My New Home at Intermountain, and What Drew me Here

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I got my first glimpse of ‘the Intermountain way’ more than 20 years ago.  It was 1990 and my wife Mary Carole (also a pediatrician) and I had been married just the day before. We boarded a plane and flew from Hanover, New Hampshire (home of Dartmouth Medical School) to Salt Lake City to begin Residencies (and later a Fellowship) at Primary Children’s Hospital. From my earliest days here I was impressed with the deep commitment to putting patients first, the focus on improving quality, and commitment to finding the most efficient way to use resources to care for these vulnerable patients.  The lessons I learned at Primary Children’s shaped my career—and as the years passed and I watched Intermountain from a distance, my admiration only grew.

 

Let me share just a couple of the reasons I believe Intermountain is exactly the right place to be right now

I believe Intermountain is perfectly positioned to be a world leader in transforming healthcare.  Those are big words, I know.  And we face some enormous challenges.  We need to move toward population health and value-based care, which won’t be easy.  True population health means every individual in a population has access to quality healthcare.  It’s always personal.  And it’s only possible if, as providers and payers, we’ve done everything we can to help create the conditions where people can live the healthiest lives possible.  That means making people partners in their own health with the tools to stay healthy.  It means taking excellent care of them when they’re sick or injured in the most efficient way possible.   It means organizing ourselves—our delivery system and payment models—to support optimal, sustainable healthcare.  It won’t be easy, but that leads me to one more thing that really sets Intermountain apart. 

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Intermountain’s core competency—its defining feature—is the ability to change.  Intermountain has a history of facing hard things and we’ll need that resolve to face the challenges ahead.  We face financial challenges in our operations.  Healthcare costs are rising too fast and we need to be leaders in bending that cost curve.  We face ongoing challenges in delivering the highest quality, safest care to our patients.  And there is the challenge—amid all this change—to find creative, innovative ways to support our caregivers, each other, so that we can always find joy in our work.  That’s important too—and it’s a stewardship I take very seriously as I assume this new role. 

These are just couple things, among many, that make me so proud to be part of Intermountain.