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    • Thursday, May 26, 2022

    Helmsley Charitable Trust Grants $3.1 Million to Renown Health

    Pictured left to right: Erin VanKirk, MSN, RN, Renown Health Director of Nursing Education; Mitch Krebs, Program Director at Helmsley Charitable Trust; Dr. Graf, Renown Health CEO; Greg Walaitis Renown Health Chief Development Officer. Renown Health will use the grant to build the Helmsley Simulation and Innovation Center to improve the health system’s training abilities The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has granted $3.1 million to Renown Health for construction of a new simulation and innovation center that will greatly expand the health system’s ability to train healthcare providers throughout northern Nevada. The new center will be named the Helmsley Simulation and Innovation Center. Expected to open in April 2023, the center will feature three simulated patient rooms, classroom space, computer labs and a conference center, allowing trainers to run current and future healthcare professionals through real-life acute, outpatient, telemedicine and specialty care scenarios. The new center will let Renown Health train substantially more nurses, physicians, community clinical partners, medical students and rural providers while improving medical and nursing expertise to support staff throughout northern Nevada. “The Helmsley Charitable Trust is excited to fund this new simulation center, which will provide healthcare professionals across rural Nevada with state-of-the-art training in a variety of situations they’ll encounter,” said Walter Panzirer, a trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “The project fits with our goal to level the playing field by giving rural residents access to top-notch healthcare, regardless of their ZIP code.” “Simulation education has become standard practice for many of our healthcare personnel,” said Erin Van Kirk MSN, RN, Director of Nursing Education. “This lab will provide expanded opportunities in a controlled setting where physicians, nurses, and students can gain valuable experience in providing the best care possible.” Renown Health has outgrown its current simulation lab, which opened in 2016 in Renown Regional Medical Center. The new, larger, state-of-the-art simulation and innovation center will increase Renown Health’s training capacity from 1,500 to 2,500 each year. The new facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art simulation mannequins and other equipment that includes a telemetry monitor, IV and epidural equipment, a code cart, a defibrillator, a balloon pump, ventilators and a cooling machine. The center will also support Renown Health’s recently established partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, expanding training modules focused on rural health and virtual care through telemedicine. “The facility will help Renown Health respond to our region’s growing population by allowing us to support the training and competency necessary for our care providers to make a genuine difference in the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve,” said Melodie Osborn, RN, MBA, Chief Nursing Executive at Renown Health. “This generous grant for the new simulation and innovation center from the Helmsley Charitable Trust is truly an investment in the bright future we envision for Renown, our care teams and the community.” 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. 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. About the Helmsley Charitable Trust The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $500 million to organizations and initiatives in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, and Nevada. For more information, visit helmsleytrust.org.

    Read More About Helmsley Charitable Trust Grants $3.1 Million to Renown Health

    • Monday, May 23, 2022

    Thirteen Area Nursing Students Recognized With Scholarships

    Three scholarship recipients honored with Cherie Elvin Memorial Scholarship for 2016 Reno Air Race tragedy; Ten others recognized with nursing scholarships by Renown Health Foundation donors. Thirteen area nursing students were the stars of the show today at an event celebrating nursing education. Renown Health leaders held the 2022 Nursing Scholarship Award ceremony to recognize future nurses making a genuine difference in the lives of others, and awarded scholarships to help them pursue their education. Scholarships were presented to thirteen nursing students who are also working at Renown Health and currently pursuing their nursing degrees. Today’s financial awards build on scholarship support from The Cherie Elvin Memorial Fund, which was created by the Elvin Family as a legacy to honor their mother, Cherie, who died at the 2011 Reno Air Races.  Melodie Osborn, RN Chief Nursing Executive; Jana Elliott, RN, DNP, Chief Nursing Officer for Renown Regional; Erin VanKirk, RN, Director of Nursing Education and Alicia Glassco, RN, Director of Medical-Surgical Nursing, presented the scholarships with Thomas Graf, MD, interim CEO of Renown Health during the event held at Mack Auditorium at Renown Regional Medical Center this morning. Members of the Elvin family attended the event via video link, and spoke to the group after watching a clip from Broken Propeller, an online documentary film by producer/director Christine Lazzarini that honors the heroes who responded to the tragedy on September 16, 2011. It was on that day that The Galloping Ghost, a highly modified North American P-51D Mustang racing aircraft, crashed into spectators while competing at the Reno Air Races in killing the pilot, James K. "Jimmy" Leeward, and ten people on the ground. Sixty-nine more people on the ground were injured. It was the third-deadliest airshow disaster in U.S. history.  The 2011 air race crash had an immeasurable impact on the entire Elvin family. Cherie, 73, lost her life, while Chuck, her husband of 52 years, their two sons and daughter-in-law all lost part of their right legs. The family received treated at area hospitals and is still grateful for the care, kindness and support received in northern Nevada. Cherie's son, Bill, and daughter-in-law, Rachel, spoke to the group saying, “As the Elvin family we honor and remember Cherie and work to support nurses in our community.” The care the family received from the physicians, nurses, hospital care providers, EMS teams, and the community inspired the Elvin Family to increase their funding from one scholarship to three scholarships.  Cherie Elvin Memorial Fund scholarships were presented to Alexis Perkins, Katelynn Mahone, Veronica Wentker, who all attend the nursing program at Carrington College.  To recognize the dedication and sacrifice, and to encourage others to pursue a nursing education, the nursing leadership team and Renown Health Foundation donors, for the first time, also awarded scholarships to ten additional recipients for a total of 13 awards. Each scholarship is valued at $1,000 and awarded to employees who are committed to working at the bedside, convey the fundamental qualities of a nurse and look to connect with patients recovering from traumatic situations. Kami Sherpa, who is a critical care technician in Telemetry, wants to work as a registered nurse in Telemetry or the Intensive Care Unit when she graduates. She is currently attending the Orvis School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno. Kami wrote, “I lost my grandad at a very young age. When he died, I decided to become a nurse and to do my best to make every person’s hospital stay a good one. I am the first person in my family to go to school and to earn a bachelor’s degree. This scholarship means so much. I know my mom and my grandma will be proud. I promised them I would take care of people in need and ease their pain. Nursing is my passion in life.” Nursing is an extremely rewarding career, and it has the added benefit of being in high demand. However, getting through nursing school takes a lot of hard work—and it can be expensive. According to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2019, there were approximately 3 million people working as registered nurses in the U.S. Demand for the role is expected to increase by 7% from 2019 to 2029. The average cost of nursing school can vary widely. The cost for a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) can be comparable to any other four year degree. According to U.S. News, the average cost of tuition for the 2020-2021 school year was $9,687 for a four year public school, and $35,087 for a four year private school. Some may pursue other pathways, such as an online RN to BSN program, which can sometimes be more affordable ranging between $25,000 to $80,000 in cost. While this may seem costly, the median annual salary for an RN in 2019 was $75,330. “There has never been a more important time to recruit and retain qualified candidates to become nurses,” said Thomas Graf, MD, interim CEO of Renown Health, as he announced the increased commitment of donors to Renown Health Foundation.  “Your journey to become a nurse includes a lifelong commitment to learning and showing up as your best self,” said Jana Elliott, Chief Nursing Officer for Renown Regional Medical Center. “Treat each patient as the most important person in the world to you. There is no more important or fulfilling work than to serve as a nurse.” She added, “You are on an incredible journey filled with joy, fulfillment, and a deep sense of purpose. Being a nurse requires a passion for people, a profound belief in serving others; trust in your teammates, the ability to embrace change, flexibility and true grit. It is an incredible privilege to be a nurse and to serve others in what is, perhaps, their greatest time of need.  The scholarship recipients of the 2022 Renown Health Nursing Scholarships are: Jion Manicdao Emily Thomas Christian Roberts Blake Conger Alaina Galyean Sadie Chalupa Jillian Dutra Leslie Zolan Kami Sherpa Erin Kristin Ramos Renown Health values and encourages employees to continue their education and supports career aspirations and goals. The education assistance program offers loan reimbursement and repayment opportunities as well as educational and financial guidance from experts. College tuition, certification and certificate reimbursement is provided for employees who are currently enrolled in college/university or taking the extra steps to receive a professional certification or certificate. In addition, the organization supports employees who have previously completed their education and are now managing the burden of student loans.  Renown Health is currently hiring registered nurses and other positions at https://careers.renown.org/ As a not-for-profit health system, Renown relies heavily on community funding. To donate to the Renown Health Foundation and nursing education, please call 775-982-5545 or email foundation@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. 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.

