Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Public Health Leadership (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Public Health

Committee Chair

James Stephens

Committee Member 1

Julie Reagan

Committee Member 2

Haresh Rochani


Objectives: The purpose of this study is to understand the success rates for health departments pursuing and achieving accreditation in version 1.0 and 1.5 of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) standards and measures. During the accreditation process, health departments that present performance gaps are asked to complete an Action Plan to specify how they plan to improve to meet the desired conformity. This study will highlight specific measures that are often included in Action Plans so that health departments pursuing accreditation can be better prepared to address these common pitfalls.

Methods: This study is a non-experimental, secondary analysis of cross-sectional PHAB data available as of May 2018. This is a quantitative analysis utilizing logistic regression to determine association between variables. The sampling frame for this study includes 223 accredited health departments from 2013 to May 2018.

Results: The five measures most commonly included in public health accreditation Action Plans include 5.2.4 (implementing a Community Health Improvement Plan), 5.3.3 (implementing a Strategic Plan), 9.1.3 (implementing a Performance Management System), 9.2.2 (implementing quality improvement), and 9.1.4 (implementing customer satisfaction process). The top five measures included in Action Plans are all focused on implementation of the associated plans or processes included in Domains 5 and 9.

Conclusions: To avoid common pitfalls of public health accreditation, health departments still in pursuit of accreditation that want to avoid getting an Action Plan should allow one to two years between plan development and applying for accreditation to allow enough time to produce at least one annual report evaluating implementation of plan goals and objectives. Small and medium local health departments should consider this specifically for the implementation of their performance management system, which is frequently included in Action Plans.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material