ALBEMARLE — The North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation (NCLHDA) Board has reaccredited the Stanly County Health Department with honors.
Stanly’s department is among only six counties to earn this honors designation, which was announced on Dec. 8.
Evaluated by the state board in the fall 2023 cycle, Stanly County was one of eight health departments to receive reaccreditation. Excelling in its accreditation assessment, it met all the required performance standards as mandated by legislation.
The department was first accredited on December 19, 2008, with subsequent reaccreditations on December 20, 2013, and December 19, 2017, before the latest on November 17, 2023.
In a statement, the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH) noted the health departments of Anson, Catawba, Craven, Harnett, Lenoir, Macon, Nash, Stanly, Granville, and Vance counties all received reaccreditation by the state accreditation board.
North Carolina is the pioneer state in mandating accreditation for its local health departments, aimed at ensuring a fundamental level of capacity and services statewide.
Since a pilot in 2004 involving six departments, all 85 health departments in the state have achieved accreditation, and 82 have been reaccredited at least once.
The NCLHDA’s accreditation process includes a self-assessment by the agency, a site visit by a team of multidisciplinary peers, and accreditation status determination by an independent board comprising local public health officials, board of health members, county commissioners, and public members.
The honors designation, introduced in 2017, is for agencies that excel in their accreditation assessment, missing one or fewer activities within the NCLHDA standards. Apart from Stanly County, Anson, Catawba, Craven, Harnett, and Lenoir County Health Departments also received the honor.
The past year marked significant progress for North Carolina’s local health department accreditation program. Following a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the NCIPH resumed site visits, reaccredited 27 health departments, and conditionally accredited one new department, with a record 79% achieving honors.
In its 2022-2023 annual report, the NCIPH noted, “In May, we organized a regional workshop, allowing health departments to collaborate and support each other’s accreditation efforts.” The Institute expressed enthusiasm for the future, emphasizing the continuation of its mission to innovate and advance public health through accreditation.
The NC Local Health Department Accreditation program is a joint effort of the NCIPH (part of the Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC Chapel Hill), the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors, and the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NC Department of Health and Human Services).