State Health Improvement Plan

Under Public Act 93-0975, Illinois is required to produce a State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) every four years. SHIP must include priorities and strategies for health status and public health system improvement in Illinois, with a focus on prevention. It also must address reducing racial, ethnic, geographic, age, and socioeconomic health disparities. The plan is produced by a team of public, private and voluntary sector stakeholders appointed by the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

What is the Illinois State Health Improvement Plan?

As mandated by statute, the state of Illinois regularly produces a State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) that outlines priorities and strategies for health status and public health system improvement, with a focus on prevention. The SHIP also addresses reducing racial, ethnic, geographic, age and socioeconomic health disparities. The plan is produced by a team of public, private and voluntary sector stakeholders appointed by the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The current version of the SHIP is from 2016.

SHIP Implementation Coordination Council

The Governor-appointed State Health Improvement Plan Implementation Coordination Council (SHIP ICC) is an interdisciplinary council that is tasked with developing implementation strategies for the state’s State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). The SHIP council convenes a diverse group of public health professionals and leaders in other sectors that that will support a comprehensive approach to ensuring the optimal health of all Illinoisans.

The SHIP is a framework to address public health issues through an interdisciplinary approach that utilizes the strengths of the entire public health system. Under law, the state of Illinois must complete a SHIP every four years with the goal of creating a system that ensures optimal physical, mental, and social well-being for all people in Illinois through a high-functioning public health system. The most recent SHIP was updated in August 2010 to reflect federal health care reform and other updates to state health policies.

In July 2010, the Governor signed legislation creating a Governor-appointed council to implement the SHIP, one of the recommendations of the SHIP planning team. The group will provide further definition of priorities and action steps, engage stakeholders to enact SHIP objectives, and promote the plan as a common agenda across the public health system.

The SHIP calls for the state to improve access to comprehensive health-related services, enhance data and information technology in the health care sectors, address the social factors affecting health and health disparities, manage and improve the public health system, and ensure sufficient workforce in the health care and public health fields. The SHIP is prevention-focused and centered on the following priority health concerns: alcohol/tobacco, use of illicit drugs/misuse of legal drugs, mental health, environment, obesity (including nutrition and physical activity), oral health, patient safety and quality, unintentional injury, and violence.

In addition to the appointed council members, representatives of 12 state agencies, and the chair of the State Board of Health will participate in the SHIP Implementation Coordination Council. All participants will play a critical role in the implementation of the SHIP recommendations and will be working with the council to ensure that the goals of the SHIP are achieved.