SALT LAKE CITY—When parents learn their child has a serious medical condition, the last thing they should have to worry about is the cost to treat it.
At Primary Children’s Hospital, “they don’t ask for your insurance card when you walk in,” said Linda Davies, public relations chair for the Intermountain Foundation for Primary Children’s. The discussion about how to handle payment comes later, after the child is stabilized, she said.
That is, in part, thanks to donors who participate in the annual telethon, which will take place this year on Friday, June 3.
Last year’s telethon brought in $4 million in donations, and “this year we hope to do more,” said Davies.
The hospital expended more than $11.6 million in 2015 to cover 13,520 hospital visits by children in need, according to information from the hospital.
“Every penny donated in the telethon goes to the child’s care,” said Davies, “not buildings and bricks, but to things that benefit the children like music therapy, pet therapy, and everything needed to make their stay there a positive experience.”
Primary’s is one of the top 15 hospitals in the United States that treat children, she said.
“It’s a remarkable facility to have in the state of Utah,” she said. “It’s one of the best hospitals in the U.S. for treating children.”
Doctors and nurses don’t know whether or not a child is receiving charity care, she said, and are “giving their very best” to every child.
The hospital staff works to ensure the whole family is taken care of as well, including siblings of the sick child, who also need support and understanding.
Primary Children’s is the only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center serving children with acute and chronic medical needs in the Intermountain West, according to material provided. It specializes in cardiac care, pediatric cancer care, orthopedics and neurology care for children from birth to age 21.
With the theme of “The Child First and Always,” hospital staff work to provide age-appropriate explanations of medical procedures and entertaining distractions from painful procedures for children.
Approximately 60 children are treated for cancer each day at Primary’s. The survival rate for cancers is 85 percent, with some types of cancers at 100 percent, according to a statement.
The KSL TV 5 telethon will run from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 3, and donations will be accepted throughout the day. Viewers can call in their support or make donations online at primarychildrens.org/donate.