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To the extent that this plan can impact your communities, always keep in mind that it is more than just a public health agency plan (research strategic plans for more information on how to do that). PHAB further defines a plan to be community-driven:
In summary, the PHIP serves as a measurable, outcomes-focused plan for your community to:
The plan is not limited to these benefits. Find the best ways to leverage this process in your community to use assets, engage your community and meet their unique needs.
The scope of the plan will depend upon factors such as the end goal(s), regional public health and community partners involved, capacity and whether or not your agency is using the plan to apply for accreditation or re-accreditation. Discuss and define the “right scope” of the plan with your advisory committee so that it is usable by all involved, measurable, meets requirements and has the potential for impact.
You will also want to discuss the potential uses of the plan. For example, local leaders, such as the board of health could use it to advocate for funding, partner organizations may need it for grant applications or it may be used to engage other sectors and define public health in a community, county or region. The scope and potential uses of the plan will help inform the following steps, guide implementation, engagement, communication and evaluation.
This conversation will also be a valuable time for those involved to connect work done in the assessment phases with future ability to act on priority issues. The plan needs to be a solid connection between the two.
Determine meeting schedule and logistics, such as location, frequency, length, agendas, communication method, etc. to complete the planning process. The number of meetings will depend on the size of your community and stakeholder group, and the number of priorities chosen.
Check on communication methods between those involved to ensure all are providing and receiving materials in a timely manner to review and take action. Also, check that everyone is doing an expected amount of work based on their original commitment to the process. Revise and update the process if need be. It is likely many involved will be volunteering their time. Take the time to thank them.
Prepare to delegate components of the plan and the following recommended steps to those involved. Allot adequate time for communication, discussion and inclusion of stakeholders to participate. Determining strategies for an action plan or designing an evaluation plan will require specific skill sets and/or knowledge to accomplish. Consider these needs early on so that you have the capacity to engage additional subject matter or process experts. This may lengthen the process time but the engagement is worth it.
Engage advisory group
Re-engage your advisory group for the second part of this community process. An advisory group, a best practice for this work, can help foster the momentum of implementing the plan after it’s developed by acting as a resource when barriers arise, as well as assisting in monitoring and evaluating progress. Provide adequate communication to the group about the assessment results, uses and dissemination, as well as requirements and future needs of the plan to keep your decision-makers up to date. New stakeholders can be added at anytime but now in particular is when additional stakeholders with different types of needed expertise within the priority areas can be included in the process. Be prepared to provide information based on their familiarity with the process thus far.
Determine needed resources
Just as you determined resources for the assessment, determine the resources needed to develop and implement the public health improvement plan.
Useful questions to consider:
Ultimately, you need to ensure that you, your oversight committee and partners have the knowledge, skills, partnerships and resources on hand to develop and implement a public health assessment to the best of your abilities.
Address health inequities and social determinants of health
Assessment and plan accessibility
If a monitoring system is chosen...
Seek out specific evaluation resources, engage your partners that have evaluation expertise and community impacted by the plan to guide your process. Here are some recommended resources to take a deeper dive into this specific process:
The Office of Planning, Partnerships and Improvement (OPPI) public health planner will submit your plan to the Colorado Board of Health on your agency’s behalf and post a link to your plan on the CHAPS website.
How you communicate about the plan will impact how it is implemented and how impactful you can be.
Change the narrative
As Colorado’s public health system moves to address issues that are considered upstream or root causes to your communities’ health and environmental issues, this is the opportunity to choose how you describe issues in ways that connect social, environmental, political and economic inequities to priority health and environmental issues.
Recommended communication resources: