249369 Vision with Action: A design to move beyond the community health improvement planning process toward implementation with a sustainable, quality improvement-oriented focus

Monday, October 31, 2011

Christina Welter, DrPH, MPH , Doctoral Program in Public Health Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Steve Seweryn, EdD, MPH , Community Epidemiology and Health Planning Unit, Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Forest, IL
Valerie Webb, MPH , Prevention Services Unit, Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Park, IL
James Bloyd, MPH , Prevention Services Unit, Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Park, IL
Two of the pre-requisites for the Voluntary Public Health Department Accreditation application are to complete a community health assessment and health improvement plan. The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) has completed three rounds of the assessment and planning process. Past planning processes helped to raise awareness about and develop a basic plan to respond to public health priorities. However, challenges to the process often outweighed the benefits. Plans often sat on the agency's shelves and limited work was done due to scarce LHD resources and minimal organizational alignment to priorities. Subsequent planning cycles then required community stakeholders to repeat the process, creating planning burn-out. CCDPH embarked on its fourth round of assessment and planning process in 2010. To help address the prior planning shortfalls, CCDPH began its efforts with a refreshed vision and implementation model with a sustainable, system-based focus. The new plan includes branding of the overall efforts; clear communication of its activities to the public; creation of an oversight accountability committee with diverse representatives; development of internal and external health priority action-teams; and use of the ten essential services to help create an implementation focus—including a quality-improvement benchmark setting and review process. If community health assessments and planning will be increasingly expected and required, but funding and resources remain limited, public health departments must more than ever creatively plan for action at the start to keep the plans as living, useful documents. Lessons learned from this experience can be applied to not only community health assessments and planning, but also for voluntary accreditation in general, helping to present a model for action for the overall process.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
• Explain the benefits and limitations to conducting community health assessment and health improvement plans. • Identify ways to plan for action from the start of the process to maximize the planning process. • Describe early plan implementation successes.

Keywords: Health Departments, Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a qualified to present because I oversee units including but not limited to epidemiology, community health assessment and planning, and disease prevention related programs.
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.