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State health department earns national accreditation

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal - 9/25/2017

Sept. 25--JACKSON -- The Mississippi State Department of Health announced Monday morning it has completed an intensive national public health accreditation process.

Mississippi is one of only 28 state departments of health that have earned accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board

"We provide services that meet or exceed all of the national requirements," said Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier as she announced the accreditation at a Monday press conference.

Accreditation involves an intensive process of gathering and analyzing data, developing strategic plans with stakeholders outside the department of health. The health department had to show it had the capacity to provide the broad range of public health services, including community health assessments, epidemiology, infectious disease control, health inspections, health education and promotion, as well as public health emergency preparedness.

It took the state health department three years to complete the process. It was able to complete the accreditation process even as state funding for public health has been scaled back.

"Because of budget cuts, we really had to change the way we do business," Currier said Monday morning.

The accreditation is beneficial is several ways, Currier said. Many of the elements of the accreditation process are required for grants from the Centers for Disease Control, Currier said. The process also has strengthened connections between the health department and communities around the state.

"This gives us a strategic way to move forward," Currier said.


(c)2017 the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.)

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