(GTU) — Children with cancer and other chronic illnesses will soon benefit from treatment in an enhanced healing environment on the Lehi campus of Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, thanks to a $5 million gift from The Kahlert Foundation.
The gift supports a cancer and infusion center at Primary Children’s Hospital on the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Campus in Lehi, which is expected to open in early 2024.
The upgraded center includes nine spacious, child-friendly rooms for chemotherapy and other infusions, a cozy waiting and reception area and a large playroom, all with plenty of natural light. The center has its own lovely outdoor patio where families can enjoy the fresh air during infusion therapy appointments.
The gift announcement comes during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.
“We cannot thank the Kahlert Foundation enough for their generous support in helping us create a welcoming, child-centered healing space for children with cancer and other chronic illnesses at Primary Children’s Hospital’s Miller Family Campus, which is now under construction,” said administrator Lisa Paletta, RN.
“This gift will help us create child-centered healing spaces that will reduce some of the fear children experience about cancer and other chronic diseases, and help them heal and recover,” Paletta said.
Primary Children’s has been ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by US News and World Report for its cancer care and other exceptional pediatric specialties.
On the Salt Lake City campus, the hospital plans to double the space for cancer infusion services, add private, kid-friendly infusion rooms with natural light, and create additional spaces for privacy, play and rest.
The new healing space at the Miller Family Campus in Lehi will benefit patients such as Harper Morgan.
Harper was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4 after relatives noticed she looked pale at a family party. Her mother arranged a check-up with her doctor and within days Harper was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital with a diagnosis of cancer.
“We are so excited that the new Primary Children’s Hospital is being built in Lehi, just down the street from our home,” said Harper’s mother, Cora. “When Harper needed leukemia treatments, we had to leave at 3:30 a.m. to travel to Salt Lake City, which is a lot when you have a child full of cancer.”
Improvements at the cancer center are part of Intermountain Healthcare’s promise to create the national health system for children. This multifaceted plan and historic investment of at least $500 million in children’s health will be shared by Intermountain Healthcare and community philanthropic support through an emerging campaign organized by Intermountain Foundation.
The model system will incorporate a mix of program, research and capital expansion, bringing together specialized pediatric caregivers from multiple Intermountain facilities and pediatric partners of University of Utah Health Primary Children, ultimately serving children in a 400,000 square mile area that encompasses Utah , Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada and Alaska.
The number of children with cancer is increasing and more and more children are coming to the Primary Children’s Hospital for treatment. Every day, Primary Children’s caregivers in Salt Lake City help an average of 35 children with cancer in the inpatient unit, and about 60 children who require cancer-related outpatient visits.
About 35 percent of children who receive infusion treatments live outside of Salt Lake City. The new Primary Children’s Hospital at the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Campus in Lehi will provide a more convenient location for people in and around Utah County, one of the nation’s fastest-growing counties.
“What an amazing opportunity it is for The Kahlert Foundation to provide comfort to children and their families during one of the most stressful times of their lives,” said Heather Kahlert, vice president of The Kahlert Foundation and member of the Primary Children’s Philanthropy. Plate. “The expertise and quality of care at Primary Children’s is unparalleled, and I am proud that our gift will ensure that the environments where children receive infusions will also be the best in the class.”
The Primary Promise campaign to build the model health system for children is led by three business and community leaders: Gail Miller, owner and chairman of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies and chairman of the Intermountain Healthcare Board of Trustees; Crystal Maggelet, Chairman and CEO of FJ Management Inc. and trustee of Intermountain Healthcare; and Steve Lund, co-founder and chairman of the board of Nu Skin Enterprises.
“I continue to be inspired by Intermountain’s campaign to build the national health system for children,” Kahlert said. “I invite others to stand up and join me in this effort to help children thrive in years to come.”
Harper is now done with her cancer treatments. She’s full of life, and, as her father, Ryan says, she’s “a total warrior – she always puts a smile on my face.”
“I can’t imagine what our lives would have been like without the help of others,” Ryan said. “That gives us families hope — and hope goes a long way.”
Visit Intermountain Healthcare for more information.
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