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.

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 framework begins with our aspiration as a medical center:

Through the exceptional capabilities and caring spirt 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 extraordinary 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 capitalizes on “distinctive capabilities.” These are strengths that we have because we are an academic medical center with more than 20,000 people. We are engaged in our community and we leverage the strengths of Vanderbilt.  

  • 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 diretions," 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 directions are:

Our compass describes the intent and importance for each of the directions. It also outlines and gives examples of capabilities to enhance and capabilities to develop. The enhancement list are opportunities to build on our unique strengths. The development list calls out areas where we need to build from the ground up. Examples are a snapshot of work that is complete or under way.

Submit Your Ideas

This website is one way you can stay informed about VUMC’s direction. You’ll find examples that show the directions in action.

Everyone at VUMC should understand and be encouraged to participate in this framework. Over time, you will encounter opportunities to participate and offer ideas. You can start by submitting ideas in the “on-site suggestion box.”