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Strategic Plan


The Women's Dermatologic Society, founded in 1973, is dedicated to helping dermatologists fulfill their greatest potential and assisting them in making a contribution to our specialty and society. To achieve this goal, the Society relies on the active participation of its members, who represent a diverse cross-section of professional sub-specialties.

Mission and Goals

To be the premier organization cultivating personal and professional development of dermatologists dedicated to excellence in patient care, mentorship, volunteerism, and leadership. 

2016-2019 Strategic Plan

PRIORITY I:  Infrastructure
Ensure adequate resources for the vitality and long-term sustainability of the organization



A. Processes documented for outcome measurements and implemented

1. Develop process and procedure manual for society ST
2. Expand Board of Directors Orientation Manual (create a culture of respect and approachability for board members) ST
3. Develop Board of Directions Orientation Meeting for new Board Members ST
4. Determine optimal board meeting organization and determine need and purpose of face to face board meetings ST
5. Explore platforms, expansion, and utilization of the Ethics Committee ST
     a. Formalize how to submit an issue to the Ethics Committee ST

B. Build reserve fund to $2M
(Legacy Fund)

1. Increase, diversify, and develop revenue streams MT
2. Determine how the Legacy Fund will be distributed back to WDS LT
3. Create 10 year anniversary book of Petals & Pearls LT

C. Develop clear responsibilities for committees and work product with accountability

1. Create Committee Review Task Force to review current committee and structure ST
2. Matrix committees as well as reorganize the committee structure and develop an organization structure chart that outlines reporting lines ST
3.Annually review individual committee's mission and goals to ensure they are aligned and evolving with the overall mission and strategic plan of the society ST
4. Maintain the "Committee Orientation Manual" including reviewing and editing on an annual basis ST
5. Measure and report to the Board of Directors Committee member engagement ST
6. Create dashboard that evaluates overall effectiveness of committee structure ST

D. Develop commercial grant program to secure additional funding

1. Evaluate current programs MT
2. Create new programs that qualify for commercial grant support MT
3. Create documentation for qualifying programs MT

PRIORITY II: Membership
Increase, enhance, and diversify an engaged membership



A. Increase membership retention rates by increasing membership value

1.Review steps taken to retain members who have not paid dues, and improve retention ST
2.Develop new membership value-added programs MT
3. Promote goals within WDS relevant to young physicians ST

B. Increase member awareness and perceived value of WDS programs, awards, and initiatives

1.Review, streamline, and simplify membership categories and verbiage for consistency and clarity, especially with respect to international members and their sponsorship requirements ST
2. Develop communication/PR to increase visibility of programs and successes to the members, the field of dermatology, and the public ST
3. Create branded items with Society name and logo MT
4. Create a Web tour for new members MT
5. Promote WDS by creating a slide members can put at the end of talks they give ST
6. Revisit Mentorship Award criteria and ranking system ST
7. Increase visability of WDS mentorship opportunities ST
8. Increase participation in the informal Mentorship Program MT
9. Steamline and standardize the mechanism for selecting candidates for Annual Awards
10. Utilize social media to address top issues for members (such as burn out, life/work balance) MT
11. Create Monthly Social Media campaign to highlight specific WDS meber and what they are doing in their practices and the WDS ST
12. Research and identify platforms for either live streaming or live tweeting our events MT

C. Increase Diversified membership and awareness

1. Task the Membership Committee and the International Affairs Committee to develop plans to increase the outreach to segments of the membership that are outside the United States MT
2. Grow the numbers of WDS International Members in all membership type categories during the membership year ST
3.. Create new “WDS International Sections” outside the United States MT
4. Facilitate at least one International Networking event per year in another part of the world outside of the US and Canada ST
5. WDS Sections to raise funds for scholarships for their chosen WDS candidate to attend the AAD & WDS Annual Meetings ST

D. Increase resident member retention

1. Increase resident membership retention from 19% to 25% in 2018, and 40% in 2019 MT
2. Identify methods for increasing recruitment and retention of young physicians, including residents, fellows, and early career dermatologists ST
3. Increase engagement across membership/ Value added (involvement in committees, early in engagement in local-regional/service events, development of new programs etc) LT
4. Partner with industry to utilize established leadership training to promote female leaders in dermatology LT
5. Reach out to residents, fellows, and young physicians, and/ore new members to increase awareness of WDS membership benefits, and support member retention of young members ST

Expanding our outreach programs which improve the quality of life and health of our communities



A. Co-develop lecture series with organizations supporting professional development and health issues impacting women

1. Research current societies providing resources and lectures MT
2. Look at other professional societies and develop a structure for professional development LT
3. Develop best practices for committee chairs and members MT

B. Establish collaboration and affiliate memberships with organizations supporting women’s health issues

1. Research organizations that WDS would like to collaborate with/join MT
2. Develop relationship and determine benefits and values for both societies MT

C. Foster a clinical trials network for women’s health issues through recruitment, advertisement, and mentoring

1. Establish a “Clinical Trial Venture” for clinical trial protocol design as well as mentorship/training that meets multiple needs MT
2. Work with industry to create tips and pearls on how to be a good investigator for clinical trials MT

D. Develop key strategic alliances with industry, medical organizations, and patient advocacy groups

1. Determine which companies WDS would like to partner with ST
2. Increase corporate members to be active on WDS work groups and committees ST
3. Utilize industry partners as resources for the IJWD to contribute articles ST

E. Enhance the existing outreach programs (Play Safe in the Sun, Coast-2-Coast)

1. Increase funding for outreach programs MT
2. Create and promote turnkey Coast-2-Coast events ST
3. Integrate Service Programs with Regional Group Programs ST
4. Create and implement new programs around outreach, educational campaigns, and action-based programs ST

PRIORITY IV: Programs and Services
Be the indispensable resource for the personal and professional development of members



A. Enhance and diversify mentorship and preceptorship opportunities for younger and more established members

1. Create formalized program MT
2. Create additional preceptorship opportunities MT

B. Create a program for teaching updating practice management skills to members

1. Promote the Practice Advisory Committee to members ST
2. Create resources on navigating the practice environment for members MT

C. Grow the research/community grants program

1. Review the Academic Research Award criteria and application process ST
2. Determine measurable outcomes for the Research Award Program ST
3. Evaluate the Career and Community Advancement Award Program MT

D. Improve the quality of submission, and the sustainability of the journal, while taking steps towards achieving indexing and an impact factor

1. Create ongoing communication platform that encourages members to click and cite the journal ST
2. Require WDS grant awardees to submit an article after completion (within 6 months) ST
3. Develop Board designated publication grant to support member submissions MT

E. Continued promotion to enhance networking and collegiality among members

1. Increase participation in Regional Groups ST
2. Establish appropriate number of networking opportunities for each region for each year ST
3. Identify active WDS members willing to host events ST
4. Create turnkey networking events for members to host MT

ST=Short-Term (6-12 months)   MT=Medium-Term (1-2 years)   LT=Long-Term (3-4 years; ongoing)