The Polizzi Foundation, more commonly known as the Polizzi Clinic, provides quality outpatient psychiatric care to children, adolescents, and adults in Utah, primarily serving the Wasatch Front.
The clinic is the only resource for full outpatient psychiatric care at no cost for any low-income, uninsured Utahn struggling with serious mental illness.
Services are designed to establish patients quickly, stabilize symptoms within six to eight visits, and then transition the patient to primary care for maintenance at an affordable health clinic.
The Polizzi Clinic was incorporated as a non-profit entity by Dr. Reid Robison MD, and services began in 2010. Dr. Robison, who was completing a fellowship in clinical research, discovered that low-income, uninsured individuals struggling with serious mental illness had very few options for mental health care. Without health insurance, one of the only routes to diagnosis and medication was through volunteering as a subject in clinical research trials. He witnessed clinical trial patients improve with the support and treatment they needed, only to lose access once the trial was over. Using donated space and the assistance of several volunteer clinicians, Dr. Robinson began a once-monthly Saturday clinic where uninsured patients could receive some limited but desperately needed care.
In 2012, just as Dr. Robinson was moving on to his long-term professional career, Dr. Noel Gardner MD, a nationally recognized clinical psychiatrist with a well-established academic and teaching career at the University of Utah, began volunteering twice a month as the first psychiatrist affiliated with the Maliheh free primary care clinic. Because of the severity of mental illness attracted to Dr. Gardner’s work at Maliheh, the need for a much expanded set of services for the uninsured became apparent. At that time, Dr. Robison handed over the Polizzi non-profit organization to Dr. Gardner, who has, through his numerous relationships and visionary commitment, expanded the Polizzi Clinic to become a highly-respected specialty mental health clinic, and an essential part of the mental health safety-net for impoverished Utahns with no insurance.
Today the Polizzi Clinic operates with anywhere from three to seven licensed psychiatrists or psychiatric APRN’s for two full days each week with new client referrals and walk-ins being screened and enrolled every Monday and Thursday. In 2016, we provided over 1400 services to uninsured children, adolescents, and adults living in Utah.