Phase V: Who should be involved

 
The prioritization process is an important way to gain buy-in from those in the best position to influence outcomes of the public health improvement plan and ensure that underrepresented constituencies and consumers have a voice. Being strategic in your selection of participants means you have identified a role for everyone involved in the process, for example:
  • Decision makers who can impact policy adoption, implementation or enforcement.
  • Potential funders that may contribute toward addressing an issue (e.g., a municipality or hospital).
  • Community organizations or neighboring local public health agencies (LPHAs) that may offer to enhance or provide a new program.
  • Community advocates that can give voice to the underserved.
  • Potential champions who can generate support, advocate and fundraise.
  • Public health agency staff who may be responsible for implementation.
  • Other governmental directors who would naturally take the lead on an issue (law enforcement, planning department, transportation, school district, human services, etc.).
If your process has included a steering committee, that group is well-suited to participate since its members are likely invested and well-educated on the issues. Consider who else may be missing, based on the suggestions listed above, and invite them to the table. Involving stakeholders in this manner will create buy-in for public health improvement plan (PHIP) implementation and alignment around health initiatives in your community.
 
There are probably many groups already focusing locally on health issues. Some may be addressing an issue with great success while others may be struggling because they lack funding, staff or other resources, or they may be using an ineffective strategy. A prioritization process helps stakeholders align by focusing energy, funding and other resources on the same areas and respective strategies that result from this process.