Nearly five years ago, our School of Medicine came together to set new goals and strategic imperatives. We know that the world has changed completely since that time, but the priorities set in our Forward Together strategic plan have helped to guide us through several difficult years.
I am so proud of all that we have accomplished together. The innovative and enterprising spirit of our faculty and staff has helped us to emerge from the pandemic with new research capabilities, educational opportunities, and clinical partnerships.
The successes of Forward Together are a direct result of your hard work and dedication. In research, our intentional efforts have resulted in yearly increases in research funding and new and innovative programs to support our outstanding scientists. In education, we are better positioned to meet our state’s future workforce needs through the expansion of rural training programs, increased enrollment, and our partnership in Charlotte and Wilmington with Novant. We have streamlined our administrative processes and greatly expanded our professional and leadership development offerings for both faculty and staff. Your efforts are directly improving lives across the entire Tar Heel State.
We now have the exciting opportunity to build upon this strong foundation to meet our mission to the people of North Carolina and to establish UNC as the nation’s leading public school of medicine. Over the next several months, members from across the School of Medicine community will work to craft a new strategic plan, spanning all of our mission areas – education, research, clinical care, and service to the state and world.
We are working closely with the University, UNC Health, and UNC Hospitals to coordinate this process as the organizations are each crafting their next strategic plans. This is an important opportunity to shape the future of our school and health system and to make sure that we are working together seamlessly to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians and others we serve. Additionally, our new strategic plan will align with the university’s strategic plan Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good and UNC Health’s ONE UNC Health strategy.
We expect this process to continue through most of this calendar year and we will keep you updated and engaged through Vital Signs and your unit leadership.
Thanks to you, we have accomplished the goals of Forward Together. I am excited to work with each of you to set new ambitious priorities and goals we can strive to meet in the years ahead.
Cristen P. Page, MD MPH
Executive Dean, UNC School of Medicine