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Intermountain Healthcare catalyzes unique partnership to address social determinants of health

Salt Lake City— Together with Utah’s leading health systems, Intermountain Healthcare (Intermountain) and United Way of Salt Lake (UWSL) have collaborated to improve the health and well-being of communities, improve coordination across health systems and reduce health care costs by addressing the upstream economic, education, and social factors that impact our health. Using an innovative multi-sector and comprehensive approach that addresses individual, community and systemic barriers, the partnership aims to improve outcomes for all Utahns – regardless of race, income, or ZIP code.

The new initiative builds on Intermountain’s pilot work over the past two years in Ogden and St. George, and aims to improve social determinants of health and drive better health outcomes by streamlining access to critical social services, and then removing barriers in areas such as housing, education, transportation, and jobs. The transformational partnership, supported by a $5M commitment made from Intermountain in 2019, brings together state health systems and partners including Select Health, HCA MountainStar, Molina Healthcare, University of Utah Health, the University of Utah Health Plans, Steward Health Care, Health Choice, the Utah Hospital Association, the Association for Utah Community Health, Get Healthy Utah, the Utah Department of Health, the Utah Health Information Network (UHIN), the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, and Cambia Health Foundation.

“Prior to the pandemic, we recognized that poor health outcomes are not merely the result of individuals’ behaviors,” said Marc Harrison, President and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare. “They result from unrealized factors such as uneven economic opportunity or inequitable education and healthcare systems, and they create conditions that limit individuals’ choices. COVID-19 has merely served as a spotlight on the need for more equitable solutions that address the social needs of individuals and communities at large.”

For more than a decade, United Way of Salt Lake has been building partnerships dedicated to transforming the systems that keep children and families from achieving their potential through health, financial stability, and education. By bringing together Utah’s leading health systems, community partners, and stakeholders across multiple sectors, UWSL and the Promise Partnership of Salt Lake will develop scalable solutions for addressing social determinants of health and establish an integrated plan for accelerated and equitable outcomes throughout our communities.

“We know that improving outcomes for Utahns, especially those most impacted by the pandemic, requires all of us to work together differently,” said Bill Crim, President and CEO of United Way of Salt Lake. “The investment from Intermountain Healthcare allows us to continue our efforts to lead an inclusive recovery for kids and families in our community. Through our partnerships, systems are changing, and outcomes are improving, and we know it is possible to create a more equitable world in which everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

United Way of Salt Lake currently works within six school districts, nine communities and five state systems, with hundreds of businesses, educational and community partners, and thousands of volunteers engaged in this transformational work. For more information visit uw.org.

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