‘The Providers’ gives a glimpse into People’s Health Clinic’s world
“The Providers” gives audiences a glimpse of how El Centro, a group of safety-net clinics, provides medical care to families and individuals in rural northern New Mexico.
Their mission is similar to that of the People’s Health Clinic, which services the uninsured in Summit and Wasatch counties, according to Executive Director Beth Armstrong.
“We save people’s lives several times a year,” Armstrong said. “We do that by detecting diabetes, diagnosing pre-diabetes, and even detecting cancer.”
The public will get a chance to see a free 7 p.m. screening of “The Providers” on Thursday, March 28, at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, and in the process, learn more about the People’s Health Clinic.
The screening is part of Park City Film’s Reel Community Series, which puts a spotlight on local nonprofits.
“As a safety-net clinic, People’s Health cares for people who don’t qualify for Medicaid (and) can’t afford the Affordable Care Act or private insurance through the marketplace,” Armstrong said.
The nonprofit does this with the help of more than 130 volunteers, 35 of whom are clinicians, she said.
Services include general medicine and vision screenings for adults and children, chronic disease care, prenatal care and education, women’s health, mental health referrals and oral health education.
“We provide about 40 patient encounters every day,” Armstrong said.
People’s Health Clinic is one of two types of free clinics in the United States, according to Armstrong.
The first category consists of federally qualified clinics that process billings, accept payments on a sliding scale, accept Medicaid and accept federal funding, she said.
“The second, which is how the People’s Health Clinic runs, doesn’t bill patients and doesn’t accept federal funding.
“The reason for clinics like ours and the clinics that are shown in ‘The Providers’ don’t accept federal funding is because there are some constraints that federally qualified clinics see as a barrier in their care of some individuals,” Armstrong said.
Park City Film Executive Director Katharine Wang introduced Armstrong and her staff to “The Providers.”
“We have a great partnership, and she goes out and finds films that are in line with our mission,” Armstrong said.
A post-screening panel discussion moderated by Armstrong will provide further insight.
The panelists will include Si Hutt, Intermountain Administrator for Heber Valley Hospital; Dr. Wing Province, medical director of Intermountain Healthcare Leadership Institute and Park City Hospital emergency room physician; Rachelle Flinn, physicians assistant and John Hanrahan, People’s Health Clinic founder.
Hutt was the administrator for Park City Hospital before moving to Heber Valley Hospital in the same role, Armstrong said.
“Not only does he have the knowledge of the medical world, he’s also one of the more kinder people you will ever meet,” she said.
Wing worked with Dr. Charles Sorenson, President Emeritus of Intermountain Healthcare, to create the Leadership Institute, which provides intensive training to prepare people in the medical profession to be better leaders, Armstrong said.
“Wing is also a very humble person and says he got his MBA ‘at a little school called HBS,’ which is, of course, Harvard Business School,” Armstrong said with a laugh.
Flinn is the People’s Health Clinic’s physician’s assistant.
“We need to find a different term to use instead of assistant, because a PA can do anything a doctor does,” Armstrong said. “They go through that same in-line training. The only difference is they don’t go into any of the specialized care.”
Flinn started as a volunteer medical assistant at People’s Health Clinic before she got her PA certification, Armstrong said.
Hanrahan is the former clinical director of the People’s Health Clinic, which he founded in 1999. Hanrahan is now the district governor of Utah Rotary, but sits on the People’s Health Clinic’s board and will return as a volunteer in April, according to Armstrong.
“He will be able to give his insights on the film, which will be very interesting,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said “The Providers” is an important film to see because of its potential to help its audience sympathize with patients and clinicians.
“You can sit with your eyes closed and not be affected by it, or you can educate yourself by almost standing in someone else’s shoes,” she said. “By seeing it, it might help us be more willing to reach our hands out and help.”
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