Sunshine Community Health Center completes an annual strategic plan that matches our fiscal year (July 1st to June 30th). This important process provides SCHC leadership and staff with a simple tool that includes a timeline, responsibility for work to be done and measures to track success as well as:
- a clear, measurable long term vision
- strategic and internal projects designed to move the organization toward the vision
- year-end goals and metrics for each project
- a series of quarterly milestones or steps to achieve a project goal
- accountability and responsibility for each outcome assigned to a leadership team member
- identifies issues preventing growth with specific steps to resolve them
Creating a Dynamic and Useful Strategic Plan
A Toolkit for Health Centers
The health care industry is experiencing rapid change brought on by demographic shifts, economic influences, policy changes, and bureaucratic adjustments. These changes are especially significant for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) because of their significant reliance on government programs for reimbursement. While always important, strategic planning has recently become an organizational imperative for health centers1 as they seek to successfully navigate uncharted territory.
Strategic planning is an organization-wide effort to assess key influences, reinforce operating systems, establish objectives, and mobilize staff and other stakeholders to meet the challenges of a changing environment. The process begins with a health center examining and reaffirming its mission and purpose, which should remain at the forefront of planning to ensure alignment of decisions and actions with values and vision. e next steps provide health centers with a reliable pathway to future success by generating well-informed expectations, measurable organizational objectives, and definitive steps to attain those goals. The final steps focus on distilling the experience, values, ideas, and vision of your board, staff and stakeholders into the critical actions needed to manage strategically and, ultimately, sustain your efforts.
This toolkit is divided into five sections, representing each of the key strategic planning components. Each section contains the tools, information, and resources necessary to guide health centers through the strategic planning process in a series of linear steps. Although this toolkit is comprehensive and each tool fulfills a specific function, it’s designed to be user-friendly. It isn’t necessary to use all of the tools to complete an effective strategic plan, although we recommend using some tools from each section.