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Minnesota Community Healthy 2020 Objectives


A SWOT analysis is an important strategic tool for managing health programs (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.). This section of the paper outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the Minnesota public health leadership program that strives to reduce heart disease and stroke in the state.

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SWOT analysis

Brief Description of SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis (above) highlights the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Minnesota heart disease and stroke prevention program. It shows that the program’s main strength is its alignment with the Minnesota health objectives. Similarly, this paper shows that the program’s wide outreach and its use of several data sources outline other strengths of the program. However, complex cultural practices could impede the achievement of its goals. This is the main weakness of the program. It closely associates with the potential threat of a changing policy environment that could similarly impede its success. Nonetheless, expanding the scope of stakeholder engagement presents an opportunity for the program to redeem itself. Detailed descriptions of these strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats appear in section II below.

Details of SWOT Analysis


Complements Minnesota Community Healthy 2020 Objectives – Cardiovascular disease prevention and health injuries are important tenets of the broader Minnesota community health plan. The health program complements this plan by reducing incidences of cardiovascular diseases and injuries that may result from the same conditions.

Consults Several Sources of Data – The proposed health plan consults many sources of data, thereby making it informed and agile to the different dynamics of health programs.

Reaches Many People – There is a high incidence of heart diseases and stroke in Minnesota. Therefore, the health plan would have a huge impact on the Minnesotan community because it would improve the health outcomes of many families.


Complexity of Cultural Issues – Lifestyle factors, such as unhealthy eating habits, smoking, and the lack of exercise, may cause heart diseases and stroke (Commers, 2013). However, cultural factors often shape some of these lifestyle factors (Commers, 2013). For example, cultural factors may dictate the types of foods people eat. Based on this fact, it could be difficult to convince communities to change their eating habits because they may consider it as an infringement on their cultural rights. This is a weakness of the health program.

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Expanding Stakeholder Involvement Criteria – The involvement of non-traditional stakeholders, such as the church, media, and other community-based stakeholders, may improve the outcomes of the health leadership program.

Improving The Socioeconomic Determinants Of Health – Poor socioeconomic determinants of health, such as housing, education, and income, may partly cause heart diseases and stroke (Commers, 2013). Improving these factors is a broader approach to managing heart disease and stroke, in the community health program.


Changing Policy Environment – The changing policy environment in the health sector may affect the success of the health intervention program by preventing stakeholder involvement and introducing new statutory requirements for undertaking community-based health activities.

Withdrawal of funding (from sponsors and government) – The withdrawal of funding from key sponsors of the Minnesota health program could undermine its goals by making it difficult to find resources to implement strategic decisions.

How the information could be Useful in Strategic Planning and Decision-Making

The information highlighted above could be useful in decision-making and resource allocation. For example, this section of the paper shows that cultural differences could undermine health interventions that strive to reduce the incidence of heart disease and stroke in Minnesota. This information would be useful in seeking partnerships to realize stakeholder “buy-in” (Community Tool Box, 2013). Information from the SWOT analysis would also be helpful in planning for threats that could similarly undermine the community health plan (Schulz & Johnson, 2003, p. 75). For example, this paper has already shown that a changing policy environment could affect the community health plan. This information would be helpful in lobbying policy-makers to introduce new laws that would complement the community health plan (National Association of County and City Health Officials, n.d.).

Public Health Administrator Interview

Summary of the Interview

I conducted an interview with Samuel Butler, the public health administrator of Clayton County, Georgia. He oversees the operations of several health care facilities in the county, as an official of the state health department. I conducted a three-hour interview via Skype. It explored the respondent’s views on strategic planning, investigated the people involved in the strategic planning process, and explained strategic planning best practices.

Synopsis of Interview

Based on the interview conducted with Samuel Butler, I found out that strategic planning was an important part of the administrative practices of health care facilities. Butler said hospital boards, employee representatives, and sponsors were the main stakeholders in the strategic planning process. He said decision-making and resource allocation processes were central to the strategic planning process because key tenets of the process included goal identification and resource mobilization. He highlighted the resource allocation process as a core practice of every health department because many hospitals know that some health needs are more “important” than others are. In this regard, Butler said there are five best practices for strategic planning. They included engagement, setting long-term strategic objectives, identifying strategic options, and evaluating the implementation of these practices (viz a viz the identified strategic goals). Here, he said communication was an important principle of strategic planning because different stakeholders have varying interests. Therefore, decision-makers have to consider their comments when they make strategic decisions. Butler also said health care facilities realize stakeholder buy-in this way. Setting the long-term strategic objectives of the stakeholder planning process was part of a larger strategy to complement the organization’s vision and benchmark its progress. The latter part of this assertion highlighted the fifth best practice of strategic planning which required administrators to monitor strategic planning performance using strategic goals, as the benchmark. Lastly, Butler emphasized strategic options, based on the available resources and objectives of the organization, as a best practice in strategic management. When asked to give suggestions to people who want to take part in strategic planning, and are new to the process, he said strategic planning was a “process” and not an “event.” Furthermore, he said “newcomers” should understand that the processes of defining goals, achieving them, and identifying the resources for executing them are important in strategic planning. Here, he also said, “strategic planning occurs around the strategic formation activity.”

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Relationship between Planning and Decision-making

Based on the above recommendations, Butler confirmed that strategic planning has worked well for him because it has provided direction and guidance when needed. In this regard, he believed strategic planning was an instrumental tool in the decision-making processes of most health care facilities. However, he said the main difficulty associated with the process was getting committed employees to implement the outlined strategies. Nonetheless, the main strength of the strategic planning process was to set priorities and focus the organization’s energy and resources on the achievement of organizational goals.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). SWOT analysis tool. Web.

Commers, M. (2013). Determinants of Health: Theory, Understanding, Portrayal, Policy. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.

Community Tool Box. (2013). Chapter 8: Developing a Strategic Plan. Web.

National Association of County and City Health Officials. (n.d.). Developing An LHD Strategic Plan. Web.

Schulz, R., & Johnson, A. (2003). Management of Hospitals and Health Services: Strategic Issues and Performance. New York, NY: Beard Books.

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