Monday, 02 December 2019 14:35

Richmond County Health Department awarded reaccreditation

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Pictured left to right:  Christopher C. Dobbins, chair, N.C. Local Health Department Accreditation Board; Nancy Porter, Richmond County health education supervisor/co-accreditation coordinator; Dr. Tommy Jarrell, Richmond County human services director; and Amy Belflower Thomas, accreditation administrator Pictured left to right: Christopher C. Dobbins, chair, N.C. Local Health Department Accreditation Board; Nancy Porter, Richmond County health education supervisor/co-accreditation coordinator; Dr. Tommy Jarrell, Richmond County human services director; and Amy Belflower Thomas, accreditation administrator R.C. Health Dept.

ROCKIGHAM — The Richmond County Health Department was awarded reaccreditation with honors status by the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation Board on Nov. 22.


This honorary designation was implemented for the first time in fall of 2017 to recognize agencies that especially excelled in their accreditation assessment by missing one or fewer activities within each of five standards set by the NCLHDA program. Richmond County’s Health Department successfully met 100% of the 147 activities within the standards.

North Carolina is the first state in the country to mandate accreditation for its local health departments. The purpose of the accreditation program is to assure a basic level of capacity and services in each of the local health departments across the state. The process of accreditation includes three major components — a self-assessment completed by the agency, a site visit by a multidisciplinary team of peers to review performance standards, and determination of accreditation status by an independent accreditation board comprised of state and local public health officials, Board of Health members, county commissioners, and public members.

During the reaccreditation process, Richmond County’s Health Department was highly commended for its partnership with the N.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Services to provide work opportunities for their clients.  Additionally, the Environmental Health staff received accolades for establishing an electronic online complaint log which will be shared with other health departments in North Carolina. 

North Carolina Health Departments are set on a reaccreditation cycle of every four years. The Richmond County Health Department was first accredited in 2007 and is scheduled for its next reaccreditation cycle in 2023.  

Since the N.C. Local Health Department Accreditation pilot program began in 2004, all 85 health departments have all been initially accredited and reaccredited at least once. 

“All of the agencies recently achieving reaccreditation have much to be proud of," said Amy Belflower Thomas, N.C. Local Health Department Accreditation administrator. "They have not only demonstrated their ability to meet a set of important performance standards, but excelled in many areas. Through reaccreditation, these agencies demonstrate a strong commitment to continuously work to improve the quality of services provided to their respective communities.”