HELENA – The Lewis and Clark Public Health Department announced Thursday that it has been awarded national accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).

LCPH is only the fifth county health department in Montana to be accredited and 160 of 2,800 local health departments in the country since PHAB was established in 2011.

LCPH staffers said the recognition is the result of an in-depth, five-year process that included hundreds of measures, including disease control, public education and work with the community and with local partners.

In short, every aspect of LCPH and its mission were evaluated in its work to look after the overall health of the community.

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The evaluation process included extensive documentation and on-site visits by PHAB officials.

Melanie Reynolds, LCPH Health Officer said she and her 51 staff members are pleased with the award. The recognition is a great bench-mark, but their work will continue.

“We have about 63,000 clients. Every person who goes to a restaurant, breathes the air, uses the water, is using public health in some shape or form.”

You can learn more about the accreditation process here.