Senior Care Plus Loves Pickleball
Senior Care Plus is pleased to announce we are now a proud sponsor of Jam On It Pickleball, open to the community seven days a week at the Reno Sparks Convention Center. We’re excited to help promote this fun activity to our members, employees and the public. Pickleball has many wonderful health benefits – particularly for seniors. It’s a low-impact game that raises the heart rate, improves hand-eye coordination and increases mobility. In addition to the obvious physical benefits, pickleball is a great social activity. Getting out of the house and playing a fun, easy-to-learn game with others is a great way to make new friends while improving your physical and mental health! Ralph Barbato, a Senior Care Plus member from Reno, is a huge fan of pickleball and all it has to offer. “Pickleball has made such a positive impact on my life. I love the physical and mental health benefits along with the social aspect – it’s a great way to meet new people and I’m excited to have it in our community,” said Ralph.
Meet Raven: A Renown Therapy Dog
If you’ve ever spent time at Renown, you may have noticed there are some four-legged volunteers roaming the halls greeting patients, visitors, and staff. Since 1997, Renown has been fortunate enough to have its very own therapy dog program. As of today, there are 43 dogs in the program, and each of them have gone through countless hours of training to offer healing, comfort and support to those seeking treatment within our health system. Each of these therapy dogs have their own special personalities, but they all share the same mission: to make a paws-itive impact on everyone they meet. One therapy dog that has touched many lives at Renown is Raven, a five-year old Belgian Malinois mix. Raven's Story In March of 2019, Reno residents Richard and Vickie Lange rescued Raven from an animal shelter in Portola, California. When the Langes made Raven part of their family, they immediately started her in obedience training. After seeing her do so well, they thought of an idea that would not only help Raven reach her full potential but also allow them to give back to others – they decided to train Raven to be a therapy dog.
Rooted with Renown, One Families Story of Remarkable Odds
Renown Health is proud to debut our newest commercial spot, Days, on Thanksgiving Day 2022. This commercial features members of the greater northern Nevada community, former Renown patients and employees. Chris and Ann Cook are some of these community members, and we are grateful we get to tell their story. Family is everything for Chris and Ann Cook. Their loved ones span across the United States and even farther to Germany, so time spent with their children and grandchildren means the world to them. When Chris went to the emergency room for a persistent headache and drooping eye over twenty years ago, they could have never predicted the number of hours their family would spend at Renown care facilities in the coming years. “Whenever we step inside a building with that purple logo, we know right away we will be supported by friends, family and Renown staff. Our family has turned countless hours inside hospital walls into memories of gratitude for the care we receive.” Chris Cook said. “It is these memories that make us appreciate the health of our family today.” A Relationship with Renown that Spans Decades The Cooks can remember a time before Renown Regional Medical Center’s inception when Washoe Medical Center (Washoe Med) stood in its place. It was at Washoe Med that Chris received emergency brain surgery after a visit to the emergency room over 20 years ago. Immediately following a CT scan, Chris was transported to Washoe Med, now Renown Health, for emergency brain surgery and eventually to treat a hematoma. Doctors close to his case were amazed by his survival, considering Chris’ divergent situation resulting from a raisin-size colloid cyst and dissected corotated artery. He spent three weeks in the ICU recovering at the hospital, his spirits lifted by the amazing staff who brightened his day with gestures of kindness. From there, he was supported by countless friends and family members over the next three months while recovering at home. A Home Away from Home Later, the Cooks’ daughter received cancer care at Renown at the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute. Ann, Chris and their daughter found small comforts when running into the familiar faces of their daughters' past schoolmates, who are now Renown employees, in the hallways. The family became well-acquainted with the food options at Renown Regional’s Sierra Café, even finding favorites like the sushi bar. Reliable Care, Close to Home The Cooks have also experienced many happy and comforting memories at Renown and Washoe Med over the past twenty years, including the births of three of their seven grandchildren. And when Chris needed an emergency appendectomy on a Friday night four years ago, they felt confident that the best care would be received at Renown Regional Medical Center. From lab work to routine procedures or visits to urgent care, the Cooks feel rest-assured knowing Renown will be the place they can consistently trust for care with many locations close to their home in Sparks, Nevada. After spending many hours within Renown walls, Chris and Ann remarked how impressed they were by Renown Regional Medical Center’s growth in the past decade from their first encounter over twenty years ago. With a deep appreciation for the care received at Renown facilities and the technology used to help treat patients, Chris and Ann said, “We really feel confident that if something bad were to happen, you’d want to be in the care of Renown.” Family, Health and The Future "Our care at Renown has changed the course of our family’s lives and led to the success of who we are today. So, when the team at Renown approached us about participating in the commercial shoot, we knew this was meant to be the next piece in our Renown story." Chris and Ann said. "Of course, it was nice to be back at Renown, not as a patient this time, but to help the team create something great."
