STEP I: Self-Assessing Organizational Capacity
__ Public Health Administrator (PHA) reviews with IPLAN Coordinator (if other than PHA)
the Organizational Capacity Self-Assessment to determine the completeness of the previous
assessment, the current relevancy of the plan and how the plan can be strengthened.
__ PHA meets with senior staff and Chairperson of Community Health Committee to discuss
the Organizational Capacity Self-Assessment review and inform the group that the IPLAN
process will be conducted for recertification purposes.
__ When the analysis of the Organizational Capacity Self-Assessment is completed, the
PHA should submit report to the local board of health for review. A letter from the local
board of health acknowledging the review of the Organizational Capacity Self-Assessment is
required for the recertification application.
Tools: Self-Assessing Organizational Capacity
STEP 2: Convening the Community Health Committee
__ PHA or IPLAN Coordinator should bring together the Community Health Committee for
the purpose of conducting a community health needs assessment and developing a community
health plan. Community participation should include, but not be limited to, involvement by
representatives from the following constituencies: ethnic and racial groups, the medical
and hospital communities, mental health and social service organizations, the cooperative
extension service, schools, law enforcement organizations, voluntary organizations, the
faith community, the business community, economic development, unions, and senior
citizens, as appropriate.
__ PHA or IPLAN Coordinator should orient Community Health Committee to the IPLAN
process, including: history of IPLAN; certification requirements; examination of indicator
categories contained in the IPLAN data system; explanation of criteria for determining
health priorities; and a brief overview of the previous activities under the first
community health needs assessment and community health plan. Provide and explain the
function of the APEXPH forms designed to assist in conducting community health
needs assessments and planning activities, including: Health Problem Analysis
Worksheet, Community Health Plan: Worksheet, and Community Health Plan (Appendix
Tools: Convening the Community Health Committee
STEP 3: Analysis of Health Priorities and Health Data
__ Using the IPLAN Data System, version 3.0, run summary reports for
jurisdiction through 1995 (1996, if available). Examine each indicator category,
including: 1) demographic and socioeconomic characteristics; 2) general health and access
to care; 3) maternal and child health; 4) chronic disease, including cancer incidence; 5)
infectious disease; 6) environmental, occupational, and injury control; and 7) sentinel
events. Gather any other jurisdictional health-related data, including information from
the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (county-level, if available),
Illinois Hospital and HealthSystems Association's Community Health Information System
(CHIS), Illinois State Board of Education's Youth Risk Behavior Survey, maternal
and child health reports, voluntary organizations (i.e., American Cancer Society), police
reports, etc. to develop community health profile, as appropriate.
__ Analyze the community health profile focusing on issues pertaining to health status
and determine if a health problem exists. The APEXPH definition of a health
problem is "a situation or condition of people which is considered undesirable,
is likely to exist in the future, and is measured as death, disease, or disability."
__ Examine health priorities selected in the first round of IPLAN and any other
indicators that appear to reflect undesirable levels. Choose the most reliable mortality
and morbidity statistics (e.g., incidences or rates) for making comparisons (see page 48, IPLAN
Unit I Manual). Note: The IPLAN Data System does not provide
post-1990 age-adjusted rates because of the unreliability of intercensal population
estimates. Using the formula for percent change (see page 35, IPLAN
Unit I Manual), assess whether there has been a rate increase or decrease in the
identified health priority.
__ Present the results of the analysis to the Committee and explain the source and
meaning of the data.
__ Solicit input from the Committee on their perceptions of additional community health
problems and ascertain if data or anecdotal reports are available to verify the perceived
Tools: Analysis of Health Priorities and Health Data
STEP 4: Prioritize Community Health Problems
__ Select and utilize a prioritization process which best meets the needs of your
Committee (see Appendix A: Narrative of Prioritization Methods, IPLAN Unit I Manual).
__ Determine if there is a need to retain or change the health priorities, and if
additional health priorities should be added to community health plan.
