Intermountain Healthcare Launches ‘Primary Promise’ – the Most Ambitious Philanthropic Initiative Undertaken to Enhance Children’s Health in Utah and the Intermountain West

The most ambitious philanthropic initiative ever undertaken to enhance children’s health in Utah and the Intermountain West was launched today by Intermountain Healthcare and community leaders from throughout the state.


The Primary Promise campaign to create the nation’s model health system for children represents the most significant investment in the health and wellness of children across Utah and the Intermountain West.


With a minimum goal of $600 million needed to bring this vision to life, Primary Promise, under the leadership of Intermountain Foundation, so far has secured $464 million in a powerful partnership between philanthropic members of the community and Intermountain Healthcare.


These gifts will help address increasingly complex physical and emotional needs of rapidly growing populations of children in Utah and throughout the Intermountain West.


These growing needs, combined with Intermountain’s close relationship with the communities it serves, creates an opportunity to create a holistic health system for children that will support more kids than ever for the next 100 years.


“We’ve continued listening to the communities we serve and Primary Children’s experts, and now know we’ll need a minimum $600 million investment to improve the health and well-being of children in Utah and surrounding states for generations to come,” said Katy Welkie, chief executive officer of Primary Children’s Hospital and vice president of Intermountain Children’s Health. 


“Without question, this is the most significant investment in the health and wellness of children across Utah and the Intermountain West in our generation,” Welkie added. “We are excited to see how our communities will embrace this promise we’ve made, make it their promise too, and help us to reach our goals on behalf of their children, grandchildren, and generations to come.” 


The vision for Primary Promise was unveiled in January 2020, inspiring an unprecedented gift of $50 million from Utah businesswoman, civic leader, and philanthropist Gail Miller, who is serving as one of four community co-chairs of the Primary Promise campaign.


The vision subsequently attracted additional philanthropic gifts from community members, along with investments from Intermountain Healthcare.


With secured funding more than halfway to the minimum financial goal, community and Intermountain leaders decided it was time to transform the Primary Promise from a vision to a formal public campaign. Primary Promise leadership now seeks to invite widespread public participation to move this historic effort across the finish line. 


The campaign launch comes during the centennial year of Primary Children’s Hospital, founded in 1922 when two women saw a child struggling on crutches and felt compelled to act.


The formal launch follows a special event on Wednesday night for patient families and Primary Promise supporters, sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, which celebrated the hospital’s past, present, and future.


The hospital’s centennial celebration continues through 2024 with cherished annual traditions such as the Festival of Trees and Jubilee of Trees.


The objective of the Primary Promise to create the nation’s model health system for children includes three broad components and associated projects, programs, and facilities:


1) Primary Children’s Hospital will be strengthened with the additions of the advanced Grant Scott Bonham Fetal Center, an enlarged and enhanced Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, an expanded cancer treatment center, and heightened research activities in partnership with University of Utah Health.


2) Pediatric care excellence will be extended across the Intermountain West to bring expert care closer to home. This effort includes the construction of the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Campus, which is a second 66-bed Primary Children’s Hospital in Lehi, Utah; and an expanded pediatric care network utilizing in-person and telehealth services.


3) Emerging children’s health needs will be innovatively addressed through expanded mental and behavioral health services; teen-to-adult transition programs for children with chronic illnesses; and an expanded Healthy Kids program focused on helping children stay healthy and safe in their communities, including helping kids experiencing food instability or past traumatic events to avoid health complications later in life. 


The initial states of focus in this campaign include Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada and Alaska – all areas where Primary Children’s Hospital is caring for children in need.


“We launched this transformational initiative because pediatric health experts are caring for more and more children every day and are seeing their needs become more complex and specialized,” said businesswoman, civic leader and philanthropist Gail Miller. “Our children are our future, and we believe it is essential that we take this opportunity of a lifetime to support their physical and emotional needs, now and far into the future.”


Primary Promise hits home on a personal level for Steve Lund, co-founder and executive board chair of Nu Skin Enterprises, who is one of four co-chairs of the campaign. His son, Tanner Christian Lund, was referred to Primary Children experts for cancer treatment.


“He underwent a series of treatments, and the wonderful people at Primary Children’s Hospital made heroic efforts to extend his life. In fact, they did give him three additional years, for which we are forever grateful,” Lund said.


“Being involved in Primary Promise is the absolute best way to honor Tanner’s memory and keep him alive in my heart. It’s also the best way to provide support to other families who face similar unimaginable circumstances,” added Lund. “We know Primary Children’s caregivers have amazing stamina and compassion in working with kids who are often very sick, and they really are extraordinary souls.”


Community and Intermountain Healthcare leaders now are inviting the public to support Primary Promise, which will still benefit from the expertise, guidance, and organizational support of Intermountain Foundation.


“As member of the non-profit Intermountain Healthcare Board of Trustees, I can tell you the board is committed to the launch of Primary Promise and Intermountain’s ambition to create a system that holistically embraces and uplifts the health and wellness of children,” said Crystal Maggelet, the chair and CEO of FJ Management Inc, who co-chairs the Primary Promise campaign.


“This model system for kids will inspire other health providers across the country to look for us for inspiration and best practices to support children,” noted Maggelet. “We invite the public to contribute and help meet the needs of children today and in the future.”


Another co-chairman of the campaign, Spencer Zwick, said awareness and interest in Primary Promise has risen steadily since the vision was unveiled in 2020.   


“I know there are many, many other families, individuals and businesses who have been watching Primary Promise grow from an inspirational vision to a public campaign and would like to become involved,” said Zwick, co-founder and managing partner of Solamere Capital and former senior advisor to U.S. Senator Mitt Romney. “Now is your opportunity to come stand with us and with kids.”


“We encourage every child to dream big, and this is our moment to encourage our community to dream bigger,” added Zwick. “We invite everyone to help us build the nation’s model health system for children. It’s in our DNA to aspire to greatness. And I can think of nothing greater than creating a better, healthier future for our children. Now is the time for all of us to step up and launch the next 100 years of health for children.”


To learn more about the Primary Promise and how to contribute, go to or contact Intermountain Foundation.


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The most ambitious philanthropic initiative ever undertaken to enhance children’s health in Utah and the Intermountain West was launched today by Intermountain Healthcare and community leaders from throughout the state.