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Rural Health Information Hub

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

A Sustainability Planning Guide for Healthy Communities
Offers evidence-based strategies for developing, implementing, and evaluating sustaining public health efforts in communities. Discusses various approaches to sustainability and describes working examples of sustainability initiatives.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Healthy Communities Program

Creating an Effective Plan for Your Sustainability Efforts
Discusses five basic components for developing an effective sustainability plan. Covers defining sustainability and developing a framework, identifying a vision for the future, the importance of an impact analysis of key processes, and creating an action plan to identify areas for improvement.
Author(s): Willard, M.
Organization(s): Axis Performance Advisors
Date: 8/2013