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2017 Year-End Recap

Top 10 for 8 Year Running

While much has changed and continues to change at University of Utah Health, the fundamentals remain, namely our commitment to: provide compassionate care without compromise; educate scientists and health care professionals; engage in research to advance knowledge and well-being; and function as a comprehensive, inclusive, transparent, and collaborative health system.

U of U Health’s commitment to the exceptional patient experience and value continues. No other academic medical center in the country rivals what we have achieved with patient satisfaction. In 2017, for the eighth consecutive year, U of U Health was ranked among the nation’s top 10 academic medical centers for quality, safety, and accountability. Utah continues to offer the best health care at the lowest cost in the nation.

Transition and Reflection

This year’s departure of Former Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Vivian Lee, MD, PhD, MBA, was a loss for our institution. During Dr. Lee’s tenure, U of U Health made impressive strides toward transforming health care. Some of these include:

  • Application of LEAN management principles and the Value-Driven Outcomes (VDO) project;
  • Efforts to improve transparency in health care, including a pricing transparency platform and becoming the first health system to publish patient reviews online;
  • Quality initiatives to improve an inpatient and outpatient experience;
  • Dedicating two new ambulatory care centers to expand access to high-value care;
  • A sharper focus on improving care delivery from the patient’s perspective;
  • Growing the research enterprise by more than one-third;
  • Launching the Utah Genome Project and the Center for Medical Innovation;
  • Partnering with the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation on the Driving Out Diabetes Initiative;
  • Expanding the School of Medicine class size;
  • Opening a new School of Dentistry; and
  • Securing philanthropic and legislative funding, of historic proportions, to advance the construction of a new school of medicine, ambulatory care center, and rehabilitation hospital.

While situations differ across the country, it adds some context and perspective to know that U of U Health was only one of dozens of health systems that experienced executive resignations in 2017. Despite this, we continue to be grateful for the path Dr. Lee set for our health system. Her positive impact on the university, and on health care in general, will be felt for decades to come.

Forward Momentum

Everyone at U of U Health plays a role in maintaining our stability and propelling us forward. Once again, we will recruit an exceptional senior vice president who is eager to be a part of this distinctly collaborative ecosystem.

Here’s a look back at just a few of U of U Health’s most notable moments from 2017.

National Recognition

2017-18 Best Hospital Rankings

Academic Excellence

  • College of Nursing:
    • Ranked No. 18 in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants
    • U.S. News & World Report rankings:
      • 7 for Nursing Informatics
      • 9 for Nurse Midwifery
      • 22 for Doctor of Nursing Practice
      • 31 for Nursing Master of Science
    • Received American Association of College of Nursing’s inaugural “New Era Award” for its efforts to integrate into an academic health center.
  • School of Medicine:
    • U.S. News & World Report rankings:
      • 5 Physician Assistant Program
      • 34 Primary Care (up from No. 54 last year)
      • 40 Research (up from No. 46 last year)
    • College of Pharmacy:
      • Ranked No. 8 in NIH research grants
      • U.S. News & World Report rankings:
        • 17 PharmD Program
    • College of Health:
      • U.S. News & World Report rankings:
        • 20 Physical Therapy Program
        • 30 Speech-Language Pathology

First Graduating Class of Dental Students

Dental Class of 2017 Grads

The Class of 2017 was the first graduating class of the University of Utah School of Dentistry.

First Expanded Class of Medical Students Graduate

  • Medical Doctorate degrees awarded to 93 students in the class of 2017, the first class to benefit from the restored class size. Utah’s governor and state legislature approved a phased increase in the medical school class size, starting with the Class of 2017, expanding from 82 to 102 and, ultimately, to 122.

Launched PA Program with Dixie State University

Research Innovation

Wendy Chapman

Wendy Chapman, PhD

National Academy Inductees

    • Carrie Byington, PhD, Pediatrics: National Academy of Medicine (currently on faculty at Texas A&M University)
    • Dana Carroll, PhD, Biochemistry: National Academy of Science
    • Wendy Chapman, PhD, Biomedical Informatics: National Academy of Medicine 

Expanded Care

  • Expanded affiliate network to include 19 regional partners throughout the Mountain West and 77 telehealth sites.
  • Began construction on a 170,000-square-foot, five story health center in the heart of Sugar House. Anticipated completion date is mid-2019.

A New Look   

  • U of U Health celebrated an exciting brand evolution by unveiling of a new logo that represents the groundbreaking work we're doing collectively in the areas of clinical care, research, and education. 

Campus Transformation

  • Major progress was made toward transforming our health sciences campus, including groundbreakings for a new Ambulatory Care Center and Rehabilitation Hospital.
  • U of U Health Sciences received $123 million in donations in Fiscal Year 2017, including a $50 million appropriation from the Utah Legislature for the new School of Medicine.

Lorris Betz, MD, PhD

Guest blogger Lorris Betz is currently serving as interim senior vice president for the University of Utah Health Sciences, CEO of University of Utah Health, and executive dean of the University's School of Medicine while the University conducts a national search for this position. Dr. Betz previously served in this capacity from 1999-2011, and served as interim president of the University of Utah twice during his career.

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