SALT LAKE CITY — Dr. Marc Harrison, the new CEO and president of Intermountain Healthcare, is charged with leading 40,000 workers, the largest private employer in the state.
After just seven months on the job, we thought we would check in with him to see how he's walking the walk when it comes to living the healthiest life possible.
"It's very important to me to live a healthy life," Harrison said.
That's why before hitting the office or going on rounds in the ICU at Primary Children's Hospital, Dr. Harrison hits the pool.
"I've always been a relatively 'early to bed, very early to rise' person and I love the early morning hours, so this morning I was in the pool at 5 a.m.," Harrison said. "That's just who I am. I don't necessarily advocate that early morning stuff."
Harrison also bikes, runs and skis. He said he's thoughtful about the foods he eats and is always training for a triathlon. Since 1982, Harrison has never missed a year, that's 35 triathlons — seven of them Ironman races. "I'm not sure if I've got a lot more of those in me," he said. "They beat you up a lot."
It was during a competition seven years ago that Dr. Harrison's life hit a speed bump. "I was actually doing an Ironman and I started to bleed in the second half of the marathon," he said.
When the bleeding persisted, he got it checked out. Doctors diagnosed him with bladder cancer. In his 40s, Harrison knew that was early for bladder cancer, but he immediately took care of it. He said he was lucky in many ways, but pretty unlucky to have this bad thing happen.
"I'm one of these people who I do not believe when bad things happen, it's like a blessing — it's just a bad thing. But people can make good things come out of bad things," Harrison said.
Cancer free now, Harrison is grateful for his health and looks forward to supporting and sponsoring events that bring awareness to the disease, like the American Fork Canyon's Run Against Cancer.
This year, he is joining 4,000 runners and kicking off the marathon.
"For me, this is not a competitive day. This is just a day to get out and celebrate being well and support people who are fellow cancer survivors," Harrison said.
The money raised from the AF Canyon Run will go to cancer research and care.
Registration is still open for the June 24 event that includes a half-marathon, 10K, 5K, and Kids run. To sign up, go to www.afcanyonrun.com.