The Intermountain Health Care Board of Trustees has announced the formation of a new regional board to oversee all IHC activities in Utah County.

The move also disbands the governing boards at American Fork Hospital and Utah Valley Regional Medical Center/Orem Community Hospital, effective July 1."The new regional board is in keeping with IHC's strategy to develop an integrated health system, where physicians, hospitals and health plans work in concert to improve patient care and service," said Larry Dursteler, regional vice president. "A decision to create a region board was made with input from members of the two hospital boards, as well as physician leaders at the hospitals."

Orem developer Merrill Gappmayer has been asked to serve as interim chairman of the new region board, until a permanent chairman is designated. The new board includes 20 members, many of whom now serve on the two hospital boards.

The governing board will oversee physician privileging, IHC physician group and hospital operations, and provide local input to IHC health plans. The two medical staffs will remain independent for now but could later be consolidated.