Ventura County Public Health (VCPH) announced today that it has achieved 5-year national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). VCPH is the first public health department in California to earn this important distinction.
The national accreditation program, jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 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, VCPH underwent a voluntary rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.
"I couldn't be more proud of the VCPH team for helping us achieve this extraordinary accomplishment,” said Rigoberto Vargas, Ventura County Public Health Director. “The accreditation process, which took more than two years to complete, is a testimony to our department’s hard work, dedication and ongoing commitment to continuous improvement.”
Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. In cities, towns, and states across the nation, health departments provide a range of services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; creating safer neighborhoods; administering life-saving immunizations; and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.
“I want to congratulate Ventura County Public Health on receiving national accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, California Department of Public Health director and state health officer. “Accreditation is a distinction which means that the Ventura County Public Health department meets nationally accepted standards. Many public health departments nationwide are preparing for accreditation but only a handful have actually achieved accreditation. Ventura County is truly ahead of the pack.”
VCPH employs approximately 300 people, operates four clinics and seven Women, Infant & Children (WIC) centers and, frequently collaborates with medical providers, schools, businesses and community partners to mitigate health disparities and improve community access to care.
The national accreditation program was created collaboratively over a 10-year period by hundreds of public health practitioners working at the national, Tribal, state, and local levels. Since the program’s launch in September 2011, nearly 130 health departments have applied to PHAB for accreditation, and hundreds of public health practitioners from across the nation have been trained to serve as volunteer peer site visitors for the program.