UVA Health rolls out new strategic plan

The University of Virginia Health System is one of the major drivers of the Charlottesville economy. Now the entity has released its first-ever 10-year strategic plan to guide its activities and physical growth. (view the plan

Dr. Craig Kent is the Chief Executive Officer of UVA Health and he begins with a question.

“Why does UVA Health exist?” Kent asked. “It’s to take care of our community. We have 16,000 people that are part of UVA Health and we have one focus in mind which is to take wonderful care of the patients and the people that need our help.” 

Dr. Kent said this is the first plan to cover all the missions of UVA Health. 

“We’ve been doing great things over the last ten years but this gives us a NorthStar and some direction of where we plan to head,” Dr. Kent said. 

The kickoff to the process began during the pandemic, but officials said they tried to capture as much community input as they could during the 18-month planning period. This involved employees and community members. 

“We did that in lots of creative ways,” said Jason Lineen is the Chief Strategy Officer for UVA Health. “It was a pandemic and a lot of virtual sessions. We launched a website where we had thousands of great suggestions coming from the communities that we serve.” 

Lineen said one aspect of the plan is to increase the number of primary care physicians in the areas around Charlottesville and Culpeper. He said that’s a direct result of community outreach. 

“A number of folks in Nelson County discovered our website and we have a small primary clinic out there and a little bit of a campaign was made to allow us and let us know that we have a great little primary clinic but there’s no retail pharmacy nearby and that community members had to drive 30 to 45 minutes to full up a prescription and we acted on that,” Lineen said. “Our pharmacy team has prioritized that as an initiative and we’re already making some progress.” 

Another initiative is to decrease wait times for clinics by restructuring the way they operate.

An overview of the components of the UVA Health Strategic Plan (view the whole plan) 

The plan has three components. One is related to workforce development, which Lineen said doing more to hire people who live in the community to work for UVA Health. Another is an increase the research output from UVA Health. 

“We are an academic health system and have an education and research mission,” Lineen said.

In January, UVA Health announced the gift of $100 million from the Manning Family Foundation for a new biotech research facility that will be constructed in the Fontaine Research Park. Dr. Kent said UVA Health will seek to recruit people to the area. 

“Probably up to a hundred researchers who do what we call translational research, meaning they invent things that are going to be in patients relatively soon,” Dr. Kent said. 

The building is under design at the moment but Dr. Kent said it would be between 250,000 and 300,000 square feet and a parking structure will be likely. 

“There are two research buildings there already and then we have a number of our clinics and different specialities that are there, but there’s a fair amount of space in the research park and that’s the place that we’re going to locate our new translational research building,” Dr. Kent said. 

Fontaine Research Center is within Albemarle County. The University of Virginia Architect created a master plan for the site in September 2018. (view that plan)

Some other things to keep in mind.

  • The city is finalizing design for the Fontaine Avenue Streetscape
  • Most of Fontaine Avenue is designated as either CX-5 under in Charlottesville’s draft zoning map though some areas are designated as CX-8.
  • The Piedmont family housing area in Albemarle County owned by the University of Virginia is slated for an affordable housing development. (learn more)

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the February 6, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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