Strategic issues are "those fundamental policy choices of critical challenges that must be addressed in order for a community to achieve its vision." During this fourth phase of the MAPP process participants develop a list of the most important issues facing the community. Strategic issues reveal what is truly important from the vast amount of information that was gathered in the four MAPP Assessments. When addressing "strategic" issues, a community is being proactive in positioning itself for the future, rather than simply reacting to problems.
On May 17, 2010, the Will County MAPP Steering Committee engaged in a planning session, inviting members from the assessment subcommittees as well as other key leaders in the community. The meeting was facilitated by the Illinois Public Health Institute. The purpose of this meeting was to review and discuss the key findings of the four assessments, identify data points and cross-cutting themes, and establish strategic issues based on those themes.
Once the strategic issues were identified, strategic issue “worksheets” and “diagrams” were utilized to determine if the issue identified is “strategic” and which, if any, of the data points apply to that issue.
Following the meeting, a three question survey was developed to validate the prioritization and to gain additional input from public health system partners. Using an online survey, all assessment committee members, Steering Committee and partners attending the LPHSA were invited to participate in the identification and prioritization of strategic issues.
The MAPP Steering Committee gave final approval to the following five priority strategic issues that the county needed to address:
- Access to Healthcare
- Awareness of Services and How to Access Them
- Chronic Care Management
- Mental and Behavioral Health
- Youth Services