BURLINGTON -- The Vermont Department of Health is among the first five state health departments to achieve national accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation's Tribal, state, local and territorial public health departments.

"I am very proud to say that Vermont is one of the first state health departments to achieve this distinction," said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. "This means we have demonstrated that Vermonters are served by a high performing public health department and workforce at our central offices and laboratory in Burlington, and through our 12 district offices around the state. We are working for your health every day."

To date, five state health departments -- Florida, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Washington and Vermont -- and 39 local health departments have been accredited.

The national accreditation program, jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sets standards against which the nation's more than 3,000 governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance. To become accredited, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.

"As one of the first state health departments established in the country, we have been working to protect and promote the health of Vermonters for more than 125 years, and we are proud to continue this long tradition," said Dr. Chen. "By continuing to strengthen our leadership and partnerships, services and performance, we can be sure we are meeting the present and future public health needs of our state as effectively as possible."

The Vermont Department of Health works in partnership with health care providers, volunteer agencies, schools, businesses, coalitions and organizations in communities to improve health and extend public health initiatives across the state.

The Health Department offers a wide range of programs and services to:

  • promote healthy behaviors such as eating a healthy diet, having regular physical activity, not smoking or misusing alcohol or other drugs.
  • improve access to health services such as immunizations, mammograms, HIV/AIDS testing and prenatal care.
  • investigate disease outbreaks and taking action to control the spread of illness.
  • license physicians and hospitals, emergency medical personnel and services, inspect food and lodging establishments, and enforce health regulations.
  • prepare for and respond to public health emergencies and threats, and provide Vermonters with current, correct and credible information to stay safe and healthy.
  • continually track and report on the health status of Vermonters, health risks and behaviors, and progress toward meeting health goals.

To learn more about public health in Vermont, visit our website at: http://www.healthvermont.gov .

See how we're doing, check out our Healthy Vermonters 2020 goals and objectives, State Health Improvement Plan, and performance dashboard on our website at: http://www.healthvermont.gov/hv2020.