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OHSU Board Adopts Vision 2020

Strategic plan sets roadmap to navigate challenges, embrace opportunities.

The Oregon Health & Science University Board of Directors today adopted Vision 2020, a strategic roadmap to guide the next stage of OHSU development.

“Our vision is bold but achievable,” said Joe Robertson, M.D., OHSU President.  “We want to partner to make Oregon a national leader in health and science innovation to improve the health and well-being of all Oregonians.  To do so we must embrace opportunities while preparing for looming challenges and working with limited resources.”

With the world changing rapidly, OHSU decided more than a year ago to look over the horizon and establish a roadmap for the year 2020.  The resulting plan, Vision 2020, represents input from all areas of the institution and communities across the state.  Dr. Robertson personally criss-crossed the state of Oregon, traveling nearly 5000 miles, meeting with community leaders, health care providers and Oregonians from all walks of life to discuss how OHSU should serve the state.  That information was combined with ideas from OHSU employees and an independent assessment of OHSU’s strengths and weaknesses to form the basis for planning efforts.

The process was exhaustive and inclusive of all levels of OHSU activity – “the most inclusive in my three decades at OHSU,” said Dr. Robertson.

OHSU is at a defining moment in its history.  Since becoming a public corporation in 1995, OHSU has undergone tremendous growth and change.  Today, OHSU serves more patients, educates more students, translates more research discoveries into health care innovations and bioscience companies and provides more community service than ever before.  Dr. Robertson compared the current phase of OHSU’s evolution to the “resting phase” of cellular growth and division.  “The cell looks dormant but it is actually very dynamic – storing up energy and preparing for future activity.”

The sustained growth of the last decade has led to new challenges for OHSU, and moving forward requires a strong financial foundation.  Vision 2020 incorporates the need to find efficiencies and performance enhancements of $45 million total over the next three fiscal years.  The planning process already identified $15 million in savings which has already led to some new investment.

Meeting its performance targets will allow OHSU to make the strategic investments identified in Vision 2020 and pave the way for achieving a number of key goals, including:

*  Helping to meet workforce shortages in the health and science professions so that Oregonians can find a health care provider when they need one.

*  Partnering with communities, industry, other colleges and universities and private citizens to develop community-based solutions to community problems.

*  Through leading edge research made possible by the Oregon Opportunity, finding the next generation of treatments and cures to improve the quality of health care that Oregonians receive.

*  Helping to develop policy and care delivery solutions that make it possible for all Oregonians to have access to high-quality health care.

“To look out into the future and honestly deal with the possibilities – some good, some not so good – gives this plan a high degree of integrity,” said Scott Gibson, Vice Chairman of the Board.  “I’d like to thank you for involving the board to a great degree,” added Keith Thomson, Chairman of the Board.  “You got us involved early and took our comments to heart.”

Vision 2020 puts a new emphasis on integration, collaboration, sustainability and accountability.  Though the plan is not finished it is already working, through a number of collaborations that will improve health for Oregonians.  One example of this is the restructuring of the OHSU Cancer Institute, which is working to reduce the incidence of cancer in

Oregon through a new integrated patient care model, inter-disciplinary teams of health care providers, and a network of community partners that will strive to make Oregon a leader prevention and early diagnosis. 
The Vision 2020 plan identified 170 strategies and tactics to help meet long-range goals.  “We can’t do it all,” Dr. Robertson said.  “But we wanted to capture the collective wisdom of the state and the OHSU community.”

“One thing I can promise,” Dr. Robertson added.  “This plan won’t sit on a shelf collecting dust.  This is a living plan.”

If you would like a copy of the Vision 2020 strategic plan, please contact Tim Kringen at

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