    Read More About Thirteen Area Nursing Students Recognized With Scholarships

    • Thursday, May 12, 2022

    Honoring Excellence in Patient Communications

    “Amazing! Phenomenal! Thank you for always showing genuine concern. You are kind, considerate and caring. You are interested in me. You are the best doctor I have ever had. I trust you with my life. You act on things, right away. You are awesome. You have saved my life, and my family. You are knowledgeable, thorough, intelligent and compassionate. You are my favorite. You are my angel baby. You have made me better. You always make me feel like a success, even if I could have tried harder. I love you. I thank you.” These are some of the comments made by patients regarding their doctors and advanced practice providers honored this morning by Sy Johnson, President and Chief of Staff for Renown Health. In honor of Healthcare Week, Renown Medical Group, the largest medical practice in northern Nevada, honored 46 physicians and advanced practice providers at the Dr. John Spellman Excellence in Patient Communications Award Celebration. This new annual award, supported by the Renown Health Foundation charitable organization and a donor family, honors physicians and advanced practice providers who demonstrate exceptional communications skills in their clinical practice, as awarded by their patients. Recipients of this award are ranked in the top ten percent nationally in provider communication for 2021, as measured by over 11 thousand patients who responded to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CG-CAPHS) or Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems patient experience survey between October 2020 and June 2021. Patients were asked if their medical providers explained things in a way they could understand; if they listened carefully; if they showed respect for what they had to say; if they spent enough time with them; if they read their medical records; if they ordered tests and followed up with them on their results; and to give them a rating on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 was the highest score. “As honorees, your patients have given you a 10, an A+ and you set the gold standard for excellent communications with patients-scoring in the top 10% nationally,” said Rahul Mediwala, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Renown Medical Group. “I love what I do, and it’s wonderful to know that my patients appreciate the care I provide,” said Christina Alsop, DNP, one of the providers honored today. The awards were given in remembrance of Dr. John W. Spellman, human rights advocate, scholar and professor, 7/27/1934 to 6/25/2021 by his family. The Recipients of the 2021 Dr. John Spellman Excellence in Patient Communications Award are: Alsop, Christina Barangan, Caroline J. Basho, Shruti Bloch, Melissa P Bryan, Janice K. Budhecha, Sonia Burgio, Pamela A. Cavin, Lisa C. Dimpel, Ashley J. Dorsa, Denise J. Galanopoulos, Christos A. Galdo, Bella B. Grudzinski, Courtney Dianne Hansen, Benjamin Hardacre, Michael C. Healy, Sara Anne Kermode, Charlotte A. Kiser, Michele J. Klippenstein, Matthew Landis, Philip H. May, Whitney Medina, Mary Beth E. Mindeguia, Catherine E. Miyagawa, Dean Moore, Willa F. Morris, Katelyn Morton, Lillian Nielsen, Lorri Nylk, Janina Park, Susan J. Patel, Bejal Powers, Cindy M. Roumanas, Athan Safdi, Adam Sandefur, Lauren L. Schnell Blitstein, Jamie M. Silverhart, Julie A. Stodtmeister, Russell T. Sutton, Jennifer B. Tay, Jennifer Thyssen, Katherine A. Wagner, Karen Wiese, Matthew C. Wilson, Kristin L, Zucker, Jacob P. Patients served include those at Renown Regional Medical Center, the only Level II Trauma Center between Sacramento and Salt Lake City, and #1 Hospital in the State of Nevada in U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital Rankings for 2021. Physicians and providers also provide services to patients at Renown South Meadows Medical Center, named #1 Best Hospital for 2020 by U.S. News & World Report; and to patients at RenownRehabilitation Hospital, northern Nevada’s only Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)- accredited hospital, specializing in the treatment of brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke. Renown Health is integrated with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada’s first medical school, which serves to enhance the health of the community through increased access to care, innovative health care delivery, expansion of clinical research and training for the next generation of physicians and health care professionals. Almost 700 Renown Medical Group primary care and specialty providers are currently accepting new patients and accept most health insurance plans, including Renown’s not-for-profit insurance plan, Hometown Health. To find the doctor or provider that is best for you visit renown.org, or self schedule with your established provider at MyChart or call the Renown Customer Engagement Center at 775-982-4100. Renown Health is currently hiring in all areas. Search for a new career opportunity and apply online at careers.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. 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.

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    • Wednesday, May 04, 2022

