Fundraiser helps uninsured with health care | ParkRecord.com

Fundraiser helps uninsured with health care

Frank Fisher, Of the Record staff

When Summit County’s uninsured need medical help, they may feel they have nowhere to turn. Some may even forgo medical treatment. But they need not delay treatment, as the People’s Health Clinic in Park City caters to the uninsured, providing non-emergency medical care for a suggested $10 donation.

But $10 doesn’t stretch far in covering medical expenses. And so, the People’s Health Clinic will hold its annual holiday social and fundraiser, Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theater. Tickets are $20. The evening includes entertainment and refreshments.

The People’s Health Clinic used to be housed in a traveling van in its first year of operation. In existence since 1999, the clinic is now located in a building on Ironhorse Drive. The non-profit organization now has a feel of permanence and stability and the more funds raised, the more hours and services may be offered.

Park City is unique in attracting a population of seasonal workers, many of whom work part time, receive no insurance with their jobs, and are unable to afford insurance on their incomes. The clinic also sees a considerable number of patients who have recently taken jobs, but their insurance has not kicked in yet.

Currently, PHC is open evenings, three days a week, from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays are dedicated to family and pediatric medicine, Wednesdays offer obstetrical and prenatal care, including free ultrasounds, and Thursdays, the clinic provides treatment for chronic illness such as diabetes or hypertension. Prenatal health classes are required for expectant mothers, teaching them how to take care of their own health, which will benefit their babies. "We make it mandatory," Andrew Sipherd, the executive director of the People’s Health Clinic said. "They will leave with a new life skill."

Children may be sent to a pediatric office for a $20 office visit fee. Forty specialists work with the clinic, and will treat clinic patients referred to them at a nominal cost or no cost.

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treating people who have no health insurance, the People’s Health Clinic is able to keep rates for the insured lower, the clinic believes, as the uninsured with no alternatives, will often put off treatment until a medical condition becomes serious, and the cost of more extensive treatment is absorbed by the community.

"People think the problem will go away, but it can get worse," said Terry Moffitt of the People’s Health Clinic.

Sipherd said that the clinic has two full-time staff members, the rest of the workers are volunteers, including most of the doctors, nurses and midwives. The clinic operates through community donors, government funding and grants. He said that the clinic relies on the fundraiser to provide one-third of the clinic’s budget.

The budget pays operation costs, utilities, and costs of medications, Sipherd said.

But people can help in non-financial ways. Spanish speakers, or people with clinical skills can help by donating their time for the evening clinics.

Donating snacks or meals to feed 8-10 clinic workers during the evening clinics, is another way community members may help. "If someone wants to help, we’ll find something for them to do, Sipherd said."

In 2005, the People’s Health Clinic saw 2,383 patients, and the number has been growing every year.

"We don’t care if they’re black, white, purple or green, if they don’t have insurance, we’ll see them, Moffitt said.

For those unable to attend the fundraiser, donations may be made by mailing a check to People’s Health Clinic, PO Box 681558, Park City, UT 84068, or call 615-7822, or visit info@peopleshealthclinic.org

To make an appointment at the clinic, located at 1200 Ironhorse Drive, (near the Christian Center) call 615-7822.