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Dr. Pate’s Prescription for Change

St. Luke’s Health System’s Journey to Transform Health Care

St. Luke’s Dr. David Pate: Signing off and starting anew

By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
January 30, 2020

This is my last entry for this, my first-ever blog.

I began this blog with my first writing on Dec. 6, 2011, more than eight years ago. When we began, my blog editor, Roya Camp, my vice president of communications, Beth Toal, and I discussed whether it should be internally facing – a communication for St. Luke’s employees, physicians and board members – or externally facing for all to see.

We decided to make it public. We wanted to be transparent, and it was a way for us to chronicle our journey on the road to transforming health care. Why wouldn’t we want to share our experience with others, if it might help them make this transformation themselves?

It was the right decision. We have engaged readers from all over the world. It has been useful for reporters, legislators, board members, other health systems, physicians, insurers and many in our communities who are simply interested in what we are doing. St. Luke’s leaders routinely have come back from meetings and conferences having been approached by colleagues at other health systems who have found the blog useful. Very skilled clinicians and other health-care professionals have come to work for us from all over the country; they tell us the blog, and what they learned about our mission and vision from reading my writing and that of guest bloggers, helped them decide to come to work for St. Luke’s.

We published every week. Guest bloggers contributed different perspectives and different experiences. I personally wrote more than 150 blog posts, averaging 16 or 17 per year. We broke news in this space, we explained developments on the national front and we kept the St. Luke’s family and community informed and up to date on all of our initiatives, projects and innovations. The writing has become source material for our annual reports, for lots of media reports and for wonderful engagement with St. Luke’s stakeholders, who have responded with further questions and great ideas and helped us to spread word of our transformation through their own social media circles.   

It has been a wonderful experience, and I have very much enjoyed telling St. Luke’s story to the world and recognizing the amazing employees, leaders and physicians of St. Luke’s.

My last day with St. Luke’s is tomorrow and I have decided to continue writing, launching a blog that is independent of St. Luke’s. I plan to continue to provide updates and commentary on important issues for health-care leaders, board members, legislators and all those who want to understand better what is going on in health care and how to think, or be challenged in their thinking, about some of the complicated issues being discussed in the press, the media and our legislatures.

If you want objective, unbiased, non-partisan information on topics important to health care, my blog is for you. I do intend to include my personal perspectives for those who want to know where I stand on these issues of great importance to our future.

My new blog can be found at drpatesblog.com. At the bottom of the first webpage is a section for you to subscribe so that you will get an email notice each time I post new material. I hope you will sign up. Please tell others about it and encourage them to sign up.

A bit of a disclaimer here. My new blog will represent my own thoughts, opinions and positions and not those of St. Luke’s Health System. After tomorrow, I do not speak for or on behalf of St. Luke’s. I do hope you will continue to follow St. Luke’s news blog if you wish to stay current with developments at St. Luke’s.

Please do sign up for my new blog at drpatesblog.com, follow me on Twitter @drpatesblog and thank you for your readership. If no one was reading it, there would be no point to a blog.

All the best to each of you, and I wish you all good health!

About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.