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Strategic Plan Town Hall

October 2021

Title Slide VTCSOM Strategic Plan  Town Hall October 13, 2021
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Dean Learman: So without further ado, I'll turn over the E podium to doctors Musick and Pauly, co-chairs of our task force for the strategic plan so they can present the highlights to you this evening. 

Dr. Musick: Can everyone see the slide presentation? Okay. All right. 

Dr. Pauly: Well, thank you very much, Dean Learman. It's been a real privilege and delight to work with you and the committee and with Dr. Musick.

So, we're going to talk a little bit about the process and then reveal the strategic plan with some links that will show the complete plan. 

So as you recall, we launched the process in September of 2020, and it was a nine month process with our final product being presented to the Dean in June of this year.

It was a very collaborative process. It was also data-driven, in that we had a survey, you may remember, with almost 500 participants. We had many engagement sessions with the constituents. We looked at regional peers, schools at their strategic plans, as well as best practices within Virginia Tech at colleges’ and schools’ strategic plans to identify areas of strength, areas of potential challenge, and to create a living document with measurable milestones. So we'll have the next slide. 

Strategic Planning Committee

Committee Membership listed in the accordion below

Strategic Planning Committee


  • David Musick, PhD, Senior Dean for Faculty Affairs
  • Rebecca Pauly, MD, Professor and Vice Chair for Education, Department of Medicine

Committee Members

  • Dani Backus, MS, PMP, SSGB, Senior Director, Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation
  • Paul Davenport, Vice President for Emergency Services and Care Management, Carilion Clinic
  • Joshua Eikenberg, MD ‘15, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Dermatology)
  • Casey Engel, Class of 2024 President
  • Daniel Harrington, MD, Vice Dean VTCSOM and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Carilion Clinic
  • Heidi Lane, EdD, Assistant Dean for Clinical Skills Assessment and Education
  • Eduardo Lara-Torre, MD, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Giovanni Malaty, Class of 2021 President
  • Sahana Nazeer, Class of 2023 President
  • William Reis, Class of 2022 President

Virginia Tech Strategic Affairs Liaisons

  • Lauren Henson, Program Manager
  • Erin McCann, Director of Strategic Planning

These are the committee members who worked very diligently, all were engaged. And you can see that our representation was quite diverse and quite broad, which allowed us to tap into the wisdom of these individuals.

We also aligned our strategic plan with that of the university's strategic plan and Carilion Clinic’s Vision 2025. So like to give a round of applause to these folks who participated. And I see many of them are on call tonight. So thank you very much. I think your efforts have been fruitful and we appreciate that. So we'll move now to the next slide. 

Vision, Mission, and Goals

Strategic plan graphic with vision, mission, and 8 goals listed in the accordion below.


Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will be a destination for innovators who aspire to establish the nation’s premier model of 21st century medical education.  Through collaboration with our health system and community partners and anchored by the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), we will create transformative medical education and research promoting world-class clinical care.


To prepare physician thought leaders through innovations in medical education and cutting-edge discovery to improve the health of our communities and transform health care.


  • Advance Regional, National, and Global Impact
    • Educate more scientist physicians
    • Champion collaborative research
  • Elevate the Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) Difference
    • Increase diversity of students and faculty
    • Deepen community engagement
  • Be a Destination for Talent
    • Be the first choice for learners and educators
    • Promote success and retention
  • Ensure Institutional Excellence
    • Expand philanthropy and scholarships
    • Nurture a thriving learning culture

So this is a graphic representing our vision, mission, the university's strategic priorities and our goals. And so I think I'll, I'll start by looking at the outside gray circle of the larger circle. And so if you begin with advance regional, national, and global impact, that is the first of the university's strategic priorities. And under that are two School of Medicine goals. And we'll get into the measurable milestones and action steps near the end of our presentation. But I think it's important to realize that our goals were created to be under the umbrella of the university's strategic priorities.

So the other university strategic priorities, you can see are elevate the Ut Prosim (that I may serve) difference; be a destination for talent; and ensure institutional excellence. So I'm not going to read each of these. They're also in more detail, which will provide the link for those. But our goals are highlighted here and there are eight goals. 