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Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States. We spoke with Renown Health experts and local domestic violence prevention organizations who gave us a deeper look into understanding the warning signs of abuse and the many proactive and reactive resources in our community that you can reach out to today. Domestic violence, also referred to as domestic abuse, is an everyone issue. Whether you identify as male or female, an adult or a child, single or partnered – domestic violence can affect anyone. In fact, it may be closer to home than you might think. According to the Nevada Quality Parenting Initiative, in Nevada, 43.8% of women and 32.8% of men experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and the risk of that figure rising is imminent. This year alone, the Domestic Violence Resource Center (DVRC) in Reno experienced a 55% increase in overnight emergency stays, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. This problem also, unfortunately, extends to children. More than 5,000 children in Nevada were reportedly primary or secondary victims of domestic abuse in 2021, as stated by the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. “Domestic violence can manifest in many different ways,” said Kami Price, Supervisor of Social Services for Renown Health. “Abuse isn’t always strictly physical. It can also be emotional, verbal, sexual and even digital. Understanding those differences can help you prepare accordingly and respond safely if you or a loved one are experiencing domestic violence.” Knowing what to look out for is crucial in protecting yourself and others against the effects of domestic abuse and taking action when warning signs appear. The National Domestic Violence Hotline shares the common signs of an abusive partner, no matter how old they are or what gender they identify as: Telling you that you never do anything right. Showing extreme jealousy of your friends or time spent away from them. Preventing or discouraging you from spending time with friends, family members or peers. Insulting, demeaning or shaming you, especially in front of other people. Preventing you from making your own decisions, including about working or attending school. Controlling finances, including taking your money or withholding money for needed expenses. Pressuring you to perform sexual acts you’re not comfortable with. Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol. Intimidating you through threatening looks or actions. Threatening to harm or take away your children or pets. Intimidating you with weapons. Destroying your belongings or your home. "People experiencing domestic violence may feel as though they are trapped,” said Kami Price. “The reality is – this often couldn’t be further from the truth, especially with the resources we have at our disposal in northern Nevada.” Respected Resources Ending the Silence on Domestic Violence While these facts and figures might be staggering, those experiencing domestic violence at any age are not alone. There is hope at the end of the tunnel, especially here locally. Devoted to meeting the growing needs of the communities we serve, Renown Health proudly supports and sponsors several organizations in our community that are committed to educating children and adults on the signs and symptoms of domestic violence, along with what each child and family member can do today to prevent abuse in the household. These essential organizations are on the frontlines of shifting attitudes from “I don’t want to get involved” to “How can I help?” Serving children across northern Nevada, the Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Project offers “education and prevention programs designed to increase children’s safety from bullying, abuse and assault” and break the cycle of domestic abuse. During 2021 and the first half of 2022, CAP led about 500 different workshops, teaching 10,000 second-grade and fourth-grade children in Washoe, Storey, Lyon and Churchill Counties how to keep themselves safe from domestic violence. “As domestic violence is on the rise, open communication, early intervention and education are key to protecting children from the effects of domestic violence," said Rebecca LeBeau, Executive Director of the CAP Project. “That’s why I begin speaking about child assault prevention and stranger danger to kids as young as six years old. It's important to explain the true reality of domestic violence to both children and adults, tailoring language specifically to whatever age they are, and allowing them to process it. Kids of all ages will learn how to deal with extremely dangerous situations this way.” According to Rebecca, common symptoms of abuse to be on the lookout for at school include grades dropping, a lack of focus and feelings of not wanting to return home after the school day ends. If someone in a child’s home is being hurt or abused, children are always encouraged to speak with a trusted adult or school counselor. From there, organizations