Sample Health Issue

How can the Planning Guide help you take a population health approach?

We've developed the following sample situation to help walk you through the website.

Sample situation.

Put yourself in the position of being a member of a community partner coalition. Your coalition has chosen tobacco use as a priority health issue because your providers and community data have shown an upward trend.

Here's how you can use the website for this health issue: 

Build Common Understanding

Before diving into tobacco strategies, it may be helpful to establish shared understanding of population health in general. Operating with that framework in mind, explore resources specific to your coalition's concerns.

Assess Needs

Next, assessing the needs and looking at research data (such as Health Behaviors in Washington) would be ideal to begin building a plan. The Planning Guide has an Assess Needs webpage to assist with this process.

Use Health Equity

To ensure you are considering health equity issues in early planning stages, review the Tobacco Summary’s Health Equity Concerns.

Identify Strategies and Interventions

For help in identifying strategies and interventions, review the Tobacco Recommended Strategies. Additionally, it is recommended you review strategies from national sources, including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) High Impact in 5 Years; located in our National Partner Resources page.

Align Common Goals

Next, you will be aligning strategies around a common goal. Explore the considerations and resources under Align Strategies. In particular, note the “Three Buckets of Prevention” in the CDC’s High Impact in 5 Years resource.  Work with your coalition to identify a tobacco strategy in each of the three buckets, that you can work on together to improve the health of an identified population. Also explore current tobacco work; aligning your local efforts with state and national initiatives can create better traction.


For help with sustainability, go to resources on funding population health as well as an evidence-based tool to plan for sustainability. Your coalition can build sustainability by identifying and aligning funding sources, and by creating a strong sustainability plan in the initial phase of your efforts.     

Each plan will be unique to the health issue and stage of readiness. In the future, more samples will be available on this site. Please check back.

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