Vivian S. Lee, MD, PhD, MBA: Outstanding Directors

Congratulations to Vivian S. Lee, MD, PhD, MBA, one of Utah Business’ 2016 Outstanding Directors honorees. Vivan is the Senior Vice President of University Health Sciences, CEO of University of Utah Health Care, Dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine, and Director on the Zions Bancorporation Board of Directors.

Harris H. Simmons: Doctor Lee brings a very customer centric perspective to our board. I think it was one of the things that I first noticed in the board room with her is that she thinks about things through the customers’ eyes. And so often we get caught up in accounting issues and regulatory perspectives and everything else. She’s always reminding us that this is all about the customer at the end of the day, and I greatly appreciate that.

Vivian S. Lee: Being involved in the board of Zions has been very, very informative in my own day to day job. For one thing, it’s given me a appreciation of just how regulated an industry could be. I thought that healthcare was remarkably regulated. Being in banking has taught me that there’s whole other standard for that. But also I think there are remarkable similarities in our two areas. We are both industries that are very carefully regulated. There are high barriers to entry. We’re very stable organizations and businesses, but at the same time we’re seeing a rapidly changing demographic. We’re seeing dramatic changes in the way in which people engage in business, whether it’s thinking about their healthcare or thinking about what they do with their money, money or their lives, both are very important to people, so I’m getting a lot of insight and looking at the banking industry and applying it to the healthcare industry.

Harris H. Simmons: One of the things that I think that Doctor Vivian Lee has done a remarkable job of at the University of Utah, and she’s known nationally for this in the healthcare industry, is measuring quality and quality outcomes and costs and how they relate to quality. But I find myself thinking a lot more about that as I look at the work she’s done up at the University of Utah and thinking more about how we develop internal ways of keeping score, both in terms of costs and quality. And she’s as good as anybody in the country at that.

Vivian S. Lee: Well I really enjoy the opportunity to work with the leaders of the bank. I really enjoy working with Harris and also my fellow board members. I really enjoy the meetings, the times to get together and to hear their perspectives. There’s such a wide range of backgrounds in that room and so even sometimes I think the simplest questions people can offer very nuanced and different perspectives and I really enjoy that. It’s just intellectually really engaging.