Embracing community engagement

Last November, David Skorton, M.D., president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, stated that confronting today’s most pressing issues “will require medical schools and university hospitals to go beyond their traditional three missions—medical education, clinical care and research—to add a fourth component: community collaborations.”

At University of Utah Health, we are already well on our way to embracing community engagement as a fourth mission. Our inaugural Report to Our Community and a new website highlight some of the impactful ways we are partnering with our communities to improve the health and lives of citizens in Utah and around the Mountain West.

Health is connected to a whole host of factors, including the neighborhoods we live in, the air we breathe, the money we make, the schools we attend, along with our physical appearance and the resulting systemic racism. At U of U Health, we are committed to addressing our most difficult challenges so that every individual has equal opportunity to live a healthy life. We know we cannot do it alone and are humbled and honored to partner with so many passionate individuals who share this commitment.

This report and website mark the beginning of our commitment to chronicle the terrific work that so many dedicated individuals are doing. I hope the passion, talent, generosity and optimism of the individuals featured in our report creates a bright spot as we move on from a difficult 2020 and into a promising 2021.