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People’s Health on the move

Alisha Self , Of the Record staff

Have you ever crafted a DIY sling, relied on a home remedy to treat an ailment, or decided to diagnose yourself in order to avoid paying out of your pocket for a doctor visit? If the answer is yes, you probably know that not having health insurance can be a huge drag.

Lucky for you, the People’s Health Clinic is opening its doors to more patients, extended hours and enhanced services. The clinic recently moved from its Ironhorse location to The Yard, 1251 Kearns Boulevard, where it continues to provide quality medical services to the uninsured in Park City and surrounding areas.

Nann Worel, the clinic’s development director, explains, "There’s been a 30 percent increase in patient visits so far this year." The clinic was unable to operate during daytime hours at the Ironhorse location due to limited parking. The new site boasts plenty of parking and clinic hours designed to fit anyone’s schedule.

The Yard, where Anderson Lumber used to do business, provides an interim site for the clinic before their move to a new proposed building at Quinn’s Junction.

Health services at the clinic are privately funded and include pediatric, chronic disease, prenatal, and general adult clinics. The clinic also offers educational programs in prenatal health and diabetes care and plans to offer more classes in the future. Partnerships with local pharmacies facilitate low-cost prescriptions, and the clinic actively serves as a referral source, connecting patients to dental, psychological, drug and alcohol treatment, and other resources in the area. "If we can’t provide the service, we help patients and their families access healthcare and community resources," says Jennifer Knight, family nurse practitioner.

According to an assessment by the United Way, over 13 percent of Summit County’s residents are uninsured. Patients at the People’s Health Clinic vary in age, ethnicity and income. The majority of patients (about 80 percent) are women, and many work in restaurants, lodging, construction or other jobs that do not offer basic health care packages.

The driving force behind the clinic’s endeavors is the squadron of volunteers who donate their time and services on a regular basis. The clinic averages 15 to 20 volunteers per week, in addition to four or five specialty clinicians such as emergency physicians and pediatricians. According to the People’s Health Clinic website, the generosity of community members, businesses and foundations has enabled the clinic to meet expenses for the past three years, which is quite a feat considering the dramatic increase in patient visits.

The People’s Health Clinic will host an Open House on Sunday, Aug. 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at their new location at 1251 Kearns Boulevard. The celebration will feature tours for the public, kids’ entertainment and refreshments. After all, getting your blood pressure checked is substantially more enjoyable with sno-cone in hand.

The Park City Area Homebuilders Association, which is also a nonprofit organization, provides support for the clinic and will be underwriting the event on Aug. 17. The association consists of 330 members including builders, mortgage lenders, plumbers, electricians, and everyone in between, many of whom do not have health insurance. According to executive officer Geri Strand, the relationship is mutually beneficial.

"We see value in supporting each other," she says. The Open House is an opportunity to "get PHC out there in front of the community and show people that they can use support, especially as they make the move to the new building," says Strand.

The homebuilders association has vowed to continue their support of the People’s Health Clinic in the future. One of their contributions will be a children’s area in the waiting room at the Quinn’s Junction location.

The newly extended office hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The office is closed daily from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. To make an appointment, call (435) 615-7822, or for more information visit http://www.peopleshealthclinic.org.


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