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Has anyone conducted an environmental scan to know what activities, programs, etc. are currently in place in the community before identifying strategies for the CHIP? Know of any resources, best practices, etc?


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Environmental scans can be pretty time intensive depending on the approach. However, many people do “environmental scans” in a non-technical way.

You can have a facilitated conversation or you can even do this exercise virtually. Either way, it would be important to list out the strategic issues, the information that informed the development of the strategic issues, the goals and strategies associated with each strategic issue, and then create a process for identifying which existing efforts align with all that information. You could create a list of questions or criteria to help determine how well existing work aligns with strategic areas. For example…

  • Does the existing activity address health problems and concerns identified in the CHSA and CTSA?
  • Does the existing activity utilize assets, resources, or opportunities identified in the CTSA and FOCA?
  • Will the existing activity address local public health system weaknesses?
  • Does the existing activity take advantage of local public health system strengths?
  • Will the existing activity be adversely affected by forces of change?
  • In what way does the activity address the overall strategic issue?
  • In what way does the activity help the community achieve a goal?

While it is important for you to ensure there isn’t duplication, it’s also important that you don’t return to status quo and miss the opportunity to improve on existing activities. The questions above will help to ensure the use of assessment data strategically. Even though there are good activities already going on in the community, there are always opportunities for enhanced strategic alignment.

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