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    Note: "Stable" is not a condition.

Press Releases

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    • Tuesday, Dec 21, 2021

    A One Year Reflection: Thousands of Health Care Workers and Northern Nevadans Vaccinated Against COVID-19, Offering a Beacon of Hope This Holiday Season

    The best protection continues to be getting a COVID-19 vaccine and booster, wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often. For the thousands of physicians and health care workers of Renown Health, this week is etched into the pandemic timeline as the start date of a nationwide wave that signaled the first vaccinations against COVID-19 and a beacon of hope for the future. A year ago, the nation’s health care systems in communities across the U.S. first began vaccinating physicians and health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19, and thousands received their first vaccine. One year ago, Renown Health, the Washoe County Health District (WCHD), the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began to distribute the initially available, limited supplies of the COVID-19 vaccines in Washoe County. Media representatives viewed the first healthcare workers as they obtained their first dose of the life-saving vaccines. Luis Martinez, first health care worker vaccinated, now plans to attend medical school Luis Martinez, who served on the front-line of the pandemic at Renown Regional Medical Center, received the first of his Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine a year ago this week, after it received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. He received the second and final vaccination in the series 21 days later. Luis has been at Renown since 2016, where he started as a phlebotomist and has been encouraged to advance his career in the medical field. He works as a technician on Renown’s Clinical Decision Unit — a short stay unit within the hospital for people who need clinical care, but do not need admittance to the hospital. Luis worked with patients and clinicians in the Clinical Decision Unit for a year before requesting to work in Renown’s Alternate Care Site, built in the Mill Street parking structure as a place to care for patients recovering from COVID-19 before they returned home. Today, Luis is working to fulfill his dreams of becoming a doctor. He took the Medical College Admission Test® earlier this year, interviewed virtually and applied to 24 medical schools. Luis has shadowed physicians in a number of medical fields, including internal medicine, emergency medicine, cardiology and orthopedics, and would be thrilled to train in any one of those areas. As for medical school, Luis was excited to hear about Renown’s new clinical affiliation with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med). He is enthusiastic about becoming part of the next generation of Nevada's health care professionals, and his first choice is UNR Med. He expects an admission decision by UNR Med this winter. If that doesn’t work out, he says, he has an interview with leaders at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV in January. Luis is bilingual and understands that Nevada continues to face a shortage of physicians and affordable medical care. He volunteers with CARE Chest of Sierra Nevada, a non-profit organization that provides free medical equipment, supplies, and prescription assistance to underserved populations when he is not working at Renown. His dream is to graduate medical school and stay in the community to provide medical care as a physician. Luis knows the importance of excellent medical care, and the importance of the vaccines against COVID-19. Last October, Luis turned 33 and contracted COVID-19 after a family birthday party. Because of his experience, his interest in medicine and his research, Luis obtained his COVID-19 vaccines- and his booster, and is pleased that everyone in his family is triple vaccinated too. He says they are all feeling well and looking forward to being together at the holidays. “As we celebrate this holiday season, we give thanks for Luis and the thousands of health care heroes who have been fighting this pandemic with care and compassion; continuing to safely screen, diagnose, care for and vaccinate thousands of employees and community members,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown Health. “It has been an honor to assist local and statewide health partners in the herculean vaccination effort. Over the past year, Renown’s vaccine team administered more than 58,000 dose 1 and dose 2 vaccinations to Nevadans ages five and older. We continue to work closely with our community health leaders and are always ready to assist. We are proud to be part of the solution for our community and pleased to have made a genuine difference in the health and well-being of others throughout this unprecedented time in our history.” Renown continues to use current local and national data, analytics, and public data sets for predictive modeling in service to our community. When there is heightened concern around an illness, enhanced infection prevention strategies are in place to ensure Renown is ready with the appropriate supplies and alternate plans should the need arise. Vaccination is still the best protection against Omicron and Coronavirus Today also marks a dark new milestone for Washoe County — over 1,010 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, and over 70,549 total cases in our population of nearly 500,000. The bright spot is that over 65,714 people have recovered in Washoe County, although many still grapple with long-term effects of the illness. The world and the U.S., continue to experience an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with the highly contagious Omicron variant, which now accounts for 50 percent of the coronavirus cases in parts of the country. In some areas, there is a significant stress on the hospital system, particularly where vaccination rates are low. “The most important action you can take to protect yourself from the Delta and Omicron strains and the COVID-19 virus is to get fully vaccinated,” says Susan Lee, DO, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, Acute Care. “The COVID 19 virus and its related strains are preventable and controllable through safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, which are free and now widely available in our area. The CDC recommends all people 5 years and older be vaccinated against COVID-19. Data shows that nearly all COVID-19 deaths are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.” A list of providers in our area offering vaccines is available at vaccines.gov.” “The best protection from COVID-19 has been a combination of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often,” says Amy McCombs, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNML, vice president of Quality for Acute Services for Renown, and a champion of the vaccination effort for Renown. “No one tool alone will stop this pandemic; it will take a combination of all of us using all of these efforts to fight the spread of this virus, especially through the holidays.” “Vaccinations have been a game-changer in terms of improving the health of our community,” said Rahul Mediwala, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Health Services. "Given the demands of this COVID-19 pandemic, we have been pleased to help in the fight by providing vaccinations. Our goal a year ago, was that all Renown physicians; employees and their family members; and all Hometown Health members and Renown patients interested in receiving the vaccine would have an opportunity to be vaccinated, we are excited to help make that dream a reality for all.” The COVID-19 vaccine is now mandatory for all Renown employees in an effort to protect those who are ill and physically vulnerable, and ensure a safe environment for patients and health care workers. Renown is covering all costs of the vaccine, and it is being offered free of charge to employees. As of today, 97% percent of all 6,750 Renown Health employees are vaccinated or have an approved exemption or deferral. “This year was a year no one will forget. For everyone- and for our health care workers at Renown, the year presented countless challenges and opportunities. Those of us who choose healthcare as our life’s work answer a true calling to serve others; this field requires a self-less commitment and a tireless dedication to caring for people when they are at their most vulnerable,” said Renown’s Chief of Staff, Sy Johnson, MBA. “I applaud the entire team- every physician, nurse and health care