Protect yourself by obtaining a vaccination against COVID-19 and the Delta strain if you are 12 years or older; seek urgent care if needed The world, the country and our area continue to experience an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with the highly contagious Delta SARS-CoV-2 virus strain. The Renown Health team continues to safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illnesses, including those at risk for COVID-19. Renown continues to use current local and national data, analytics, and public data sets for predictive modeling in service to our community. Renown Health ensures constant readiness by working closely with the Washoe County Health District, the Governor’s office, and is informed by updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When there is heightened concern around an illness, we implement enhanced infection prevention strategies to ensure we are ready with the appropriate supplies and alternate plans should the need arise. Renown Health providers are educated and prepared to quickly and safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illness, including COVID-19. Vaccination is the best protection against Delta. “The most important action you can take to protect yourself from the Delta strain and the COVID-19 virus is to get fully vaccinated,” says Brion Hill, MD who practices at the Renown Urgent Care - Los Altos location. “The COVID 19 virus and Delta strain is preventable and controllable through safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, which are free and now widely available in our area. The CDC recommends all people 12 years and older be vaccinated against COVID-19. Recent data show that nearly all COVID-19 deaths are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.” A list of providers in our area offering vaccines is available at vaccines.gov.” Protecting Yourself, Friends and Family Dr. Hill adds, “You can protect yourself the same way you would protect against other viruses with a few common-sense practices.” Wear a cloth mask or medical procedure mask when in a public setting. For situations when you are in close contact with people who do not live with you, you may want to consider a mask option that provides a higher level of protection (improved fit and/or improved filtration). Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Make sure you are cleaning between your fingers and under your nails. Use alcohol-based sanitizers when soap and water are not available. Use disposable tissues when coughing and sneezing; dispose of carefully and promptly. If tissues are not available, direct your cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm/sleeve. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms. Avoid shaking hands, especially with those who appear to be ill. Disinfect shared surfaces. Practice social distancing, 6 feet or more. Stay home when you are sick. If you have fever, cough, gastrointestinal, or respiratory symptoms please call your medical provider and explain your symptoms before coming in to their offices. If you do not have a health care provider, and have medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, visit a Renown Urgent Care physician or healthcare provider. Virtual Urgent Care is available for people for COVID-19 symptoms and Virtual Urgent Care visits are available through MyChart. MyChart is a free, secure online patient portal that allows you to access your Renown Health medical record and manage your health care information. There are 11 conveniently located Renown Urgent Care offices with providers ready to see you 7 days a week. You have the option to book ahead and schedule an appointment at 11 locations near you. How to Get Accurate and Reliable Information: We continue to advise our community regarding the importance of accurate sources of information, and to provide regular updates. For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at renown.org. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, the region’s only children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improving the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
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
Rise And Shine Renown Sterling Silver Club Host Virtual Stretching Lecture For Community Members 55+
Renown Health Physical Therapist Dr. Kelly Winkel leads virtual event to connect adults through basic stretching exercises and helpful movement strategies to aid in healthy aging. To help our 55+ community experience the many benefits of stretching, Renown’s Sterling Silver Club is hosting a free, virtual Rise & Shine Stretches lecture on Wednesday, July 15 from 10-11 a.m. During the live event, Kelly Winkel, doctor of physical therapy for Renown Physical Therapy, will teach attendees the basic principles of exercising as we age and provide a demonstration of gentle stretching and stabilizing exercises to help start the day. She will also share her expertise on some of the common ailments we develop as we age and offer tips for overcoming those ailments. This virtual event will be hosted via Microsoft Teams. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP online or call 775-982-7787. A dial-in option is available for individuals who don’t have access to a computer. “A good morning stretching routine puts the body in motion and has the power to set the tone of your entire day,” said Dr. Winkel. “Plus, stretching becomes even more important as we age and our range of movement lessens and we wake up with more aches and pains. Improved flexibility, balance, muscle control and a reduced risk of injury are just a few of the wellness benefits of routine stretching, all contributing to a healthier lifestyle. There is no better way to start your day than with a few tried-and-true stretches.” Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable workout attire and sturdy shoes so they can try the exercises out with the group. They are also invited to ask for clarification or a modification if needed. Anyone over the age of 55 is invited to join Renown’s free Sterling Silver Club, created to help people live healthy, happy lives every day. The Club is a program of the Renown Institute for Healthy Aging. Members enjoy exclusive benefits all designed with their interests in mind. From social events and lectures to entertainment, special discounts, and health insights and tips, this club is a place for community members to shine and embrace the joys of healthy aging. While the Sterling Silver Club is not currently hosting in-person events during this time, it is hosting educational talks like this one to help aging adults stay healthy through its online channels. “The last few months have been difficult for many older adults as they stay indoors with little to no in-person contact with their loved ones,” said Tori DellaRocca, who oversees Renown’s Sterling Silver Club loyalty program. “The need to stay connected is more important now than ever. It has been a joy giving our members something to look forward to- a chance to learn, ask questions and share their stories. Seeing everyone tune in from their homes has been a powerful reminder that we truly are all in this together.” For more information on upcoming virtual events from Renown’s Sterling Silver Club and to sign up, please visit www.renown.org/SterlingSilver. About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath, Neurosciences and Robotic Surgery. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.
Seeking Individuals Who Have Recovered From COVID-19 To Donate Plasma To Help Patients Fighting The Infection
New study, led by physician researchers from Renown Health and University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine seeks to understand how the immune system responds to COVID-19 with goal of developing a new treatment. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may now be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating their plasma. Those who have recovered from the infection may have COVID-19 antibodies in their blood. These antibodies provided one way for their immune systems to fight the virus when they were sick, so their blood may be used to help others fight off the disease through convalescent plasma. Convalescent plasma is a component of blood from recovered patients that may contain precious COVID-19 antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that might help fight the infection. In this study, we will be collecting plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and investigating its efficacy in helping treat other patients with COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is being investigated for treatment of COVID-19 because there is no approved treatment for the disease and there is information that suggests it might help some patients recover from COVID-19. Renown Health and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) are leading a study locally to better understand how the body’s immune system responds to the virus, how it presents in northern Nevada and ultimately, aid in developing a new treatment for COVID-19. “Renown and UNR Med are at the forefront of conducting essential research to increase the health and safety of our community,” said Sara Healy, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the study and a pediatric infectious disease physician at Renown Children’s Hospital and UNR Med. “So little is known about effectively treating COVID-19 and we are venturing into new territory. This important study is instrumental in helping us understand the immune systems of people who were affected by COVID-19, and with their help, getting us one step closer to finding a treatment for the disease that has significantly impacted our nation and our community.” “COVID-19 survivors are in a unique and exciting position to be a part of something much bigger than the virus,” said Mark Riddle, MD, DrPH, FISTM, associate investigator of the study and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at UNR Med. “As a participant of this study, not only are you helping us to better understand the disease and the chronic health affects it has long term, but it’s a way to help those suffering from the disease to fight it and hopefully recover. We encourage participation in this important study and invaluable contributions to advancing medicine and our knowledge of COVID-19.” This community-wide study led by physician researchers from Renown Health and UNR Med is a collaborative effort with Vitalant, county and state health districts, Saint Mary’s Medical Center, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Carson Tahoe Health and the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, along with the many care providers in our area. People aged 18-60 in general good health who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks are encouraged to consider donating convalescent plasma as part of this study. There are 332 people, just in Washoe County (as of 5/1/20) who have recovered from COVID-19 and have immune systems that may now be producing antibodies to protect them from becoming infected again with coronavirus. Donated plasma is needed right now, for this clinical trial to determine definitively if this treatment works. Participating in this research study will also make it easier to donate plasma to the Mayo Clinic convalescent plasma program that Renown is a part of in hopes to find a treatment for COVID-19. 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. Confirmed COVID-19 patients who have recovered from the virus and are interested in participating in the study are invited to contact the project coordinators at the Renown Research Office at (775) 982-3646, or via e-mail at email@example.com, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org. 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.