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Altabank announces $500,000 partnership in support of Intermountain Healthcare’s reach out and read program

Salt Lake City— Altabank™, Utah’s largest community bank, today announced a long-term partnership with Intermountain Healthcare through a $500,000 donation to its Healthy Kids initiative’s Reach Out and Read program. This latest support of Intermountain Healthcare Foundation and Primary Children’s Hospital signals an ongoing and significant commitment to the communities Altabank serves.

“Altabank’s purpose is to create value and stability for our clients and the Utah community,” said Len Williams, president & CEO of Altabank. “We are so grateful for the amazing healthcare professionals and the tireless work they do every single day to lift our neighbors up. It is an honor to come together with Intermountain Healthcare and Primary Children’s Hospital to support their work with children throughout the State.”

Altabank’s gift will be designated to fund Intermountain Healthcare’s Reach Out and Read program, with the goal of providing books for every pediatric patient who comes to an Intermountain clinic. The program, which helps children ages six months to five years old, encourages language-rich interactions that improve children’s communication skills, curiosity, memory, patience, empathy and literacy, and promotes reading as an opportunity to encourage nurturing relationships and resilience in children and families.

Additionally, Reach Out and Read provides pediatricians an opportunity to discuss, demonstrate and model nurturing reading sessions to families.

Studies consistently have shown that Reach Out and Read significantly impacts parental behavior and attitudes toward reading aloud, and boosts children’s language development and mastery. It also helps keep children well. A parent cuddling up to read with a child creates bonding experiences that help children manage anxiety, reduce the incidence of behavioral problems, and promote resilience in health and wellness.

“As a pediatrician, and on behalf of Intermountain Foundation, we express our deepest gratitude to Altabank for an incredibly generous commitment to our youngest patients and families through Reach Out and Read,” said Dr. Neal Davis, medical director of pediatric community-based care, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. “Altabank’s remarkable gift supports Intermountain Healthcare’s plan to build the nation’s model health system for children, representing a dramatic investment in the delivery in the care and health of children throughout the Intermountain West. We are honored to welcome Altabank to the team of heroes who are making this vision a reality.”

Throughout the five-year partnership, Altabank will also provide opportunities for its employees and customers to participate in additional volunteer and outreach efforts to support childhood literacy. For example, during the holidays Altabank will hold a book drive to encourage children to donate their favorite book for a child of the same age to enjoy.

Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that incorporates books into pediatric care. The Reach Out and Read program is offered at 41 Utah locations – mostly, Intermountain Healthcare clinics – and benefits more than 75,000 children annually.

Because Reach Out and Read doesn’t qualify for reimbursement as a clinical service, the program relies entirely on philanthropic support. Altabank’s gift will serve as a commitment to childhood literacy under Intermountain Healthcare’s unprecedented $500 million promise – half of which will come from gifts such as Altabank’s – to create a national model for children’s health.

For more information on Altabank, visit altabank.com. For more information about Intermountain Healthcare and the Reach Out and Read Initiative, visit the Intermountain Healthcare blog.