hero for their valor, their strength and perseverance in serving our patients and community during these unprecedented times.” What follows are highlights of some of the most remarkable moments and events that have taken place at Renown Health over the past year in relation to the response to COVID-19. Temporary Deployable Medical Structure Outside Renown Regional Emergency Department On March 12, 2020, Renown erected a deployable medical facility to serve as a respiratory illness evaluation and screening center for Emergency Room patients at Renown Regional Medical Center. A similar tent was also set up outside the Emergency Room at South Meadows Medical Center. An additional layer of protection, this proactive measure helped to care for people with symptoms of respiratory illness, and to protect patients and staff in the Emergency Department and other areas of the hospital. The tents were dismantled on January 20, 2021. (See photo here.) Alternate Care Site at Mill Street Parking Structure at Renown Regional As many communities across the nation experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases, including significant surges in hospitalized patients, Renown’s leadership had the foresight to create an Alternate Care Site (ACS) in the Renown Regional Medical Center Mill Street Parking structure. The ACS served additional hospitalized patients and allowed caregivers to remain on campus and still have access to existing hospital infrastructure such as lab, pharmacy, imaging, food services and other critical services. This solution also supported an efficient level of care escalation and other emergent interventions as needed. After just 10 days of intricate construction, including flooring, electrical infrastructure, lighting, water, technology and wall partitions, the ACS was completed on April 3, 2020 with space to hold up to 1,400 patients. On Nov. 12, 2020, Renown opened the ACS to serve additional hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who were clinically stable or improving. Healthcare workers at Renown cared for hundreds of patients in this site. In early Jan. 2021, the remaining patients returned home. The Site has been decommissioned and leaders expect the area to be available for additional parking later this winter. (Alternate Care Site B-Roll.) Renown invests in Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) ‘Hospital at Home’ Monitoring Systems Appropriate patients (including those recovering from COVID-19) are now offered a telehealth solution using wearable, continuous pulse oximetry, and the convenience of being in their own homes, with the confidence and security of knowing that Renown clinical staff are closely monitoring their health data through the Renown Transfer and Operations Center, and regularly communicating with them through their recovery process. The Renown Transfer and Operations Center spans 6,000 square feet, and is one of the largest centers of its kind in the nation, equipped with 28 high-definition dashboards on the front wall, two in the center of the room and four hanging monitors toward the back. Large plasma screens display important metrics such as patient vital signs, bed availability, facility capacity, staffing, technology and more. Registered Nurses and dispatchers continuously monitor activity around the clock, across Renown’s 100,000 square mile service area, 100+ locations and partner facilities to make the best decisions for patients, providers and care teams. “LOVE” Makes its Way to Renown On April 16, 2020, during a time of darkness and uncertainty, Artown loaned the “LOVE” sculpture, a one-ton, welded-aluminum artwork created by artist Laura Kimpton and fabricated by Jeff Schomberg to Renown, where it lit up Regional Medical Center’s main entrance on Mill St. The sculpture formerly debuted at Burning Man in 2019. On July 13, 2020, thanks to the support of former board chair and community supporter, Blake Smith and the Keyser Foundation, “LOVE” continues to glow in Renown’s signature purple every evening, shining brightly for patients, employees, visitors and passersby to enjoy. Throughout the pandemic, this sculpture has served as a source of inspiration, hope and positivity for our community. (LOVE sign B-Roll.) When Words Fail, Art Speaks Recognizing art’s powerful healing capabilities, Renown collaborated with prominent artist and fine art photographer, Anicia Beckwith, to immortalize the many battles fought against and amidst COVID-19 within the healthcare system’s walls. Beckwith captured portrait images of Renown caregivers, patients and their loved ones, showing raw and touching scenes from the COVID Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Departments, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Wilbur D. May Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Alternate Care Site field hospital. A group of Renown caregivers hold a COVID patient’s hand. Tears well up in their eyes as the patient takes his last breath. Care providers respond to a patient’s only request – a facial shave. The man beams at the sight of his freshly groomed face, and is visibly touched by the tender care he received to make it happen. Lupe, an environmental services worker, takes special care in her efforts to clean and sanitize patient rooms—a craft she has perfected and taken pride in for the 25+ years she’s worked at Renown. These are just a few of the captivating moments Beckwith illustrates through her art. Beckwith’s full photo gallery of images from Renown are located here; and downloadable visual assets are available here. Evolving in an Ever-Changing World: Long-Term Remote Work for Renown Employees The COVID-19 pandemic pushed healthcare leaders throughout the world to determine how best to provide care in this ever-changing environment. Leaders in Renown’s Human Resources department evaluated the thoughts and opinions of employees working remotely throughout Renown Health. Due to the positive feedback from employees, including decreased commute times, fewer distractions, improved work-life balance and a reduced carbon footprint, over 700 Renown employees will continue working remotely. Renown Offers In-House COVID Testing In June 2020, the Renown Laboratory team sprang into action to help meet Washoe County residents and businesses’ growing demand for COVID-19 testing. Renown invested in expanded staffing and in-house testing capabilities to be able to swab and process up to 1,000 COVID tests for patients each day, with return of results within hours. Renown’s CEO, Dr. Tony Slonim also collaborated with the Mayor’s COVID-19 Task Force, local faith and community leaders beginning in Oct. of 2020 to address health equity by providing free COVID-19 testing for communities of color. (Lab B-Roll). An Extraordinary Year of Service Renown’s leadership remains steadfast commitment to keeping our community safe. “We thank the community for standing by us and helping us all emerge as stronger people with hope for the future. We continue to fight the good fight,” said Dr. Slonim. “With COVID now imbedded into our daily lives, it’s remarkable to reflect on the progress we’ve made and the obstacles we’ve overcome. I will be forever grateful for the precautionary measures, innovation, and acts of service and love implemented by our dedicated team over the past two years. We hope by demonstrating our caring values and exhibiting hope and determination, we are inspiring others.” Stay Up-to-date on COVID-19 Renown Health is prepared to safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illness, including COVID-19. To stay up-to-date on communications regarding Renown’s distribution of the COVID19 vaccine, FAQs and the scientific evidence behind the vaccine, visit https://covid.renown.org/ Join the Renown team Renown Health remains committed to hiring key roles in our organization to support the health and well-being of our community. To join the Renown family to Fight the Good Fight, apply on line at https://careers.renown.org/ Support the Renown team Renown Health, a charitable, not-for-profit organization, is grateful for our community’s support during these unprecedented times. If you are interested in supporting Renown Health, a charitable, non-profit health organization, please consider giving to Renown Health Foundation. Donations are accepted through the following ways: Make a gift at www.renown.org/give Call Renown Health Foundation at 775-982-5545 Mail a check to Renown Health Foundation, 1155 Mill St., O2, Reno, NV 89502 Venmo: @RenownFoundation     About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 6,500 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.

