Strategic Plan


N.C. Children's Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C.North Carolina Children’s Hospital has a proud history of serving the state’s children and families through exemplary clinical care. With the recent completion of a School of Medicine-wide strategic plan, the parallel strategic planning effort undertaken by the Department of Pediatrics and new leadership under Dr. Wesley Burks, it was important to develop a new N.C. Children’s Hospital strategic plan.

Approach to strategic planning

A N.C. Children’s Hospital Strategic Planning Steering Committee was convened in March 2012, led by Dr. Wesley Burks and facilitated by a team of UNC Health Care System Strategy Consultants. The committee met six times from March through August 2012. The Steering Committee undertook a three-step approach to strategic planning:

  1. Who are we?
  2. Where do we want to go (in the areas of clinical care, education and research resources, and organizational structure)?
  3. How do we get there?

To assess the current state of N.C. Children’s Hospital, the Heath Care System Strategy Consultants conducted approximately 60 interviews with UNC Heath Care System Faculty and administrators. The team also compiled background and market data about N.C. Children’s Hospital and its local and regional competitors. Three work groups examined more deeply three areas of focus, Portfolio Strategy, Structure/Operations and Network Development.

The Steering Committee drafted a new vision, followed by a set of strategic priorities and recommendations necessary to achieve this goal. These priorities and recommendations were presented to the overall Heath Care System Strategic Planning Steering Committee in August 2012.

In October, the UNC Health Care System Strategic Planning Steering Committee outlined their endorsements. These endorsements were shared with N.C. Children’s Hospital faculty and staff at several Town Hall meetings, department meetings, and at multiple School of Medicine and Heath Care System leadership meetings. Feedback from these meetings was incorporated into the strategic priorities and initiatives presented in this plan.

The Strategic Planning Committee, sub-groups, interviewees, and all others involved in the planning process dedicated significant time and energy to this important effort and are to be thanked. The initiatives outlined in this report will serve as a roadmap for future planning and a detailed timeframe and set of metrics will serve to measure its progress.

Areas of Focus

Areas of Focus

Three work groups were formed to assist the Steering Committee in examining more deeply the following areas: Portfolio Strategy, Network Development and Structure/Operations. The work groups met on numerous occasions between March and August 2012 and were asked to address several key questions.

Portfolio Strategy

  1. To achieve our vision of being the top children’s hospital in the region, what will we need to look like (e.g., overall size, mix of primary care/specialists etc.)?
  2. Does the placement of subspecialties on the tiered matrix of reputation and performance make sense? How should we tweak the placement?
  3. What are the investments needed to move the prioritized subspecialties to the next level?
  4. What other programs should we invest in to maximize our presence in the marketplace?
  5. How well are we resourced in terms of acute care (e.g., hospitalists, ICU beds, etc.)?
  6. How will we measure and track quality and reputation?


  1. In order to achieve our vision of being the top children’s hospital in the region, what does our structure need to be (i.e., is it different from today)?
  2. What are the key benefits and weaknesses of our current structure?
  3. What are some realistic structural changes that could help address the weaknesses while not losing the key benefits?
  4. What do we do well from a service/operations point of view, and what could we do better?
  5. What metrics should we use to measure the success of our structure and operations?

Network Development

  1. What are the attributes of a successful statewide network?
  2. What do we do well and where are our opportunities in terms of our network strength?
  3. What steps should we take to strengthen our relationships with community practices?
  4. How should we grow our presence in the target subspecialties around the state, including Wake County?
  5. What metrics should we use to measure the success of our statewide network?