Seven Intermountain caregivers have been recognized as 2019 Healthcare Heroes by Utah Business Magazine. The annual awards honor caregivers from around the state who've been nominated by their peers for going above and beyond for their patients, their communities, and their professions. Honorees are recognized in diverse categories, from community outreach to volunteerism. Recipients were recently recognized at a special awards ceremony at the Grand America Hotel.
Intermountain recipients and the category in which they were honored include:
Skyler Gardner, a critical care tech lead in Intermountain Medical Center's Emergency Department, took his own life in March of 2018. "Skyler was loved by many and liked by all," says Dr. Balls, chair of the Emergency Department at Intermountain Medical Center. "He'd reached out to some people for help, but they didn't know what to do." In Skyler's honor, Dr. Balls and his colleagues created OASIS, a new mental health peer support system to provide peer support when caregivers face difficult encounters.
"Caregiver fatigue and mental injury are being nationally recognized as significant problems in our busy and complex healthcare system," Dr. Balls says. "It's our hope that through comprehensive programs like our OASIS initiative, we'll provide caregivers with the tools and support needed to take better care of themselves and their patients."
Other caregivers who helped develop OASIS include Gary Brunson, RN, Megan Frausto, RN, Jenn Avery, RN, Cheyenne Brown, RN, Nikki Deines, RN, Carolyn Anctil, MD, Chris Anderson, MD, Celeste Peterson, CCT, Steve Fultz, LCSW, Romina Bishop, LCSW, and police officer Brad Astin.
Joe has held multiple positions at Intermountain, including CFO, COO, and CEO of Primary Children’s Hospital and administrator at Intermountain Medical Center. He spent five years as Intermountain’s vice president of population health, where he helped achieve significant quality improvements and cost reductions, designed innovative provider payment models, and encouraged patients to increase their engagement in their healthcare. Despite his many contributions to ensure hundreds of thousands of Utahns receive safe, quality, affordable healthcare, Joe’s still eager to do more. “There’s so much good healthcare in America,” he says. “But there’s also so much that could, and must, be better.”
Joe said at the award ceremony that he was grateful to work in a way that felt like it was “more than a paycheck,” and that what we do in our day-to-day work matters. “Regardless of what our work is, I hope we can all see a connection in our work, that we’re also bettering other people’s lives. Those of us who work in healthcare are really fortunate that our work is directly focused on other people.”