Spanning the globe for insights into human behavior and persuasion.



New Gig

Just started a new job today with Intermountain Health care, an integrated, non-profit health system in Salt Lake City that includes hospitals, clinics, physician groups and health plans. I'll be in the corporate communications department working as a writer.

I have a history with IHC -- I worked my way through college as a clerk at one of their hospitals, then, during my senior year, I interned in the hospital's PR department. This is a company I believe in. I believed in them even as I was delivering carts filled with rubber gloves and sharps containers to the medical floors.

Remember the story of the reporter who asked a janitor at the Kennedy Space Center what his job was? The janitor answered, "I'm helping to put a man on the moon." I was that guy at Logan Regional Hospital. My first job there was to make certain the medical staff had all the supplies they needed. In my eyes, I was helping the hospital staff provide high-quality, efficient, affordable care. I organized the supply rooms to be orderly and easy to access, and I made sure they were fully stocked and that the supplies were rotated. Maybe I wasn't the key cog, but I made the jobs of the key cogs easier.

Working in the hospital PR department was tremendous. I interviewed and wrote stories about people who benefited from the charity care the hospital provided. I publicized a community health fair. I even wrote a series of articles on interpersonal communications for the hospital newsletter. I've always hoped I could return to work for IHC. It's been eight years, but I got my wish.

IHC has PR issues. A handful of Utah legislators during the February legislative session were pushing first to tax the system, and then introduced a bill to break it up. By the end of the session, the legislature voted to form a task force (link may break... sorry) to study whether IHC's tax exempt status gives it monopolistic power.

I don't know if I'll be spending my time on these issues, but I hope so. This is the type of environment that PR practitioners crave. No, it's not about spin. It's about persuasion. It's about fact and solid arguments winning over hype and fear. Looking forward to it. I'll share as much as I can here...

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