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Strategic Plan

MaineHealth 2020-2022 Strategic Plan sets forth, at a high level, our course over the next three years and articulates a shared mission and vision, as the MaineHealth system and its local health systems work together toward common goals.

MaineHealth 2020 - 2022 Strategic Plan

Learn more about our course over the next three years as we work together toward common goals.

Strategic Priorities

These four strategic priorities form the foundation for our efforts over the next three years and determine the system’s strategic direction.

Patient-centered care is the first of our six values, and the first of our four strategic priorities. Putting patients and their families first means focusing on the health outcomes that are important to them. It involves informing and involving patients and their families in a care plan, providing care that is respectful and responsive to individual preferences, and ensuring that a patient’s values guide clinical decisions. Patient-centered care at MaineHealth empowers patients and their families to become active participants in their care and helps them achieve their best health outcome.
GOAL: MaineHealth will deliver high-quality, safe, effective, patient-centered care, and will aspire to top decile performance in nationally benchmarked metrics.
A positive patient and family experience at MaineHealth is of paramount importance. We must live our values by ensuring well-coordinated care, providing information in easily understood terms, ensuring physical and emotional comfort, and involving patients and their families in the care plan. Each and every care team member is empowered to enhance our patients’ experiences based on compassion, mutual respect, and partnering with patients and their families.
GOAL: MaineHealth will aspire to top-quartile performance in nationally benchmarked measures of patient experience in all facets of the care delivery system.
As MaineHealth continues to fulfill our mission, we must invest in our research enterprise and its translation into effective, high-quality care for our patients and communities. This will require strategic identification of system-wide priorities for clinical and translational research and education, establishment of a blueprint for implementation, and significant enhancements in our data capacity and IT infrastructure. Leveraging big data is key to our success, whether it is understanding how to effectively deliver rural primary care to our communities, expanding access to treatment through clinical trials, or making genomic breakthroughs for precision medicine.
MaineHealth must continue to evolve as an academic health system, fully leveraging our research advancements for clinical care through institutionally-supported Integrated System-wide Service Lines, which integrate research, education, and clinical efforts by area of medicine. Strategic alignment, continuous assessment, and key partnerships will be necessary to successfully balance between delivering world-class, leading-edge technologies and research, while maximizing our resources to improve patient care.
GOAL: MaineHealth will further its evolution into an academic health system by investing in the organizational structures, recruitment strategies and data infrastructure necessary to integrate research and education with clinical care.

Each of us, whether we provide direct care to patients or support direct caregivers, is a member of the MaineHealth care team. And the correlation between an engaged, supported care team and superior organizational performance is well established. Health care provider organizations with higher engagement scores have higher quality scores, lower infection rates, higher safety scores, higher patient experience scores, and lower overall turnover and vacancy rates. Engagement is an operational imperative. MaineHealth must nurture a culture that enables members of the care team to perform their best; fully commit to the health system’s goals and objectives; contribute to a positive patient experience; and enhance their own well-being.

GOAL: MaineHealth will aspire to achieve top-quartile performance in nationally benchmarked measures of care team engagement.

Our team members are the most important asset in the pursuit of our mission and vision. They are the core of our success and are valued for the care they deliver, the work they perform, and the passion they demonstrate for high-quality care each day. Talent management is intensely competitive in health care, as well as in other industries. Contributing factors include labor shortages, our regions’ — and the country’s — aging population, slow population growth in our region, and a wide range of employment choices. To succeed, we must deliver
breakthrough strategies that position our health system for success. MaineHealth must invest in innovative recruitment and retention efforts while providing attractive and targeted education and training opportunities to team members through the advancement of career pathways, both internally and with external partners.

GOAL: We will exceed the national median in retention and recruitment performance through the deployment of innovative programs, with education and training experiences that advance our mission and vision.

As a prominent health care leader, MaineHealth has a responsibility to educate the next generation of health care professionals, biomedical scientists, and health services researchers to improve the health of our communities in Maine and New Hampshire. Given the growing shortage of providers in the coming decades, compounded by health disparities and an aging population with complex needs, we need to elevate our efforts in building a trained, multidisciplinary, diverse, and unified workforce to care for our patients.

