Intermountain Healthcare, Utah medical school launch program to address health disparities

Hannah Mitchell -

Intermountain Healthcare is teaming up with the University of Utah's medical school to develop a new program that addresses population health and encourages physicians to stay in the region.

In an April 8 news release, Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare said it's investing $50 million over multiple years in the new program to train physicians to consider a person's immediate needs, but also their life circumstances that could affect their health.

Five details on the partnership:

  1. The investment will establish the University of Utah Intermountain Healthcare Population Health Student Scholars Program at the Salt Lake City-based university's medical school.

  2. The program will provide tuition support for medical students accepted into the program. In 2021 there will be 10 students, but by 2022 there will be 25 students in each cohort moving forward.

  3. The university will seek legislative and accreditation approvals to increase the number of medical students in each class.

  4. The program will have three endowed professorships — the Intermountain Population Health Sciences Professors — and four Intermountain Population Health Endowed Chairs in the medical school. The faculty members will teach students, as well as lead research and clinical education opportunities.

  5. Program graduates are committed to returning as a physician at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah in one of six population health specialties. This is expected to mitigate physician shortages in the state.

"I'm proud that these two organizations are leading the nation in developing a cadre of physicians specifically prepared to deliver this innovative approach to communities," said Marc Harrison, MD, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare. "Working with patients holistically will improve the health of all, most notably the vulnerable and underserved, who are too often left behind."

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