So in our process of interacting with our constituents, several things bubbled out. One of those, now that our previous vision, mission, and values were articulated well, but maybe needed a little bit of refining. And one of the messages we heard quite loudly was to have them in a more concise format. So we began our process by rewriting our vision and mission statements. So this is us condensed version of our vision statement here because this is part of our desire to be able to articulate in a concise manner.

We will be a destination for innovators to aspire to establish the nation’s premier model of 21st century medical education.

And our mission statement:

Prepare physician thought leaders through innovations in medical education and cutting edge discovery to improve the health of our communities and transform health care.

Next slide, please. 

VTCSOM Core Values

Values - Collaboration and Excellence, listed in the accordion below
Values - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, listed in the accordion below
Values - Innovation and Discovery, listed in the accordion below
Values - Humanism and Compassion, listed in the accordion below

Core Values

Collaboration and Excellence

We commit to collaborative excellence in all facets of academic life.  We work within transdisciplinary and interprofessional teams as educators, clinicians, and scholars to deepen existing and forge new relationships with our health system and university partners, as well as community leaders and organizations.  We strengthen and preserve our commitment to a learning environment that emphasizes well-being and features supportive relationships between our learners and those who teach and mentor them.

Innovation and Discovery

We commit to a continuous process of innovation and discovery to build knowledge and paradigms for improved health and transformative health care.  We focus on excellence in scholarship including teaching, research, and the implementation of evidence-based delivery of care and lifelong learning.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We commit to being a continuous learning organization that recognizes diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competency as essential to excellence.  While affirming our common humanity, we expect our learners, staff, and faculty to be sensitive to and respectful of the inherent dignity and worth of each individual in our community.  We embrace innovation in the pursuit of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that values open expression and mutual respect so that all may thrive.

Humanism and Compassion    

We commit to humanism and compassion as essential for achieving learner-centered education, patient-centered care, and the enhancement of well-being and success for all.  Using the art and science of medicine in the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), we commit to creating a more compassionate and just society.

So our values statements really reflect the core of the soul of each of us. And I think we can think of them as a foundation upon which to build and to rebuild as we're challenged.

So our first value is that of collaboration and excellence. We commit to collaborative excellence in all facets of academic life. And I'm not going to read each of these, but I'll pause a minute for you to read them.

I think what resonates is the partnerships, the collaboration, and the goal for excellence. Next slide.

So our second value is innovation and discovery. We commit to a continuous process of innovation and discovery to build knowledge and paradigms or improved health and transformative health care. We focus on excellence in scholarship including teaching, research and implementation of evidence-based delivery of care and life long learning. So we're touching each of the academic domains in this value. Next slide.

As Dean Learman stated: earlier, diversity, equity and inclusion are critical values central to our organization, and those are highlighted here.

Humanism and compassion. Critical values again, we commit to humanism and compassion as essential for achieving learner-centered education, patient centered care, and the advancement of well enhancement of well-being and success for all. Using the art and science of medicine and the spirit of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), we commit to creating a more compassionate and just society. Next slide. 

Goals, Milestones, and Action Steps

Goals, milestones, and action steps. 8 goals, 25 milestones, 27 action steps. Measurable, dynamic, responsive to feedback, updated continually. We identified champions for each milestones.

So, I'm going to turn over to Dr. Musick who is going to talk a bit and show us some actual websites related to where we're going to be monitoring the plan. 

Dr. Musick: Thank you so much, Dr. Pauly, and let me echo your earlier comments and express my sincere appreciation to Dean Learman for the opportunity to have worked on this project, to our committee, which was such a fantastic group to work with, and really to all of the people who participated in this project. It was really quite humbling and quite inspiring to get to interact with so many different groups of people, whether it's our students or people in the community or our resident physicians and lots of other people who gave us some outstanding input and suggestions for how we could strengthen are already strong medical school. But I think also were very, very unanimous in their praise of the medical school and they're, they're strong feeling of support for what we're trying to accomplish here. So it was just a real privilege and honor to be a part of that, and I just wanted to express that at the beginning.

