Sesquicentennial Strategic Plan

Evolution & Transformation:
Meharry 2026

Dear Meharrians:


It is with great pleasure that I share with you the Meharry 2026 Sesquicentennial Strategic Plan. This plan comes at a time of unprecedented growth and change for the institution and execution of this plan will make the next decade truly transformational in the history of Meharry Medical College. For over 140 years Meharry has striven to improve the health and health care of minority and underserved communities. Concurrently, Meharry has unwaveringly provided opportunities for people of color and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, delivered high quality health services, and engaged in research that fosters the elimination of health disparities.


The current strategic plan seeks to build upon this legacy by evolving to a new customer-centric operating philosophy and re-envisioning the educational, research and clinical practice models. This transformation is necessary if the institution is to remain viable and responsive to the needs of a changing society and even more rapidly evolving health care environment. Affordability and quality of services, fiscal sustainability, expanded reach and novel approaches to teaching and research, demand a re-envisioned 21st century institution. While holding fast to its historical mission, this plan will serve as the blueprint for a transformed Meharry on the 150th anniversary of its founding in 2026.


This strategic plan is the culmination of thousands of hours of work by faculty, staff, students, trustees and community members. I encourage you to read and familiarize yourself with this document and feel the pride and passion that only Meharry Medical College can imbue. Join us, as through this plan we continue to “Worship God through Service to Mankind.”




James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Meharry Medical College will celebrate its sesquicentennial — 150th anniversary — in 2026. At the invitation of James E.K. Hildreth, Meharry’s President and CEO, more than 70 faculty, staff and students were engaged in developing a Sesquicentennial Strategic Plan to ensure a successful future for Meharry as a national leader in professional health workforce development; a provider of quality, compassionate health care for the communities it serves; and a source of relevant scientific and clinical research and health policy formulation and analysis.


President Hildreth challenged the Meharry community to create an aspirational vision for the institution in developing this plan. The vision is ambitious, building upon Meharry’s legacy of education, research, health care and community service. Achieving that vision over a 10-year period will ensure that its legacy will endure for generations to come.


The planning process began in August 2016 and included the following major elements:

  • An external environment statement that anticipates the conditions under which Meharry will operate and identifies factors that influence decision making
  • Re-envisioned mission and core values statements in a 2026 context
  • A vision statement that describes Meharry in 2026
  • An institutional strategic agenda and set of priorities to guide resource acquisition and allocation
  • Multi-year academic and administrative unit plans for achieving the vision and goals
  • A campus master plan to guide the physical development of the “village campus”
  • A continuous planning process that will provide ongoing intelligence to maintain the plan as an active roadmap to the future


The Meharry community at large provided feedback through a combination of town hall meetings, focus groups and online review and comment.


Meharry Medical College is a global academic health sciences center advancing health equity through innovative research, transformative education, exceptional and compassionate health services and policy-influencing thought leadership. True to its legacy, Meharry empowers diverse populations to improve the well-being of humankind.

Core Values

Meharry Medical College is a community of scholars and learners committed to excellence.


These are our core values:

  • Accountability with transparency
  • Equity with inclusion
  • Respect with collegiality
  • Service with compassion
  • Integrity without exception


  • Establish a performance culture based on excellence and accountability.
  • Increase the production of diverse health care professionals and researchers.
  • Develop distinctive and pioneering approaches to teaching, health care, research, public health and health policy to achieve health equity.
  • Strategically expand reach.
  • Build a transformed, sustainable institutional economy.


Descriptive Vision

In 2026, Meharry Medical College will:

  • Have an enrollment of more than 1,700, including 900 medical students, 500 dental students and 300 graduate students.
  • Enroll students in:
    • Medicine
    • Dentistry
    • Biomedical science
    • Public health
    • Health policy
    • Health economics
    • Medical sociology
    • Data science
    • Physician assistant studies
    • Biomedical engineering
    • Bioinformatics
  • Enroll students from across the U.S. and around the world who aspire to improve the lives of disadvantaged populations.
  • Have a residential population of at least 1,200 on the “village campus.”
  • Be the national model for the delivery of inter-professional training for aspiring students and working professionals.
  • Be a leader in data-driven, health equity-focused research in the following areas:
    • Cancer
    • Educational effectiveness and performance
    • Infectious disease
    • Mental and behavioral health/substance abuse
    • Obesity/cardiovascular disease
    • Oral health
    • Precision medicine/health
  • Be the trailblazer in defining and implementing a new model for delivering value-based, patient-centered health care:
    • In Nashville
    • In rural Tennessee and the Mississippi Delta
    • In urban communities across the U.S.
  • Be a national leader in clinical medicine in:
    • Cancer
    • Infectious disease
    • Mental and behavioral health/substance abuse
    • Obesity/cardiovascular disease
    • Oral health
  • Have a network of regional, national and international partners to expand its clinical reach and provide additional educational opportunities for students and residents.
  • Have a comprehensive multi-specialty group practice composed of technologically adept primary care and specialist physicians, dentists and oral surgeons, advance practice nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, optometrists, nutritionists, behaviorists, and community health workers who provide value-based, patient-centered health care.
  • Collaborate in the design and implementation of focused synergistic community networks that complement MMC’s education, research and clinical missions and provide leverage for service engagement opportunities.

