World Ironman Championship raises $3.3 million to help kids through Primary Promise Campaign
Marc Harrison, MD, the outgoing chief executive officer of Intermountain Healthcare, is exiting his post by delivering a gift to the children he served: $3.3 million in donations supporting Intermountain’s Primary Promise to develop the nation’s model health system for children.
Dr. Harrison dedicated his training for the 2022 Vinfast IRONMAN® World Championship to raising funds to help kids thrive with new and improved community health resources at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The fundraising total shatters The IRONMAN Foundation’s single fundraiser record by more than four times.
“Intermountain’s Primary Promise will require hundreds of millions of dollars to achieve – and could be considered an endeavor as ambitious as competing in the IRONMAN World Championship itself,” said David Flood, Intermountain Foundation president and chief development officer for Intermountain Healthcare.
“Yet, a better future for children’s health is within reach because of generous donors like those inspired by the Primary Promise vision, and by Dr. Harrison’s dedication to train for the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship,” Flood added.
Dr. Harrison is a seven-time IRONMAN participant, but a first-time competitor at the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship, scheduled to take place over two days on October 6 and 8, 2022, in Kona, Hawaii.
He also is a two-time cancer survivor. He had bladder cancer about a decade ago, and in 2020 finished treatment for multiple myeloma, which is a rare, incurable blood cancer that will require lifelong monitoring.
Athletes can reach the IRONMAN World Championship through qualification events, but can also gain entry through The IRONMAN Foundation, the Legacy Program and Physically Challenged/Open Exhibition Division Drawing which offer limited slots to the world championship each year.
Additionally, since the very early years of IRONMAN, a limited number of deserving individuals have been awarded the opportunity to be IRONMAN Ambassador Athletes for the IRONMAN World Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship thanks to characteristics that go well beyond competition.
As part of racing with The IRONMAN Foundation, Dr. Harrison adopted a platform to raise funds for the Primary Promise campaign. The effort attracted many supporters, and donations have continued to pour in from friends and associates, businesses and organizations.
“We are grateful for Dr. Harrison’s vision for Primary Promise, and for his work to inspire others to follow his example in supporting this important investment in children,” said Katy Welkie, chief executive officer of Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and vice president of Intermountain Children’s Health. “By making this gift possible, especially as he prepares to move on to the next chapter in his career, Dr. Harrison has made an indelible mark on Intermountain Healthcare that will be felt by families and generations of children to come.
Dr. Harrison announced in August he will be transitioning this fall from the Intermountain leadership position he has held since 2016. Dr. Harrison has accepted a leadership position to run a healthcare platform business for General Catalyst.
Dr. Harrison says he’s grateful that the IRONMAN World Championship provided the opportunity to share the Primary Promise vision and that he is humbled by the tremendous support it has received.
“For me, this isn’t about the race,” Dr. Harrison said. “I’m doing this to continue to push myself, celebrate surviving cancer twice and to raise awareness and support for the Primary Promise vision. I look forward to seeing the model health system for children come to fruition – and will continue cheering for its success well into the future.”