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    GIP Subcommittee on Strategic Planning and Management: Hot Topic Discussions

    The GIP Strategic Planning and Management Subcommittee is focused on efforts that include communicating best practices, hosting and planning webinars, and serving as a general resource to the strategic planning community. Over the past months, members of the subcommittee have been taking turns facilitating hot topic discussions on the monthly subcommittee calls on topics such as: developing your strategic plan, linking budget and planning, and communicating your plan. Summaries and PowerPoint slides from some of these calls are available below for your review. Please contact gip@aamc.org for more information on this subcommittee.

    Best Practices for Developing and Implementing a Strategic Plan - November 2022

    On the November call, Janice Renfro, MBA from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis led a hot topic presentation and discussion on best practices for developing and implementing a strategic plan. At Janice’s institution, the focus has been on clinical joint strategic planning with its teaching hospitals, an undertaking that includes multiple institutions and leaders. Prior to joint clinical strategic planning, there was independent decision making and a siloed approach to strategic planning causing a lack of cohesion. There became an increasing need for structure, accountability, and communication. With the joint planning structure, there is an oversight committee, steering committee, and workgroups that review data, identify issues and develop plans and goals. Setting clear expectations, accountability and achieving buy-in from stakeholders has made the strategic planning development and implementation stronger and more efficient.

    Presenter

    Janice Renfro, MBA
    Strategic Planning Manager
    Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

    Strategic Plan Tracking & Performance - September 2022

    On the September call, Cassie Eno, PhD from Creighton University School of Medicine and Jacki Reyes Hull, EdD from University of South Florida Health discussed approaches to tracking and measuring goals and outcomes within an institution’s strategic plan. In addition, they discussed mechanisms for disseminating various details of the strategic plan into simpler charts and data for key stakeholders to remain up to date on the plan’s progress and status. After an overview of each school’s strategic plan tracking mechanisms, the presenters facilitated an engaging conversation around what happens once the strategic plan is completed, how to follow-up and hold colleagues accountable for their part of the plan, and how funding gets requested and included in the process. Establishing clarity around roles and responsibilities early on in the strategic planning process, as well as constant communication with colleagues leads to better outcomes overall.

    Presenters

    Cassie Eno, PhD
    Senior Director of Program Assessment & Curriculum Development
    Creighton University School of Medicine

    Jacki Reyes Hull, EdD
    Assistant Vice President for Administration
    University of South Florida Health

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    Intersection of Strategy and the Physical Environment - August 2022

    On the August call, Kim Case-Nichols, MBA, from the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas facilitated a robust discussion on the intersection of strategic planning and space planning. The school of medicine was established in 2017 and has gone through several iterations of its strategic plan, as well as leadership and culture changes. The establishment of the school has helped meet the demand for patient care within the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Currently, they are in the process of moving the school of medicine into a new building, which has allowed the team to learn more about programming and student needs. This process has also eliminated the strategic planning and space planning silos, as it is crucial to work on these simultaneously and collaboratively. As the school looks to expand and strengthen its facilities, infrastructure, and student enrollment, strategic planning and space planning will have to remain linked.

    Presenter

    Kim Case-Nichols, MBA
    Chief of Staff
    Business Affairs
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    Internationalization of Medical Schools - July 2022

    On the July call, Gerona McGrath, MBA, MEd, from Memorial University in Newfoundland discussed the internationalization of medical schools. She detailed Memorial University’s approach in developing an internationalization framework and defining the scope, purpose, and areas of focus within the plan. The concept of internationalization meant increasing programs with a global health focus in underserved areas of the world, broadening the students’ reach around the world, and international elective courses. After defining the concepts and ideas of internationalization, a project team was put in place to remove any silos or barriers, which allowed for collaboration between faculty, staff, and learners. This work was driven by a foundation of ethical and social accountability namely equity and inclusion, reciprocity, authenticity, sustainability, and humility.

