Culture and Strategy, Better Together

Culture and Strategy: Better Together

Strategic Plan for a Healthy Nevada 2017-2019 - Progress is a journey

What is True North?

"True North 20|22" captures both the short-term strategy for success for UNR Med, and the aspirational, adventuresome nature of the journey we will take to get there. 

UNR Med is proud to be a research-intensive medical school that is also highly-engaged with the community. The focus is on northern Nevada, with a statewide vision to contribute to "A Healthy Nevada." 

If strategy is "what" we do, culture is "how" we do it. True North will guide what we work on and how we work together to support the mission and vision of the school.

Our True North is the guiding light for achieving excellence, in which all of our missions converge on clinical care of the highest quality and compassion.

Our True North is the map to:

  • a clinical research enterprise to complement our strong basic science research, 
  • a diverse network of clinical partnerships dedicated to education across northern Nevada, 
  • expanded clinical services to provide the health needs in our community, and
  • an environment that attracts and retains ambitious and compassionate learners, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds. 

Our True North provides a path to equitably supporting employee development, satisfaction and well-being.

Our Culture

If Reno is the "Biggest Little City," UNR Med is the "Biggest Little School of Medicine." We are proud to be part of a growing R1 institution while maintaining an intimate training experience for our learners. As Dean Schwenk put it, "UNR Med is a unique medical school: We are at one and the same time community-engaged and research-intensive, striving toward a culture of unrivaled research and unlimited breakthroughs." We have big dreams achieved through small teams.

We strive to intentionally develop the culture of UNR Med based on our mission, vision, and core values. We accomplish this through continuous self-assessment, open dialogues, and taking action to make UNR Med the place we all want to work, learn, research, and receive patient care.

About our Culture Initiative

With our sights on establishing UNR Med as an employer of choice and building our capacity to implement our strategy, the Culture Initiative began. In 2018, the initiative provided opportunities for internal stakeholders to assess their individual UNR Med experiences through in-person Data Dialogues, followed by the assembly of small teams charged with designing plans for positive culture change.

Quick Facts about the Culture Initiative:

  • 50%: Faculty and staff response rate in the lates Culture Pulse Survey
  • 48: Culture champions engage their colleagues with the latest events, and design innovations to improve our workplace culture.
  • 4: Core value statements were revised and promoted by culture champions. 
  • Quarterly: Frequency that Culture Initiative updates are provided through Nevada Medicine Weekly

2019 Culture Priorities:

  • Core Values: We have defined core values for which we will be accountable.
  • Empowerment: We believe that we can all have a positive impact.
  • Capability Development: We invest in developing leadership capabilities to be UNR Med's competitive advantage.

Our Strategy

We have embraced our transformation into a school of medicine fully-based in northern Nevada. The creation of a "new" school with a 50-year tradition and history was made possible through a rigorous, data-informed process to understand our identity, our partners and, perhaps most importantly, our opportunities in serving our region and state.

Our strategy acknowledges a changing educational and health care environment, including how we develop a local presence with a statewide vision, how we serve our rural partners, and how we become a major partner with other health care institutions to achieve our vision of "A Healthy Nevada." UNR Med's strategic planning process has been, and continues to be, an adaptive, community-driven effort.

About our Strategic Plan

In August 2015, the Strategic Plan Steering Committee surveyed the UNR Med community for guidance. Eight primary areas of institutional growth and planning emerged from the data.

The School of Medicine community helped prioritize the objectives according to vision alignment, urgency and resource intensity which helped define the five initiatives that are the focus of our 2017-2019 strategic plan: expanding curriculum, graduate medical education, clinical and translational research, strategic recruitment, institutional identity and climate.

In October 2018, the UNR Med community participated in an updated survey to guide the Strategic Planning Steering Committee in identifying priorities for the next three years. The new institutional strategic plan will launch in July 2019.


Guide the direction of our True North!

Stay informed:

Join the conversation:

  • Town hall lunches with the Dean
  • Evening town halls
  • Data Dialogues

Lead the conversation:

  • Be a champion
  • Join an team to support culture change

To get involved with True North, contact Carolyn Brayko, director, Organizational Development and Strategic Planning.


Current Initiatives 

New faculty at orientation

Strategic recruitment of academic faculty

Grow and retain a faculty base that serves our community's needs.

Objective Outcome metric
Improve efficiency and effectiveness of faculty recruitment Net increase of 15 faculty hired in priority areas
Establish internal and external faculty pipelines Increase percentage of faculty applicants who identify with at least one mission-based diversity group
Invest in faculty career development 90% of faculty hired since 2014 met target timelines for promotion and tenure
Expand our clinical platform

Expand our clinical platform

Improve access to quality care for Nevadans while enhancing medical education.

Objective Outcome Metric
Grow our multi-specialty clinical footprint in northern Nevada Increase total annual patient volume of all outpatient practice visits to 120,000
Expand our network of clinical partners Increase University Health and co-branded clinical sites to 8
Improve the quality of our patient experience Increase University Health global patient satisfaction to 80%  "agree" or "strongly agree" they are satisfied with their care
Faculty in the clinical research center

Build clinical research

Produce evidence-based information that translates to better health care decisions for practitioners and patients.

Objective  Outcome Metric
Align research priorities with Nevada's health needs Start 3 new clinical research projects relating to an identified health need in Nevada
Develop resources to support faculty clinical research At least 10 academic faculty hold extramural funds in clinical research
Train academic faculty in clinical research skills All trained faculty have submitted a scholarly product within 12 months of finishing program  
Clinical and Translational Research

Engage with our community

Be seen as the institution of choice for health care education, research and clinical care.

Objective Outcome Metric
Enhance UNR Med's reputation nationally Generate at least 10 national media stories featuring UNR Med experts
Increase local awareness of the University Health brand 50-75% University Health brand awareness with existing/internal audiences
Increase participation in continuing education programs that serve community practitioners Increase total participants in accredited CME programs, Project ECHO clinics and other educational programs by 25%