Hans Koepsell, Deseret News
Dr. Marc Harrison, CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, comments in an interview in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. An upcoming organizational restructuring will affect the employment of some administrators at Intermountain Healthcare, the Deseret News has learned.

SALT LAKE CITY — An upcoming organizational restructuring will affect the employment of some administrators at Intermountain Healthcare, the Deseret News has learned.

Intermountain spokesman Daron Cowley said the Salt Lake-based nonprofit health care organization is moving away from "geographically defined administrative regions" and replacing them with two main reporting chains inside the hospital system: a Specialty Care Group and a Community Care Group.

The change takes effect Dec. 1, Cowley said.

"The Community Care Group will focus on keeping people well through prevention and excellent primary care," he told the Deseret News in an email. "The Specialty Care Group will focus on specialist and hospital inpatient care."

Both groups will operate under the direction of Intermountain's executive leadership team.

Intermountain's website indicates the hospital system has been organized around central, north, south and southwest regions. In a message sent to employees last week, the organization said "those who are impacted will be given the opportunity to apply for new positions."

"For some it will provide exciting opportunities to develop their talents and contribute to Intermountain in new ways," the message states, attributed to the executive leadership team. "Our human resources teams will be there to help people make smooth transitions."

Cowley declined to confirm which positions — or how many — will be affected but called them "administrative staff."

"The few administrative staff who are impacted were notified last week and will be given the opportunity to apply for new and existing positions within the organization," he said.

Cowley later added in a phone interview that "to respect the privacy of individuals, we're not going to specify which positions they are." He said Intermountain is "working individually with those impacted."

"Everyone who was affected has been notified," he said, adding that "it affects only the employment of a few people" and in administrative positions.

Intermountain Healthcare, which oversees 22 hospitals and 185 clinics, is Utah's largest employer as of 2016, according to data assembled by the state Department of Workforce Services.

"Most of Intermountain’s 39,000 employees … will see little or no change as a result of moving away from a regional structure," Cowley said.

The executive leadership team's message to employees touted the change as an important way to "allow us to work more effectively," as well as "create more value in the form of better, more affordable care" and "be more nimble in these turbulent times."

"Most people would agree that health care is still far too expensive," the message said. "This new structure will help us take the best possible care of our patients' resources. … (It) will help us focus on the best and most efficient ways to deliver care regardless of how people are insured or how they pay for their care — including the underserved to whom we extend our charity care in times of need."

The memo also described ways in which changes to Intermountain's day-to-day operations "will be implemented across our system."

"Our shared support services like communications, human resources, and finance, for example, are among those functions that will be organized in a One Intermountain approach — bringing together the talents and best work of people across the enterprise in a more coordinated way," it stated.

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Cowley said "One Intermountain" is not a rebranding but instead refers to the new structure ideal of using "an approach that involves the entire organization."

"We recognize times of change are stressful and challenging," the organization's memo said. "We want to be an agile, responsive organization, always ready to improve. That naturally means putting in the effort to learn new ways of doing things while continuing to meet the daily demands of our jobs.

"In uncertain times, it is more important than ever that we live our values and support each other with kindness and sensitivity."