The Children’s Center Utah Connection

November 2023 | Vol.12


Rebecca J. Dutson, President and CEO

Dear Mary,


What an incredible year it has been celebrating our

60-year anniversary! Just this week, we concluded our annual Hope and Healing Online Fundraiser by exceeding our goal and raising $62,231. Thank you to those who donated and to the generous organizations that matched your contributions: The Jerry and Shari Seiner Family Charitable Fund, HJ and BR Barlow Foundation, Willard L. Eccles Charitable Foundation, and Florence J. Gillmor Foundation.

Marking our 60th anniversary milestone from our beautiful, new centrally-located children’s mental health campus in West Valley City brings a bright new ray of hope and healing to the children and families we serve.

On behalf of our Board of Directors, we express our heartfelt gratitude to the many investors, stakeholders, and partners who have made it all possible -- not just this year but over the past six decades.

These are a few of the important highlights that brought our 60-year anniversary to a fulfilling close:

  • The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on September 25 provided a wonderful opportunity to welcome so many of you and was made exceptional by the presence of many outstanding state and community leaders who support our mission and vision

  • And one short month later, on October 24, we hosted our fourth annual Ready! Resilient! Utah Early Childhood Mental Health Summit presented by Governor and First Lady Abby Cox.

Together, we are building an extraordinary legacy!

We invite you to show your ongoing support by volunteering, donating, or helping to spread the word about our essential work. You are valuable partners in bringing hope and healing to Utah children and families! 

Rebecca J. Dutson

President and CEO


New State-of-the-Art Campus in West Valley Unveiled

On September 25, we unveiled our new

state-of-the-art children’s mental health campus in West Valley City!

Reaching this milestone significantly strengthens our capacity to provide comprehensive mental health support for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families.

The campus is home to a new infant and early childhood mental health and education training center. The center will build Utah’s early childhood professionals’ capacity to enhance the emotional well-being of children in their care.

Thank you to our state and philanthropic leaders for their investments in making this vision a reality!

From the Utah State Legislature to individuals, corporations, and foundations, the support has been tremendous!

Special thanks to our Honorary Capital Campaign Co-Chairs, Christian Gardner and Krista Sorenson,

and our Board Chair, Greg Summerhays.

Much gratitude for our campaign committee members: Kristin Andrus, Chandra Bergeson, Paula Green Johnson, Lisa Nichols, and Kathleen Pitcher Tobey.

Our new campus is a beacon of hope and healing for Utah children and families.

Donor Wall Video

Client Lobby

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Notable guests accept awards for lead investments in the Capital Campaign: Ellen Rossi, Lisa Nichols, Gail Miller, Dave Petersen, Scott Sperry, Lisa Eccles, Representative Raymond Ward, Amy Winder Newton, First Lady Abby Cox, Krista Sorenson, and Christian Gardner. Also pictured: President and CEO: Rebecca Dutson, Board Chair: Greg Summerhays, and Past Board Chair: Kathleen Pitcher Tobey

Development Team with President and CEO

Keynote speakers, panelists, and moderator

Attendees at Zions Technology Center

Fourth Annual Ready! Resilient! Utah Early Childhood Mental Health Summit

Held both in-person and online for the first time, the fourth annual Ready! Resilient! Utah Early Childhood Mental Health Summit presented by Governor Cox and First Lady Abby Cox brought together more than 600 people.

At Zions Technology Center, attendees heard from two exceptional keynote speakers: Dr. Nucha Isarowong, Director of the Advanced Clinical Training (ACT) Program at the Barnard Center for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health at the University of Washington, and Dr. Zeanah, Mary Peters Sellars-Polchow Chair in Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

An insightful panel of mental health experts and state leaders discussed infant and early childhood mental health in Utah, and the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute reviewed progress on policy recommendations outlined in previous summits.

Special thanks to our valued stakeholders for their unwavering support. We look forward to expanding our impact as a go-to resource for infant and early childhood mental health professionals across the state!

View Full List of Participants and Stakeholders

Joni Clark Director, Development (left)

at the Raise Awards

Innovative Nonprofit of the Year

The Children's Center Utah received the Innovative Nonprofit of the Year award at the Raise 2023 conference in Nashville, presented by One Cause.

In front of more than 550 nonprofit professionals at the Country Music Hall of Fame, our Director of Development Joni Clark accepted the award and highlighted The Children’s Center Utah as one of the organizations shaping the future of fundraising.


We are honored to be the over $5M category winner and look forward to continuing to strengthen our mission.


Welcome, Whitney!

We are excited to welcome Whitney Call to our Board of Directors! Whitney is passionate about mental health, early childhood development, empowering women, and education, and currently serves as a program officer for the Call to Action Foundation.

Whitney has a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) and spent several years as a clinical counselor working with families and children.

Additionally, Whitney has served as Chair of the board for CCNS Preschool and a board member of the Carroll College Anthrozoology Advisory Committee, and also serves as Board Chair for the Call to Action Foundation and Call Foundation. Welcome, Whitney!

Marshall Memorial Fellowship

Our admiration for Ze Min Xiao

President and CEO of the Center for Economic Opportunity and Belonging for completing the Marshall Memorial Fellowship (MMF) and being an official alum of the German Marshall Fund’s (GMF) flagship program.

