Renown Health Further Expands Visitor Policy; Encourages Two Loved Ones To Provide Support To Patients
Always listening to the voice of the patient, Renown Health is pleased to welcome any two patient supporters to visit their loved ones during their Renown medical visit, surgery, birthing or hospital stay. 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. Under this updated visitor policy, patients no longer need to identify their supporters ahead of their arrival. Patients may receive more than two visitors per day; however, to help ensure adequate physical distancing, only two guests are asked to visit at a time. All people entering Renown sites must continue bringing and wearing a face mask for their entire visit, including inside patient rooms. Renown’s visitor policy updates were inspired by family members, who requested that the policy be expanded to encourage two family members per day to be able to visit a loved one who was hospitalized at Renown. The request was approved by Dr. Debra Adornetto-Garcia, Chief Nursing Officer and Dr. Paul Sierzenski, Chief Medical Officer, both of Acute Services. 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 communication is in-person, as of April 28, 2021, Renown hospitals and medical practices now allow two visitors, instead of one, for all patients and have put extra safety measures in place to protect patients, visitors and healthcare employees. “We are pleased to expand our visitor policy and welcome two healthy adult patient supporters to accompany every patient to their Renown medical visit or hospital stay,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown. “We are always looking to our patients’ lived experiences to help us address the health needs of our community. Just a few months ago, we were reminded by Darlene Randolph that the best care is ‘person-centered care’, which inspired us to be one of the first healthcare organizations in the nation to expand our visitor policy to all patients, including those with COVID-19. Today, we thank our patients’ family members for voicing the importance of a larger, connected support system to help foster the best healing environment for all patients.” “At Renown, the definition of ‘family’ is defined by the patient,” said Debra Adornetto-Garcia, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, AOCN, Chief Nursing Officer, Acute Services. “Our patients may have anyone they choose as their patient supporters, and these individuals serve as an invaluable extension of our care teams. Patient supporters are asked to partner with the patient’s healthcare 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.” “Visiting the hospital can be an anxious experience,” said Paul Sierzenski, MD, MSHQS, CPE, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer, Acute Services. “It’s incredible how the company of loved ones can reduce anxiety and promote healing. What we can do together with families to support patient care and excellent outcomes is greater than what any of us can do alone. We are glad to welcome patient supporters to our hospitals to help our patients feel more at ease, so they can focus on their recovery, health and healing.” Two patient supporters per patient are now able to access Renown campuses as noted: Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For Intensive Care Units (ICU): 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors must be at least 12 years of age or older. Renown Children’s Hospital: Open access. For the Pediatric unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU): Visitors must be at least 12 years of age or older. For the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Visitors must be at least 18 years of age or older. Renown Rehabilitation Hospital: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. One designated patient supporter is allowed to visit the patient inside their room throughout the duration of their stay. Other loved ones may visit from an exterior window, outside the patient's room. Our care team is also pleased to facilitate bedside virtual visits. In addition to in-person visits, there are many ways to brighten the day of a patient at Renown Hospitals. You can send a personalized message that will be hand-delivered to your loved one, call 775-982-4100 to speak with a patient, or our care team is pleased to facilitate virtual visits via computer or tablet from the bedside. Renown Health reserves the right to limit visitors in the best interests of patients, families, visitors or staff.
Renown Thanks Volunteers, Partners And Community As COVID-19 Drive-Thru Vaccine Administration Winds Down
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
Renown Health Has Open Appointments In May For Businesses To Get Employees Vaccinated Against COVID-19 At No Charge
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
Faster, Better Testing For COVID; Physician Researchers At Renown Health And UNR Med 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 email@example.com, 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.
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.