Dr. Darryl Salvador has always had an interest in helping people. While pursuing a degree in education and student teaching, he recognized that some students he worked with didn’t have an interest in learning. He realized that they had difficult home situations. Seeing this need, he was inspired to get a master’s degree in school counseling and guidance and a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.
While finishing his postdoctoral degree, he heard Dr. Gary Hawley, a National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Ambassador, speak at a conference about his experiences and work in rural Kansas. Around the same time, Dr. Salvador participated in a rural rotation at the Molokai Community Health Center, located on the rural, medically underserved island of Molokai, in Hawaii. Both experiences prompted Dr. Salvador to join the NHSC and become the director of behavioral health services at the Molokai Community Health Center where he helped the neediest, medically underserved populations so that they would not have to leave the island for quality health care. “Anytime I can help someone put a smile on their face, feel that they are being heard, feel less distressed overall, and be a positive influence in their lives is a true blessing to me,” said Dr. Salvador.
After finishing his service commitment there, Dr. Salvador moved to Honolulu to work at Schofield Barracks Health Center, where he continues to serve today. His patients at Schofield Barracks are military dependents of active-duty soldiers. They are mostly women who struggle with depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, co-morbid health conditions, and trauma.
Dr. Salvador has become an integral part of his community in Honolulu acting as a bridge between primary health care and specialty services. “I have been blessed with the opportunity to provide primary behavioral health care to the medically underserved, diverse people who need it the most and to see the growth of the NHSC by serving as an Ambassador, Alumni, and National Advisory Council member.”
“The National Health Service Corps has been a wonderful part of my life and has played an integral role in both my professional and personal development. It afforded me an opportunity to serve medically underserved and fragile people, play a part in addressing the health disparities of our nation, allowed me to pay off my student loans, and helped me grow as a professional psychologist, person, and leader within my communities and work organizations. Mahalo nui loa, maraming salamat, and thank you to the NHSC for helping me to become the person and professional that I am today.”