SALT LAKE City, Nov 7, 2022. The Ryan and Ashley Smith Foundation today announced a $20 million donation to Utah’s Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, a 100-year-old, top-ranked pediatric hospital. The money will help power groundbreaking pediatric cancer research and treatments to help young cancer patients. In addition, the gift establishes the 5 For The Fight Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research at Primary Children’s.
“Cancer has impacted everyone. It is a terrible disease and even more insidious when it impacts children”
The Smiths’ gift will expand pediatric cancer research benefiting Primary Children’s patients through continued groundbreaking clinical trials, faculty recruitment, research personnel and equipment, social work and psychology support, and improvement of the overall patient experience. The gift will also establish 5 For The Fight family centers —unique spaces for families of children receiving treatments for cancer and blood disorders —at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City and at the hospital’s new Larry H. and Gail Miller Family campus in Lehi, which is expected to open in 2024.
“Cancer has impacted everyone. It is a terrible disease and even more insidious when it impacts children,” said Ryan and Ashley Smith, owners of the Utah Jazz and co-founders of 5 For The Fight. “We are grateful to partner with Intermountain and Primary Children’s Hospital as they expand their work in cancer research and treatment. We are committed to helping end cancer and know the power of research to do that. In addition, the 5 For The Fight family centers in these two Primary Children’s Hospitals will be powerful places for families to connect and support each other as these children engage in their fight against cancer.”
Each year, Primary Children’s Hospital, in partnership with pediatric experts from University of Utah Health, treats 2,500 cancer patients as young as newborn babies with pediatric cancers and blood disorders. The number of cancer patients at Primary Children’s on any given day has increased by 40 percent since 2018, and their needs continue to grow.
“This tremendous endorsement from Ryan and Ashley Smith, and the confidence in our vision expressed through this partnership with 5 For The Fight honors all of us at Intermountain Healthcare, and in particular, the expert caregivers who treat and help children with cancer and blood disorders at Primary Children’s Hospital every day,” said David Flood, President of Intermountain Foundation and Chief Development Officer for Intermountain Healthcare. “This gift will help us continue our work to strengthen pediatric cancer treatment and research for children in Utah and beyond, and power our Primary Promise to create the nation’s model health system for children. We are incredibly thankful for their generosity.”
“The importance of this gift in the healing and treatment of children cannot be overstated,” said Katy Welkie, chief executive officer of Primary Children’s Hospital and vice president of Intermountain Children’s Health. “We are grateful to the Smith family for their continued support and foresight in helping children have access to the finest research and most advanced clinical trials at Primary Children’s, which will be felt by generations of children to come.”