Marc Harrison: Hi, I'm Dr. Marc Harrison, CEO of Intermountain Healthcare. Today I'm with Dustin Lipson, the administrator of Primary Children's Hospital, and Neal Davis, medical director of Pediatric Community-Based Care. Thanks for being with us today, Dustin and Neal. I wonder if you'd tell us a little bit about yourselves and I’d like to have a more in-depth conversation about what's going on at Primary Children's. Dustin?
Dustin Lipson: Yeah, thanks for having us. I'm very excited to be here. As you mentioned, I am the administrator of Primary Children's. I look after the day-to-day operations of the hospital and support a lot of our pediatric clinical programs.
Marc Harrison: Great. And Neal?
Neal Davis: Yeah. So as you mentioned, I'm the Medical Director for Pediatric Community-Based Care, which is an exciting thing for our organization to take on. The idea that Primary Children's as an entity expands beyond a hospital, but thinks about the health and wellness of kids throughout this region.
Marc Harrison: Yeah, I'm really excited about that, too. As you guys both know, Mary Carole and I were trained at Primary Children's and it’s one of the most positive influences on our lives and something we carry with us — that idea of the child first and always. I think the thing that's really interesting is the focus has changed a lot from “how do you take care of a child when they're sick?” to “how do you actually keep them well?” And we always knew that was important, but now we're actually putting plans in place to do it systematically.
Dustin, Neal, I wonder if you may talk a little bit about the big announcement around the Primary Promise Campaign and what you're feeling about it and what you think the potential is. Maybe Dustin?
Dustin Lipson: Yeah, happy to get started. Intermountain's Primary Promise is a huge effort to build the model health system for children. There are really three arms to that effort. The first is continuing to strengthen Primary Children's Hospital.
Marc Harrison: 100 percent, yes.
Dustin Lipson: The second is about bringing care close to home. As you said, access can be really difficult and care can be quite different, even for the same issue throughout the region and how do we make that better? And the third is about investing and keeping kids healthy. So, three really big arms with a lot of activity underneath each to make care better for children and to build a model system for kids.
Marc Harrison: Can you talk about the new hospital campus as part of this and maybe the Miller family gift, as well?
Dustin Lipson: Yes, yes, absolutely. So Gail Miller, our Intermountain board chair, and her family have given $50 million as a lead gift in this campaign.
Marc Harrison: Amazing!
Dustin Lipson: It's unbelievable. It's absolutely transformative. I know it's the largest gift that they’ve given to any one organization. So it says a huge amount, given what incredible philanthropists they are. We feel grateful and overwhelmed by that, and really a deep responsibility to do amazing things with those dollars. So the effort around Primary Children's specifically, and this new campus, as you mentioned, really the idea of building the Lehi campus is about bringing that care closer to home. It's a part of that arm, particularly. Utah County will experience somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 percent growth in children in the next 15 years alone.
Marc Harrison: That’s a core competency of Utah County, as far as I can tell. Yes?
Dustin Lipson: Yes. Apparently it is. And they'll have as many kids in Utah County as Salt Lake County will in those same 15 years. So it's a tremendous amount of growth in that area. Plenty to support a children's hospital of the likes that we're talking about. The other aspect of bringing care close to home is a significant investment in tele capabilities and digital capabilities. Whether that's tele ICU coverage, whether that's tele infectious disease or emergency medicine, or whether those are clinics or whether that's beaming into your home with a subspecialist follow-up. Half of our kids travel from at least an hour away and a quarter travel from three hours or more.
Marc Harrison: That's a huge burden for families.
Dustin Lipson: It's immense. And when you think about families being disproportionately... having more poor families than we do really in any other type of family entity. 50 percent of kids grow up in a low-income family. 25 percent of kids grew up in technically a poor family, below the federal poverty limit. So now you talk about having to travel hours with a sick child. It could mean losing a job. It's a really big deal. So how do we bring that care closer to home? These tele capabilities and digital capabilities are really all about serving these families.
Marc Harrison: I'm really proud of Intermountain and Primary Children's that we're thinking this way. The traditional approach to philanthropy and serving is just building a bigger main campus and creating a magnet. And I think unintentionally creating a lot of burdens for families. So Neal, talk a little bit about the opportunity to develop a region-wide multi-state approach to helping kids get a really great start to their life, and how unusual this campaign is that it's going to fund a lot of this work as opposed to just doing subspecialty medicine, which is historically what children's hospitals have been known for.
Neal Davis: Yeah, it's incredibly exciting. I want to mention, if I can, just about Gail Miller really quickly and the gift. To me the gift is amazing and it's also the inspiration that came with it. Gail is like the leader of our community.
Marc Harrison: She is.
