Public Health Accreditation Board Announces Kaye Bender as President and Chief Executive Officer

    • January 19, 2009

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) has appointed Kaye Bender, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, as president and chief executive officer. Bender brings a wealth of public health leadership to PHAB, the organization spearheading the effort to establish a voluntary, national accreditation program for public health departments.

“Her energy, enthusiasm and experience coupled with her passion and drive to improve public health department performance make Dr. Bender the ideal person to lead PHAB,” said Paul Halverson, Dr.P.H., chair of the PHAB board and director of Health and State Health Officer for Arkansas.

Bender was appointed president and CEO on January 1; she will assume the position full-time on June 1, 2009. Bender also currently serves as dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Prior to her work with the School, Bender spent more than twenty years with the Mississippi State Department of Health, including five years as the Deputy State Health Officer.

Bender’s additional appointments included serving as chair of the Exploring Accreditation Steering Committee, which was the impetus for PHAB, and serving on the Committee on Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century and the Quad Council to develop and review standards for public health nursing practice. She is licensed as a registered nurse and holds a master's degree in community health nursing as well as a doctoral degree in clinical sciences from the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Bender is now leading the Public Health Accreditation Board,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “She is ideally suited to help move public health accreditation forward to improve the performance of public health departments and strengthen our public health system.”

PHAB was established in 2007 to develop and oversee a national program for the voluntary accreditation of state, local, territorial and tribal health departments. The goal of the voluntary national accreditation program is to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of state and local public health departments. PHAB is led by a board of directors that includes state, tribal and local public health leaders and is jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.

For more information on the Public Health Accreditation Board, visit PHAB’s Web site, or contact Kaye Bender at or (703) 778 – 4549.