People’s Health Clinic co-founder announces retirement
John Hanrahan plans to step down in April
Dr. John Hanrahan, co-founder and current medical director of People’s Health Clinic, announced this week that he is retiring effective April 15.
Hanrahan co-founded People’s Health Clinic in 1999 with Pastor Bob Bussen, then the priest at St. Mary’s Church, and others who were concerned about the number of individuals in Park City who did not have access to quality medical care due to lack of insurance. People’s Health Clinic’s services were initially operated out of a mobile van and served about 700 patients in its inaugural year with the help of a small team of dedicated local volunteer health care professionals. Twenty-two years later, People’s Health Clinic operates out of dedicated space in the Summit County Health Department building and at its satellite office in Heber City. In 2020 the clinic provided services for more than 10,000 patient visits for uninsured individuals residing in Summit and Wasatch counties. Services are now provided through more than 40 volunteer doctors and nurses, with assistance from more than 100 non-medical community volunteers.
Dr. Mairi Leining, a long-standing volunteer medical provider at the clinic, will be taking over as medical director. For the past 1 1/2 years, Leining has volunteered as an internal medicine physician at People’s Health Clinic, where she implemented a multidisciplinary diabetes program that was certified by the American Diabetes Association. Prior to joining People’s Health Clinic, Leining worked as a hospitalist and served as the ICU medical director at the Park City Hospital. She has also worked as a hospitalist in South Lake Tahoe and at the University of California San Francisco. Leining completed her internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School in Boston, and medical school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She is currently a master of public health candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a focus in humanitarian health. Leining moved to Park City 10 years ago and enjoys everything that Park City has to offer (especially the skiing) with her husband and two boys.
“I look forward to continuing the vision of Dr. John Hanrahan that all residents have equal access to the medical care they deserve” she said. “Health care is a human right and the quality of care available should not be determined by financial or legal status.”
“Dr. John has been the heart and soul of People’s Health Clinic for the last twenty-two years and his dedication and skill has saved many lives,” added Beth Armstrong, executive director of People’s Health Clinic. “It is very difficult to imagine him not overseeing the care of our patients with his remarkable medical knowledge, humor, and empathy but he has more than earned a rest. He has set a gold standard for compassion and service and his legacy is written in stone.”
People’s Health Clinic is not Hanrahan’s only contribution to helping better the lives of people at risk and in need. In 1999, he also co-founded The Hope Alliance for the purpose of creating positive and sustainable change to alleviate the impacts of poverty globally. The Hope Alliance addresses those impacts by bringing volunteers and medical professionals together to provide vision, dental and medical care, and other basic needs, to communities in Peru, Haiti, Guatemala and Uganda. He also took a one-year sabbatical from People’s Health Clinic in 2019 to serve at district governor for Utah Rotary’s District 5420.
“It has been a great privilege to volunteer 11 years at PHC, and then work as a staff physician the past 11 years as well,” Hanrahan said. “Our patients are the working backbone of our community and I look forward to continuing care here again as a volunteer physician”.
For more information about the People’s Health Clinic, visit peopleshealthclinic.org or call 435-333-1850.
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Before Park City’s resorts existed, a telephone lineman named Emmett Wright turned Parkites on to skiing.