like the CAP Project develop a safety plan moving forward. Adults and family units aren’t alone either. The DVRC provides a wide variety of services to Washoe County residents experiencing domestic abuse. To date, the DVRC has helped more than 100,000 victims of domestic violence, and with the recent launch of their crisis text line, they are poised to serve many more. Like the CAP Project, the DVRC also believes that education is one of the first lines of defense against domestic violence. “Education on what domestic violence looks like is so much more than talking about physical violence,” said Aria Overli, Volunteer Coordinator at the DVRC. “Educating the community, and particularly youth, about what healthy relationships look like is a major factor in preventing abuse. Understanding the intersection of how other issues – such as race, mental illness and immigration status – affect domestic violence risk factors is key to addressing those issues.” The list doesn’t stop there. Renown Health Foundation has provided financial support for many more organizations that are dedicated to ending the silence on domestic violence, sexual violence and family abuse, including: The Children’s Cabinet – A child-focused organization offering many support services for youths and families, including Safe Place, a program that partners with local businesses to offer safe locations for children to seek help if they feel threatened at school or at home. The organization also provides free family counseling, providing a pathway to better communication for families experiencing a myriad of issues ranging from domestic violence to substance abuse. Awaken – A nonprofit committed to increasing awareness and education regarding sex trafficking and providing housing and healing to all survivors. Safe Embrace – The largest and most inclusive safe house in Reno-Sparks for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, offering a wide range of resources including counseling, emergency transportation, court support and more. Eddy House – A safe space for at-risk individuals aged 18-24 recovering from the effects of domestic abuse, unsafe housing conditions, homelessness and more. Being an advocate starts with us – if you see something, say something. Keeping a transparent line of communication is key to preventing, noticing and combating domestic violence. “The more you reach out and talk about the issues, the better,” closed Kami Price. “No one has to go through their struggles alone.”
Renown Hosts Adaptive Sports Day for All Abilities at Sky Tavern RASE Event
Despite the challenges of a pandemic, the Renown Rehabilitation Hospital continues to help their patients thrive outside of the hospital walls. On July 31, 2021, they hosted the first-ever Renown Alumni Sports Extravaganza, or RASE, a day focused on adaptive sports for all abilities. “Sports and recreation have a unique way of breaking down emotional barriers,” states Jared Worchel, DO, MS. The alumni used their skills on a climbing wall, Frisbee golf, archery, an obstacle course and bag toss. Over 20 people spent the day cruising the first adaptive mountain biking trail in the Tahoe region. “Having old friends meet up and seeing new friendships form had to be the highlight of the weekend,” says Shaun Stewart Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) with Renown Rehabilitation Hospital. “RASE was a great way to learn new methods to improve outdoor recreation engagement from both participants and the many programs involved.” Dr. Worchel agrees, “The smiles really make it worth it, and we even saw several touching moments with tears of joy when participants completed a task and finally felt like they were getting past their injury, mentally, after years of being so focused on recovery.” Adaptive Climbing and Camping One touching moment came on the adaptive climbing wall. Cassie Firchau, an occupational therapist at Renown, recalls a rehab alumni who had never been on a climbing wall (pre or post injury) conquering the wall. “Everyone was cheering him on. I was impressed with how he used the ascending pull up bar to get up the wall,” she remembers. Mark Wellman, the founder of No Limits, provided the climbing wall. “I had heard of Mark, but I had no idea that he climbed El Capitan only a few years after his spinal cord injury,” says Cassie. “Having him at the event was a great opportunity to learn how to stay active and enjoy the things you love, no matter the circumstance.” After dark, the event continued with a DJ spinning hits followed by overnight camping. That evening Shaun Stewart had the chance to talk to one of the alumni. “He spoke on how he was nervous about camping and how it would go in a new campground. He said that he was happy for an opportunity to practice with our group prior to going out on his own,” remarks Stewart. “Knowing that this event can help create opportunities even outside our events is great to know.” Adaptive camping activities allow all abilities to not only enjoy nature, but also connect. “We also saw a lot