Drafting a Strategic Plan

Choose a step below to learn more about how it contributes to this process.

Overview Organize Assess Facilitated Planning Session Develop Action Plans Implement: Meet National Standards

1. Organize (Getting Started)


A. Recruit Strategic Planning Team

This team could include:

  • CHS Administrator/Director
  • CHS Department Directors
  • CHS Supervisor(s)
  • CHB Members
  • County Board Members
  • Key Public Health Staff

B. Set Meeting Dates, Times, and Locations

C. Identify Stakeholders

Use the Stakeholder Identification Tool to list those who may be interested in your planning process or have a stake in the outcome. If the people or groups on the list above are not included in your planning team, you can consider them. Also consider:

  • Community Organizations
  • Local Health Care Providers and Hospitals
  • Elected Officials
  • All Public Health Staff
  • Other: __________

ImgStakeholder Identification Tool (42KB / 1 page)

D. Develop Communications

Fill in the communications plan with:

  • Who needs to be communicated with regarding your plan and planning process
  • The information they need
  • The medium/method used to communicate with them
  • Frequency of communications needed

ImgCommunications Plan (60KB / 1 page)

E. Collect Documents and Information

Collect documents and information that will be relevant to setting the context for your plan.*

  • Current mission, vision, and values statements
  • Past CHAAP assessments and plans
  • Organizational assessment against national public health standards and measures, and three standards most in need of improvement
  • Other internal assessments/plans (such as: emergency preparedness, quality improvement, home visiting, etc.)
  • External assessments (such as: hospital community assessment, United Way, etc.)
  • Public health budget
  • Possible federal health care reform impacts on local public health
    More Information: NACCHO: Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PDF: 767KB / 3 pages)
  • More documents, as you think they will help set context

* Depending on the order of deliverables produced, your department may use the documents above in a different order

2. Assess


To prepare for planning, a group of staff can review collected documents and information, to inform their assessment of current conditions the department is facing.

  • What are the department's strengths and accomplishments?
  • What are the department's weaknesses and external challenges?
  • What are the department's current opportunities?

By answering these questions, the planning team will be prepared to develop a strategic vision of a strong health department positioned to effectively carry out its mission.

ImgSummary of Reports and Key Trends (29KB / 1 page)

3. Facilitated Planning Session


Staff from the MDH Public Health Practice Section are trained and available to facilitated the strategic vision and goals sections of a CHB's or tribal health department's planning process. Public Health Practice Section staff can also offer support to prepare for the facilitated session, and to complete the plan.

To request Public Health Practice Section facilitation services, please contact your Public Health Nurse Consultant

Departments can also acquire other outside facilitation services, or can lead the process internally.

ImgFacilitated Planning Session: Overview (184KB / 2 pages)

For more assistance, you can also consult NACCHO's guide to developing LHD strategic plans:

ImgDeveloping an LHD Strategic Plan [NACCHO]

4. Action Plan Development


Once your department develops a strategic vision and strategies to reach that vision, you will need to develop work plans to implement those strategies. The tools below are designed to help develop action plans that can be compiled into a final work plan.

Action Planning Worksheet

ImgAction Planning Worksheet - Edit by Hand (PDF: 61KB / 2 pages)
Action Planning Worksheet - Edit on Computer (DOC: 31KB / 1 page)

Work Plan Summary

ImgWork Plan Summary - Edit by Hand (PDF: 53KB / 2 pages)
Work Plan Summary - Edit on Computer (DOC: 30KB / 1 page)

5. Meet National Standards


Deliverable: Due March 2015All departments are encouraged to develop a strategic plan that meets the national public health standards.

Each community health board is asked to submit this deliverable to MDH by March 31, 2015.

Overview   About Strategic Planning
Guidance   Strategic Plan Checklist
Resources   More Information on Strategic Plans
Submit   Submit Your Strategic Plan
Help   Contact Us