In the spring of 2016, the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities’ (DBHDD) Office of Addictive Diseases began a collaborative strategic planning process to guide addiction treatment and recovery services in Georgia through 2019. The process was developed by a multi-functional workgroup and took place in three phases.
Phase I: Stakeholder Engagement
Engagement of our partners was critically important to the success of the strategic planning process. We invited partners to provide input about the current situation and recommended future direction of addiction treatment and recovery services in Georgia. Participants represented a range of stakeholder groups and communities across the state with unique and valuable perspectives on these services. Feedback was collected using four primary methods:
- A focus group with addiction treatment and recovery service providers
- Individual telephone interviews with key stakeholders
- An online stakeholder survey
- In-person community listening sessions across the state
Participants were asked to respond to the following questions to help identify the challenges of the system and the needs associated with substance use disorder (SUD) treatment:
- What do you see as the strengths of addiction treatment and recovery services in Georgia?
- What do you see as the areas of needed improvement in these services?
- What do you see as the critical issues that Georgia will face in developing a strategy for statewide addiction treatment and recovery services?
- What do you see as the key priorities Georgia should set for these services over the next three years?
- What suggestions do you have for helping to ensure success with implementation of the strategy for addiction treatment and recovery services in Georgia?
Phase II: Stakeholder Feedback Analysis
The workgroup reviewed the stakeholder input and synthesized the feedback into key themes. These themes were then documented in an Executive Summary of Stakeholder Input. The Executive Summary provided guidance to the workgroup as it developed the strategic plan for addiction treatment and recovery services in Georgia.
Phase III: Strategic Planning/Mapping
The workgroup used the stakeholder input to develop a strategic plan for addiction treatment and recovery services across Georgia. The group used a “strategic mapping” process to identify the central challenge facing these services over the next three years; the few critical strategic priorities necessary to meet this challenge; as well as priorities and objectives for addressing the challenge. The strategy is represented in a strategic map. The strategic map will assist DBHDD in planning for future service delivery enhancements as resources are available.
Future Planning for Implementation of the Strategy
The workgroup will evaluate the system to identify services that would enhance the continuum of care.
Q & A
- Why is DBHDD doing strategic planning in this area now?
Access to care for all individuals with substance use disorder is currently limited by capacity and scope throughout the state. DBHDD recognizes the particular sense of urgency in this area given the surge in opioid use across the state.
- What does the planning mean as it relates to new programs/services?
Proactive strategic planning positions the department to enhance current services and implement them quickly should new resources, particularly additional funding, become available.
- What happens next?
DBHDD will focus on the implementation of its strategic map, with its first priority being to develop a statewide plan for defining and achieving an optimal continuum of care.