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OHSU Board Adopts Vision 2020 Financial Plan

Five-year plan prepares financial foundation for achieving strategic goals

The Oregon Health & Science University Board of Directors today adopted the Vision 2020 five-year financial plan, a framework of strategies and initiatives that addresses upcoming financial challenges, employs Vision 2020 strategic tactics to improve organizational performance and strengthens OHSU’s services to Oregonians.

“The Vision 2020 strategic plan is the aspiration, the statement of our philosophical ideals,” said Joe Robertson, OHSU President.  “The financial plan is the reality check.”

OHSU is financially sound, and compares very favorably to other academic health centers by indicators such as bond rating and cash on hand.  Nevertheless, as a mission-based organization with a commitment to serving Oregonians, financial gaps come with the territory.  “We are a non-profit by choice, not by chance,” said Dr. Robertson.  “The expectations of OHSU by all stakeholders – and the desire of OHSU to provide services to the citizens of the state – will always be greater than the budget will allow.  By being proactive, OHSU can plan ahead to manage our challenges and meet the goals of our strategic plan.”

The Vision 2020 strategic plan is OHSU’s roadmap for a rapidly changing world.  The key goal is partnering to help make

Oregon a national leader in science and innovation to improve the health and well-being of Oregonians.  Markers for achieving that goal include:

  • 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.

OHSU is committed to finding efficiencies, consolidating units and eliminating duplication of effort, and promoting collaboration and community partnership to help leverage limited resources.  “Each dollar we save” said Dr. Robertson, “is a dollar we can re-invest to catalyze research discovery.”

Improved performance is a key component of the plan.  The hospitals and health system are committed to top-quartile performance through efficiency improvements and capacity growth.  Top-quartile performance would translate to a margin sufficient to allow OHSU to continue to invest in education and research.

The financial plan also includes a number of targeted investments to improve overall performance, including facilities upgrades for older buildings on the education and research campus, as well as information technology infrastructure upgrades that will support leading edge research.  There are also investments in areas such as student and faculty diversity, and emergency planning.

The timetable for the Schnitzer Campus is unchanged.  “As we have often said, it will be a decades-long process,” noted Dr. Robertson.  “We are excited to begin development on what will be a model campus nationally for training health care providers of all disciplines together, but we will not begin without identifying stable funding.”

A five-year financial plan is a framework that guides decision-making, not a line-by-line budget.  The plan describes a number of philosophical approaches that will improve organizational performance while allowing the details of implementation to be worked out thoughtfully and deliberately, with the direct involvement of internal and external stakeholders.
These approaches include:

Integration throughout mission areas to eliminate unneeded duplication of service
Culture change and incentives to help reach higher levels of efficiencies
Maintaining flexibility in the out years as is appropriate for a mission-based organization
Increasing our philanthropic and grant support and developing expanded community partnerships.
For more information on OHSU’s strategic and financial plans, please visit

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