Paul Rothman, Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, recently announced our institution’s new strategic plan. The plan was developed over the last several months with the input of hundreds of faculty, staff and trustees. I hope many of you will take the time to look at it—it’s not a long read. I won’t excerpt it here, but what I’d like to emphasize is that of the six strategic priorities that compose the plan, global impact is explicitly listed in three of them.
Given our history, that isn’t surprising. Going back all the way to the mission laid out for us by Mr. Johns Hopkins himself, this institution has had an impact well beyond the population that happens to live close to our hospitals—and even well beyond those who travel here to our hospitals from afar, as many do. (Helping to ease the challenges of traveling for care is an important part of what we do here at Johns Hopkins Medicine International.)
Johns Hopkins Medicine’s aim to have global impact has been embedded in our tripartite mission—patient care, medical research and medical education. Thus, for example, training new generations of outstanding physicians, most of whom will end up serving patients in other cities and countries, enables the institution to have impact on the quality of care for patients throughout the world.
In addition, by fostering the development of breakthroughs and new treatments in our research, we help discover and clarify for clinicians and health care systems around the world which practices and tools they need to help patients achieve better outcomes. Consider, for example, the work of Johns Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, whose work and expertise has been drawn on by hospitals all over the U.S. and the world.
We also have the Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose faculty have been leaders in studying and implementing ways developing countries can enlist policy, education and outreach in order to improve population health and safety.
What we’re doing here at JHI is yet another, very different yet complementary approach to global impact. It’s an approach that’s a more recent addition to this already impressive line-up, as well as one that has required our doing a lot of pioneering work in a field that barely existed two decades ago. Our mission at JHI is to help other countries strengthen health care delivery, and where possible to help those countries create their own tripartite health care infrastructures. Working with local institutions, be it government agencies or private organizations, we help make sure these efforts have the needed expertise, practices, people and management required to get such ambitious projects off the ground, and to help them thrive and remain sustainable enterprises.
Whether it’s collaborating to help establish a series of local primary care clinics, as we’re doing in India; or adding specialty care to existing hospitals, as we’re doing in Peru; improving the clinical research infrastructure, as we’re doing in China; or helping to build and operate an entire tripartite medical center, as we’re doing in Malaysia, we’re trying to give populations everywhere a chance to get local access to the sort of high-quality, safe health care institutions that many Americans take for granted.
That these efforts have become a part of the overall Johns Hopkins Medicine strategic plan makes us very proud. Our colleagues throughout Johns Hopkins have long set an incredibly high standard of achievement and impact, and we are doing everything we can to be worthy of standing alongside them with our piece of the mission.