Letter from Sarah Creekmore Woodall
Dear Vanderbilt Medical Alumni:
Ever guided by our VMAA mission, we are thinking about the future, specifically tied to the priorities stated in our mission:
To involve as many medical alumni as possible in the life of Vanderbilt and to foster mutually beneficial relationships between Vanderbilt and its medical alumni through:
- Serving as a communications and information center.
- Recognizing the accomplishments of medical alumni.
- Enhancing relationships of alumni with each other and with Vanderbilt.
- Facilitating lifelong learning for medical alumni.
- Fostering an exchange of experiences and resources between VUSM alumni and Vanderbilt University.
The key themes in our mission are communications, recognition, relationship building, lifelong learning and exchange of experiences. Here are several priorities for the future of VMAA that I shared with your board of directors at our virtual meeting in October:
- Enhancing current student and trainee experience. How can we build even stronger relationships with these populations while they are in their training years? Our goal is to help them understand that their connection with VUSM and VUMC, respectively, is meaningful for the entirety of their careers. (Relationship Building)
- Exploring how we can best serve graduates from all VUSM programs in our alumni family.VUSM currently awards 10 degrees, including our newest — Master of Genetic Counseling – that just graduated its first class in 2021. We are currently working with two programs to plan engagement opportunities geared toward their specific alumni populations. (Relationship Building)
- Exploring new electronic modes of connection. This spring, we will roll out a new Association e-newsletter. This will help us communicate more regularly about what’s going on in the Association, keeping you connected year-round with this quarterly e-newsletter. (Communications)
- Expanding virtual opportunities for our alumni to engage. Many of us are ready for a “Zoom” break. However, acknowledging the convenience of virtual connection has us thinking how we engage with you all in convenient ways. (Lifelong Learning)
- Reevaluating how we are celebrating your milestones. There are personal accomplishments and milestones, as well as professional accolades, that we want to celebrate alongside you. (Recognition)
- Benchmarking with peer institutions. My team has connected with other medical school alumni professionals to share ideas and best practices. (All of the above)
- Embarking on a new strategic plan. As new ideas form, we are also going to pause and solidify our goals with a new VMAA strategic planning process. We are considering ways we can include your voice in the process, and I’m excited to hear from you about what you are looking for out of your alumni experience as well. (All of the above)
I am excited for the future and look forward to engaging with many of you in the coming months.
Sarah Creekmore Woodall, A&S 2000
Director, Vanderbilt Medical Alumni Affairs