Guest Editorial, February 8-10, 2012 | ParkRecord.com

Guest Editorial, February 8-10, 2012

Brooks Harbertson

Depending on who you ask, where you live or where you receive treatment, the cost of health care can be a debilitating expense not just for a patient, but for the rest of us too. This idea of costly treatment is a common sentiment in America, but our community has found a solution, thanks to the generosity of donors, volunteers and medical providers. The People’s Health Clinic has become a critical and positive resource to improve our communities’ health.

Is there a need for this type of operation in our community? The answer is a resounding yes. The People’s Health Clinic handled over 8,600 patient visits in 2011, which is an approximate 21 percent increase over 2010. This number also includes 117 well-child visits, double the number from 2010. The clinic provides care not just for those members of our community who keep our service-based businesses running; it also cares for your neighbors, friends and family. One in five people in Summit County are without health insurance. The People’s Health Clinic provides quality health care for those who, in many cases, have nowhere else to turn.

Health care for the uninsured of Summit and Wasatch counties has never been more accessible and more affordable than it is now. Thanks to a volunteer base of medical personnel and other like-minded citizens, the clinic’s cost per patient is just under $56. Compare that to the cost of waiting until an illness becomes urgent and warrants a trip to the emergency room or, worse, not receiving treatment, which means you’re not able to work which can create a downward spiral of bills and other issues. Having somewhere to turn for medical care shouldn’t be a luxury; it’s something we should all support.

Services in 2011 expanded to include physical therapy, vision services, Yoga for weight management, exercise and relaxation and health screenings in the community.

The People’s Health Clinic addresses the national issue of health care for all on a very local level. Its success depends on you and me and everyone else who decides that this issue is worthy of support. I hope you’ll learn more, volunteer or donate. I personally invite you to tour the clinic or browse the website at http://www.peopleshealthclinic.org. If you’d like to schedule a tour, please contact our executive director, Nann Worel, at (435) 333-1875.

Brooks Harbertson is the chairman of the People’s Health Clinic Foundation.