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VCOM Virginia Campus

VCOM Strategic Plan

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine 2018-2024 Strategic Plan

History of the Strategic Plan 

The process for the 2018-2023 VCOM Strategic Plan began with each College Division holding faculty and staff retreats and developing goals and objectives which were submitted to the President’s office. VCOM’s Division Officers (Deans, Vice Presidents, and Vice Provosts) were charged with overseeing the development of the plan. The Division Officers performed research through surveys of alumni, applicants, and current students.

In the spring of 2018, the Strategic Plan was updated to continue through 2024. In fall of 2017, VCOM administration was presented with an opportunity to expand their mission in the Appalachian and Delta Region of the Southeast United States to include Northern Louisiana. After careful consideration and exploration by the President and the Executive Committee of the Board, it was determined that the addition of a Louisiana Campus was consistent with VCOM’s mission and goals, especially as to the rural and underserved areas of the Southeast United States and as to the region which remains persistently poor and medically underserved. The opportunity was then presented to the Board of Directors and included a needs assessment, an updated strategic plan, and a seven-year financial projection. The Board unanimously approved the updated Strategic Plan for 2018-2024, which included the VCOM-Louisiana Campus.

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine 2018-2024 Strategic Plan

The 2018 – 2024 VCOM Strategic Plan guides the administration, faculty, and staff on a successful path that will elevate the College as a national leader in quality medical education and research.  The Strategic Plan will enable VCOM to achieve the status of being the premier osteopathic medical school, while following the Mission, Goals, and Priorities of the College. 


1) To be a leader in medical student education, fostering a culture of academic engagement and scholarly works.

  • To foster student engagement and recognition for performance.
  • To inspire, recognize, and reward our faculty for curricular innovation, research and scholarly works.
  • To continue to achieve excellence in our academic outcomes.
  • To prepare our students in the osteopathic medical competencies, setting and evaluating appropriate milestones each year toward graduation.
  • To deliver a learner centered, innovative curriculum that includes clinical cases, learning teams/learning communities, and interactive presentations.
  • To foster a culture of faculty growth and institutional excellence by offering a robust faculty development program.
  • To provide additional faculty (and resident) opportunities for academic development and achievement through Academic Fellowships and Certificate programs.
  • To perform a "360" review of our clinical program and determine the appropriate strategic partnerships for teaching hospitals; a plan for securing, nurturing, and advancing the sites; and developing a solid financial plan for long term success.
  • To inform the public of our college achievements through a robust portfolio of scholarly work, including national presentations and publications of scholarly work.
  • To market VCOM faculty and student presentations and publications of scholarly works.

2) To foster excellence in osteopathic medical education through the support of our Graduate Medical Education partners.

  • To continue to offer our GME consortium in support of the osteopathic medical education continuum.
  • To provide our GME partners with robust resources for faculty development.
  • To develop and offer the curriculum for osteopathic emphasis programs and for basic competencies to enter an osteopathic emphasis program.
  • To value and support our osteopathic identity in our education and research programs.
  • To grow graduate medical education by identifying potential new residency sites, forming affiliations, and assisting the institutions through the process.
  • To partner with and support current GME programs who are without institutional affiliations or support.

3) To value our osteopathic identity and foster the osteopathic medical education continuum through Continuing Medical Education for our alumni, core hospital and GME partners, state societies, and specialty colleges.


1) To be a leader in biomedical and clinical research by narrowing and focusing research areas to enhance success. Focus areas for funding, collaboration, and future hires will include:

  • Neuroscience, neurological injury, and neurodegenerative disease
  • Musculoskeletal research
    • Osteopathic neuro-musculoskeletal treatment (NMM), treatment of musculoskeletal injury, and the benefits of osteopathic manipulation
    • Degenerative arthritis -further delineation of the disease, genetics and personalized prevention and treatment
    • Genetics and Personalized Medicine

2) To perform research consistent with our mission in population health, rural health, community health, and practice-based research.

