Goals in Sight: An Update on the P&S Strategic Plan

When P&S rolled out Vision 2020, its strategic plan, in 2012, the goals were aspirational.

Yet, in an update that Dean Lee Goldman, MD, presented earlier this year to the task force that conceived the plan, the progress was nothing short of impressive.

“This strategic plan is not just bound beautiful pages that have been put away somewhere after having been presented,” says Kenneth Forde, MD, Columbia University trustee, the Jose M. Ferrer Professor Emeritus of Clinical Surgery, and 1959 P&S graduate.

“You can actually see it being effectuated. There is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the vision,” says Dr. Forde.

Vision 2020 outlines goals for improvements in four major areas: clinical care, education, research, and campus life.

The plan has fostered collaboration between P&S and NewYork-Presbyterian for growth in both the clinical and research arenas. Progress toward a major goal of the plan to expand clinical reach through increased ambulatory capacity and geographic range is well under way. At the time of the spring 2014 update, 144 new clinical faculty had been recruited. ColumbiaDoctors, the faculty practice plan for P&S, opened a new multispecialty practice at 51 W. 51st St., and NYP and ColumbiaDoctors have jointly expanded into Westchester and Rockland counties.

The educational accomplishments include construction of the new Medical and Graduate Education Building, scheduled to open in fall 2016. The medical school’s new curriculum was fully implemented with the 2013 graduation of the first class to follow the curriculum’s full four years. The curriculum continues to evolve, as new programs are introduced: the new three-year PhD-to-MD program, a dual MD/MS degree that allows students to conduct a research-intensive year, and expansion of the scholarly projects program to provide students with additional protected time for research. By the end of the second year of scholarly projects, which are required of all MD students, many student projects had been presented at national meetings.

The medical center campus continues to grow. Significant building improvements have been made, including upgrades to the P&S Alumni Auditorium, Bard Hall gym, Hammer 401, the first floor of the P&S building, and dozens of smaller projects that improve the overall upkeep and aesthetics of the campus.

Perhaps one of the greatest achievements of the strategic plan to date was the adoption of precision medicine as the next university-wide priority by Columbia University President Lee Bollinger. Bringing together the knowledge of the faculty at P&S and CUMC with others at Columbia University, NYP, and the New York Genome Center, the precision medicine initiative will position Columbia and its partners to move the concept of precision medicine from the abstract into tangible benefits for patients.

More than $380 million in philanthropic donations has been committed to implementation of strategic plan goals. In addition, NYP has contributed substantial financial support across all mission areas.

Co-chair of the strategic planning process, Mary D’Alton, MD, the Willard C. Rappleye Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and department chair, feels the plan is on track. “Look how far we’ve come. It’s really mood elevating to hear Lee Goldman give an account of our progress together. It’s truly remarkable what has been accomplished in the last few years. We saw progress on all fronts: clinical, educational, research, and the campus environment. We’ve seen expansion, recruitment, retention—a better atmosphere generally.”

With the majority of the goals of Vision 2020 realized or in progress, the strategic plan’s finish line appears within reach. “Your vision has led us to this point,” Dr. Goldman told the task force. “This focus will help us achieve all that we’ve set out to do.”