Health System Follows Governor’s Announcement to Resume Necessary Surgeries on May 11, Remains Ready for Possible COVID-19 Surge. Renown Health announced today that they will align with the Governor’s Office and the state Medical Advisory Team in adopting a phased-in approach to resume limited medical and surgical procedures under strict guidelines and lift temporary restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus. The decision follows yesterday’s release of Governor Sisolak’s “Nevada United: A Roadmap to Recovery,” a plan designed to move forward to safely restart Nevada under a “new normal.” The health system will begin a phased approach to scheduling non-high risk patients as soon as Monday, May 4 for necessary surgeries beginning on Monday, May 11, 2020. “We’re able to resume some surgical services due to the flattening of the COVID-19 surge curve and the low COVID-19 transmission rate within our community due to the implementation of strong social distancing practices,” said Tony Slonim, MD, D.Ph., President and CEO, Renown Health. He added, “Our primary concern will always be the health and safety of our patients, physicians, healthcare employees and community members. We continue to monitor the surge curve and our current situation. Until a vaccine or cure is found, Renown Health remains prepared at all times to handle a surge and continues to care for those across northern Nevada.” “Elective-optional” procedural cases were temporarily postponed at Renown hospitals on March 17, to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to preserve critical resources. Christopher P. Demers, MD, FAANS, Managing Partner at Sierra Neurosurgery Group and Medical Director of Neurosurgery at Renown, said, “I know how important surgery is to enhancing a patient’s quality of life. I am privileged to have the opportunity to perform surgeries that help people get back to doing the activities they love. We are guided by a simple and important principle: the patient always comes first.” “This is excellent news for so many patients who may have placed their surgeries and care plans on hold due to COVID-19,” said Christos Galanopoulos, MD, chair, department of surgery for Renown Medical Group, and a specialist in oncologic surgery. “Renown’s expert team is ready to deliver safe and effective care to all patients and has earned recognition as the region’s leader in patient safety, technology and specialized care,” said Galanopoulos. “We are proud of the incredibly detailed health and safety measures in place at Renown.” Health and safety protocols in place at Renown facilities include: All individuals entering Renown sites, including team members, are screened for COVID-19 symptoms; Patients scheduled for elective procedures will be tested for COVID-19 up to 5 days prior to scheduled procedure date. Patients will remain in isolation following the test, up to the time of surgery. Positive COVID-19 patients and symptomatic patients will not be scheduled for elective surgery. All individuals entering Renown sites are asked to don a cloth mask. Patients may bring their own mask or may opt to wear one supplied by Renown. All care team members wear surgical masks and protective eye wear, as well as other necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), at all times when caring for patients. Visitor restrictions are still in place. A support person is still encouraged for surgical patients, delivering OB mothers; children under the age of 18; patients with confusion, altered mental status or developmental delays; and end-of-life patients. Six-foot social distances have been established in public areas such as waiting rooms, elevators, cafeterias. Extra cleaning and disinfection is in place for all high-touch, public surface areas. Erik Olson, MHA, Chief Executive Officer of Renown Regional Medical Center adds, “Renown’s mission is to make a genuine difference in the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve. We deliver on this promise by collaborating with expert surgeons to offer general and specialized surgical interventions to alleviate disabilities and reduce the risk of death from traumatic injuries, cancers, cardiovascular disease and other conditions. Together we are dedicated to delivering safe, high-quality, compassionate, personalized health care.” Patients who wish to schedule their elective surgery or outpatient procedure should first contact their appropriate ordering provider. -END- Those interested in supporting Renown’s healthcare heroes are invited to visit www.renown.org/give for more ways on how to help. For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at www.renown.org/covid-19/. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
Renown employees volunteered to reach out to over 2,500 older adults participating in the non-profits’ free Sterling Silver Club. While people of all ages are coping with the challenges of social isolation, there is one group of individuals who may feel especially lonely during these uncertain times—our aging adults. To offer some friendly conversation and answer any questions older adults may have about Renown’s commitment to keeping them safe during the COVID-19 crisis, Renown Health employees are making phone calls to its Sterling Silver Club members. To date, employees have made nearly 1,000 phone calls. Renown is also hosting several virtual events to reach older audiences. “The human element of connecting with these members is really special,” said Tori DellaRocca, who oversees this loyalty program at Renown. “Many of the people we call live alone and some have no one to check in on them. It has been a pleasure talking to our members; learning more about them and what they’re doing to pass the time, offering ideas to help them stay busy, and assuring them Renown is here to keep them safe. Since launching this campaign back in March, making these phone calls has been a highlight of my day, and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.” Anyone over the age of 55 is invited to join Renown’s free Sterling Silver Club, created to help people live healthy, happy lives every day. Members enjoy exclusive benefits all designed with their interests in mind. From social events and lectures to entertainment (virtual for now), special discounts, and health insights and tips, this club is a place for community members to shine and embrace the joys of healthy aging. “I enjoy the lectures,” said Sterling Silver Club member Liz Barnes. “They appeal to my desire to know more and invariably provide an ‘informed’ call to action.” “After the [lecture] on diabetes prevention, I enrolled in the one-year long, Renown-sponsored diabetes prevention program,” said Liz’s husband, Barry. “After the sleep seminar, I changed my bedtime habits.” While the Sterling Silver Club is not currently hosting events in-person, it is hosting educational talks and ways to help aging adults stay healthy through its online channels. The “Hello Project” is a virtual gathering place for adults 65 and older to focus on health, wellbeing and offer positive social support, made possible by a partnership with Renown Health, Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities and the Washoe County Health District. These virtual gatherings are hosted every Tuesday and Thursday at noon. Community members can learn more here. In addition, the Sterling Silver Club is hosting a Facebook Live event, Is Age Related to Anxiety?, coming up on Tuesday, April 28 from 11 a.m. – noon. During this live event, Renown psychologist Dr. Buddy Coard will discuss the impact of anxiety as we age and what we can do to prevent it from getting in the way of enjoying life. Those interested in attending can RSVP here. “Our members have enjoyed the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of healthy aging as well as connect with their fellow community members,” said DellaRocca. “We’re all in this together, and these virtual events, combined with our phone call efforts, show our older population they truly are not alone.” For more information on upcoming virtual events from Renown’s Sterling Silver Club and to sign up, please visit www.renown.org/SterlingSilver. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.