Thomas Jefferson University & Jefferson Health

Jefferson has become a 195-year-old historic institution acting like a start-up. It’s been a journey focused on core principles, and a key question asked about every decision: “What will be obvious in ten years, and why not do it now?”

Jefferson set its new vision statement to be: “Re-imagining education, health, and discovery to create unparalleled value.”

The journey began by merging the university and health system in 2015. Jefferson encompasses two historic entities:

  • Thomas Jefferson University, began with the creation of the medical college in 1824 – the fifth medical school in America, and the first to combine both classroom lectures with seeing real patients. Last year, TJU merged with Philadelphia University, pushing the boundaries of transdisciplinary education and design even higher,
  • Jefferson Health, historically founded with the building of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, one of the nation’s pre-eminent academic medical centers. Today, Jefferson Health includes 14 major hospitals along with the nation’s largest faculty-based telehealth service.

Creativity counts. It especially counts as augmented intelligence takes over many of the tasks we’ve trained professionals to do.

The combination of university and health system was a bold statement: That the future belongs to ideas. That universities and health systems will thrive through creativity. That our students and our patients come to us to improve their lives. That we can be optimistic about our ability to change the world, whether the issue is sustainability, or health disparities, or design of the human experience.

Jefferson pursued this journey based on several principles:

  • We made innovation a mission. In addition to the traditional missions of academics (teaching and research) and patient care, Jefferson elevated innovation and philanthropy to pillars of its future. Innovation to re-imagine the future. Philanthropy to restate our relationship with our community and the aspirations of many to create a better society.
  • We made trans-disciplinary teaching, research and team care, the focus of our strategic planning. As Nobel-winning economist Paul Romer said, “Recombination is really the only source of ”
  • We’ve made creativity the key skill we believe will prepare our graduates for professions of the future.

Creativity counts. It especially counts as augmented intelligence takes over many of the tasks we’ve trained professionals to do.

As Alibaba founder Jack Ma said, “When we invented cars, we didn’t teach our kids to run faster. When we invented planes, we didn’t teach our kids to fly.” Computers will always be able to remember more, but they will never be as wise.

Our goal is to teach professionals to be the humans in the room, even if that room is virtual. A computer will be able to design a garment or a house. A computer will be able to diagnose cancer. But a computer can never answer the question: “What does it mean?”

Thomas Jefferson University & Jefferson Health

hospitals.jefferson.edu
215-955-6000
111 South 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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