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Missouri Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Missouri Society of Health-System Pharmacists

St. Louis, MO

Best Practice: Strategic Planning

The Missouri Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) demonstrated leadership in state chapter strategic planning by redesigning the strategic planning process, the planning input and the accountability for completion. MSHP patterned their strategic plan to mirror the ASHP structure with customization of strategic priorities and key goals.

Primary Intended Outcome(s)

  1. Show model and process for successful state society strategic planning.
  2. Share tips and tricks for successful strategic planning retreats.

About Our Event/Service

The Missouri Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) redesigned and evolved their strategic planning process to better meet the needs of the society and ensure the top strategic priorities were achieved. MSHP patterned their Strategic Priorities similar to the ASHP Strategic Plan with customized Strategic Priorities, Key Goals and Tactics based on the needs of the state of Missouri.

The success of this approach started with understanding what strategic planning is and what strategic planning is not. The MSHP Board focused on the most important strategic priorities and not on the day to day operations.

The strategic planning development process evolved over time and starts with the previous year’s strategic priorities and the input from the MSHP member survey. The

MSHP Board invites Board members, Committee Chairs, past president, residents, students and other interested members to a daylong strategic planning retreat. The retreat is centrally located within the state in a comfortable room with ample food and refreshment. The MSHP Management company, Executive Director facilitates the planning process. He serves as the objective third-party that can keep the conversation moving and prompt creative thinking and input from all present. A variety of tools are used to identify strategic priorities and help rank the key goals within the priorities.
The tactics and timelines for accomplishing the goals are not determined at the retreat. Rather, the MSHP Committees are assigned the Key Goals to identify a timeline and develop the best tactics to ensure success. This keeps the strategic planning process moving without bogging down in details and allows the best people to identify the best way to accomplish the goals.
The MSHP Strategic Plan is converted to a MSHP Task List. This Strategic Task list is used as the template for the monthly Board meetings. This approach ensures that the Board meeting agenda is focused on the strategic priorities.

Key Elements for Success

  1. Understand what a Strategic Plan is and what it is not.
    1. A Strategic Plan is not:
      1. A task list
      2. A wish list
      3. A list of things to build
      4. The President’s wish list
      5. Not the Management company’s to do list
      6. Not hidden agendas
      7. Not the daily operations of the society
    2. A Strategic Plan is:
      1. The organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction and making decisions on allocating resources to achieve the strategy.
  2. Five Considerations of Strategic Planning
    1. Does it fit the Mission of the Society?
    2. Who is the primary customer?
      1. The member (pharmacist, student, technician, industry partner)
      2. The patient, consumer, lay public
    3. What is the economic impact?
      1. Must consider the fixed and variable costs
      2. No money = no mission
      3. Are their services that taking a loss is acceptable?
    4. Do we know the audience?
      1. Who will attend and participate (student, resident, patient, pharmacist)
      2. Structure the budget for the audience
      3. Structure the approach for the intended audience
    5. Does it add real value?
      1. Education & awareness
      2. Measurable?
  3. Strategic Planning process
    1. Where are we?
      1. Mission / Vision
      2. SWOT
    2. Where do we want to be?
      1. Based on mission / vision
      2. Member input
      3. Other societies best practice
    3. How do we get there?
      1. Strategy
      2. Tactics
    4. Resources needed?
      1. People
      2. Monetary
    5. Allocation and prioritization
      1. Methodology to rank
    6. Action Plan
      1. The detail about how to get is done
      2. Use of the committees

How Promoted to Members

The MSHP Strategic Planning process is part of the annual calendar of the society; therefore, many members know to expect the call for input.   Each spring the Board asks each member to complete an on-line membership survey. This survey helps identify not only the strengths and weaknesses of the society, but also the wish list of priorities the membership would like. As a byproduct of this survey, the Board is able to collect names of members that have a passion for a particular Key Goal and recruit their involvement. The Strategic Planning Retreat is published on the Society calendar early in the year.  The retreat is advertised on the Society Website and Social Media sites.

An invitation is sent and RSVP requested to allow for meal and room planning.

Tools and Resources Used


  • Society Management team (if used)
  • or other facilitator for leading retreat
  • Board members
  • Committee Chairs
  • other committee members
  • Past Presidents
  • at least one student
  • at least one resident
  • any other interested party


  • Through the Society webpage, facebook, direct email, work of mouth.

Supply Expense

  • Use conference room at local hospital to avoid expense.
  • Expenses associated with food for lunch and /or refreshments during day.

Return on Investment

  • Excellent return on investment based on strength of strategic plan and achievement of goals.

Outcomes/What Will Change?

  1. Strong attendance by board, committee chairs and others
  2. Board meetings now focused on Strategic Priorities
  3. Strategic planning process has matured over time. Participants are familiar with process and therefore more efficient with their input.
  4. Membership has learned that Board responds to Strategic Plan and has learned to get their interests included in annual strategic plan.

Other Considerations

Tips and tricks

  • Use different tools based on need
    • Use different tools to keep the approach fresh
    • Gather input from  Members and Committee members
    • One full day session – in person
      • Homework done prior to retreat
      • Feed the participants
      • Ensure comfortable room and chairs
    • Establish the goal for day
    • After the strategy session, build a task list
      • Goals, objectives, task timeline, responsible party, status
    • Use task list as the template for the agenda at monthly board meeting
      • Provides focus every month
      • Initiatives assigned to committee

Suggestions for Other State Affiliates

  • Do not start with blank paper
  • Borrow from other states and ASHP
  • It is a living document
  • It should build on previous year

Future Plans and Goals

  • Identify method to include participants from distant location
  • Build strategic priority key objectives for goals longer than one year.
  • Consider two day retreat to allow more networking time.

Helpful References

  • Citation(s)

Contact Information

Primary Contact
Daniel Good, MS, RPh
Past President 
3045 S. National Ave
Springfield, MO 65804
Phone:  (417) 820-2754

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