of interaction between the participants themselves, sharing their journeys with each other during the down times which was possible with the extended format,” explains Dr. Worchel. “Overall it was an overwhelming success and we are already looking forward to next year.” Northern Nevada's Adaptive Sports Community Not only did the Renown Rehab alumni come together at RASE, but so did the greater northern Nevada community. Along with the hard work of the Renown Rehabilitation employees, the City of Reno Adaptive and Inclusion Programs, Wasting Arrows, Disable Sports Eastern Sierra, No Limits, and High Fives Foundation, provided support and equipment for the alumni. “It was so great to see multiple groups, volunteers and non-profits collaborating to support alumni participants to live life to the fullest, and to experience outdoor recreation in such a dynamic way,” states Josh Patterson, Supervisor of Rehab Therapy Services at Renown Health. "The City of Reno is so grateful for this sponsorship to bring together new and old Renown alumni to learn and encourage each other. There were many firsts this weekend, and we look forward to future participation in City of Reno Adaptive programs,” says April Wolfe, CTRS, City of Reno Parks and Recreation. For more information on future alumni adaptive events, please email: email@example.com.
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How You Can be a COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador
We get it – the entire world has been overwhelmed with COVID-19 vaccine information, questions and celebrations around vaccines developed to combat COVID-19 induring the past several months. It’s hard to know where to start in digesting all this news and information. But one thing is clear: healthcare experts agree that the authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and recommended to help end this pandemic. If you are passionate about stepping up in your community to encourage the vaccination efforts, we’re offering a few ideas on how you can be an ambassador. Find the Facts Content on the vaccine is abundant, but and there’s a few resources that we can all rely on to help digest the information: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updates its website content around the vaccine regularly, and also offerings information in Spanish. Health departments across the U.S. are leading the way in distribution logistics planning, and partnering with other providers, like such as hospitals and pharmacies, to distribute give people doses. Their websites are great resources to understand options where you live. Locally, check out washoecounty.gov/health/programs-and-services/environmental-health/covid-19-guidance for vaccine updates in Washoe County. Many providers like Renown Health and other providers are sharing content around their recommendations for the vaccine. Get answers about the vaccine types from one of our pharmacists, read common concerns addressed by experts and view videos from many doctors and other specialists on our YouTube Channel.
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Renown Health Food Pantry Nourishes Patients in Need
Unfortunately, many in our community go to bed hungry. Thanks to the support of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and other local partners, Renown’s food pantry is helping meet the food needs of homeless and low-income individuals in our community. Patients who qualify for the “Food is Medicine Prescription” can receive a bag of food for themselves and each member of their immediate family every week through a free assistance program. This project started last year when Renown began giving food support to hospital and emergency room patients who expressed the need. Food is also given out at the Healthcare Center, which provides affordable access to care for anyone in our community. Those who receive care at the Healthcare Center are also eligible for food assistance. Working Alongside the Community After receiving food deliveries from the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, Renown’s community health team collects an assortment of fresh produce, donated from local grocery stores and other community organizations. Then they put together one bag for each family filled with healthy foods, such as: Whole grain cereals Shelf stable milk Kid-friendly snacks (granola bars, popcorn, graham crackers Proteins (low-salt soups, stews, peanut butter) Seasonal produce Food is Medicine Prescriptions Continue Amidst the Pandemic Throughout the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Renown’s community health workers have been working remotely. They continue to reach out to patients who need groceries from the Food is Medicine Prescription program. With this in mind, the food pantry staff is currently coordinating outpatient deliveries to those with a Food is Medicine Prescription. At present, Renown is working to get more refrigeration, shelving and staffing to expand the service to more Renown Medical Group patients in need of food.
