Garrett County Health Department Maintains Accreditation Status

Jan 16, 2023

Garrett County Health Department staff provided an update to the Board of Garrett County Commissioners during their meeting on January 9th. Pictured in the front row from left to right are Commissioners Paul Edwards, Larry Tichnell, and Ryan Savage. In the back row from the Health Department are Fred Polce, Director of Local Management Board & Behavioral Health Authority; Shelley Argabrite, Health Strategist & Director of the Population Health, Innovation, & Informatics Unit; John Corbin, Informatics Administrator; Heather Cooper, Director of Personal Health; Jennifer Hare, Administrator; and Bob Stephens, Garrett County Health Officer. Photo Compliments of Trevor King.

Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens met with the Board of Garrett County Commissioners at their meeting on January 9th to announce that the Health Department received reaccreditation status from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).

Accreditation means a health department has demonstrated their commitment to building and maintaining a strong infrastructure to better serve their communities.

“Health departments provide essential services, such as vaccinations, food inspections, health education, and vital records, and are key leaders in improving the health and well-being of communities,” notes PHAB. “To demonstrate accountability, promote transparency, and adopt cultures that promote continuous performance improvement, many health departments strive to achieve national accreditation.”

“I am proud of the hard work done by our staff at the Health Department,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “We know that we strive to do our best for the citizens and visitors of Garrett County, so it’s rewarding to have PHAB recognize that hard work!”

The Garrett County Health Department first received accreditation six years ago after a rigorous two-year multi-faceted peer review assessment process to ensure it met or exceeded a set of quality standards and measures for public health.

“This continued accreditation should assure residents that the programs and services they receive from the Garrett County Health Department are as responsive as possible to the needs of the community,” Stephens said. The current accreditation will extend for five years.

PHAB is a non-profit organization that administers the national accrediting program and works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and transforming the quality and performance of governmental public health departments in the United States and abroad.

“Public health departments are the backbone of our public health system,” said PHAB President and CEO Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN. “Ensuring that they have a strong infrastructure and Foundational Capabilities in place is a vital step in strengthening the health of communities across the country.”