Spencer Fox Eccles was recently awarded the 2019 Distinguished Service to Healthcare Award by the Utah Hospital Association. The award, presented during the Association’s Fall Leadership Conference at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to improving healthcare in the state of Utah.
Eccles has served for more than 30 years as a trustee of Intermountain Healthcare, and he is Chairman and CEO of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, one of Utah’s largest charitable foundations. Under his leadership, the Foundation has contributed more than half a billion dollars in the state. Health and wellness-related donations have accounted for nearly $80 million of those charitable dollars.
Health and wellness-related donations have long been an area of emphasis for Eccles. In 2005, he and his wife, Cleone, made a landmark, personal contribution for the University of Utah’s Health Sciences Education Building – the center of medical education on the campus. Spence also furthers a family tradition of support for the University’s Eccles Health Sciences Library, which began with his parents in the 1970s. The family’s leadership and generosity also helped make possible construction of the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in 2015.
With his leadership, Eccles foundations have generously supported state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and programs such as the University of Utah’s Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, Moran Eye Center, University Hospital’s Critical Care Pavilion, cardiovascular research and more. Healthcare grants from the George and Dolores Eccles Foundation also reach low-income families at places such as the Fourth Street Clinic and Maliheh Free Clinic in Salt Lake City, Ogden’s Midtown Community Health Center and the San Juan County Hospital in Monticello, among others.
Through his decades of service on the Primary Children’s Hospital Foundation board, Spence developed a special affection for the children and families it serves. In 2014, he championed the George Eccles Foundation’s generous “seed money” grant to construct Primary’s new Outpatient Services building. It houses dozens of clinics and laboratories, making it a one-stop-shop for young children and their families facing life-changing illnesses.
Both personally and in his leadership roles with five Eccles family foundations, Spence Eccles has made a profound impact on the health and wellness of Utahns statewide, especially for those most in need.
UHA is a private, not-for-profit trade association representing Utah’s hospitals and health systems.