Operational Definition of a Functional Local Health Department
The Operational Definition of a Functional Local Health Department defines what people in any community can reasonably expect from their local governmental public health presence. It sets forth a series of standards based on the Ten Essential Public Health Services and serves as the framework for the standards of the national voluntary accreditation program operated by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).
NACCHO supports voluntary accreditation for health departments through PHAB and encourages the use of the Operational Definition as an accreditation preparation tool. The functions outlined in this framework are directly aligned with the ten domains outlined in Part B of the PHAB standards. LHDs that assess the degree to which they fulfill the functions outlined in this framework and engage in capacity-building quality improvement activities will likely be better prepared for national accreditation. Beyond the launch of the national accreditation program, the Operational Definition will continue to remain valuable in defining the work of local public health practice.
Accreditation-Related Research Publications and Resources:
A free, online collection of local public health tools produced by members of the community.