    56 Anesthesiologists Join Renown Health to Provide High Quality Services to Area Patients and Surgeons

    Innovative anesthesiology practice improves diagnosis, medical management and quality of life for patient. If you are preparing for a surgical procedure, you have probably given a lot of thought to the education, training and experience of the surgeon performing the procedure. But you may not have thought much about the physician anesthesiologist or the importance of his or her medical expertise in your procedure — before, during and after — to keep you safe and comfortable. "Our leadership team has thought a lot about physician anesthesiologists over the past year,” says Sy Johnson, MBA, President and Chief of Staff for Renown Health. “As the region’s only not-for-profit integrated healthcare network and trauma center, we are trusted and chosen by patients as the top provider of inpatient care, including surgeries, for northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. To serve the needs of hundreds of surgeons and thousands of patients with safe, high quality and effective anesthesia coverage, we now employ fifty-six anesthesiologists through our Department of Surgery and have established Renown Medical Group Anesthesiology, a new local practice for northern Nevada.” “Renown Medical Group anesthesiologists provide 24 hour surgical and procedural coverage based on clinical skill sets, surgeon preference and patient preference. Patients who choose Renown for their care can feel certain that they are receiving anesthesia care from a physician anesthesiologist who has attained board certification. Renown Health hospitals are pleased to provide patient care exclusively by physician anesthesiologists,” says Thomas Graf, MD, FAAFP, CEO, Chief Clinical & Quality Officer of Renown Health and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. “We are the doctors trained to administer and manage anesthesia given to a patient during a surgical procedure to ensure anesthesia care is as safe and effective as possible,” says Nariman Rahimzadeh, MD. Dr. Rahimzadeh serves as Medical Director and Chief of Staff for Renown South Meadows Medical Center, is a member of the new group and has practiced in Reno for fifteen years. “We also play a key role in taking care of patients who are having minor surgery or who may not require general anesthesia, such as women in labor who need to be awake and alert but require effective pain management.” “Our innovative anesthesiology practice is now staffed by fifty-six anesthesiologists. We are serving patients and surgeons at Renown Health hospitals with one fully integrated model of care to improve diagnosis, medical management and quality of life,” says Christos Galanopoulos, MD, MBA, MSc, FACS; Chair, Department of Surgery and Vice President at Renown Health. “We strive to advance anesthesia through clinical excellence, education, innovation and people. Our nationally recognized medical staff and dedicated support team perform the majority of anesthesia procedures in our market, and evaluate, monitor, and supervise patient care before, during, and after surgery to deliver effective anesthesia and ensure optimal patient safety.” “Physician anesthesiologists have 12 to 14 years of education, including medical school, and 12,000 to 16,000 hours of clinical training,” adds Scott Parkhill, MD, FASA, who serves as a Medical Director and Vice Chief of Staff at Renown Regional Medical Center and is a member of the new group. “Physician anesthesiologists in the United States complete a four-year undergraduate college degree that includes satisfying pre-med requirements. Like other medical doctors, they must follow undergraduate education with four years of medical school. After medical school, a physician specializing in anesthesiology completes a four-year anesthesiology residency program. Following completion of a residency program, residents are eligible to sit for the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) exam. We are pleased that all of our Renown Medical Group anesthesiologists are board certified.” Adds Kelsey Larsen, MBA, Chief Operating Officer for Renown Medical Group, “We are thrilled to welcome and employ forty-two physician anesthesiologists who started with us on April 1. An additional nine physicians joined last week and five other physicians have requested to start over the summer for a total of 56 anesthesiologists that have joined Renown Health to provide services to patients.” Patients served include those at Renown Regional Medical Center, the only Level II Trauma Center between Sacramento and Salt Lake City, and named #1 Hospital in the State of Nevada by U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital Rankings for 2021. Physician anesthesiologists will also provide services to patients at Renown South Meadows Medical Center, named #1 Best Hospital for 2020 by U.S. News & World Report; and to patients at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, northern Nevada’s only Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accredited hospital, specializing in the treatment of patients with brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke. Renown Health is integrated with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada’s first medical school, which serves to enhance the health of the community through increased access to care, innovative health care delivery, expansion of clinical research and training for the next generation of physicians and health care professionals. 51 ANESTHESIOLOGISTS WHO JOINED RENOWN IN APRIL 2022: Samuel Beck, MD Heber Becker, MD  Peter Billharz, MD  Kara Bjur, MD  Brian Brewer, MD Brian Buehler, MD Carrie Buehler, MD Catherine Burton, MD Joshua Cartinella, MD  Nicholas Cirac, MD  Gordon Curry, MD  Scott Dougan, MD  JoAnn Ellero, MD  Daryl Fenio, MD  Dirk Fletcher, MD  Tobey Gansert, MD  Benjamin Garol, MD  Jeffery Grudzinski, MD  Keith Hanson, MD  Min Hein, MD  Mark Janes, MD  Scott Jeannes, MD  Kevin Lasko, MD  Sarah Lim, MD  Jay Markin, MD John Marshall, MD  Eric Moody, MD  John Mortensen, MD  Jobin Nash, MD Mel Nutter, DO      Scott Parkhill, MD   Nariman Rahimzadeh, MD   Suresh Raman, MD   Shaina Richardson, MD   Alan Sarabia, MD   Heidi Sarabia, MD   Mitch Seman, MD   Daniel Sorensen, MD   Ryan Stites, MD   Aaron Wallace, MD   Duncan Browne, MD   Tyler Hartley, MD   Jie Lan, MD  Pamela Russell, MD  Scott Reineck, MD   Brian Landreth, DO      Kara Sievert, MD   Chiaki Nakanishi, MD  Philip Phu, MD  Matthew Sabatini, MD   Robert Kyper, MD  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. 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

    Read More About 56 Anesthesiologists Join Renown Health to Provide High Quality Services to Area Patients and Surgeons

    • Wednesday, Apr 27, 2022

    Study Shows Importance of Ensuring Participant and Provider Follow-up After a Genetic Screening Result

