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Town says ‘thanks’ to gold mine owner

The Tonopah Coalition of groups that help provide human services to those in the region is saying thanks to the owner of the Round Mountain gold mine.

Kinross Gold Corp. in Toronto recently donated $35,200 to help make up for last year’s loss of federal money that had affected health-care offices around rural Nevada.

The money will go toward family planning services offered through the Tonopah-based community health nurse, Beth Ennis, who also serves Esmeralda County, officials said.

To show thanks for the private donation, the Tonopah Coalition hosted a thank-you potluck luncheon for Kinross on March 1 in the Tonopah Convention Center. A Kinross representative was in attendance and presented with honors as thanks for the generosity. A large banner expressing thanks to Kinross also was created.

“For my part, I just want to say how grateful I am,” the Tonopah Coalition’s Shaun Griffin said. The community’s health nurse “was up against the wall, literally, without revenue” for services, he added.

Griffin also said that the Tonopah community is “up against incredible odds.”

“Your hospital is closed,” he said. “It’s a 100-mile drive to any place to get real treatment.”

Griffin, the executive director of the Virginia City-based Community Chest resource and assistance nonprofit group, was referring to Nye Regional Medical Center, which closed in August 2015. The nearest hospitals are more than 100 miles away in Bishop, California and Hawthorne in Nevada’s Mineral County. Tonopah also is without an urgent care or emergency room.

Griffin pointed to the importance of community health nurses around Nevada.

“I work with the public health nurses from Carson City to Hawthorne, all over Lyon County,” Griffin said. “Their work is essential to every community they’re in.”

“You need to know you fill an essential piece of the puzzle,” Griffin said.

Ennis expressed thanks, as well, to Kinross and to its representative, Ranay Guifarro, corporate social responsibility specialist with the mining company.

In an email to the Times-Bonanza, Guifarro said: “Due to public funding shortages, office hours had been significantly cut and the community was facing the loss of services like immunizations, medical treatments and wellness checks.”

“Our community in northern Nye County doesn’t have other options for public health care and the prospect of it closing would have impacted many families in the area,” the email added. “The donation will help keep the service up and running for this year. It’s a small part that we can play in the community, and we are proud to do it.”

Contact reporter David Jacobs at djacobs@tonopahtimes.com

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