Guest editorial: People’s Health Clinic is a shining light in Park City

Merrill Sue Lewen, M.D.
Park City

I have had private OB/GYN practices in Seattle, WA, Pasadena, CA and most recently Houston, TX. When the opportunity arose for us to move to Park City, Utah it was a dream come true. But I decided I was not interested in starting a fourth private practice and I would have to find another way to use my medical skills and give back to my community.

I had worked at Planned Parenthood in Houston just before we moved, and I loved it. But there was no local branch in Park City and I struggled with just where to turn. Frequently when I chatted with people I met about my dilemma, they responded that if that was the type of job I was looking for, I should be working at the People’s Health Clinic.

I met people who volunteered at the People’s Health Clinic, were on the Board or had friends who had received care there; all reports were glowing. I finally pulled up the website. It turned out the founder and medical director, John Hanrahan, and I had gone to college together. It was great to see his name and face again after 30+ years. John and I got together for breakfast and it lasted three hours; by the end we had a great plan: I would mentor Rachelle Flinn, newly out of PA school and wanting to expand the women’s health program, and I would be on the Board of Directors.

I have been volunteering Wednesday mornings for the past six months and I could not be more impressed. The staff is truly devoted, they welcome me warmly, try to do things just how I find most efficient and they are excited about improving the services for their patients; they deeply care about our work. Our Executive Director, Beth Armstrong, is outstanding. Not only is she a pleasure to work with, but her mission and passion for the People’s Health Clinic is unwavering.

Rachelle Flinn, P.A. and John Hanrahan, M.D. are our two salaried providers, with lifetime commitments to the underserved; we are so unbelievably lucky to have them. Hopefully in the not too distant future we will be able to add some more help for them. Currently the wait time for our patients is close to a month, and we would like to bring this wait time down to less than a week.

In the meantime, a few more physician and non-medical volunteers would go a long way! If you are a physician or just a caring individual, or have a friend or neighbor who you can spread the word to, come on in for a tour and consider joining our team. Your time could not be better spent.


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