Dr. Pauly has done a fantastic job of outlining our plan and talked about how we aligned it with the university’s fourstrategic priorities, resulting in eight goals. And to elaborate a bit further on that, for each goal, we decided that we needed some measurable milestones. And we also needed some action steps that would guide us in terms of how we're going to accomplish those goals.

So we did so we had some interesting back and forth among the committee on some of our milestones in terms of whether they were actually a milestone or an action step. And a few of them, you maybe could argue it either way. But I like where we ended up with the 25 milestones and the 27 action steps.

So each one of our goals is accompanied by action steps that provides a way for us to reach that goal, as well as some measurable milestones are indicators of progress, which will enable us to demonstrate that we have in fact met those goals.

So we've put some examples here of some of our milestones towards the bottom of the slide. And I'll show you some of those in just a minute on this strategic planning dashboard that we've also been able to work with our university partners to create.

The thing that Dr. Pauly said that I think is so important is also just to note that any strategic plan has to be dynamic. It's a living document in a very real sense. It's an attempt to spell out where we're going to be five years from now. But we recognize that all along the way we have to be responsive to change. And if there's anything we know that's going to happen in our world, in our culture, and in our academic medical center, it’s probably going to continue to change. So we, we have built this in a way that hopefully we can modify as we go. If we need to change up some of our action steps or rethink some of our milestones, will be able to do that along the way. But we like where we're starting out. And we have also just begun recently assigning what we're calling champions or folks who are going to sort of head up the efforts to make sure that we work on these action steps and milestones and actually get where we need to go. Though that's a work in progress, we're still working a bit on that.

Some of the example milestones you can see at the bottom has to do, has to do with things like clinical faculty retention, faculty scholarship, increasing the representation of students from under-represented groups in our student body. Of course, increasing our class size, which is something that we've been talking about for a little while. We also created some, some nice philanthropy targets that you'll be hearing more about in the future. 

Strategic Plan on the VTCSOM website

decorative - heading of the strategic plan page. Visit the strategic plan page for info. Click this image to activate Strategic Plan page.

So again, our full plan details are online at this link. We will make sure that we get that out to folks in a  widespread manner. But you can go to this link right now. I'll show it to you in just a second. But this has the complete details of all of the plans, all of the goals, all the action steps, and the details of the milestones so that you can go there and actually read all of this in detail.

And again, we'll come back to questions. But what I wanna do now is stop sharing this screen and hopefully change over and show you a couple of other screens. And we'll start with the the milestones.

Whoops, that's not right. Bear with me. I'm not an expert here. There's our strategic plan. Where's our milestones? I know what it is. Let me, let me show you this first and then I'll switch over to the other.

So this is actually the webpage that has the milestone  I'm sorry, that has the strategic plan on it. And again, that's the link that we've given you in the, in the slide there. So you can go down and click on the full… read the full strategic planning committee charter here. You'll see explanations and complete statements of our vision and mission statements, our core values, our display here of our goals. 

screenshot of one of the goals, demonstrating a mouse pointer for accordions that can be expanded or collapsed

And then underneath each priority you will see the two goals for each priority. And then you can open up the milestones that are associated with these particular goals.

So this is a very interactive website that we are really grateful that Vianne Greek and some of her other team members have built for us.

head shots of strategic plan committee, see strategic planning page for details.

Then you also have our smiling faces just in case you forget who we are as we were on the Strategic Planning Committee. So we hope you'll take the opportunity to look at that website and take full advantage of being able to look at that. 

Now let me see if I can do this for just a second, and I'll take you to our dashboard. There we go. And then I'll come back to share. And we'll go hopefully to our dashboard. Yes. So hopefully you can see this. Okay. It's a little bit hard to make this big. 

