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Rural Health Information Hub

Key Considerations for Sustainability Planning

When planning for sustainability, health promotion/disease prevention programs should focus on the following:

  • Identifying potential barriers to sustainability and strategies to address them.
  • Identifying potential opportunities to leverage and build upon existing priorities, strategies, and interventions.
  • Identifying and pursuing diverse funding opportunities early in the development phase.
  • Implementing data-driven decision-making processes.
  • Emphasizing the intrinsic motivation that can exist in programs which maintain participant behavior change.
  • Identifying ways to demonstrate cost savings and cost-effectiveness.
  • Identify payment models that support and reward improvements in population health.
  • Considering which partner organizations are best positioned to run the program over the long-term and or that can assume certain programmatic responsibilities when necessary.
  • Exploring opportunities for partnering with existing federal, state, county, or community initiatives.
  • Considering how services integration and care coordination strategies can support health promotion and disease prevention programs and population health improvements.

Resources to Learn More

Bringing the Future into Focus: A Step-by-Step Sustainability Planning Workbook
Focuses on the various steps in sustainability planning for rural communities and provides examples of sustainable programs and their impact.
Organization(s): Georgia Health Policy Center
Date: 2011

The Dynamics of Sustainability: A Primer for Rural Health Organizations
Provides information on sustainability planning during initial program implementation.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration
Date: 2/2012

Positioning for Sustainability: A Formative Assessment Tool
Provides information on critical areas of sustainability planning for rural community health programs, a Sustainability Self-Assessment Tool, and guidelines for improving sustainability.
Organization(s): Georgia Health Policy Center
Date: 2011