The People’s Health Clinic is Here for the Community
Park City touts picturesque landscapes and a lifestyle that lures folks more effortlessly than the Pied Piper playing his magic flute. With sunny days and cloudless skies, warm and welcoming neighbors, countless recreational activities, and abundant opportunities, it appears to be a utopia for everyone. But unfortunately, for some, every day isn’t always luminous. Those at the top of the peak may be unaware of the hardships in Park City and the need for a free medical clinic. It can be hard to believe, but thousands of people in our community cannot access or afford health care. Fortunately for these indispensable but often unseen residents, People’s Health Clinic exists.
The mission of People’s Health Clinic is to provide high-quality healthcare to the uninsured members of our community. In 2022, the People’s Health Clinic provided medical services to over 3,000 individual patients. It is easy to overlook the invisible population that makes Park City pulse. Immigrants from all over the world work shoulder-to-shoulder in our community.
Longtime resident Jose “Chicho” Santana crossed the border when he was only 12 years old. He would help his mother and father clean the No Name Saloon at 2 am to support his family, just one of the many jobs that he and his family has worked across the community. Like Chicho’s family, most People’s Health Clinic patients have multiple jobs to make ends meet.
The reality is that many community members are undocumented immigrants with no access to healthcare. The majority of People’s Health Clinic patients do not qualify for Medicaid due to residency status. This population is essential to making our resort-based economy function. They bring skills that make our community complete. They are the backbone of our economy. They contribute to our community’s triumph to ensure they provide their families with a better life. People’s Health Clinic wants to ensure that they also get adequate health care. In 1999, concerned citizens organized a one-day community health fair, and over 700 people showed up. It demonstrated the need to take care of those uninsured members of our community. Initially, the clinic provided healthcare from a mobile van. However, in 2009, in partnership with Summit County and Intermountain Health Care, the clinic moved to a permanent home in Round Valley. Today, the clinic sits at 650 Round Valley Drive. They serve patients five days a week.
The clinic has expanded its services and continues to help the community. One critical area of expansion has been mental healthcare. Chicho received care from the People’s Health Clinic for depression when he was still a teenager attending Park City High School. People living on the margins are more susceptible to mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Factors such as poverty, undocumented residency status, labor trafficking, and immigration traumas, combined with health disparities, mandate unique care solutions for this vulnerable population. People’s Health Clinic offers culturally-competent comprehensive care, including medication management and counseling for mental health issues.
The People’s Health Clinic provides high-quality, no-cost healthcare to uninsured residents of Summit and Wasatch Counties in Utah. Chicho now works as the Assistant Clinic Coordinator at People’s Health Clinic. He says, “I know what we are doing here is strengthening the community and helping people like me who can give back in meaningful ways.” Chicho is currently attending the University of Utah to become a physician assistant. People’s Health Clinic relies on unrestricted donations from community members to support the free, non-federally funded, nonprofit clinic. Eight out of ten dollars donated to People’s Health Clinic is spent directly on patient care. By improving the standard of care for the uninsured of our community, People’s Health Clinic is building a stronger community that empowers all members to live healthy and fulfilling lives.