The 'Best of Times'
May 17, 2016 11:03 AM
This week, in addition to 48 students who will earn their Ph.D.’s, 130 who will receive Masters’ degrees, and 31 undergraduates who will advance, a new class of 81 Utah medical students will become physicians.
Fortunately for all of us, we will mark their commencement with some wisdom from one of Utah’s best. At this year’s University of Utah School of Medicine commencement ceremony, our new graduates have the honor of hearing from one of the nation’s top health care innovators, Intermountain Healthcare’s CEO and President, Charles W. Sorenson, M.D., in his speech titled, “It’s the Best of Times. Period!”
I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Sorenson over my past 5 years in Utah and, it is safe to say, he is one of the most effective and influential health care leaders I’ve ever met. At Intermountain and nationally, he is known for harnessing the power of data to spur a system-wide, evidence-based initiative aimed at improving outcomes while increasing efficiency and controlling costs—all while never losing sight of the patient.
Dr. Sorenson is the kind of health care leader we hope our students will one day emulate. For more than 7 years as President and CEO, he has challenged his own health care system to improve quality and outcomes for their patients.
As leaders in health care today, juggling innumerable external and internal pressures to reform, we must keep the patient at the center of our care. New payment models coupled with skyrocketing costs of health care demand a new model of delivery. It is clear that we must continue to improve the care we deliver, applying evidence-based, best practices in all we do. Yet these innovations have to be driven by an unwavering commitment to and compassion for our patients.
Both Intermountain and University of Utah Health Care are at the forefront of innovating this new model of care for our nation. We are building systems for the future—systems that create more access, higher-value and longer-term relationships with our populations. We are moving our care centers closer to patients and training our current and future health care providers in these new systems. The mandate is clear. We must innovate for the benefit of our populations and for our own ability to weather reforms.
In October of this year, Dr. Sorenson is retiring from his role as President and CEO of Intermountain Health Care. Like the true leader he is, his days will not be filled with long drives on the golf course or precise casts of the fly rod. Rather, he will be leading Intermountain’s Healthcare Leadership Institute, an effort that is dedicated to training providers and health care professionals in delivering quality and controlling costs.
Before he takes the helm at this new institute, next week Dr. Sorenson will share his vision for the future of health care with the providers we’ve trained to succeed in it.
On behalf of the University of Utah Class of 2016, we look forward to even more of the “Best of Times” ahead, for our graduates and for Dr. Sorenson too.comments powered by Disqus