TRINIDAD, Colo. — You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in Souther Colorado who isn’t familiar with Phil Long Dealerships, afterall, they’ve been “helping you drive Colorado” for nearly 80 years.

And, at the center of that 77-year legacy, is president and CEO, Jay Cimino. Cimino’s story began in Trinidad and that link has inspired him to give back to his hometown through the years.

“It’s special because I was born and raised in Trinidad. And it was called ‘The City of Champions,'” said Cimino.

“At one time, Trinidad was the fourth largest city in the state of Colorado. So it was a large, prosperous town when I was a kid growing up. The town had 11 dealerships in downtown. It went from 11 dealerships to one. And so the downtown really dried up over the years.”

But Cimino says he started finding ways to foster community growth, helping Trinidad’s healthcare system and bringing in new business.

Cimino opened Phil Long Toyota of Trinidad in 2010 and Phil Long Ford in neighboring Raton, New Mexico.

His philanthropic efforts have helped breathe new life into the Trinidad community.

Cimino established the Trinidad Community Foundation, the Jay Cimino Champion Scholarship Fund for Holy Trinity Academy students and a new visitor center.

But perhaps one of his most meaningful accomplishes is in the establishment of the Mt. Carmel Health, Wellness and Community Center.

“We found that health care was a huge need in the little rural town of Trinidad. We realized that Trinidad was 59 out of 61 counties in the state in health care,” said Gina Cimino, President of Mount Carmel of Colorado.

“And that brought us into buying an old church, converting it to a health and wellness and a clinic, eventually a denture or a dentist office,” said Jay Cimino.

Mt. Carmel HWC center has a fully staffed clinic, along with therapists, and provides integrated healthcare seven days a week to patients in Las Animas County and rural southern Colorado.

“It’s grown to be a very important part of our family and part of – not just our ‘family’ family, but our work family. Mount Carmel is the philanthropic piece of the enterprise, and it’s become very important in who we are and what we do as a group,” said Gina Cimino.

Learn more about Jay Cimino and his contributions to Trinidad by clicking here.