In May of 2013, the Worcester Division of Public Health embarked on a strategic planning process to help guide the work of both the Worcester Division of Public Health and the Central Massachusetts Regional Public Health Alliance (CMRPHA) for the next four years. Over the course of 6 months, a core steering committee comprised of a consultant and the management team met weekly to develop the strategic plan. The core steering committee engaged with a broader group of stakeholders, including staff, municipal board of health members, and governing officials, as needed to obtain their input and feedback at critical junctures in the planning process. The plan was completed in November 2013 and released in December 2013.
The current strategic plan was produced from approximately 20 planning meetings and 6 broader stakeholder dialogues. Goals and objectives contained in the strategic plan were created with the CMRPHA’s vision and mission in mind. In particular, the core steering committee used the following question as a guide for selecting goals and objectives: “Based on the information we have learned during the data gathering process, what does the Alliance need to work on in order to have an efficient and effective regional public health delivery system in 4 years?”
The end result is 19 objectives organized under 5 main goals
Goal 1 Build a Strong, Accredited Regional Public Health Department
Goal 2 Develop a Sustainable Regional Public Health Service Delivery Model
Goal 3 Mobilize Community and Academic Partnerships
Goal 4 Play a Leadership Role in the Development of Healthy Communities
Goal 5 Assure Conditions for Safe and Prepared Communities
The final goals, objectives, and strategies reflect several key priorities. The first is the continued implementation of the Greater Worcester Community Health Improvement Plan, which has just completed its first year of implementation. This work is reflected primarily in Goals 4 and 5. However, the steering committee also acknowledges that Goals 1, 2 and 3 are critical for the successful implementation of the CHIP in all CMRPHA municipalities.
The second key initiative supported by the strategic plan is achieving accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Accreditation was a recommendation of the 2009 Public Health Taskforce report and continues to be a priority for the division. The strategic plan lays out strategies for implementing PHAB standards and measures such as implementing performance management systems, quality improvement projects, and workforce development initiatives. The bulk of this work is contained within the strategies of Goal 1.
Each strategic goal will have an associated work plan to guide implementation and keep the division on track to achieve objectives within the identified timeframes. The senior management team, under the leadership of the Commissioner and Director, will be responsible for monitoring the progress toward goals, objectives and strategies outlined in the plan.