  • Engage and support appropriate faculty with interests in these areas.
  • Appoint faculty mentors whose primary area of interest and engagement is student research.
  • Research areas to include:
    • Environmental health impacts and strategies for prevention and intervention
    • Strategies for prevention, health maintenance, and healthcare access in rural and medically underserved communities
    • Methods to evaluate and address health disparities
    • Strategies for prevention, health maintenance, and healthcare delivery in the international environment
    • Development of strategies, tools, and data analytics in evaluation for practice based research

3) Be a leader in educational, research, with a robust portfolio of scholarly works reorganized in presentations in national arenas and referenced journals.  Areas of research include, but are not limited to:

  • To perform educational research in the areas of:
    • Innovative educational technology (learning tools)
    • New teaching methods and strategies
    • New measurement/assessment tools
    • Effectiveness of teaching methods
  • To be a leader in the profession for the presentation of scholarly works in national arenas and a robust portfolio of publications in peer-reviewed journals.

4) To provide faculty and student development in all areas of research through monthly seminars, annual research days, and research retreats.

  • To develop fellowship and certificate programs that recognize mastery in research for interested and capable students, residents, and faculty.
  • To develop a culture that recognizes and promotes scholarly work for all students, residents, and faculty.

5) To promote research collaboration across all VCOM campuses and with our university partners.

  • To build key collaborations by providing matching funds with key partner university's colleges.
  • To collaborate and continue to support the "One Health Research" program.
  • To create educational research teams across VCOM campuses.
  • To foster inter-professional education research teams with university partners and certificate programs for those seeking a mastery level in research.
  • To develop a culture that recognizes and promotes scholarly work for all students, residents, and faculty.

6) To provide internal funding and support for those research projects deemed appropriate by the following: technical writing, faculty expertise, collaboration, support for new investigators, prior presentations and publications from internal funding, and potential for external funding.

7) To grow externally funded research and programs by 10% each year.

8) To provide a robust research support team with offices and personnel on each campus.

9) To develop a ”research team" to support the resident research of our GME partners.


1) To be a leader in addressing the health of rural and medically underserved communities.

  • To provide a medical education program that recruits students from, educates students in, and inspires graduates to return to rural and medically underserved areas in Appalachia, the
  • Delta, and the surrounding southern states.
  • To incorporate community health and public health service in our medical school curriculum, engaging faculty and students in college service toward the VCOM mission.
  • To inspire our faculty and students to be advocates for the health of populations living in rural and medically underserved areas and for equity in affordable, accessible healthcare for all.
  • To conduct and promote pipeline programs for students from rural and medically underserved populations.
  • To recognize our programs addressing rural health and medically underserved areas in all publications.
  • To market our programs in rural health and medically underserved areas.
  • To be known as a leader in addressing the health of rural and medically underserved communities internationally.

2) To be a leader in the international education and outreach experiences we offer for our students, residents, and alumni.

  • To engage our students in international outreach so to instill the value of providing service.
  • To be a leader nationally in programs that address global health disparities.
  • To promote engagement of our alumni serving through our international outreach programs.
  • To offer opportunities for student, resident, and faculty research in the international setting.

3) To be known as a leading institution in producing the physicians this country needs.

  • To be a leading institution for students who choose a career in osteopathic primary care to meet the needs of rural and medically underserved communities including family medicine, pediatrics, and internal medicine.
  • To promote careers in the additional specialties where workforce shortages exist, especially in rural areas: psychiatry, general surgery, geriatrics, and neuro-musculoskeletal medicine (NMM).
  • To promote programs that enhance the physician's knowledge in the prevention and treatment of addiction.
  • To market our strengths in primary care, including the number of primary care graduates produced annually.
  • To market our strengths in producing richly diverse graduates.

Facilities and Information Technology

1) To be nationally known for the beauty of our campuses and the support for our students, faculty, and staff.

  • To maintain the "no deferred maintenance" policy on each campus.
  • To develop a plan for enhancing the Virginia campus over the next three years.
  • To focus on a learner centered environment when planning our IT and facility strategies.
  • To practice state of the art IT security.
  • To support the continuous review and updates of our IT infrastructure and programs that support our students and faculty.
  • To identify new technology in digital and IT capabilities and keep administration informed to assure VCOM remains "state of the art" in capabilities.

Student Services: Admissions, Student Activities, and Financial Aid

1) To be a top osteopathic college in applications and student support.

