Reed said they also will work on getting Cleveland and McClain counties’ departments certified by the Public Health Accreditation Board, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and protecting the public’s health by advancing the quality of public health departments.
“Accreditation for me is about far more than just a certificate on the wall or a plaque on the wall to say, ‘Hey, we’re accredited.’ It’s to assure the public, and our partners in the community and ourselves, that we are meeting national standards in the way we execute public health,” he said.
“Public health covers, like, 10 essential services, so there’s a strong theory base to public health. It’s easy if you don’t do good self-assessments to focus on particular areas, but we want to make sure we focus on all 10 essential services and that we do public health according to national standards across the spectrum.”
Other ongoing concerns include being prepared for unforeseen challenges such as pandemics, bioterrorism or natural disasters.
“All those types of events impact the infrastructure within a community,” he said. “And the infrastructure is critical to the public’s health: safe water, for example. If you don’t have safe water, you have the risk of disease outbreak.”
“During the tornado response, there was a lot of food prep that needed to go on to respond to first responders on site, so we needed to respond to that. Last thing you need is unsafe food practices to result in ill workers.”