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May 18, 2018

Setting our priorities for the future

When I joined the Woodruff Health Sciences Center in February 2016, I was eager and proud to join an outstanding institution with the talent and drive to redefine the practice of medicine, the education of health professionals, advances in basic and clinical science, and the national dialogue around how we approach health and healing. Through the work of an extraordinary team, the WHSC continues to lead in ways that are both profound and transformative.

Our work has continued to focus on the communication and execution of three primary long-term goals: achieving strategic clarity, developing an effective architecture, and fostering a constructive culture. Achieving these goals for the WHSC means uniting us under a common vision for the future and ensuring that the significant individual strengths of our various units are integrated and synergistic, including the School of Medicine, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Rollins School of Public Health, Winship Cancer Institute, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and Emory Healthcare. 

In 2017, we launched a process to develop a strategic plan to establish our roadmap for achievement over the next several years. Over the past year, approximately 250 individuals have been involved in the development of the strategic plan. This plan redefines our mission and vision as a health sciences center and the values that govern our everyday actions: 

Mission: Improving the health of individuals and communities at home and throughout the world

Vision: Be the leading academic health sciences center in transforming health and healing, through education, discovery, prevention, and care


– We embrace excellence, innovation, and collaboration

– We treat everyone with respect and compassion

– We promote diversity, equity, and inclusion

– We steward our resources responsibly

– We act with integrity.

The plan defines five priority themes and goals for achievement:

Constructive Culture: We will be the best place to work, continuously learn, and grow for individuals and the health sciences center community.

Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice: We will transform health care through interprofessional learning and care to maximize health.

Transforming Models of Care: We will continuously lead in developing, studying, implementing, and teaching care models that improve lives and achieve better patient outcomes and experience at a lower cost, with inherent joy of providing care by the care team.

Innovative Discovery: We will fuel interdisciplinary discovery and innovative solutions to improve human health.

Data Science: We will transform discovery, education, and health care through data science.

For each theme, we have defined strategies and tactics to achieve success in each of the areas.  I am pleased to invite you to attend one of two presentations on May 31 about the WHSC Strategic Plan at the following times to learn about the plan's details and where we will focus our combined strengths and talents as a health sciences center.

• 8:00 – 9:00 am, School of Medicine Lecture Hall 130 or
• 3:00 – 4:00 pm, School of Medicine Lecture Hall 120

I'm optimistic that the guidance provided by our strategic plan will find us moving forward with a momentum such as we've never had before. We have the right people and the right skills to harness potential opportunities into another extraordinary year of service to our stakeholders, to society, and to each other. I hope you will join me on May 31 to learn more about the exciting direction of the WHSC.

Jonathan S. Lewin, MD
Executive VP for Health Affairs
President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare
Executive Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center

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