Dr. Michael Giovanniello, a physiatrist in Salt Lake City, was one of the first physicians to sign up to volunteer with the Health Access Project. “I decided to participate in HAP because it is a way in which I can volunteer my talents and training to positively impact the community that I am living in,” said Dr. Giovanniello. It is an unfortunate reality that there are a large number of people who do not have access to medical care. Since that time, he has donated numerous consultations and procedures to uninsured patients’ ameliorating the pain and suffering that several HAP clients have lived with for years. Dr. G, as people lovingly call him, has a passion for improving the quality of patients’ lives, as well as for making his community a better place.
Dr. G. is an associate physician at the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitative Therapy (SMART) Clinic. For several years running, the SMART Clinic has teamed up with RS Medical, a durable medical equipment company, to sponsor a golf tournament for physicians. This summer, Dr. G. had the brilliant idea of incorporating the Health Access Project into the event in order to thank volunteers and to increase awareness of this community program.
The golf tournament was held at the Old Mill Golf Course on September 12, a beautiful Friday afternoon. Fifty providers attended, and all who participated had a great time even though nobody won the Harley Davidson motorcycle with a hole in one! And in addition to the fun, many positive benefits resulted: Many new providers learned about the Health Access Project, HAP received financial contributions from players which will be used to fund its work in coordinating care for the uninsured, and HAP linked up with pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies who are willing to donate supplies to the uninsured patients HAP serves.
Dr. G. studied medicine at Cornell University in New York and then went on to complete his residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Ohio State University Hospitals in Columbus. He had always had a dream of exploring the west and settling in one of the mountain states, and so in July of 2001, he and his wife, Dr. Christine Cheng, moved to Salt Lake City to create their new home. With an intense love of the outdoors, they have seen many of Utah’s splendors while hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.
Dr. G. joined the SMART Clinic in August 2001, where his practice specializes in managing spine related disorders and sports injuries. Other providers at the SMART Clinic include Dr. Scott Adelman, Dr. Jackson Maddux, and Dr. Chris Patton. The large staff at the SMART clinic has been extremely helpful in coordinating care for HAP patients as well as in organizing the tournament. A big thanks goes to Dr. G. and the entire SMART clinic for their compassion and enthusiasm!