Phase 2: Miller County, GA Vignette
Miller County, GA, is a small rural county of approximately 6,000 located in the southwestern corner of Georgia. In 1997, a coalition of community organizations and representatives embarked on a community strategic planning process to improve the healthcare system. Several months after the core group initiated the process, a communitywide visioning meeting was conducted. Invitations were sent to key community leaders and an open invitation was placed in the local newspaper and other visible locations. Approximately 70 individuals participated in the visioning meeting.
During the meeting, participants used a brainstorming process to identify what they perceived as the most important health issues. The goal of the meeting was to address the question: "What do we want for the future of Miller County?" The following three questions were also addressed:
Participants were also asked to nominate individuals to serve on an executive committee that would oversee the process.
After the visioning meeting, a small group of individuals drafted the brainstorming results into a one-page vision statement. The vision statement helped drive the latter steps of the strategic planning process. The vision statement was revisited at later points during the process and updated. The vision focused on the five priorities identified during the brainstorming session, with top priority given to a modernized, well-equipped emergency center and hospital.
The visioning meeting resulted in the development of an executive committee to oversee the community strategic planning process, enthusiasm throughout the community for the process, and awareness of the issues facing the county.