Tools: Prioritize Community Health Problems
STEP 5: Conduct Detailed Analysis of Community Health Problems
__ Obtain information on health problem risk factors, including direct and indirect
contributing factors and enter on Health Problem Analysis Worksheet.
__ Discuss with the Committee the importance of determining risk factors associated
with health problems and the ability to develop outcome and impact objectives and proven
intervention strategies that will affect the health priorities.
__ Summarize the analysis of each health problem on the Community Health Plan
__ Prepare the Community Health Needs Assessment document that contains the following:
- A statement of purpose of the community health needs assessment that includes a
description of how the assessment will be used to improve health in the community;
- A description of the community participation process, a list of community groups
involved in the process, and method for establishing priorities;
- A description of the health status and health problems most meaningful for the community
in the data groupings contained in the IPLAN Data System; and
- A description of the process and outcomes of setting priorities.
Tools: Conduct Detailed Analysis of Community Health Problems
STEP 6: Inventory Community Health Resources
__ Inventory current and potential community assets that might be useful in reducing
the level of factors that indirectly contribute to the health problems identified by the
Committee. Stress the importance of community ownership of problems and its responsibility
to change the conditions that contribute to the problem.
__ Identify barriers to reducing direct and indirect contributing factors.
__ Summarize the information on resources and barriers on the Community Health Plan
Tools: Inventory Community Health Resources
STEP 7: Develop a Community Health Plan
__ For each problem selected, identify corrective actions that will reduce the
contributing factors identified on the Community Health Plan Worksheet.
__ Prepare the Community Health Plan by including:
- A statement of purpose of the community health plan that includes how the plan will be
used to improve the health of the community;
- A description of the process used to develop the Community Health Plan;
- A description of each priority including the importance of the priority health need,
summarized data and information on which the priority is based, the relationship of the
priority to Healthy People 2000 National Health Objectives and subsequent revisions and
factors influencing the level of the problem (e.g., risk factors, direct and indirect
- At least one measurable outcome objective covering a five-year time frame related to
each priority health need;
- At least one measurable impact objective with intermediate time frame (i.e., 2 to 3
years) related to each outcome objective; and
- At least one proven intervention strategy to address each impact objective. The
description should include a discussion of the community resources that will contribute to
implementation, estimated funding needed for implementation, and anticipated sources of
- An evaluation plan describing how progress in achieving the outcome and impact
objectives and the effectiveness of the intervention strategy will be assessed.
Tools: Develop a Community Health Plan
STEP 8: Submit Recertification Application
__ A completed recertification application should include:
- A cover letter requesting LHD recertification and a description of the contents of the
- A signed letter from the local board of health acknowledging that the Organizational
Capacity Self-Assessment was conducted and reviewed and the community health plan was
- A community health needs assessment,
- A community health plan, and
- Any appendices containing relevant application support materials (i.e., worksheets).
Send an electronic copy and one master copy of the recertification application to:
Tom Szpyrka, IPLAN Administrator
Division of Health Policy
Illinois Department of Public Health
525 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761-0001
Within sixty days of receipt by the Department of the LHD's IPLAN Recertification
Application, the Division of Health Policy will review and approve (if in compliance) the
Community Health Needs Assessment and Community Health Plan and notify the LHD that the
requirements under Title 77 Illinois Administrative Code, Section 600.400 or 600.410
have been satisfied. Notification of compliance will also be sent to the Department's
Office of Finance and Administration, State/Local Liaison Unit and the Regional Health
Technical assistance is available for the LHDs by Department staff from the:
- Division of Health Policy (217-782-6235)
- Illinois Center for Health Statistics (217-785-1064)
- Division of Epidemiologic Studies (217-785-1873)
- Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control (217-785-2060
- Division of Health Promotion and Health Education (217-785-2060)
- State/Local Liaison Unit (217-785-4357)
1. Turnock, B.J., Handler, A., Hall, W.,
Lenihan, D.P., and Vaughn, E. (1995). Capacity-building influences on Illinois local
health departments. Journal of Public Health Management Practice, 1(3), 50-58.
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