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.
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/.
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.