After more than two decades of providing health care to the Wasatch Back’s uninsured residents, Dr. John Hanrahan is officially retiring from the clinic he helped start on April 15, 2021.
Longtime volunteer and clinic staffer Dr. Mairi Leining will take the reins as medical director when Hanrahan steps aside.
Hanrahan helped create the 21-year-old People's Health Clinic based in Park City. It serves uninsured residents of Wasatch and Summit counties with no-cost, quality health care. The tourism-driven businesses of the region typically do not provide benefits like health insurance for their workers.
With the community attracting immigrant and seasonal labor, Hanrahan said he started as a volunteer then joined the staff later.
“Around 2009, I started working as a staff physician,” he said. “And the last two years I was the Medical Director. I had to take almost a year sabbatical, I would call it, to run the Utah Rotary organization as a volunteer. But I was able to come back a little over a year ago to the clinic and take up my job as Medical Director and it's been really amazing and interesting and something to be part of the clinic during the Covid pandemic for sure. But this time I'm leaving for good as Medical Director, but I will stay on as a volunteer and continue to see patients and help in any way I can.”
Hanrahan said the changes have been dramatic since the beginning days of the clinic. He said volunteers help staff the clinic to provide a swath of services like drawing blood, translating Spanish, nursing and more.
“In the beginning, it was difficult for our patients to get blood tests that they needed or X-rays they might need or medications that they needed,” he said. “And it was very frustrating because these are our neighbors and workers in our community. They didn't have insurance and we couldn't take good care of them.”