Online Program

Strategic Planning in the Pacific Islands: Working Together to Ensure a Brighter Future

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

Rebecca Brady, Planning and Evaluation, Association of State and Territorial Public Health Officials (ASTHO), Arlington, VA

Karl Ensign, Science & Strategy, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), Arlington, VA
Undertaking a strategic planning process can help state and territorial health agencies (S/THA) identify, prioritize, and address public health challenges and needs. Creating a performance management system linked to strategic priorities provides metrics through which agencies can track progress and measure performance. S/THAs seeking accreditation must develop and adopt a strategic plan as part of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) pre-requisites. As part of its services to members, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) promotes and supports strategic planning in S/THAs by providing technical assistance, tools, and resources.  This includes a planning guide outlining a seven step strategic planning process with examples from the field.  Emphasis is placed on rapid cycle strategic planning and performance management through a process that is hands-on, interactive and engaging. 

ASTHO, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), facilitated two four-day on-site strategic planning workshops with two Pacific Island jurisdictions - Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS). Pre-work began in preceding months.  Emphasis was placed on building buy-in and identifying and analyzing resources for the environmental scan.  The Guam on-site workshop included all five divisions within the larger umbrella agency.  In CNMI, strategic planning focused specifically on public health. 

For both, a participatory approach was used to ensure identified challenges, opportunities, and strategic priorities were representative of the entire agency. Participants presented information from each of their unique perspectives, educated each other, discussed common themes and challenges, identified facilitating factors, and engaged in both small and large group work to reach consensus on priorities.  Through this process, areas that emerged included addressing gaps in workforce, improving information management systems, and streamlining recruitment and procurement organizational processes.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the participatory approach used to plan, identify, and set strategic priorities in two island jurisdictions – Guam’s Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) and the Commonwealth of Northern Marianna’s Islands (CNMI) Department of Public Health Services (DPHS) Explain the approach’s alignment with Public Health Accreditation Board pre-requisites for accreditation Explain the rapid cycle, participatory process used to develop a strategic plan with an integrated performance management system with measures to assess progress and performance Discuss lessons with respect to rapid cycle, participatory strategic planning in Pacific Island jurisdictions

Keyword(s): Asian and Pacific Islanders, Accreditation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have supported multiple federal- and state-funded grants focused on strategic planning for state and territorial health agencies, evaluating public health projects and programs, and developing and implementing performance management systems.
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.