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Guest Editorial

Since Monday evening, November 17, when almost 400 Parkites came to Temple Har Shalom to help kick off our annual fund drive, I have been struggling with the challenge of thanking all those who have made it possible for The People’s Health Clinic to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2009. I also struggle with how to ask for your continued support in these tough times because this community has been so supportive of the clinic and there are so many deserving organizations.

I would like to share with you the story of two anonymous donations that came to us that evening. The first was a significant gift of $200,000, which will enable us to furnish and equip the new clinic when it will open next December as a result of the support of Intermountain Healthcare and Summit County government. The other one was three $1 bills in an envelope we opened the next morning. Those dollar bills will pay our annual lease to the county for the next three years.

Those gifts may seem to be hugely different, but in one way they represent what makes this community such a special place to live a town with people who care about their fellow residents and who do what they can to make it a better place. These two anonymous gifts, along with countless other checks, have brought us close to raising the funds necessary to continue our mission of providing health care for the uninsured of Summit and Wasatch counties in 2009.

But it is not just money that makes People’s Health a success. Our board cannot adequately express thanks to the countless medical personnel who have donated thousands of hours of their time and skill; to the hundreds of volunteers from students to housewives who assist our patients, clean our facility, translate for doctors and patients, and perform so many necessary tasks. We cannot thank enough our small paid staff who work until every patient has been seen. We cannot lavish enough praise on the Park Record or KPCW for all the support we receive and for delivering our message of hope and care. My co-chair, Charlie Wintzer, and I cannot adequately thank our board for their hours, talent and effort. The clinic came into existence due to the efforts of John Hanrahan, MD, and the Rev. Bob Bussen of St. Mary’s Church and a handful of wonderful believers. It has flourished because of countless volunteers and your support!

In 2008 our patient load has increased by 43 percent; more than 150 women have given birth to healthy babies; critical care has been provided to numerous patients with life-threatening diseases; our Caucasian patient numbers have more than doubled. We are stretched thin but our staff and volunteers are committed to being here for those who need them.

You will shortly receive our annual appeal in your mail. If you haven’t already donated, I would ask on behalf of the staff, our board, and most importantly, our patients that you put us on your list for a contribution with the knowledge that your gift, big or small, truly matters and will improve someone’s quality of life. It will also continue Park City’s tradition of caring for its own. By doing so, you too will be part of our success story! Thank you.

Mike Andrews is the co-chairman of the People’s Health Clinic board of directors. He is a former principal of Park City High School.


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