    Read More About A One Year Reflection: Thousands of Health Care Workers and Northern Nevadans Vaccinated Against COVID-19, Offering a Beacon of Hope This Holiday Season

    • Friday, Jul 30, 2021

    Fighting for Your Health and Safety; As COVID-19 Cases Rise, Renown is Prepared

    Protect yourself by obtaining a vaccination against COVID-19 and the Delta strain if you are 12 years or older; seek urgent care if needed The world, the country and our area continue to experience an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with the highly contagious Delta SARS-CoV-2 virus strain. The Renown Health team continues to safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illnesses, including those at risk for COVID-19. Renown continues to use current local and national data, analytics, and public data sets for predictive modeling in service to our community. Renown Health ensures constant readiness by working closely with the Washoe County Health District, the Governor’s office, and is informed by updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When there is heightened concern around an illness, we implement enhanced infection prevention strategies to ensure we are ready with the appropriate supplies and alternate plans should the need arise. Renown Health providers are educated and prepared to quickly and safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illness, including COVID-19. Vaccination is the best protection against Delta. “The most important action you can take to protect yourself from the Delta strain and the COVID-19 virus is to get fully vaccinated,” says Brion Hill, MD who practices at the Renown Urgent Care - Los Altos location. “The COVID 19 virus and Delta strain is preventable and controllable through safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, which are free and now widely available in our area. The CDC recommends all people 12 years and older be vaccinated against COVID-19. Recent data show that nearly all COVID-19 deaths are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.” A list of providers in our area offering vaccines is available at vaccines.gov.” Protecting Yourself, Friends and Family Dr. Hill adds, “You can protect yourself the same way you would protect against other viruses with a few common-sense practices.” Wear a cloth mask or medical procedure mask when in a public setting. For situations when you are in close contact with people who do not live with you, you may want to consider a mask option that provides a higher level of protection (improved fit and/or improved filtration). Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Make sure you are cleaning between your fingers and under your nails. Use alcohol-based sanitizers when soap and water are not available. Use disposable tissues when coughing and sneezing; dispose of carefully and promptly. If tissues are not available, direct your cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm/sleeve. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms. Avoid shaking hands, especially with those who appear to be ill. Disinfect shared surfaces. Practice social distancing, 6 feet or more. Stay home when you are sick. If you have fever, cough, gastrointestinal, or respiratory symptoms please call your medical provider and explain your symptoms before coming in to their offices. If you do not have a health care provider, and have medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, visit a Renown Urgent Care physician or healthcare provider. Virtual Urgent Care is available for people for COVID-19 symptoms and Virtual Urgent Care visits are available through MyChart. MyChart is a free, secure online patient portal that allows you to access your Renown Health medical record and manage your health care information. There are 11 conveniently located Renown Urgent Care offices with providers ready to see you 7 days a week. You have the option to book ahead and schedule an appointment at 11 locations near you. How to Get Accurate and Reliable Information: We continue to advise our community regarding the importance of accurate sources of information, and to provide regular updates. For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at renown.org.     About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, 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, the region’s only children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improving the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.

