FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 8, 2021
Communications Specialist, Erie County Department of Health
Erie County Department of Health Receives National Accreditation
Erie County Department of Health leadership with Public Health Accreditation Board Accreditation Plaques for 2021 and 2014. (Third from left) Melissa Lyon, director of Erie County Department of Health with (second from left) Erin Mrenak, deputy director, and division directors (back row, from left) Breanna Adams (Environmental Health); Char Berringer (Community Health); Nicole Bolash (Health Promotion); and Anthony Snow, MD, medical director of ECDH.
Erie, PA — Erie County Department of Health (ECDH) announces that it has maintained its full national accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) in 2021. It first received accreditation, which is effective for five years, in 2014.
To receive accreditation, ECDH has demonstrated that it meets or exceeds a set of standards and measures through a rigorous, peer-reviewed assessment process. It has proven that it has the capacity to continue to evolve, improve and advance, thereby becoming increasingly effective at improving the health of the residents of Erie County.
“We are so pleased to again be recognized by PHAB for achieving national standards that foster effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement,” said Melissa Lyon, director of ECDH. “We hope this announcement, coming as it does in the midst of our ongoing public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will reassure our community, our partner organizations, our funders and our elected officials that the services we provide are as integral and responsive as possible to the needs of our community.”
Services and programs
Its Child and Family Health programs, which include nurse home visit programs, infant immunizations and child health guidance, are available for families during pregnancy and families with young children. Support for quitting smoking is also available for parents with babies.
It holds Community Health clinics for immunizations, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
ECDH promotes healthy living by collaborating with community partners and updating the public on topics such as access to nutritious foods, advisories on diseases prevention such as Lyme disease and swimming advisories for local beaches depending on water safety.
Throughout the year, it holds classes on various health topics. Topics include food safety; how to stay independent and maintain balance for elders; driving safety; health education for refugees; safe ways to track, store and dispose of medication; and more. It has classes and free support programs for quitting smoking, vaping or chewing tobacco.
The Environmental Health Division oversees the safety and sanitation of foodborne and waterborne health in public spaces, helping guide food businesses like restaurants, food trucks and food fairs. It also inspects and issues licenses and permits for body art businesses, manufactured home parks, campgrounds, public beaches and sewage systems.
In order to respond accordingly to current and potential public health issues, ECDH collects and uses health data and statistics for planning. It also constantly trains and plans for emergencies. ECDH strives to meet the various public health needs of Erie County’s different sectors through outreach and community partnerships.
“The Erie County Department of Health is committed to providing high quality services to the community, in line with the department’s vision, mission, and values,” said Lyon. “Quality improvement is at the basis of all the work that is done at the Erie County Department of Health.”
Established in 2011, PHAB’s national accreditation program sets standards and measures that the nation’s nearly 3,000 governmental and public health departments can continuously use to improve the quality of their services. PHAB, founded in 2007 and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, works to advance and transform public health by championing performance improvement, strong infrastructure and innovation.