The Harvard Medical School community, under the direction of Dean George Q. Daley, embarked on a journey to refresh the School’s mission, vision, and strategic plan in 2016. Carrying forward the broad engagement of the community in drafting the values statement in 2015, the dean began with a listening tour, where he solicited input from faculty, administrators, staff, students, and other stakeholders over the course of his first 18 months on the job. A new vision for the School, given the tagline “enable greater impact,” was articulated and shared during the Dean’s State of the School address on March 7. Following the address, Dean Daley launched formal processes to refresh the mission statement and develop a strategic plan in support of the vision. The final mission statement and strategic plan were approved and implemented by the Dean’s Leadership Council on December 7.

The following pages provide an executive summary of where we envision HMS to be in 10 years. It is based on our values and defines our goals to guide us in achieving our mission and vision.

Strategic Planning Process

In July, Dean Daley commenced a formal strategic planning process to integrate the results of robust, faculty-driven, mission-level planning processes and multiyear financial plans into a comprehensive set of overarching goals that sets the direction of the School. The process was structured to build on an extensive listening tour by the dean and his senior leadership team that took place during the first 18 months of the dean’s tenure. The process began by calling for input from the mission and operations leaders (faculty and administrators across various areas of education, research, clinical care, and operations) about their vision for the School. This information was synthesized into the following three categories during the dean’s retreat in August 2018.

  1. Cross-cutting strategic goals: vision statements applicable across all HMS mission areas
  2. Mission-level priorities: tangible strategic goals specific to one or more areas of the School
  3. Mission-enabling priorities: cross-cutting operational goals that support the mission areas

Once combined, the fledgling strategic plan was shared with the mission and operations leaders for further input. Subsequently, Dean Daley completed a road show of the strategic plan, where he spoke to a wide variety of stakeholders from the HMS community to garner additional input about the vision of the School. During this time the dean met with students, faculty, and the Alumni Council. He sought insight from the HMS/HSDM Visiting Committee and the Board of Fellows. He facilitated working sessions with the Faculty Council, as well as preclinical and clinical chairs’ committees. All of this input was further synthesized, and the strategic plan was once again revised.

In parallel, mission and operations leaders worked with their teams to articulate mission-level priorities and specific tactics that are guided by the mission and vision and that map to the cross-cutting strategic priorities. Mission and operations leaders identified targeted outcome measures and timelines for each tactic that will guide the School’s efforts over the coming one to three years.

Mission Statement Refresh

Concurrent to its strategic planning process, HMS also refreshed its mission statement, again seeking input from a wide variety of stakeholders across the HMS community. The dean convened a committee, led by a senior member of the faculty, to draft a new mission statement. This draft statement was shared broadly with the HMS community, and feedback was welcomed in many different ways, including by email and by hand at easels spread across the campus. The committee received hundreds of emails and written input on the mission statement, which was then further refined based on feedback.

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Mission and Vision

Mission: To nurture a diverse, inclusive community dedicated to alleviating suffering and improving health and well-being for all through excellence in teaching and learning, discovery and scholarship, and service and leadership.

Vision: Enable greater impact

Cross-cutting Strategic Goals

The strategic plan comprises five cross-cutting strategic goals designed to focus the HMS community on achieving its mission and vision. The strategic goals are visionary and are meant to be accomplished over the next decade. Detailed mission-level priorities and tactics, reviewed and revised every few years, are meant to help the School incrementally achieve its strategic goals.

  1. Promote innovation, discovery, and academic and clinical excellence across the HMS community The academic missions are foundational to HMS. We will innovate educational approaches to guide the training of the next generation of physicians and scientists. We will continue to be a world leader in research and discovery from basic science to translational research to clinical care. We will invest in personnel and infrastructure to support idea generation, and ultimately, application of those ideas to human health.
  2. Leverage collaboration across HMS and the biomedical ecosystem HMS is the anchor for a greater ecosystem of education, bio- medical research, and patient care across our partner schools and clinical affiliates. We will optimize our partnerships and affiliations to serve our collective missions. We will engage our affiliates in new opportunities in education, research, and clinical care. We will strengthen mutually beneficial relation- ships in support of our mission.
  3. Enable success through enhanced technology, process improvement, and fiscal discipline Core to HMS’s success is organizational discipline. We will be good stewards of our financial resources. We will invest in technology to improve efficiency. We will optimize our organizational structure and processes to best achieve our mission. We will invest in our people and contribute to their development. We will steward the School’s financial resources in support of our mission and long-term health of the institution.
  4. Build a culture of diversity, inclusion, integrity, and empowerment The greatness of HMS is its people. HMS will recruit and nurture a diverse and talented cadre of faculty, students, and staff. We will welcome and encourage diversity of thought and experience. We will create a culture that empowers and encourages inclusiveness and respect. We will be mindful of the importance of society’s trust in what we do and will maintain the highest level of integrity.
  5. Extend the local, national, and global impact of HMS to be a force for good for human health HMS’s reach begins locally and extends globally We will educate empathetic physicians and scientists whose careers will impact health and well-being in our local community as well as abroad. We will engage in translational research and inform the development of therapeutics to treat patients in well-resourced as well as underresourced regions of the US and the world. We will be a leader in population health, health economics, health disparities, and health delivery science research to relieve suffering and improve health and wellness for all.

Oversight of the Strategic Plan

The Dean’s Leadership Council has been charged with oversight of the strategic plan. Meeting monthly, the council will ensure the plan is implemented and that appropriate institutional resources are allocated to accomplish the mission-level priorities. The council will review data and metrics related to the plan to ensure outcomes are achieved.

To download a PDF of the Strategic Planning Overview 2018, click here.