PHAB’s Standards and Measures are organized into 12 domains. PHAB is updating their standards and measures and the new version will be available in the fall of 2022.

  • Domain 1: Conduct and disseminate assessments focused on population health status and public health issues facing the community.
  • Domain 2: Investigate health problems and environmental public health hazards to protect the community.
  • Domain 3: Inform and educate about public health issues and functions.
  • Domain 4: Engage with the community to identify and address health problems.
  • Domain 5: Develop public health policies and plans.
  • Domain 6: Enforce public health laws.
  • Domain 7: Promote strategies to improve access to health care.
  • Domain 8: Maintain a competent public health workforce.
  • Domain 9: Evaluate and continuously improve processes, programs, and interventions.
  • Domain 10: Contribute to and apply the evidence base of public health.
  • Domain 11: Maintain administrative and management capacity.
  • Domain 12: Maintain capacity to engage the public health governing entity.

Accreditation is a best practice recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The accreditation process benefits health departments by

  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses within the department
  • Showing the department’s capacity to deliver core functions and 10 Essential Public Health Services
  • Stimulating quality improvement and performance management across the department
  • Improving communication with the governing entity and community partners

As part of this best practice, NMDOH updates and implements major plans and systems that are well-integrated and systematic in their approach. These plans include our State Health Assessment, State Health Improvement Plan, Strategic Plan, Workforce Development Plan, Quality Improvement Plan, Performance Management System, and Emergency Operations Plan. These plans and system are integral parts of the PHAB accreditation and reaccreditation process.