In 2003, the Institute of Medicine recommended that a national dialogue take place to explore accreditation of governmental health departments (HDs). The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the Exploring Accreditation Project which resulted in the 2007 formation of the nonprofit Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) to oversee the process.
A work group of public health professionals, experts and researchers developed draft standards and measures that were vetted with the public health community. One-hundred standards were beta tested with 30 local, state and tribal health departments.
The PHAB continues to solicit feedback and refine measures. As of February 2013, eleven public health departments have been accredited.