    Read More About Fighting for Your Health and Safety; As COVID-19 Cases Rise, Renown is Prepared

    • Thursday, May 06, 2021

    Renown Thanks Community as COVID-19 Drive-Thru Ends

    After administering more than 73,000 dose one and dose two vaccinations to our community, Renown's vaccine team will conclude its efforts at Renown's drive-thru site later this month. Renown Health has been pleased to work with the Washoe County Health District, the state, and the CDC to distribute the limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines. Leaders of the COVID-19 vaccine taskforce at Renown announced today that Wednesday, May 12, 2021 will be the last day the organization will administer dose one of the COVID-19 vaccine to community members at Renown’s drive-thru clinic.  Renown's vaccine clinic will remain open until all individuals who receive their first dose of the vaccine through Renown have the opportunity to receive their second dose. To date, Renown’s vaccine team has administered more than 73,000 dose 1 and dose 2 vaccinations to medical staff members, Renown employees, students, volunteers and eligible community members. “It has been an honor assisting our local and statewide health partners in the herculean feat of vaccinating the hundreds of thousands of area residents excited to receive the vaccine,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “As we conclude our efforts at our drive-thru vaccine clinic, we are glad to continue working closely with our community health leaders and be ready to assist once again should there be a need for our support in the future. We are proud to be part of the solution for our community and pleased to have made a genuine difference in the health and well-being of others throughout this unprecedented time in our history.” “As we look forward to a brighter future beyond the pandemic, we can’t help but reflect on the more than 73,000 vaccine doses our teams administered to our community,” said Melodie Osborn, RN, Chief Nursing and Quality Officer for Health Services at Renown. “From our nurses, pharmacists, security teams, public safety experts and countless volunteer staff, each dose of the vaccine was made possible—rain, snow or shine—by dedicated healthcare champions committed to the health and safety of northern Nevadans.” “We want to offer our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the public for placing their trust in Renown to receive their vaccines, and for their patience and support of this important work,” said Wendy Meyers, Manager of Health and Wellness at Hometown Health. “The masked smiles, emotional tears of gratitude and relief, heartfelt thanks, food deliveries and many other acts of kindness will forever hold a special place in our hearts.” Community members 16+ still interested in receiving the Pfizer vaccine at Renown on May 12 are invited to make an appointment through MyChart; and walk-ins will be accepted from noon to 2 p.m. Minors ages 16 and 17 must be with a parent or guardian to receive the vaccine. For assistance, please call 775-982-2781. To schedule your COVID-19 appointment in Washoe County outside of Renown, please visit covid19washoe.com. Renown will continue providing ongoing updates to help keep our community safe on our website at covid.renown.org.     About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Clinical institutes include; Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath and Neurosciences. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org

    Read More About Renown Thanks Community as COVID-19 Drive-Thru Ends

    • Thursday, Apr 22, 2021

    Businesses: Get Employees Vaccinated Against COVID-19 for Free

    Renown Health has been working with the Washoe County Health District, the state, and the CDC to distribute the limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines. Renown has completed more than 64,000 dose 1 and dose 2 vaccinations to date, which includes all of Tier 1A (Medical Staff members, Renown employees, students and volunteers) and eligible community members – which now includes everyone 16+.  “Renown is excited to continue along our goal of providing the opportunity for everyone who is interested in receiving the vaccine to be vaccinated at no charge,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “We would like local businesses to know we have thousands of open appointments in early May and we encourage our business colleagues to share this information with employees so they may easily schedule an appointment through MyChart and continue on the path to a healthier and safer northern Nevada.”  “Renown is excited to continue along our goal of providing the opportunity for everyone who is interested in receiving the vaccine to be vaccinated at no charge,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “We would like local businesses to know we have thousands of open appointments in early May and we encourage our business colleagues to share this information with employees so they may easily schedule an appointment through MyChart and continue on the path to a healthier and safer northern Nevada.”  Vaccine appointments for 18+ Anyone ages 18 and older may register for a free Renown Epic MyChart account. They do not need to have a Renown provider to enroll. With a MyChart account, they will be able to login and schedule their first vaccine appointment. These vaccines require two doses. After the first dose of the vaccine is documented in your MyChart account, you will get a notice to schedule your second dose. There are two easy ways to sign up for MyChart. Please see instructions in both English and Spanish. To schedule an appointment for a 16 or 17 year old: We have made special arrangements for minors ages 16 and 17. Please fill out this form, also found on https://covid.renown.org/vaccine/. Renown's Customer Engagement team will call the listed phone number within 14 business days to schedule the appointment. We appreciate your patience during this time as demand is high. Please note that a parent or guardian must accompany the teen when getting their vaccination. You are advised NOT to receive the vaccine if you: Are ill at the time of vaccination (fever, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea or acute illness). Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days. Have received any other vaccination in the last 14 days. Have a history of significant allergic reaction to this vaccine or any of its ingredients. “Hometown Health is proud to be part of an organization offering COVID-19 vaccines to our community at no cost,” said David Hansen, CEO, Hometown Health. “The business community in northern Nevada is an important piece of the vaccination puzzle, and as a community-focused organization, we are pleased that Renown can safely offer vaccinations to local businesses and contribute to an increased hope for the future.”  Renown will provide additional updates on our websites at covid.renown.org. Please see b-roll, photos and fly-over footage of our Drive-Thru COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic here.     About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Clinical institutes include; Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath and Neurosciences. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org

    Read More About Businesses: Get Employees Vaccinated Against COVID-19 for Free

    • Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021

    Leading U.S. Hospitals Team Up To Promote COVID-19 Vaccine

    A coalition of 60 top hospitals and healthcare institutions have joined forces in a nationwide campaign to encourage adults to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Led by Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, the campaign "Get the Vaccine to Save Lives" is designed to reassure the public that vaccines are safe, effective and necessary to achieve herd immunity and return to normal activities. "We're asking people to talk to their healthcare providers if they have questions and then get vaccinated," says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Mayo Clinic's president and CEO. "The vaccine is our strongest asset to end the pandemic, and I urge everyone who is eligible to get whichever vaccine you're first offered to save lives." The campaign hopes to reach adults who are hesitant to receive a vaccine, including racial and minority ethnic groups and people living in rural communities. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey published March 30, 17% of the public say they will take a wait-and-see approach before getting it themselves, and another 20% say they will never get a vaccine or will only get it if required to do so for work, school or other activities. This leaves a significant portion of the population at risk of going unvaccinated.  The nationwide campaign includes print and digital advertising, media outreach, social media, an awareness video and an informational website. "The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective and offers our best hope for beating the disease," said Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., Cleveland Clinic's CEO and president. "We all want to see a return to our pre-COVID routines, when we can once again gather safely with family and friends. To reach that goal, we must improve vaccination rates to achieve herd immunity. Please sign up today because we are all in this together." With vaccine distribution underway, the campaign aims to help Americans feel safe and confident about receiving a vaccine. To achieve herd immunity and help end the pandemic, leading health officials say at least 75% of the population needs to receive a vaccine. Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who have been vaccinated. In addition to Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, 58 other leading U.S. healthcare institutions have joined the campaign. They include: Advent Health Adventist Health Allegheny Health Network Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Arizona Medical Association Ascension St. Vincent's Atrium Health Banner Health Baptist Health South Florida Baylor Scott & White Health Beaumont Health BJC HealthCare Brooks Rehabilitation Broward Health Centura Health Einstein Healthcare Network Emory Healthcare Essentia Health Hackensack Meridian Honor Health Intermountain Healthcare    Lee Health Mass General Brigham McLaren St. Luke's MedStar Health Memorial Healthcare System Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Mercy Health Michigan Medicine Monument Health NCH Healthcare System Nicklaus Children's Health System North Shore University Health System Northwestern Medicine Norton Healthcare Peace Health Piedmont Healthcare ProMedica Renown Health Rush University Medical Center Chicago Southwestern Health Resources Spectrum Health Summit Health Texas Health          The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The James Cancer Hospital The Toledo Clinic The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Theda Care UC Health (Cincinnati) UNC Health University Hospitals University of Chicago Medicine University of Iowa Health Care University of Toledo Medical Center UT Southwestern Medical Center Virtua Health Well Span Health Yale New Haven Health   More than 209 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and 50% of the population age 18 and over has received at least one vaccine dose in the U.S. through April 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration's rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. Ethos Creative Group of Burlington, North Carolina, created the campaign and donated their services. Facebook, iHeartRadio, Spectrum Reach, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and YouTube also provided complimentary resources. For more information about the campaign, visit ourshot2savelives.org     About Renown Health  Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath and Neurosciences. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.

