OHSU Completes First Outreach Stage of Strategic Planning Process

02/01/08  Portland, Ore

Oregon Health & Science University has completed the first outreach phase of its strategic planning process. Once fully developed, the strategic plan will serve as a unifying vision for OHSU through 2020.

Oregon Health & Science University has completed the first outreach phase of its strategic planning process. Once fully developed, the strategic plan will serve as a unifying vision for OHSU through 2020. The plan will outline OHSU's goals and strategies for the next five years and will serve as a template for future university planning. Analysis of the initial outreach phase and other strategic information has led to the development of overarching goals for the plan. OHSU President Joe Robertson Jr., M.D., M.B.A., presented those goals to the OHSU board of directors Feb. 8, 2007.

The goals are:

  • To align OHSU's enterprises over its three core mission areas (clinical care, research, education) in order to support sustainable innovation in health care.
  • To further develop faculty to collaborate and drive excellence and innovation across the university.
  • To build the financial means for long-term advancement of all of the university's missions.
  • To partner with others to develop policy solutions that improve access to high-quality health care for all, especially Oregonians.
  • To help meet Oregon's work force needs in the health and science professions. This will be done though innovative strategies such as regionalization, academic partnerships, distance learning and interdisciplinary educational approaches.
  • To be a great organization, diverse in people and ideas.

The goals are now being shared with stakeholders inside and outside of the university. In the upcoming weeks, the goals will be adjusted and adopted by the university, and the methods for reaching OHSU's long-term strategic goals will be developed and implemented.

One of the central themes found in many of the proposed goals is increased collaboration both internally and externally.

"Collaboration and partnership within the university have always been an integral part of OHSU's success," said Robertson. "However, more collaboration and alignment needs to take place across OHSU's missions. One such alignment has recently taken place with the move of OHSU's biomedical engineering department to the South Waterfront. This will allow for engineers, physicians and scientists to work side by side in developing new medical devices and improvements to health care. Proximity is clearly an important ingredient in allowing for this kind of collaboration. A future alignment will be the development of the Schnitzer Campus where medical, nursing and dental education will take place in a more integrated environment. This will better prepare OHSU students for the changing face of health care in the future." 

The outreach planning process began in Fall 2006 and features input from internal and external university stakeholders. In conducting this phase, OHSU representatives, including faculty members, Robertson, and many others met with a variety of people and organizations. This effort has included Robinson's trips around the state, spanning more than 3,000 miles. OHSU has also hosted a series of meetings, including employee "town hall meetings" to receive employee and faculty-driven input. The university continues to seek input from lawmakers, citizens, patients, employees and many other diverse audiences.

"Public input is incredibly important in this process as partnerships with lawmakers, health systems, educational institutions, citizens and many other entities are critical," explained Keith Thomson, President of the OHSU board of directors. "When completed, OHSU's strategic plan will rely on these partnerships as the health care challenges that Oregonians face cannot be solved by one institution alone."

One example of an ongoing, existing partnership is the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education. This partnership involving institutions across the state was formed to expand nursing education in the face of critical nursing shortages. Other examples of increased collaboration are the recent partnerships with the University of Oregon and Oregon State University to expand Oregon's graduating class of medical school students. Additional resources and partnerships are required to take the next steps in training health providers to respond to the work force shortage Oregon is now facing.

The ongoing strategic planning process includes a detailed analysis of OHSU's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. When completed, the plan will reflect OHSU's mission, vision and goals. The plan will also include strategies and tactics to meet those goals.

"OHSU's strategic plan will be a living, breathing document that guides the university toward its goals in the year 2020," explained Robertson. "The plan will serve as a guide to OHSU's 12,000 employees as we fulfill our missions of healing, teaching and discovery. This is why staff input is so important. OHSU employees will be the ones to enact the plan and they will reflect it in their daily work. They will assist in developing methods for implementing the plan and ensuring its goals are met."

The planning process is expected to be completed this summer. Throughout early 2007, OHSU will continue to receive strategic planning input. The university will then work to develop and execute an implementation plan to ensure that the overarching goals of the plan permeate all aspects of the university.