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Human Trafficking Happens in Nevada
Each month an average of 5,016 individuals are sold for sex in Nevada. Frequently the victims of human trafficking are women and children. That’s why Renown, along with other community groups, is leading efforts to help victims. Specifically identifying them and connecting them to the support services they need. The purpose is to restore their mental and physical health give them hope for a better life. Supporting Our Community Our goal is to identify victims, providing compassionate care for the complex needs of this vulnerable population. By building partnerships with key agencies and advocates in the community and creating policies around human trafficking, we also aim to transition victims safely to community-based services. Along with training, Renown healthcare workers are armed with pocket guides reminding them how to support human trafficking victims. To provide awareness about this crisis, Renown has implemented four key initiatives: Educate health care providers Execute policies and procedures to identify victims Build partnerships with local law enforcement, emergency services and local advocates Connect victims to crucial community resources Human Trafficking: How You Can Help Awaken acts to transform our community with the ultimate goal of ending commercial sexual exploitation. In 2020, Awaken worked with 173 women and children. Awaken’s programs include a drop-in center, an 18 to 24 month transitional housing program, an educational center for trafficked youth, rental assistance, recovery groups, therapy, tutoring, case management, mentorship, safety, and community. National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 Local Emergency: 911 Did You Know?
Improving the Way we Deliver Quality Rural Healthcare
One of the most pressing issues in modern medicine is the need to improve rural healthcare. This challenge hits particularly close to home, as Renown Health is the only provider covering 100,000 square miles in northern Nevada, an area that’s mostly rural. People in rural areas suffer from chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease, at higher rates than the general population. One of the largest contributors to these health disparities is a lack of access to health services. Many rural communities have fewer providers and care facilities. This forces residents to travel farther to receive preventive care and medical treatment. We must identify ways to better support the health needs of the millions of Americans who live in rural communities. Ideas for improving rural healthcare Health systems must identify innovative ways to leverage existing resources and new technologies to care for patients in these communities. For example, telehealth can help diminish a person’s need to travel long distances to receive specialty care. Similarly, online classes can help educate patients about preventive behaviors. Remote monitoring technology also allows patients to track their health conditions from home. Additionally, we can address physician shortages by empowering health professionals such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and technologists to care for patients. These providers receive excellent training and have demonstrated success in improving health outcomes. Renown Health cares for people from diverse backgrounds and we are dedicated to caring for patients in every community we serve. Renown Telehealth We’re leading the region in using video conferencing technology to provide the best care possible – no matter where you are. Renown Telehealth is telemedicine that gives you access to top-level care and better outcomes with less stress and fewer travel costs. Learn More
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Panda Cares Center of Hope at Renown Children's Hospital
When you have an ill child in the hospital, it is a stressful event. And Panda Express is helping local families support children who need special care. Their generous donation provides much-needed equipment, programs, and resources via the new Panda Cares Center of Hope, Renown Children’s Specialty Center. Their partnership directly benefits patients and their families! The ‘Panda Cares Center of Hope, Renown’s Children’s Specialty Center’ In fact, this new center provides care to not only children, but also comprehensive support to the entire family. Similarly, it creates an environment that reduces stress, promotes healing, and provides a superior patient and family experience. This facility upholds Panda Express’ mission, vision, and values and its four pillars: to directly help fund the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs of children. This center, the first-ever in northern Nevada, will provide care for children who have chronic conditions. In particular, it offers ongoing treatment, health management, and specialty medical services, including: Nephrology Endocrinology Neurology Pulmonary Infectious Diseases Medical Genetics Adolescent Medicine How You Can Help! When you order from Panda Express, you can opt to round up your change, which will help support programs and services, such as the Center of Hope for Renown Children’s Hospital. Order Online A Partnership for Health & Education of Underserved Youth This partnership allows Renown Children’s Hospital to continue to strengthen regional services and increase Panda’s visibility within our growing community. Last year, 21,930 sick children received care from Renown Children’s Hospital. To date, Panda Express has raised $449,200 in financial support to assist us in providing health and education to every child, regardless of illness, injury, insurance, or ability to pay. Panda Express funds have already supported: Giraffe omni beds for the NICU Ultrasound machine for the Children’s ER Panda warmers and a hand held Accuvein machine Child Life Program to support sick patients and families Meeting room in the Children’s Specialty Center In kind donations, volunteer time and support of local events such as the University of Nevada Reno, Wolf Pack Dance Marathon
