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HL20: Nann Worel—Serving the Medically Underserved

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, December 2, 2013

In our annual HealthLeaders 20, we profile individuals who are changing healthcare for the better. Some are longtime industry fixtures; others would clearly be considered outsiders. Some are revered; others would not win many popularity contests. All of them are playing a crucial role in making the healthcare industry better. This is the story of Nann Worel.

This profile was published in the December, 2013 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

"It gets in your blood. You have to have a passion for it and it is my passion."

Park City, Utah, is a playground for movers and shakers. It is home to popular ski resorts that hosted events during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Each year its hosts the Sundance Film Festival, which attracts celebrities from around the globe and swells the population of about 8,000.

It is not the type of place where you would expect to need, much less find, a health clinic dedicated to the uninsured.

Nann Worel, executive director of the People's Health Clinic, is very familiar with that thinking. She notes that the workforce that supports the area's tourism industry—the gardeners, restaurant staff, maids, resort workers, musicians, and artists—are often among the uninsured.

She adds that with the economic downturn, sales managers, real estate agents, and other white collar residents have lost their jobs and healthcare benefits.

Last year there were about 9,500 patient visits to the clinic.

The People's Health Clinic was founded 13 years ago to serve the residents of Summit and Wasatch counties where the uninsured rate is 16% and 21%, respectively. The clinic began as a mobile service that set up shop in area parking lots. It eventually graduated to rental space and in December 2009 found a permanent home in a building it shares with the Summit County Health Department.

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