February 29, 2024

The New Strategic Plan aims to Improve the Health of Members

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center builds on its impressive history as a health care leader in Tennessee and looks to the future with a new Strategic Plan 2023-2028.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s new 2023-2028 Strategic Plan defines UTHSC’s future direction, as it continues to strive to improve health care and overall health across Tennessee.

The plan, approved by the UT Board of Trustees in late June, serves as a guide for UTHSC’s next five years and outlines the university’s new mission, vision and values. It was developed under the leadership of Cindy Russell, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs, in a comprehensive planning process that lasted more than 18 months with participation from more than 700 faculty, staff, and students across all campuses, as well as alumni and community members.

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Russell and so many colleagues for a great job,” said UTHSC Chancellor Peter Buckley. “Our strategic plan is a balance of inspiration, premises, aspirational activities, and fundamental activities.”

This long-term, collaborative process defined UTHSC’s new vision in four words: Healthy Tenures. Communities of Life.

The plan focuses on five strategic pillars: Engaging Communities, Educational Excellence, Expanding Research, Promoting Health, and Developing Talent. The pillars rest on a new mission statement and include new values ​​that reflect the UT System’s Be One UT values ​​with an added focus on the health sciences.

The new mission statement streamlines the previous UTHSC mission statement, but maintains its longstanding academic, clinical, research and outreach focus. UTHSC’s new mission statement is: “Transforming lives through collaborative and inclusive education, research/scholarship, clinical care and public service.”

UTHSC’s values ​​mesh with the UT System’s Be One UT Values, which include Bold and Impactful, Embrace Diversity, Optimistic and Visionary, Zero and Innovative, Excel in All We Do, United and Connected, Transparent and Trusted. In addition, UTHSC’s values ​​include Health Focused, Science Driven, Caring and Professional.

The plan reflects UTHSC’s commitment to strengthening partnerships in communities across the state; promote high quality interprofessional education; increase research, innovation and entrepreneurship; expanding quality care; and create an environment of success for all Tennesseans.

With six colleges – Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy – UTHSC is the largest educator of health care professionals statewide. UTHSC faculty and more than 1,400 residents and staff at major hospitals in Memphis and throughout Tennessee.

At its main campus in Memphis, UTHSC has longstanding clinical and educational partnerships with hospitals including Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Regional One Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, St.

The university also has campuses in Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga with clinical and educational partnerships at major hospitals, including Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, and West Tennessee Healthcare-Jackson Madison County Hospital in Jackson. UTHSC has more than 880 clinical-educational training sites in communities across Tennessee, all supported through strategic partnerships.

“This plan is building a strong foundation into an exciting future.”

Chancellor Peter Buckley

Seeking to strengthen clinical partnerships across the state, UTHSC recruited its inaugural Vice Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships, Paul Wesolowski, in May. The university is expanding its clinical reach into rural Tennessee and increasing access to care. The Mobile Health Nursing Unit launched in May to bring health care to underserved areas in Lake and Lauderdale counties. The College of Dentistry is leading a $53 million state-funded Healthy Smile Initiative to expand access to dental care throughout Tennessee.

The new strategic plan also includes priorities for all of the university’s endeavours. These are the culture and working environment of the campus; communication; data and data governance; diversity, equity, inclusion; and philanthropy.

The strategic plan incorporates performance indicators designed to measure visible progress. It will provide a point of reference and teaching support for future UTHSC strategic planning in the individual colleges.

“This plan is building a strong foundation into an exciting future,” said Chancellor Buckley.

The full strategic plan 2023-2028 is available to view on the Strategic Plan webpage.

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