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DVH honored for back to school fair

In recognition of their work with the annual Back to School Health Fair, Desert View Hospital was presented with the Silver Syringe Award for Outstanding Community Partner this week from Immunize Nevada.

Immunize Nevada is a network of individuals, businesses, public health entities and organizations working to improve and protect the health of Nevada’s citizens through vaccination awareness, outreach and education.

According to Immunize Nevada, the Silver Syringe Award recognizes “individuals and organizations who have gone above and beyond to protect Nevadans from vaccine-preventable diseases.”

The award was presented to DVH Wednesday morning by Immunize Nevada Board Member, Assemblyman James Oscarson, during a community meeting at the local library.

The hospital was nominated for the award by their partnering agency in the Back to School Health Fair, the NyE Communities Coalition.

NyECC One Stop Manager Tim Wigchers said the hospital does a lot to make the annual health fair happen and without them it would be hard to provide the number of no-cost health services they have been able to over the last several years for local families.

“Three years ago Desert View Hospital offered their facility and resources to grow the event and firmly establish it as the place to get ready for school. Also during this time representatives from the hospital have stepped into crucial roles on the coalition’s management board and regularly participate in coalition meetings and activities. When it comes to the Back to School Health Fair, Desert View Hospital plays a key role. Many of the no-cost health services are coordinated through hospital staff. One of the biggest is arranging for no-cost immunizations for children. Other no-cost health services include sports physicals, eye exams, dental screenings and chiropractic services and in addition to these direct opportunities there’s almost two dozen organizations and agencies relating to health and children and school that support the event as well,” he said.

Last year the annual event drew in more than 800 people and provided approximately 90 vision screenings and 200 dental screenings in addition to the sports physicals and immunizations that were provided at no cost as well.

DVH CEO Kelly Adams said the hospital was delighted to receive the award and noted that none of this would be possible without all of the hard work and time put into the event by the hospital’s physicians, nurses and staff.

“I just want to express our appreciation and thanks for letting us do these things. I think it’s important, being a hospital, that we take our charge of providing services to the community very seriously,” he said. “This is a surprise and it’s a great recognition for the hospital and its team. We’ve had physicians, nurses and the whole staff participate in that event, coordinated by (DVH Marketing Director Meagan Kowalski) and her team. It just feels good that we can provide a valuable service. Not everything has to be expensive to be effective.”

Kowalski said she would also like to thank the NyECC and the other physicians and health groups that participate each year for making the Back to School Health Fair such a success.

“We were awarded with the outstanding community partner award, but without the partnership of all the other organizations in town we wouldn’t be able to pull it off. We have the groups that come in and offer the vaccinations, we have HealthCare Partners that come in and do the physicals, we’ve got all the dental groups that come in and do those things, so it really is a community collaborative effort,” she said.

This year’s annual Back to School Health Fair is scheduled for July 19.

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