Missouri is moving forward with an innovative method to ensure local health agencies provide effective care. The state is the first in the nation to pursue voluntary accreditation of local health clinics. The Kansas City Health Department is the first to receive accreditation from the Missouri Institute for Community Health – a non-profit agency that works with the State Health Department. A consultant for the institute, Janet Canavese, the stamp of approval should send a signal to local residents. Canavese says the insitute is now working with seven other local health departments. She says the agencies are judged on three different scales – bascially small, medium and large – depending on the population of the area they serve.