Strategic Directions Overview

The compass is one of our oldest devices to help us find our way. Even when conditions change, a compass lets us orient ourselves. It helps guide us home.  That’s why Vanderbilt University Medical Center uses the compass to describe our strategy for the future.

Over the past year, people from all parts of the medical center have developed a new “strategy compass.” This compass unifies our work across patient care, research and medical education.

These teams looked carefully at where we’ve been. They considered our unique strengths. They took into account all the changes – and opportunities – facing us today.

A Foundation For Success

The compass begins with our aspiration as a medical center:

Through the exceptional capabilities and caring spirit of its people, Vanderbilt will lead in improving the healthcare of individuals and communities regionally, nationally and internationally. We will combine our transformative learning programs, compelling scientific discoveries, and distinctive personalized care to foster the health of all people.

Simply put, we have extraordinary people doing exceptional things. We are leading the way to improve the health of our communities, near and far. We can do this in a way few others can because we combine science, training of healthcare professionals and patient care.

Our compass also makes the most of “distinctive capabilities.” These capabilities are strengths we have because we are an academic medical center with a team of over 20,000 people engaged with the community.   These are our strengths we will leverage and grow:

  • A collaborative culture
  • Leadership in clinical care
  • Basic and translational research
  • Learning as a core competency
  • Personalized medicine
  • Population health

The Four Directions

Our compass identifies four “strategic directions” or themes.  It allows us to adapt as we learn or as things change. It allows us to measure – and speed up – our progress.  The four strategic directions are:

For each strategic direction, the compass includes:

  • A brief description of the direction’s intent and importance
  • Capabilities to enhance – highlight opportunities to build out aspects of VUMC’s distinctive capabilities
  • Capabilities to develop – areas where building from the ground up is required
  • Examples -- provide a snapshot of work that is  complete or underway