Pamela Atkinson is best known for her tireless work as an advocate for the homeless, refugees and low-income families in our state. So much so, that Governor Gary Herbert has called her “the Mother Teresa of Utah.”
Born to a single mother in a slum area of London, Atkinson learned the value of working hard and gaining an education at a young age. When she was 14, she resolved to dedicate herself to school and make a life for herself through education. She eventually did just that, becoming a registered nurse in the UK and working in the Torres Strait Islands in Australia, before making her way to the United States, where she worked in several states and then came to Utah as an employee of Intermountain Healthcare.
Atkinson is a compassionate leader and believes in treating all people with dignity and respect. She has spent the last two decades making a difference in the lives of all Utahns, but especially in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. Atkinson has been instrumental in the development of additional resources for homeless services including housing and medical clinics.
Her work to create effective private and public sector partnerships to meet the needs of Utah’s most vulnerable populations is evident in her role as an advisor to three Utah governors, including Governor Herbert. Serving as a liaison to the legislature from the Governor’s office, Atkinson said the prevailing philosophy of her advocacy efforts is to, “never let issues interfere with relationships.”
“As a tireless advocate for the homeless and refugees of Utah, Pamela Atkinson is a champion of social good,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “Her dedication to bettering the lives of Utahns most in need has not only improved the lives of those she considers friends, but has also created change at both the state and local level to ensure those less fortunate have an opportunity for success.”
Atkinson has dedicated her life to making a difference and believes that even a small amount of giving and caring can have a powerful impact on someone’s life. For this reason, she is one of Utah’s greatest community builders.