The Park Record editorial, November 17-19, 2010
November 17, 2010
Park City has a well-publicized reputation for attracting glamorous visitors to its upscale resorts and trendy shops. But it is less well known for something even more impressive — its deep commitment to social causes and generous support of those in need.
Monday night, members of the community gathered to celebrate one of its greatest philanthropic success stories: the 10th anniversary of the People’s Health Clinic.
Long before the words "health care" and "crisis" were welded together in the media, a group of local citizens saw a growing need to provide medical services to the uninsured. At the time their concerns were mainly focused on the town’s growing army of seasonal workers who were not eligible for health insurance through their employers. So, with the help of local physicians, nurses and volunteers, they hosted a free clinic and patients poured in from all over Summit and Wasatch counties.
The need was even greater than they suspected and, soon after, a core group of health care pioneers bought a van and turned it into a mobile clinic. The People’s Health Clinic was a reality.
After roaming the county for several seasons, the clinic found a home on Iron Horse Drive and continued to serve an expanding clientele. Fortunately, many employers recognized the benefit of keeping their staff healthy and contributed generously to the clinic’s operating costs. A number of private benefactors also supported the effort.
That was long before the economy went sour. Health care costs were rising but, overall, Park City was experiencing an era of rising prosperity. But when the recession hit Park City, some residents who probably never imagined they would need to reach out for help suddenly found themselves without health care benefits. Fortunately, the People’s Health Clinic was already in place. Many other communities were not as well prepared.
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The clinic is now located in a brand-new building alongside the Summit County Health Department at Quinn’s Junction and it is a model that other communities likely envy.
On Monday, some of the clinic’s founding board members and staff donned silly hats and sang (badly) to celebrate its accomplishments. They were also shamelessly begging for continued support. And as they so often do, Parkites proved they aren’t just interested in five-star ratings, they also care about those who are struggling behind the scenes but who are also an integral part of the community.
To add your support to the People’s Health Clinic by donating or volunteering, log on to http://www.peopleshealthclinic.org or call 435.333.1850.