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Strategic planning efforts launched at Stanford Medicine, Stanford University

Stanford Medicine and the university have begun long-term strategic planning initiatives, which welcome faculty, staff and student participation.

- By Becky Bach

Lloyd Minor

Stanford Medicine and Stanford University are undergoing separate, but parallel, strategic planning processes, Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the medical school, and Persis Drell, PhD, university provost, told faculty and staff members at a town hall meeting on campus May 4.

Both efforts began this spring and will wrap up in early 2018, they said.

“Along the way, there will be many opportunities and town hall meetings to engage directly in this process,” Minor said.

The Stanford Medicine project — which includes Stanford Health Care, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and the School of Medicine — will cover all elements of the three entities’ missions — research, education and patient care — but will also take a “deep dive” into several specific areas, such as the desired size of the clinical enterprise.

The project kicked off with a survey, which was completed by 3,769 community members, including 42 percent faculty of members. Facilitators also interviewed 120 people, primarily faculty members but also some staff and other stakeholders, Minor said.

In addition, Stanford Medicine leaders received feedback on the current status of the organization, Minor said.

“When it comes to purpose, we rank significantly above average,” Minor said. “The vast majority of people in Stanford Medicine understand and buy into our purpose.”

What is the university we want to be in 20 years and how do we get there?

Areas that ranked lower include processes and systems, and the complexity of decision-making — “the general thesis being decision-making is quite complex and often times nebulous,” Minor said.

The university’s planning process is organized around four general theme areas: education, research, community and beyond the university, Drell said.

The “beyond the university” focus is relatively new, and aims to prompt thought about how Stanford can contribute to the local community, state, nation and world, Drell said. Joseph Woo, MD, professor and chair of cardiothoracic surgery, is the co-chair of that steering group.

The university is welcoming proposals and suggestions from everyone — from faculty to students, Drell said. Suggestions can be submitted by individuals or teams on the project’s website. Currently, cost is not being considered, she said. Also, submitting an idea does not make it less likely that another idea is pursued, she said. In other words, the more, the merrier.

“We want the process to be collaborative and inclusive,” Drell said. “We have phenomenal individuals in our community.”

The task is large, but exciting, she said. “What is the university we want to be in 20 years and how do we get there?”    

Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at

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