Medical Director

Noel Gardner, MD

After completing his medical education at Loma Linda University and psychiatric training at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, Dr. Gardner joined the faculty at the University of Utah School of Medicine to be Chief of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry in 1988. There he rose to a full Professor (Clinical Track), was given numerous teaching awards and developed a practice in forensic psychiatry that ultimately brought him national recognition for his work on high-profile criminal cases and a wide range of civil cases.

After 15 years as a full-time faculty, Dr. Gardner left University employment to pursue a combination of out-patient practice specializing in complex mood disorders and involvement in psychopharmacology research and consulting to the medical, educational, and research programs of several pharmaceutical companies involved with the treatment of serious psychiatric conditions.

In 2009, Dr. Gardner accepted a position as Medical Director of South Valley Mental Health, a large out-patient clinic that was the exclusive provider for Medicaid patients for a catchment area with a population of 600,000 people. Here he supervised psychiatric residents and provided clinical leadership for a large staff of psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, psychotherapists, and case managers as they served many individuals with serious mental illnesses. When that organization went through a disruptive re-organization, he left his employment with Valley Mental Health. He also became keenly aware that there were many people who had no insurance and no capacity to pay for psychiatric care. He decided to develop a clinic that could serve these people for free. With the support of his wife, Connie, and many volunteers and contributors, the clinic has become a major training site for psychiatric residents and nurse-practitioner students, while providing high-quality psychiatric care to many people who had lost hope of ever getting the care they need. It takes the skills, commitment and generosity of a whole community to provide this kind of “community psychiatry”. Dr. Gardner is grateful that he can share the joy of this work with so many friends and colleagues and the hope that it creates in the patients we serve.

Executive Director

Bridget Shears, MBA-HM, MA, RN

Bridget Shears

Bridget Shears, a Chicago native, is a Registered Nurse by profession with over 30 years of career experience. She has worked in various areas of healthcare, including mental health, substance use disorders and pain management, maternal/child nursing, home care and corporate healthcare management. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Management and Education, a Master’s of Arts in Communication and a Master’s in Business Administration-Healthcare Management. Bridget has extensive experience in healthcare management, program development and education and has worked as a consultant for various healthcare and community organizations.

Bridget moved to Salt Lake City in 2001 and worked for Intermountain Healthcare in various roles for over 16 years before leaving to provide independent pain management consulting services. Bridget also spent 10 years as an adjunct faculty for the University of Phoenix in the College of Humanities and Sciences,

For over 25 years, Bridget has served on various boards and in other volunteer roles. She is a current board member for the Salt Lake Film Society, Holy Cross Ministries, and a Governor-appointed Commissioner on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Commission. Bridget helped resurrect the American Society of Pain Management Nurses – Intermountain West Chapter and functioned as both president and vice president. She served on the executive board for the YWCA Utah and volunteered for both the Illinois and Utah Nurses Association, the Candy Cane Corner, Sundance Film Festival, the Korn-Ferry PGA Tournament, and the Salt Lake County Arts Council.

Bridget currently lives in Sandy, UT and loves spending time outdoors golfing, hiking, walking biking, snowshoeing, or skiing.

Clinical Director

Nicholas Baggett, DNP, MS, APRN

Dr. Baggett started his nursing career in the ICU at Ohio State University where he split his time between the med/surg ICU and their Early Response Team.  In 2016, Dr. Baggett graduated from Ohio State University with an MS specialty in psychiatric mental health. He then began working in a downtown  community mental health center in Columbus, Ohio.

In 2018, he joined the University of Utah faculty practice for Psychiatric Mental Health (PMH).  While working there, Dr. Baggett completed his DNP with an IRB project focused on wellness interventions for the community mental health population.

Since 2018, Dr. Baggett has been working at several clinics in the Salt Lake Valley and supervising DNP practicum students. He is a Clinical Instructor at the University of Utah.

Dr. Baggett joined Impact Mental Health in 2018 as a clinician.  He loved the mission of the clinic: treating the uninsured while educating future mental health providers. Since this time, he has expanded his involvement in the clinic where he now serves as Clinical Director.

In accordance with Dr. Baggett’s interest in marginalized populations, he served five years in the Peace Corp in Mongolia. He and his wife, Anna, foster dogs that are awaiting adoption. They are avid hikers and are expecting the arrival of their first child in January 2021.

Director of Community Relations and Fund Development

Connie Gardner

Connie has been involved with Impact Mental Health since its inception. She has supported IMH’s development in various capacities as it has grown from a 1/2 day clinic in the basement of an office building to where it is today.

Connie graduated from the University of Utah in 1985 and attended the University of Phoenix Master’s program in Human Resources and Organizational Behavior. She has worked for Eli Lilly and Company as a Specialist in their antidepressant market, has been a Marketing/Community Relations Director for University Neuropsychiatric Institute, has been a probation officer for the 3rd District Juvenile Court and has worked in the Granite School District with at risk teens. She has also served on several nonprofit advisory boards over the years.

Connie passionately embraces the mission of IMH believing access to quality mental health care for everyone, including uninsured and low income individuals is integral in breaking the cycle of homelessness, hopelessness and the downward plunge untreated mental illness creates.

Connie and her husband, Dr. Noel Gardner are parents to two wonderful adult children.

Front Office Coordinator

Roberto David

A traveler… passionate about meeting new cultures, people, food and places that go beyond imagination. After a year of traveling in Asia, I decided to come back home to find an opportunity to work at this clinic and to see firsthand how people’s lives change. I am passionate about being part of this organization and being able to have a positive impact on the lives of all the people who are connected to the clinic from the patients to those who collaborate here. In 2015 I moved from Mexico to the United States, I am the oldest of 3 children. I love to read, travel, and spend time with my loved ones.