Utah’s Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital celebrates 100 years of treating kids

Jul 1, 2022, 5:15 PM | Updated: 10:26 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital is used to celebrating kids’ birthdays, but this year the staff there is saying ‘happy birthday’ to the hospital itself.

In 1922 the Primary Association opened the first Primary Children’s Hospital at 40 W. North Temple, across from Temple Square in Salt Lake City. It mainly served children with orthopedic and chronic diseases who needed convalescent care.

Today the hospital provides more than 60 medical and surgical specialties with more than 800 physicians and 3,000 caregivers. A second hospital campus with 66 beds is now under construction in Lehi and is slated to open in 2024.

Nurse and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital CEO Katy Welkie said as she celebrates 100 years, she thinks about, not the building, but the people inside.

“What really matters are the caregivers and then the patients and their families, and they are family,” she said. “They become a part of who we are.”

Every year, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital serves about 100,000 patients, such as Harrison O’Toole of Layton.

When he was five, Harrison was diagnosed with Atypical Kawasaki Disease. It causes inflammation of some blood vessels and damaged Harrison’s heart.

Five-year-old Harrison O’Toole of Layton was treated at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital for Atypical Kawasaki Disease. (KSL TV) Harrison O’Toole received a new heart at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. He’s now 12-years-old and healthy. (KSL TV) Nurse and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital CEO Katy Welkie said as she celebrates the 100 years, she thinks about, not the building, but the people inside. (KSL TV)

“He had multiple heart attacks,” his mom, Gina O’Toole said. “After his fourth heart attack, he was in heart failure. And at that point, he needed a transplant.”

After waiting in the hospital for two months, Harrison received a new heart.

“(Primary Children’s is) amazing, it’s the best in the world,” Gina said. “We are so grateful that we live close to a place like this.”

Harrison, now 12, enjoys playing soccer, basketball, football, and pickleball.

“I can like run around and play with friends and play sports,” he said.

At the mention of Harrison’s name, Welkie smiled.

“I’m a nurse, and I came here because I love taking care of kids and seeing children after they’ve been here, and seeing them well and participate in life is probably the very best gift you can give any caregiver at the hospital,” she explained.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Your Life Your Health

Lamont Dorrity...
Ayanna Likens

How exercise helps with Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson's disease is affecting more and more people across the nation. While there is no cure, one thing is showing promise in improving symptoms.
4 days ago
Jason Peck with his sons...
Ayanna Likens

How an outpatient program helped Salt Lake man overcome substance abuse

A Salt Lake man is sharing his story of overcoming opioid use and how Intermountain Health's outpatient program helped him.
11 days ago
Doctors are seeing a higher number of adults under 55 diagnosed with colon cancer. (Jeffrey Gray)...
Ayanna Likens

45 is the new 50 when it comes to colon cancer screenings

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and 45 is the new 50 when it comes to colon cancer screenings.
18 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Ayanna Likens

Why helmet safety is important when playing in the snow

All of the recent snowfall in Utah has created every kid's winter wonderland, but if you plan to hit the sledding hill, there are a few things to keep in mind. 
25 days ago
Linda LeCheminant...
Ayanna Likens

Why it’s important to recognize your risk for heart disease 

February is National Heart Month and heart disease is the number one killer in the United States for both men and women. But there are some ways that you can change your lifestyle to help prevent it.
1 month ago
Ross heart procedure...
Ayanna Likens

Complex heart surgery at Primary Children’s is saving lives

February is Heart Health Month, and a young Idaho boy is thriving because of a heart procedure gaining traction at Intermountain's Primary Children's Hospital. 
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Utah’s Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital celebrates 100 years of treating kids