Obama would approve of health care in Summit County | ParkRecord.com

Obama would approve of health care in Summit County

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

When it comes to providing medical care for the uninsured, Summit County residents rely on the People’s Health Clinic (PHC).

"Our name really says it all," says PHC Executive Director Nann Worel. "The people of Park City have been caring for their uninsured for a long time."

On Monday, Nov. 16, PHC will hold its annual holiday social from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Temple Har Shalom. The event is open to the community and free to attend.

The fundraiser comes on the cusp of an exciting move for PHC. Starting on Tuesday, Dec. 8, the clinic will see patients at its new location at Quinn’s Junction, inside the Summit County Public Health Building.

PHC will share the space with the Summit County Health Department. The move will put the two entities in close proximity to the Park City Medical Center, establishing a one-stop location for many of Summit County’s medical needs.

Intermountain Healthcare, which owns the land on which the building sits, agreed to lease the property to Summit County on the condition that the county would rent a portion of the new building to PHC at a rate of $1 per year.

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The deal, explains Worel, allows the clinic to use its funding for patient care rather than rental fees and building maintenance. PHC will occupy 5,000 square feet of the 25,000-square-foot facility.

The new space is about three times the size of PHC’s current location at The Yard, says Worel. "We won’t know what to do with ourselves," she says. "We’re just thrilled."

Thanks to the generosity of a local donor, the clinic will feature new furnishings and exam tables, as well as the clinic’s latest acquisition, a defibrillator purchased with funds raised by Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church.

According to Worel, who took over as executive director in August, PHC is projecting a 30-percent increase in the total number of patient visits in 2009 (as compared to 2008).

An interesting statistic, she notes, is that the number of Caucasian patients has skyrocketed by 47 percent this year. That’s due in part to people losing their jobs or losing benefits with their companies, she says, adding, "We’re happy to be able to fill that gap."

Funding for PHC comes from grants and foundations, from the county and Park City Municipal Corp, and from private donations. Patients are asked for $15 donations and this year, 85 percent of patients have contributed something to their care, says Worel.

"Donors have been very consistent in supporting us," she says. "We’re still getting grants from foundations, although in some instances, the amounts of the grants have been smaller this year. I think that’s true across the board for nonprofits."

The celebration on Nov. 16 will fete another year of service for PHC and give the organization a chance to thank the community for its continuing support. Everyone is invited to enjoy cocktails, appetizers, live piano music and entertainment. Donations will be accepted throughout the evening.

For more information about the People’s Health Clinic and to find out how to donate or volunteer, log on to wwww.peopleshealthclinic.org or call 615-7822.