The City of Hope Board of Directors unanimously approved the organization’s 2007-2013 strategic plan and campus master plan at a board retreat held Sept. 26 and 27.
The strategic plan describes the organization’s vision for the future, prioritizes programmatic initiatives and provides clear metrics to evaluate progress, while the campus master plan details the facilities and technologies necessary to achieve the organization’s strategic goals.
“I am extremely optimistic about our future,” said Philip Engel, chairman of the City of Hope board. “We aspire to become the leading cancer center in Southern California and a top 20 cancer center nationally by 2013. Our strategic plan provides a detailed road map to our future.”
City of Hope President and Chief Executive Officer Michael A. Friedman, M.D., expressed confidence in the plan’s goals and City of Hope’s ability to achieve them. “We know it’s an ambitious plan, but we also know we are uniquely poised to carry it out,” Friedman said. “We’ve been fortunate to enjoy the success and growth we’ve experienced over the past few years. We need to be good stewards of those gains and manage our future growth strategically.”
The plan provides strategic guidelines to steer expansion along various lines while maintaining longstanding attributes — such as compassionate care — that are central to its mission. City of Hope will prioritize resources to develop leading research programs in immunotherapeutics and immunology, stem cells and developmental biology, experimental therapeutics, cancer biology and population sciences, for example. At the same time, the organization will strengthen clinical areas of excellence, including leukemia and lymphoma, and build robust programs in areas such as lung, gynecologic, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal cancers. It also will bolster the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, strengthening support for City of Hope’s academic programs.
City of Hope also must upgrade its technology and numerous facilities to support growing programs. The new campus master plan details these projects. Prominent projects include the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology, the Population Sciences Building, the Radiation Oncology facility, the Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center and installation of a clinical information system.
Friedman noted that the strategic plan dovetails with City of Hope’s recent direction. “Over the last year, we made significant contributions to science and medicine and developed new programs such as the Division of Population Sciences, chaired by Dr. Smita Bhatia,” explained Friedman. “We have laid the groundwork for the next steps in our evolution. Furthering our efforts will require greater efficiencies.”
The plans build on the growing momentum and prowess of City of Hope’s basic and translational research efforts. Earlier this year, for example, Beckman Research Institute Director Arthur Riggs, Ph.D., was elected to the National Academy of Science, reflecting the influential and creative research he has conducted at the campus. And newly recruited scientists, such as Hua Yu, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology, have bolstered research programs.
City of Hope also experienced a record-setting year for fundraising in 2006. Major gifts have boosted campaigns to build the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology and the Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center.
“This organization has never been stronger,” said Friedman. “We can all be proud of our achievements. We have worked diligently to position ourselves for even greater accomplishments.”
Last year, City of Hope leaders such as Theodore Krontiris, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president of medical and scientific affairs and director of City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, began the strategic planning process knowing that only a firm vision and solid plan could maintain and enhance clinical quality, patient volume and patients’ experiences. Krontiris conducted many months of fact-finding sessions in which program leaders across City of Hope gave presentations about their programs’ strengths and future growth.
“The possibilities presented by our staff, coupled with discussions over City of Hope’s central vision, culminated in the strategic and master plans,” said Krontiris.
With its vote, the board agreed that City of Hope must advance its centers of excellence, build additional infrastructure and provide greater research support to build an environment for the rapid, effective and safe translation of basic science discoveries into new treatments.
The strategic and master plans target 2013 because that is the institution’s 100th anniversary, Friedman explained, but they aim to guide City of Hope into the next century of research and treatment.
The plans were presented to the board by Friedman, Krontiris and Virginia Opipare, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Recent key hires will help oversee the plans’ implementation. Among the main leaders: Richard Jove, Ph.D., deputy director of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, chair and professor of the Division of Molecular Medicine and co-director of the cancer center’s Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Program; Robert Figlin, M.D., Arthur and Rosalie Kaplan Professor of Medical Oncology, chair of the Division of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research and associate director for clinical research; and Opipare.
Friedman began presenting the plans to the City of Hope community at a City Forum held Oct. 12. Employees will receive copies of the plans in the coming weeks. Staff members who have questions may direct them via e-mail to Krontiris at email@example.com.
A summary of the new strategic and master plans has been inserted into this edition of Hope News. It also is available at www.coh.org.