    Released in partnership with the Desert Research Institute: New research from the Healthy Nevada Project® finds that a confirmed diagnosis does not always result in changes to patient care. Presenting individuals with potentially life-altering health information doesn’t mean the individuals – or their healthcare providers – will act on it. Follow-up education and conversations about actionable care plans with patients and their doctors are key next steps, according to new research from the Healthy Nevada Project.  The Healthy Nevada Project is a genetic screening and research project that launched in 2016 as a partnership between DRI and Renown Health. The project now has more than 50,000 participants, with genetic sequencing provided by Helix.  Between September 2018 and September 2020, the Healthy Nevada Project successfully notified 293 participants that they were genetically at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, Lynch syndrome, or familial hypercholesterolemia – three common genetic conditions known collectively as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tier 1 conditions. In a study published today in Frontiers in Genetics, Healthy Nevada Project scientists looked at the impact that notifying a patient of a positive finding for a CDC Tier 1 condition had on the care that the patient received in the months and years that followed.  According to their results, among the 293 Healthy Nevada Project participants who were notified of their genetic risk of a CDC Tier 1 condition, 71 percent of participants with electronic health records shared their findings with healthcare providers. However, only 30 percent of the electronic health records for these patients contained documentation of the genetic diagnosis, and only 10 percent of examined patients experienced a possible change in care after receiving the results of their genetic screening.  “The Healthy Nevada Project was implemented with a ‘hands-off’ approach where the participants receive their findings and decide with whom and when to share those findings. The findings were not automatically added to their electronic health records,” said Dr. Gai Elhanan, health data scientist at DRI and co-lead author of the study. “What we’re learning now is that to ensure that important genetic findings are integrated into the care journey it is important to make their inclusion into the electronic health records part of the study.” This study builds on previous Healthy Nevada Project research published in Nature Medicine demonstrating the importance of screening for CDC Tier 1 conditions, which affect about one in 75 individuals and can be mitigated or even prevented from developing into disease when detected early. This study found that as many as 90 percent of the CDC Tier 1 cases are missed by clinical providers during normal clinical care screenings and examinations. During the current study, the Healthy Nevada Project scientists found that 19 percent of studied participants had already developed one of the CDC Tier 1 conditions, and thus would have potentially benefited from earlier notification about their condition. The study team hopes that their findings will encourage individuals in Nevada to obtain genetic testing for these relatively common conditions. Even if individuals are older or have already suffered from diseases related to these conditions, testing could also prove beneficial to siblings, children, and grandchildren who may also be at risk and who could subsequently be screened in the event of a positive finding. The study team also encourages informing health care providers of the importance of incorporating genetic diagnoses into the pharmaceutical (for example, for Familial Hypercholesterolemia) and treatment advice given to patients.  “As a result of this analysis, the clinicians at Renown Health and the Healthy Nevada Project researchers have made significant changes, including obtaining informed consent from participants to report positive findings from their genetics reports directly into their electronic medical record,” said Daniel Kiser, M.S., assistant research scientist of data science at DRI and co-lead author of the study. “This will help both participants, their clinical providers, and the whole state maximize the long-term benefits of the Healthy Nevada Project voluntary population-based genetic screening.” Additional information: The full text of the study,  Incomplete Penetrance of Population-Based Genetic Screening Results in Electronic Health Record, is available from Frontiers in Genetics: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgene.2022.866169/full?&utm_source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Genetics&id=866169.  This project was funded by Renown Health, the Renown Health Foundation, and the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Study authors included Gai Elhanan (DRI), Daniel Kiser (DRI), Iva Neveux (DRI), Shaun Dabe (Renown Health), Alexander Bolze (Helix), William Metcalf (DRI), James Lu (Helix), and Joseph Grzymski (DRI/Renown Health). For more information on the Healthy Nevada Project® or to request genetic screening, please visit: https://healthynv.org/ About DRI The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied environmental research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students who work alongside them, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe. Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge on topics ranging from humans’ impact on the environment to the environment’s impact on humans. DRI’s impactful science and inspiring solutions support Nevada’s diverse economy, provide science-based educational opportunities, and inform policymakers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Las Vegas and Reno, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education. For more information, please visit www.dri.edu. 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. 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. About Helix Helix is the leading population genomics and viral surveillance company operating at the intersection of clinical care, research, and data analytics. Helix enables health systems, life sciences companies, payers, and government partners to accelerate the integration of genomic data into patient care and public health decision making. Learn more at www.helix.com.

    Read More About Study Shows Importance of Ensuring Participant and Provider Follow-up After a Genetic Screening Result

    • Monday, Apr 25, 2022

    Wilbur May Foundation Donates Five Million Dollars to New Renown Children's Hospital Endowment Fund

    Endowment funds generate annual income, ensuring support for years to come. Pictured above: Dr. Max Coppes, Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children’s Hospital and Nell J Redfield Chair of Pediatrics, UNR Med; Dr. Kristina Deeter, MBA, FAAP, Vice Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Associate Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children's Hospital; Becky Haase, RN, Director of Children’s Services at Renown Health; Emmalee Sutton, Renown Health's Children's Miracle Network Child Champion; Renown Health Foundation’s Chief Development Officer, Greg Walaitis; Dixie May, Vice President at the Wilbur May Foundation; Dr. Thomas Graf, CEO of Renown and Larry Duncan, VP, Administrator, Renown Children’s Hospital. The Wilbur May Foundation recently announced a $5 million gift to Renown Health Foundation. This gift marks the first major donation to support the newly formed Renown Children’s Hospital Endowment Fund.  Endowment funds are invested, and each year a portion of the fund’s income will be used as a steady stream of support for the Renown Children’s Hospital, while the rest of the return is re-invested to preserve and grow the original gift. As the only dedicated children’s hospital in northern Nevada, Renown Children’s Hospital treats nearly 50,000 of our youngest community members every year, with a focus on keeping quality healthcare close to home. “Building a strong endowment is one of the most critical steps an organization, like Renown, can take to help see it through challenging times and periods of growth,” said Thomas Graf, MD, FAAFP, CEO of Renown. “An endowment is a permanent fund –— it is our key to continuously creating health. We will spend only the investment income we earn, this will allow us to have a dedicated stream of dollars to pay for the equipment and programs that we know our children need.” In honor of the Wilbur May Foundation’s extraordinary donation, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), currently under major renovation, will be named the Wilbur D. May NICU and PICU. These two major ICU units are moving from the Sierra Tower to the Tahoe Tower at Renown Regional Medical Center, home of Renown Children’s Hospital. “This endowment gives physicians and staff peace of mind knowing services and programs will continue to be readily available to families in our growing community,” said Kristina Deeter, MD, MBA, FAAP, Vice Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Associate Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children's Hospital. “The generosity of the Wilbur May Foundation will impact care at Renown Children’s Hospital for generations.” The late Wilbur D. May was a northern Nevada rancher, businessman, world traveler and philanthropist. He had a deep and longstanding concern for the welfare and education of children. The Wilbur May Foundation – comprised of family relatives, including his daughter, Dixie May – continues to enhance Wilbur’s vision. The foundation has made numerous gifts to Renown Children’s Hospital over the years, including supporting the current PICU and children’s kidney dialysis program, among others.  “It’s an honor to work with community leaders and donors like Dixie May and the Wilbur May Foundation, and it’s our hope this announcement will inspire others in the community to Join the Good Fight and support children and families in our community,” said Renown Health Foundation’s Chief Development Officer, Greg Walaitis.  To learn more about the Renown Children’s Hospital Endowment Fund, or to contribute, visit renown.org/give or call Renown Health Foundation at 775-982-5545. ### About Renown Health  For more information, visit 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. 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®.

