SNHD Marks American Diabetes Alert Day on March 28

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Health District calls attention to seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) will spotlight American Diabetes Alert Day on Tuesday, March 28, to call attention to one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States. Sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Alert Day focuses on the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and the primary cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations and blindness.

More than 37 million Americans have diabetes. This includes approximately 254,000 people in Nevada. It’s estimated that an additional 70,000 people have the disease, but don’t know it, thus increasing their health risks. Approximately 21,000 people in the Silver State are diagnosed with the disease each year.

Throughout the year, SNHD’s Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion offers free diabetes self-management, education, and support classes. Classes are taught in English and Spanish and are available in person or online. Upcoming classes are scheduled for March 30, and April 6, from 2 – 4 p.m. at SNHD’s main public health center at 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107. Classes in Spanish are scheduled for March 20 and 27, from 10 a.m. – noon; and March 22 and 29, from 2 – 4 p.m. To register, call (702) 759-1270 or email Fill out the diabetes self-management workshop form to be placed on a waiting list for future diabetes workshops.

Other programs and resources are free  — available in English and Spanish — and accessible on the Get Healthy Clark County and Viva Saludable websites or by calling (702) 759-1270. The Nevada Diabetes Directory, which provides information about classes, prevention, low-cost clinics, specialists, and support groups is available in English and Spanish on the Get Healthy Clark County web site. The ADA website also provides information about diabetes education programs.

Nationally, an estimated 96 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, up from 88 million in 2019. About one in three Nevada adults has prediabetes with blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The Health District’s Road to Diabetes Prevention program includes resources for people with prediabetes or who are at risk for diabetes. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a Prediabetes Risk Test and the American Diabetes Association has a Diabetes Risk Assessment Test for individuals to assess their personal risk.

The ADA recently extended its certification of SNHD’s diabetes education program through 2027. The certification signifies that the agency’s programs adhere to the ADA’s national standards for diabetes self-management education and support. The ADA recognized SNHD for its “commitment to providing high-quality, evidence-based education and support for people with diabetes.”

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Southwest Medical Adds a New Healthcare Provider

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Southwest Medical has added a new healthcare provider to help meet the growing need for health services in the Las Vegas community:

Benjamin Chan, MD joins Southwest Medical’s Siena Heights Healthcare Center (2845 Siena Heights Dr., Henderson) and specializes in adult medicine.

Nevada Donor Network Announces Appointment of Dr. Zahra Kashi as Associate Laboratory Director

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Nevada Donor Network is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Zahra Kashi as its associate laboratory director. With over 32 years of experience in the field of clinical laboratories, biologics, and pharmaceuticals, Dr. Kashi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the organization.

In her new role, Dr. Kashi will be responsible for supporting Dr. Phillip Ruiz, Nevada Donor Network’s Laboratory Medical Director, with managing the direction of the clinical laboratories, collaborating with physicians, nurses, and transplant personnel, and building and maintaining relationships with other laboratories and state/federal government agencies. She will also assist the Nevada Donor Network’s goals and mission by formulating and executing strategic plans to heal and save lives.

Dr. Zahra Kashi

Throughout her career, Dr. Kashi has received extensive training in a variety of areas including clinical development, quality system auditing,

GMP procedures, project management, and regulation. She is highly skilled in personnel practices, team leadership, and international management and has a proven track record of success in academic partnerships, strategic planning, and research and development in clinical chemistry, microbiology, immunology, and molecular immunohematology.

Dr. Kashi is a board member for American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB) for High Complexity Lab (HCLD), a Certified Histocompatibility Specialist (CHS), a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP), and a National Certification Agency (NCA) certified professional. She has been recognized for her

outstanding contributions to the field, receiving numerous awards including the Tiffany award in 1997 in the Employee Excellence/Management category, the American Society of Hematologists Scholarship in

1997, the Research Award, and the William W. Stout Scholarship in 1988 for Academic Excellence.

Dr. Kashi earned her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) from Oregon Health & Sciences University and went on to pursue her graduate studies at Portland State University, where she earned a Master of Science in Immunology and a Doctorate in Molecular Immunohematology. She also completed the University of Michigan’s Michigan Ross Executive MBA Program and was named histocompatibility laboratory director of the American Red Cross upon graduation. Dr. Kashi’s passion for improving patient care led her to establish Kashi Clinical Laboratories to assist in cellular treatment breakthroughs.