The program prepares leaders for transatlantic relations with leaders across government, civil society, and industry, including alums such as French President Emmanuel Macron and Stacy Abrams, Former Georgia State Representative,

Ze focused her learning on the intersections of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Human Migration. Congratulations!

Afro Utah Award

Board member Nikki Walker received the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Excellence Award at the Afro Utah Festival.

The awards were presented to outstanding individuals from various fields, such as politics, education, entertainment, health, and community service.

Nikki is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at DOMO. Congratulations, Nikki!

Most Powerful Women in Banking

Congratulations to board member Jennifer Smith for being named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by the American Banker.

As chief technology and operations officer at Zions Bancorp., Jennifer has spearheaded the largest technology transformation in the company's history.

Jennifer is the first female head of technology at Zions, a rare accomplishment in an industry where only 10% of CIOs are women. Well done, Jennifer!

Read Article

Healthcare Heroes

Well done to Katy Welkie, Chief Executive Officer for Primary Children’s Hospital, recognized as a Healthcare Hero by Utah Business and Roseman University of Health Sciences.

The 2023 Healthcare Heroes awards honor those who have made it their mission to improve the state of health in Utah. Congratulations, Katy!

Congratulations, Kara!

In May, Kara Rogers was promoted from Corporate Controller to Chief Accounting Officer at Instructure.

Instructure is a top education technology company with 1,200+ employees. Kara is a licensed CPA in Utah and graduated from the University of Utah with a Master's degree in Accounting. Congratulations, Kara!


Participants at the first Cross Sites Meeting for the Utah Infant-Toddler Court Program

Transforming Child Welfare Practices

Representatives joined us in person and virtually from Utah County and Iron County sites as our team recently hosted the inaugural Cross Sites meeting for our Utah Infant-Toddler Court Team Program (U-ITCP) in our new state-of-the-art training room at our children's mental health campus in West Valley City.

This program is dedicated to transforming child welfare practices and creating systems that support the early development, health, and well-being of infants, toddlers, and families.

Thanks to guest speakers Andria Peek and Lisa McGarrie from ZERO TO THREE, Dr. Sarah Kastelic, Executive Director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and Dr. Jessica Pryce from Florida State University for sharing their expertise.

TCCU team members and state leaders

at ZERO TO THREE conference

The Children's Center Utah presents at the ZERO TO THREE Conference in Minneapolis

Our new Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMH) team and many of our team members attended the ZERO TO THREE Learn Conference in Minneapolis, MN.

Our team presented on:

  • Developing a Common Language of Trauma-Informed Care Across Sectors of Early Childhood Providers
  • Creating and Sustaining a Statewide Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Teleconsultation Program for Cross-Sector Early Childhood Professionals
  • Meeting the Need: A Three-State Comparison of IECMH Workforce Development Projects and Outcomes

Thousands of early childhood professionals from across the country came together to shape the future of early childhood.

The Family Place Utah

Child-Parent Psychotherapy Learning Collaborative Launches

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is an evidence-based trauma treatment for young children ages 0-5 who have experienced traumatic events and/or are experiencing mental health, attachment, or behavioral challenges. The central goal of CPP is to support and strengthen the caregiver-child relationship to restore and protect the child’s mental health. For children exposed to trauma, caregivers and their children are guided over the course of treatment to create a joint narrative of the traumatic event and to identify and address trauma triggers that lead to difficult feelings and behaviors.

 Wasatch Behavioral Health

In October, Jennifer Mitchell, PhD, and Malinda Freitag, CMHC, began an 18-month Learning Collaborative, training 33 providers from organizations throughout Utah in Child-Parent Psychotherapy. Through this Learning Collaborative, participants will gain understanding, knowledge, and skills to help young children and their families process, make meaning of, and heal from traumatic and adverse experiences. As the Learning Collaborative participants implement CPP throughout Utah, more families with young children will have access to developmentally appropriate trauma-focused treatment.


David Engel President and CEO and Lori Storrs, Executive Assistant, CCI Mechanical, Inc. with Development Director, Development Manager,

and President and CEO

CCI Mechanical Raises $70,000 for The Children's Center Utah at Annual Golf Tournament

In August, CCI Mechanical hosted an incredible golf tournament benefiting our organization.

With the support of over 120 golfers, we raised over $70,000! Special thanks to CCI for organizing this event for 11 remarkable years!

All Staff Retreat at Snowbird

We recently ventured into the mountains for our autumn All Staff retreat, where we spent a day immersed in training, meaningful interactions, and plenty of laughter.

We're incredibly grateful for each and every one of our team members!


Thanksgiving Donations

We are seeking donations for a gift card and a pie to make this holiday a memorable and nourishing experience for children, families, and caregivers.

Our goal is to provide a warm, delicious meal to those who may not have the means to celebrate Thanksgiving otherwise.

If you are willing to deliver a gift card, valued between $50 and $100, and a pie, to the center by November 17, please contact Carla at If you would like to make a monetary donation to this event and have us do the shopping, click the button below.

Donate to Thanksgiving

Upcoming Events

  • Jewelry Luncheon - March 5, 2024 - 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Grand America
  • SHINE Gala - Thursday, May 30 - 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. - Gallivan Center
  • Food Truck Face Off - June 29, 2024 - 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Liberty Park

Your investment matters more than ever. Your generous gift helps us continue our mission to provide comprehensive mental health care to enhance the emotional well-being of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families.

Make a Donation
Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn  Twitter