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People’s Health gala

What happens when you combine local medical professionals, healthcare promoters, volunteers, donors, and a Summit County Council-elect? No, not a belated post-election party. It’s the annual People’s Health Clinic (PHC) community celebration.

On Monday, Nov. 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the People’s Health Clinic will host an evening of music, mingling and merriment at Temple Har Shalom in Park City.

"It’s basically a get-together to celebrate the fact that we’ve been able to help the uninsured with medical care and education for another year," says PHC Community Outreach Director Terry Moffitt. The gala, which is free and open to the public, is PHC’s main fundraising event of the year.

The celebration will feature live music by Big Time Jazz, a group of talented musicians from Park City High School, plus appetizers, refreshments and a PHC trivia contest with prizes. PHC Executive Director Dr. John Hanrahan, who was recently elected to the Summit County Council, will deliver a "State of the People’s Health Clinic" speech addressing financial needs and plans for the future.

With the economy in flux, Moffitt explains that it’s been a "double whammy" for the clinic. Donations and grants are down, but patient visits are at an all-time high. According to Hanrahan, October was the busiest month in the clinic’s history with over 400 patients. The clinic is also admitting record numbers of new patients who have lost their jobs or can’t afford private health care plans.

Although there’s no pressure to donate, Moffitt says she hopes people will be inclined to make a contribution. "We’re hoping people in the community will realize that they can make choices to do without and help those who have no safety net to fall back on," she says. "People forget that when you keep people in the community healthy, it keeps the schools, restaurants and public places healthy – everyone benefits."

Proceeds from the event will fund operating costs for the clinic including medical equipment and supplies, lab tests, salaries for paid employees, office supplies and rent.

Hanrahan says the clinic has not experienced a drop in volunteers, but with the recent surge in patient visits, the need is greater than ever. Medical know-how isn’t a prerequisite for volunteers. Those without a background in medicine can help with Spanish translation, reception duties, fundraising and event planning. "There’s a lot of need in all different realms," says Hanrahan.

The event on Monday night is free, very casual and drop-in friendly. "Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend," Hanrahan says. Moffitt adds that she’d love to see some new faces this year. Donations and pledges will be accepted throughout the evening, and volunteer sign-ups will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, call the People’s Health Clinic at 615-7822 or visit http://www.peopleshealthclinic.org . Temple Har Shalom is located directly across from St. Mary’s Catholic Church off of Highway 224.


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