Dr. Joe Hardy has always possessed a deep love for rural Nevada and the people living among the Silver State’s less populous cities and towns.
As a native of Northern Nevada, the Associate Dean of Clinical Education in Touro’s College of Osteopathic Medicine has cherished the outdoors almost as much as he’s cherished the people.
After his life-long commitment to providing healthcare for those living in rural populations, Dr. Hardy was presented with the Community Star Award from the National Organization of State Offices and Rural Health (NOSORH).
He was one of 50 recipients across the country, and the lone recipient from Nevada to receive the award.
“It is truly an honor and humbling to be named with 49 other people in the nation,” Dr. Hardy said. “As a native Northern Nevadan, I was exposed to the vast landscapes, reservations, desert lakes, long distances, railroads, forests, creeks, lakes, reservoirs and treasures above and under the ground. But more importantly, I have met with people from every city and municipality. I have visited rural hospitals and clinics. I have heard their common concerns about health and adequate and available medical care. Rural people are people too.”
As Associate Dean of Clinical Education, Dr. Hardy has helped steward the partnership between Touro and Nevada Gold Mines, which offers two medical students each month the opportunity to rotate in rural health clinics in Elko and Winnemucca.
“Dr. Hardy has played a major role in teaching our clinical students about the importance of rural healthcare,” said Dr. Wolfgang Gilliar, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “Dr. Hardy is well deserving of this remarkable Community Star Award. It is a testament to his unwavering dedication to providing quality care for those living in our rural areas. We could not be more proud of this accomplishment.”
Since the first students rotated in April, Touro students have accumulated nearly 1,700 volunteer hours working at the rural clinics.
Gerald Ackerman, Director of the Nevada State Office of Rural Health, complimented Dr. Hardy for his lifelong commitment to helping rural Nevadans.
“Dr. Joseph P. Hardy has been a longtime advocate of reducing health workforce shortages in the State of Nevada,” Ackerman said. “Senator Hardy has been key in growing the Nevada Health Services Corps to support loan repayment programs for rural and underserved areas of the state. He has served as a lifelong medical educator and mentor to future physicians. Dr. Hardy has served his home of Boulder City and the small, critical-access hospital in that community. He has never missed a chance to better the state and specifically the health care that is available to those who live in the rural areas of Nevada.”
“I have spent much of my professional and political life working with physicians and other healthcare providers to assure that medical care is available to every person in Nevada,” Dr. Hardy said. “People are our greatest resource. Sometimes ‘rural’ medicine access issues are the same in urban areas without providers or transportation. Every person is important, wherever they live, work and play.”