    Read More About Leading U.S. Hospitals Team Up To Promote COVID-19 Vaccine

    • Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021

    Researchers at Renown Seek Convalescent Plasma Study Participants

    Physician researchers seek to understand how the immune system responds to COVID-19 and create a healthier Nevada. During the early stages of the pandemic, convalescent plasma was considered the only viable treatment option available for patients with COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is the component of the blood from recovered patients that may contain COVID-19 antibodies that help fight the infection. The National Institutes of Health has since developed treatment guidelines for COVID-19 based on clinical trial data and many studies are still underway worldwide assessing various additional treatment options. Convalescent plasma was in high demand but difficult to locate for COVID-19 patients in the northern Nevada area. A 24-year-old nursing assistant, Austin Meegan, was hospitalized and spent weeks staving off kidney and lung failure before learning he was eligible for an experimental blood transfusion that showed promise in treating COVID-19. Doctors estimated Meegan had only about a 3% chance of tracking down a donor to match his rare blood type. A COVID-19 survivor, Thomas Gibson, a Texas resident with the same blood type, traveled to Reno to donate his viral antibodies and a convalescent plasma donation credited with helping to save Meegan’s life. Physician clinical researchers and scientists at Renown and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) knew they needed to create better options for patients and physicians. Clinical researchers developed a study to help other patients like Austin, and pleaded for donations from recovered COVID-19 patients to donate their convalescent plasma. The researcher teams looked to understand how the body’s immune system responds to the virus over time, to aid them in developing new treatments for COVID-19. “The world’s capacity to get through the COVID crisis will depend on four things — science, technology, innovation and partnerships, says Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health.  “Taking lab bench discoveries to the bedside of patients in an efficacious and timely manner is not easy, but with UNR Med and our partners, we are making great strides in advancing clinical research which has the power to save lives and to create a healthier Nevada.” “It’s tremendously promising to partner on clinical research that will not only help us better understand the disease, but help inform treatment for those combatting COVID-19 that has had such a devastating impact on Nevadans, our nation and the world,” says UNR Med Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, MD. Renown, UNR Med and other area health care partners collaborated with Vitalant to collect plasma from recovered donors for a study on the treatment's efficacy. Eligible donors are at least 18 years old, weigh more than 110 pounds and are healthy. Donors had fully recovered from a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Project coordinators at the Renown Research Office were overwhelmed by the community’s support and plasma blood donations. Additional partnerships with the Washoe County Health District, the State of Nevada and the Governor’s office, Saint Mary’s Medical Center, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Carson Tahoe Health and the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, along with many area health care providers helped the team meet their goals of enrolling 120 eligible participants in the study. “Our success in this study rests heavily on the support of our great community, as well as the innovation and collaboration demonstrated by Renown and UNR Med,” said Sara Healy, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the study and a pediatric infectious disease physician at Renown Children’s Hospital and UNR Med. “We are proud to be at the forefront of conducting essential research during such a pivotal time in history, and look forward to our continued partnership as we continue this important work.” “The control of COVID-19 in our communities relies on testing. The study that is being launched to develop a sensitive, specific and easier way to collect specimens (blood) is advancing the field and brings promise towards getting to our common goal of having the right diagnostic test for the right clinical situation at the right time,” says Mark Riddle, MD, DrPH, FISTM, associate investigator of the study and associate dean for clinical research and professor at UNR Med's Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Research. The research team is now asking area residents to participate in a study to analyze the efficacy of two COVID-19 tests. Participants will undergo two blood tests: one being a finger stick to provide results for a rapid test, and the other is a traditional venipuncture draw confirming the presence or absence of COVID-19 antibodies. This study is a collaboration with InBios International, Inc., a leading biotechnology company based in Seattle. Researchers are seeking: Individuals who have confirmed positive for COVID-19 and who have recently recovered from the virus. Study participants must be within 7-28 days from the onset of their symptoms. Individuals who have recently tested negative for COVID-19 and have never tested positive. Those who are interested in participating in the study may contact project coordinators at the Renown Research Office at (775) 982-3646, or via e-mail at covidplasmascreening@renown.org, 7:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. Individuals aged 18-75 in general good health are encouraged to consider participating in this ongoing study. There is no cost to participate in this study and participation is voluntary. An individual’s decision to participate will not affect their current or future relations with their health care provider(s), health district, or the community. Those who decide to participate are free to withdraw at any time. “Time is of the essence with COVID. If we can get test results to people and their clinicians in a more timely way, we can make a faster diagnosis of a patient's condition, says Christopher M. Kozlowski, MD, MHA, Renown's institutional research officer and Medical Director/VP of Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health. “As we refine the accuracy of our testing; we are applying sensitivity and specificity testing for true negative and true positive results. This provides people with more timely and accurate results and better quality care.”     About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, 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 improve the care and the health of our community.     About the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), Nevada’s first medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit med.unr.edu.

    Read More About Researchers at Renown Seek Convalescent Plasma Study Participants

    • Wednesday, Apr 14, 2021

    A One-Year Reflection: Using the Art of Medicine to Heal Amidst a Pandemic

    For leaders, employees and patients of Renown Health, April 14, 2020 will eternally be etched into the COVID-19 pandemic timeline. This was the day the organization invited community leaders and members of the media to tour the Alternate Care Site (ACS) in the Mill St. Parking structure. While other healthcare systems around the world were setting up field hospitals to care for an anticipated influx of COVID-19 patients, Renown was the first to do so in a parking garage. During this preview event, Renown Health CEO and President, Dr. Tony Slonim, spoke to area leaders on the decision to commission the $11 million Alternate Care Site, which at the time, was a precautionary measure and a demonstration of Renown’s commitment to the health and well-being of the one million people and communities it serves across 100,000 square miles of Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Also on April 14, 2020, Dr. Slonim observed his 56th birthday. Rather than a celebration to mark the occasion, during the news conference, he received a call that would further alter his life. The intensivist caring for his dad, Anthony Slonim Sr., in a New Jersey hospital, told him that after a hard-fought battle against the novel coronavirus, his father had died. Dr. Slonim said, “April 14, 2020 was the day the COVID-19 pandemic was no longer just a tragedy devastating the east coast and other hotspots around the world. COVID-19 hit home, stealing my father and threating both of my beloved communities- New Jersey and Reno - that my family calls home.” The bright light of LOVE shines through the darkness Later that week, on April 16, 2020, Beth Macmillan, Executive Director of Artown loaned Renown the LOVE sculpture, a one-ton, welded aluminum artwork with letters 10-feet tall and eight-feet wide created by artist Laura Kimpton and fabricated by Jeff Schomberg, where it lights up Renown Regional Medical Center’s main entrance. LOVE glows, and continues to glow, in Renown’s signature purple every evening, shining brightly for patients, employees, visitors and passersby to enjoy. The art piece debuted at Burning Man in 2019, and was originally slated for the 9/11 Tribute Museum in NYC.  “Healthcare heroes and patients of the hospital have been warmed and inspired by the art and this one word, LOVE! Now, more than ever, the power of art has provided something beautiful on which to focus,” says Beth Macmillan. In July, the LOVE sculpture found a permanent home at Renown thanks to a donation from the Robert and Dorothy Keyser Foundation. “Through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the LOVE sculpture has been a powerful source of hope, inspiration and determination for our community,” said Blake Smith, chair of the Keyser Foundation. “Now, we can’t imagine the entrance of the hospital without it. We are happy that the incredible piece of art will continue shining a bright light while spreading warmth and comfort to all who care for those in our hospitals, patients and families, and those who pass by.” (LOVE sign B-Roll.) For Dr. Slonim, he found the art a reminder of the love of his father. “I have so much respect for artists like Laura and Jeff, and the way they connect with people through their art. Passing by the LOVE sculpture was immensely therapeutic for me, especially after the loss of my dad,” said Dr. Slonim. “Caring for others and their emotions is also an art. Over the last year, I have been inspired by the compassionate caregivers who have practiced the art of medicine under extremely stressful and difficult conditions brought on by the pandemic.” When words fail, art speaks Recognizing art’s powerful healing capabilities, Renown collaborated with prominent artist and fine art photographer, Anicia Beckwith, to immortalize the many battles fought against and amidst COVID-19 within the healthcare system’s walls. Beckwith captured portrait images of Renown caregivers, patients and their loved ones, showing raw and touching scenes from the COVID Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Departments, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Wilbur D. May Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Alternate Care Site field hospital. A group of Renown caregivers hold a COVID patient’s hand. Tears well up in their eyes as the patient takes his last breath. Care providers respond to a patient’s only request – a facial shave. The man beams at the sight of his freshly groomed face, and is visibly touched by the tender care he received to make it happen. Lupe, an environmental services worker, takes special care in her efforts to clean and sanitize patient rooms—a craft she has perfected and taken pride in for the 25+ years she’s worked at Renown. These are just a few of the captivating moments Beckwith illustrates through her art. Beckwith’s full photo gallery of images from Renown are located here; and downloadable visual assets are available here.    “I was in awe as I watched Renown caregivers administer chest compressions to a patient whose heart had just stopped,” said Beckwith. Promptly after assisting in saving that patient’s life, I observed a nurse walk into the room next door where an elderly patient peacefully discussed coming to the end of hers. I can’t help but wonder how the staff have these conversations daily—always with compassion, dignity and grace. It was an honor and privilege to commemorate this pivotal time in our world’s history, and in turn, aid in the healing process for those hurting both physically and emotionally.”  “Anicia’s photography provided a comforting outlet for all who were involved in the project,” said Annie Zucker, Manager of Community Impact at Renown. “Her work gave care givers an opportunity to reflect on the last year and fueled the strength and determination they needed to get through it, as sometimes it takes an outside lens to see the magnitude and impact of your work. Anicia gave patients and families an opportunity share their stories and feel support and encouragement from the outside world.” In addition to taking photos on standard digital cameras, Beckwith also honed her skills using various vintage film cameras and historical techniques. “I purposely use these images as testimony to the science in front and behind the lens,” said Beckwith. “COVID has shown us technological advances cannot cure every condition, and sometimes we must go back to the basics to move forward. Some of the film I used for this project is no longer made and rare to possess. Each time I click the shutter translates to one less photographic possibility left in the world. To decide when and what to capture is a metaphor for the importance, reverence and weight I place on the subject in front of me.” Beckwith plans to continue her photography project at Renown using a 104-year-old camera that was present during the time of the Spanish Flu of 1918. Her goal is to highlight the remarkable stories of strength, resilience and perseverance that have come from the ashes of the pandemic, as we look towards a hopeful future. “For more than 30 years, art has played an important role at Renown Health,” said Sy Johnson, Chief of Staff at Renown. “Healing is more than getting quality medical care—it’s about the heart, the mind and the spirit. We are proud to bring extraordinary artists like Laura Kimpton, Jeff Schomberg, Anicia Beckwith and others, to find meaningful ways to connect with our patients, employees and community through the universal language of healing arts. Much of the art on our campuses has been made possible by generous artists and donors, who have make a tremendous impact on how our community—and our providers—reflect, engage and heal.”  If you are interested in supporting the Healing Arts Program at Renown Health, a charitable, non-profit health organization, please consider giving to Renown Health Foundation.  Donations are accepted through the following ways: Make a gift at www.renown.org/give Call Renown Health Foundation at 775-982-5545 Mail a check to Renown Health Foundation, 1155 Mill St., O2, Reno, NV 89502 Venmo: @RenownFoundation     About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath, Neurosciences and Robotic Surgery. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.

