Healthy You Healthy Hennepin

Collage of public health

Hennepin County Public Health 2021-2025 strategic plan

May 2021

Message from our director

I am pleased to share Hennepin County Public Health’s 2021-2025 strategic plan. The purpose of this strategic plan is to share our mission, vision, and values with the community we serve, and to chart a course for the future of our department and our service to the county.  

This plan was developed with extensive input from the community and from staff from throughout our department. I am so proud of the work they did to develop this plan throughout 2020 and 2021. It is inspiring to me that we were able to come together to imagine a better future for our department and the health of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic: one of the most challenging times in recent memory. 

In this plan you will see our strong commitment to becoming a more trauma informed and anti-racist health department. We believe these are necessary steps for helping us to effectively address health disparities, and advance health equity in our community. 

Thank you for supporting our efforts to protect and improve the health of all people in Hennepin County and for reading and sharing our new strategic plan. 

Susan Palchick, PhD, MPH 

Susan Palchick Hennepin County Public Health Director


The links, below, represent sections of the report. Scroll down to continue reading the report, or click on any of the links to go directly to that section.

Mission, vision, values

Goal 1: All residents and community environments are healthy and safe

Goal 2: Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve problems

Goal 3: Use science, data, and a prevention-focused approach to guide and support health and racial equity

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Thank you for supporting our efforts to protect and improve the health of all people in Hennepin County.




Advance health and racial equity through science, and prevention-focused, inclusive, public health policies, practices, and services.


All people who live, work, and play in Hennepin County experience optimal health grounded in health and racial equity.


People first

  • Listen to diverse experiences and perspectives
  • Identify needs
  • Support community-driven solutions and choices to advance own health

Wellbeing for Everyone

  • Use a social justice framework to advance health and racial equity
  • Solve problems with community
  • Offer resources that enhance the standard of living for all people in Hennepin County

Trusted Partner

  • Respond to needs and experiences of community members with humility and compassion
  • Build positive relationships with community-based organizations and leaders, fostering accountability and transparency in all we do

Positive Impact

  • Use science, data, evaluation, and community wisdom to guide our efforts to advance health and racial equity and prevent adverse health effects
  • Strive for excellence through continuous improvement and promote positive change in our community

Engaged and Responsive

  • Hire, promote and develop diverse staff at all levels to reflect the community we serve
  • Leverage the knowledge, talents, and connections of all staff to deliver culturally specific and high-quality service

Overarching Theme

Addressing health and racial equity: We need collaborative and innovative ways to approach and solve long-standing disparities.

Goals, Objectives, Strategies

This strategic plan identifies three goals that will stretch our department and help us achieve our long-term vision. The plan identifies specific high-level objectives, strategies, and initiatives for each goal that we will strive to achieve over the next five years.

Mission vision values of Hennepin County Public Health



Goal 1: All residents and community environments are healthy and safe

Objective 1: Improve health outcomes by focusing on health and racial equity when we implement core public health practices


  • Prevent and control the spread of diseases
  • Prepare and respond to public health emergencies
  • Protect against environmental hazards
  • Prevent injuries
  • Promote healthy behaviors and mental health
  • Improve maternal and child health outcomes
  • Ensure access to quality health services, especially for underserved and high-risk members of our community

Objective 2: Develop and implement health policies and plans to reduce health disparities and foster optimal health for all


  • Empathize with those who have experienced trauma and adapt our public health practices and responses to accommodate their needs
  • Partner with city and community members to support health and racial equity and enhance the foundations of community health, including education, employment, housing, income, justice, and transportation.
  • Collaborate with community-based organizations, service providers, and healthcare to develop a coordinated system of culturally responsive services.

Home visit by nurse
Native mom reading to kids
Person getting the COVID vaccine



Goal 2: Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve problems

Objective 1: Lead and support county-wide initiatives and projects to advance health and racial equity


  • Utilize community wisdom and culturally responsive methods and practices to prevent adverse health effects
  • Lead the County’s COVID-19 (infectious diseases) response to reduce morbidity and mortality
  • Establish Hennepin County as an Age-Friendly Community
  • Assure that data analysis promotes accountability for structural racism

Objective 2: Proactively respond to emerging public health issues


  • Create common goals by collaborating with and leveraging the work of others
  • Formalize cross-departmental and community-based approaches to infectious disease response
  • Solve problems and maximize collective action across the community engagement spectrum (IAP2) using health and racial equity impact tools
  • Explore and align funding and resources in partnership with community needs and collaborative opportunities

Hispanic couple working out
Farmer's market
Youth and nurse talking



Goal 3: Use science, data, and a prevention-focused approach to guide and support health and racial equity

Objective 1: Build a highly competent, effective, and engaged workforce


  • Recruit and retain a workforce that is representative of the community
  • Promote and support staff well-being and development
  • Improve communication and collaboration among staff to advance goals

Objective 2: Engage staff at all levels, and from all programs, to increase Public Health’s efficiency and effectiveness


  • Support and enhance our quality improvement culture
  • Coordinate best practices to enhance community engagement activities
  • Integrate health and racial equity and trauma-informed care into public health practice and operations
  • Establish and maintain a performance management system to assess our outcomes

SHAPE team with data
Two women talking
remote worker



Thank you to our community partners

Many community organizations informed Hennepin County Public Health's strategic plan. Their wisdom and guidance is appreciated. A list of these organizations is here

Connect with us

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Contact us by email:

To obtain this information in a different format, call: 612-600-9782. 

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