Community Rallies to Support Plan to Build Nation’s Model Health System for Children and Expand Primary Children’s Expertise; Gifts Now Top $100 Million

Sarah and Nellie Mainor with Gail Miller at Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital.

Intermountain Healthcare’s historic plan to build the nation’s model health system for children has received more than $100 million in gifts from community leaders so far, accelerating efforts to expand the clinical expertise of Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital to address the critical needs of kids throughout the Intermountain West. 

“We are entering a new era in pediatric health that will shape the next century of care for children served by Intermountain and Primary Children’s Hospital.  These generous gifts from the community are helping us embrace this challenge, forge ahead, and achieve our vision to build the nation’s model health system for children without delay,” said Katy Welkie, RN, MBA, CEO of Primary Children’s Hospital and vice president of Intermountain Children’s Health.

In January, Intermountain Healthcare announced a $500 million promise — half of which would come from philanthropy — to create a national model for children’s health. The promise comes at a critical time of urgent need: the number of children served by Intermountain Healthcare is growing, and through a variety of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, their health needs continue to change and become more complex. The new model system for children’s health will address these unique challenges, and position Utah as the home for the nation’s healthiest kids.  

This vision has inspired community leaders to commit more than $100 million to Intermountain Foundation, including a $50 million gift from Utah businesswoman, civic leader, and philanthropist Gail Miller and the Miller family, which was announced in January. 

“We are grateful to these community leaders who took immediate action to fuel Intermountain Healthcare’s vision and by doing so, ignited an active groundswell of support,” said David Flood, Intermountain Healthcare senior vice president and chief development officer. “Together, we feel the urgency to help children in our communities who are facing great challenges right now. Children have not been spared from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has become even more important to address their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs in new and innovative ways.”

Additional philanthropic efforts to support the model system will be led by three civic and community business leaders: Miller, owner and board chair of Larry H. Miller Group of Companies and chair of the Intermountain Healthcare Board of Trustees; business leader Steve Lund, co-founder and executive board chair of Nu Skin Enterprises; and business and civic leader Crystal Maggelet, chair and CEO of FJ Management Inc.

“We are fortunate and grateful for this dream team of campaign chairs, who are supported by a growing cabinet of Utah’s most prominent business leaders and philanthropists,” said Marc Harrison, MD, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, who is also a pediatric critical care physician. “Their leadership and example of generosity is inspiring, and will help Intermountain leap forward even further in achieving the best care for children anywhere.”

The new model health system for children will feature a blend of program, research and capital expansion, and bring together specialized pediatric caregivers from multiple Intermountain facilities and Primary Children’s pediatric partners at University of Utah Health, ultimately serving children in a 400,000 square mile area encompassing Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and Alaska.

The model contains three areas of focus:

1. Strengthen Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City with:

  • Fetal surgery to repair birth defects in utero
  • Groundbreaking genetic research to provide customized treatments for each child
  • An expanded, modernized Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • An expanded cancer treatment center to provide children with revolutionary treatments in an ideal healing environment. 

2. Address children’s emerging health needs by:

  • Enhancing services for young people suffering from depression, traumatic experiences, and other mental health conditions
  • Attending to environmental factors that negatively affect children’s lifelong health (racism, poverty, housing and food instability) while promoting stable, nurturing relationships
  • Ensuring kids with severe chronic health conditions have an opportunity to thrive as they become adults. 

3. Extend care excellence across the Intermountain West by:

  • Building a fully integrated Pediatric Care Network that enhances Outreach clinics and TeleHealth, establishes an Emergency and Trauma Network, and standardizes best practices and protocols across the Intermountain Healthcare system
  • Bringing the power of Primary Children’s Hospital to Utah County with a second Primary Children’s Hospital campus in Lehi, Utah.

These ambitious goals will require an estimated $500 million investment, shared equally by Intermountain Healthcare and the generous philanthropic support from the communities that Intermountain serves. The investment represents the largest commitment to the care and health of children throughout the Intermountain West since Primary Children’s was envisioned in the early 1900s. 


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Intermountain Healthcare’s historic plan to build the nation’s model health system for children is accelerating in wave of community support