Big donor wants namesake
January 17, 2007
Accepting an offer from an unnamed potential donor who is considering giving $250,000 to the People’s Health Clinic means the clinic’s new facility at Quinn’s Junction could bear the donor’s name.
"I think the naming rights, if it’s going to be county and People’s Health, are worth more," Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott said. "I don’t want to close the door and I don’t want to sell out cheap."
With Summit County considering cooperating with the non-profit People’s Health Clinic to build a joint medical facility in Park City, commissioners may balk at naming a government building after a donor.
"How much does that quarter of a million dollars buy?" asked County Commissioner Bob Richer, who was lukewarm last week about granting naming rights for the new building. "I am concerned about the precedent it sets with other county facilities."
The county signed on after Intermountain Health Care offered free land to the People’s Health Clinic to construct a roughly 25,000 square-foot facility near a hospital campus IHC expects to construct at Quinn’s Junction near S.R. 248’s intersection with U.S. 40.
"We’re excited about this process," said Steve Jenkins, director of the Summit County Health Department.
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But securing a "lead donor" to build a new clinic could require commissioners agree to name their new health department after that person.
"We’re looking to assure that we have the funds that we need before we see a shovel in the ground," People’s Health Clinic spokesman Mike Andrews said. "We are more than ready, we are in the initial stages."
Cooperating with the clinic to construct the new facility could mean relocating the county’s health department headquarters to western Summit County, said County Commissioner Sally Elliott, who added that Jenkins’ staffers have outgrown their Coalville office.
"The entire county health department should be located at [Quinn’s Junction]," she said, adding that the county could operate satellite offices in Kamas and Coalville.
Meanwhile, the health department inside the Sheldon Richins Building is also overcrowded, Jenkins insists.
According to People’s Health Clinic representative Charles Wintzer, "We would like to think that we can be in the ground next fall."
"Every patient that we see is somebody the county doesn’t have to see and IHC doesn’t have to see," he said, adding that the People’s Health Clinic provides medical treatment for uninsured people in Summit and Wasatch counties.