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UW School of Dentistry Strategic Plan

Advancing Oral Health for All

A five-year strategic plan for the School of Dentistry


To advance oral and craniofacial health as a global leader in collaborative education, personalized patient care, commitment to serving community needs and continuous improvement through discovery and innovation.


To lead the achievement of optimal population health through accessible oral and craniofacial healthcare for all.


Excellence, Collaboration, Service,  Respect, Innovation and Integrity

Strategic Plan Brochure Cover

View the Advancing Oral Health for All Booklet (PDF)

Tracking Implementation Progress

Strategic Plan

Strategic Priority 1: Providing optimal lifelong healthcare for individuals, communities and populations

The care we provide will exhibit the six domains of healthcare quality defined by the National Academy of Medicine; these domains describe healthcare that is Safe, Effective, Person-Centered, Timely, Efficient and Equitable. We increase our ability to meet oral healthcare needs both through expanded services and by intentional focus on professional training to meet these needs.

Goal 1.1 Improve access to UW School of Dentistry oral and craniofacial care

  • Objective 1.1.1 Examine current practices to identify and implement new approaches for ensuring person-centered care at the School.
  • Objective 1.1.2 Identify, respect and address barriers to care experienced by individuals, communities and populations we serve at the School.
  • Objective 1.1.3 Collaborate with community partners to improve health outcomes for patients receiving care at School clinics.
  • Objective 1.1.4 Expand and sustain training through the DECOD (Dental Education in the Care of Persons with Disabilities) Program and within all School clinics serving marginalized patient populations.


Goal 1.2 Expand and maintain efforts and initiatives to improve health outcomes of patients and communities experiencing great need.

  • Objective 1.2.1 Expand training opportunities through the UW Service-Learning Rotation Program to meet additional community healthcare needs.
  • Objective 1.2.2 Address oral healthcare needs of rural and other underserved populations by increased training and services offered through Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE).
  • Objective 1.2.3 Partner with other regional and global educational programs to provide collaborative and interprofessional community healthcare services that are sustainable.


Goal 1.3 Advance the integration of oral and craniofacial health with overall health to improve our patient and community outcomes.

  • Objective 1.3.1 Promote opportunities for trainees, staff and faculty to participate in interprofessional education programs and practice.
  • Objective 1.3.2 Intentionally support patient and community oral health literacy with information and behavioral strategies to facilitate effective and efficient navigation of healthcare systems.


Strategic Priority 2: Generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge

We will continue to build upon our reputation for collaborative, innovative and impactful research, as well as for outstanding evidence-based professional education and oral healthcare, resulting in knowledge that we share with the world.

Goal 2.1 Create the depth of faculty experiences and skills needed to sustain excellent teaching, service and research.

  • Objective 2.1.1 Regularly assess our faculty workforce to determine areas of strength and areas for development, then use this information to inform the School’s Annual Faculty Recruiting and Hiring Action Plan.
  • Objective 2.1.2 Develop a mentoring program for early-career faculty and provide mentor training to more senior faculty, to ensure the preservation of valuable institutional knowledge and viable succession plans.



Goal 2.2 Apply evidence-based approaches for teaching, learning and trainee wellbeing to serve an increasingly diverse group of trainees with varied career interests.

  • Objective 2.2.1 Encourage and invest in the professional development of all faculty.
  • Objective 2.2.2 Draw on the best established and emerging pedagogical approaches to provide inclusive, equitable and trainee-centered teaching.
  • Objective 2.1.3 Ensure the School’s curriculum and training experiences provide the knowledge and skills required to meet the oral and craniofacial care needs of today’s communities and others that may be served in the future.



Goal 2.3 Provide educational experiences that allow all trainees to tailor learning to reach their respective professional aspirations.

  • Objective 2.3.1 Offer short, evidence-based continuing education courses on advanced oral and craniofacial treatment techniques at no cost to trainees.
  • Objective 2.3.2 Collaborate with other health professionals to provide post-graduate certificate programs in non-specialty areas.



Goal 2.4 Promote a broad appreciation of the UW School of Dentistry’s global
leadership in high-quality, evidence-based education, healthcare and research.

