Skip to main content
VCOM Virginia Campus

VCOM Strategic Plan

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine 2018-2021 Strategic Plan

History of the Strategic Plan 

The process for the 2015-2020 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. The Officers (Deans, Vice Presidents, and Vice Provosts) are charged with overseeing the development of the plan. The College Division Officers performed research through surveys of alumni, applicants, and current students. An initial comprehensive document was developed and will serve as a guide for the college for the years 2015-2020.

In the spring of 2018, the Strategic Plan was updated to continue through 2021. Through a review of all major goals, it was determined that most had been accomplished in the strategic plan (although some were ongoing). 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 Provost and the Executive Committee of the Board, it was determined that the addition of a Louisiana Campus was consistent with the VCOM 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 2018-2021, which included the VCOM-Louisiana Campus. The Louisiana opportunity was also presented to the Deans of the current 3 VCOM campuses, who were strategic in selecting the new Dean to lead the Louisiana Campus.

Mission and Objectives of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

Mission and Objectives of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

The MISSION of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) is to prepare globally-minded, community-focused physicians to meet the needs of rural and medically underserved populations and promote research to improve human health.

Goal 1:  To provide education in the art and science of osteopathic medicine.


  • To provide osteopathic medical education and research focused on evidence based medicine, patient centered care, the body’s innate ability to heal, the relationship of structure to function, and the clinical application of osteopathic manipulation.
  • To prepare students and measure their performance in the osteopathic medical competencies.
  • To prepare students to successfully pass all levels of COMLEX USA examinations.
  • To prepare students to successfully match into accredited residency programs.
  • To foster a culture of faculty growth and institutional excellence through:
    • CME and faculty development;
    • Continuous examination, review and update of curriculum and recognition for excellence in teaching;
    • Annual review and research on new developments in medical education, new delivery models and technology; and
  • Support for faculty research, innovation, and scholarly work in the areas of biomedical, clinical, educational, public health and health policy research.
  • To support the osteopathic medical education continuum, including on campus preclinical education and high quality, structured community based clinical graduate medical education.

Goal 2:  To recruit and graduate students who will address health care disparities including those related to rural locations, minority populations, poverty status, and primary care.


  • Recruit students from, and educate students in the socioeconomically depressed regions of the southern states including southern Appalachia, the former tobacco and cotton regions, and the Delta. 
  • Recruit students with a strong desire to care for medically underserved populations.
  • To foster medical students with a desire and demonstrated commitment to an enhanced understanding of global healthcare and disaster medicine.
  • To foster primary care, and healthcare for medically underserved populations.

Goal 3:  To generate, promote, and disseminate medical knowledge in disease prevention, chronic disease management, community health, and public health practices through Appalachian, former tobacco and cotton regions, Delta, and International outreach programs.

Goal 4:  To advance scientific knowledge through medical research.


  • Biomedical Research
  • Clinical Research
  • Preventive Medicine Research
  • Educational Research
  • Osteopathic Principles and Practice Research

Goal 5:  To serve as an advocate of osteopathic medicine, rural health, mission medicine and affordable, accessible healthcare for the medically underserved.


  • To promote primary care practices.
  • To promote osteopathic distinctive practices.
  • To develop a diverse workforce of physicians who will serve and/or practice in medically underserved populations.
  • To provide medical outreach to rural communities and the uninsured.
  • To promote global health through mission medicine.

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine 2018-2021 Strategic Plan

Purpose:  The 2015 – 2021 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.  The Strategic Plan will facilitate VCOM in becoming known for excellence in the following programs:

  • Academic Medicine
  • Research
  • Rural Health
  • Primary Care
  • Appalachian and Delta Health Improvement
  • Global Health Improvement

Strategies to Achieve excellence:  The 2015 – 2021 VCOM 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. 

Strategic Goal 1: VCOM will successfully establish a Louisiana Campus to enroll students by 2020, will complete all years for the VCOM Auburn Campus with graduation in spring of 2019, and continue to nurture the Carolinas and Virginia Campuses in order to expand the number of physicians in the Southeast United States where the greatest physician shortages exist and where life expectancy is approximately 10 years shorter than the Northeast United States.