    Presenter

    Gerona McGrath, MBA, MEd
    Education Specialist & Project Manager
    Memorial University of Newfoundland

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    Organizational Structure of Dean's Office & Impact on Strategic Planning - June 2022

    On the June call, Carolyn Brayko, PhD, from University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) and Thomas Svolos, MD, from Creighton University School of Medicine, led a discussion examining the organizational structure of the dean’s office and its impact on the ability for a school to execute a strategic plan. While many schools handle the strategic planning process in different ways, there were common trends and themes that emerged from the robust discussion. From strong support from the dean to identifying the best teams to lead strategic initiatives, partnerships and relationship building remain at the core of each institution’s ability to execute a streamlined and straightforward plan. Members of the subcommittee shared their own experiences and best practices when it comes to the strategic plan’s home within the organization, how the accreditation process intersects with it, and how to align planning across the academic and clinical enterprises.

    Presenters

    Carolyn Brayko, PhD
    Director, Institutional Effectiveness
    University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med)

    Thomas Svolos, MD
    Associate Dean for Strategy & Accreditation
    Creighton University School of Medicine

    LCME Expectations for Strategic Planning - March 2022

    On the March call, Thomas Svolos, MD from Creighton University School of Medicine, facilitated a conversation on strategic planning and continuous quality improvement as part of the larger LCME accreditation process. The LCME wants medical schools to continually assess their standards for accreditation and schools need professional staff with data analytics experience to work on the strategic planning process. For continuous quality improvement, it is important to review operational processes within the school to ensure the right policies are in place and are leading to positive outcomes. Dr. Svolos shared their strategic plan executive summary, which includes outcome metrics as well as tracking on budget and resources. He also shared their CQI dashboard containing findings from prior years and action plans and recommendations for future years.

    Presenter

    Thomas Svolos, MD
    Associate Dean for Strategy & Accreditation
    Creighton University School of Medicine

    Structure of Accountability - February 2022

    On the February call, Erin Shirey, MPA, from Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine facilitated a conversation around accountability when creating and implementing a strategic plan. Erin outlined her institution’s process for creating an updated strategic plan by reinventing the process through buy-in from leadership throughout the school and emphasizing transparent communication. By identifying goals most important to the institution, establishing teams within the goals, and increasing reporting frequency, the structure of accountability will ultimately be strengthened. The conversation was robust with subcommittee members asking questions around funding, metrics and tracking, and variations of strategic plan reports.

    Presenter

    Erin Shirey, MPA
    Senior Planning Analyst
    Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    Strategy & Human Resources - November 2021

    On the November call, Carolyn Brayko, PhD, from UNR Med, facilitated a conversation on how the role of strategic planners interface with human resource professionals. Subcommittee members shared how they engage with HR at their respective institutions, specifically around recruitment, retention, and implementation of strategic plans. Many reported HR and planning working in silos and challenges in strategy implementation when there's a disconnect with institutional HR practices. Ultimately, how these two groups work together impacts institutional culture as well as the outcomes of strategic plans.

    Presenter

    Carolyn Brayko, PhD
    Director, Institutional Effectiveness
    University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med)

    Match Rate Improvement Using Root Cause Analysis - September 2021

    There are many tools in the continuous quality improvement (CQI) toolbox medical schools can utilize for monitoring and improvement. In her presentation, “Match Rate Improvement Using Root Cause Analysis,” Teresa Isbell from Texas A&M University College of Medicine outlined her institution’s process for improving medical student match rate using root cause analysis coupled with the Five Whys methodology. Dr. Isbell also shared their CQI action plan template for match rate improvement and how the plan was linked to the medical school strategic plan and the LCME accreditation standards.

    Presenter

    Teresa Isbell, PhD
    Assistant Dean for Continuous Quality Improvement
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Education
    Texas A&M University College of Medicine

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    Implementing & Operationalizing Your Strategic Plan - August 2021

    Although estimates vary, it has been said that up to 70% of strategic plans fail. Typically institutions put considerable effort into developing strategic plans but then the plans often sit on a shelf, never to be implemented. In her presentation “The Implementation of Destination Excellence,” Gerona McGrath from Memorial University outlined her institution’s approach of using project management methodology to successfully implement their strategic plan, discussed what had been going well, and highlighted some areas for improvement and lessons learned.

