At St. Jude, we are bound by what I think is the perfect mission—to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic disease through research and treatment. That mission sets us apart from others and unifies the institution.
The charge to find cures and save children was at the forefront of our minds when we crafted the 2016–21 Strategic Plan. In many regards, that plan was a foundational document—a how-to guide for developing expertise and infrastructure to fuel cures for childhood cancer and other pediatric catastrophic diseases. It charted a path for clinical and scientific program growth, infrastructure expansion and reimagined international outreach efforts.
Under that plan, we made incredible gains. We increased the number of patients in our clinical trials, recruited world-class faculty and staff, enhanced laboratory research, invested in technology and expanded the campus. The global alliances and partnerships that we forged during the past six years hold the promise of one day ensuring children with cancer in low- and middle-income countries have access to quality care. What’s more, many of these achievements occurred amid a worldwide health crisis unlike any before.
With the plan’s conclusion, we stand at a new inflection point—stronger than ever and poised to address the most important challenges before us.
We know there is still tremendous work to be done across childhood cancer, sickle cell disease and other life-threatening illnesses. The devastating impact of infectious diseases has been brought into sharp focus with the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. Jude leadership spent almost two years considering that question. The newly adopted 2022–27 St. Jude Strategic Plan is our answer. We are going to do more. That includes more research, enhanced patient care and more collaboration to change the lives of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases in the U.S. and throughout the world.
We are investing $11.5 billion over the next six years to accomplish this. It’s the largest investment in the nearly 60-year history of St. Jude.
This commitment expands patient care and clinical and laboratory-based research, including work in pediatric cancer, blood disorders, neurological diseases and infectious diseases. The plan calls for an additional 1,400 jobs; an expenditure of $1.9 billion in new construction, renovation and capital needs; and the development of new areas of research.
Our plan concentrates on five areas: fundamental science, childhood cancer, pediatric catastrophic diseases, global impact, and workforce and workplace culture. Across these sections, we have outlined goals that hold the promise of transforming science and medicine, while strengthening collective endeavors to speed cures.
Fundamental, laboratory-based research is the engine that drives most advances in medicine. To help scientists understand why pediatric catastrophic diseases arise, spread and resist treatments, we are strengthening our fundamental laboratory-based research enterprise by investing in talent, tools and the development of new technology. Specifically, we will:
During the next six years, we plan to tackle the hardest-to-treat cancers, increase survival rates and reach more children with cancer through the following initiatives:
Under the new plan, we are increasing investment in nonmalignant hematological disease research and treatment, developing a new program dedicated to childhood neurological diseases, and reimagining infectious disease research. Our strategies include:
Nonmalignant Hematological Diseases
In the U.S., more than 80% of the 16,000 children diagnosed with cancer annually will be cured. Worldwide, 400,000 children are found to have cancer each year. In limited-resource countries, a mere 20% survive. Through St. Jude Global and the St. Jude Global Alliance, we will triple our investment to $100 million annually in programs that seek to address this devastating health disparity. Our strategies include:
Our plan outlines several strategies to ensure that St. Jude remains a place where teamwork flourishes; internal and external collaboration thrives; and employees can make a difference in the lives of children. As part of these strategies we will:
This plan is made possible through increasing donor contributions generated by ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. I’m proud of our 5,000-plus employees, who have stepped up during the past six years to lay the groundwork for this extraordinary plan.
When we look at the progress we’ve made and the landscape that lies in front of us, there is much work left to do. Once again, we’ve posed the question: “If not St. Jude, then who?” Our vision is ambitious, but I am confident that working together, we can accomplish great feats. The next six years will be challenging. They will be exciting. They will be transformative. With this incredibly bold strategic plan, we can—we will—accelerate progress globally.