Intermountain Healthcare has announced five steps to move equity forward in significant ways at the organization and in the communities it serves. These steps build on actions taken in the past and will strengthen this important work in the future.
Intermountain’s unifying mission—helping people live the healthiest lives possible—applies to everyone. “Hate will never have a place in healing,” said Marc Harrison, MD, Intermountain’s president and CEO, in a recent video.
Here are five steps Intermountain has announced:
• Because fairness and inclusion have a place in healing, Intermountain is adding equity as both a Fundamental and a Value.
Establishing equity as a fundamental – along with safety, quality, patient experience, access, and stewardship – is an important acknowledgement of existing disparities in health and access to quality healthcare resources. Equity, along with other fundamentals that drive Intermountain strategy, is integral to helping people live their healthiest lives possible.
• Because accountability has a place in healing, Intermountain is hiring new leadership focused on equity.
Intermountain will hire a chief equity officer to lead and manage equity work across the system. This role will consult with executive leadership to develop an intentional strategy and cohesive approach, cultivating an environment that values and demonstrates Intermountain's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to the chief equity officer, a senior medical director of equity & inclusion and a senior nursing director of equity & inclusion will be hired.
• Intermountain will hire an equity advocate.
This person will serve as an advocate and mediator, supporting equity among caregivers and those served.
• Because growth has a place in healing, Intermountain is dedicating funding to support equity opportunities.
Intermountain will expand ways to support equity opportunities for current and future caregivers and to support community organizations through financial contributions. For example, Intermountain will create or build charitable contribution funds for scholarships, tuition reimbursement, fellowship stipends, and impact investments.
• Because collaboration has a place in healing, Intermountain is working with other organizations in the community to address racism as a public health crisis.
As a member of Utah’s healthcare community, Intermountain believes systemic racism is a danger to the health of patients, families, and communities. This means that, with partners, Intermountain will address a complex array of economic and resource inequalities found throughout significant parts of U.S. society, including clinical care, social determinants of health, healthcare access, and career opportunities.
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see intermountainhealthcare.org.