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    • Tuesday, Apr 12, 2022

    Renown Regional Named Health Equity Leader for Nevada

    Recognized as national leader in LGBTQ+ care by Human Rights Campaign Foundation for 2022 All people who need medical care should be able to see their doctor or have a hospital visit without worrying about being mistreated, harassed or denied service outright. Data from the national CAP survey shows that LGBTQ+ people experience discrimination in healthcare settings; and that discourages them from seeking needed care. These results highlight the importance of protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in healthcare. Renown Health and UNR Med caregivers, supported by community LGBTQ+ and Transgender Allies and partners, are working to bridge the gap for LGBTQ+ patients and families, and to become a more inclusive organization. This week, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation recognized Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev. as the first and only hospital in Nevada designated with a perfect score, and at the highest level of support as “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader.” The Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. We constantly strive to be among the best in the nation for quality, safety and patient experience," said Dr. Thomas Graf, interim CEO and Chief Clinical and Quality Officer. "This recognition confirms what the Renown Health team is dedicated to – providing the best patient care possible. Quality and safety are the responsibility of every employee and physician at Renown, and we are proud that the Renown Regional Medical Center team has been chosen among the best in the state and nation for our commitment to LGBTQ+ patient-centered care.” “Renown Health is proud to join the state of Nevada, which also earned top rankings on the Human Rights Campaign State Equality Index, and the City of Reno on the Municipal Equity Scorecard for LGBTQ+ equality,” said Sy Johnson, MBA, interim president and Chief of Staff. “The Human Rights Campaign HEI offers a powerful way for organizations to affirm that they are committed to LGBTQ+ patient-centered care and extend non-discrimination protections to our LGBTQ+ employees, who play a key role in ensuring sensitive, knowledgeable LGBTQ+ care.” “We at UNR Med are so proud to be partners with Renown in this effort,” said Nicole Jacobs, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)Associate Dean, Diversity and Inclusion; Clinical Psychologist / Professor; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UNR Med. “The designation of being an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equity Leader demonstrates Renown’s strong commitment to advancing equitable healthcare in Nevada, our core and shared values and our shared mission of addressing the healthcare disparities in our backyards.” A record 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the 2022 HEI survey and 496 of those earned an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Equality Leader” designation. Renown Regional Medical Center is the first and only hospital in Nevada recognized by the Human Rights Campaign. No other hospitals in the state met their stringent standards for the 2021 rankings. “Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care,” said Tari Hanneman, (she/her) Director of Health & Aging at The Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their healthcare providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust, comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice The HEI evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars: Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support Employee Benefits and Policies Patient and Community Engagement Suzanne Hendery, MA, APR, Chief Customer Officer, who led Renown’s application process, noted the remarkable progress reflected in the team 2022 HEI submission includes: Updated Medical Records with Preferred Name and Pronouns. Kathleen Zaski, BSN, RN, Director of IT Applications explains why this is so important. “Your name and identity are core to who you are as a person, and here at Renown, we aim to take care of you as a whole person and to provide the highest level of quality care to our community – all while ensuring the experience is exceptional and tailored to the individual. Our medical records system supports our doctors, nurses and care team in capturing this vital information. We are now able to capture every person’s preferred name, sex and sexual orientation to better care for them.” Allowing visitation without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. Whitney Hansen, PhD, Director of Service Excellence says, “I know how important it is to our patients and their families that Renown serves our entire community and that we provide a welcoming, safe space and sense of belonging to all. We are proud of Renown’s visitor policy, inspired by family members, who requested that the policy encourage two family members per day be able to visit a loved one hospitalized at Renown.” Gender Neutral Restrooms. Chris Baker, CHFM, Director Facilities Engineering, whose team has created over 48 gender-neutral restrooms across Renown says, “Ensuring that private restrooms are equally available to everyone on our campus is just one way we can provide a more inclusive, caring space for the people we serve.” In addition, Renown clinicians and caregivers received recognition in the following areas: Every staff member receives training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care Both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are included in both the patient non-discrimination policy and in Renown’s employment nondiscrimination policy Offering transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to employees and members of Renown’s not-for-profit health plan, Hometown Health Providing substantial support and awarding grants to area organizations addressing diversity and inclusion, LGBTQ+ community Pride events and collaboration with LGBTQ+ organizations as an ally “I’m extremely proud of the people I get to work with every day who make achievements like this possible, says Brian Colonna CHC, CHPC, CHRC, Director of Compliance. “This is a meaningful designation, said Bethany Sexton, MA, Chief Transformation Officer. “I feel so proud to be part of a team and organization that helps translate our mission as an organization into action that matters for every member of our community.” Mitch Harper, Director of Network Performance, said, “We have just begun on this journey. We recognize there is still so much more to improve upon in becoming an inclusive organization. We are working to create a safe and welcoming environment for our community and our employees. Access to basic human services should not be contingent on an individual’s skin color, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or beliefs.” Sean Savoy, Manager of Spiritual Care at Renown said, “Good news indeed! So glad that Renown Health has achieved this milestone with HRC – a leader in civil rights for sexual orientation-gender identity minorities. I look forward to the continuing work around striving to achieve clinical equity, cultural competency, and respect for our LGBTQIA patients and employees.” For more on LBGTQ+ care and providers at Renown, visit renown.org/diversity/lbgtq-at-renown/ Join the Renown team Renown Health is now 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 careers.renown.org/ About the Human Rights Campaign Foundation The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work. 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. 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.

    Read More About Renown Regional Named Health Equity Leader for Nevada

    • Monday, Apr 11, 2022

    Renown Health Named Top Place to Work

    Recognized as a workplace that champions caregivers, diversity and professional growth by Ragan Communications Renown Health has been recognized among Ragan’s “Top Places to Work” for 2022. Ragan’s award winners represent organizations that value internal communications, foster collaborative and innovative workplaces that champion caregivers, cultivate a culture that thrives with diverse ideas and backgrounds and supports professional growth and well-being. In selecting Renown Health for this honor, Ragan judges noted that Renown Health earned its spot as a top place to work by “taking swift action to respond to pandemic challenges.” They noted that “the teams at Renown Health, serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California, practice emergency preparedness 365 days a year. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, those teams took swift action to ensure Renown and the community remained ready and prepared.” Renown had the foresight to create an Alternate Care Site (ACS) in the Mill Street parking structure of its Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev. No other organization in northern Nevada, public or private, prepared for an overflow of patients with COVID-19. Until January 2021, the ACS served hundreds of hospitalized patients and allowed caregivers to remain on campus with access to lab, pharmacy, imaging, food and other crucial services. Patients are now cared for within one of Renown’s hospitals or monitored in their homes 24/7 by clinicians in the Renown Transfer and Operations Center. Many employees worked remotely throughout the pandemic; Renown’s human resources department listened to their employees' thoughts and opinions. Positive feedback about remote work (which included decreased commute times, fewer distractions, improved work-life balance and a reduced carbon footprint) resulted in allowing more than 700 employees to continue working remotely, with having the option to “hotel” onsite at any time. In June 2020, the Renown Laboratory team sprang into action to help meet the growing demand for COVID-19 testing. Renown expanded staffing and in-house testing capabilities, allowing Renown to swab and process up to 1,000 COVID tests for patients each day and share results within hours. Working with the mayor’s COVID-19 task force and local faith and community leaders, the hospital also provided free COVID-19 testing for communities of color to address health equity needs. After several weeks of employee and volunteer drive-thru vaccination events, Renown also supported the Washoe County Health District and the state in vaccinating more than 70,000 neighbors and caregivers. Aristotle, supervisor of clinical nursing in Neurosciences says, “As a leader on my unit, I love the fact that I get to see the growth and development of my team, and be a part of a support system that helps elevate them in to the future endeavors to really breed that culture of excellence at Renown.” See his video here. Reviewers at Ragan stressed, “Employees want to work at organizations like Renown that champion their workforce and provide guidance, initiatives and resources that promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace, offer ample room for professional growth and provide effective communication that keeps them engaged and informed.” After listening to employees, Renown announced a number of additional benefits to promote ways to increase work/life balance; support rest-and-recuperation strategies, and new financial resources essential to sustaining happy, high-performing teams. In U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital Rankings, Renown Regional Medical Center is named #1 in the State of Nevada for 2021. No other hospital in Nevada earned recognition from U.S. News. Renown Health is hiring key roles to support the health and well-being of our community, and encourages those with a passion for service to join the Renown family to Fight the Good Fight. Apply on line at careers.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. In U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital rankings, Renown Regional Medical Center was listed #1 in the State of Nevada. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improve the care and the health of our community. 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.