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will complete the construction of the Louisiana Campus, attain all COCA approvals and enroll the first students on campus by 2020.
  • VCOM-Louisiana Campus will recruit a talented faculty and staff for the Campus sufficient in number to deliver a high-quality curriculum and to establish a productive research program
  • VCOM-Auburn will graduate the first class and achieve a successful residency match by 2019.
  • All VCOM campuses will achieve excellent outcomes in education, research, and graduate placement.

Strategic Goal 2: By the 2020 academic year, VCOM will become one of the largest osteopathic medical schools in the country and be the resource for primary care physicians in the Appalachian and Delta regions of the Southeast United States.

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will recruit students from and train students in the rural and medically underserved areas of the Appalachian and Delta regions.
  • VCOM will have greater than 50% of graduates from each campus entering primary care residencies (internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, and primary obstetrics and gynecology).
  • VCOM will lose less than 5% of graduates who are completing primary care residencies to specialty fellowships.
  • VCOM will have greater than 50% of graduates entering practice in the Appalachian and Delta states in the southeast U.S.
  • VCOM will continue to have significant numbers of students enter the additional identified areas of need in the Appalachian and Delta States, by medical specialty including psychiatry, emergency medicine, and general surgery.

Strategic Goal 3: VCOM will assure excellence in the facilities and grounds of the academic campuses, meeting the needs of faculty and students.

Measures of Success:

  • The VCOM-Louisiana campus will be complete by summer of 2019
  • VCOM will adopt a no deferred maintenance policy on all campuses to assure a pleasant appearance and student experience on each campus
  • VCOM will assure the landscape and facilities for each campus are maintained at a standard of excellence and to meet the needs of students and faculty
  • VCOM will provide outdoor venues for the well-being of students and faculty on each campus
  • VCOM will assure facility needs of faculty and students are met in a timely and efficient manner through the use of the VCOM ticketing system

Strategic Goal 4: VCOM will be known for excellence in technology for the support of education and research.

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will maintain the state of the art in educational technology
  • VCOM will maintain state of the art wireless capacity and support on each campus for faculty, students, and staff
  • VCOM will provide and support state of the art technology in the VCOM Simulation and Technology Centers
  • VCOM will provide the necessary IT resources to meet the needs of all faculty, staff, and students
  • VCOM will maintain VCOM TV to assure all students have access for review and study on or off campus
  • VCOM will provide academic support for the curriculum and students including a student and faculty friendly website, the CANVAS curriculum host, and will build and maintain an internal network for easy navigation of protected documents
  • The VCOM electronic library will be assured to be available to all students and faculty, whether located on campus or in the clinical sites
  • VCOM will assure IT needs of faculty and students are met in a timely manner through the VCOM ticketing system

Strategic Goal 5: VCOM students will be known for outstanding academic achievement

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will continue to recruit a high achieving student body with incoming excellent overall and science GPAs.
  • The VCOM student body of each campus will achieve a 90% or greater first time pass rate on all COMLEX exams and a 99 to 100% final attempt pass rate. 
  • The VCOM student body on each campus will achieve a 3-digit COMLEX score that is in the top 25% or greater for each campus when compared to all colleges.
  • VCOM will establish a system of competencies and milestones to assure each student is prepared for the clinical environment and each fourth-year student is prepared for residency.
  • VCOM will assure each student attains each of the osteopathic core competencies in pre-clinical preparation and in core clinical training.