    Read More About A One-Year Reflection: Using the Art of Medicine to Heal Amidst a Pandemic

    • Friday, Feb 26, 2021

    Care At Your Fingertips: Renown Launches Virtual Symptom Checker

    New technology helps patients determine the best level of care for their health needs. Renown Health just announced a new, digital tool designed to keep our community safe and healthy. Symptom Checker, which launched today, is a user-friendly, web-based platform that assesses patients’ symptoms and seamlessly directs them to the appropriate level of care within the Renown network. Symptom Checker can be accessed 24/7 by visiting Renown Symptom Checker. From there, a patient can identify the area of the body responsible for their discomfort, and specify their symptoms. Upon entering their symptoms, patients receive a detailed health summary and care guide, which helps them determine the most appropriate action to take. Patients are able to schedule a visit at a Renown location directly through the Symptom Checker portal. Patients experiencing a medical emergency should not use Symptom Checker and instead call 911. “Thanks to Symptom Checker, our patients will have around-the-clock support at their fingertips to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare needs,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “We understand that determining the right level of care for you or your loved ones may bring about some uncertainty, which is why we are proud to continuously offer new and innovative technologies that make it easier for our community members to live healthier lives.”  “As we continue experiencing cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County, many individuals with COVID are unsure when they should seek medical care, as well as the appropriate location to receive care,” said Melodie Osborn, RN, Chief Quality and Nursing Officer, Health Services. “With Symptom Checker, people can easily input their symptoms, and include the symptom severity, to be directed to the best level of care for their individual health needs—making it an extremely valuable tool as we fight to keep our community safe and healthy amidst this pandemic.”  Symptom Checker is free to use and does not require users to be Renown patients. In addition to nearly 200 children and adult symptom care guides, the platform also features 55 first-aid topics, 147 parenting-advice topics, and 25 over-the-counter drug dosage tables for children and adults. The Symptom Checker content is written by medical doctors, Barton Schmitt and David Thompson, who are nursing triage experts; and symptom care guides stem from clinical protocols used by doctors and nurses worldwide. About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath and Neurosciences. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.

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    • Thursday, Feb 25, 2021

    A Year We Will Never Forget - COVID-19 at Renown Health

    A highlight of the hope and determination, including some of the most remarkable and meaningful milestones, that took place at Renown over the past year. On February 25, 2020, leaders at Renown Health stood up Renown’s Hospital Incident Command System (HICS), which is a standardized system used to organize response personnel and resources, and to manage response operations during emergencies and crises. This precautionary measure was established at Renown as the effects of the novel coronavirus devastated parts of the east coast and other hotspots around the world. While COVID-19 had yet to present itself in Washoe County at this time last year, Renown was prepared and ready for what would come next. “At Renown, our teams practice emergency preparedness 365 days a year,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, Renown’s President and CEO. “We had been steadfastly watching the impact COVID-19 was having across the world and knew based on our predictive analytics that the virus would impact communities closer to home. Our team took swift action to ensure Renown remained ready and prepared. I am incredibly proud of those who played a role on this emergency and crisis response team for almost a year, for it is their dedication, hard work, and leadership that continues to guide Renown’s ability to provide outstanding care to all in our community through this ongoing pandemic. Their efforts contribute to a safer and healthier Nevada for all of us.”  “2020 was a year no one will forget. For everyone- and for our healthcare workers at Renown, the year presented countless challenges and opportunities. Those of us who choose healthcare as our life’s work answer a true calling to serve others; this field requires a self-less commitment and a tireless dedication to caring for people when they are at their most vulnerable,” said Renown’s Chief of Staff, Sy Johnson. “I applaud the entire HICS team, as well as every Renown physician, nurse and health care hero for their valor, their strength and perseverance in serving our patients and community during these unprecedented times.”  What follows are highlights of some of the most remarkable moments and events that have taken place under the direction of Renown’s Health Incident Command team over the past year.  Temporary Deployable Medical Structure Outside Renown Regional Emergency Department On March 12, 2020, Renown erected a deployable medical facility to serve as a respiratory illness evaluation and screening center for Emergency Room patients at Renown Regional Medical Center. A similar tent was also set up outside the Emergency Room at South Meadows Medical Center. An additional layer of protection, this proactive measure helped to care for people with symptoms of respiratory illness, and to protect patients and staff in the Emergency Department and other areas of the hospital. The tents were dismantled on January 20, 2021 as the number of COVID cases in our community continued to decrease. (See photo here.) Alternate Care Site at Mill Street Parking Structure at Renown Regional As many communities across the nation experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases, including significant surges in hospitalized patients, Renown’s HICS team had the foresight to create an Alternate Care Site (ACS) in the Renown Regional Medical Center Mill Street Parking structure. The ACS served additional hospitalized patients and allowed caregivers to remain on campus and still have access to existing hospital infrastructure such as lab, pharmacy, imaging, food services and other critical services. This solution also supported an efficient level of care escalation and other emergent interventions as needed. After just 10 days of intricate construction, including flooring, electrical infrastructure, lighting, water, technology and wall partitions, the ACS was completed on April 3, 2020 with space to hold up to 1,400 patients. On Nov. 12, 2020, Renown opened the ACS to serve additional hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who were clinically stable or improving. Healthcare workers at Renown cared for hundreds of patients in this site. In early Jan. 2021, the remaining patients returned home. The Site remains in place and will reopen if needed. (Alternate Care Site B-Roll.) “LOVE” Makes its Way to Renown On April 16, 2020, during a time of darkness and uncertainty, Artown loaned the “LOVE” sculpture, a one-ton, welded-aluminum artwork created by artist Laura Kimpton and fabricated by Jeff Schomberg to Renown, where it lit up Regional Medical Center’s main entrance on Mill St. The sculpture formerly debuted at Burning Man in 2019. On July 13, 2020, thanks to the support of former board chair and community supporter, Blake Smith and the Keyser Foundation, “LOVE” continues to glow in Renown’s signature purple every evening, shining brightly for patients, employees, visitors and passersby to enjoy. Throughout the pandemic, this sculpture has served as a source of inspiration, hope and positivity for our community. (LOVE sign B-Roll.) Evolving in an Ever-Changing World: Long-Term Remote Work for Renown Employees The COVID-19 pandemic pushed healthcare leaders throughout the world to determine how best to provide care in this ever-changing environment. Leaders in Renown’s Human Resources department evaluated the thoughts and opinions of employees working remotely throughout Renown Health. Due to the positive feedback from employees, including decreased commute times, fewer distractions, improved work-life balance and a reduced carbon footprint, over 700 Renown employees will continue working remotely. Renown Offers In-House COVID Testing In June 2020, the Renown Laboratory team sprang into action to help meet Washoe County residents and businesses’ growing demand for COVID-19 testing. Renown invested in expanded staffing and in-house testing capabilities to be able to swab and process up to 1,000 COVID tests for patients each day, with return of results within hours. Renown’s CEO, Dr. Tony Slonim also collaborated with the Mayor’s COVID-19 Task Force, local faith and community leaders beginning in Oct. of 2020 to address health equity by providing free COVID-19 testing for communities of color. (Lab B-Roll). Renown Administers COVID-19 Vaccines to Health Care Staff and Local Seniors On Dec. 17, 2020, in accordance with national, state and county health guidelines, Renown began to vaccinate its health care workers. Among those receiving the first vaccines were Luis Martinez, a technician on Renown’s Clinical Decision Unit who cared for patients recovering from COVID-19 in the Alternate Care Site field hospital; and many clinical leaders and partners. (Front-Line Staff Vaccination B-Roll.) After several weeks of successful employee and volunteer drive-thru vaccination events, Renown supported the Washoe County Health District and the state in vaccinating Washoe County’s first group of seniors aged 70+. To date, Renown has provided more than 30,000 seniors and health care heroes with their 2 dose vaccinations. (Community Vaccination B-Roll.) An Extraordinary Year of Service As our community experiences fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations and the vaccine is available to more individuals, Renown’s steadfast commitment to keeping our community safe remains the same. “We thank the community for standing by us and helping us all emerge as stronger people with hope for the future. We continue to fight the good fight,” said Dr. Slonim. “With COVID now imbedded into our daily lives, it’s remarkable to reflect on the progress we’ve made and the obstacles we’ve overcome. I will be forever grateful for the precautionary measures, innovation, and acts of service and love implemented by our dedicated team over the past 12 months. We hope by demonstrating our caring values and exhibiting hope and determination, we are inspiring others.”    About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath and Neurosciences. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project® . For more information, visit renown.org.

