WASHINGTON, DC – October 11, 2022 – The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) celebrates the recent recognition of the Ho-Chunk Nation and its achievement as a nationally-accredited public health department. Administered by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), accreditation outlines national standards for comprehensive public health operations and capacity across 32 standards and 12 domains through a systematic and peer-review process. The achievement of public health accreditation is one method to strengthen Tribal public health infrastructure and capacity. Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Health is the sixth Tribe to have achieved this designation.
The Ho-Chunk Nation is a former recipient of NIHB’s Tribal Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI) (now known as the “Strong Systems, Stronger Communities” program), which supports Tribes interested in systems improvement and pursuing public health accreditation. NIHB has supported over 20 Tribes since 2014 in systematic efforts to improve their public health systems. Ho-Chunk Nation was an early recipient of the Tribal ASI grant and began its partnership with NIHB in 2016. Since starting its accreditation journey, Ho-Chunk Nation has not only improved its public health services but also shared lessons-learned with other NIHB grantees and Tribal partners. This included presenting on Tribal Accreditation Learning Community webinars and mentoring Tribes that were newer to public health accreditation during NIHB mentoring site visits.
“Accreditation is a formal recognition of a health department that serves their people effectively and meets the highest standard in public health services. Ho-Chunk Nation’s achievement recognizes their Tribal Nation as a leader in public health during a time in which public health is so vital to our future,” shared Stacy A. Bohlen, CEO of NIHB.
Public Health Director Kandyce Dunlap shared a quote from Pam Thunder, Registered Sanitarian and Environmental Program Manager, about the Tribe’s journey.
“The Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Health is excited to announce that we received public health accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). This accreditation has helped our health department set a foundation to improve our existing programming, meaningfully engage our community, incorporate discussions with leadership, and improve transparency with key stakeholders. This has also helped us to develop formal processes and partnerships that will positively impact our community members to achieve “building a strong mind, body, and spirit together. Waza higiwire (we care).”
The next Strong Systems, Stronger Communities funding opportunity will be released in early fall 2022. For more information about this program, contact Jessica Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org.