CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Governor Brian Sandoval has presented the founder of Northern Nevada Dental Health Programs’ Adopt-a-Vet Dental Program, Linda Haigh, with the Veteran Supporter of the Month Award. This award recognizes Nevada citizens who dedicate themselves to easing the transition between military and civilian life for veterans and supporting veterans in need.
Since 2007 when she discovered 60 low-income veterans living with strain at Carville Park Apartments, and learned multiple war heroes were dying and not being found until days later, Linda Haigh has made it her mission to better the lives of veterans in need.
Haigh started a Veterans Outreach Program at her church to provide clothing, bedding, food, bus passes, gift cards and patriotic luncheons to the veterans living at Carville Park Apartments. She also met with the veterans every Friday to provide support and case management, which included advocating for better care for the veterans at the VA and taking them to their VA appointments, helping manage medications and complete VA forms, and providing information about and assistance with obtaining VA resources available to them.
“It was shocking to me to see how our veterans who have served us so bravely were being left to live – not to mention learning how many were in critical need of dental care – something we tend to take for granted,” said Haigh. “I always felt there was a way to help these veterans live healthier, happier lives, and thanks to the undying support of the local dental community, we have been able to make more of an impact I initially imagined.”
In 2014 Haigh was presented with the Newman’s Own & Fisher House National Award at the Pentagon by former Joint Chief of Staff General Dempsey for her innovative dental program to help veterans. She is very active with the program today, running day-to-day operations, facilitating community presentations, fundraising and writing grants. Thanks to her efforts, there is even a Bill draft being presented during the 2017 Legislative Session which will make an appropriation to the Department of Veterans Services to support dental programs for veterans.
Haigh was given the Nevada Veteran Supporter of the Month for January 2017 award by Governor Sandoval at a ceremony January 11, 2017, at the Governor’s Mansion. Friends, family, associates, veterans and supporters of veterans were in attendance.