Strategic Goal 6:  VCOM will become nationally known for excellence in research

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will recruit, cultivate, and develop a faculty body skilled and advanced in biomedical, clinical, and educational research on each campus
  • VCOM will fund and promote faculty development programs and/or research retreats annually to promote faculty expertise in educational, biomedical, public health, and clinical research
  • VCOM will host an annual Research Day on each campus to provide the opportunity for faculty to share research accomplishments, students and resident opportunities to compete, and as a method to value and reward faculty research
  • VCOM will promote and nurture research collaborative partnerships across the VCOM campuses through research retreats, via Zoom, and through frequent sharing of information by research administration
  • VCOM will develop, nurture, and fund research collaborations with university partners for each campus in order to establish and build upon multi-investigator projects that lead to future external funding
  • VCOM will develop, nurture, and fund clinical research opportunities for faculty in collaboration with the core clinical training sites and it’s GME partners
  • VCOM will fund on campus fellowships, assuring each fellow is required to participate in research
  • VCOM will increase research publications to not less than 50 publications college-wide per seeking to become a leader in research as an osteopathic medical school
  • VCOM will increase external funding for faculty research projects by 50% within three years to become one of the leading osteopathic medical schools in funded research 
  • VCOM will build a reputation within 5 years as a leading medical school in innovation and discovery in biomedical, clinical, and educational research 
  • VCOM faculty will be charged with presenting their work annually in through presentations and posters at national specialty research venues.
  • VCOM will assure an avenue for faculty to promote, market, and present the intellectual property of the faculty

Strategic Goal 7: VCOM will be known to hospital partners, residency programs, and core clinical training sites as a resource for quality clinical education

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will continue to fund and nurture current clinical core partnerships to facilitate a high-quality clinical education program
  • VCOM will continue to contract with all core clinical faculty and to provide annual face to face meetings, and on-line ongoing communication between Chairs and core clinical faculty in order to promote quality and consistency in the core clinical training program
  • VCOM will provide faculty development (on line and/or in person) to all core clinical sites
  • VCOM will continue to form partnerships with residency training programs and to assist in the development of new residency training programs to promote the clinical educational continuum and residencies in the Southeast United States
  • VCOM will provide resources to clinical sites and residency programs through the Simulation and Technology Centers so to form clinical partnerships that are valued by clinical faculty and administration

Strategic Goal 8:  VCOM will be known for innovation in medical education

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM faculty will develop innovative models for curriculum delivery that facilitate student interest and student achievement.
  • VCOM faculty from each campus will present in national medical education arenas annually on new innovations in educational delivery
  • VCOM will be a leader in innovative medical curriculum delivery through the production of scholarly work, the development of intellectual property, and publication
  • VCOM faculty will develop new curricular models for current medical challenges facing society such as patient safety, effective prevention, clinical genetics, health information and patient outcomes, opioid and heroin addiction treatment to address the current needs of today’s society

Strategic Goal 9:  VCOM will be known for the diversity of its student body

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will continue to recruit and enroll a high number of minority students under-represented in medicine
  • VCOM will seek funding for minority scholarships for the student body
  • VCOM will continue to develop articulation agreements with HBCUs and campuses with high minority attendance
  • VCOM will continue to attend minority pre-medical conventions and events
  • VCOM will facilitate minority enrollment utilizing the campus SNMA for personal encouragement calls and to serve as role models for minority applicants
  • VCOM will provide a nurturing environment for minority students to build a reputation as a minority friendly medical school
  • VCOM will continue to recruit minority faculty and staff so to serve as a role model in providing and nurturing such opportunities

Strategic Goal 10:  VCOM will be known as a leader in global health

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will maintain positive relationships with government, international medical schools, and non-governmental organizations to continue the current year round clinic experiences and outreach programs for students in Honduras, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic
  • VCOM will expand the international opportunities to meet the needs for students from all campuses to participate in international/global outreach
  • VCOM will utilize the new Epidemiology and Public Health faculty and the International Faculty Champions to update and build a robust international curriculum for the one-week health interventions and the one-month clinical rotations
  • VCOM will provide funding, equipment, and physician resources to support the partnership for the new pediatric clinic in the Dominican Republic.
  • VCOM will provide continuous education for the VCOM full time clinical                                     faculty from the El Salvador, Honduran, and Dominican Republic clinics
  • VCOM will provide research and seek funding for the international research                                 health intervention programs

Strategic Goal 11:  VCOM will be known for its service-based learning opportunities in Appalachia