Neal Davis: And to see that, for me, it wasn't just about the dollars and cents. It was tremendous. But it's about the inspiration that comes with it. I just wanted to mention that because I think that's really important.
Marc Harrison: She is a responsible, kind, tough, visionary person. And I feel lucky to work with her every day and learn from her every day. I'm in violent agreement with you, Neal.
Neal Davis: Yes. So back to your question, I like to think of this part of the campaign as the goal to unleash the human potential of every child. And to me, that is such an exciting thing to think about. And so as we think about keeping kids healthy and we are looking at ways to get upstream, as you talked about. And there are different components to that across the region, as you mentioned. We're looking at the strongest evidence-based maternal/infant, early childhood home visitation programs in the world that have had difficulty really getting established here in Utah.
Neal Davis: And so being able to bring that here in a sustainable way, that alone has been shown to decrease infant mortality by 50, 60 percent. These numbers are really incredible. It also decreases developmental delays by 40, 50 percent. These same kids that are in these programs, they're 40 to 50 percent less likely to be in the criminal justice system or to be using drugs as teenagers. It's a different life and it's a different life for the mom, too. So we have a lot of experience with that program. There was recently a letter from a mom who was 16 when she entered this program. Really tough family situation. She got the support of the program, graduated from the University of Utah, was writing a letter back from Washington D.C. advocating for high risk families. So this…
Marc Harrison: I just got goosebumps. I got to tell you.
Neal Davis: …So this is the kind of thing we're talking about.
Marc Harrison: Multi-generational change really. Right?
Neal Davis: That's exactly right. So we're looking at that. There are other pieces to keeping kids healthy. Primary Children's has been outstanding with “Hold on to Dear Life,” really trying to avoid unintentional injuries — motor vehicle accidents, drowning, water injuries, things like this. That's another big part of the campaign. And then there are other pieces, too, with resilience and other pieces that we're building in. But that's the vision. What can we do across the region to build health and wellness into children to unleash that potential inside of them.
Marc Harrison: And when you're talking about the region, you're talking about all eight Intermountain states, right?
Neal Davis: Yeah. We're really focusing on Utah to start, but we want to get across the state. Not surprisingly, most of these kinds of resources have been here in Salt Lake and there are tiny remnants [elsewhere in the state], but we're not stretching across Utah. And then the ability to think about that model and how it could extend further, absolutely.
Marc Harrison: Dustin, Neal, in your experience, is the approach that we're taking unusual? Is this a typical children's hospital philanthropic campaign or is this along the lines... We've been asked historically to be a model healthcare system and to be a shining light for others. And that's a huge responsibility and one never is there. Is this consistent with that legacy?
Dustin Lipson: From my perspective, this is unique. This is certainly nation leading. We have a tremendous opportunity that's really unparalleled, in part because of our connection to Intermountain Healthcare. We have 23 hospitals, hundreds of clinics. We span the entire state and really the eight state region, as you mentioned. So this idea that we can leverage all of that infrastructure together with the expertise and resources of the University of Utah partnership that we have, that is an unparalleled opportunity. Nobody in the country or in the world can do what we're setting forth to do. And I think that's a really exciting opportunity for us. And it's one I’m confident we'll be successful with.
Marc Harrison: I hope and believe you're correct. Neal, any other thoughts from you?
Neal Davis: Because we're connected to the broader system and we have those connections, we can think differently about health and wellness in other children's hospitals that are very traditionally tied to their local environment. And that's important. Yet, with the support of the system, this is a way to really make a bigger and broader difference. It comes back to that mission statement. We're here to help people live the healthiest lives possible. And with your leadership Marc, we mean it.
Marc Harrison: We're sure trying. One of the things that makes me feel good, and I really believe we need to be careful stewards of resources, and we need to run a great business so that we are a forever organization so we can serve forever. There has been no conversation that I can remember about our return on investment associated with this campaign. There is no commerciality associated with this. This is about service, and it feels really good to me, and I'm excited and proud to work with folks like you and your teams as we try and be that model healthcare system for children, and set our region up for healthier generations to come. I can't think of any better legacy than that. So thank you very much. I really appreciate the conversation. Do you have any questions or comments for me? Anything that you want to talk about before we sign off?
Dustin Lipson: I'd just say thank you. I think your leadership is essential to Intermountain Healthcare. So we're very grateful for that support.
Marc Harrison: Well, I do it in service to others. We only get one swing at this, sort of our career, our life, our legacy and our service to others. And I really as you know, believe in, go big or go home. Thanks to the Miller family and the other generous support that we're getting, this is a big swing, and I am convinced that with leadership like yours and the rest of the system, the best is truly yet to come.
Neal Davis: Agreed. Thanks.