News & Stories

An update from the Vice President for Strategy and Transformation!

Transforming NEOMED! 

As we come to the end of the second year of the strategic plan: Creating Transformational Leaders, I am thrilled to share our tremendous successes and spread the news that we are right on track on our goals, reporting 35% progress on 42 initiatives with over 100 active action plans! We did this together, with over 100 members of the NEOMED community contributing.  

I want to thank you all for embracing the strategic plan and for contributing to harnessing diversity, innovation and collaboration to create transformative leaders and improve health through education, discovery and service. So many people, students, faculty, staff, alumni, clinical partners, community partners, foundational partners and more have helped in advancing our vision, and navigating NEOMED in the right direction.  

We set the course with four, equally weighted strategic focus areas in mind: we hold steadfast to provide an Exceptional Experience, to celebrate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to promote NEOMED’s position as high impact researchers and provides of quality in Leadership, and finally to invest in our People 

We are organized by pillars, and each contains a subset of strategic initiatives aligned and supported by the talented members of the NEOMED community. I’d like to share highlights from each pillar from this past year.  


To transform, we needed to understand some fundamental truths. Of highest priority, we needed to better understand our students. We took part in a yearlong voice of customer analysis to learn more about the constructs that determine a student’s perception of their experience at NEOMED. We now know there are five major components that collectively tell the story, and in the upcoming year, we are poised to take action to address those areas improving student satisfaction, quality outcomes, loyalty, value, and transformational leadership. These constructs together form the Exceptional Student Experience. 


At NEOMED we are proud of the work we are doing to increase our diversity, equity and inclusion. Last year, we made great strides in increasing diversity in our student body, specifically related to underrepresented in medicine. We are happy to share that 16% of NEOMED students identify as African American/Black or Latinx and the new classes starting are increasing that number even more. Additionally, this past year, NEOMED enrollment surpassed 1,000 students!  

Increased enrollment and new exciting educational opportunities are just the beginning, NEOMED is transforming education through integrated pathways in areas of rural and urban medicine, as well as social justice and leadership. Our enhanced clinical partnerships enable student experiential learning at both university and community clinical sites. Our newest partner, University Hospitals of Cleveland, finds students and clinicians working together in the College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and the College of Graduate Studies.  


Our researchers at NEOMED continue to gain national recognition in both external funding and in the build out of our six distinct Research Focus Areas (RFA) to optimize the culture of discovery and expand the function of translational research. The latest RFA, Health Services Research, is grounded in behavioral and social theory.  Seeking innovative solutions for the delivery of health care services, the translation of science and technology into practice, and the integration of behavioral health and primary care through partnership with hospital and community providers, this RFA combines the faculty from Family and Community Medicine and Psychiatry in a multidisciplinary approach to improve population health.  


Adding to our robust offerings in the College of Graduate Studies, we are excited with the success of the newly added Master of Leadership in Health Systems Science and the Master in Foundations of Medicine. Both programs enable a pathway into medicine with foundations in fundamental concepts of leadership to transform students into future providers and leaders in their communities. These programs build relationships with our faculty and clinical partners to ensure success! 

The Master of Medical Science in Anesthesia addresses a workforce gap within our health care ecosystem by training certified anesthesia assistants in state-of-the-art practice. The NEOMED program uses high-fidelity simulation, an innovative didactic curriculum, and hands-on clinical experiences to ensure students are equipped to provide a superb anesthesia experience for patients across the country. 

See here to explore other NEOMED graduate programs. 

Service and Community Engagement 

NEOMED continues to serve the community and with the addition of NEOMED Health Care℠ you can make an appointment with our health care professionals for all your primary care services – right on NEOMED’s campus! Make an appointment with one of our experts in primary care, Dr. John Boltri (NEOMED Chair of Family and Community Medicine), Dr. Alicia Bond (NEOMED Class of ’16), or Dr. Elisabeth Whipkey (NEOMED Class of ’17).   

The award-winning Student Run Free Clinic (SRFC) at NEOMED sustained and grew the number of patient visits throughout the pandemic by expanding into telehealth. Integrating primary and mental health care, the SRFC provides high quality, non-emergent, no-cost health care to the medically underserved residents of Northeast Ohio. The SRFC continues to win statewide awards for the exceptional work of our students, faculty, and staff who volunteer and to achieve gold standards in quality of care.  

Administrative and Academic Support Operations  

Another fundamental truth of our strategic plan is our focus on developing our people. As our most important resource, we are committed to a model of operational excellence that empowers our faculty, staff and partners to thrive in a culture of continuous improvement. We’ve equipped our teams with the principles of Lean Six Sigma (LSS), encouraging innovation and streamlining of administrative processes. Over 50% of NEOMED faculty and staff have been trained in LSS and 97% reported they will continue to use those critical skills. Watch for a Lean Six Sigma showcase featuring many of the outstanding projects in November as a part of our Transformation Leadership Day. 

As you can see, there is a tremendous amount of innovation and growth going on at NEOMED! To learn more about our accomplishments, check out our Annual Impact Report. To see all the progress and metrics from our strategic plan, check out the NEOMED dashboard.   

I encourage you to be a part of the transformation. Reach out to any of us in the strategy office or to any of the pillar leads to join or lead one of the many action plans or to propose a new idea. I look forward to navigating this journey together.