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Importance of Sustainability Planning

A sustainability plan documents strategies for continuing the oral health program, specific program activities, and existing partnerships including:

  • Obtaining input and buy-in from coalition members and key external decision makers
  • Defining short-term and long-term financing strategies
  • Creating an organizational plan to attract and make the best use of human, financial, and in-kind resources

A sustainability plan must be tailored to address the specific needs of your rural oral health program. As a starting point, there are several sample sustainability plans available publicly that can serve as useful reference points. These plans are not tailored to rural oral health programs, but their components can be adapted.

In addition to sustainability plans, rural oral health programs may also need a risk management plan. A risk management plan incorporates sustainability factors and can help the program to plan for unexpected events, such as the loss of a partner or changes in federal and state policies.

Resources to Learn More

Creating an Effective Plan for Your Sustainability Efforts
Website
This website provides a guide for sustainability planning.
Author(s): Willard, M.
Organization(s): Axis Performance Advisors

Program Sustainability: Developing Strategies for Maintaining Programs Over the Long-term
Presentation Slides
This presentation is a guide for developing strategies for maintaining and continuing program services over a long-term period. The guide outlines goals, steps, and strategies for sustainability.
Organization: American Indian Development Associates
Date: 2001

Rural Health Care Pilot Program Sustainability Plans
Website
This website provides an overview of what is required in a sustainability plan, with action steps for the first year.
Organization(s): Universal Service Administrative Company

Sample Sustainability Action Plan
Document
This document provides an example of a sustainability action plan.
Organization(s): Consulting Services for Community Solutions
Author(s): Voll, M.

A Sustainability Planning Guide for Healthy Communities
Document
This document provides a comprehensive plan for sustaining public health efforts in communities.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Healthy Communities Program