When you live in a rural community, it’s a bonus any time you can avoid that long drive into town for an important service.
“I grew up in Woodfords, I know,” said Hayes Wilson, PA-C with a laugh. “It’s a pain to have to come into town if you’re not already planning to make that trip.”
Wilson, who graduated from Douglas High School in 2005, will step in as the primary care provider for Carson Valley Medical Center’s Topaz Ranch Medical Clinic in Wellington this month.
“Just considering where I grew up, that was really a draw to me — being able to work at a small practice in a small community,” he said. “It’s evident how tight-knight and close the Topaz community is. Everybody knows everybody. I really enjoy that aspect, especially after having gone away to school in Southern California where nobody knows their neighbors. I really missed that community aspect.”
In continuing to develop the practice in Topaz Ranch, Wilson said he’s looking forward to helping add to the quality of life for residents of the community.
“I see my role here as really being an extension of the CVMC family,” he said. “If we can solve day-to-day health maintenance close to home for the patients in Topaz and the surrounding areas, address their urgent needs and also remove the need to drive into town, that’s a great thing for the community. They’re able to get their healthcare needs addressed at a hyper-local level.”
“Overall, my goal really is to educate and empower the patients here to be able to take control of their health.”
Hayes returns to Carson Valley after a 15-year absence that included a degree in criminal justice from the University of Nevada, Reno; a military tour in Afghanistan and a stint as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician before he went back to school to become a Physician Assistant.
He served in both the Air and Army components of the National Guard and volunteered in 2011 to lead a Combat Support Platoon in Afghanistan.
“I got to do a lot of different things during my time in the military,” he said. “Jumping out of airplanes, repelling out of helicopters, driving big trucks, firing big weapons.”
“In Afghanistan, we would go on patrol four or five days a week. I was part of the Military Police Company, to which there were many facets. We’d work with and train local law enforcement just trying to build up community policing. It was quite an experience, really something different every day.”
Following his tour, he connected with an old friend and high school swimming teammate — Racheal Wilson, nee Tappan — who incidentally also earned her PA-C and was living in Boston, Mass.
The two married, she moved back out west and they had their first child two years ago.
“We knew we wanted to end up in a smaller community, somewhere family-focused,” Hayes said. “Our parents were still in this area, we still had a lot of friends in Northern Nevada. It just seemed like a natural fit.”
He joined Carson Valley Medical Center in 2019 and spent his first few months working with and learning from a number of the organization’s more tenured providers. He started at Topaz Ranch in November.
“Everyone I’ve come into contact with here has been phenomenal,” he said. “There really is just a family atmosphere to CVMC. From the physicians to the leadership to the support staff, everyone has been great.”
Despite the 15-year absence and the community’s growth in between, Hayes said it still feels very much like the place he grew up.
“I feel like this is my home,” he said. “It still has that small-town feel. I really enjoy that and I am looking forward to raising my family and continuing to build a practice here. I think CVMC has a great future and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Topaz Ranch Medical Clinic, located at 3919 Carter Drive in Wellington, is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. Limited same-day appointments are available and Medicaid is accepted. Call 775-783-3096 for more information.
Carson Valley Medical Center has 16 primary care providers conveniently located at five practices around the community. To get established with a primary care provider, call 775-782-1550.