    Read More About Renown Health Named Top Place to Work

    • Friday, Mar 25, 2022

    Food is Love! Nine Career Options at Renown to Satisfy Coffee Enthusiasts & Foodies

    Passionate about food and coffee? Interested in serving patients and health care heroes? Courteous and diplomatic? Have a high school diploma? Read on to discover the career for you. When you think about the word LOVE, do you think about delicious FOOD or a mug of hot COFFEE? When you talk with friends, do your conversations start and end discussing a new recipe, a new restaurant or TV food show?  Do you get great satisfaction from preparing a great meal? Do you dream about being able to make a steaming hot latte with almond milk in minutes? Are you a nurturer who envisions creating and delivering a hot, delicious, nutritious meal to someone recovering from a surgical procedure or recovering from an illness? Would you enjoy making a special celebration meal for a family who has just delivered a baby, a cake for a wedding at a patient’s bedside, or for a family reunited with papa after receiving good news about his cancer recovery?  Are you looking for some career options to keep you connected to great food and coffee? Renown Health is now offering a number of career options that encourage you to satisfy your love for food; earn money, paid vacation/sick time, great health benefits; have a regular schedule; advance your career and earn a college or university degree at the same time.  There are some outstanding benefits to working in food-related careers at the region’s top employer and the region’s largest non-for-profit, charitable organization. Renown employees work every day to make a genuine difference in the lives of others, and we are looking for you to join us.  Many food services professionals started their careers in entry-level positions and worked their way up. Other benefits to working at Renown include transferable career skills, free or discounted food and the opportunity to give back and serve your community.  Whether you are just starting your career or looking for a new challenge, you are sure to find something that is perfect for you. Many positions require only a high school diploma or a GED. Start exploring today with our list of nine terrific food and beverage-related careers available today at Renown Health and apply online at renown.org.  1) Be a Barista at Starbucks; Renown Regional Medical Center, full/part time, all shifts If you love talking to people, have a good sense of humor and like to move fast, then this job is a great fit for you. You will meet people from every field and make friends with many of them. You will learn to be an expert in handcrafting delicious, perfect beverages—while proudly wearing the green Starbuck’s apron. You will be a part of the first Starbuck’s in the area to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Average Starbucks barista hourly pay is at the national average of approximately $12.32. In addition, you will receive paid training, tips, a full Renown Health medical, retirement, paid vacation/sick time benefit package and access to internally posted positions. You will need a high school diploma or GED; however, experience is not necessary for this entry-level position. Starbuck’s employees can drink as many lattes as they want—as most beverages are free for employees during work breaks! 2) Chef It Up as a Hospital Cook & Cook Lead; Renown Regional Medical Center, Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, full/part time, all shifts.  If you love preparing nutritious, appetizing food for others, understand the importance of individual requirements for medical and cultural diets, this may be the perfect job for you. Most people landing a job as a Cook in a hospital have five or more years of experience working in a restaurant but do not have a college degree, yet they are able to earn an average salary range: $26,860 – $61,870. Benefits include a predictable schedule, which may mean more time with your family and at home. You will also receive vacation and sick days, and health, vision and dental benefits. In addition, you would be fueling physicians, nurses and others to get through a long workday, making a genuine difference in the lives of others and having a positive impact on society.  3) Special Delivery! Food Servers; Renown Regional Medical Center, full/part time, all shifts. If you love assembling and serving meals to patients, this is the job for you. You will setup, prepare and clean up for patient meal service and may serve as the link between Nutrition Services and patients. You may also transport food carts to the patient room floors and help with kitchen general cleaning and sanitation. 4) Show Your Creative Side as a Food Prep Artist; Lead Sandwich Artist; Renown Regional Medical Center, full/part-time, all shifts In this role, you will make and serve salads, desserts, and sandwiches with fresh ingredients and promptly serve them to hungry and happy customers. Lead Sandwich artists are in demand at the Subway restaurant located within Renown Regional Medical Center.  5) Making it Just for You! Nutrition Representative; Renown Regional Medical Center; per diem, all shifts In this role, you will meet with patients, help them review their meal options, and ensure their special and customized meal is delivered to their room. As a customer service agent, you will answer the phone for food orders, enters the meal choices into the computer system and understand menus, diet restrictions, recipes and food inventory.  6) Cashing In as a Food Services Cashier; Renown Regional Medical Center; full/part-time, all shifts 7) Food as Medicine as a Clinical Dietitian; Renown Regional Medical Center; part time, days Patients recovering from illness need to fuel their bodies with the most nutritious foods. In this role, you will provide nutrition education and counseling, clinical nutrition assessments, planning and evaluation of infants, children, adolescents, adults and geriatric patients, and work to meet the patient's physical, cognitive and psychosocial needs through proper nutrition and education.  8) The Answer is YES! Manager of Hospitality; Renown South Meadows Medical Center; full time As our manager, you would deliver exceptional customer service in all aspects of food and environmental services. You would get to build, hire, train and lead an engaged team and provide the highest quality service to meet the needs of patients, employees, visitors, and physicians. 9) Customer Service Fanatic? Retail Food and Beverage Supervisor; Starbucks You would be very popular-leading the operations of Starbucks and Subway franchises at Renown Regional Medical Center. You would ensure lead and empower and train your team to be the best- and be sure you budget is balanced and the customer service is exceptional.  At Renown Health, we share a boundless vision that inspires us to learn, grow and exceed expectations for patients, their families and one another. A career with us offers you: • An uplifting and progressive environment focused on community health and wellness initiatives. • A culture that values your contributions and supports your personal and professional development. • Affiliations with the University of Nevada, Reno, Desert Research Institute and other organizations that help spur innovation and opportunity. To apply for these career opportunities and others, please visit us online at https://careers.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. 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.

