Intermountain further solidifies research reputation with new innovation center

Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare has opened a new 120,000-square-foot innovation center aimed at accelerating care transformation.

The Kem C. Garder Intermountain Transformation Center will house institutes for leadership development simulation, research and clinical training, among others. For example, on-site clinicians will be conducting research into using 3D printers to generate organs for transplants.

“It takes humility, sharing ideas and learning from each other to make the world a better place,” said Intermountain CEO Marc Harrison at an event marking the facility’s grand opening. “That is what this new facility is all about.”

The center's opening comes on the heels of the official launch of the Intermountain-led generic drug company Civica Rx, both of which put a spotlight on Intermountain's research focus.

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The center was made possible by a $20 million donation to the health system. All told, more than 1,500 studies across 20 clinical areas will be conducted within the center, according to Intermountain.

Leadership development through simulation will be a key focus area at the center. The Institute for Healthcare Leadership will offer leadership training to clinical teams and will use simulations to put trainees in various scenarios. These training sessions can touch on a variety of subjects, including teamwork, communication and engaging with staff, according to the health system.

“The core focus of our leadership program will be character,” Charles Sorenson, M.D., Intermountain president emeritus who will oversee the institute, said at the opening. “Instilling humility, vision, trust, human connection and preparations to inspire those to a better way.”

It is one of a number of recently announced health system-focused research facilities.

The American Hospital Association recently launched an innovation center, forming a designated hub for its efforts on delivery and payment reform, and encouraging its members to take a more active role in crafting health policy.

As part of a new $1 billion partnership announced between RWJBarnabas and Rutgers over the summer, RWJBarnabas said it would fund the construction of a new clinical and research building for the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The new NYU Langone Kimmel Pavilion finalized earlier this summer included a new science research building.

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Collaboration with groups outside of Intermountain is also a key part of the innovation center, according to the health system.

Intermountain has partnered with the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) to work with health IT leaders “from around the globe” and is inviting experts in other areas as well.

The first class of leaders for training will come to the innovation center on Oct. 15.