LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Veronica Gutierrez-Salazar is considered the “guardian angel” in the Hispanic community as someone who connects the underinsured, uninsured, and undocumented with life-saving resources.
8 News Now profiled Gutierrez-Salazar as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. A special recognition comes for her this year by her colleagues at the Engelstad Foundation R.E.D Rose Program, surprising her with the Acts of Human Kindness award.
“She is so empathetic, kind, warm, people feel supported,” said Community Health Manager for Neighborhood Hospital Wellness Centers Mark Domingo.
R.E.D stands for responsible, early, detection in the fight against breast cancer.
“We have a lot of work to do, that is not a solo achievement, teamwork, I know that,” Gutierrez-Salazar said. “I have been able to do all of these things because I am surrounded with an amazing team.”
The R.E.D. Rose Program of Dignity Health – St. Rose Dominican provides free screenings, clinical breast exams, mammograms, ultrasounds, and surgical consultations to women and men who lack adequate health resources or the financial means to obtain them.
“Education, everybody can learn about early detection, cancer is an intimidating word,” she added. “If you can detect it early, you can treat it, there is a resource.”
The R.E.D. Rose program fields about 200 to 400 calls a month, and their renewed focus is that breast cancer is a disease that impacts the entire family unit.
“She is considered as an angel, guardian angel, she’s seen as someone who guides, makes a path, connects to resources, she has become a pathway. I think her impact in the community is tremendous, she is so amazing at what she does,” Domingo continnued.
The program is encouraging male household figures to dedicate more time to make sure all the women in the family get services for early detection and necessary treatment if needed.