Strategic Planning

Certified local health departments in Illinois must complete an IPLAN every 5 years which includes: a community health needs assessment, a community health plan and an organizational capacity assessment. One way to meet the requirements for the organizational capacity assessment is to develop a local health department strategic plan. Local health departments seeking public health accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) must submit a health department strategic plan, a community health assessment and a community health improvement plan as a pre-requisite to apply for accreditation. Thus, a local health department strategic plan may be a foundational document for your organization.

The process of strategic planning helps define and determine a health department’s capacity, roles, priorities and direction over a three to five year period. An adopted strategic plan is used to guide an organization’s decision-making and includes measurable objectives which are part of the organization’s performance management system. The focus of a strategic plan is on the entire health department and includes a defined mission, vision and set of guiding principles or values, an assessment of LHD strengths and weaknesses and external threats and opportunities, and a set of strategic priorities with measurable goals and objectives.
In collaboration with NAACHO and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, IPHI developed a how to guide for health departments to conduct a strategic planning process. strategic planning is one of the three pre-requisites of PHAB accreditation, so this aligns with both IPHI’s work on strategic planning as well as accreditation readiness.