The community is invited to virtual community gathering from 'The Hello Project' to stay connected and engaged through the holidays. The holidays are sure to look and feel a little different this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic as health officials continue urging community members to stay home as much as possible. While the stay at home guidelines undoubtedly impact people of all ages, they can be particularly difficult for aging adults who may live alone. To help address loneliness and isolation this holiday season, The HELLO Project is making spirits brighter for older adults through a series of festive, virtual gatherings called It Starts with Hello, hosted every Tuesday and Thursday at noon. “The holidays are a special time to gather and experience the many joys of the season with those we love,” said Kindle Craig, Director of Renown Health’s Healthy Aging Institute. “Leading up to this time of year, our HELLO community members shared their concerns in not being able to physically be with their children, grandchildren, siblings, friends and other loved ones this holiday season. Hearing this, a series of virtual events have been created to give all community members festive and fun learning opportunities to participate in, all season long. We invite others to join us.” Events include a holiday cooking demonstration, holiday wreath and bow making; festive dessert preparation; composing and hearing seasonal poetry; competing in an ugly sweater contest; virtual home tours and more. It Starts with Hello is open to all adults and is free of charge. Access the complete event schedule here (Note that event dates are subject to change). “This is an innovative approach to reach our local seniors, and to help combat loneliness and isolation,” said Sharon Zadra, executive director of Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities. “Since launching the first programs of It Starts with Hello back in May, we were overwhelmed by the positive response we’ve received from participants. Now, we’re thrilled to connect with all those in our community looking for some extra holiday cheer.” “Participating in The HELLO Project is a chance to be part of an amazing community of people who enjoy learning, laughing, and celebrating life,” said member Ann Kent. “I look forward to creating special memories with the group as we make new holiday traditions, make new friends and support each other during these times.” It Starts with Hello takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, and people can attend by calling in or joining on their computers via Zoom. Each show features a timely topic, factual information, a chance to chat with others in the community, and ends with some good news – The Daily Dandelion. Participation is free. For more information, visit HelloStartsNow.org. Click on Blogs & Updates to learn on how to access the Zoom virtual gatherings. Individuals can also participate by calling 1-669-900-6833 (toll charges may apply). About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org. About Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities is a collaborative of thought leaders and influencers who seek to make an impact on the health of their community. The collaborative seeks to build a model where all community members strive toward a culture of health in the Truckee Meadows. This model will include the intersection of the health, education and community development sectors in our region. Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities seeks to create a healthier community through a collective impact project. More info can be found here. About the Washoe County Health District The Washoe County Health District has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.
Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Renown providers remain committed to safely caring for community members, both in person and virtually. Renown Health is proud to offer same-day virtual visits to help community members maintain their health and address medical concerns amid the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Virtual Visits are easily-accessible video conferencing visits with a health provider. They are used for primary care, specialty care and urgent care to enable patients to consult a care provider from the ease and comfort of their homes. “If there’s a bright spot in the midst of this pandemic, it’s that COVID-19 is pushing us to rapidly adopt new ways of thinking about and delivering healthcare–through new technologies,” said Dr. Tony Slonim, president and CEO of Renown. “Our team has worked diligently to make virtual visits available to our community as an added convenience for those who would prefer to stay in their homes. As we work to keep all of our patients safe and healthy, we want our community to know we’re here to serve any ongoing healthcare needs they have by expanding our care options.” Virtual Visits for Urgent Care For urgent care needs, individuals can log in to MyChart and request to “Talk to a Doctor” to receive care from a Renown provider. After filling in some information and confirming their healthcare concerns, Renown’s healthcare team will notify them by text or email when a provider is ready to talk to them virtually. Providers will help patients determine whether their health needs can be met from their home or if they need to seek in-person care. Virtual urgent care visits can address the following symptoms: Common cold and cough symptoms Muscular, tendon or