Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Public Health Accreditation and Metrics for Ethics: A Case Study on Environmental Health and Community Engagement

Bernheim, Ruth Gaare JD, MPH; Stefanak, Matthew MPH; Brandenburg, Terry MPH, CPH; Pannone, Aaron MS; Melnick, Alan MD, MPH, CPH

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: January/February 2013 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p 4–8
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31824acb25
Original Articles

As public health departments around the country undergo accreditation using the Public Health Accreditation Board standards, the process provides a new opportunity to integrate ethics metrics into day-to-day public health practice. While the accreditation standards do not explicitly address ethics, ethical tools and considerations can enrich the accreditation process by helping health departments and their communities understand what ethical principles underlie the accreditation standards and how to use metrics based on these ethical principles to support decision making in public health practice. We provide a crosswalk between a public health essential service, Public Health Accreditation Board community engagement domain standards, and the relevant ethical principles in the Public Health Code of Ethics (Code). A case study illustrates how the accreditation standards and the ethical principles in the Code together can enhance the practice of engaging the community in decision making in the local health department.

This article describes a case study and illustrates how the accreditation standards and the ethical principles in the Public Health Code of Ethics together can enhance the practice of engaging the community in decision making in the local health department.

Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life, University of Virginia, Charlottesville (Dr Bernheim and Mr Pannone); Family and Community Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown (Mr Stefanak); Public and Community Health Education, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Mr Brandenburg); and Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health and General Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland (Dr Melnick). Authors are members of the Public Health Leadership Society Ethics Committee.

Correspondence: Aaron Pannone, MS, Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, BOX 800717 Charlottesville, VA 22904 (afp2n@virginia.edu).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.