About the Alliance

The Alliance is a three-year demonstration that began January 2019 to test best practices in meeting social needs to improve well-being and the affordability of healthcare. The intent is to scale successful components of the demonstration to other communities and share best practices locally and nationally.


The demonstration takes place in Washington and Weber counties in Utah. These two geographies were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Size: These counties have a population of at least 2,000 SelectHealth Community Care members which was needed to study outcomes and impact.
  • Community need: The population has a lower than average life expectancy, higher behavioral health needs, lower education and income levels, and higher emergency department usage than the state average.
  • Community Readiness: Most importantly, these communities demonstrated a culture of collaboration, innovative public health efforts, and a willingness to work collectively.

Non-medical determinants of health, often referred to as the social determinants, are thought to account for up to 60% of health outcomes. Addressing these non-medical health drivers requires innovative and collaborative solutions involving government, healthcare, education, private sector and community-based organizations. 

Social Determinants of Health

Our Partners

The Alliance relies on a diverse cross sector of partner organizations who are taking an innovative and collaborative approach to address social needs. There are governance and advisory groups in place that include community stakeholders and Intermountain representatives. Partners are committed to:

  • Aligning social services and care delivery
  • Removing silos between delivery systems, public health and community partners through innovative partnerships
  • Using technology and data sharing to improve coordination and find solutions

A National Model For Change

The Alliance is a member of a nationwide organization NASDOH (The National Alliance to impact the Social Determinants of Health) which provides a bridge for regional efforts that are working to systematically and pragmatically build a common understanding of the importance of addressing social needs as part of an overall approach to health improvement. NASDOH provides a forum to share promising practices and resources as well as exam other cross-sector collaborations focused on social determinants. It also provides a collective voice to advocate for policy and healthcare innovation.

Intermountain Healthcare committed a $12 million charitable contribution to support the Alliance’s three-year demonstration. Additional funders include Zions Bank and the Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation. The funds are being used to address gaps in meeting social needs, build community infrastructure, and support community partners in coordinating care. Funding decisions are made by a committee of local community partners and state stakeholders. 

The Alliance's Founding

In the fall of 2017, Intermountain’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Marc Harrison, MD shared a ride from the Chicago airport with former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt. As they chatted, they discovered they were working on many of the same problems: what are the best ways to help vulnerable people live healthier lives? “He asked me why I returned to Intermountain Healthcare after 20 years away,” said Dr. Harrison. “I told him I felt Intermountain was a model health system for the people we serve, and that our presence really, truly helps us understand community members in ways other people can’t. The Alliance for the Determinants of Health is the result of that conversation.” 

Intermountain Healthcare’s role in the Alliance for the Determinants of Health also includes:

  • Leading the convening of local and statewide stakeholders to form the advisory and governance bodies of demonstration. 
  • Implementing screening for social determinants in hospital and clinic settings in the Alliance geographies. 
  • Educating and training Intermountain caregivers about how to identify social needs among patients and connect them to community resources. 
  • Coordinating data and evaluation process including a national evaluator for the demonstration.
  • Coordinating the selection and implementation of a digital platform and purchasing of licensures for community-based organizations.