    Read More About A Year We Will Never Forget - COVID-19 at Renown Health

    • Tuesday, Feb 02, 2021

    Voces De Cambio Viuda En Reno Inspira Una Nueva

    Los hospitales de Renown se encuentran entre los primeros en el país en levantar las restricciones de visitantes para pacientes con COVID-19 y alentar a la familia a estar junto a la cama del paciente. El Dr. Dave y Darlene, verdaderos cazadores de tesoros, disfrutaban explorar tiendas de antigüedades y ventas de garaje para encontrar piezas antiguas dañadas o desechadas. Después de llevar el artículo a casa, Dave pasaba muchas horas raspándolo para limpiarlo, lijándolo y restaurándolo, hasta que relucía y se convertía en un mueble pulido, funcional y hermoso. Cada pieza de su hogar reaviva un recuerdo y tiene una historia que contar. El día de Acción de Gracias, cuando Dave estaba demasiado enfermo para reunirse alrededor de la mesa del comedor antiguo, Darlene llamó a la ambulancia. Dave había estado enfermo con COVID-19 durante dos semanas y no había mejorado. Cuando los técnicos de emergencias médicas llegaron a su casa y le preguntaron a Darlene qué condiciones preexistentes tenía, ella dijo, "todas". David estaba gravemente enfermo. Hospitalizado por COVID-19, sus opciones de comunicación eran limitadas. La única forma en que Darlene podía comunicarse con Dave era mediante una video llamada o por teléfono. Dave pasó 17 días hospitalizado en Renown Regional Medical Center en Reno. Darlene pasó 17 días esperando pegada al teléfono para obtener más información. Darlene dijo que tenía "días buenos y días malos", pero pensó que podría estar de regreso a casa, sentados en su mesa antigua para la cena de Navidad. David Ivan Randolph nació en Boston, Massachusetts el 29 de agosto de 1936. Creció en Roxbury y se graduó de la prestigiosa preparatoria Boston Latin Boys School. Obtuvo una licenciatura en psicología general, una maestría en Psicología experimental de la Universidad Northeastern y un doctorado en psicología y fisiología sensorial de la Universidad de Massachusetts, Amherst. Mientras estaba en la universidad, se unió al ROTC y al graduarse fue comisionado como Primer Teniente en el Cuerpo de Especialistas Médicos del Ejército. Después de una capacitación básica en la Escuela de Capacitación Médica de Fort Sam Houston, fue asignado como Capitán, Psicólogo de Investigación del Ejército de los EE. UU. División en Natick, Massachusetts. Durante los siguientes 30 años, realizó una investigación de la visión en Fort Knox, KY; Filadelfia, Pensilvania y luego con el recién construido Instituto de Investigación del Ejército Letterman (LAIR), División de Riesgos Oculares en el Presidio de San Francisco, CA. David continuó su investigación de la visión en LAIR hasta su jubilación en 1992 cuando el Presidio fue desmantelado. Los hallazgos de la investigación del Dr. Randolph sobre ceguera por destello y visión nocturna lo convirtieron en un presentador solicitado en conferencias de investigación en los Estados Unidos y en el extranjero. En un documental de PBS, fue entrevistado como parte del equipo que desarrolló unas gafas que protegen a los soldados del daño ocular del láser. El Dr. David Randolph perdió su batalla con COVID-19 el 13 de diciembre de 2020 y murió mientras dormía en una cama de hospital. Cuando Darlene escribió su obituario para el periódico, agradeció a las "excelentes enfermeras y médicos del Renown Regional Medical Center, por brindarle atención durante una época en que la familia no podía estar con él". Darlene deseó haber estado allí. Durante su matrimonio de 45 años, ella siempre había estado allí. Darlene dijo, "Siempre había estado junto a su cama, como su defensora, para ayudar a comunicar y aclarar las cosas". Como dietista registrada, trabajaba en hospitales y conocía el protocolo. Sabía que, al igual que los hospitales de todo el mundo, Renown había restringido las visitas de los miembros de la familia para detener la propagación del virus a otros pacientes, el personal y sus familiares. Aun así, deseaba haber pasado más tiempo con él. En Nochebuena, se sentó y le escribió al Dr. Anthony Slonim, presidente y director ejecutivo de Renown Health en Reno, Nevada. “Estimado doctor Slonim, como esposa de un paciente de COVID que falleció recientemente en su hospital, quiero expresarle mi agradecimiento a usted ya su personal por la atención que recibió en los últimos días de su vida. Estoy consciente que las enfermeras y el personal están trabajando en condiciones peligrosas y arriesgando su salud y sus vidas al atender a varios pacientes con COVID. El personal fue amable, se preocupó e hizo todo lo posible por mi esposo y por mí ". Ella continuó, "Sé que los procedimientos están cambiando cada hora para tratar de mantenerse a la vanguardia de este virus peligroso y estoy compartiendo mis experiencias con la esperanza de que sean útiles al establecer políticas que impacten a las familias". Darlene explicó que a pesar de recibir garantías de que la enfermera de Dave o incluso un médico llamarían a diario, a veces se olvidaban. Ella explicó en su carta, “lo importante que era, en estos tiempos en que la familia no puede visitar, y solo tienen comunicación ocasionalmente y están esperando ansiosamente en casa para saber de su ser querido, cuánto significa recibir una llamada de alguien quien cuidaba de él en el hospital ". Darlene pidió, "Si hay alguna forma en la que pueda ayudar a asegurar que las enfermeras tengan tiempo para hacer llamadas o ayudar a los pacientes a hacer llamadas, porque es una parte importante de la atención al paciente". Después de recibir su carta, el Dr. Slonim llamó a la Sra. David Randolph para agradecerle, ofrecerle sus condolencias y preguntarle si Renown podía ayudar de alguna manera. Darlene preguntó si podría reconsiderar permitir que las familias visiten a los pacientes del hospital que reciben tratamiento por COVID-19. El Dr. Slonim, quien también había perdido a su padre a causa del COVID-19 en abril en un hospital de Nueva Jersey, le pidió a su equipo de liderazgo que evaluara la solicitud de la Sra. Randolph e hiciera una recomendación. El equipo de liderazgo del hospital hizo una recomendación al Dr. Slonim que fue aprobada de inmediato. A medida que la situación del COVID-19 ha evolucionado, la política también lo ha hecho. Con un alto porcentaje del personal del hospital Renown ahora vacunado contra el COVID-19, disminuyendo las hospitalizaciones de pacientes con COVID-19 y entendiendo que las mejores comunicaciones son en persona, a partir del miércoles 27 de enero de 2021 por la mañana, los hospitales de Renown los consultorios médicos ahora fomentan el número limitado de visitantes para todos los pacientes, incluidos los diagnosticados con COVID-19. Renown continúa implementando medidas de seguridad adicionales para proteger la salud de los pacientes, visitantes y empleados de atención médica, y a medida que la situación cambia con el COVID-19, estas pautas están sujetas a cambios. "A partir de hoy, un Adulto de Apoyo para Pacientes sano puede acompañar a cada paciente a su visita médica o hospitalización de Renown", dijo Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, presidente y director ejecutivo de Renown, "Vivimos según nuestros valores de empatía, integridad, colaboración y excelencia. Agradecemos a Darlene por recordarnos que la mejor atención es la 'atención centrada en la persona', un enfoque que abarca la perspectiva del paciente y sus seres queridos, al tiempo que promueve un entorno saludable y alentador para los cuidadores y aborda las necesidades de salud de nuestra comunidad. " “En Renown, la definición de" familia "la define el paciente", dice Debra Adornetto-García, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, AOCN, Directora de Enfermería de Servicios Agudos. “Nuestros pacientes pueden designar a cualquier persona que elijan como su Persona de Apoyo para Pacientes. La Persona de Apoyo para Pacientes es increíblemente importante y forma parte del equipo de atención. Se le pedirá a la Persona de Apoyo para Pacientes que se asocie con el equipo de atención médica del paciente para ayudar a comunicarse con otros familiares y amigos, participar en actividades de capacitación y educación y ayudar al paciente a cumplir con las instrucciones de atención y medicación ". “Cuando se trata de curación y recuperación, el papel de todos es importante”, enfatiza Paul Sierzenski, MD, MSHQS, CPE, FACEP, Director Médico de Servicios Agudos. “Lo que podemos hacer juntos para apoyar la atención del paciente y obtener excelentes resultados es más grande que lo que cualquiera de nosotros puede hacer solo. Esta creencia da forma a nuestro trabajo, nuestros servicios y la atención que brindamos a los pacientes, sus familias y amigos en Renown.” “Me complace que Renown Health haya modificado las políticas de visitas para que cada paciente pueda tener un visitante designado. Como ex paciente de la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos y médico actual de la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos, sé la importancia de contar con el apoyo de un ser querido en el hospital y estoy encantado de que podamos adaptarnos a este aspecto increíblemente importante de la atención al paciente”, dice Jacob B Keeperman, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, FAEMS, FCCM, Director Médico, Centro Regional de Transferencia y Operaciones de Renown, Intensivista. Cuando le dijeron a Darlene que su carta inspiró este cambio en las políticas de visitantes para pacientes con COVID-19, se mostró muy complacida y dijo, “Siempre he tratado de pensar en formas en las que podría ayudar a otras familias, especialmente a las parejas mayores donde uno está hospitalizado y el otro en casa. Mi deseo es ayudar a los demás ". De acuerdo con las pautas nacionales, a partir del 27 de enero de 2021, una Persona de Apoyo para Pacientes por paciente podrá acceder a Renown Regional Medical Center y Renown South Meadows Medical Center como se indica: El horario de visita para todos los pacientes, incluidos los diagnosticados con COVID-19, se extenderá de 8 am a 8 pm (antes era de 3 a 8 pm). Ahora se alienta a todos los pacientes a que designen hasta dos Personas de Apoyo para Pacientes. Debido a las limitaciones de espacio, pedimos que las Personas de Apoyo para Pacientes visiten uno a la vez). Los pacientes proporcionarán los nombres de hasta dos Personas de Apoyo para Pacientes durante la admisión/registración del paciente. Los nombres de las Personas de Apoyo para Pacientes se ingresarán en el registro médico electrónico del paciente para su privacidad y seguridad. El Renown Children’s Hospital/Hospital de Niños: Acceso abierto. (Se pueden designar dos padres y/o tutores como Personas de Apoyo para Pacientes, sin embargo, debido a las limitaciones de espacio actuales, le pedimos que visite uno a la vez). Para obtener información más detallada sobre el programa de Persona de Apoyo para Pacientes, visite https://www.renown.org/interact/     Acerca de Renown Health Renown Health es la red de atención médica integrada sin fines de lucro más grande de la región, de propiedad y administración local, que presta servicios a Nevada, Lake Tahoe y al noreste de California. Con una fuerza laboral diversa de más de 7,000 empleados, Renown ha fomentado una cultura de excelencia, determinación e innovación de toda la vida. La organización está conformada de un centro de traumatología, dos hospitales de cuidados intensivos, un hospital infantil, un hospital de rehabilitación, un grupo médico y una red de atención de urgencia, y la compañía de seguros sin fines de lucro local más grande de la región, Hometown Health. El modelo del instituto de Renown aborda los determinantes sociales de la salud e incluyen: Salud Infantil, Salud del Comportamiento y Adicciones, Envejecimiento Saludable e Innovación en Salud. Los institutos clínicos incluyen: Cáncer, Corazón y Salud Vascular y Neurociencias. Actualmente, Renown está inscribiendo a participantes en el estudio de salud de la población genética basada en la comunidad más grande del mundo, el Healthy Nevada Project®. Para obtener más información, visite https://www.renown.org/.

