Intermountain Healthcare Awarded the 2017 $100,000 Hearst Health Prize in Partnership With the Jefferson College of Population Health

Gregory Dorn, MD, MPH, president of Hearst Health; Brenda Reiss-Brennan, PhD, mental health integration director, Intermountain Healthcare -- winner of the 2017 Hearst Health Prize; and David B. Nash, MD, MBA, dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health.

Hearst Health, a division of Hearst, and the Jefferson College of Population Health of Thomas Jefferson University, today announced that Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare is the winner of the 2017 Hearst Health Prize. Intermountain was awarded the prize for its Mental Health Integration program, which embeds mental health screening and treatment within primary care and select specialty practices. 

The Hearst Health Prize is an annual $100,000 award given in recognition of an organization's or individual's outstanding achievement in managing or improving health in the U.S.

The announcement was made by Gregory Dorn, MD, MPH, president of Hearst Health, and David B. Nash, MD, MBA, dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, who is also one of the judges, at the 17th annual Population Health Colloquium in Philadelphia.

"The caregivers at Intermountain are grateful to receive this recognition and award," said Marc Harrison, MD, Intermountain president and CEO. "It honors our commitment to our patients, their families, and the communities we serve. It honors our caregivers with whom our patients trust to provide the highest quality, effective, and affordable care."

Approximately 43 million American adults (18 percent of the total adult population in the U.S.) have a mental illness. In 2000, Intermountain Healthcare created a Mental Health Integration program for patients that made mental health evaluation and service part of the routine care for all patients seeking care at Intermountain, with an emphasis on primary care. It utilizes a team-based approach, built upon systematic, evidence-based medicine that is collaborative and measurable, to help patients and their families manage the complexity of both mental and physical health.

More than 100,000 patients were tracked over a 10-year period to observe their outcomes and interactions. Below are statistics highlighting the impact of the program, based on this retrospective longitudinal cohort study between 2003 and 2013 comparing Team-Based Care to Traditional Practice Medicine:

  • Patients perceived physicians were more sensitive to their emotional or mental health concerns, explained things better, and provided better overall quality of care and services under the Mental Health Integration approach (p<.05)
  • The Team-Based Care model had higher rates of active depression screening (46 vs. 24.1 percent); adherence to diabetes care bundle (24.6 vs. 19.5 percent); and documentation of self-care plans (48.4 vs. 8.7 percent)
  • Rates of healthcare utilization were lower for Team-Based Care patients (18.1 vs. 23.5 visits per 100 person-years)
  • Significant reductions in payments to the delivery system were associated with the Team-Based Care group vs. the Traditional Practice Medicine ($3,400.62 vs. $3,515.71) and were lower than the investments in the Team-Based Care program

Learn more about Intermountain's Mental Health Integration program:

"Intermountain Healthcare's Mental Health Integration program is very impressive in its focus on clinical quality, improving outcomes, enhancing the patient experience and providing value," Dorn said. "There is much to learn from Intermountain's success and one of the fundamental goals of the Hearst Health Prize is to proliferate these best practices so that other programs and patients can benefit from this work."

"Treatment and management of mental health conditions is a critical issue in the population health field and we congratulate the Intermountain Healthcare team for creating and implementing such an effective program," Nash said. "The Hearst Health Prize submissions this year covered a broad range of issues and the judges came away with new insights about the good work that is being done across the country in a variety of settings."

The Hearst Health Prize applications were evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges based on the program's population health impact or outcome, demonstrated by measurable improvement; use of evidence-based interventions and best practices to improve the quality of care; promotion of communication, collaboration and engagement; scalability and sustainability; and innovation. Intermountain Healthcare was the highest scoring in these criteria based on the judges' evaluation.

The two Hearst Health Prize finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • American Heart Association/American Stroke Association: "Target: Stroke" is a national initiative aimed at increasing the number of eligible stroke patients receiving tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within the specified time frame in order to break up blood clots to protect the brain from damage that may cause disability or death. Hospitals participating in the program dropped average treatment times from 74 minutes to 59 minutes. For more information visit:
  • California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative based at Stanford University (CMQCC): CMQCC's mission is to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity, and reduce racial-ethnic disparities in birth outcomes. Through a series of data-driven quality improvement projects, CMQCC's work contributed to a significant decline in maternal mortality in California at a time when U.S. rates doubled. For more information visit:

The following organizations received Honorable Mention for their programs (in alphabetical order):

  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Children's Health System of Texas
  • Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
  • Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University
  • Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Rush University Medical Center


Reposted. For additional information about the Hearst Health Prize, please visit the main site at Jefferson College of Population Health.


Intermountain was awarded the prize for its Mental Health Integration program, which embeds mental health screening and treatment within primary care and select specialty practices.