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Bringing a Public Health Perspective to Healthcare
There are many lenses through which to view health. As you would expect, medical providers typically focus on the health of individual patients. For example, doctors consider a person’s symptoms, their current lifestyle, their past medical history, and their family’s history to diagnose medical conditions and recommend treatments. The Public Health Perspective Public health professionals look beyond the health of an individual and instead focus on the health of an entire community or population of people. They strive to achieve “the greatest good for the greatest number.” As the CEO of a health system, I feel fortunate to have education and training in both medicine and public health. As Renown Health’s leader, it is my responsibility to care for the people and communities we serve. That involves bringing world-class staff and innovative medical care to northern Nevada. We also focus on prevention by looking for ways to improve health outside of our facilities. That means partnering with local organizations to address the social, economic, and environmental factors that shape our health. Or working with local government to create policies that help to prevent disease and injury. In order to make a genuine and long-lasting impact on health, we must foster a community that helps our neighbors live well. Public health is especially important during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that we’re experiencing now. During these times, health systems must be able to swiftly shift focus from prioritizing the needs of individual patients to considering what is best for our local population. For example, we may need to temporarily limit hospital visitors or educate the public about how to socially distance in order to stop the spread of disease. Being prepared to make this shift and having strong relationships with our local health department and community organizations help us better serve the public. In both good times and bad, I am thankful that my public health background provides me with the perspective to look beyond our health system and embrace the health our community.
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One Patients Story of Survival
Thanks in part to the care provided by Renown’s award-winning team of ICU nurses, Tony Mowatt is alive, thriving and engaged. Read his story — and learn about the exclusive Beacon Award of Excellence — below. The open road. The growl of the engine. The feeling of freedom. That’s what Oakland resident Tony Mowatt was enjoying as he drove up Highway 88 toward Reno for the semi-annual Street Vibrations event. But he wasn’t expecting to hit the diesel truck — or to fly off of his bike over 100 yards, skidding onto the side of the road. He was severely injured and in the midst of rural Nevada. He had crashed just outside Centerville, Nev., and was miles away from any critical care hospital. Having the only trauma center equipped to treat his serious injuries, Tony was flown to Renown Regional Medical Center and admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). ICU Nurses Treat Patient, Support Family Tony’s girlfriend, Tasha Klubock, was notified by his friend that he had been taken to the hospital. She immediately drove from Oakland to Reno to see Tony at Renown. Her first night there was overwhelming and scary — nobody knew if Tony was going to survive. But the nurses helped Tasha cope with the initial shock. Caring for the patient isn’t their only job — they also care for the family. “They [the nurses] just kept coming in and checking on me,” she said. “Angela was so amazing that first night. I really just bonded to her, and I remember when the shift switched, I panicked thinking about who was coming on and wanting to meet the next nurse … But they all came to talk to me — I had updates from everybody. It was just amazing.” ICU Nurses Became Family Tony spent 32 days in Renown’s Sierra ICU, surviving a serious head injury, all with Tasha by his side. He and Tasha still stay in touch with Renown nurses. “Even though this was literally one of the most hideous, craziest things to go through,” Tasha said. “There was so much hope and they became such a family to me and I still think of that time fondly because of the nurses.” “I’m alive because they wanted me to be,” Tony said. And Tony and Tasha are now happily engaged and planning their wedding. Exceptional Care: Renown ICU Nurses Win Awards Renown’s ICU nurses provide care like this every day to countless patients — it’s so second nature to them that they forget how exceptional it truly is. But it’s certainly care like Tony’s that has earned them national recognition. The American Association of Critical Care Nurses awarded the Beacon Award of Excellence to the Sierra, Cardiac and Roseview ICUs. These are the only ICUs in Nevada to obtain this honor. The Beacon Award recognizes critical care nursing teams who exemplify excellence in areas like leadership, process systems, quality care, knowledge, learning and development, excellence in patient care and superior patient health outcomes. “I couldn’t have been more proud of what we’ve done to accomplish this,” said Nick Dovedot, Cardiac ICU nurse. “It represents who we are. Just a great group of individuals who all work together as a team to make our patients get better.”