So we worked with our colleagues at Virginia Tech. We talked about how when we started this process, we really paid a lot of, a lot of attention to the university's brand new strategic plan and we wanted to align our plan with theirs as much as we could and we noticed early on that they had built this really cool dashboard where you can go online and actually track all of the metrics that the university has set up for the entire university and its strategic plan. So we thought, wow, be a great idea to emulate that if we can, so we were able to do that. 

Strategic Planning Dashboard

Class size dashboard - described in accordion below

Individual class sizes: 2021 and 2022 will be 49. Class size in 2023 will be 53, and after 2024 it will be 56 through 2027. 

Total number of students at VTCSOM will grow from 175 in 2021 to 224 in 2027 as the class sizes change. 

And so here's our dashboard and again, we will give you the link to this. Now this does require you to use your Virginia Tech credentials. This is behind the university's firewall for obvious reasons. So put in a plug here if you haven't gone ahead and set up your full Virginia Tech PID account, this is another opportunity for you to use that. So we hope you'll do that and we'd be glad to give you some assistance if you're not quite sure how to get that done.

But here's a sample of, of our milestones dashboard. We’ll be updating this in real time. So we can click on different ones. For example, peer reviewed publications. We hope to increase that and you see down at the bottom the actual milestone, the source of the data, and any notes that help explain the milestone. 

Underrepresented students dashboard - described below

Currently underrepresented minority students make up 7.5% of our class. We expect that to hold steady till 2023 when we expect that number to go to 10% in 2024 and eventually to 15% in 2026.

So if you click on our student representation, we hope to increase that from our current level of 7.5 to 15 percent by 2026.  We set that milestone in close collaboration with our colleagues in the admissions area of the school.

And so the same thing with university faculty representation. This maybe a little bit more challenging for us, but again, we're lining up consistently here with what the university would like us to do. So our baseline for this, we started out with 8% of faculty from under-represented groups, and again, we hope to move up to 15 percent.

So this is just a sample. You can visit this dashboard and click on these and it's very easy to read and follow, we hope and we'll, again, we'll be updating these data in real time and so that you'll be able to track our progress over time and we're holding ourselves accountable in this way to really demonstrate our progress. So that's our dashboard.

And I think with that, I will stop and see if there are any questions. We went through that pretty quickly, but happy to answer any questions, Dr. Pauly and I about the strategic plan. 

Dean Learman: Although we are here on Zoom, this is intended to be a real town hall, so please don't hesitate to ask questions, put questions in the chat. We want to hear from you.

Timeline for Tracking Outcomes

I will say one thing while folks are throwing stuff into the chat, which is that what we the, the, uh, 122 things we've talked about that came out of the DEI taskforce recommendations. Incredibly important, but they represent processes that we can implement according to our own timelines for getting them done.

These outcomes that you see in the strategic planning metrics and milestones, these are things that will probably be moving on an annual basis in terms of looking at these outcomes. We won't expect either be able to collect or report the progress on these except annually. And so perhaps next year this time or maybe even earlier, we can present our progress on those.

It's really important to try to relate the movement of our outcomes back to our processes. So there are activities that are mentioned in our strategic plan document that are on the website. You can look them up.

For each of the strategic planning goals. There are a set of activities, and those activities are intended to drive the outcomes forward. And if they don't, we need to look back at them and understand how are they doing? Where they implemented successfully? If yes, why weren't they effective? And to really make this a living document.

So by watching the outcomes move, by understanding how the activities contribute to the outcomes, will be able to sort of continue to be accountable for progress on this. But not with the same frequency as the DEI interventions because those are all processes we can control under our own schedule. Whereas these outcomes, as I said, will take longer to move the needle on so that the cadence or the pace of reporting out to you on those outcomes  will just be on an annual basis.

Dr. Parker says very cool. Thank you for sharing the dashboard. How frequently does it get updated?

Dr. Parker: Sorry, I jumped the gun on my question.

Dean Learman: That's okay. I think we keep we keep changing. We keep tweaking it in some ways. So the updates are not data updates, they're just formatting updates. So it's going to be a trick question. We could say once that once a week we update the format. But yeah, we should expect as outcomes are collected at the end of the academic year. That's when you'll see them posted. 

