Primary Children's begins fundraising campaign for hospital expansion

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Primary Children's Medical Center launched a new $20 million capital campaign to expand the hospital, and two major donors came forward with $4 million Thursday afternoon.

One out of every nine children who is treated at Primary Children's can't afford it.

The timing of this announcement came as the patients, staff and doctors are celebrating the 20th anniversary of what used to be called "the new" Primary Children's Medical Center.

Bishop H. David Burton, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and local businessman Spencer Eccles came for more than a cake cutting. They each brought a donation to help fund a new outpatient services center so that the hospital can expand for more patient beds.

The Eccles Foundation gave $3 million and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation contributed $1 million. With other community funds and the doctors, administrators and staff giving $1.5 million, that takes the capital campaign to $10 million -- the halfway mark.

In 2009, PCMC spent more than $14.3 million to cover 14,057 hospital visits of children in need.

"I know that this new building, and the other facilities, and -- most importantly -- the new research that will be funded through this campaign are critically needed and deserve the enthusiastic support of all of us in the community," Eccles said.

"Whatever it takes to maintain the health -- both spiritual and physical -- of our posterities, we support and we appreciate," Bishop Burton said. "We say thanks to each who will participate. We encourage the community to open their purse strings and come forward and assist in this great endeavor."

The new building will be across the street from the hospital, built on land leased by the University of Utah. It will be connected to the hospital.

Administrators at Primary Children's hope construction for the new building will begin in early 2011, with an opening in 2013.


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Carole Mikita


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