Orange's Citizen of the Year says Orange hospital has the potential to become a major centre of health research and education.
Retired physician Dr Bernie Huxtable said it could become similar to the Mayo Clinic in the US where academics, scientists and researchers work together.
"I spent a lot of my life trying to promote the Orange Base Hospital," Dr Huxtable said.
"The potential of this hospital is unlimited, It could actually be a Mayo Clinic.
"It is only the way we think in Australia. People say it couldn't be so. It could be. We have the expertise, we have all the facilities to be a really big hospital. It would please me very much."
Dr Huxtable said he was delighted with his award.
"I only heard about it [being nominated] about three days ago. I was very surprised," he said.
"It hasn't sunk in yet. I'm very honoured because I know some very admirable people who have had this award and I feel very humble."
He said he hoped the award could be used to aid his community work. "I'm in Rotary and we have lots and lots of good causes," he said.
In the future he'd also like to "maintain interest and help in Wangarang industries".
Dr Huxtable said he moved to Orange in 1959 after completing his medical training in Sydney.
"You've got to wait a long time for things to happen in the country," he said.
"The first week we were here in November 1959 the headline in the [Central Western Daily] was 'Orange-Mudgee road link to go ahead'. I am pleased to think it is still going ahead because Mr [Member for Orange Andrew] Gee tells us so."
Mr Gee has announced federal government funding for the road link which includes constructing a crossing of the Macquarie River at Dixons Long Point.
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