PHAB''s Glossary of Terms defines strategic planning as "a disciplined process aimed at producing fundamental decisions and actions that will shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does what it does. The process of assessing a changing environment to create a vision of the future; determining how the organization fits into the anticipated environment, based on its mission, strengths, and weaknesses; then setting in motion a plan of action to position the organization," with the strategic plan focusing on a range of agency level organizational goals, strategies and objectives, including new initiatives.
To learn more about PHAB’s requirements and NACCHO''s strategic planning guide, view the 2012 Strategic Planning webinar.
A few tools that assist LHDs in developing strategic plans for their agencies include:
- NEW! Developing a Local Health Department Strategic Plan: A How-To Guide. NACCHO has developed a robust how-to guide for undertaking the strategic planning process. Aligned with PHAB''s strategic planning requirements, this guide offers step-by-step instructions, important considerations, and modifiable tools and templates for use in any type of LHD. A NACCHO webinar featured the guide in May of 2012.
- Community Tool Box, Chapter Eight: Developing a Strategic Plan. The Community Tool Box, created by the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas, provides information on how to build healthier and more equitable communities. Chapter Eight of the tool box ("Developing a Strategic Plan") provides practical, step-by-step guidance on how to embark on the strategic planning process.
- . Written by John M. Bryson, this book will help public health leaders understand what strategic planning and management are and how to apply them in their own organizations.
- This hard-copy workbook, written by John M. Bryson and Farnum K. Alston, is a step-by-step guide on strategic planning in public and nonprofit organizations, and provides easy-to-understand worksheets and clear instructions for creating a strategic plan tailored to the needs of an individual organization.
- South Central Public Health Partnership (SCPHP) Training. The SCPHP offers free Internet-based trainings on public health topics such as bioterrorism, risk communication, leadership management, communication skills, and environmental health. Interested public health professionals must register to enroll. The "Leadership, Strategic Planning and Systems Approaches" training provides enrollees with strategic analysis and planning skills.
Examples of strategic plans from LHDs include:
- Missoula City-County Health Department (MT) Strategic Plan (2013-2015)
- Oneida County Health Department (WI) Strategic Plan (2011-2014)
- Columbus Public Health (OH) Strategic and Operational Plan (May 2012)
- Butler County Health Department (MO) 2012 Strategic Plan (2012)
- NY State SACHO Example Strategic Plans (de-identified): Sample 1, Sample 2, Sample 3, Sample 4
- Sedgwick County Health Department (KS) Strategic Plan Priorities (2006-2008)
- Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (TX) Strategic Plan (2005–2010)
- Orange County Health Department (NC) Strategic Plan (2006–2011)
- Benton County Health Department (OR) Strategic Plan (2004)
PLEASE NOTE: The examples on this page have not been evaluated against PHAB’s definition of a strategic plan or any of the related standards and measures. They serve only as examples.