3 ways the Primary Promise Initiative will create the nation's model health system for children

3 ways the Primary Promise Initiative will create the nation's model health system for children

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The most ambitious philanthropic initiative ever undertaken to enhance children's health in Utah and the Intermountain West was launched recently 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.

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 telehealth and digital health services.
  3. Emerging children's health needs will be innovatively addressed through expanded mental and behavioral health services delivered close to or at kids' homes; 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 who have experienced 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.


Without question, this is the most significant investment in the health and wellness of children across Utah and the Intermountain West in our generation.

–Katy Welkie, chief executive officer of Primary Children's Hospital and vice president of Intermountain Children's Health


So far, Primary Promise, under the leadership of Intermountain Foundation, has received an unprecedented $464 million from community philanthropists 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.

With a goal of at least $600 million needed to address the critical needs of children throughout the Intermountain West, the Primary Promise campaign is now seeking the public's support in raising the additional $136 million needed to reach the minimum goal.

"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.


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. 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.

–Gail Miller


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, and to ask the public to help the historic effort cross 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.

"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."

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.

"There are people of all ages in need and a wide array of potential causes to support," said Crystal Maggelet, the chair and CEO of FJ Management Inc, and a member of the Intermountain Healthcare Board of Trustees who co-chairs the Primary Promise campaign. "What makes the 'Primary Promise campaign so special is that the public can contribute to help meet the needs of children today while investing in the health and wellness of children in the future."

Another co-chairman of the campaign, Spencer Zwick, said awareness and interest in the 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."

To learn more about the Primary Promise and how to contribute, visit www.primarypromise.org or contact Intermountain Foundation.

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