It is imperative to expand upon our education programs, create a structure for interprofessional education, and systematically support our faculty so that our workforce has the training and tools needed to succeed and thrive. Breaking down silos in clinical care necessitates removing silos in education and seamlessly translating research from the bench to the bedside, all the while nurturing a culture of collaboration and curiosity. We will foster a highly skilled and interprofessional Northern New England workforce that will continue to attract and retain exceptional learners dedicated to effective, innovative solutions for exceptional care.

GOAL: MaineHealth will develop a culture of life-long learning by expanding the scale and scope of the continuum of interprofessional health education and research. 

MaineHealth’s commitment to population health improvement differentiates our system from others and forms the basis for innovative, proactive initiatives that measurably improve the health
status of individuals and communities alike. MaineHealth’s vision has supported this unique focus for two decades. The health system acknowledges the impact of a community’s environment, individual behaviors and public policy in addition to clinical care on overall health status. We must broaden our focus beyond the disease prevention and wellness strategies historically implemented and adopt actions that more deeply impact the social determinants of health and reduce health disparities.

GOAL: MaineHealth will continue to lead and collaborate in the development and implementation of disease prevention initiatives and adopt innovative strategies that measurably and positively impact the determinants of health and the overall health of our service area.

As the only academic health system in Maine, MaineHealth has a unique combination of resources, processes and alliances that enable the transformation of care delivery and biomedical research to be smarter, more responsive, more resilient and more human. External partnerships, collaboration and innovation are critical to this transformation, to promoting a culture of diversity and inclusivity, and to ultimately improving the health of our communities.

To succeed, we should be thoughtful and deliberate in engaging with our communities, fostering strategic partnerships, and enabling innovations that advance our mission. Defining these activities can be challenging, given the scale and scope of opportunities. Strategic partnerships with academic, government, industry and non-profit entities are needed to meet many shared needs, most notably a growing demand for a local workforce skilled in care delivery, clinical and research education, and biomedical research.

We aim to evolve our culture to be inclusive and innovative in our operating principles. To that end, community engagement should be a foundational element woven into the fabric of our clinical education and research training programs, as well as across all translational research initiatives. Innovation is the connective tissue to all our work, linking people, ideas, and tools together—from across MaineHealth and beyond— to solve local problems with low-cost, scalable solutions that have global relevance.

As a system, we should strive to learn from our existing relationships and innovations in order to ensure successful outcomes and replicate similar opportunities across our communities. The time is right to build organizational structures, resources, and connections to support our educators, researchers, learners and innovators across the system in revolutionizing health care delivery.

GOAL: MaineHealth will promote a culture of innovation and community engagement, and build organizational support structures to cultivate academic, industry, and community partnerships that enrich and advance our mission.

As the largest health system in our region, MaineHealth is uniquely capable of having a profound impact on the affordability of health care in the communities we serve. We must seize the
opportunities available to us to further reduce the cost of care delivered by our health system and improve the overall value proposition. MaineHealth, within its purview, will continue to take action to manage the total cost of care and make care more affordable for the residents of our region.
GOAL: MaineHealth will aspire to deliver health care services at a cost below the national median.
As we grow our academic health system, building a learning health system — “a system in which science, informatics, incentives and culture are aligned for continuous improvement and innovation” — is paramount. We should strive for a culture in which we are all learners and improvers, with teaching and research opportunities available across our system, because of the tools, data, partnerships and support readily accessible to us. A culture of learning and innovation will enable us to rapidly discover and diffuse actionable knowledge to our care team members and patients, resulting in improved clinical outcomes, operational efficiency, patient experience, and care team engagement.
Understanding the value and return-on-investment of a learning health system will be important to advancing and funding our mission. As outlined throughout this Strategic Plan, our academic programs fall within a wide range of activities, including: undergraduate and graduate medical education, nursing education, allied health education, continuing interprofessional development, research education, and research spanning basic, translational, clinical, population, and health-outcomes studies.
Advancing our academic mission will require streamlined external funding processes and tailored strategies that align our expertise with funding trends and local needs. This includes elevating our work to a national platform, where MaineHealth is recognized as a leader in rural health care workforce development, research and care delivery.
GOAL: MaineHealth will invest in and demonstrate the value of being a learning health system, while strengthening its external funding strategy and infrastructure.

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