For UF Health’s new strategic plan, The Power of Together, to truly take hold, it’s important for us to see how our day-to-day activities contribute to the big picture.
Launched in May, The Power of Together will carry UF Health through 2020. It builds on Forward Together, our last strategic plan, and we remain focused on becoming even more functionally integrated across colleges, research institutes, hospitals, practices and campuses.
Together, we strive to improve our communities and the health of our patients by zeroing in on our guiding principles — patient care, research, education, community engagement and growth and expansion.
We caught up with Melanie Fridl Ross, M.S.J., E.L.S., UF Health chief communications officer, to see how UF Health Communications is contributing to The Power of Together.
How can a non-clinical department support The Power of Together?
Like other units under the UF Health umbrella, our singular focus is ultimately on the patient, and the patient is truly at the heart of The Power of Together strategic plan. At first that might sound strange because we aren’t at the bedside administering care. But our efforts to communicate about clinical services, research advances and educational initiatives all, at the end of the day, aim to provide patients with the information they need to get the best care possible so they can achieve the best outcomes possible. And our internal communications are designed to support faculty and staff and the great work they do to meet their goals.
How did The Power of Together influence the new Communications strategic plan?
Having a solid strategic plan is essential because it identifies our shared vision, values and goals and creates a roadmap we can follow as we collectively work to move the academic health center forward across all our missions. We put a lot of thought into which of our marketing and communications activities best help advance the goals outlined in The Power of Together. The process enabled us to step back and evaluate our ongoing initiatives and requests for communications support. We worked with UF Health executive leaders to share how our team goals tied into The Power of Together plan to ensure they were comfortable with how we anticipated prioritizing our work as we seek to be good stewards of existing staff and operational resources.
What advice can you offer other departments that want to put The Power of Together into action?
We are part of a phenomenal organization with a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm for where we are headed. Understanding how your unit is uniquely positioned to support system goals and working with your team to identify clear and measureable objectives that align with them is essential to your long-term success. Involving all team members in the planning process helps ensure everyone is on board. Strategic planning, done right, is very satisfying and helps add clarity to the workday, and creates measureable ways to document success. And ultimately, if we all do our part, there will be great satisfaction in having helped to, as we like to say, “move medicine forward, with every patient we serve.”