Intermountain Healthcare’s new
governance model empowers
and engages clinicians
most respected and successful health systems in the country
is: “So, why now? [Intermountain Medical Group has] been
around for about 25 years. Why look at changing our medical
group board and the structure of our governance for it?
Health care has been changing and ever more rapidly changing over the last 25 years. [Intermountain] changed at the
same time. We’ve grown significantly. We’ve added specialties.
But perhaps the most important reason for ‘why’ comes down
to our physicians and our advanced practice providers. They
wanted to be more engaged in governance. We needed to be
able to engage our frontline clinicians to be successful.”
Governance vs. Management
Before Intermountain’s leadership engaged in a governance
overhaul, the medical group’s board had for a long time
looked into the makeup of medical boards across the U.S. and
identified opportunities for its own improvement. The medical
group’s board had consisted of 30 individuals, half of whom
were ex-officio or management leaders, and diversity hadn’t
been a priority (84% male, 16% female; two-thirds primary
Featuring Mark Briesacher, M.D., Karyn Springer, M.D., and Mark Milligan, M.D.
At AMGA’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., Intermountain Healthcare’s Medical Group Board Chair Karyn Springer, M.D. and colleagues Mark Briesacher, M.D., chief physician executive, and
Mark Milligan, M.D., chair, nominating and governance com-
mittee, delivered a breakout session, “Evolving Intermountain
Medical Group’s Board and Governance Model.” These leaders
provided a comprehensive overview of their organization’s
restructure of governance and board leadership.
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system
of 24 hospitals; 160 primary, specialty, and urgent care clinics
and occupational health locations; telemedicine and virtual
care; and at-home services throughout Utah, southern Idaho,
and northern Nevada. Intermountain Medical Group is the
arm that manages the clinics and employs practicing physi-
cians and advanced practice providers (APPs).
Intermountain’s efforts to create a governance model for
its medical group resulted in increased clinician engagement.
Springer said perhaps the most pertinent question for an
organization that, over the decades, has become one of the