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About Planning for Sustainability

The tools provided here were developed by the Georgia Health Policy Center and have been used by communities across the country that have been funded through the Health Resources and Services Administration's Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) grant programs.

The Primer was developed based on a study of rural health organizations that received funding from the ORHP to implement new programs or build new collaborations in their communities. This study, completed in 2010, was conducted by the Georgia Health Policy Center and consisted of in-depth interviews with 102 Rural Health Care Services Outreach and Rural Health Network Development grantees funded in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

Planning for Sustainability

By thinking beyond the day-to-day activities and services to plan for sustainability early in the grant cycle, communities can better position their programs for long-term sustainability and leverage the investment of federal grant dollars to maintain successful programs that improve the health of rural Americans. The tools provided here are intended to help you consider the sustainability of programs that address community needs and to engage your partners and stakeholders in this planning process.

What makes a program sustainable?

The Georgia Health Policy Center Sustainability Framework
Why do some community programs achieve sustainable impact while others do not? Learn about the components that contribute to success.

Planning a new program? Start here

Dynamics of Sustainability: A Primer for Rural Health Organizations
A "starter guide" that provides a head start on planning for sustainability for organizations and collaborations:

  • Opportunities for reflection and discussion on sustainability
  • Case studies of rural programs that achieved sustainability
  • An initial sustainability assessment

For existing programs working toward sustainability

Quick Course in Positioning for Sustainability and Sustainability Formative Self-Assessment Tool
based on the Georgia Health Policy Center Sustainability Framework, this tool provides a process to help your team reflect on how well your program is currently positioned for sustainability relative to each of the dimensions of the Sustainability Framework.

  • Steps to create a plan for improving your sustainability potential

Bringing the Future into Focus: A Step-by-Step Sustainability Planning Workbook
A step-by-step guide to producing a sustainability plan for your program that addresses:

  • Program services
  • Program needs
  • Costs and budgeting
  • Funding strategies

Phone: 1-800-270-1898

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Funding for this project was supported by Grant Number U56RH05539 from the Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the funder.