June 28, 2006 - Posted at 5:12 p.m. CST
CORNING, AR -- When an emergency happens, you want to get medical help as soon as possible. But for many Region 8 rural communities, it can often be a long trip when even minute counts.
Dr. Juan Cazano has been practicing medicine for 25 years. But the Dominican Republic native started out right here in Region 8.
"Corning was the first place I practiced medicine in the United States," said Dr. Cazano of the Corning Area Healthcare.
His medical career has taken him from small town to big city...but the journey has finally made a full circle.
"I believe he was here approximately 17 years ago, liked Corning, came back and we're happy to have him here," said Corning mayor J. H. Ermert.
He first lived in Corning in 1989, leaving after the hospital closed. He returned again in 1993 to practice medicine...eventually moving to Puerto Rico after the hospital in Corning closed again. But he was always searching for the small town life.
"I couldn't stand the big city as it was in the first case. And I told my wife, let's find a place like Corning," said Dr. Cazano.
Now, he's the only doctor to call Corning home. Corning Area Healthcare is more than 30 miles away from the closest hospital, but fortunately, Dr. Cazano's background is in emergency medicine, making him more than just an asset to this rural community.
"We have good doctors and staff here and medical facilities and we are very happy that we have these services available," said Ermert.
"I like to be part of the community. I like to buy my gas in the community and go to grocery in the community, I want to practice community medicine," said Dr. Cazano.