Preparing for 2014  is something we are all diligently working towards on many different levels here at AHC and CHCN. Our Board of Directors (the health centers’ CEOs) decided that this is the perfect time for us to think strategically about how to better focus our efforts and prioritize our key steps in preparing for health care reform. We are utilizing Melissa Schoen, a consultant who has had many years’ experience working in the safety net, to assist us with our strategic planning.

With Melissa’s help we have engaged our health center CEOs on their priorities and vision, conducted an extensive internal staff survey, queried clinic meeting participants with a peer network meeting survey, and interviewed select external partners. Within all of these discussions are the same basic questions: What do we need to do to support our health centers in this time of transition? How do we help them prepare? How do we develop a flexible structure that can be ready when things change? The strategic plan that results from the answers to these questions will provide us with the priorities and steps to prepare us for the long term challenges ahead.

We know that the planning done now, and in the next year, will be critical for our future. We have a strong foundation to build from. We have a history of success with new models of care, new payment processes, and new structures and partners. In the next several months, we will emerge with an implementation plan and framework for the next year.  We will keep you updated on the progress of our strategic planning as we move forward.