    Presenter

    Gerona McGrath, MBA, MEd
    Education Specialist & Project Manager
    Memorial University of Newfoundland

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    Return to Office/Campus - July 2021

    Presenter

    Diane Uzarski, DNP, MPH, RN
    Chief of Staff, Office of the Dean
    Duke University School of Nursing

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    Hybrid Workforce - lessons learned, what works? - June 2021

    This roundtable discussion focused on shared plans and experiences navigating the transition into a post-pandemic work environment by looking broadly at scenarios with all employees back onsite, some mixture of onsite and remote work, and situations where some may work only remotely.

    Presenters

    Gerona McGrath, MBA, MEd
    Education Specialist & Project Manager
    Memorial University of Newfoundland

    Elaine Van der Put, PhD, MS, MSPH
    Senior Associate Dean for Administration
    Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University

    Material

    Discussion notes (PDF)

    Intersection of Strategic Planning & Institutional Culture - March 2021

    An old adage in the business sector that “culture eats strategy for breakfast” is equally true among U.S. medical schools. Institutions must intentionally align culture and strategy in order to ensure that behaviors that lead to decisions and actions are nurtured and will lead to successful strategy execution. A few essentials to help weave culture and strategic planning at medical schools include ensuring a supportive organizational structure - one that values both culture and strategic planning, embedding culture initiatives or actions in the strategic plan, and operationalizing the institution’s values. The institution’s senior strategic planning role is a key support of the synergy between culture and planning and must be engaged sufficiently in both to ensure an ongoing healthy balance through strategy execution.

    Presenters

    David Hefner, EdD
    Vice President, Office of Strategy & Institutional Effectiveness
    Morehouse School of Medicine

    Leslie Johnson, MBA
    Director, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness
    Office of the Dean
    Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    Organizational Structure Around Strategy & Staffing - February 2021 & January 2022

    Strategy and/or strategic planning offices in higher education have slowly emerged over the last decade or so, including those in U.S. medical schools. Where these offices are structurally housed, who leads them, and what their scope of work entails varies from institution to institution. However, the answers to these questions and others may impact how effective these offices and leaders can be in helping achieve the strategic priorities of the institution. The GIP Strategic Planning and Management Subcommittee explored this issue by asking each member to share the organizational structures and functions of their offices. The exercise illustrated just how varying these offices are structured and function across AAMC member institutions.

    Presenter

    David Hefner, EdD
    Vice President, Office of Strategy & Institutional Effectiveness
    Morehouse School of Medicine

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    Human Centered Design - December 2020

    Presenter

    Nick Viator, MA
    Strategic Planner
    The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    The Role of Assessment in Strategic Planning - July 2020

    Assessment is often the first step in the strategic planning process, but it never stops. At the beginning of the process, planners explore internal and external forces, trends, opportunities, and threats. This provides context to the strategy and establishes a way to monitor the efficacy and relevance of the plan later during implementation. Assessment does not come without challenges. Selecting and prioritizing relevant metrics can be difficult. Often, the amount of data generated by such assessments can lead to analysis paralysis, when the group resists making a decision without reviewing all data from all angles. To avoid being overwhelmed, planners must focus on the data necessary to achieve the desired outcomes of the strategic plan recognizing that not everything has to be evaluated every year. Ultimately, assessments enable the outcomes of strategic plans to be data-driven, and data-driven strategy leads to the fastest, most efficient path to success (Jones, 2019).

    Presenters

    Carolyn Brayko, PhD
    Director, Organizational Development & Strategic Planning
    Office of the Dean
    University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

    Leslie Johnson, MBA
    Director, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness
    Office of the Dean
    Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)

    Reference

    Jones, SC. Data-driven strategic planning moves missions farther faster. https://measurementresourcesco.com/2019/05/26/data-driven-strategic-planning-moves-missions/. Accessed November 13, 2020.

    Campus Labs - June 2020

    Presenter

    Leslie Johnson, MBA
    Director, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness
    Office of the Dean
    Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

    Material

    Presentation slides (PDF)