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    • Tuesday, Mar 22, 2022

    8 Financial & Wellness Benefits for Employees

    Listening to what employees need most now and for the future; ensuring families are healthy, financially secure The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate last week for the first time since March 2020. This will mean a higher cost of borrowing on credit cards, student and home loans, car financing and more. It could also mean more returns from savings accounts, depending on the institution. This news, coupled with concerns about mental health and physical well-being as caregivers come through the pandemic has presented leaders at Renown with a unique opportunity to reframe approaches to how to help their employees grow, feel financially supported and engage as part of a healthy and thriving team. After listening to concerns of employees and their leaders, Renown Health’s Human Resources department and leading industry partners have announced a number of additional benefits to promote ways to increase work/life balance; support rest-and-recuperation strategies, and new financial resources essential to sustaining happy, high-performing teams. Renown Health is hiring key roles to support the health and well-being of our community, and encouraging those with a passion for service to join the Renown family to Fight the Good Fight, by applying on line at careers.renown.org. Expanded and new employee benefits for 2022 include: 1. Expanded Physical Health, Medical and Dental Plan Benefits. The MOBE program, offered at no charge, offers each employee a personal Health Guide to support four core elements of health; diet, sleep, physical movement and emotional well-being to help build healthy habits, fuel a better life, provide energy and promote healing. This year, Renown expanded its Medical Plan coverage, adding new benefits, without increasing rates paid by employees. Renown offers health insurance benefits through Hometown Health, northern Nevada’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company with wide-ranging medical coverage. Hometown Health offers access to the largest network and highest quality clinical services provided by 1,200 medical doctors and specialists in 150 sites of care, including those with Renown Medical Group; urgent care centers; lab and imaging services; and the state’s #1 Us News & World Report hospitals, Renown Regional Medical Center (2022) and Renown South Meadows Medical Center (2021). New medical benefits added this year include telehealth visits with a $0 copay; Renown Pharmacy prescriptions with no deductible; and if employees and their families need to travel out of the area for essential care, there is now a travel stipend offered for University Medical Center in Las Vegas or to University of Utah Health. The organization also reduced the cost for health insurance premiums paid by part-time employees (20-30 hours). In addition to improved health benefits, the dental network was expanded through MetLife Dental, with no increases in dental rate premiums paid by employees in 2022. As a non-profit organization, Renown is able to offer employees the ability to establish Flexible Spending Accounts as way to use tax-free dollars to pay medical expenses not covered by other health plans. 2. Enhanced Wellness and Mental Health support programs. Renown Health is home to the Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addictions Institute. As leaders, they are working to remove the stigma and barriers to using mental health services when needed; reinforcing that seeking help indicates strength, not weakness. This includes encouraging team members to take a day off to refresh and recharge or take advantage of confidential, mental health counseling visits at no charge. Renown updated their policy to include mental and emotional well-being as eligible for use of sick leave. Through the pandemic, to be sure employees had the time should needed, leadership added 80 hours of sick time to employee’s sick banks as well as $0 copay for Teladoc behavioral health sessions and nutrition services (virtual). Renown encourages physical fitness and inspires the health and well-being of employees by supporting participation in races (on foot or via bike) in their communities. Employee who race, run, walk, triathlon or bike may submit for reimbursement for an individual entry fee up to $100. 3. Appreciating and Engaging Employees. Many teams may now be working on-site, hybrid and remotely, which means getting together to make new memories is more complicated. Renown Health leaders continue to bring camaraderie and bonding into the workplace by investing in holding monthly Pride events for staff, hosting everything from online socials to game nights to help re-establish bonds. At Renown, employee engagement also takes the form of employee recognition programs. The Everyday Amazing program encourages employees to thank each other for outstanding service via an online platform, and earn certificates and points towards gift cards and prizes. Employee and organization-led leadership and career education programs are encouraged, as well as paid volunteer opportunities (four hours each quarter), and matches of up to $1000 for non-profit organization boards on which Renown Health employees serve. Renown offers events and yearbooks to help employees celebrate their history and accomplishments, as well as Celebrate Amazing, a special event to honor Service Milestones, Top Talent and Women of Achievement award winners. Renown supports the community and engages medical providers and employees to attend events with the Reno Aces, UNR football and basketball games, the Great Reno Balloon Race and hundreds of community events each year. 4. Living Debt Free with Financial Wellness Programs. A free financial wellbeing program from Salary Finance is available at no cost to employees, with a salary-linked loan product. This benefit enables employees to borrow or save money directly through their paycheck. Salary-linked loans allow employees to access affordable credit that they can easily repay through their salary, helping them pay down existing debt or avoid high-interest credit cards, overdraft fees, or payday loans. Salary Finance provides affordable borrowing options in times of need, as well as a financial education component, which helps employees understand their current level of financial content specific to their needs. Since launching, over 40% of employees have engaged with the Salary Finance offering, and over 500 have accessed affordable credit through Renown's custom-branded Salary Finance Financial Wellbeing Hub. “It has made a wonderful impact and has lessened my frequent stress regarding my debt," said a Renown employee enrolled in the program. In total, it is estimated that employees have saved nearly $275,000 on interest, and that number continues to grow as more employees take advantage of the benefit. The Greater Perks program from Greater Nevada Credit Union, the official credit union for Renown employees, offers a number of benefits including a $100 bonus for opening a new checking account, $25 when opening a new “I Can Save” account, $500 credit towards an appraisal for a home loan, low-cost rates on short-term personal loans and auto loans, and regular online financial wellness seminars. Membership with the credit union is not required to take advantage of Greater Nevada Mortgage’s offerings. In addition, donors have supported, through the Renown Health Foundation, funds for help employees who have suffered a personal financial catastrophe, and are in need for emergency funding to pay bills, with no repayment required. 5. Educational Assistance Reimbursement, Student Loan Repayment, Continuing Education for Learners. Renown values and encourages employees to continue their education and supports career aspirations and goals. The education assistance program offers loan reimbursement and repayment opportunities as well as educational and financial guidance from experts. College tuition, certification and certificate reimbursement is provided for employees who are currently enrolled in college/university or taking the extra steps to receive a professional certification or certificate. In addition, the organization supports employees who have previously completed their education and are now managing the burden of student loans. Employees also have the option to invest in a 529 college savings plan, an investment program designed to help people save for future education expenses for children/dependents at almost any private or public college or accredited higher education institution. 6. Onsite Childcare & Adult Care Assistance. Figuring out the childcare puzzle has been a hurdle for working parents through the pandemic. Renown is one of a select number of health systems that offer onsite childcare. Renown Health Child Care Center welcomes employees' children ages six weeks to six years (and not yet in kindergarten). The center is licensed for 176 children and features 11 classrooms: three infant classrooms, four toddler and four preschool classrooms. Staff help parents with resources to find care for their children onsite, or with licensed daycare providers in the community. Employees increasingly are caring for older adults in their families. As a non-profit organization, employees are able to contribute to tax-free savings FSA accounts that cover dependent care for children and older adults. 7. Flexible Schedules and Locations. Renown now provides the ability for medical providers and employees to work on-site, hybrid and remotely. This year as many employees working remotely moved out of state to be closer to friends or family, Renown kept pace, employing a Professional Employment Organization called Tri Net, in a co-employment model to assist with national benefits and tax administration. Renown is now able to recruit and retain remote employees from Maine to Minnesota and offer, for a wide range of positions in IT, finance and other support services, remote and flexible schedules that are attractive to many across the country. For clinicians, there are a large variety of positions now available at over 100 locations across the state. On March 7, Renown increased the cap of shift differential to 10% up to $6 an hour and added a weekend differential for staff for up to 5%. At Renown’s hospitals, there are employment positions available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to serve the community. Other providers and employees take advantage of a compressed workweek, 12-hour shifts and other options, which allow them the flexibility to live their best life at work and at home. 8. Renown’s Retirement Savings Plan. Retirement savings plans including a full 401(k) plan through Vanguard are available for employees to save for retirement. Employees can contribute from1-75% of pre-tax pay (up to annual IRS limit) and receive a matching contribution from Renown of 4% when you contribute 4% or more to a 401(k) plan. Rollovers of a former employer's 401(k), 403(b), 457 or other qualified plan can be made into a Vanguard plan at any time. In addition, in-service withdrawals are allowed at age 59 1/2 from 401(k), and a new Roth 401(k) option was added. Join the Renown team: Renown Health is now 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 careers.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. 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.

