Park City family donates to the Intermountain Foundation, targeting caregivers and their needs |

Park City family donates to the Intermountain Foundation, targeting caregivers and their needs

Thomas Purcell, head coach of the Park City High School boys basketball team, and his family made a generous donation to the Intermountain Foundation to go towards helping out caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Park Record File Photo

It started out as a conversation between two brothers and a father — a trio of men extremely close in their personal lives who wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.

So when Thomas Purcell, his brother Mark and their dad Phil were done talking, they had decided on how to help local caregivers by making a donation to the Intermountain Foundation. The Purcells are active members of the community — Thomas is the head coach of the Park City High School boys basketball team, assisted by Phil, while Mark serves as a Primary Children’s Hospital Community Board member.

“We just focused on what we can do to help and one thing led to another and this was a way we could help. … And we absolutely hope that this inspires others to do the same,” Mark said. “The community is important to us as a family but if this inspires somebody to help in their own community, then fantastic. … If it inspires someone to help out in Park City in another way, that’s fantastic also.”

The donation is directly funding meals for caregivers prepared by the Silver King Café in the hospital, where they are given a choice of five entrees that can be microwaved to eat.

The donation is also funding a mini store stocked with basic grocery and pantry items like milk, eggs, butter, toilet paper, bread, etc. that is free for caregivers to take with them after their respective shifts.

“When someone takes something off your plate, or in this case, when someone puts something on your plate, it makes a difference. … At night, when you’re tired and you’ve worked 12 hours, the last thing you want to do is cook,” said Jodie Connelly, ICU Nurse Manager at Park City Hospital in a press release. “It’s a double win, it helps mentally and physically. The meals and groceries help our staff be able to focus on our patients and helping each other care for our patients.”

For the Purcell family, it was a simple idea.

The caregivers at Intermountain Hospital are repeatedly putting themselves in danger with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the county. So the family wanted to make it their mission to help them in anyway, a decision that came very easily when discussing how to give back to the community.

“For us there was no discord at all when we began talking about trying to help and make a difference,” Thomas said. “We wanted to help out in Park City and we felt like helping the people who put themselves in harm’s way was the right thing to do. … But we wanted to do it directly so I think this idea is great.”

The donation did more than just helping caregivers with food – it also provided some monetary assistance for caregivers in need, which included temporary lodging at the National Ability Center, which is located at a walking distance from the hospital.

“The hospital needed a place to house staff who couldn’t return home each day,” NAC CEO Kevin Stickelman said in the press release. “Our lodge provides an option for caregivers who prefer not to return home between shifts because someone in their household is at high risk for contracting the virus, or even just because they have a short turnaround time between shifts. We’re grateful to the Purcell family for their support to help this happen.”

Lastly, the Purcell’s donation, along with other donations, went to the creation of the Intermountain Healthcare’s new COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.

“What we wanted was very specific to the caregivers because they’re the ones barring the brunt of this crisis,” Mark said. “Thinking about what their lives have been like and what they’ll be like in the weeks and months to come, if we can make their lives a little easier, why wouldn’t chose to do that? We are very fortunate to be in a position to help, and with our long relationship with Intermountain and the Primary Children’s Hospital, it was important to our family to give back.”

The concept of giving back to the community and helping the caregivers also went along with Thomas’ team mantra he preached to his program all season long. When taking over as head coach in November, Purcell immediately went to work of implementing a “we” philosophy where everyone in the program is together – the same that goes for the Park City community, he said.

“From a community standpoint, the basketball program preaches that we philosophy, so I think this sets a good example and exhibits those traits that we are trying to engrain in the boys,” Thomas said. “The kids that leave PC and go to college become leaders in the world, so hopefully we creating responsible leaders who know how to help later on in life.”

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