UNTHSC School of Public Health
Fort Worth, Texas
Local Health Department Accreditation Project
Accreditation Fellowship Program
Over the past half century, accreditation has become one standard for identifying the quality of health –related, educational, and other community institutions. The standard has now been expanded to include state and local health departments (LHD). Four years ago, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) was established to create and implement this process for LHDs and the Public Health Accreditation Council of Texas was formed to assist departments with the process. To advance the accreditation of LHDs in Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services has awarded the UNTHSC School of Public Health (SPH) a grant to create infrastructure to facilitate the accreditation process by overcoming identified barriers. Specifically, the grant asks the School to respond to the needs of the LHDs for support that will overcome barriers resulting from limited financial and personnel resources. In response to this need, the UNTHSC SPH in conjunction with the UT School of Public Health, the Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health, and Texas Public Health Training Center (TPHTC) sites has created a Fellowship program that links new graduates interested in local governmental public health to LHDs interested in accreditation and ready to creatively use the assistance of a school graduate. This announcement identifies the benefits of the program for the Fellow, the expectations of the program for the Fellow, the application and selection process for Fellows, and the stipend for the Fellow.
Benefits of the Fellowship
The Fellowship program will provide graduating students who are interested in local public health an opportunity to gain a broad understanding of how LHDs function within local government and with community institutions as well as with the Texas Department of State Health Services, its regional offices, and other state and national agencies. Fellows will gain firsthand knowledge of how a department assesses the health needs of the community and creates an improvement plan to respond to those needs. In addition, they may participate in the development and/or the implementation of the LHD’s strategic plan. As LHDs document their compliance with PHAB criteria for accreditation, the Fellow will come to understand the complex structures that must be created to assure the health of the community.
The Fellow will commit to the following roles and responsibilities:
- Complete the requirements for graduation from a Texas school of public health within the current academic year, i.e., a December or June graduate.
- Be available to engage in pre-fellowship activities that will result in a greater understanding of the assigned site and its accreditation needs.
- Familiarize him or herself with materials that describe the LHD accreditation process, including the Accreditation Toolkit on the PHACT website, materials on PHAB website, and materials on the NACCHO website.
- Physically be on-site at the internship location for a period of 12 weeks during the summer of 2013.
- Perform activities identified by the LHD to respond to the accreditation process needs of the LHD.
- Make regular reports as needed by the Project to provide feedback on implementation and opportunities for improvement.
A Preceptor will be designated at each site for the Fellow. Each Fellow will be assigned projects related to accreditation of the local health department.
Application and Selection
Each academic year, graduates or potential graduates at each school of public health in Texas will be notified of the availability of the Fellowship program to assist local health departments that are interested in developing an application for accreditation of their department. This notice will be distributed by the schools of public health and the TPHTC with regard to the availability of a paid Fellowship with a local health department. Students applying for these sites must complete an application for the Fellowship and include in their statement why they are specifically interested in working with a department on accreditation. Students will be selected by a panel designated by the TPHTC at each school of public health.
Applications are available online
If you have questions regarding the fellowship, please contact him at the above email address or at 817-735-2323.
Fellows will receive a stipend of $3,000 for the Fellowship. In
addition each Fellow will receive a living and travel allowance of
$1,400 dollars for the Fellowship.