joint pains not caused by injury Allergy or sinus symptoms Pink eye Urinary discomfort Diarrhea without vomiting Rashes or skin sores Backache Nail problems Screening examination for sexually transmitted illness (without symptoms) Medication refills (not controlled substances) Renown’s urgent care virtual visits are available 8:30 a.m. through 10:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Virtual Visits for Primary Care and Specialty Care Many primary and specialty care appointments for adults and children are now available virtually through Renown Medical Group. Individuals with an existing Renown Medical Group provider are encouraged to call 775-982-5000 if they would prefer to see a provider from home. Home Medical Visits Last week, Renown announced its partnership with DispatchHealth, which is now making house calls to individuals who prefer to be seen from their home by a licensed medical professional. This high-quality medical care option is available to all Reno/Sparks residents, both insured and uninsured. If a patient is uninsured, there is a flat fee of $275, which includes all medications administered and lab tests on site. “Whether a patient prefers to be treated at home or in one of our traditional office settings, we are prepared to provide the right level of care, at the right place, at the right time,” said Dr. Slonim. “From routine exams and checkups to illnesses and other conditions that may arise, it’s critical to continue seeing to your unique healthcare needs.” All virtual visits require a free MyChart account. Those who do not have a MyChart account can sign up online. Most insurance companies apply the same co-pay fees as charged for in- person visits. For more information on virtual visits, please visit https://www.renown.org/explore/virtual-visits/. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
Renown Health Food Pantry Is Nourishing Patients In Need With Healthy Food Options Available At No Cost, Adapting To Pandemic To Continue This Important Program
Patients who qualify for a “Food is Medicine Prescription” can receive a bag of food for themselves and each member of their family every week through this free assistance program. Renown Health is proud to offer supplementary food to patients in need through its food pantry. Established nearly a year ago, patients who identify as food- insecure are working with Renown’s community health workers to receive fresh produce, canned goods, non-perishable items and other pantry staples to help nourish themselves and their family at no cost. Thanks to the support of the Northern Nevada Food Bank and other local community partners, Renown’s food pantry is helping meet the food needs of homeless and low-income individuals in our community. “Patients’ responses to our food pantry has been amazing,” said Renown community health worker Seth Rubin. “They are extremely grateful when we give them a bag of food. Their eyes light up knowing that they will have enough food to eat for the week without having to worry about finding a source of food for their family.” To make this assistance program possible, Renown’s food pantry receives food deliveries every Wednesday from the Northern Nevada Food Bank. The Food Bank meets Renown’s team of community health workers, along with churches and other medical organizations, with a semi- truck loaded with a variety of foods. After receiving a pallet with their food order, Renown’s community health team collects an assortment of fresh produce, donated from local grocery stores and other community organizations. After that, the food is unloaded into Renown’s food pantry located inside The Healthcare Center. Renown’s community health workers serve patients in the hospital and emergency rooms, as well as individuals who receive care in The Healthcare Center, which provides affordable access to care for anyone in our community. After expressing a need for food assistance, patients are offered a Food is Medicine Prescription. Through this prescription, they can go to a participating food pantry once a week to receive one bag of food per person in their household. PANTRY CONTINUES AMIDST PANDEMIC Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Renown’s community health workers have worked remotely, but that hasn’t stopped them from reaching out to patients who benefit from this program. “We’re currently coordinating outpatient deliveries to our patients,” said Rubin. “Every Tuesday and Thursday, we deliver a bag of food to the patient’s house. It has been a great way to continue providing healthy food to our patients while continuing to provide safe care to the patients we see in person at our clinic. Despite our operations being a little different, our patients’ feelings of gratitude and relief remains the same. This is extremely rewarding work and we are proud to continue serving our community throughout these challenging times.” Renown’s food pantry is currently available to patients of The Healthcare Center. Renown is working to get more refrigeration, shelving and staffing to expand the service to more Renown Medical Group patients. Renown patients who qualify for a Food is Medicine Prescription, yet aren’t patients of The Healthcare Center, are encouraged to visit these participating food pantries once a week. The Healthcare Center accepts all Medicaid plans in addition to other healthcare plans. To learn more, visit Renown’s website. For b-roll on this story, please click here. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org