  • Objective 2.4.1 Create a lay media series to promote greater understanding of topics related to oral health and UW’s healthcare services; it will be highly accessible, especially to underserved and marginalized communities.
  • Objective 2.4.2 Develop interprofessional courses on oral and craniofacial health for use with other health professions.
  • Objective 2.4.3 Sustainably expand our participation in community-based events focused on exploring career opportunities in oral and craniofacial health that will appeal to Washington’s diverse youth population.



Goal 2.5: Ensure that predoctoral trainees have the skills needed to critically analyze and design research.

  • Objective 2.5.1 Initiate literature review seminars for predoctoral trainees.
  • Objective 2.5.2 Create research opportunities focused on rural and underserved populations for predoctoral RIDE students.
  • Objective 2.5.3 Develop and expand non-intensive research opportunities for all predoctoral students throughout the curriculum.



Goal 2.6: Create a highly collaborative and inclusive culture for researchers at all stages of their careers.

  • Objective 2.6.1 Establish an informational platform for disseminating papers and posters authored by faculty and trainees.
  • Objective 2.6.2 Form an interdisciplinary group to promote more faculty involvement in educational research.
  • Objective 2.6.3 Create a digital discussion platform that meets our community of researchers where they are in their respective professional development plans.


Strategic Priority 3: Intentionally promoting a culture of belonging and well-being

At the University of Washington School of Dentistry, we are striving to create and maintain a workplace where all trainees, staff, faculty, patients and alumni are seen, heard, valued, safe and supported, and can feel proud and connected. We enthusiastically bring our authentic selves to the School every day!

Goal 3.1 Create and sustain a culture that is known for ensuring that everyone is seen, heard, valued, safe and supported.

  • Objective 3.1.1 Use climate surveys to assess and to set goals for how well our cultural norms provide a place where faculty, staff and trainees feel respected by the administration, peers, alumni and one another.
  • Objective 3.1.2 Develop and promote ways to ensure that all members of our community feel empowered and know they can contribute to making the School a place where everyone thrives.
  • Objective 3.1.3 Identify and put into practice strategies for ensuring that patients and research participants feel respected for their contributions to our mission.



Goal 3.2 Intentionally provide an environment that helps all trainees, staff, faculty and patients to thrive and succeed.

  • Objective 3.2.1 Ensure that all trainees, staff and faculty have the tools, resources, encouragement and mentoring they need to successfully meet professional expectations for their roles.
  • Objective 3.2.2 Provide the resources and support that all patients and research participants need to successfully navigate our School’s systems and achieve their goals.



Goal 3.3: Make it possible for all members of the community to feel pride in and connection to our School and commitment to our collective future success.

  • Objective 3.3.1 Make it possible for all members of the community to feel pride in and connection to our School and commitment to our collective future success.
  • Objective 3.3.2 Identify and provide opportunities for trainees, staff and faculty to participate in ongoing improvements to the School’s teaching, service and research.
  • Objective 3.3.3 Develop and promote strategies to engage the entire School community in School-sponsored activities and events that increase our connectedness with one another and build a culture of connection.
  • Objective 3.3.4 Create mechanisms for our patients and research participants to refer their friends and family to the School, and strategies or systems that ensure we appropriately demonstrate our appreciation for their contributions.


Strategic Priority 4: Harnessing innovative technologies and processes for the future of healthcare and health research

We embrace the boundless possibilities of innovative and emerging technologies and processes to prepare trainees and to serve the oral healthcare needs of our patients.

Goal 4.1 Utilize innovative evidence-based technologies, procedures and processes to improve oral health quality of life for UW School of Dentistry patients.

  • Objective 4.1.1 Apply evidence-based technologies and procedures to improve disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment planning and treatment delivery for our patients.
  • Objective 4.1.2 Use technology to improve the efficiency and productivity of oral healthcare and decrease its cost.
  • Objective 4.1.3 Optimize access to care for our patients through telehealth and related technologies.



Goal 4.2 Use technology and innovative approaches to facilitate integrated healthcare services for our patients.

  • Objective 4.2.1 Facilitate smooth patient referrals between departments and with outside providers, with the use of technology.
  • Objective 4.2.2 Provide optimal interdisciplinary healthcare, facilitated by the use of technology.
  • Objective 4.2.3 Improve communication with patients through straightforward systems, using innovative and user-friendly technologies and processes.
  • Objective 4.2.4 Institute a medically integrated electronic health record (EHR) system.



