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In fall 2018, the Iredell County Health Department team was awarded Reaccreditation with Honors. Norma Rife, the AAC, noted during the Board meeting that while their agency did very well, like most agencies, they do have areas where improvement is needed between now and the next audit.

One of the accreditation quality improvement suggestions that has been implemented since the Board meeting is the streamlining of the workforce development plan and policy. The Onboarding Quality Improvement Team met for about five months and used a modified Kaizen approach to identify and make improvements that touched thirteen related accreditation activities. There are now many “value added” changes in place that enhanced the effectiveness and efficiency of several processes that were within the scope of just this project.

According to Norma, “On a broader scale, when accreditation is achieved, it is not a one and done process. You can meet certain required activities one audit year and miss the mark the next audit year.” During the fall 2018 Board meeting she shared that she wants everyone to know, and she thinks that all the AACs would agree, that this specialized work that local health department leadership teams engage in is very detail oriented, challenging and demanding at times. Norma mentioned, during all four accreditation years, the Iredell County Health Department’s Leadership Team together provide outstanding examples of their work related to the core functions and ten essential services of public health. The quality of evidence presented each year continues to reach a higher level of excellence. Achieving accreditation status showcases to the community, partners and funders that they can trust us to do our jobs and do them well. A public health team is accomplishing something that really does impact the health of the population when Accreditation with Honors or Accreditation status is achieved.

Norma further shared, especially for the newer AACs, if you are working in a public health agency to accomplish accreditation status then know the importance of the role and kudos to you. Your willingness to work alongside team members to assure Benchmarks are in place and to make recommendations where needed, is extremely valuable. According to Norma, “there is a lot of work that goes into quality improvement; it is like a final exam- you study hard to identify potential problems, you work with team members closely to find solutions, you improve/fix things, and you learn along the way, especially in the areas of continuous improvement and performance management.”

For more information contact Norma Rife at

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