For years the HAWC Clinic has been serving local residents who have little or no insurance.
While the facility boasts a dental clinic for kids, for Zulay Lagazpi its been a great resource.
" I looked at the personnel the doctors and everything and it is good and excellent service right here."
But HAWC hasn't always looked this way.
[CG at 0'24":Locator (Double Line)\Mike Rodolico HAWC Executive DIrector remembers the early days. " Well we started with an open brief case and a telephone sitting on the floor without a desk or chair
From humble beginnings to a facility that has 60-thousand visits a year, it is a story that impressed those at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. So much so they have awarded Rodolico one of ten Community Health Leadership Program Awards. In its fourteen years, this is the first award to come to Nevada.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is known for its innovative moves in health care...the nine billion dollar organization helped research and fund the first trauma centers...and even nine-one-one. Ideas that are common place today, but cutting edge years ago.
Those who receive the community health leader award now become a member of the Wood family so to speak.
This year's recipients will meet regularly with recipients for the last fourteen years to exchange ideas.
Rodolico says five thousand of the 120-thousand will go towards travel to those meetings.
A large chunk, 100-thousand will go back to the HAWC Clinic where Rodolico hopes to start a senior dental program. " I want to use some of the money to send some of our dentists to geriatric dental programs to get first hand geriatric dental information from a geriatric school of dentistry. That's what I want to use that money for is to bring out knowledge base up."