    Read More About Voces De Cambio Viuda En Reno Inspira Una Nueva

    • Tuesday, Feb 02, 2021

    Reno Widow Inspires New Patient Supporter Visitor Policy

    Renown hospitals are among the first in the country to lift visitor restrictions for patients with COVID-19 and encourage family to be at the patient's bedside. True treasure hunters, Dr. Dave and Darlene found joy in exploring antique shops and garage sales to find damaged or discarded vintage pieces. After hauling the item home, Dave would spend many hours scraping it clean, sanding and refinishing it, until it gleamed and became a polished, functional and beautiful piece of furniture. Every piece in their home rekindles a memory and has a story to tell.  On Thanksgiving, when Dave was too ill to gather around their antique dining room table, Darlene called the ambulance. Dave had been ill with COVID-19 for two weeks and had not been improving. When the EMTs reached her home and asked Darlene what underlying conditions he had, she said, “all of them.” David was seriously ill. Hospitalized for COVID-19, their communications options were limited. The only way Darlene could communicate with Dave was on a video call, or by telephone. Dave spent 17 days hospitalized at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. Darlene spent 17 days waiting by the phone for more information. Darlene said he had “up days and down days,” but thought he might be home, sitting at their antique dinner table for Christmas.  David Ivan Randolph was born in Boston, MA on August 29, 1936. He grew up in Roxbury and graduated from the prestigious Boston Latin Boys School. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in General Psychology, an MA in Experimental Psychology from Northeastern University and a PhD in Sensory Psychology & Physiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While in university he joined ROTC and upon graduation was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Army Medical Specialist Corp. After basic training at the Fort Sam Houston Medical Training School he was assigned as a Captain, Research Psychologist to the US Army at the Pioneering Research Division in Natick, MA. Over the next 30 years, he conducted vision research at Fort Knox, KY; Philadelphia, PA and then with the newly constructed Letterman Army Institute of Research (LAIR), Division of Ocular Hazards at the Presidio of San Francisco, CA. David continued his vision research at LAIR until his retirement in 1992 when the Presidio was decommissioned. Dr. Randolph’s research findings in flash blindness and night vision made him a sought-after presenter at research conferences in the US and abroad. In a PBS documentary he was interviewed as part of the team that developed goggles that protect soldiers from laser eye damage. Dr. David Randolph lost his battle with COVID-19 on December 13, 2020, and died as he slept in a hospital bed. When Darlene wrote his obituary for the newspaper, she gave thanks to the “tremendous nurses and doctors at Renown Regional Medical Center, for providing his care during a time when family could not be with him.” Darlene wished she could have been there. Over their 45-year marriage, she had always been there. Darlene said, “I had always been at his bedside, as his advocate, to help communicate and straighten things out.” As a registered dietician, she worked in hospitals and knew the protocol. She knew, like hospitals across the globe, Renown had restricted family members from visiting in order to stop the spread of the virus- to other patients, staff and their family members. Still, she wished she could have spent more time with him. On Christmas Eve, she sat down and wrote to Dr. Anthony Slonim, president and chief executive officer of Renown Health in Reno, NV. “Dear Doctor Slonim, as the wife of a COVID patient who recently passed away in your hospital, I want to express my thanks to you and your staff for the care he was given in the last days of his life. I am aware that the nurses and staff are working under dangerous conditions and risking their health and lives by caring for multiple COVID patients. The staff was gracious, concerned and did everything they could for my husband and myself.” She continued, “I know procedures are changing every hour to try to stay ahead of this dangerous virus and I am sharing my experiences hoping they will be helpful when establishing policies that impact families.” Darlene explained that despite receiving assurances that Dave’s nurse or even a doctor would call daily, sometimes they would forget. She explained in her letter, “how important it was, in these times when family cannot visit, and has only infrequent communication and is anxiously waiting at home for word of their loved one, how much it means to get a call from someone caring for him at the hospital.” Darlene asked, “If there is any way you can help to assure that nurses have time to make calls or assist patients to make calls, because it is an important part of patient care.”  After receiving her letter, Dr. Slonim called Mrs. David Randolph, to thank her, to offer his sympathies and to ask if Renown could help in any way. Darlene asked if he might reconsider allowing families to visit hospital patients being treated for COVID-19. Dr. Slonim, who had also lost his father to COVID-19 back in April at a hospital in New Jersey, asked his leadership team to review Mrs. Randolph’s request and make a recommendation. The hospital leadership team made a recommendation to Dr. Slonim that was immediately approved. As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, the policy has as well. With a high percentage of Renown hospital staff now vaccinated against COVID-19, declining hospitalizations of patients with COVID-19, and understanding that the best communications are in-person, as of Wednesday morning, Jan. 27, 2021, Renown hospitals and medical practices now encourage limited visitors for all patients, including those diagnosed with COVID-19. Renown continues to have extra safety measures in place to protect the health of patients, visitors and healthcare employees, and as the situation changes with COVID-19, these guidelines are subject to change. “As of today, one healthy adult Patient Supporter may now accompany every patient to their Renown medical visit or hospital stay,” Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown said, “We live by our values of caring, integrity, collaboration and excellence. We thank Darlene for reminding us that the best care is ‘person-centered care,’ an approach that embraces the perspective of the patient and their loved ones, while promoting a healthy, encouraging environment for caregivers and addressing the health needs of our community.”  “At Renown, the definition of "family" is defined by the patient,” says Debra Adornetto-Garcia, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, AOCN, Chief Nursing Officer, Acute Services. “Our patients may designate anyone they choose as their Patient Supporter. The Patient Supporter is incredibly important and part of the care team. The Patient Supporter will be asked to partner with the patient’s health care team to assist in communicating to other family members and friends, participating in training and education activities and assisting the patient with complying with care and medication instructions.” “When it comes to healing and recovery, everyone's role is important,” emphasizes Paul Sierzenski, MD, MSHQS, CPE, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer, Acute Services. “What we can do together to support patient care and excellent outcomes is greater than what any of us can do alone. This belief shapes our work, our services and the care we provide to patients, their families and friends at Renown.” “I am pleased that Renown Health has modified the visitation policies so that each patient can have a designated visitor. As a former ICU patient and current ICU physician, I know the importance of having a loved one’s support in the hospital and I am thrilled we are able to accommodate this incredibly important aspect of patient care,” says Jacob B Keeperman, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, FAEMS, FCCM, Medical Director, Renown Regional Transfer and Operations Center, Intensivist. When Darlene was told that her letter inspired this shift in visitor policies for patients with COVID-19, she was very pleased and said, “I have always tried to think of ways I could help other families, especially those senior couples where one has been hospitalized and the other is home. My wish is to help others.” In alignment with the national guidelines, as of 1/27/2021, one Patient Supporter per patient will be able to access Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center as noted: Visiting hours for all patients, including those diagnosed with COVID-19 will be extended to 8 am - 8 pm (previously 3-8 pm). All patients are now encouraged to designate up to two Patient Supports. Due to space constraints, we ask that Patient Supports visit one at a time. Patients will provide Names of up to two Patient Supporters during patient admission/registration. Patient Supporter names will be entered into the patient's electronic medical record for patient privacy and security. Renown Children’s Hospital: Open access. (Two parents and/or guardians may be designated as Patient Supporters, however, due to current space constraints, we ask that you visit one at a time). For more detailed information on the Patient Supporter program visit https://www.renown.org/interact/.   About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath and Neurosciences. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project® . For more information, visit renown.org.

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    • Monday, Jan 18, 2021

    Update: Renown's COVID-19 Vaccine Program Increasing Demand from 70+ Exceeds Limited Supply

    In order to quickly vaccinate additional residents of Washoe County age 70 and older, Renown Health has partnered with the Washoe County Health District to help distribute the initially available, limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines. Due to the unprecedented demand of local residents, Renown now has a full “waiting list” for those interested in the COVID-19 vaccine, and will be working through the list to offer appointments as they become available.  Renown continues to vaccinate physicians and its essential workforce for COVID-19, and to provide nasal swab testing for those with a lab order from their provider, for COVID-19 symptoms. In addition, Renown has stretched to support the Washoe County Health District to meet the needs of those aged 70 and older who are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  Over this past weekend, more than 3,000 of Washoe County’s oldest residents were able to obtain an appointment, and receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Renown’s Drive Thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Please see b-roll, photos and fly-over footage here. Eligibility is one thing; availability is another. The County provided Renown with another 3,000 vaccines to administer this weekend. Renown posted 3,000 appointments for those on the MyChart electronic waiting list and 100% of appointments were booked within an hour. “We want to help the Health District, and we are working to vaccinate as many people as possible, given our limited staffing, volunteers, space and vaccine,” says Melodie Osborn, RN, Chief Nursing & Quality Officer for Health Services. “We are glad to step in and help; and our goal is to always provide an exceptional vaccine experience. Our team and our systems are definitely feeling the pressure as we see unprecedented demand for this vaccine. We ask the public to be patient with us, and to help support us in this important work.” Scheduling limited Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses, the second administered three to four weeks after the first. Renown is working to be sure those who receive their first dose also obtain their second dose in a timely manner. This includes 7,000 physicians and health care workers, and will now include those older adults vaccinated with their first dose. The complexity of the vaccine dosage requirements continues to draw down on the number of vaccines and appointments available.  Renown MyChart and phone systems strained under the demand Last Thursday, when Renown announced that those who are 75 years or older could join the waiting list by downloading Renown Epic MyChart, so many people logged in that the system was strained to accommodate the additional demand. Renown has now doubled the capacity of the Epic MyChart system to be sure all goes smoothly.  Renown Health has been able to distribute and administer the COVID-19 vaccine to a record number of people in the shortest possible time. Much of this success is due to the use of Epic MyChart, a convenient patient electronic medical record which allows people to schedule their appointments online, complete the consent form and have full documentation for the future. In addition, the information automatically posts to Web IZ Nevada’s Statewide Immunization Information System. Also last Thursday, older adults without cell phones, computers or someone to assist them, called Renown’s customer service phone line for assistance. So many people called the phone line that it crashed. Service has been restored, but is limited, due to the hundreds of calls coming in daily that are answered by a limited number of trained staff members. Medically-trained vaccinators needed To expand capacity and to assist in the administration of vaccines, Renown Health is seeking those who are medically trained to give vaccinations to join their team on a seasonal basis to support the health and well-being of our community. Those who are trained and interested may apply online at https://careers.renown.org/ Register for MyChart which puts you on the waiting list to receive the vaccine Renown encourages anyone interested in getting on the waiting list to register for a Renown MyChart account if you have not done so already. Doing so will add you to the list of people aged 70 and over waiting for an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. Please do not contact a Renown doctor/health care provider at this time to schedule a vaccine appointment. Due to unprecedented demand, Renown is coordinating with local and state agencies to ensure every person has an opportunity to receive the vaccine over time.  You are advised not to receive the vaccine if: You are ill at the time of vaccination (fever, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea or acute illness) You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days You have received any other vaccination in the last 14 days You have a history of significant allergic reaction to this vaccine or any of its ingredients Support the Renown team Renown Health, a charitable, not-for-profit organization, is so grateful for our community’s support during these unprecedented times. To donate to help Renown help our community, visit https://www.renown.org/donations-covid19/.   About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath, Neurosciences and Robotic Surgery. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.

    Read More About Update: Renown's COVID-19 Vaccine Program Increasing Demand from 70+ Exceeds Limited Supply

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