The Multistate Learning Collaborative on Performance and Capacity Assessment or Accreditation of Public Health Departments (MLC) is an initiative undertaken with the Exploring Accreditation Project (EAP). The EAP is jointly funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and staffed collaboratively by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to explore the implications and feasibility of a national public health accreditation system. The MLC, also financially supported through grants from RWJF, is designed under the auspices of the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and the Public Health Leadership Society (PHLS) to enhance the accreditation/assessment activities already underway in each of the grantee states; to promote learning among the states participating in the collaborative; to disseminate information to state and local health departments nationally; and to inform the work of the EAP. Five states with mature accreditation or assessment programs were selected from among 18 applicants. This article describes the ongoing work, including breakthroughs and challenges, in these natural “laboratories” so that this information may be a resource for other states as well as nationally.
This article summarizes the collective knowledge regarding accreditation and assessment programs in the five MLC states—Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Washington—as they begin their grant year, offered with the hope that these unique programs may inform accreditation efforts in other states, as well as nationally.
Leslie M. Beitsch, MD, JD, is Professor and Director, Center for Medicine and Public Health, Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee.
Lee Thielen, MPA, is a Public Health Consultant Ft. Collins, DO.
Glen Mays, PhD, MPH, is Associate Professor, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for the Medical Sciences, Little Rock.
Russell A. Brewer, DrPH, MPH, is Program Associate, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey.
Joe Kimbrell, MA, LCSW, is Chief Executive Officer, National Network of Public Health Institutes, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Carol Chang, MPH, is Program Associate, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey.
Sarah Gillen, MPH, is Director, National Network of Public Health Institutes, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Liza Corso, MPA, is Team Leader, Office of Chief of Public Health Practice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
Laura B. Landrum, MUPP, is Special Projects Director, Illinois Public Health Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Corresponding author: Leslie M. Beitsch, MD, JD, Center for Medicine and Public Health, Florida State University College of Medicine, 1115 W Call St, Tallahassee, FL 32306 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org