Roadmap for State Program Planning: Develop Plans

Develop Plans Arrow

Develop a State HDSP Plan

Developing and updating a comprehensive State HDSP Plan requires a major commitment of time from both HDSP program staff and partners. The State HDSP Plan should include strategic objectives and activities that will be carried out by public- and private-sector partners and should be updated by staff and partners regularly.

The State HDSP Plan’s strategic objectives should include—

  • Population based strategies that address the needs of the general and priority populations.
  • Policy and systems change approaches.
  • Educational interventions to support awareness policy and system change.

The State HDSP Plan should be based on the burden of heart disease and stroke in the state, and policies, regulation and legislation that influence heart disease and stroke.

The State HDSP Plan may be a stand-alone document or an identifiable section within another state health plan. It should provide guidance for a comprehensive approach to address heart disease and stroke in the state and should address heart disease and stroke and related risk factors (e.g., high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, tobacco use, diabetes and obesity). The State HDSP Plan should be disseminated to partners.

What to Do

The State HDSP Plan should be comprehensive and meet the DHDSP Performance Measures [PDF–131K]. It should—

  • Use data to identify priorities.
  • Address prevention of heart disease and stroke and related risk factors.
  • Promote policy and system change strategies that address the general and priority populations in the state.
  • Show evidence that it was developed with the input of internal and external partners of the state health department.

How to Do It

The following steps can assist programs as they shape their State HDSP Plans—

How to Do It
Steps Description
1 Analyze data collected to identify problem(s).
2 Write goals and objectives.
3 Identify approaches and activities.
4 Determine timeline.
5 Develop an evaluation process for the State HDSP Plan.

There are several major components to a well-developed State HDSP Plan.

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary describes the overall goal and focus of the State HDSP Plan.

Summary of HDSP Burden

This summary describes the burden of heart disease and stroke and related risk factors in the state. At a minimum, the data used to define the burden should include—

  • Mortality data.
  • Hospital discharge data.
  • BRFSS data.
  • Demographic data.
  • Morbidity trend data.

This data should be considered when you identify priority issues and general and priority populations.

Problem Statement

A problem statement defines the issues, helps to place them into perspective, and should explain the specific need(s) or problem(s) that are being targeted. Information from the HDSP Burden document should be used to support the problem statement. Which should include information about—

  • Severity or extent of the problem.
  • Affected population(s).
  • Associated risk factors and conditions.
  • Current and/or previously tried solutions.
  • Context (social, environmental, political, and economical).

Goals and Objectives

Well written goals and objectives can provide a framework for determining the activities that are needed to successfully implement the State HDSP Plan. Data from the state burden document can help the HDSP program set objectives. Effective goals and objectives should be clearly written in SMART format—

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Achievable.
  • Relevant.
  • Time-bound.

Each objective should describe the specific action being taken, where, who, or what will be affected by the activity, a time frame for completion, and the expected measurable outcome.

Goals and objectives for the State HDSP Plan should include population-based approaches and should address the needs of general and priority populations. They should also address—

  • Policy approaches (e.g., legislative or organizational).
  • Educational and awareness interventions that promote prevention.
  • Support of policy and system change strategies.
  • Collaboration with partners.

Effective Activities

Key activities for each planned objective should be listed. The activities should directly relate to the planned objective and be specific as to how they will fulfill the desired outcome. The activities should reflect the responsibilities, coordination, and commitment of resources from internal and external partners of the state health department.

The Program Activities section of the State HDSP Plan outlines proposed program activities to achieve the program’s objectives. Developing a plan of activities ensures effective program management, allows for better resource allocation, and provides information that assists partners to understand the roles, responsibilities, and activities that are necessary to develop and implement a successful State HDSP Program.

Activities should—

  • Emphasize policy and systems change strategies.
  • Promote prevention of cardiovascular diseases and reduction of related risk factors.
  • Specify the needs of general and priority populations.
  • Include culturally appropriate activities designed to increase public awareness of signs and symptoms of heart disease and stroke.


Senior management, health department personnel, partners, and affected individuals and/or communities should be involved and have input into the development and implementation of the State HDSP Plan.

Partners should represent a broad spectrum of businesses and agencies with an interest in promoting the overall goals of the State HDSP Plan. Participation of partners is essential to developing the State HDSP Plan and ensuring successful implementation. The State HDSP Plan should include a list of partners involved with developing the plan. Once completed, it should be widely disseminated to key stakeholders, partners, policy makers, and decision makers.


Establishing a realistic timeline that takes into account the complexity of the activities and availability of resources in the state will help partners meet deadlines and produce quality results.

Evaluation Process

A systematic approach to monitoring and evaluation will help ensure that your State HDSP Plan goals and objectives are measured on a regular basis with tools that provide a consistent and objective evaluation. During the program implementation and evaluation process, your program will—

  • Monitor progress of goals and objectives and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Make changes to the data collection/surveillance systems to support the evaluation measures.
  • Engage partners throughout the process.

 Top of Page