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Intermountain Medical Group Turns 25

Today the Intermountain Medical Group includes 1,372 physicians and 479 advanced practitioners

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA, February 15, 2019 / -- If you were around in 1994, you may remember "Schindler's List" won the Academy Award for best picture, the Sony Playstation was launched, "The Lion King" and "Forrest Gump" were popular movies, a TV show named "Friends" was first aired, and the commercial potential of something called the "World Wide Web" was discussed at a conference in San Francisco.

It was also the year 16 Intermountain Healthcare physicians signed an agreement that created what's become the Intermountain Medical Group.

Almost from its founding in 1975, Intermountain Healthcare leaders recognized the need to partner more closely with physicians. Intermountain took steps in the 1980s to engage physicians more meaningfully in the organization's operations and governance. Then in 1994, the Intermountain Medical Group (originally called the IHC Physician Division) was created based on recommendations of a joint Intermountain-physician task force.

The members of the task force signed their names to a "Statement of Principles and Philosophy" drafted by urologist Charles Sorenson, MD, who later became Intermountain's CEO.

"It's interesting to go back and read through the original document that was put together," says Chris Thornock, the Medical Group's vice president and chief operating officer. "All of the reasons the Medical Group was established — to improve quality, implement an electronic medical record, engage physicians in clinical program work, and manage population health — are still very relevant today."

When it began, the Medical Group was a cutting-edge concept; there weren't many similar physician groups in the healthcare industry. Not knowing what to expect, leaders had a conservative vision of the future. It started with just 17 physicians, two advanced practitioners, and 53 employees, which totaled 71 team members.

"When the Medical Group was founded, I don't think there was ever a goal in terms of the number of physicians who'd be part of the group," says Chris. "The vision was much smaller. There were some who said, 'Well, we might get to 500.' Today the Medical Group includes 1,372 physicians and 479 advanced practitioners."

As it's grown, the Medical Group has implemented significant changes over the years, such as:

• Mental health integration is provided in all primary care and some specialty care clinics.
• Personalized primary care helped all Intermountain primary care clinics earn National Committee for Quality Assurance's Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition.
• Intermountain's Zero Harm initiative in ambulatory settings leads the nation in ambulatory patient safety.
• The former Primary Care Clinical Program — which included family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics — developed best practice and care process models that have led to better patient health.

"For 25 years the Medical Group has served wherever our clinics, providers, and caregivers are found and our growth over the years has broadened our ability do good," says Tim Johnson MD, the Medical Group's senior medical director. "The Medical Group is vital to helping Intermountain achieve its mission of helping people live the healthiest lives possible."

Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based not-for-profit system of 23 hospitals, 170 clinics, medical group, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare through evidence-based best practices, high quality and sustainable costs. For more information about Intermountain, visit

Daron Cowley
Intermountain Healthcare
+1 801-442-2834
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