Culture and Strategy, Better Together

Culture and Strategy: Better Together

Survey Response Rate: 19%
Currently: 125/650*
8 days remaining
*As of: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Strategic Plan for a Healthy Nevada 2017-2019 - Progress is a journey

Two Weeks Only: Take Your Culture Survey

True North means thoughtful monitoring of our progress through input from the UNR Med community. From Monday, May 20, to Friday, May 31, all full-time faculty and staff and a sample of UNR Med learners will receive an emailed invitation to participate in the UNR Med Organizational Culture and Engagement Survey. Your participation is appreciated. The survey is 15 questions and will inform our plans to become an employer of choice. Track and encourage others to participate by tracking our response rate gauge at the top of this page!

For questions, contact Carolyn Brayko, director of organizational development and strategic planning, at or (775) 682-7934.

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:

  • 396: Faculty, staff and learners who participated in the 2018 Culture Survey
  • 45: Culture champions engaged with the Culture Initiative
  • 4: Teams charged with designing and implementing action items for each stakeholder group
  • Quarterly: Frequency that Culture Initiative updates are provided through Nevada Medicine Weekly

2018 Culture Priorities:

  • Core Values: We have defined core values for which we will be accountable.
  • Agreement: When disagreements occur, we work toward "win-win" solutions.
  • 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.
  • Goals & Objectives: We continuously track our progress against our stated goals.

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:

  • Quarterly updates in internal newsletter, Nevada Medicine Weekly
  • Regular updates from your governance committee representatives

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 



We will strengthen the infrastructural departments to expand and create the tools and resources needed to actualize the institutional strategic plan.

Expanding Curriculum

Expanding Curriculum

We will provide an integrated and rigorous 4-year curriculum rooted in the northern Nevada community.

Graduate Medical Education

Graduate Medical Education

We will establish the support, infrastructure and resources to implement northern Nevada residency expansion.

Clinical and Translational Research

Clinical and Translational Research

We will develop an institutional research strategy and invest in a clinical research enterprise.

Strategic Recruitment

Strategic Recruitment

We will recruit diverse, top faculty and medical students to northern Nevada.

Institutional Identity and Climate

Institutional Identity and Climate

We will further develop and promote UNR Med as an outstanding, inclusive and high-quality community-based medical school.