About Nevada Donor Network

Nevada Donor Network is a federally designated 501©(3) not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) committed to maximizing the gift of life and health through organ and tissue donation. Established in 1987, Nevada Donor Network is one of only 58 OPOs in the

U.S. serving more than three million people in the state of Nevada and 110,000 potential transplant recipients across the country. They work collaboratively with hospital staff and community partners to promote research and provide a strong support network to courageous donor families who’ve turned loss into hope. At Nevada Donor Network, they encourage Nevadans to help individuals in need of life-saving transplants through education, research and action. Nevada Donor Network is a member of Donate Life Nevada, an affiliate of Donate Life America, whose state-wide efforts encourage Nevadans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. For more information, please visit

SNHD Marks National Women and Girls HIV AIDS Awareness Day

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Southern Nevada Health District to hold observances

 National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is Friday, March 10, a day to support women and girls who are living with HIV and to encourage others to be tested for HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women accounted for 19 percent (6,999) of the 36,801 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas in 2019. Women ages 25 to 34 had the highest number of new HIV diagnoses, and Black/African American women continued to be disproportionately impacted by HIV.

In observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) will offer the following activities March 10 at The Center, 401 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89101:

  • “It’s Tea Time” will provide education and resources about women and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Scheduled for 1 – 3:30 p.m., the program will also provide updated guidelines on breastfeeding as well as discuss sex work vs. human trafficking.
  • “A Celebration of Words and Song,” honoring women and girls, will be presented by 3:16 Degrees of Soul at 6 p.m. The concert will feature acclaimed poet Vogue Robinson and award-winning poet and vocalist Brittany Soul, with a special presentation by Ciara Owens.

Testing is an opportunity for women and girls to learn their HIV status so they can take steps to protect their health as well as help prevent infection to others. Routine testing is recommended for women who are at a high risk of infection.   Free HIV testing is available in the Arleen Cooper Clinic at The Center, Monday through Thursday from 1 – 6 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted.

Additionally, Express HIV Testing is available Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Sexual Health Clinic, 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107.  Appointments are not required, but clients must be asymptomatic. Additional testing can be done for syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Visit the Sexual Health Clinic page on SNHD’s website for more information.

SNHD also offers free, at-home HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea testing through its Collect2Protect program. The kits are available on SNHD’S Collect2Protect page and provide a convenient and private testing option.

Early diagnosis is critical for people with HIV so that they can benefit from antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART reduces HIV levels in the bloodstream, reduces HIV-related illnesses, and lowers the risk of transmitting HIV to intimate partners. With ART, HIV-positive people can remain healthy for many years.

According to the CDC, only 10 percent of women who could benefit from PrEP were prescribed the medication in 2019. PrEP is a medication that can be provided to people who do not have HIV but are at a high risk of infection. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV. For more information about women and PrEP, visit the CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together webpage.

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Cancer Patient Thinks of Others, Named Community Smiles Winner

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Calvin Kuehl still thinks of others despite chemo treatment

Despite battling cancer, Calvin Kuehl is still making people smile through kind gestures, a positive attitude, and his own larger-than-life smile. The 68-year-old, retired marble and tile industry worker was named the January winner of the Community Smiles Nominations, a recognition program from Move 4 Less, a local moving company owned by longtime friends.

Kuehl received the most nominations in January from people who answered the question, “Why does this person make you and/or our community smile?”

“Calvin amazes me every day. He is a kind soul and insists on helping people as much as he can. It’s what he does, ever since we first met,” wrote Elaine Kuehl, his wife of 38 years. “He would say this person needs help or this person told me he has no food to eat, and we can help them and invite them to dinner. Kindness does not cost a thing.”

Calvin had colon cancer and throat cancer, and now has chemotherapy for liver cancer three times a month.

“Calvin has been through such a tough year battling liver cancer, but nothing keeps him down and from helping in his community. He is such an inspiration to others,” wrote Jazmin Marzan in her nomination. “He is always saying, ‘Hello, how are you?’ and ‘How is your day?’ He believes if you do not see a smile on someone’s face, give them one of yours.”

Nominator Thomas Kozan said, “Calvin will give anyone the shirt off his back. He truly makes me smile and want to help even more.”

Move 4 Less representatives presented Calvin with a $1,000 Visa gift card and a basket of goodies during a surprise presentation that Elaine planned for him after coming home from one of his chemo treatments. “I had a feeling something was going on, but that is just like Elaine to do,” he said of the recognition and ceremony. “This is so much more than I could’ve imagined.”

