After months of inventory analysis, stakeholder and employee online surveys and internal and external focus group interviews, the Department of Health and Social Services is seeking public input on draft goals and objectives as part of its ongoing strategic planning initiative.

The Department has posted the foundation of the initiative — consisting of the draft commitment, goals and objectives — at dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/pubs.html. The information about the strategic planning process is being shared to gather input about the plan.

DHSS Secretary Kara Odom Walker began the process of strategic planning in 2017 as part of the statewide Governmental Efficiency and Accountability Review effort. The Department issued a request for proposal in August 2018 and Health Management Associates, a nationally recognized health consulting firm, was awarded a competitive contract to facilitate the process.

Through HMA, DHSS has conducted internal and external focus group interviews, stakeholder and employee surveys, and an inventory analysis of DHSS’ 11 divisions and its 193 individual programs and services.

“Over the past several months, we have received a great deal of input, which we have used to develop the plan’s foundation,” said Walker. “Now we want to build on that foundation with more input from you as we develop the plan’s strategies. In the coming weeks, I will also announce dates, times and places for town halls, so we can hear directly from you about our strategic needs. We ask for your feedback not only about the parts of the plan drafted so far, but also for your suggestions about specific strategies that should be put into place to meet the goals and objectives.”

Comments on the draft content, as well as potential strategies, can be sent via email to: dhss_townhall@delaware.gov.

Final strategic plan recommendations, built through a series of outreach efforts involving DHSS leadership from all divisions, service providers, advocacy groups and the public, are expected in February 2020.