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IDPH Strategic Plan

Ngozi Ezike, MD


Executive Summary

In 2020, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) participated in a strategic planning process to inform its priorities over the next five years. The process was guided by stakeholder and staff input to assess the current state and future of the Department, and resulted in an update to the IDPH mission, vision, and values, and identification of six strategic priorities along with SMART goals and objectives. The priorities, goals, and objectives, with time-framed targets, will be utilized to guide and support the Department and community improvements over the next five years. Figure 1 defines the six strategic issues prioritized by the Strategic Planning Committee, which included leadership from across the Department. The strategic issues addressed were identified by analyzing data collected and compiled and exploring IDPH’s cross-cutting strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Eliminating Health Disparities and Advancing Health Equity

Increasing Organizational and Community Resilience and Preparedness

Enhancing Data Gathering, Dissemination and Actionability

Improving Communication, Collaboration and Trust Among Stakeholders, Partners, and the Public

Reducing Silos to Improve IDPH Collaboration and Effectiveness

Strengthening, Supporting and Developing the IDPH and Illinois Public Health Workforce

IDPH also updated its mission, vision, and value statements as part of the strategic planning process. The Strategic Planning Committee solicited input on the current mission, vision and values, and potential improvements through a survey of IDPH staff, members of the State Board of Health, and representatives from the Office of the Governor. The following mission, vision, and value statements were approved, and an extensive draft and revision process was led by the Strategic Planning Committee.


The Illinois Department of Public Health is an advocate for and partner with the people of Illinois to re-envision health policy and promote health equity, prevent and protect against disease and injury, and prepare for health emergencies.


Illinoisans empowered and supported to achieve their optimal health with dignity and acceptance in diverse and thriving communities.

Values and Guiding Principles

Health Equity:

We believe that achieving optimal health for everyone is rooted in reducing and removing social, environmental, economic, and structural barriers to health, such as racism and other forms of inequity.


We believe that the foundation of public health is trust, and that we must always act with the highest standards of honesty, trustworthiness, and transparency.

Science and Data:

We believe that our decisions, policies, and programs must be driven by science, the most reliable public health expertise, and timely data.


We believe we must be prepared to address emerging issues and health emergencies and maintain flexibility to respond quickly and effectively.


We believe that we are most effective in achieving our health goals when we value the contributions of our diverse employees and partners; collaborate with stakeholders, communities, and other state agencies; and foster a culture of inclusivity.


We believe that communication is a multi-dimensional process and to enhance public health we must provide accurate, evidence-based, actionable, and timely information that is informed by community needs, builds public confidence, and increases public knowledge and healthy behaviors.

IDPH will utilize the Strategic Plan to guide its work over the next five years in alignment with updated mission, vision, and value statements. To further guide the work over the next five years, the Strategic Planning Committee developed goals and measurable objectives for each priority strategic issue. The following summarizes these goals. (*) Identifies goals linked to the State Health Improvement Plan.

Reducing and Eliminating Health Disparities and Advancing*

Goal 1: IDPH’s culture celebrates diversity, reflects the Department’s health equity mission, and ensures that staff are welcomed, respected, and valued for their contributions and ideas.

Goal 2: All IDPH programs are delivered with health equity priority and lens.

Enhancing Data Gathering, Dissemination, and Actionability*

Goal 1: Establish strong internal data science, surveillance, epidemiology, and statistical analysis capacity.

Reducing Silos to Improve IDPH Collaboration and Effectiveness

Goal 1: IDPH staff members understand the work of IDPH and the role they play.

Increasing the Organizational and Community Resilience and Preparedness*

Goal 1: Demonstrate internal capacity in public health preparedness and response while maintaining (to effectively prevent illness, mitigate threats/hazards, and respond to public health emergencies) continuity of operations by December 31, 2021.

Improving Communication, Collaboration, and Trust Among Stakeholders, Partners, and the Public*

Goal 1: IDPH is viewed as a trusted, reliable, and credible public health resource and subject-matter expert.

Goal 2: A coordinated public health communication system across Illinois with accurate, aligned, and timely public health information exchange.

Strengthening, Supporting, and Developing the IDPH and Illinois Public Health Workforce*

Goal 1: IDPH has a well-developed workforce with a culture of continuous learning, opportunities for advancement and development in a supportive environment.

Goal 2: IDPH is an active partner and leader in developing the future public health system’s workforce.