February 2024

A New Year Message from Our
Chief Executive Officer
Desiree Zapinsky, RN

Dear VMSN Family,

I hope 2024 is off to a good start for all of you who support us in so many ways! We here at VMSN are anticipating another productive year of serving our community’s healthcare needs of our most vulnerable with compassionate care. We are setting our sights on opportunities for growth through these main goals:

  • Pharmacy Expansion Project: Simply put, we have outgrown our current pharmacy and desperately need more space. Through the Pharmacy Expansion Project, we aim to increase the efficiency and reach of our pharmacy dispensary to serve our growing patient base.
  • Cost Savings in the Dental Clinic: In 2023 we invested in cutting-edge equipment which has been pivotal to enhancing our dental services. By incorporating state-of-the-art technology, we not only elevate the quality of care we provide but also strive to reduce costs. Our commitment is to make dental services more efficient, affordable, and comfortable for our patients.
  • Maternal Health Focus: We are dedicated to expanding our obstetrics services and ensuring the well-being of expectant mothers. Our target is to increase the number of OB patients to twelve per month. We are already getting numerous referrals from community partners, making a positive impact on maternal health in our community.
  • Dental Volunteers and Interpreter Recruitment: We aim to increase the number of volunteer dentists as our dental patient base increases, as well as recruit more Spanish interpreters, ensuring that language is not a barrier to healthcare.

Thank you for your unwavering support and commitment to the mission of VMSN. From all of us at VMSN, we wish you and your loved ones a joyous and prosperous 2024!



Nevada State University Nursing Students Embark on Clinical Rotations at VMSN!

We are thrilled to welcome the Nevada State University’s Nursing Students for their six-week clinical rotations! During their time at VMSN, these dedicated nursing students will work closely with both volunteer and staffed providers, gaining invaluable first-hand experience in a healthcare setting. This hands-on approach is an essential component of their education, allowing them to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life situations.

The collaboration between NSU and VMSN not only benefits the students but also contributes to the mission of VMSN in providing quality healthcare to underserved communities. The students’ presence adds a dynamic element to the compassionate care provided by VMSN, fostering an environment of learning and growth for all involved.

As we look forward to the positive outcomes of this collaboration, we are confident that the students will not only gain clinical expertise but also carry with them a profound sense of community and service.

Stay tuned for updates on their journey and the impact of this collaboration on both the students and the community they serve.


HR and Volunteer Director, Danait Fessahaie, and Volunteer Manager, Paula Diaz, continue to do outreach, learning about our community and spreading the word about opportunities to get involved in our mission!

Mojave Student Showcase
We are so excited about this year’s partnership with Mojave High School which offers highly skilled students who are preparing to graduate and enter the workforce in fields of healthcare sciences as medical assisting.

Cola Mixer with Engelstad
We appreciated getting to know these highly capable Engelstad scholars, their peers, as well as fellow community partners at the always entertaining Cola Mixer.

From left to right: Danait Fessahaie, Sheila Sattley, Lucero Cuevas Fernandez,
Bishoy Tadros, Anthony Solis-Delpilar, Hein “Maia” Tran, Paula Diaz

Staff Spotlight:

Danait Fessahaie
HR and Volunteer Director

Danait has been an integral part of VMSN providing us with invaluable HR service since 2021. Before joining us, Danait’s passion for healthcare and advocacy led her to work as a program coordinator for a low-income clinic for inmates in Nevada infected with HEP-C and HIV. Let’s take a moment to get to know her.

What impresses you most about working with your VMSN colleagues and volunteers?
I am constantly impressed with the dedication and effort my colleagues put into their work. Also, I love getting to know and mentoring the volunteers. I get excited when they come back to the clinic after their volunteer stint and share with me how my guidance made an impact in their decisions about proceeding with their education or career choices.

Is there a highlight or interesting anecdote you can share since you’ve been working here?
I remember going to my first outreach event and being nervous. Karla, my co-worker, was helpful in teaching me what to say so it all went without a hitch. When we were about to part ways in the parking lot, she realized she’d gotten a boot lock on her car for not having paid for parking. I proceeded to invite her to wait in my car till someone came to release the lock. We ended up instantly bonding, laughing at silly YouTube videos for a couple hours. We still work together and remain good friends.

What do you like to do to decompress from work?
I love stargazing and take a few overnight trips a year with a group of friends during meteor showers. We’ve been to Zion, Death Valley, Joshua Tree. Looking up at the stars keeps me in the moment and is a good reminder to let go of the unimportant things in life.

What books or TV shows are you currently enjoying?
I’ve been watching All Rise about professionals who work at the L.A. County Courthouse. I find the law a fascinating field and this series has captured my interest.

What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?
I arrived in the US when I was nine-years old, speaking only my first language. People are surprised because I don’t have a foreign accent.

Thank you, Danait, for your dedication and commitment to ensuring VMSN is staffed with high quality professionals and volunteers!


Little Grecia experienced severe molar pain, leading to the extraction of most of her baby teeth. Under the compassionate care of Dr. Ibrahim, and the skillful and kind assistance of Annali Contreras, Grecia exhibited immense bravery, despite her previous traumatic dental ordeal. Grecia is now pain-free and more importantly on a path to excellent oral health, ensuring her adult teeth come in properly and allowing her to smile, eat, and live without the agony she once experienced.


We are so fortunate to have high quality volunteers here at VMSN. Here are just a few of our most capable and reliable volunteers:

  • Yoan Bakalov: Since starting in 2022, Yoan has completed over 450+ volunteer hours. His goal was to gain experience and grow in the medical field and he achieved it tenfold as shown by his excellent scribing skills. We are so happy to share that he has since been accepted into medical school! We wish him all the best.
  • Bishoy Tadros: Bishoy first joined the VMSN team 2 years ago and has been a stellar volunteer since then. Bishoy always leads by example and takes the time to mentor newer volunteers.
  • Lorena Garcia Gutierrez: Lorena joined us as an intern for the fall semester and immediately made an impact with her compassionate approach when interpreting for our Spanish-speaking patients. Lorena was a consistent presence in the clinic and someone the whole team could count on.
  • Sheila Sattley: Sheila has been a top scribe for the OBGYN program at VMSN. She has worked closely with various providers to provide the best care for our patients. Sheila is always willing to help and goes above and beyond in every role she takes on.

Help us provide quality health care within a culture of compassionate caring.
Please consider donating here.

If you are considering a major gift or wish to tour the clinic, please feel free to reach out to the
Philanthropy Department! Email Lacey Frantz, Philanthropy Coordinator,
at LFrantz@vmsn.org, or call 702-800-7886.