Public Health Accreditation

Tribal Public Health Department Accreditation


Public health department accreditation is the measurement of tribal, state, local, and territorial health department performance compared to a set of national standards. The goal of accreditation is to improve and protect the health of every community by advancing the quality and performance of public health departments. The idea is, regardless of how a health department is structured or governed, everyone should reasonably expect the health department to meet certain standards.* Public health accreditation provides a set of public health standards by which a tribe can systematically strengthen its self-determination and raise the level and quality of services provided to the community.

Incorporated in May 2007, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) is the accrediting body for national public health accreditation.

Yes. A tribal health department must meet the following definition to apply for PHAB accreditation:

    • A tribal health department is defined, for the purposes of PHAB accreditation, as a federally recognized tribal government**, tribal organization, or inter-tribal consortium, as defined in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, as amended.

  • Community Health Assessment (CHA): A CHA is a collaborative process that includes regular and systematic collection, analysis, and dissemination of information on community health status to inform goal setting and health improvement planning.
  • Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP): The CHIP focuses on ways to address key causes of disease, modify behavioral risks, and improve other factors that affect health. A CHIP identifies how the tribe will address health priorities identified in the Tribal CHA. The Tribal CHIP is directly linked to the Tribal CHA because it uses the baseline data identified in the CHA to measure progress over time. The Tribal CHIP can be utilized as a road map for improving the health and well-being of communities, and includes benchmarks for monitoring and evaluating progress.
  • Strategic Plan: A Strategic Plan identifies the internal objectives and strategies necessary for the tribal health department to address the priority areas in the Tribal Community Health Improvement Plan and other quality improvement plans. Strategic planning is a process used to identify strategies that support the organization’s vision and mission.

Click here to visit PHAB’s website to learn more about public health accreditation.

Tribal Community Health Assessment Toolkit Pilot Project

The “Tribal Community Health Assessment: A Practical Guide and Toolkit (Pilot Version)” was developed as a resource for tribal leaders, tribal health professionals, and community members who are interested in assessing and monitoring the health status of tribal communities. The contents of the toolkit can be used as a foundation for planning and conducting a CHA process. Tribes are encouraged to make community specific adaptations that supplement the basic CHA framework.

Toolkit by Section:

Red Star Innovations, LLC

National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

Support for 2012-2013 ITCA TEC accreditation projects was provided in part though the National Association of County and City Health Officials by the Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Support for 2013 ITCA TEC accreditation projects was provided in part by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

* National Association of County and City Health Officials. Operational Definition of a Functional Local Health Department. November 2005
** As evidenced by inclusion on the list of recognized tribes mandated under 25 U.S.C. § 479a-1. Publication of List of Recognized Tribes.