Protect yourself by obtaining a vaccination against COVID-19 and the Delta strain if you are 12 years or older; seek urgent care if needed The world, the country and our area continue to experience an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with the highly contagious Delta SARS-CoV-2 virus strain. The Renown Health team continues to safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illnesses, including those at risk for COVID-19. Renown continues to use current local and national data, analytics, and public data sets for predictive modeling in service to our community. Renown Health ensures constant readiness by working closely with the Washoe County Health District, the Governor’s office, and is informed by updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When there is heightened concern around an illness, we implement enhanced infection prevention strategies to ensure we are ready with the appropriate supplies and alternate plans should the need arise. Renown Health providers are educated and prepared to quickly and safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illness, including COVID-19. Vaccination is the best protection against Delta. “The most important action you can take to protect yourself from the Delta strain and the COVID-19 virus is to get fully vaccinated,” says Brion Hill, MD who practices at the Renown Urgent Care - Los Altos location. “The COVID 19 virus and Delta strain is preventable and controllable through safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, which are free and now widely available in our area. The CDC recommends all people 12 years and older be vaccinated against COVID-19. Recent data show that nearly all COVID-19 deaths are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.” A list of providers in our area offering vaccines is available at vaccines.gov.” Protecting Yourself, Friends and Family Dr. Hill adds, “You can protect yourself the same way you would protect against other viruses with a few common-sense practices.” Wear a cloth mask or medical procedure mask when in a public setting. For situations when you are in close contact with people who do not live with you, you may want to consider a mask option that provides a higher level of protection (improved fit and/or improved filtration). Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Make sure you are cleaning between your fingers and under your nails. Use alcohol-based sanitizers when soap and water are not available. Use disposable tissues when coughing and sneezing; dispose of carefully and promptly. If tissues are not available, direct your cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm/sleeve. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms. Avoid shaking hands, especially with those who appear to be ill. Disinfect shared surfaces. Practice social distancing, 6 feet or more. Stay home when you are sick. If you have fever, cough, gastrointestinal, or respiratory symptoms please call your medical provider and explain your symptoms before coming in to their offices. If you do not have a health care provider, and have medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, visit a Renown Urgent Care physician or healthcare provider. Virtual Urgent Care is available for people for COVID-19 symptoms and Virtual Urgent Care visits are available through MyChart. MyChart is a free, secure online patient portal that allows you to access your Renown Health medical record and manage your health care information. There are 11 conveniently located Renown Urgent Care offices with providers ready to see you 7 days a week. You have the option to book ahead and schedule an appointment at 11 locations near you. How to Get Accurate and Reliable Information: We continue to advise our community regarding the importance of accurate sources of information, and to provide regular updates. For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at renown.org. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, the region’s only children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improving the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
Second And Final Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccines Administered To Physicians & Front-Line Health Care Workers Today At Renown Health
Renown Health is working with the Washoe County Health District (WCHD), the state, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to distribute the initially available, limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines. Because there may be limited supply, the vaccine continues to be distributed in a tiered approach. Today, the light at the end of the tunnel shined brighter than ever as many of Renown’s Tier 1A recipients received their second and final doses. Please see B-roll from today's event and photos, B-roll and interviews from the first event here. An important pandemic milestone “The health and safety of our staff is our top priority, and we remain steadfast in our determination to fight the good fight for our community. Administration of the final doses of the vaccine is an important pandemic milestone as it brings an overwhelming sense of hope and relief to all of us at Renown,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown Health. “The healthcare heroes vaccinated today have been batting this pandemic on the front lines and working around the clock for the past 11 months to keep our community safe. It’s reassuring knowing they have an added, strong layer of protection, so they can focus their efforts on putting an end to this long and difficult battle.” Today, Renown healthcare workers received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration last month. Administered 21 days after the initial dose, this dose marks the final dose of the vaccination series. Many Renown employees have also received the Moderna vaccine, of which second doses will be administered after 28 days. The intricacies of vaccine administration Renown’s COVID-19 vaccination process includes pre-scheduling physicians and employees through the EPIC MyChart electronic medical record used by Renown. Employees are masked, and in their personal vehicles, as they drive through the vaccination site at Hometown Health. Each physician and healthcare worker provides their verification, identification, documentation and consent. They then extend their upper arm to receive the vaccination. Following the receipt of the vaccination, they