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To all my Dear Patients and Families,                    

It is with a full heart and after much prayerful consideration that I am announcing that I am leaving Utah Valley Pediatrics on June 25, 2019.

Where am I going? My wife and I are taking our family to Vanuatu, a small country in the South Pacific.

Why am I leaving? Vanuatu is in major need of help. There are 10 doctors for 300,000 people spread over 80 islands. Medical care for their 150,000 children is extremely limited. Their mortality rate is high and minor improvements make a major difference. We are in a position to provide training for 36 medical school graduates on whom the country is relying for future care. This could change the entire direction for the children of Vanuatu. (DoktaBlongMi.com/about-us)

What’s our strategy? We are selling pretty much what we own. With the boom in the housing market, we expect we will be able to live off our equity for a little while. In addition, I am starting a small subscription practice called Dokta Blong Mi (‘My Doctor’). Our hope is that in time subscriptions from wealthy patients in Vanuatu can eventually help us break even on our expenses. This will allow us to stay and teach and build for longer.

Who’s replacing me? I’m thrilled to announce that we have hired Dr. Ryan Gottfredson as my replacement. He’s coming out of the Air Force. I have enjoyed getting to know him and am grateful for how well he clicked with the few of you he’s met. I feel comfortable that he’ll be a great addition to our pediatric family.

How will this affect your family? Hopefully as little as possible. I am hopeful that Dr. Gottfredson will be able to step right in and provide the support you and your children need. All appointments on my schedule will be seen by him after June. I would ask that you give him a try, welcoming him into our Medical Home.

How can you help? I appreciate the many who’ve asked this question. I would ask that you consider four things. First, we are grateful for your prayers on our behalf. Second, continue to look for opportunities to improve the lives of those in your sphere of influence. Third, extend a kind welcome to Dr. Gottfredson. And lastly, for those for whom sponsoring a special-needs child in Vanuatu might be appropriate, please consider making a tax deductible donation through the nonprofit with which we work. (DoktaBlongMi.com/Sponsor.)

Questions? I’m sure you have many more questions. Thankfully, Cheryl will continue to devotedly serve you and your children. Please call and come in. I would love to see your children again before I leave, getting as many as possible caught up on well visits. I will add as many extra appointments as I can to help. Please schedule now.

Thank you! Being a part of your family has been one of the greatest happinesses of my life. I pray that you and your family, as well as those you serve, will be blessed for your goodness.

With Warm Regards,

Matt Cornish, MD

16 thoughts on “A letter from Matt Cornish, MD”

  1. I was just thinking of you today! I was hoping to see ya before you left. I just want to say sincerely Thank You for all that you have done for us but especially Stacey! You helped us so much with her care! You will truly be missed! I’m also very excited for you and you’re family on you’re new adventure! Travel safely! And I wish you will have the spirit to know how to treat the people that needs your help! Take care!

  2. This is an inspiring letter. Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you the best with your journey ahead. The physicians in your practice have blessed (and in one case, saved) lives in our family, and I for one am glad you will be able to share this gift with another community where it is sorely needed.

  3. Dr. Cornish, What a great adventure. Our family spent three years in the Solomon Islands in the late 70’s and I learned Solomons Pijin. I think Bislama and Pijin speakers can more or less understand each other. I’d love to learn more about how you came to select Vanuatu as the destination for your new adventure. I hope you’ll have some kind of blog of your doings. Good luck. It sounds fun!

  4. Good luck Dr. Cornish! This sounds like an amazing adventure and opportunity and I have no doubt you and your family will make a major impact on the lives of thousands of children and families!

  5. We are going to miss you! But what a blessing you and your family will be to the people you serve there. I think it is so awesome that you are doing this. So much respect. Best of luck to you! Thank you sooooo much for all you have done for us over the years.

  6. You have been a big part of our family for the past 12 years. Thank you for taking care of our children so well, for so long. We wish you and your family all the best and will always cherish our memories of hide and seek in your office!

  7. We’ll miss you, Dr. Cornish. Good luck!


    Hong Ni and David Duan
    and Michel,Jessica ,Joseph

  8. NOOOO I am so so sad! But I am so excited for you and your new adventures! I am grateful my babies got as much time as they ddid with you!

    We are for sure coming in for both babies before you go!


  9. While I feel incredibly sad, I think it’s such an incredible thing you and your family are doing. I just looked up pictures though and I’m not opposed to traveling to Vanuatu for our well check appointments!

  10. You have been the best Doctor to Hannah, Liv and Lilah!! I am grateful for your patience, kindness of heart and humor. Thankful to your way of always making me feel like I was doing the best I could as a parent. During the best and worst of times in our lives. Being a parent is hard but somehow you made it a little easier. You’ve always known exactly what to say. Now that you are leaving we are incredibly sad, but amazed by your humble generosity to help those in need. What a great example!! Thank you so much to you and Cheryl for everything and good luck on your new adventure.

  11. Dr. Cornish,

    Words cannot express how much you mean to our family over all of these years. You have gone over and above while caring for our children, and we so appreciate you. Leaving your practice was one of the hardest things about leaving Utah (the twins still tell me they miss you after every appointment with our new pediatrician, haha). The children of Vanuatu are lucky to have you. Best wishes to you and your family in your new adventure!

  12. 14 years you have been taking care of my three boys and what an honor it has been! Couldn’t think of a nicer more loving person to take care of my kids! Best of luck in your new endeavors we will definitely miss you! Take care and be safe

  13. I am actually up visiting from Arizona, and the kids mentioned you. They wanted to make an appointment to come and see you. So proud of you and your family. Lots of good memories. Thank you for always taking care of us.

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