The Melody of Innovation

Vivian Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. Senior Vice President, University of Utah Health Sciences


There's a great quote by Thomas Edison that I love. "If there's a better way, find it."

I think if you have that approach when you look out in the world, you realize that there's always a better way to do what we're doing now. One of the things that's interesting about being in an academic medical center is that you're not just a healthcare delivery system, you have students, and trainees around, and then of course you have many, many researchers.

It's really in that environment is that you can come up with some of the most creative solutions that we need in healthcare, because you have the brilliance of these researchers, and then you're training students, and trainees who are always questioning "Why do we do things this way? Why can't we do it that way? "

Because we have the resources to answer their questions through our researchers, I think we have the opportunity to create whole new ways of thinking that we never did before.

I'm very motivated when I think there's a vision that seems very clear to me, that requires bringing together people from all different backgrounds, from all different perspectives, and getting them to work together successfully.

The value added comes from different backgrounds, different life experiences, trained in different fields of specialty, creativity. And the great new ideas come at those interfaces.

All of us feel a responsibility to train the next generation of researchers, educators, and healthcare providers. As a result we're not just looking at trying to solve the problems today for tomorrow, but we're looking at trying to solve them for years to come.

My highest hopes for the University of Utah are that we really make a difference to the world, we make people better, and healthier, and happier.

The pieces are already here, the talent is already here, what we really need to be able to do is to allow that talent to flourish, and to provide the overall direction for where we want to go. And then kind of step out, get out of the way, and let everyone move us forward.

To know that individually those people are all doing great things, and they're advancing in their own fields, but by bringing everyone in that room together, and to feel those sparks go off, it's incredibly satisfying.