031522_Press Release_Black Hawk County Public Health Awarded National Accreditation

Press Releases


March 15, 2022

Contact: Black Hawk County Health Department

Phone: 319-291-2413

Black Hawk County Public Health Awarded National Accreditation

Black Hawk County Public Health announced today it has been awarded national accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Accreditation through PHAB demonstrates the Health Department’s capacity to carry out the essential public health services, manage an effective health department, maintain consistent communications with the governing entity, and have a strong commitment to serving the community.

The accreditation process began at Black Hawk County Public Health in 2016. To become accredited the health department underwent a rigorous review process to demonstrate conformance to 100 public health measures. During that time the organization also embarked on a restructuring and rebranding process, convened community leaders to work towards health equity, continued to provide the essential services of public health, all while responding to a global pandemic.

“Achieving national accreditation for the first time in the department’s history means we are meeting the highest standards as a public health agency,” said Rev. Dr. Mary Robinson, Board of Health chairperson. “As a Board of Health, we are proud of the outstanding leadership and service that the Black Hawk County Public Health staff demonstrates to our community.”

The national accreditation program, which receives support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sets standards against which the nation’s governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance. More than 80 percent of the U.S. population now reap the benefits of being served by a health department that has undergone PHAB’s rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets a set of quality standards and measures.

In January, Black Hawk County Public Health received high marks from the public health accreditation site visitors. The Site Visit Team recognized Black Hawk County Public Health’s commitment to the community, health equity, and an engaged Board of Health as the three biggest strengths of the Department.

Dr. Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye, Black Hawk County Public Health Director couldn’t agree more. “I am very proud of the team and all the work we have accomplished over the past several years. Accreditation is possible because of their dedication, hard work, and passion towards quality of life for all who live in Black Hawk County. I am filled with gratitude to the Board of Health for their leadership, support, and guidance throughout this process.

Established in 2007, PHAB is the nonprofit organization that administers the national accreditation program, which aims to advance and transform public health practice by championing performance improvement, strong infrastructure, and innovation.

"The value of becoming nationally accredited through PHAB extends far beyond the interior walls of the health department," said PHAB President and CEO Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN. "People living and working in communities served by these health departments can be assured that their health department is strong and has the capacity to protect and promote their health. Just going through the accreditation process itself helps health departments pinpoint the areas that are critical to improving the work they do for their communities."

Often called the “backbone” of the public health system, public health departments are on the front lines of communities’ efforts to protect and promote health and prevent disease and injury. Black Hawk County Public Health is committed to providing services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; ensuring access to safe food, water, clean air, and life-saving immunizations; and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.