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The Haywood County Health Department held a reception last week to celebrate its May accreditation through the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the N.C. Institute for Public Health.

Brittan Wood, Accreditation Administrator for the NC Institute for Public Health, and Danny Staley, Deputy Director of the NC Division of Public Health, attended the event, which caps an intensive accreditation process that concluded in May with an evaluation by a five-member site visit team. The team evaluated the Haywood County Health Department on 148 activities and 41 benchmarks. The health department met 145 activities and 38 benchmarks.

Wood presented a plaque to Carmine Rocco, Haywood County Health Director.

“Obtaining accreditation should reinforce the knowledge that the services provided to citizens by the Haywood County Health Department are among North Carolina’s best,” Wood stated.

Health department strengths noted by the team included:

  • Impressed with the design of the new facility, which emphasizes client privacy and security;
  • Large number of bilingual staff in addition to two interpreters, and a staff person who knows sign language;
  • A well-staffed and well-equipped dental clinic; impressed with digital x-ray equipment; and
  • Partnering with the Department of Social Services to increase efficiency for clients by housing a DSS staff person within the health department.
  • Staff appear to be very dedicated to their jobs and public health in general.
  • Excellent uses of laptops as field equipment to more efficiently manage inspections/data within Environmental Health.

Rocco said accreditation was an important achievement.

“This has been a major undertaking for the health department for more than a year,” Rocco said. “I am proud of the effort and accomplishment this recognition represents for our county.”

The accreditation process was coordinated by staff members Pam Henson and Garron Bradish. Rocco praised the health department staff and the leadership of the Haywood County Board of Health, and said the accreditation process and review will be repeated every four years.

“The standard the health department has achieved assures our citizens that they are receiving quality public health services,” he said. “This is not going to be a one-time effort.”

The Haywood County Health Department is one of six new county health departments that earned accreditation through the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation Board. The other counties include Clay, Duplin, Lee, Stokes and Wilson Counties.

The accreditation process is a collaboration of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, part of the Dept. of Health and Human Services and the N.C. Institute for Public Health of the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, with input from the N.C. Association of Local Health Directors.

For more information on accreditation or health department services, contact Carmine Rocco, Health Department Director, at 828-452-6675. To review the complete Accreditation Site Visitors’ Report, visit the Haywood County website, www.haywoodnc.net.

For more information, contact:
David Teague, Public Information Officer
Haywood County
828-452-7305; 828-400-9691 or
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