Strategic Planning

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) defines strategic planning as “a disciplined process aimed at producing fundamental decisions and actions that will shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does what it does. The process of assessing a changing environment to create a vision of the future; determining how the organization fits into the anticipated environment, based on its mission, strengths, and weaknesses; then setting in motion a plan of action to position the organization,” with the strategic plan focusing on a range of agency level organizational goals, strategies and objectives, including new initiatives.

Public Health Approach to Strategic Planning

We approached the development of our strategic plan with the use of a framework that supports the following elements. Our strategic plan will:

  • Support decision-making and guide agency activities
  • Help us prioritize efforts and effectively allocate resources
  • Enhance transparency
  • Provide flexibility to allow for adaptation to meet community needs
  • Align stakeholders and employees on the organization’s goals


For all El Paso County residents to live in thriving communities where every person has the opportunity to achieve optimal health.


To promot and protect public health and environmental quality across El Paso County through people, prevention and partnerships.



We accept our individual and team responsibilities and meet our commitments. We are good stewards of county resources.


We cultivate strategic partnerships to expand access to needed services, reduce disparities and barriers to care, and improve the overall health and wellbeing of our communities.


We strive to find new processes or programs that provide value to our partners. We pursue innovative ideas that improve system efficiencies or demonstrably improve health outcomes in our community.


We approach our work and communicate with our partners in an honest, consistent and reliable manner.


We treat all partners, especially those to whom we provide direct services, as valuable and important. We listen and respond to issues appropriately and professionally. We recognize the importance of diversity.


We exercise clear, open and honest communication.

Image of pillars sitting on top of a foundation

Strategic Pillars

The organization identified four strategic pillars that represent broad goal areas based on the analysis of SPW sessions and feedback from stakeholders. The pillars are expressed at a high-level in order to capture all possible forward movement across the agency and within specific programs. Specific objectives will be articulated each year and set forth in an annual work plan. The annual work plan guides the daily work of programs and staff to assure that work is aligned with the strategic plan, there is a process for measuring progress, and that QI opportunities are identified.


To attract and retain a knowledgeable and skilled workforce to provide services for the residents of El Paso County

Health Data & Communication

To foster and build trust with internal and external stakeholders through the use of relevant, credible and transparent data and communication

Community Trust & Engagement

To build trust and strengthen relationships between Public Health and residents to expand an understanding of public health


To develop and maintain strong strategic relationships with cross-sector partners to support the public health system through shared funding, services, and collective action

Foundational Public Health Services

The Foundational Public Health Services (FPHS) define a minimum package of public health capabilities and programs that no jurisdiction can be without. The FPHS framework outlines the unique responsibilities of governmental public health and can be used to explain the vital role of governmental public health in a thriving community; identify capacity and resource gaps; determine the cost for assuring foundational activities; and justify funding needs. They are the services and supports we are statutorily responsible for either providing, or ensuring that they are provided, in our community.

Health departments have a fundamental responsibility to provide certain protections and services including: preventing the spread of communicable disease, preventing chronic disease and injury, ensuring food, air, and water quality are safe; supporting maternal and child health; and improving access to clinical care services.

details foundational public health services

The foundational capabilities are the infrastructure needed to fulfill these responsibilities. These are the cross-cutting skills and capacities needed to support basic public health protections, programs, and activities that are key to ensuring community health and well-being. These are: the ability to assess and analyze; the ability to create, leverage, and sustain partnerships; the ability to strategically address social determinants of health; the ability to meet certain organizational competencies; the ability to serve as an expert resource for establishing, maintaining, and developing public health policy recommendations; the ability to perform according to business standards; the ability to respond in an emergency; and the ability to communicate effectively to the public.

The 10 Essential Public Health Services

The 10 Essential Public Health Services provide a framework for public health to protect and promote the health of all people in all communities through a lens of health equity. This framework encourages the promotion of policies, systems, and services that enable optimal health and seeks to address systemic and structural barriers that have resulted in health inequities.