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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Georgia Southern Examines the State of Accreditation Readiness in Georgia

Georgia’s public health districts first began exploring the idea of national public health accreditation in 2008 when Cobb and Douglas Public Health included accreditation in their strategic plan. In May 2015, Cobb and Douglas Public Health was the first Georgia public health district to achieve national accreditation status. This article discusses the current state of accreditation readiness in Georgia and explores strengths and barriers to accreditation.


[Photo: Ms. Angela Peden]

“The Center for Public Health Practice and Research is honored to work with both the Georgia Department of Public Health and many of Georgia’s public health districts. We provide technical assistance to assist these public health agencies with achieving their PHAB accreditation goals. The learning is mutual and the Center benefits greatly from our relationships with public health in Georgia.”

This study utilized a case study approach in order to examine PHAB accreditation efforts in Georgia within a real life context. Data came from three sources: nine Accreditation Readiness Assessments, a PHAB Pre-Application Technical Assistance Survey, and state-wide Accreditation Readiness Survey.

The Accreditation Readiness Assessments resulted in several lessons learned about common strengths and barriers to accreditation. Strengths included a dedicated staff and supportive Boards of Health. Barriers included accreditation fees and a lack of personnel time. The results of this case study show that 72 percent of Georgia’s public health districts are engaged in accreditation related activities. This includes activities such as accreditation readiness assessment, community health assessment, QI council and plan development, strategic planning, and policy review.

The state of accreditation readiness in Georgia: A case study,” was published in the Journal for the Georgia Public Health Association.

Ms. Angela Peden, Coordinator of the Center for Public Health Practice Research at the Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, was the lead author. Dr. Gulzar Shah, Associate Dean for Research at Georgia Southern, Russell Toal, former director of the Center for Public Health Practice and Research, as well as other colleagues and students were the co-authors.