Counties were encouraged to use previously conducted community health assessments to generate problem statements to provide direction in setting county-specific goals for change for each of the three Tobacco Settlement Program topics. Assessments helped to select intervention strategies found to be locally acceptable and which held promise to promote change in their county. A Rising Stars team composed of Central Office content experts and county/regional health promotion field staff researched and presented a set of best practice projects for each topic. Their report was part of the introduction of the program and development of county Year 1 plans and budgets in 2013. Counties chose best practices or developed their own projects built on varying program strategies, units of practice (individuals, groups, organizations, community-wide) and targets for change (awareness/knowledge, attitude/beliefs, behaviors/habits).
Funds allocations were distributed directly to counites and invested in its own mix of projects to address the three topics. Five one-page summaries describe the statewide outcomes of these strategic investments. Five strategies are profiled: pregnancy smoking cessation services; environmental controls; schools and educational materials; youth peer-to-peer groups; and media. A sixth strategy summarizes the strategic program management principles for the Tobacco Settlement Program. Each one-page summary was developed by a different group of county representatives as another participatory program evaluation technique. Each summary includes: program goal; logic model for the strategy (theory of the program); statewide outcomes; assessment of why the strategy worked; statements from counties regarding what was learned that promoted strategic improvement; and a list and brief description of projects deemed by the authors as county/regional best practice projects.