The Community Smiles Nominations were created by Move 4 Less to honor local everyday heroes who make people smile by their actions or deeds. “Calvin Kuehl is the perfect example of why we developed this program,” said Maggie Kolesar, Move 4 Less general sales manager. “He is such a kind man who glows positivity. We were so glad to meet Calvin and Elaine and present this award and prizes to them. They truly made us smile.”

The Community Smiles Nominations is an extension of the Move 4 Less tagline, “Smile! It’s Moving Day!”, and the company’s efforts to move customers as easily and stress-free as possible as they start anew in their new home or office. The program was applicable for November, December and January.

U.S.VETS – Las Vegas was named the November winner for its efforts to make military veterans and their families smile by helping them with housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support. Phil Postier, the Best Buddies chapter advisor and Green Valley High School teacher, won in December. He was recognized for his special connection with all of his students, in and out of the classroom, and growing the school’s Best Buddies chapter.

About Move 4 Less 

Move 4 Less is the leading Las Vegas-based moving company and has recently opened an office in  Reno, Nev. Services encompass local and long  distance residential and commercial moves, storage, packing, logistics, and specialty packing and crating. Owned by longtime friends, Avi Cohen and Moti Perez, the local company’s commitment to customers is reflected in the management and staff’s extensive moving and relocation knowledge, experience, and positive attitude. Move 4 Less continues to participate in a wide range of community activities throughout the Las Vegas Valley. The company has always had a heart to give back where they can. Currently Move 4 Less is offering its trucks and moving staff to help move essential items for nonprofits throughout the valley. To learn more about their community involvement, visitto For more information about Move 4 Less, visit or call 702-381-1200.


Spring Valley & Summerlin Hospitals Hosting Car Seat Safety Checks

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Checks held second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Spring Valley and Summerlin hospitals are hosting on-site car seat safety checks on a rotating basis on the second Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Certified technicians from Safe Kids Clark County performs all car seat checks.

Statistics from Safe Kids Clark County note that 8 out of 10 car seats are incorrectly installed.

Upcoming dates include:

May 13, July 8, September 9, November 11
Spring Valley Hospital
, 5400 S. Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas 89118
Cross streets are Rainbow and Hacienda; the event will be held in the parking lot facing Rainbow Blvd.

April 8, June 10, August 12, October 14, December 9
Summerlin Hospital, 657 N. Town Center, Las Vegas 89144
Town Center Dr. and Hualapai (in the NE parking garage off Town Center)

Due to the popularity of the event, Safe Kids will limit vehicles helped beginning between 11:15 – 11:30 am. The carseat checkup event is free, but donations are always welcome and average $20. These donations go directly to help buy carseats for the southern Nevada community.

For more information, visit

About The Valley Health System
The Valley Health System is comprised of acute care and specialty hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, outpatient services and physician practices, all dedicated to caring for patients throughout Southern Nevada and surrounding communities. The Valley Health System offers emergency care, surgical services, advanced cardiovascular and advanced neurological care, women’s health, maternity and Level III neonatal intensive care units, and specialty programs in stroke, chest pain, orthopedics, oncology for adults and children, pediatrics, weight-loss surgery, acute rehabilitation, behavioral health services, wound care, outpatient therapy and home health services.

Updated information about The Valley Health System can be found on:
Facebook: TheValleyHealthSystemLV

MountainView Hospital Names New Chief Operating Officer

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MountainView Hospital has named Mitch Geiger as its new Chief Operations Officer. Geiger is the current VP of Operations at Sunrise Hospital, a position he has held since November 2020. He will begin his new role April 10, 2023.

Geiger brings many years of progressive healthcare leadership in hospital operations and performance improvement. At Sunrise, Geiger has executive oversight for ancillary support departments, construction projects and responsibility over nearly 1 million square feet of physical space.

Mitch Geiger

Geiger has been with HCA Healthcare throughout his career. He has served as a manager of Performance Improvement for the corporate HCA PI SWAT team. While with the corporate team, Geiger was able to travel to a variety of HCA facilities throughout the organization and lead hospital based multi-disciplinary teams focused on recommending process solutions.

He started his career with HCA in supply chain leadership roles in the HCA Tristar division. These roles included participating in the Healthtrust director development program and leadership roles at Centennial Medical Center and StoneCrest Medical Center.