1. Establish a Performance Culture Based on Excellence and Accountability

A. Maintain a culture of continuous improvement based on the regularly scheduled collection, analysis, interpretation and utilization of data.

  1. Sustain a continuous planning process and assessment system to guide decision-making and strategic planning.
  2. Establish performance metrics for all positions.
  3. Implement data-driven processes for launching and ending programs and initiatives.

B. Minimize redundancy and waste while streamlining business processes and operations.

  1. Define the critical mass of human, technological, physical and financial resources needed to sustain excellence for all of Meharry’s programs.
  2. Complement college operations with a network of crosscutting planning, functional and program teams.
  3. Redesign policies and procedures to enable effective recruitment, training, evaluation, reward, professional development and retention of faculty and staff.
  4. Evaluate current systems, policies and processes to identify opportunities to best optimize resources by eliminating redundancies and by increasing automation and system functionality.
  5. Refine institutional decision systems, policies and processes to be more transparent, equitable and consistent.
  6. Optimize the use of administrative, learning and clinical technologies to improve performance, productivity, cost-effectiveness and transparency.
  7. Develop a system to evaluate alternate project delivery methods for high quality and efficient capital project management.

C. Maintain a performance based culture that promotes excellence by supporting collaboration and rewarding productivity.

  1. Redesign and implement personal and team incentives to promote excellence and reward performance.
  2. Develop strategies that support persons and teams for the purpose of maximizing productivity.
  3. Increase interdepartmental collaboration.
  4. Increase the institutional knowledge of individuals.
  5. Develop a strategic reward system to increase individual productivity and entrepreneurship.


2. Increase the Production of Diverse Health Care Professionals and Researchers

A. Attract, support and retain high performing and motivated students.

  1. Increase enrollment across the College.
  2. Increase scholarship resources as a competitive enrollment strategy and to reduce the role of tuition/student debt in the institutional economy.

B. Provide the human capital, programming, facilities and technological infrastructure necessary to advance the College.

  1. Increase the size of the faculty to allow for growth in program offerings, enrollment, funded research and clinical service delivery.
  2. Invest in physical and technological infrastructures to enable growth and expand reach, including new campuses and Meharry satellites in regional, national or international settings.
  3. Increase clinical training capacity required for enrollment growth in all programs through a combination of alternative clinical experiences and additional strategic partner resources.

C. Develop and deliver distinctive, high-quality academic programs.

  1. Expand degree and certificate offerings in new and existing MMC schools.
  2. Expand certificate offerings to include institutional, corporate and government partners.
  3. Update and restructure curricula to prepare learners to deliver health care in the digital age.
  4. Create diverse learning opportunities through accelerated programs, differentiated learning tracks, inter-professional experiences and competency-based learning.


3. Develop Distinctive and Pioneering Approaches to Teaching, Health Care, Research, Public Health and Health
Policy to Achieve Health Equity

A. Provide a holistic learning experience to students and working professionals based on the utilization of best educational practices and leveraging the power of technology.

  1. Offer redesigned continuing education to deliver skill-building competence in person and remotely.
  2. Employ technology to make educational content portable.
  3. Introduce socio-cultural exposure and clinical experiences early in the curricula.
  4. Implement technology-leveraged teaching and learning.
  5. Design and offer inter-professional education for students and working health professionals.
  6. Establish living/learning communities.

B. Provide affordable, quality and patient-centered heath care to a diverse population of constituents.

  1. Develop an integrated oral and medical health delivery model, applying data analytics at the provider-patient interface.
  2. Offer a range of services and implement plans to engage the community in the destigmatization of mental health care.
  3. Invest in a scalable clinical technology infrastructure to deliver care both in person and remotely.
  4. Promote and expand a Patient-Centered Medical Home model of health care delivery.
  5. Deploy a comprehensive, technologically adept inter-professional clinical practice group.

C. Develop and sustain a physical and technological infrastructure for research that is conducive to increased opportunities for interdisciplinary research and scholarly productivity.

