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Strategic Planning for a Community Hospital Facing Major Challenges


A financially distressed community hospital


To bring together stakeholders for a transparent, collaborative strategic plan development process that would guide the organization to stability and success. The hospital had a poor image in the community and a tenuous relationship with its physicians.


Given the hospital’s weak financial position, the planning horizon for this project was one to two years, rather than the more typical three-to-five years. Planning focused on initiatives that could be achieved as soon as possible, with very limited capital resources.

Veralon interviewed key physicians, senior management, and board members to gather the full range of perspectives on the hospital’s past and future and to understand the sensitivities of different constituencies. We conducted traditional analyses of market, operational, and financial results.

This analytic work lead up to a strategic planning retreat involving the board and hospital management. The retreat process included:

  • An educational program on physician alignment strategies and trends in the market, tailored to the hospital’s situation
  • Presentation of an integrated strategic assessment as a foundation for developing consensus on the hospital’s current position
  • Breakdown groups which focused on specific strategic goals in several areas.


This iterative and collaborative process reinforced consensus on the goals as they were developed. Veralon then worked with senior management to refine the goals and to plan strategies that would achieve the goals.