Geiger earned his Master of Business Administration at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville and Bachelor of Science, Finance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

About MountainView Hospital:

MountainView Hospital is a state-of-the-art, full-service medical facility located in the heart of northwest Las Vegas. With a dedicated and talented staff of employees and outstanding physicians, MountainView Hospital is recognized for high patient satisfaction and for providing quality and compassionate care to our community since 1996.  MountainView features nationally recognized programs including a top cardiovascular and thoracic center and integrated cardiology clinic, and the renowned Las Vegas Institute for Robotic Surgery. MountainView is the only hospital in Nevada to offer bone marrow transplants. The Sunrise Health Medical Education Consortium, based at MountainView, trains the next generation of physicians and surgeons for our community.

MountainView is a member of the respected Sunrise Health System consisting of Sunrise Hospital, Sunrise Children’s Hospital, Southern Hills Hospital and several surgery, diagnostic imaging, urgent care center and hospital based emergency rooms, offering a complete range of specialized and technologically advanced services.

30 years and Counting: What it Takes to Sustain Long-term Recovery

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George Gatski has been sober for 31 years and continues to take his recovery one day at a time. After many stops and starts, followed by a decades-long career in addiction medicine, he understands the struggle of addiction better than most. Here, Gatski reflects on what it took to get him to more than three decades of sobriety.

I started using at a pretty young age, probably 11 or 12 years old. I was drinking and smoking pot. When I was a teenager, I started going to parties and using more and more. It was the ‘80s, right? So, stimulants were my drug of choice. I got into cocaine, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine. I used so heavily that I was unable to hold a job; I could not go eight hours in a day without using. I’d go seven or eight days in a row without sleeping and just pass out, exhausted.

I started getting into some criminal activity and was stealing from my family; eventually, the law stepped in. Three months after my 18th birthday, I was a convicted felon (for burglary). I was on probation, but I couldn’t stop using. I kept testing positive every time my PO [probation officer] would test me, leading to multiple violations.

At one point, I got into a physical altercation with my 67-year-old father. He was okay, but that was kind of the end of my rope. I went to my probation officer and said, “I can’t stop using; I need help.”

Talk about a surrender, right? He could have locked me up and thrown me in jail if he wanted to.

But I was just done. I was so tired of hurting my family and others that it was time for me to surrender and let go.

I got clean at 22 years old. I’d been to three or four treatment centers prior to that and was unable to get clean. So, my PO put me in a state-funded 6-month treatment program in Las Vegas. That’s how my journey started.

I was so beat up, so mentally and emotionally exhausted. I would sit in there, and people started sharing about their feelings, what they were going through. And for the first time I started to connect with that. I really related to how other people felt.

I believe timing’s everything, which is why treatment is so important. Because once you get in, that’s the time. It’s almost like jump-starting your battery when your car breaks down.

I followed everything that was told to me. I really understood I was the problem—not the world, not my family, not all the traumatic things I went through. It was more about me and how my head lies to me, how my head would tell me things and—this is where I truly believe in the disease of addiction—I would listen to it. That’s why I ended up always relapsing or not staying clean.

But the last time was a surrender. I finished that whole six months of treatment and was in outpatient treatment for almost a full year after that. I was in a work therapy program and attended Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-Step meetings.

It requires a full surrender of just following the next step, the next day, and then the next step and the next day after that, following the guidance of the staff and just going all in. And that’s how I truly believe I’ve stayed clean.

To this day, I still go to meetings weekly. It’s been 31 years and I’ve never stopped.

By 23 or 24 years old, I was really ingrained in sponsorship and working the 12-Step program. I still sponsor individuals, and I have a sponsor that has 40-some years clean. I’m still really connected to the program, and I think that’s helped me maintain my recovery.

Journaling & Meditation
Journaling is a big one for me—mentally getting something out of my head and just putting it on paper. Whether it’s 12-Step work that I’m writing or a gratitude list, I’m always writing all the time.
I also like to touch on spirituality as well. I do prayer meditation. It’s not about a specific religion; it’s about spirituality as a whole. In the mornings, I take a moment to stop when I start my car. I’ll keep the radio off for five or 10 minutes, just being calm and taking deep breaths.

I have anywhere from six to 10 people—my sponsor, my recovery friends, my wife (who is 25 years clean)—that I can call on at any given moment, whenever there’s something in my life that is big or heavy, such as a death, a difficult situation, or even just decisions I have to make.

