Healthcare organizations the world over are faced with having to set priorities and allocate resources within the constraint of a fixed envelope of funding. Drawing on economic principles of value for money and ethical principles of fair process, a priority setting framework was developed for Ontario's local health integration networks (LHINs) in late 2007 and early 2008. Subsequently, over an 18-month period, the framework was piloted in three LHINs. In this article, the framework and pilot implementations are described, results from a formal evaluation are outlined and recommendations for future use are highlighted.