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    • Thursday, Mar 10, 2022

    Renown Health Board Announces CEO Transition

    Experienced physician executive Dr. Thomas Graf named interim Today, the Renown Health Board of Trustees, led by Adam Kramer, announced that Dr. Tony Slonim’s tenure has ended as president and CEO of Renown Health. Thomas R. Graf, M.D., FAAFP will now serve as interim Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Graf will assume the title and authority of CEO in addition to his current role as Chief Clinical and Quality Officer at Renown, and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs for University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. Sy Johnson, MBA, Renown’s current Chief Operating Officer has been promoted to interim President and COO. Following the completion of a thorough investigation of concerns raised to the Board of Directors, the Board determined that Renown Health, its patients and staff required new leadership. Accordingly, Dr. Slonim has been terminated with cause as CEO of Renown Health. Mr. Kramer announced the transition today by writing, “a new direction and leadership is needed given the critical work ahead. I have complete faith in Dr. Tom Graf and Sy Johnson, and their senior leadership teams, who already oversee health care system operations, and will help ensure a smooth transition.” Dr. Graf will work in collaboration with Sy Johnson, MBA, interim President and Chief Operations Officer and an experienced team of healthcare executives, to lead Renown to achieve its strategic and operational goals. Kramer added, “For more than 160 years, Renown has provided health care that is affordable, accessible and of the highest quality for our community. This commitment continues as our 7,000 health care heroes continue doing what is most important, and what we do best - caring for our community.” Dr. Graf will continue to fuel Renown’s transformation to a value-based care organization, help advance technologies to enhance the patient experience, and collaborate with providers in Renown Medical Group, acute care hospitals, and through the Western Clinical Alliance clinically integrated network, accountable care organization and affiliation with UNR Med. Graf is a highly accomplished physician executive who has led health care and insurance organizations as well as a national consulting firm. A family medicine physician, researcher and academic, Dr. Graf has focused on driving quality improvement to lower the total cost of care. He has developed and published on care models that have delivered measurably better results for quality, cost, and experience in a variety of venues. He has practiced in an integrated delivery system, with over a decade at Geisinger (PA), as well as clinically integrated networks and accountable care organizations. He also has worked with a number of academic medical centers through his consulting work with The Chartis Group. Dr. Graf adds, “My goal is to produce greater value for the patient by delivering care that is of highest clinical quality. Renown has a national reputation for delivering excellent care using approaches that are creative, innovative and maximize technology, and I look forward to engaging physicians and administrators in an agenda that supports this vision. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the great progress that Renown Health is making in becoming the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. I am excited to join this journey of transformation to value- based care, and to serve patients, clinicians and our community.” Sy Johnson has led Renown Health hospital and network operations for almost seven years, most recently as Chief Of Staff / Chief Operating Officer and formerly as Renown’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Renown, Mr. Johnson served as CEO, Senior Vice President and as Chief Financial Officer for Peace Health in Vancouver, Washington, and in senior management with Arthur Andersen & Co and KPMG. 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. 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.

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    • Tuesday, Mar 08, 2022

    Renown Health Works With Amazon Web Services To Enhance Customer Experience

    Renown Health & Hometown Health leverage cloud technology to improve access to care and coverage A person’s ability to access health services has a profound effect on every aspect of his or her health, yet almost 1 in 4 Americans do not have a primary care provider (PCP) or a health center where they can receive regular medical services. In addition, because of concerns about COVID-19, the CDC reports that an estimated 41% of U.S. adults have delayed or avoided medical care including urgent or emergency care (12%) and routine care (32%). Avoidance of urgent or emergency care was more prevalent among unpaid caregivers for adults, persons with underlying medical conditions, Black adults, Hispanic adults, young adults, and persons with disabilities. With the goal of improving health by helping people get the healthcare services they need, Renown Health, based in Reno, NV, is leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enhance access to care. As part of Renown’s continued journey to transform healthcare, the healthcare network is implementing Amazon Connect – AWS’s omnichannel cloud contact center service. The easy to use and quick to deploy solution allows patients to easily access customer service for Renown’s Hometown Health insurance plan, schedule imaging appointments, Epic MyChart patient electronic medical record support and general customer service. Customer service is now available in multiple languages over the phone, and via online live agent chat and email, making it easier and more convenient for people to make appointments for the care they need. Amazon Connect enables Renown Health to scale up to handle unexpected high call volumes and scale back rapidly. The solution also provides call center agents the flexibility they need to work remotely, without compromising the customer experience. “Renown is proud to be one of the first nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country to use Amazon Web Services as part of a comprehensive customer access and outreach program,” says Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO, Renown Health. “We are excited to deploy their innovative contact center technology to assist us in connecting people with Renown medical providers and health services. Our goal is to make connections quick, easy and convenient, so more people will be encouraged to receive the health care services they need.” “Today’s generation of healthcare consumers expect a friction-less experience—from finding a caregiver, to booking an appointment, to receiving treatment. With this new solution, Renown Health will be able to meet their customers’ expectations faster and more efficiently than ever before,” said Phoebe Yang, General Manager, Healthcare at AWS. “AWS looks forward to working with the innovative team at Renown Health as they leverage the power of the cloud to improve the health of communities they serve." “Especially with COVID, but even before, many people don’t get recommended healthcare services, like cancer screenings, because they lack a primary care provider, or access to health care professionals. At Renown Health, we have a commitment to caring for people, with Reliable and Exact Care and the ability to connect — in person and virtually — to help ensure people get the care they need, when and where they need it,” says Thomas Graf, MD, Chief Clinical & Quality Officer at Renown. “Our goal is to reduce barriers and enhance access, so all who need care can receive care,” says Candace Dietrich, director of the Engagement Center at Renown. “AWS technology is helping to improve the customer experience and drive efficiencies. Our collaboration with AWS makes health care more accessible for all, which ultimately is better for the entire community.” “Amazon Connect is a key component of our digital front door virtual care strategy and supports our customer service goals and Reliable & Exact Care at Renown,” said Chuck Podesta, Chief Information Technology Officer at Renown. “Hometown Health is a community-focused organization and with support from AWS, we continue to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve,” says David Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of Nevada’s largest not-for- profit health insurance provider. “We are proud to have a care and coverage network serving half a billion people across 100,000 square miles across Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California, and committed to creating healthier communities.” 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. 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.

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