Context for the RBHS Strategic Plan

The RBHS strategic plan, guided by and built upon the university’s plan, addresses the Rutgers aspiration to be recognized as one of the nation’s outstanding public institutions; all initiatives focus on Rutgers’ core missions of research, education, and community engagement. Many of Rutgers’ integrating themes provide the framework for RBHS initiatives, including local and global culture, diversity, and inequality (i.e., respecting cultural differences and diversity, while minimizing inequalities); improving individual and population health and wellness; and conducting interdisciplinary research through innovation, engineering, and technology to address sustainability challenges. Further, two of Rutgers’ strategic priorities are particularly relevant and central to the RBHS plan: building faculty excellence and enhancing public prominence.

Many elements strongly influenced the development of the RBHS strategic plan, including:

  • the dramatically changing health care environment;
  • RBHS’s current standing and strengths relative to its peers and aspirant institutions;
  • the goals of the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act, the 2012 legislation that led to the integration of Rutgers and many units of the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ);

Goals that provided direction for the strategic plan included a desire to:

  • focus on health-related initiatives that cut across schools/programs and enable RBHS to become greater than the sum of its parts;
  • integrate across Rutgers and bring together RBHS and other Rutgers faculty with appropriate expertise and common interests;
  • provide resources as needed to support existing gaps;
  • utilize a planning process that was broad-based, inclusive, and transparent; and
  • include both RBHS and non-RBHS faculty to ensure that health-related collaborative opportunities across the large Rutgers community are considered and to ensure that RBHS plans are aligned with the Rutgers-wide plans and those of the geographic divisions.

Further, the RBHS strategic plan recognizes that excellence is required across all clinical programs because of its health care delivery mission and the need to provide comprehensive health services to local communities and New Jersey’s citizens. Consequently, RBHS will strive to provide excellence in primary care and in specialized clinical care services in behavioral health, dental medicine, environmental and occupational health, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and health-related professions. Similarly, comprehensive excellence is essential for educational programs. Clinical and educational initiatives will be developed accordingly. In contrast, however, in considering research programs, an attempt to achieve excellence in all areas would result in none that would be truly exceptional. Therefore, research initiatives will focus on a limited number of signature programs—those capable of achieving excellence and poised to lead multi-investigator, multi-project, and training grant applicationswith the potential to be among the best in the nation.