have a 15-minute observation period to assure they do not experience any immediate side effects. Similar to receiving the first dose, these Tier 1A healthcare employees were encouraged to schedule their vaccination after their completed work schedule to have time to rest. As with all vaccinations, there is a potential for injection site reactions (redness, swelling and pain) as well as fever, fatigue, headache, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and/or joint pain. Fever is not an infrequent side effect, especially on the second dose, so these vaccinated employees will self-monitor their temperatures, as they cannot work at Renown with a fever. Renown invited media to help commemorate this triumphant vaccination event. Present during today’s event were- Dr. Bret Frey, representing the Medical Staff and Emergency Medicine physicians at Renown; Dr. Jacob Keeperman, Medical Director, Renown Regional Transfer and Operations Center representing physicians in Renown’s Intensive Care Unit; and Holly Irwin, a Clinical Respiratory Therapist. Vaccine one more tool to help fight pandemic “The best protection from COVID-19 will be a combination of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often,” says Amy McCombs, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNML, vice president of Quality for Acute Services for Renown, and the champion of the vaccination effort for Renown. “No one tool alone will stop this pandemic, it will take a combination of all of us using all of these efforts to fight the spread of this virus. We are getting closer to widespread vaccine development every day; however, until then, everyone must remain vigilant, take precautions and follow public health orders.” “This vaccination is a game-changer in terms of improving the health of our community,” said Paul Sierzenski, MD, MSHQS, Chief Medical Officer, Acute Services, Renown Health. "Given the demands of this COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to be able to provide second doses of this vaccination to help in the fight. We continue to follow CDC recommendations for a tiered approach to vaccine distribution. Our goal is that by spring, all Renown physicians; employees and their family members; and all Hometown Health members and Renown patients interested in receiving the vaccine will have an opportunity to be vaccinated.” The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory for all Renown employees, but is strongly advised. Renown is covering all costs of the vaccine, and it is being offered free of charge to employees. Register for Renown EPIC MyChart now. To streamline the notification, consent, scheduling and reminder process for vaccine distribution, as well as to post to Web IZ Nevada’s Statewide Immunization Information System, all who are interested in receiving the vaccine through Renown will need to enroll and obtain an EPIC MyChart account. Stay Up-to-date on COVID-19 Renown Health is prepared to safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illness, including COVID-19. To stay up-to-date on communications regarding Renown’s distribution of the COVID19 vaccine, FAQs and the scientific evidence behind the vaccine, visit https://covid.renown.org/ Join the Renown team Renown Health remains committed to hiring key roles in our organization to support the health and well-being of our community. To join the Renown family to Fight the Good Fight, apply on line at https://careers.renown.org/ Support the Renown team Renown Health, a charitable, not-for-profit organization, is so grateful for our community’s support during these unprecedented times. To donate to Renown patients or providers, visit https://www.renown.org/donations-covid-19/. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org. About the 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.
Renown Pharmacy Introduces New Program, Delivering Medications To Patients As They Leave The Hospital
Renown's Medications to Go program offers time-savings and convenience for patients and their families. It can be difficult leaving the hospital after a stay. Learning and understanding detailed care instructions and settling in to a new routine, can be an overwhelming experience for both patients and their caregivers. Plus, there’s the added inconvenience of visiting the pharmacy to pick up prescribed medications. Because it is so inconvenient, one-third of these prescriptions never reach the patient, and remain in a basket at the pharmacy, awaiting pick-up. Because the patient never takes their medication, recovery time can take longer, and in some cases, the patient goes without the needed medications and may be readmitted to the hospital. To make the process more convenient for patients and their families, Renown Pharmacy now offers a new Medications to Go program. Patients can now receive Medications to Go at Renown hospitals. Opting in when they arrive, and the day they leave, their medication will be hand-delivered to them in their room by a member of Renown’s pharmacy team, along with medication counseling by a Renown pharmacist. There is no additional cost for patients to use this service aside from their normal medication copays. “Medications to Go is another example of how we are using new approaches to deliver an excellent patient and customer experience, and helping people choose, access, experience and prefer Renown Health providers and hospitals,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, president and CEO of Renown. “We want to help our patients on their journey to health and wellness.” The Renown Pharmacy team has been recognized for several national best practice programs. A similar pilot program showed a 25 percent reduction in hospital readmission rates for patients with Medicaid insurance, emphasizing the need for the service for all patients at all Renown hospital locations. Since June 1, 2020, Medications to Go has been available to every patient at Renown Regional Medical Center, Renown South Meadows Medical Center and Renown Rehabilitation Hospital. “We’ve filled more than 1,600 prescriptions through the program to date,” said Adam Porath, Doctor of Pharmacy, and Renown’s interim director. “Patients are very happy – especially new moms and parents of our youngest patients at Renown Children’s Hospital.” About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath, Neurosciences and Robotic Surgery. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.