Never underestimate what you can accomplish at lunch … even at Applebee’s.

In some ways, the beginning of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation started here, at Applebee’s. This is where the plan took shape to create Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, which would include the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada and the Hemophilia Treatment Center of Nevada.

This is not to be construed as an official endorsement of course. But many of you do not know of the bond between Applebee’s at the corner of Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn and the very beginning of the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation.

Here’s how it happened.

In June of 2006, at the Applebee’s just down the street from where the Las Vegas clinic currently sits, Annette Logan and Dr. Bernstein met for lunch.  In some ways, Annette thought she was coming to say goodbye to Dr. B. She knew he was looking for other opportunities in other cities, and he was concerned about being able to help those kids without medical insurance or a lack of money to pay for treatment. Increasingly, on that front, he was finding his hands were tied.

So, over Annette’s Hamburger Quesadilla and an Iced Tea–which is what she always orders at Applebee’s– and Dr B’s plain Garden Salad with just Balsamic Vinegar and a Diet Coke -he was on a diet– the two talked. Both were frustrated by the fragmented healthcare system in the state, and the difficulties providing quality care with limited resources. Both recognized how little the community had to offer in the way of pediatric specialties and sub specialties. That meant a lot of kids had to go out of state for treatment and organizations such as Candlelighters were spending tremendous amounts of money to send kids to get that treatment.

Thanks goodness Annette and Dr. B. kept talking.

After discussing how it should be,  Annette asked Dr B … “If you could create a better situation in Nevada what would it look like?”

He threw out a lot of  “pie in the sky ideas” which led to one more question from Annette.

“What if we started our own nonprofit?”

Pause.

As they started thinking and dreaming out loud, Dr. B started drawing a mock up of an organizational chart of what he thought the nonprofit clinic should look like.  On the napkin he wrote it needed to have a lab, pharmacy, procedure rooms, all the sub specialties under one roof.   All staff members would work together to create a place where kid’s lives were saved and where the healthcare providers were part of the decision-making on a larger scale.

He even had a name for it: “Alliance for Childhood Diseases”.

So from one napkin to now, reality.

Alliance for Childhood Diseases turned out to be the legal name registered with the state and federal government for the agency you know as Cure 4 The Kids Foundation.  It received its nonprofit status in 2010.

That clinic Dr. B talked about creating is of course the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada.  Annette became the President and Executive Director of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation and Dr. B is doing what he loves to do: Helping save the lives of all kids and treating them in their own community when at all possible — not sending them out of state.

From that humble beginning to now treating more than 8,000 patients since inception. More than 500 children have been helped through the Charity Care Plan providing treatment to those who could not afford it and who would have gone without.  We have clinics in Las Vegas and Reno and earned full accreditation by the most sought after organization  — the Joint Commission.

And it all started with lunch.  At Applebee’s.

The napkin? .. no one knows where that is.