Protecting employees and their families; providing the safest, highest-level of care to patients and supporting public health Renown Health, one of the region’s largest private employers with a work force of almost 7,000, and a not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving over 1 million people across Nevada, today notified its employees that it will support the national Emergency Regulation and will require COVID-19 vaccination for all Renown Health employees. Communicating to employees today, Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO, wrote, “For the last nineteen months, we have done everything humanly possible to care for patients, our community and each other- and to keep people safe from COVID-19. Despite these efforts, too many people have fallen ill, suffered long-term effects or lost those they loved to this deadly disease.” He added, “I believe that as the leading anchor institution for our community, we are obligated to set a clear example of our trust in data and science, and to hold ourselves to the highest ethical and professional standards to keep our community safe. It is clear that the vaccine is safe and effective in reducing illness and saving lives and we encourage everyone who is medically able to do so, and within their religious guidelines, to get vaccinated.” Dr. Slonim thanked his staff for “heeding the call for vaccination and protecting those in our care who are ill and physically vulnerable, and ensuring a safe, COVID-19-free environment for them and for each other.” As of today, 80% percent of all 6,750 Renown Health employees have already been vaccinated or granted an approved exemption or deferral. On November 4th, The Biden-Harris Administration announced required COVID-19 vaccination of eligible staff at health care facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and multiple national societies representing medical professionals and at least 174 health care organizations nationally have recommended that vaccination be required for all healthcare personnel as a condition of employment. COVID-19 vaccination prevents serious illness, hospitalization and death. Documented declines in cases since mass vaccination began prove the COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective, and are crucial to decreasing the spread of the virus. Renown’s requirement applies to all employees, new hires and students. Chief Medical Officers strongly endorse the mandate. “Our role is to provide the safest, highest-level of care to people who come to us for care, and we must do our part to support public health, which has been greatly enhanced in this state because of the utilization and uptake of the vaccine,” said Rahul Mediwala, MD, CPE, Chief Medical Officer, Health Services. Dr. Mediwala was instrumental in Renown’s volunteer effort to administer 80,000 vaccinations to employees and community members, and now to children ages 5-11 at its Hometown Health location earlier this year. We know that there’s some hesitancy that exists, but the data are clear that these vaccinations have been very effective in preventing hospitalizations, severe complications and deaths from COVID-19,” says Susan Lee, DO, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, Acute Services. “We encourage all colleagues, patients, and community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.” The Biden-Harris Administration requirements will apply to approximately 76,000 providers and cover over 17 million health care workers across the country. The regulation will create a consistent standard within Medicare and Medicaid while giving patients assurance of the vaccination status of those delivering care. Facilities covered by this regulation must establish a policy ensuring all eligible staff have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine prior to providing any care, treatment, or other services by December 6, 2021. All eligible staff must have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022. The regulation also provides for exemptions based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances, or practices. Facilities must develop a similar process or plan for permitting exemptions in alignment with federal law. Renown will do direct outreach to those employees who have not yet been vaccinated, to be sure they understand the regulations, implications, and options available to them. Dr. Slonim closed his announcement to employees today by saying, “While we understand this is a heavy issue for many, the mandate is clear and is one we will abide by. It is the right thing to do for our patients and each other.” 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 almost 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. For more information, visit renown.org.
Renown joins Washoe County Health District to Offer COVID-19 Vaccines to Children 5-11 at Vaccine Clinics. Renown Health is partnering with the Washoe County Health District to help distribute the initially available, limited supplies of an age-appropriate dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to children ages 5-11. At this time, all residents 5 years and older are eligible to receive a vaccine. Renown announced today that for parents/guardians with proxy access for their children through the Renown MyChart app, vaccination appointments are now available for children ages 5-11. Pending supply, Renown expects to be able to vaccinate 1,600 children with the 2-dose series in a limited series of weekend clinics. At this time, due to limited supplies, no vaccines for children are available through Renown Medical Group pediatric offices. Vaccine appointments may only be scheduled through the Renown MyChart app; please do not contact a Renown doctor/health care provider or the Engagement Center at this time. There is no cost to establish a Renown MyChart account, and you do not need to have a Renown provider to enroll. For MyChart Technical Support, call 775-982-2781. Renown is covering all costs of the vaccine, and it is offered free of charge. “As a pediatrician, an intensive care physician, a public health practitioner and a grandparent, I encourage parents to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 now. No child should suffer, be hospitalized or die from a disease that can prevented by simply getting a shot,” says Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown Health. “We remain steadfast in fighting the good fight for our community, and that includes protecting kids. Being able to serve kids and their parents, with the only Children’s Hospital in northern Nevada, and being able to administer COVID-19 vaccines to children is incredibly gratifying for our team. This vaccine will prevent deaths, ICU admissions and will prevent significant long-term adverse outcomes in children." “I tell parents, get your kids vaccinated now- because every kid is at risk,” says Kristina Deeter, M.D., MBA, Pediatric Intensivist, and Vice Chair of Pediatrics at Renown Children’s Hospital. “Please get your family- including your kids, vaccinated now to keep your family safe. Being fully vaccinated and being able to hug Grandma and Grandpa at the holidays may be the greatest gift of all this holiday season.” “The CDC recommends everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination for COVID-19 is a critical tool to protect everyone, especially those at highest risk, from severe illness and death. Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only option currently authorized for children,” says Vanessa Slots, MD, a pediatrician with Renown Children’s. “It was found to give kids strong protection against COVID-19, including against the Delta variant. Children who are vaccinated may have some side effects (chills, redness and swelling at site injection), which are normal signs that their body is building protection.” Children are advised not to receive the vaccine if: • They are ill at the time of vaccination (fever, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea or acute illness). • They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days. • They have a history of significant allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest 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 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.