Worcester thinks it’s making Boston jealous

A Worcester city councilor said "Boston is envious" of the city's new national accreditation.

A woman strolls past Worcester City Hall on Main Street in Worcester, Massachusetts on December 19, 2015.  Matthew Healey for The Boston Globe

(SUNDAY REAL ESTATE ADDRESS - Assigning Editor: John Blanding - Reporter: Erin Kayata)
Worcester City Hall –Matthew Healey / The Boston Globe

We all know Boston is a proud place with a lot to brag about – like being the smartest city in the country or the most likely to survive a pending Zombie apocalypse – but one city councilor from Worcester thinks his city has something that’ll make us jealous.

Last week, Worcester announced that its public health division would be the first in the Commonwealth to receive a national public health accreditation. Still buzzing with excitement, Worcester City Councilor Gary Rosen boasted the achievement at a city council meeting Tuesday, saying Boston was envious of the honor, according to a transcript of the meeting put together by Worcester Magazine.

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“This is yuuge,” Rosen said. “Boston is envious of the city of Worcester, as they should be.”

Rosen said that Boston City Council met last week seeking the same accreditation, but was unable to do so, even with a “huge budget” and “over 1,000 employees.” Worcester, comparatively, only has 23 employees and a small budget, he said.

Worcester is the 117th city health department to receive the accreditation, which signifies that their services “meet or exceed a rigorous set of national standards and measures that address the accreditation board’s 10 Essential Services of Health.” There are around 5,000 departments across the country, according to a release from the city.

But Rosen’s remarks might have been made too soon. Boston hasn’t yet applied for the accreditation, according to Ché Knight, director of communications for the Boston Public Health Commission.

“Those remarks are patently false; we have not yet submitted our application for accreditation,” Knight said in a statement. “Achieving National Public Health Department Accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) is one of the Commission’s priority focus areas, and an endeavor we are currently and actively working to achieve.”

Either way, Rosen doesn’t want Worcester to stop at its first accreditation. He also said he thinks Worcester’s city council be the first in the country to receive accreditation — and that he’d gladly lead the efforts to attain it.

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Sure, we’re home to more 100,000 college students at top universities, world champion sports teams, and the best St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the nation, but that’s not going to intimidate Worcester.

“So many good things – Worcester is an up and coming city, and we’re almost there,” Rosen said at the close of the meeting. “There will be more news next week.”

Look out, Boston.

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