RiverStone Health, Yellowstone County’s public health department, received accreditation notification from the Public Health Accreditation Board last month.
RiverStone Health is the first public health department in Eastern Montana to be nationally accredited and one of fewer than 50 health departments nationwide to earn PHAB accreditation.
To receive accreditation, a news release said, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure that it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.
There are more than 3,000 public health departments in the United States, and hundreds are seeking national accreditation. RiverStone Health and the Missoula City-County Health Department are the only two local health departments accredited in Montana, although several other local health departments in the state are working toward accreditation.
The PHAB voluntary accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the performance of the nation’s Tribal, state, local and territorial public health departments, the news release said. PHAB, which launched in 2011 after more than a decade of development, is jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.