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Career Retrospective: Tad Morley Reflects on Pinnacle of His 42 Years in Health Care

I’m a relationship person. My life’s fulfillment has come from building relationships and serving people. 

Eleven years ago, David Entwistle, then CEO of University of Utah Health Hospitals & Clinics, hired me as Executive Director of Regional Network, Outreach, & Telehealth. The mission was to improve access and coordination of care for patients in the large region we serve. Gordon Crabtree and Dan Lundergan, who followed David, have continued to support this vision. 

That’s what my team and I have focused on: Helping people receive excellent health care when, where, and how they need it. 

Now I’m moving on to a new chapter in my career and life. It was a rare opportunity to create a program within an existing institution that will live on after I leave.

Group photo of Tad Morely, Dan Lundergan, Gordon Crabtree, and David Entwistle
From left to right: Dan Lundergan, Gordon Crabtree, Tad Morley, David Entwistle.

Building Partnerships 

I am grateful for an extraordinary team that will carry on a legacy of serving our community near and far. 

The Network Development & Telehealth team has established strategic partnerships between U of U Health and physicians, hospitals, employers, and insurance companies around the Mountain West. We’ve affiliated with hospitals and provider groups and built clinical services across the region. 

I’ve been fortunate to guide the development of these connections, which expand access and improve clinical care for people outside the U of U Health system

We’ve built bridges of clinical care through: 

Telehealth services 

Telehealth services connect patients with physicians across distances. It also works to connect physicians with each other. 

For example, suppose a patient comes into a rural emergency department with stroke-like symptoms. Neurologists at U of U Health can consult with attending physicians in the rural community. They examine the patient, provide a diagnosis, and guide the attending physicians through a treatment plan. 

Or when a baby is born with complications in a rural area, U of U Health neonatologists in Salt Lake City can speak with the child’s physician. They can virtually examine the patient to determine best care. 

Another type of telehealth is virtual care between a patient and their physician. Some patients may not be able to come into an office, so they can speak with their physician via video conference. Some people live hours or more from a medical center. That kind of telehealth service is invaluable for them.

Staffing medical centers with our physicians 

U of U Health physicians also provide full-time clinical services in rural communities. Examples include hospitalists at Mountain West Medical Center in Tooele, or the emergency department at Sweetwater Memorial in Rock Springs, Wyoming. These physicians fill important needs that otherwise may not be met in the communities.

Partnering with health centers across the region 

We provide a lot of education to nurses and doctors in the outlying communities. This helps elevate care and create connections between U of U Health and rural clinicians. Along with that, some of these communities take part in research we’re doing at the university.   

This outreach allows us to focus on all components of our mission: clinical care delivery, research, education, and community engagement.

Growing and Serving the Region 

We created an affiliation agreement. This is a tool to establish “sticky” relationships with other hospitals and providers. That way we can collaborate and innovate to improve clinical care and elevate the skills of the clinicians in those communities. Twenty hospitals and two multispecialty provider groups are now affiliated with U of U Health

On any given day, U of U Health physicians representing many different specialties care for patients from Carson City, Nevada, to Rock Springs, Wyoming, and from Helena, Montana, to Grand Junction, Colorado. 

The Office of Network Development & Telehealth operates these clinics, covering a geographical area that is nearly 10% of the United States. We measure performance and monitor patient experience. We even manage an airplane to transport physicians and their teams to these far-reaching communities.

What I Leave Behind

When I began this journey 11 years ago, I started with a blank slate and a visionary leader who believed in me. I have been free to build a network of relationships and workflows that changed how health care is delivered in our region. 

Tad Morley traveling with physicians on the outreach airplane to visit regional affiliates.
Tad Morley traveling with physicians on the outreach airplane to visit regional affiliates.

The Network Development & Telehealth team works with U of U Health physicians and medical teams across the region to improve care in these communities. One of my most fulfilling achievements is assembling this team of talented, compassionate, and committed colleagues. 

Nate Gladwell, RN, MHA, joined our team in the early years of its development. He has been instrumental in building the team and the clinical programs—especially telehealth—to what they are today. I am thrilled Nate will take my place as Interim Executive Director for Network Development & Telehealth to improve and expand on the foundation we built. 

I am passionate about this work, and knowing that I am leaving it in Nate’s capable hands makes me very happy. 

There’s this quote from John Ruskin that I wrote down a long time ago and have kept with me: “The greatest reward is not what we receive for our labor, but what we become by it.” 

At the end of the day, what matters is who we are, how we’ve treated people, and what we’ve become through our work and associations with others. 

Who I’ve become is, in large measure, the result of people I’ve worked with and learned from, and the experiences life and career have brought me. 

While I will miss my work here and the people I work with, I look forward to continuing my journey of teaching, mentoring, humanitarian service, and serving my family.

Tad Morely

Tad Morley, MHA, FACHE

In February 2024, Tad Morley retires as executive director of Regional Network, Outreach, & Telehealth for University of Utah Health Hospitals & Clinics. Morley oversaw the business operations of U of U Health’s strategic partnerships and regional clinical delivery. He and his team collaborated with physicians, hospitals, payers, and employers to extend access to clinical care and improve outcomes throughout the Mountain West. Morley is an adjunct professor at the University of Utah Eccles School of Business and Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business. He is president of the Alliance for International Medicine, a nonprofit that trains health care providers to improve patient outcomes and quality of care in developing nations. He serves an advisor/mentor for the Gantry Group, a nonprofit that helps first-gen students navigate college admission, graduation, and post-graduate employment. Morley received an MHA from the University of Minnesota. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. In In addition to his professional titles and achievements, Morley is a husband, father, grandfather, and friend.  

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