I had the pleasure of attending the first Inaugural Health Innovation Symposium presented by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Intermountain Health St. Mary’s last month. The goal of the day was to bring community and industry leaders together to coalesce around 3-5 goals that, if addressed and/or achieved, will help to improve the health and wellness of the community overall. From behavioral health to outdoor recreation as a prescription for improved health, a wide variety of topis were presented for consideration. The day culminated with a keynote from Intermountain Health’s Vice President of Strategy, Dave Dirks. Dirks talked at length about the importance of changing the model of sick care to a true version of health care with an outcomes-based shift to value-based care.  

The who’s who in the healthcare industry in western Colorado were present and while it was an impactful day of sharing ideas, networking, and goal setting, it was also a great reminder that the work Monument Health is doing in the value-based care space is ahead of the curve. 

This statement from Dirks was a catalyst for my reflection about the work we do: “Everything has to start in value-based care with understanding the individual.”

It’s all about the individual person. When we keep the individual at the center of their care, improved health outcomes are a natural output. And while high quality care is imperative as we consider the individual, Monument Health must actively align incentives of the healthcare providers and the insurance companies to contain or reduce costs. Without committed providers, specialists and payer partners, our network would not be where we are today; we would not be reducing healthcare costs nor would we be able to provide individualized care, both of which we are effectively achieving because of our strong network partnerships. And we continue to expand. We are adding more and more providers and specialists who are committed to quality performance and improved health outcomes, in addition to deepening our relationships with insurance companies.

As our network expands, we are better suited to keep specialized care local; reduce long wait times and access concerns for patients; spread risk across a broader population realizing more cost containment; and achieve broader, improved health outcomes. 

Growth for Monument Health is flywheel momentum reversing the archaic version of sick care to a transformative hyper-personalized health care experience; this reversal is happening right before our eyes in western Colorado—albeit step-by-step—because of our committed provider, hospital and payer partners.  

Western Colorado is a model for this transformative work and I’m proud of what we’re accomplishing together. 

Ashley Thurow

Executive Director