180544 All-hands on deck: A creative approach to strategic planning in a local public health department

Monday, October 27, 2008: 10:30 AM

Susan Harrington, MS, RD , Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Sarah Mack, MPH , Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Wendy Betancourt, MPH , Epidemiology and Program Evaluation Branch, Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Traditionally, the strategic planning process in organizations involves upper-management creating the plan and once developed distributing the document in a top-down approach. Riverside County, CA is a fast-growing geographically-diverse county with more than 2 million residents and 7,200 square miles. Riverside County Department of Public Health (RCDOPH) employs over 800 people and implemented an inclusive approach for the strategic planning process in a manner to include all levels of staff, from clerical to physicians. The development of the strategic plan for 2008-2012 began with upper-management reviewing the successes and lessons learned from the previous Strategic Plan, reviewing the RCDOPH mission and drafting broad goals themes for the 2008-2012 Strategic Plan. Next more than 100 RCDOPH employees were randomly selected by job classification to participate in roundtable discussions on each of the strategic plan goal themes. For each theme, participants were asked questions such as “What does this goal mean to you?” Roundtable discussions were held over 4 days a various locations throughout the county. Workgroups, again involving all levels of staff, were formed to formulate the goal language and to develop activities in support of each goal. These recommendations were brought back to upper-management to integrate the results of the roundtables and workgroups with a current Strengths, Problems, Opportunities and Treats analysis. Champions and teams to include multiple levels of staff for each goal were selected and formed. The multi-level involvement and inclusion of measurable outcomes will ensure active implementation and acceptance of the RCDOPH Strategic Plan 2008 – 2012.

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate the inclusive strategic planning process. 2. Describe the methods to involve staff in strategic planning. 3. Understand the impact of SPOT analysis in strategic planning

Keywords: Public Health Administration, Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of the Riverside County Department of Public Health and have may years experience in public health leadership.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.