  1. Sustain a diverse portfolio that includes disease-based research; population research and research on clinical and educational deployment, delivery and effectiveness.
  2. Organize the research enterprise around transdisciplinary centers with all research faculty affiliated with one or more centers.
  3. Align biomedical, population, clinical and community health research.
  4. Build scalable, competitive, cutting-edge scientific, analytic and administrative research infrastructures.
  5. Expand a competitive, high-standards intramural grant mechanism to diversify the pool of investigators, facilitate collaboration and encourage new avenues of exploration.
  6. Create a premier clinical research program to expand the enrollment of diverse populations.
  7. Enhance professional intellectual property support and policies for research, clinical and education discoveries, courseware, software and instructional methodologies.

D. Expand the reach of the Division of Public Health both internally and externally.

  1. Integrate public health into all schools.
  2. Engage the broader community on matters of public health.
  3. Conduct research in the public interest.
  4. Create a global health institute to expand public health internationally.

E. Become a national leader in Health Policy by increasing the diversity of health policy leaders in the social, behavioral and health sciences; and by expanding and promoting the work of the Center for Health Policy.

  1. Expand the reach of the Center for Health Policy.
  2. Develop and implement a Health Administration degree program.
  3. Market membership for institutional advisory board members.
  4. Promote the work of the Center for Health Policy.
  5. Formalize the independence of the Center for Health Policy.


4. Strategically Expand Reach

A. Expand and diversify community engagement programs in the areas of research, education and clinical care.

  1. Strategically build a new community service and engagement program as an integral element of all mission areas and through collaboration across areas.
  2. Utilize community engagement opportunities to build market and patient relationships.
  3. Significantly increase the number and variety of inpatient and outpatient clinical practice venues by creating a Meharry Clinical Network which will consist of a combination of Meharry-owned and strategic partner resources.

B. Strategically engage and collaborate with external partners in ways that will benefit the college.

  1. Maximize strategic partnerships with government, industry, academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations and other entities.
  2. Pursue national and international program expansion/new program opportunities that engage resources across the institution.


5. Build a Transformed, Sustainable Institutional Economy

A. Capitalize on revenue from existing funding sources and bolster funding from non-traditional revenue sources.

  1. Expand market share of funding from traditional sources including grants and contracts from federal and state agencies, corporations and foundations.
  2. Diversify funding from alternative/non-traditional sources.
  3. Create new revenue-generating mission-related enterprises.
  4. Increase revenue from private sources by engaging alumni, friends and corporate partners to expand support of the enterprise, including a comprehensive capital fundraising campaign.
  5. Grow and preserve the endowment fund to ensure the College’s long-term stability.

B. Responsibly steward the Colleges resources in
such a way as to ensure financial viability and sustainability.

  1. Enhance the responsibility-centered, revenue-optimizing, cost-minimizing management model that encourages entrepreneurial behavior, improves efficiency and aligns operations to help meet strategic goals and strengthen programs.
  2. Implement a shared services model to capitalize on resources and achieve economies of scale.
  3. Achieve financial leverage, comprehensiveness and scale through external partnerships.
  4. Periodically assess funding of academic and administrative programs to ensure responsible stewardship of resources.
  5. Monitor expenditures, property costs, space allocation and maintenance costs to maximize efficient and cost-effective use of college capital assets.

To ensure the ongoing success of the strategic plan, continuous review and assessment are essential. A continuous planning process will be initiated which will include four primary components:

  1. Collection of data from various sources including: faculty, staff, students, administration, community partners, donors, sponsors and college planning committees. These data will include assessment of information stemming from Meharry’s progress toward its descriptive vision and established goals. It will also include collection of external data from the political, economic, socio-cultural and technological environments.
  2. Analysis of data using both descriptive and inferential statistics.
  3. Interpretation of data and development of meaningful plans that will inform the modification or maintenance of goals and/or strategies of the 2026 plan.
  4. Implementation of plans for continuous improvement based on the collection, analysis and interpretation of data.


The various components of the continuous planning process will be implemented and monitored by teams composed of faculty, staff and students. These teams will monitor and document progress toward goals, and will make recommendations for modification or maintenance of existing processes or strategies. Finally, they will document the effect on the college of implementation of various parts of the plan. Town hall meetings, an active online presence and other forms of MMC community engagement will be planned for the dissemination of information and discussion of the results of the continuous planning process.

This transformative Sesquicentennial Strategic Plan builds on a foundation created by the efforts of countless faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends and members of Meharry’s Board of Trust, both past and present. To all of you, thank you!


