NCDHHS' 2024-2026 Strategic Plan (Spanish) guides our five priority goals. These priority goals bring together our multiple divisions and external partners to advance our commitment to whole-person care and improve the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians.

Priority Goals

Advancing Health 

To champion equitable health outcomes for the 10 million North Carolinians we serve, and support internal workforce efforts around people, culture, and belonging, NCDHHS established a new Health Equity Portfolio (HEP) in 2021 and hired its first Chief Health Equity Officer, Debra Farrington. The portfolio strives to advance health by increasing opportunity and improving outcomes for people who face greater health and situational challenges within NCDHHS and across the state.

Child and Family Well-Being

The pandemic also placed immense stress on North Carolina families and children, limited available services and eroded safety nets. NCDHHS is working to advance child and family well-being and improve access to health care, programs and supports they need to thrive. The department has extended Medicaid to keep families and babies healthy, and it is developing new Medicaid healthcare plans that are tailored to the specific needs of children and families.

The department is also supporting the mental health needs of North Carolina's children with new programs in schools and communities.

Behavioral Health and Resilience

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented stressors that exacerbated the mental and behavioral health crisis in North Carolina and across the country. To build resiliency, investments in coordinated systems of care that make services easy to access when and where they are needed and reduce the stigma around accessing these services are being made.

Strong and Inclusive Workforce

Long-standing workforce challenges became more pressing during the pandemic and exposed the reality that our health care workforce is essential to keeping North Carolinians healthy and well. The department is prioritizing a focus on building a strong and inclusive workforce that supports early learning, health and wellness across North Carolina. From early childhood educators to direct care workers and public health leaders, NCDHHS is committed to building a workforce that will continue to keep North Carolinians healthy and well. This includes investigating new compensation models, career pathways and inclusive employment strategies that will support a workforce that is ready for our next challenge and is reflective of our entire community.

Operational Excellence 

NCDHHS strives to achieve operational excellence by enabling efficient, effective, and innovative processes and services. The department is focusing on continuing to be effective stewards of State resources and ensuring that NCDHHS is staffed and organized to meet its goals and sustain quality services. Underpinning all of this is our commitment to foster data-driven decision-making across the department. NCDHHS has long relied on data to guide decisions that often save lives. Multiple metrics guided the response to COVID-19, and data is critical across all divisions at NCDHHS. The Data Office helps the department use the data to optimize services and improve health outcomes for people across North Carolina.


The department’s strategic plan outlines key objectives and strategies for each priority goal to help us advance this crucial work.

Finally, the strategic plan was created in the context of one of North Carolina’s largest health care changes. On March 27, Gov. Cooper signed a law to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, delivering access to health insurance for over 600,000 additional North Carolinians. This is one of the most important tools to advance the goals of our Strategic Plan, and all the strategies will be oriented toward operationalizing Medicaid Expansion in an efficient, effective and equitable manner.

Learn more about the department in the 2024-2026 Strategic Plan (Spanish).