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.
Director of Operations
Mary Grace Heustess
Mary Grace Heustess has served as Impact Mental Health’s Volunteer Coordinator since August of 2018. Before moving to Utah and serving in this role, she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health at Clemson University in Clemson, SC, May of 2018.
She is currently working towards her Master’s of Public Health degree through George Washington University while continuing to serve at the clinic. Mental Health care and availability are vitally important to a community’s overall health and she views the opportunity to work in the clinic, standing in that gap of care, as a privilege.
Director of Community Relations and Fund Development
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
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.