262238 Visioning the Los Angeles County Public Health Department: Strategic Planning in the Era of Health Reform

Monday, October 29, 2012

Joshua M. Bobrowsky, JD, MPH , Office of Planning, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Wendy K. Schiffer, MSPH , Office of Planning, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Virginia Huang Richman, PhD, MPH , Office of Planning, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Susan H. Blackwell, MA , Office of Planning, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Kim Harrison Eowan, MPH, MCHES , Office of Planning, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Strategic planning by local health departments has taken on increased importance in the era of health reform with its concomitant expanded access to care, the growing availability of health information, and the likelihood of ongoing budgetary pressures on public health funding. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC-DPH) began a strategic planning process in the summer of 2011 to ensure better alignment of the department's core functions within this changing landscape. To inform this process, the LAC-DPH Office of Planning analyzed internal and external trends and policy issues. This environmental scan included surveys of DPH staff and external partners as well as key informant interviews with national public health experts and other key opinion leaders in Los Angeles County. DPH's leadership then engaged in a prioritization process that analyzed this data, burden of disease, and other factors to identify strategic areas for organizational change. Departmental subject area experts participated in workgroups to refine goals and objectives and linkages to performance measures for these strategic priority areas. The strategic planning process was conducted within the framework of broader community health planning, using Public Health Accreditation Board requirements as a guiding goal. This session will examine the lessons learned including effective ways of obtaining data to inform priority setting, determining suitable criteria to conduct prioritization processes, and navigating the tension between comprehensiveness (all programs see their work reflected in the plan) and being strategic (identifying cross-cutting, high-priority areas). This session will also discuss how a large, urban public health department confronts the increasing demands for policy-level /social determinants work while categorical funding and demand for clinical public health services diminishes. New initiatives for LAC-DPH will also be highlighted within the strategic plan, along with proposed resource allocations.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe how to do a prioritization process to make evidence-based, informed decisions about strategic priority areas in a local health department. Discuss four organizational priority areas for a large local health department as it responds to shifts in the health reform environment.

Keywords: Public Health Administration, Local Public Health Agencies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a policy and planning analyst in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health where I have been instrumental in the Departmentís strategic planning process.
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.