DVH hosts first resource fair for caregivers

Vendors and attendees called the first annual Caregiver Resource Fair held at Desert View Hospital Wednesday afternoon a success.

The medical facility, in partnership with Creekside Hospice, hosted the fair from 2 p.m to 6 p.m. to bring community-wide resources to one place in order make it easier for those providing care to others in their lives to see what kind of support is available to them here in Pahrump.

“This is something the community needed,” said Meagan Kowalski, director of marketing and physician liaison for DVH. “The people who have come through today have expressed their appreciation for the chance to learn what’s available to them and their families in the community.”

The event hosted 14 vendors ranging from local support groups for health issues like prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, to hospice organizations, legal offices and senior information groups.

Kowalski said with the variety of vendors present at the fair, it was easy to be able to point people toward the services they were searching for or to someone who could help answer the specific questions they came to find answers to.

“I had a gentleman earlier, he came to me and said he was looking for specific services and I was able to say oh visit that table over there or go over there,” she said. “It was kind of nice, people could come ask one person a question and there’s someone in this room who could answer it or point them in the right direction.”

Michael Gagliano of Creekside Hospice said he felt the fair went very well and provided a great atmosphere for caregivers to get the information they needed through a single event.

“This is one of the first events, I’ve been to a couple of others, where I’ve really felt like the community is unified through an event. There are two other hospice groups here, but there’s no animosity, it’s just about working together and letting the community caregivers get that information they desperately need to make informed decisions,” he said. “And the mount of people who have come to ask about our services and take brochures has just been awesome.”

Jay Heiseler of Integrity Home Health Care additionally said he thought the fair was well organized and hoped the information his group and others were able to provide that afternoon truly helped the caregivers of the community.

“I’m very impressed with what Desert View did here, they did a great thing. We’ve found that many of the caregivers here today truly don’t know about all of the resource options that are available to them,” he said. “As a caregiver you can just see these people have the weight of the world on their shoulders and so I think this is great. If we can help one person it’s well worth it. If one person comes out here and it changes their life or the life of the person they’re caring for that’s well worth it. Hopefully we helped a lot more than one though.”

Vern Bushgens, with the Pahrump Prostate Support Group, said he thought the event was well organized and provided a good avenue for his organization and others to get the word out about how they can help Pahrump residents.

“People have been very receptive of the information,” he said. “(The Pahrump Prostate Support Group) is a very, very strong support group for those who have prostate cancer…We’re not a medical group, we’re just a group that shares our experiences. We can direct people to various doctors or to what’s available, but we’re not in any way connected medically nor are we an advisory group, we’re just a support group for the community.”

Town Board member Dr. Tom Waters, who chairs the organization, said through events like these the group hoped to reach more men and women to invite them to attend the monthly meetings.

“We’re trying to get more women to come because they encourage the men to get their heads out of the sand and get checked,” he said.

After what event planners are calling a success for the Caregiver Resource Fair’s first annual event, Kowalski said the hospital plans to host the fair again the same time next year.

The only thing she would change, the director said, would be to add more children’s affiliated groups to the mix of vendors.

“Next year I would like to see some children’s organizations here,” she said. “We were hoping to have children’s organizations for this year, but we’re hoping to add the element for next year.”

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