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will continue the successful Mini-medical school programs in Appalachia from the Virginia and Carolinas campuses and expand those programs into Alabama
  • VCOM will continue the current collaborations with free clinics, rural community clinics, and community health centers to provide free healthcare for patients from target rural and underserved communities. VCOM will expand these opportunities to rural Alabama
  • VCOM will develop and publicize its outreach program to rural Alabama for the Early Clinical Experiences program providing faculty physicians and medical student services to rural Alabama citizens to improve the health and well-being of this population

Strategic Goal 12: VCOM will become known for excellence through publication of its recognitions and awards for academics, research, and the Appalachian and global health outreach programs.

Measures of Success: 

  • Publications in and outside of VCOM will include announcements of VCOM awards assuring VCOM excellence is made known to a larger audience
  • VCOM’s Admissions and Marketing and Communications Offices will work together to improve and expand the knowledge of applicants regarding VCOM’s academic opportunities
  • VCOM’s Marketing and Communications office will assure the accomplishments of VCOM and it’s faculty and students are announced to a greater audience, promoting the programs that have achieved excellence, the awards and achievements of VCOM faculty and students receive, and marketing VCOM outcomes to a larger audience
  • VCOM will develop a robust website to support 3 campuses and tell the VCOM story of excellence
  • VCOM will increase the number of publications and advertisements by 50%

Strategic Goal 13:  VCOM will become known for its proactive approach to student support and subsequent improved student outcomes.

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will continue to develop the Center for Institutional, Faculty, and Student Success to ensure the success of its students
  • VCOM will continue to conduct educational research that explores the impact of academic support services
  • The Center for Institutional, Faculty, and Student Success will present in national medical education arenas annually on new innovations in academic support
  • Students receiving required academic support will experience statistically significant improvements in their overall GPA, number of failed exams, and COMSAE/COMLEX first-time pass rates and mean scores
  • VCOM will continue to decrease it attrition rate due to improved student outcomes

Strategic Goal 14:  VCOM will become known for its commitment to teaching excellence

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will seek innovative ways to deploy faculty development offerings pertaining to teaching and learning to on and off campus faculty
  • VCOM will develop an annual new hire orientation for faculty
  • VCOM will support and promote innovations in teaching
  • VCOM will increase its feedback to faculty regarding teaching practices through a formal classroom observation system

Strategic Goal 15:  VCOM will continue to grow the number of applications through strategic advertising and recruitment

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will advertise student outcomes when recruiting
  • VCOM will advertise VCOM’s supportive environment for students when recruiting including:
    • The Center for Institutional, Faculty, and Student Success resources and successes
    • Student health and wellness programs
    • Student recreational opportunities
    • Student global health and service based learning opportunities
    • Via Wellness activities

Strategic Goal 16VCOM will build financial reserves and reduce debt to a position of long-term strength

Measures of Success:

  • Ensure that all financial operations, performance indicators and results support the strategic priorities, as well as the individual campus requirements
  • Expand existing financial reserves through conservative stewardship of funds and operating efficiencies
  • Explore and stabilize health care/health insurance costs for faculty and students
  • Reduce facility debt while expanding facility resources
  • Increase research funding two-fold over 5 years
  • Finance leadership will assure an annual clean audit
  • Increase reserves by not less than $1 million in year 1, $3 million in year 2, $4 million in year 3, and $6 million in year 4
  • Increase VCOM gifts and scholarships by not less than five-fold over the next 5 years

Strategic Goal 17: VCOM will establish a Development Office with leadership with a strong history of private fundraising

Measures of Success:

  • VCOM will support the new VP for Development who will oversee fundraising activities on all campuses
  • VCOM will develop a robust fundraising plan to include private donations, foundations, and industry committed to improving the health of the southern Appalachian states
  • VCOM will develop and implement a successful fundraising plan that includes significantly increase academic and rural health scholarships
  • VCOM will develop and implement a successful fundraising plan for strategic initiatives in improving Appalachian health
  • VCOM will develop and implement a successful fundraising plan for strategic initiatives in improving Global health.