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More Than the Sum of Its Parts

On August 3–4, NWCPHP-affiliated staff and faculty, including Director Susan Allan, participated in the University of Washington School of Public Health (SPH) strategic planning retreat.
More Than the Sum of Its Parts

Photo courtesy University of Washington School of Public Health

August 25, 2011

On August 3–4, NWCPHP-affiliated staff and faculty, including Director Susan Allan, participated in the University of Washington School of Public Health (SPH) strategic planning retreat. The retreat focused on coming to a consensus about the School's purpose and strategic initiatives. As part of the Department of Health Services, NWCPHP was excited to be involved in shaping the School's ambitious new agenda.

"Many of the overarching ideas that surfaced during the retreat are strongly related to the mission of NWCPHP," said Allan. "We see great potential to continue to align our goals and work with SPH and the surrounding community."

Eight new strategic initiatives emerged from the retreat. These "big ideas" included four content areas (environmental sustainability; social determinants of health; built environment, nutrition, and obesity; and health policy and health systems), as well as four process areas (school globalization, translational research, curriculum renovation, and partnerships). Small groups of volunteers and strategic planning steering committee members will further develop these ideas in the coming weeks.

Held on Bainbridge Island, the retreat was part of the larger strategic planning process launched on April 1 by Dean Howard Frumkin. The School of Public Health launched this process in response to its upcoming re-accreditation review in 2012–13, as well as other pressing issues such as budget cuts, faculty succession planning, and the need for increased diversity among SPH students, faculty, and staff.

Dean Frumkin stated, “Our School is more than the sum of its parts, and getting together, even for a short time, illustrated the power and magic of collective effort.” He will release a draft strategic plan to all SPH community members in September or October.

Read more about the School's strategic planning process and outcomes.

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