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Community Health Credentialing

Ensuring that community-delivered programs are appropriate and follow state and national standards. Duke created Community Health Credentialing, training and approval process - the first of its kind in the country.


Responsible Community Health Planning
Duke University Health System touches the community in many ways - through established hospital-based health care, outpatient clinics and community-based activities. Those community activities account for many preventive and educational programs that are making a difference in Durham and across the state and region.

To ensure that health care providers are prepared to work within the local setting, Duke Administration has established a Community Health Credentialing, training, and event approval process administered under the Department of Community and Family Medicine by Duke Community Health.

Credentialing in Community Health
Duke providers eligible for credentialing through the Health System must apply for formal community health credentials and meet standards of prior training and/or experience. Once credentialed by the Health System, they may design as well as lead community health programs.

Those faculty who wish to lead community-based programs, but are not credentialed must have their program reviewed and approved by a credentialed faculty member. Credentials are subject to renewal through proof of ongoing community health experience every two years.

Formal Credentialing in Community Health for Faculty
Who needs to be credentialed?
Credentialing in Community Health is required for members of the Duke Medical Staff who wish to design community health activities. Re-credentialing will be required every 2 years, and quality data on programs designed will be reviewed. All community health programs must be reviewed and approved by a member of the medical staff with privileges in Community Health.

Community Health is the clinical domain concerned with the design and conduct of medical programs targeted to a community or population.

Community Health Activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Community health fairs
  • Screening clinics
  • Neighborhood-delivered projects
  • School-based services
  • Other programs targeting groups of people linked by geographic proximity, income status, race, ethnicity, or other characteristics.
Excluded are direct clinical services to individual patients as part of DUHS practice site, or health education programs directed at current registered patients being treated for a specific disease.

Leading/running programs already designed
Personnel wishing to lead programs must satisfactorily complete the on-line Community Health Training Module and receive a certificate of completion. Updated modules will be required every 2 years. These modules will be provided by the Division of Community Health, Department of Community and Family Medicine. The program itself must also be reviewed and approved by a member of the medical staff with credentials in Community Health.

Personnel wishing simply to participate in programs designed and led by others may but are not required to complete the Community Health Training Module.

Requirements for Credentialing
Practitioners requesting privileges in Community Health should already meet the requirements for membership in the medical staff. In addition, practitioners requesting privileges in community health must demonstrate the attitudes, knowledge, and skills relevant to Community Health by successful completion of an appropriate formal course of study and supervised practice such as:
    • Board certification in Preventive Medicine
    • Doctorate or Masters degree in Public Health
    • Formal rotation in community or public health during residency training
    • Other training or experience acceptable to the Division of Community Health, Department of Community and Family Medicine
In addition, all practitioners requesting privileges must provide two letters of recommendation from peers pertaining to clinical experience in community health.
  • One of these letters must be from the applicant’s primary department.
  • If the applicant participated in a structured educational or training experience in Community Health within the last three years, one of these letters must be from a supervisor within the training program. If it has been more than three years since the applicant participated in a structured educational or training experience, reference letters shall be provided by peers who have knowledge of the applicant’s competence to engage in Community Health activities. Click here to download the form for Requesting Privileges.
Requirements for Re-Credentialing
  1. Participation in a minimum of one Community Health activity within the two year credentialing period.
  2. Four hours of Continuing Medical Education relevant to Community Health within the two year credentialing period.
  3. QI review of a representative sample of the applicant’s Community Health activities by the Division of Community Health, for evaluation of the appropriateness of the activity and the development of any complications.
  4. Information will be sent to the practitioner’s primary department for inclusion in the practitioner’s QI file.
Two levels of credentialing and requirements:
Category I - for members of the medical staff who want to design new community health programs. Requirements include demonstrating the attitudes, knowledge and skills relevant to Community Health by successful completion of a formal course of study and supervised practice such as:
  • Board certification in Preventive Medicine
  • Doctorate or Masters degree in Public Health
  • Formal rotation in community or public health during residency training
  • Other training or experience acceptable to the Division of Community Health, Department of Community and Family Medicine
Note: Practitioners are required to be re-credentialed every two years and have their program reviewed by a designated team.

Category II - for health care staff who want to lead existing community-based programs. Participants complete the following:
  • An on-line educational module supplied by the Division of Community Health, Department of Community and Family Medicine
  • Supervised activity in Division programs or other training acceptable to the Division
  • Two letters of recommendation from peers pertaining to clinical experience in community health

Note: Practitioners are required to be re-credentialed by completing updated modules every two years, and must be reviewed and approved by a medical staff member with Category I credentials.

Each Duke staff member, non-credentialed faculty and all Duke learners must take and pass the basic community health training module. The module reviews community health planning, lists the steps for identifying, defining and planning a targeted program, along with steps for building a collaborative community team and understanding the community structure. Nationally accepted standards in working within communities are a critical underpinning of the module.

For more information:
Call (919) 681-3025

Community Health Credentialing
Duke University Medical Center & Health System
Department of Community & Family Medicine
Division of Community Health
DUMC 104425
Durham, NC 27710
phone: (919) 681-3025
fax: (919) 681-3371



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