From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Our Strategic Plan reflects how we’ll serve Idahoans through 2027

July 22, 2022
DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

I am very pleased to announce the completion of our new five-year Strategic Plan.

We will continue working toward the same four goals we pledged in our previous Strategic Plan because those goals are still relevant:

  • Goal 1: Ensure affordable, available healthcare that works
  • Goal 2: Protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults
  • Goal 3: Help Idahoans become as healthy and self-sufficient as possible
  • Goal 4: Strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the Department of Health and Welfare

The plan guides the work done every day by dedicated staff throughout the department. We are focusing on the big ideas we will be turning into reality over the next five years. Our plan helps the department organize and continue transformative, long-term work as we also face day-to-day demands and challenges.

This year, we continued our efforts to write in plain language as part of our ongoing effort to communicate clearly with the public about how we serve Idahoans. This Strategic Plan also features important advances in two key areas: work to prevent adverse outcomes, and strategic work to overcome the current shortage of healthcare workers.

Strategic objectives involving work by several divisions to help people be physically and mentally healthier

  • Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play (known by some as the social determinants of health) contribute to preventable differences in disease, injury, violence, and opportunities to be healthy for different groups of people in Idaho.
    • Strategic Objective 3.2: Address health disparities in Idaho communities by implementing three strategies that focus on the social determinants of health by June 30, 2025.
    • This objective involves work by teams in the divisions of Public Health, Medicaid, and Welfare.
  • Trauma experienced during childhood severely increases the likelihood of poor physical and mental health throughout life.
    • Strategic Objective 3.3: Prevent or reduce the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences across the lifespan of Idahoans by creating a coordinated DHW program delivery framework by June 30, 2025.
    • This objective involves work by teams in the divisions of Public Health, Medicaid, Family and Community Services, Behavioral Health, and Welfare.

Strategic objectives to address the healthcare workforce shortage

  • Idahoans in some areas of the state may not have access to needed healthcare services because of healthcare workforce shortages and limited access.
    • Strategic Objective 1.1: Develop and implement four cross-divisional initiatives to help reduce healthcare workforce shortages by Dec. 31, 2024.
    • This objective involves work by teams in the divisions of Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Medicaid.
  • Economic pressure is making it tough to hire and retain employees, which can negatively impact services to customers.
    • Strategic Objective 3.4 (New for the 2023–2027 Strategic Plan): Reduce the department’s employee voluntary turnover rate from 21.7 percent to 14 percent by June 30, 2026.

You can read more about each of these objectives, as well as the updates to the other strategic objectives, in the plan on the DHW website. Also, throughout the year, I will regularly post updates in this blog to keep you informed about the progress we are making toward our mission of strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans.

I hope you have a safe and healthy weekend! 

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.