I have those connections with me, so I don’t make any heavy decisions or go through anything difficult that somebody else doesn’t know about. I don’t keep it inside. Whether I’m at home, in a group, or in a meeting, I’m sharing openly about it.

I’m known for being honest and very transparent. I just don’t like to hold onto that stuff. And I think that keeps me going forward.

Giving Back
I had been clean for five years when I first got into the healthcare field, which was 25 years ago now. And I’ve always been about giving back. Giving back is such a big deal for me. I get such joy and meaning when I do this. Whether it’s somebody that I sponsor, a newcomer I meet at a meeting, a family member or friend, or someone I encounter in my day-to-day job at work. I like to do groups, even though I’m the CEO of the treatment center. I’m ingrained in the process, and the patients really respond to me. I tell them about my story, and it impacts them.

Because if I can do it, anybody can do it. I was a person that had no structure, no discipline, unhealthy boundaries and could not keep a job to save my life.
Today, I bring such joy and passion to the work environment. This field is tough, so it’s about loving what you do.

A former boss of mine once said, “George’s passion is infectious.” He would say that, and I didn’t believe it back then. But now I see it—now I see how I can bring that to the table.

Gratitude. Always.
I’m so grateful because I shouldn’t be sitting here. With the route I was taking before I got clean, I should have been in prison for a long time or dead or… And gratitude has helped me with being selfless. People who know me know that I’m always giving back.

Recovery is about more than just getting over the obsession to use. That was lifted for me a long time ago. It’s about gratitude, the gratitude of being in recovery. It’s about being a better person. Over these past 30 years, I’ve grown as an individual and continue to work on myself on a daily basis, and it’s given me a life that I can only dream of.

—George Gatski is CEO of Desert Hope Treatment Center, an evidence-based drug and alcohol rehab facility in Las Vegas

Special Olympics Nevada to Host 2023 Vegas Plunge on April 8

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The fundraiser will feature participants taking the ‘plunge’ to support Special Olympics Nevada athletes and programs

WHO:  Special Olympics Nevada (SONV) and Cowabunga Bay; Gold Sponsor Greenberg Traurig LLP; Silver Sponsor Enterprise Bank and Trust; and LETR Sponsor Nevada Donor Network.  

WHAT:  2023 Las Vegas Plunge. SONV is inviting brave residents to hop, skip, run, jump, or dive into Cowbunga Bay’s wave pool to support SONV’s health and sports programs. For those who like to dress up for the occasion, the theme of this year’s event will be “Independence” – red, white and blue costumes are encouraged. SONV is currently the only state that is not operating as its own Special Olympics chapter but it set to change this by the end of 2023!

Plunge participants must raise a minimum of $125 and will receive the complete VIP Plunge experience. Guests who want to attend and not participate in the Plunge can register for $45. After the Plunge, all participants and guests are invited to stay for the day and enjoy the  attractions at Cowabunga Bay.

In addition to the Plunge, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the Duck Derby. Participants can purchase a duck and “race” to the finish line for prizes.

To sign up, please visit:

WHY:  The Polar Plunge® is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations, and businesses to support Special Olympics Nevada athletes. Proceeds raised go to help provide year-round sports training and competition for over 3,000 athletes in the state. Additionally, your contribution and involvement helps athletes achieve their goals, live healthier lives, and have a sense of inclusion in the community.

WHEN:  9 a.m. on April 8, 2023


Cowabunga Bay Water Park 900 Galleria Drive Henderson, NV 89011

SHARE IT:  Post photos/videos with the hashtag #SONV and tag Special  Olympics Nevada on social media @SONevada.

About Special Olympics Nevada

SONV is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities through sports, education, leadership, and athlete health. The 501(c)3 nonprofit organization offers free year-round training and competition programs for 2,694 athletes who compete in more than 14 competitions in 7 sports annually. Within the Community Sports Program and the Schools Partnership Program, SONV is encouraging the growth of Unified Sports®, bringing together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to play as teammates. In a typical year, SONV impacts more than 21,283 students by promoting inclusion on school campuses. SONV is also committed to improving the overall health and well-being of individuals with intellectual disabilities through Healthy Athletes events, offering screenings and services free of charge. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the organization was able to convert its programing to virtual platforms to keep people with intellectual disabilities healthy and safe. SONV relies on the support of 1,670 volunteers and funding from individuals, organizations, corporations, and foundations. More information may be found by visiting and following on Facebook, Twitter (@SONevada), and Instagram (@specialolympicsnv).