Goal 4.3 Realize the full potential of technology for creating excellent educational experiences.

  • Objective 4.3.1 Provide evidence-based technological tools for teacher and trainee interaction and support faculty in using them effectively.
  • Objective 4.3.2 Utilize best educational practices to create user-friendly course sites and purposely-designed online learning experiences.
  • Objective 4.3.3 Employ high-security online assessment systems that maintain student privacy and are user-friendly for both faculty and students.
  • Objective 4.3.4 Ensure that trainees are well-educated in the underlying principles of a broad variety of emerging evidence-based techniques and experienced in their clinical applications.



Goal 4.4 Generate innovative technologies through research

  • Objective 4.4.1 Prioritize research and development of new healthcare technology.
  • Objective 4.4.2 Initiate learner-centered training for implementation and utilization of new technology.
  • Objective 4.4.3 Provide global leadership in developing digital oral and craniofacial healthcare technologies and procedures.
  • Objective 4.4.4 Actively participate in developing, implementing, adopting and advocating for new and promising technologies and innovative procedures, processes and approaches.


Strategic Priority 5: Demonstrating responsible stewardship of all resources

Sound stewardship is essential to our capacity to realize the goals of all our priorities. We are committed to responsible use of the School’s resources, including our people, materials, the environment and finances.

GOAL 5.1 Develop budgets, plan resource allocations and increase revenues using databased criteria and collaborative processes that respect School values and acknowledge strategic planning priorities.

  • Objective 5.1.1 Ensure trust and transparency across the Dean’s office and unit leadership in budget processes by sharing data-driven processes, demonstrating alignment with the Strategic Plan and engaging in collaborative decision-making.
  • Objective 5.1.2 Formalize a budget request process that stipulates performance metrics and ensures financial sustainability for units and the School.
  • Objective 5.1.3 Create budget request templates that include the following: purpose, mission fit, financial impact and benefits to the unit, the School and the community.
  • Objective 5.1.4 Maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of all units and their operations through the use of data and performance metrics.



GOAL 5.2 Optimize the efficiency of our patient onboarding process.

  • Objective 5.2.1  Set, monitor and meet objectives for patient wait list times.
  • Objective 5.2.2 Optimize technological resources to communicate with prospective patients and patients of record and support patients in using online and other approaches.
  • Objective 5.2.3 Expand and strengthen the patient referral base, including through integration with UW Medicine, Epic and/or other health record systems.



GOAL 5.3 Achieve sustainability in staffing while maintaining efficient and effective operations of all School clinics, classrooms, research and service.

  • Objective 5.3.1 Identify and adopt clinical teaching models that offer the most effective teaching and patient care combined with financial efficiency and sustainability.
  • Objective 5.3.2 Attain staff and faculty turnover rates in all units that exceed benchmarks for academic health settings.
  • Objective 5.3.3 Utilize faculty, staff, student and patient surveys, along with operational data to understand and improve efficiency and effectiveness of our School’s clinical, classroom, research and service operations.



GOAL 5.4 Achieve sustainability in material resource management, while maintaining efficient operations of all School clinics, and applying sound environmental stewardship practices.

  • Objective 5.4.1 Evaluate strategic partnerships with our vendors to reduce costs of instruments, supplies, materials and other technologies and reduce negative environmental impacts.
  • Objective 5.4.2 Create and share an inventory tool with departments that reduces waste and creates greater efficiencies in how we use supplies and materials.
  • Objective 5.4.3 Set performance goals for staffing and financial sustainability, operational efficiency and waste reduction, while ensuring support through training and the tools necessary to meet these goals.


Implementation Leads

Strategic Priority 1: Providing optimal lifelong healthcare for individuals, communities and populations
Natasha Flake and Frank Roberts

Strategic Priority 2: Generating, disseminating and preserving knowledge
Donald Chi and Sara Gordon

Strategic Priority 3: Intentionally promoting a culture of belonging and well-being
Susan Coldwell and Douglass Jackson

Strategic Priority 4: Harnessing innovative technologies and processes for the future of healthcare and health research
Ali Sadr and Ricardo Schwedhelm

Strategic Priority 5: Demonstrating responsible stewardship of all resources
Renni Bispham and Gary Farris

View the Full Plan (PDF)