Dr. Musick: And thank you Dean Learman for posting the two links in the chat. So there's a link to the strategic planning page and also a link to the dashboard, so you can click on that and explore away. 

Dean Learman: So let me ask folks: was anyone surprised at some of the things that showed up in the strategic plan or that didn't show up?

Dr. Musick: You know, one of the things I've talked about a little bit, I've been asked that question several times by different people. Was there anything that you learned that surprised you? And I think the one thing that probably surprised me a little bit, and we heard this from our community engagement folks.

When you work every day here at the medical school, you just kind of assume that everybody knows what you're doing. Everybody knows all about your school. And of course, if there's any kind of marketing effort or publicity or anything in the media, we're always usually pretty aware of it. So we just kind of assume that everybody knows all about what we're doing.

And we got some really good feedback from our community engaged folks in particular who said, “Well, you are known among certain groups, but you could still do better. There's still lots of places in Roanoke and in this region that are really not as aware of what you folks are doing as they could be.” So that was really good to learn. And although it was a little bit surprising, I think it was also a very, very useful thing that we learned. 

Downloadable copies of VTCSOM Overview and Strategic Plan

spread of covers for reputation piece and strategic plan



We recently published a hard copy of the VTCSOM Overview and Strategic Plan.

Dean Learman: Now when you're bringing up communications, I'm reminded that that Catherine Doss earlier this afternoon sort of offered and Vianne was there too, to kinda get some other stuff posted on the website for people to access. And one of those is our second annual Brochure. It's a brochure that we put together to highlight what we've been up to in the medical school. In this case, it includes an insert with our strategic plan in  it and it's intended not only to communicate internally, to be proud of our accomplishments and, and to help people understand who we are when they come to look at positions here or to become students here. It's also intended to go out, go out to other universities so that they can be aware of what we're doing here. That we can be able to kind of spread some of the good news that we are establishing here by way of our curriculum and our outcomes.

So I don't know if we have the links yet for that. Oh, good. So we have the links for the strategic plan are on the strategic planning page. I'm not sure we have the other one. Yeah. We call that the brochure yet, but we'll get that up to you.

Vianne Greek: Dean Learman, yea that's what I'm calling the VTCSOM overview.

Dean Learman: Oh good, good, good. So that's on the strategic planning page so we can go to it right now. Take a look, I guess. Yes. Oh, there it is. Overview. Yeah, I see it. Great. Great, great.

So I guess I'll share and show folks, but a little tour here. Can everyone see the transforming medicine page? Yes. Good. Okay. 

VTCSOM overview cover, click to download
Click image to view the VTCSOM Overview document. Opens in a new window.
Strategic plan cover, click to download
Click image to view the two-page Strategic Plan document. Opens in a new window.

So this is just a brochure that we compile. This is our second year doing it. Some of these images have been seen and included in past years. It highlights our four curricular domains and talks about what's unique about our medical school. What we do, lots of nice photos. What we're doing to create scientists, physicians, our first MD/PhD students and our research success. Emphasizing our robust research curriculum and how FBRI contributes so much to that. Transitioning to how we prepare students for the future of health care. Our health system science and interprofessional practice curriculum. Our HSIS department being formed. Our dedication to communities and our wonderful partnership with Carilion clinic seen here. So we really just try to highlight what we're doing as well as in diversity, equity, and inclusion. And then we report on our most recent incoming class, shout out to Class of 2025, and our cumulative outcomes in the residency match that are listed here.

And in addition to that, there is on this… There's the actual strategic plan graphic that you can see here that you saw parts of today as well, which becomes a kind of nice visual way, nice ways to communicate the strategic plan. So these are compelling.

And of course, if you're a medical school dean or working in a medical school dean’s office, you get these by the ton. You know, there's almost a truck backing them up onto your doorstep. So the idea is that we're all trying to compare notes, share with each other, impress each other and, and, and understand how we're doing. So it's fun to do this. It's fun to kind of celebrate what we've accomplished in the past year. And this is the season in which we do that. So that's also available for you to take a look at.