Intermountain Health receives $10 million for Healthy Kids initiative

Intermountain Health receives $10 million for Healthy Kids initiative

Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare has announced a $10 million gift from trustee Crystal Maggelet and her family in support of efforts to improve children's health and safety in the Intermountain West.

A partnership between Intermountain Healthcare and Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital, the Healthy Kids initiative will address adverse childhood experiences that increase the risk of chronic health problems such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, mental illness, and substance use disorder — conditions that can lead to additional health issues later in life. To that end, the initiative will provide a range of interventions, including a collaboration with Nurse-Family Partnership focused on matching at-risk mothers with a visiting nurse and social service supports; partnerships with pediatricians, schools, and community groups aimed at screening children for signs of serious stress and connecting them to treatment; and distributing books at well-child checkups and modeling other ways that parents can build resilience in their children. Participating families also will gain access to the Hold On to Dear Life program, which provides parents with injury prevention tips.

"Children rapidly develop capabilities in cognition, language, emotional growth, and reasoning from birth to age five. When young children grow up in unhealthy environments it can impair their development and have a lasting effect on their ability to fulfill their potential," said Neal Davis, medical director of pediatric community-based care for Intermountain Healthcare. "The good news is that if we proactively address risk factors, kids have a better shot at long-term health and success."

"I'm a strong believer in education, and you have to start with healthy kids before you can educate them," said Maggelet, chair and CEO of FJ Management, Inc. "Intermountain's model health system for children will help make sure all kids are given equal opportunities and are healthy before they start school."