Modeling the academic health center of the future
A review of the UF College of Medicine’s strategic plan accomplishments
Since Dean Colleen Koch, MD, MS, MBA, launched the UF College of Medicine’s new strategic plan, “Engage, Innovate, Excel 2026,” in early 2021, faculty, staff and trainees have made great strides toward accomplishing goals outlined in the plan’s seven pillars. Take a look at some early successes:
Diversity, inclusion and health care equity
Projects underway in this pillar include developing best practices for DEI-centric faculty and staff recruitment to build a more inclusive workforce; training and appointing equity advisers to serve on search and hiring committees; designating diversity liaisons from each department to set DEI advancement goals in their areas to recruit, involve, retain and promote faculty, staff, learners and trainees; launching a Diversity and Inclusion Lunch and Learn Series for faculty to share ideas on ways to become a more diverse and inclusive college; and participating in the Diversity, Inclusion, Culture and Equity inventory from the Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC, to review institutional DEI policies, practices and programs and identify strengths and areas for improvement.
Learn more about the college’s diversity liaison initiative
A new medical school curriculum launched in May teaches current and future clinicians about harnessing the power of AI for medical decision-making. Instead of relying on traditional online lectures, the curriculum’s courses are virtual and interactive, making extensive use of videos, comic strips, graphics and animations to appeal to a broad range of clinicians and students with different learning styles. AI courses are rare in formal medical education, putting UF at the forefront. The course’s e-book is approved for continuing medical education.
Learn more about the college’s AI curriculum
Several initiatives are leading to UF Health’s growth across the state, creating an extensive network of clinical care from Pensacola to Jacksonville, Marion County to The Villages and Daytona to South Florida. With this growth, the College of Medicine will support an integrated UF Health system that advances patient care, education and research to improve the health of the populations across the region.
Learn more about UF Health Central Florida
One initiative aiming to improve access, safety, equity and quality in clinical care focuses on continuity of care for a vulnerable population: adolescents needing to transition from pediatric to adult providers. Without guidance, young adults can go years, even decades, without the routine and preventive care and disease management they need. To address this gap at UF Health, a multifaceted, interdisciplinary program is linking pediatric clinicians, social workers and health coaches to prepare, educate and shift adolescents and young adults from pediatric to adult care.
Learn more about initiatives under the patient care pillar
A new College of Medicine Faculty Mentorship Resource Center is designed to form a centralized location where faculty can learn about and easily connect with the many existing resources UF has to offer, including mentorship from colleagues further along in their careers.
To continue fostering a culture of lifelong learning, UF’s Employee Education Program — which allows faculty and staff to receive tuition assistance for up to six credit hours of instruction per semester — opened for residents, fellows and adjunct clinical postdoctoral associates this spring.
Learn more about initiatives under the people pillar
With a record $121 million awarded to the College of Medicine from the National Institutes of Health in 2021, the medical school reached the top 25 in NIH funding among public universities. Record-breaking funding has enabled researchers to innovate across campus and beyond.
Thanks to UF’s partnership with the Silicon Valley-based company NVIDIA, faculty and students have also initiated research into AI tools and machine learning that will improve their ability to care for patients. A new PhD track that launched this fall also focuses on emerging science and AI for future researchers. Doctoral students in the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences who are interested in pursuing bioinformatics can join the Emerging Research Scholars-AI PhD Program, giving them additional support and training in AI for the first two years of their studies through the Office of Research.
Learn more about initiatives under the research pillar
Faculty representatives are participating in renowned training programs in quality, safety and health care delivery to bring novel initiatives to their home departments, with the goal of increasing high-value, patient-centered care. One project underway streamlines care for emergency room patients with low-risk chest pain by helping those who are not experiencing a heart attack receive outpatient care and testing from a cardiologist without being admitted to the hospital.