Following are the members of the various strategic planning committees that participated in crafting this plan:


Dr. James Hildreth
President and CEO


Shelay Alexander-Wright
Senior Administrative Assistant
SOD, Clinical Affairs


Amy Andrade
Assistant Vice President of Research
Senior Advisor to the President, Technology and Innovation


Michael Arnold
Former Director
Revenue Cycle
Meharry Medical Group


Dr. Stephanie Bailey
Senior Associate Dean
SOGSR, Public Health Practice


LaMel Bandy-Neal
Senior Vice President
Chief Financial Officer


Dr. Kevin Billups
Director Men’s Health
SOM, Surgery


Dr. Virginia Brennan
Editor and Associate Professor
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved


Dr. Juanita Buford
Senior Advisor to the President
Institutional Effectiveness


Janet Caldwell
Former Vice President
Communications and Marketing


Dr. Minu Chaudhuri
SOM, Microbiology, Immunology and Physiology


Dr. CK Chen
Institutional Research


Dr. Shawna Chesser
Former Assistant Professor
SOD, Clinical Affairs


Dr. Sanika Chirwa
SOM, Neuroscience and Pharmacology


Terri Cody
Department Administrator
SOM, Family and
Community Medicine


Barry Cohen
Kaludis Consulting


Dr. Millard Collins
SOM, Family and
Community Medicine


Dr. Chandravanu Dash
Associate Professor
SOM, Biochemistry and Cancer Biology


Dr. Gerald Davis
Assistant Dean
SOD, Academic Affairs


Dr. Jamaine Davis
Assistant Professor
SOM, Biochemistry and Cancer Biology


Ivanetta Davis-Samuels
Senior Vice President,
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary


Karen Dawson
Executive Assistant
Strategic Planning


Dr. Susan DeRiemer
SOM, Integrated Didactics


Lisa Dixon
Events Management


Jared Elzey
Director, Services/Support Unit
Office of Research


Dr. Marquetta Faulkner
Former Dean, SOM


Dr. Cherae Farmer-Dixon
Dean, SOD


Dr. Carol Freund-Taylor
Associate Professor
SOM, Integrated Didactics


Dee Gardner
Assistant Vice President
Student Services/Academic Support


Dr. Julie Gray
Assistant Dean
SOD, Student Affairs


Lawrence Hall
Vice President
External Affairs


Dr. Margaret Hargreaves
SOM, Internal Medicine


Dr. Saletta Holloway
Senior Vice President


Arturo Holmes
Student, SOM
Class of 2017 President


Dr. Wansoo Im
Associate Professor
SOM, Family Medicine


Shalonda Ingram
Student, SOGSR


Dr. Harold Jackson
Former Chair, Faculty Senate


Lisa Johnson
Director, Admin/Finance
SOGSR, Chief of Staff


Patrick Johnson
Senior Vice President
Institutional Advancement


Tadarrol Johnson
Student, SOD
Class of 2017 President


Dr. Roland Jones
Associate Dean
SOM, Business and Finance


Dr. Paul Juarez
SOM, Family and Community Medicine


Dr. George Kaludis
Kaludis Consulting


Rev. Robin Kimbrough
Office of the President


Dr. Jacinta Leavell
SOD, Public Health


Dr. Maria Lima
Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation


Dr. Veronica Mallett
Dean, SOM
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs


Dr. Patricia Matthews-Juarez
Vice President
Faculty Affairs and Development


Dr. Stephanie McClure
Senior Associate Dean
SOM, Academic Student Affairs


Dr. Valencia McShan
Assistant Professor
SOD, Restorative Dentistry


Dr. Stephania Miller-Hughes
Associate Professor
SOM, Surgery


Dr. Peter Millet
Executive Vice President


Dr. Evangeline Motley-Johnson
Professor, SOM Microbiology, Immunology and Physiology
SOGSR, Associate Dean


Dr. Tultul Nayyar
SOGSR, Master of Health Sciences


Dr. Josiah Ochieng
SOM, Biochemistry and Cancer Biology


Dr. Dexter Samuels
Senior Vice President
Student Affairs


Dennis Saucerman
Chief Planning Officer


Dr. Janet Southerland
Adjunct Professor, SOD


Dr. Angela Southwell
Assistant Professor
SOD, Pediatric Dentistry


Dr. LaMonica Stewart
Associate Professor
SOM, Biochemistry and Cancer Biology


Ralph Stewart
2016 Alumnus


Dr. Anita Sykes-Smith
Assistant Professor
SOD, Oral Diagnostic Sciences


Dr. Craig Ternovits
Associate Professor
SOM, Surgery


Dr. Barbara Tharpe
Student Financial Aid


Dr. Flora Ukoli
SOM, Surgery


Dr. Cassandra Ward
Associate Dean
SOM, Curriculum Evaluation and Effectiveness


Venecia Watkins
Assistant Controller


Sandra Williams
Chief of Staff
Office of the President


Dr. Lloyda Williamson
SOM, Psychiatry

Contact Planning

Office of Strategic Planning
Meharry Medical College
1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr., Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37208-3599
Telephone: 615.327.6294