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In Appreciation
The NCIPH staff would like to thank everyone who has been involved with assisting the program to adjust to the evolving circumstances impacting accreditation. From the Board members who have had emergency meetings, to the Accreditation Standards Workgroup that has taken on additional tasks, to all of the local health department staff that have continued the work of public health with a culture of quality improvement in the mist of such challenging times, we acknowledge and thank you. Accreditation is the illustration, not the cause, of the work that each of you do every day. Accreditation organizes, captures and gives a common language to critical work that happens to ensure quality public health in North Carolina. As we work to address changing circumstances, we thank you for your support, flexibility and patience. Please continue to share your questions and concerns with us and know that we are working as quickly and efficiently as possible to provide you guidance on any programmatic changes. We thank you for all that you do each and every day to promote and support the health of North Carolinians.

Twelve Month Accreditation Extension
On April 8, 2020, the NCLHD Accreditation Board voted to extend all accreditation expirations of accredited agencies by twelve months in accordance with Executive Order 119, Section 1(3) via authority granted by the NCDHHS Secretary in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The accreditation schedule that reflects this extension is posted on our website.

We do not typically update our program materials during the year; typically, all changes go into effect on January 1.  However, in response to COVID-19 and the twelve-month extension, there was a need to make some immediate changes to the HDSAI Interpretation Document and our Operational Guidelines. The Board will be approving changes to these documents during their May 8 Board meeting.  The revised documents will be distributed during the week of May 11.

A webinar will be held to discuss the extension-related changes on June 17 from 10—11:30 a.m.  See registration details in the section below.

Accreditation in Action

Summer Webinar Series – More details coming soon!
In response to changes resulting from COVID-19, we have adjusted the summer webinar series. There is no longer a registration fee to join. However, registration for each webinar is required. We will be unveiling the full list of topics soon. In the meantime, the information for the first topic and registration information is listed below:

2020 Retrospective HDSAI Interpretation Document changes: What you need to know
This webinar will focus on the changes that have been made to the guidance to address the twelve-month accreditation extension. The webinar will be held June 17 from 10-11:30 a.m. There is no cost to attend, however, registration is required. Register here.

Bi-Annual Dashboard Webinar Now Posted
The spring 2020 Bi-Annual Dashboard Webinar was held on April 21. The archived webinar is now available on the dashboard page of our website.

NCLHDA Dashboard Tips and Tricks – Copy and Paste
You can copy and paste in the dashboard by using the keyboard short cut keys. To copy and paste, select the text that you would like to copy and click Ctrl +C on your keyboard. Then click where you would like to paste the text and click Ctrl +V to paste the text. Do not use copy and paste commands with the mouse; you must use the shortcut keys as just explained.


Key Dates

NCLHD Accreditation Board meeting: May 8, 2020 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.via Zoom with a call-in option. Please email us at to get the log-in information to join the meeting.

NCLHD Accreditation Summer Webinar Series: 2020 Retrospective HDSAI Interpretation Document changes: What you need to know, June 17, 2020 from 10—11:30 a.m. via Zoom. There is not cost to attend, however, registration is required. Register here.


Tips and Tricks for Accreditation Success: Stories From the Field

NCLHD Accreditation – Even with honors requires on-going quality improvement

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

We Want to Hear From You

Share your tips and tricks for accreditation success with other local health departments across the state. If you have a tip or trick that you would like to share, send a summary -no more than 500 words including the activity addressed and any lessons learned. Please send your submission to Stories will be shared via these monthly highlights.

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