Connecting With Our Community
Although Touro University Nevada has only been in town for 15 years, it has always been honored to have been a part of the Las Vegas Valley.
Touro already provides free healthcare services to some of the community’s most vulnerable populations, but the university wanted to engage with a different population.
Complete with bounce houses, police cruisers, cotton candy, carnival games, a mini-Raiders football camp, and more, the university hosted its first “Building Blocks” Party for ‘differently-abled’ children and adolescents on April 7.
The university partnered with Henderson Police Department and Special Olympics Nevada for the special event. Touro also worked with several sponsors to offset the costs, including Healthcare Partners, Henderson Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Emerald Island Casino, Siegel Cares, Current Events, Latin Chamber of Commerce, Got Turf, Balloons with a Twist, and Zippy Shell.
Additional partners included the soon to-be Las Vegas Raiders, the Las Vegas Lights, and others.
Students from the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and Health and Human Services also worked together to create unique low/limited/full sensory carnival games specifically for the party.
“We wanted to bring our daughter Azlynn to the Building Blocks party so she could experience a carnival with other children like her,” said Kimberlie Opipari, whose two-year-old daughter Azlynn has Down Syndrome. “She had a great time playing games and we’re so glad that Touro had this type of carnival for kids like her.”
The Building Blocks Party was also attended by families who brought their neuro-typical children to engage with the ‘differently-abled’ community.
More than 75 students across Touro’s programs volunteered during the event. While some worked near the carnival games and food court, others gave tours of the university’s three mobile healthcare clinics.
“I wanted to participate in the Building Blocks Party because I love interacting with children,” said first-year medical student Yesenia Vasquez. “It also gave me the opportunity to put my bilingual skills to good use in the community.”
“Our ‘Building Blocks’ carnival was a wonderful event for our very special populations,” said Shelley Berkley, CEO and Senior Provost of Touro University Western Division. “At Touro University Nevada, we will always do our best to help improve the lives of all Nevadans.”