  • To maintain an applicant pool that exceeds 15 to 1, regardless of COM growth throughout the U.S.
  • To streamline the application process for students and engage target students frequently throughout the application process.
  • To begin the early recruitment process by waving application fees for those who apply by an early date.
  • To maintain affiliation agreements with top "feeder" colleges.
  • To offer pipeline programs to engage future target students.
  • To hire and maintain a Diversity Recruiter, engaging with HBCU premedical clubs, national diversity events, and diverse students who are in the application process.
  • To maintain a Via Wellness program that encourages student healthy living and activities.
  • To support students with student professional organizations that nurture a sense of professionalism and introduce the various residency choices/health careers in medicine.
  • To support student events in a fashion that creates life-long memories and engages students to become a part of the VCOM family, including but not limited to: open house, accepted student's day, white coat ceremony, student intro to clinical picnic, student clinician ceremony, residency match day, and graduation.
  • To offer the incoming and current students the best financial aid and financial planning packages in the country through a new financial aid budget planning process (online and during orientation), greater assistance with identifying scholarships and loan repayment resources through one-on-one counseling regarding resources, and working with development as they build a robust scholarship program.
  • To work with Marketing to promote VCOM's "Best Value Medical School" status, highlighting the status of one of the lowest in tuition of all private medical schools in the country (5th lowest), with no hidden activity fees, and offering health insurance and disability insurance at no additional cost to the student.
  • To serve as a resource for students experiencing difficulty in navigating the College resources, serving in the HR role for students.
  • To assure all students have access to confidential health and psychiatric services.
  • To support and oversee the Student Honor Code Council in a manner that supports professionalism and integrity.
  • To assure support for student diversity issues.

Center for Institutional, Faculty, and Student Success


  1. To maintain an attrition rate of <4%.
  2. To support all students with individual academic counseling and planning that will lead to success in graduation and residency attainment.
  3. To support all students with psychological counseling on campus and access to confidential psychological and/or psychiatric services off campus.
  4. To provide all students with advisement on board study and board preparation.
  5. To develop student success workshops/programs.
  6. To oversee and assure students with disabilities are accommodated appropriately for success.
  7. To oversee and assure a supportive faculty/student advisor program.
  8. Work to establish a collaborative and involved culture between all individuals involved in the academic support of the student; develop and oversee training for faculty on student interventions.

Faculty and Staff:

  1. To assure a staff development program that supports the success of the employee.
  2. To provide a program offering tuition assistance to students who seek further education for their position.
  3. To provide a robust faculty development program offering online and in-person programs for education and research that enables VCOM to meet other strategic goals.

Institutional Success:

  1. To assure VCOM meets all state requirements for licensing where required.
  2. To assure VCOM meets all national COCA accreditation standards.
  3. To assure accurate and responsible reporting of VCOM outcomes annually.
  4. Support all new accreditation initiatives, including VCOM-Louisiana.

Marketing and Communications

  1. To maintain a website that communicates VCOM's mission, vision, and robust cadre of programs in a manner that engages students, residents, alumni, the community, and potential donors.
  2. Produce VCOM publications in a manner to continue to be recognized for national and international award winning publications.
  3. Communicate the VCOM mission and outstanding programs to a wide audience across the southeast U.S. and to students nationally through the website, student recruitment materials, annual reports, and advertisement.
  4. Engage a new system of advertisement to spread the news of VCOM achievements.
  5. Heighten the awareness of VCOM programs nationally, within and outside of the medical profession.
  6. Prepare new impact publications for each campus to include economic impact, state students educated, and alumni practice locations within the state.
  7. Prepare a new International Program publication.
  8. Continue to capture the essential photos for VCOM events and produce quality products including student annuals, graduation and white coat ceremonies, and other campus events as needed.

Building a Fourth Campus in Monroe, Louisiana

  1. The VCOM Divisions will implement the strategic plan in the years of development of the new VCOM-Louisiana campus. The Vice Presidents and Vice Provosts will assure the same quality education, research, and service programs are established on the campus, without detracting from the mission or success of the current VCOM campuses.
  2. The College will utilize the same organizational structure, curriculum, policies and procedures as on all VCOM campuses and will utilize the same planning procedures as was recently used to establish the Auburn campus.
  3. To finalize the identification of clinical sites for training and secure affiliation agreements.
  4. The College will provide the same resources from each Division as described in the Mission, goals, and strategic initiatives to develop the new campus.
  5. VCOM is committed to the educational continuum in Louisiana from pipelines programs to the osteopathic medical education program, and to the building of new graduate medical education.
  6. To secure new market tax credits to build a state-of-the-art facility.