New executive director selected for People’s Health Clinic
When Beth Armstrong steps into her new role as executive director of the People’s Health Clinic in July, it will only be the second time in her career she has worked with a not-for-profit medical organization.
Armstrong, who has worked in hospital administration for more than 20 years, will assume the post after Nann Worel steps down. Worel announced her resignation in March. She has been executive director for eight years and was elected to the Park City Council in November. She will remain on the board of trustees after she departs.
Armstrong said she sought the position because she knew she wanted to fully immerse herself in that kind of role.
"I really sat down and tried to decide in those last 10 to 15 years of my working career what I wanted that to look like," Armstrong said. "There is a difference between doing this as your job and doing it as a volunteer position.
"I think it is an opportunity to leave a legacy and be of service," she said.
Armstrong will oversee operations and staff at the community-supported clinic, which is open to any Summit County or Wasatch County resident without health insurance, regardless of income level.
Nearly 10,000 patients are served annually by two part-time physicians, a rotating staff of more than 150 volunteers and a Board of Trustees. Last year marked the 15th anniversary of the organization.
The clinic operates in large part due to grants and private donations, including those from employers. Most patients also contribute to their care. The governments of Park City, Summit County and Wasatch County provide additional funding.
Armstrong said one of her long-term goals is to establish an endowment to sustain ongoing support for the organization.
"I would love to see that established to help us continue to be able to take care of the people who can’t take care of themselves," Armstrong said. "The need is going to continue to increase and we have to find a way to serve more and more people and continue to do it at a high standard.
"How do we prepare for the growth and growing need? This will affect all health care and the clinic services, and we need to start preparing for that," Armstrong said.
Armstrong has spent most of her career working in hospital administration, including at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, before arriving in Park City nearly 10 years ago with her husband, Roger Armstrong.
She has been the membership and annual foundation director for Promontory Club for 11 years, but said her duties will be reduced once she takes over operations at the health clinic.
Armstrong said she has some "large shoes to fill" in the hopes of continuing the work that Worel has started.
"It’s already on the right trajectory. I’ll just be keeping the train on the rails," Armstrong said. "No one is a bigger fan of Nann Worel than me and I am thrilled that we will be working side by side while she remains on the board."
Worel said it was a difficult decision to step down, but she realized she was unable to balance her duties between City Council and the clinic. She joined the clinic as a volunteer and then "never left," she said.
"It’s been my heart and my passion and I love the clinic. It’s been a joy, but there are not enough hours in the day to do both and do both well," Worel said. "It’s really bittersweet and I will miss working there."
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.