Stage 2 Air Quality Index and alarming research studies from DRI, Renown Health and the Washoe County Health District leads to public health advisory- seek care if needed For people who suffer from asthma, wildfire smoke is more hazardous than other types of air pollution, according to a study from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the Renown Institute for Health Innovation (Renown IHI) and the Washoe County Health District (WCHD). The study published in the journal Environmental Health examined associations between airborne particulate matter (PM) from sources such as wildfire, transportation and industry, and medical visits for asthma at Renown Health’s emergency departments and urgent care centers in Reno, Nev. during the six-year period from 2013-2018. “In places like Reno, where wildfire events occur regularly during parts of the year and are expected to become more frequent in the future, an accurate understanding of the impacts of wildfire smoke on population health is critical,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown Health. “We have an exceptional process in place through our urgent care sites, Renown Medical Group offices and hospital emergency departments to screen, diagnose and treat members of our community who come to us for care related to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other upper respiratory diseases that may be exacerbated by wildfire smoke. At the same time, we continue to develop and refine, in real-time, the data that supports our predictive analytic models. We are using every tool and resource-including scientific data and clinical reporting, to ensure that we are meeting both the health and healthcare needs of the people we serve.” In the study, researchers found that air quality in the Reno area was affected by wildfire smoke on a total of 188 days during the study period. A total of 18,836 asthma-related emergency room and urgent care visits occurred over the same five-year period of time, indicating that the influences of wildfire smoke and other types of air pollution on this medical condition are important to understand. The Washoe County Health District – Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) has issued a Stage 2 Air Pollution Warning due to smoke from area wildfires. Air quality in the Reno-Sparks area is now “Very Unhealthy” with an Air Quality Index of 247. The Stage 2 warning means that all residents should stay indoors and reduce activity levels due to the susceptibility of increased health risks. To see current air quality in Reno-Sparks, click here. Brion Hill, MD who practices at the Renown Urgent Care - Los Altos location warns, “This is an important health advisory, exposure to elevated PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in smoke) concentrations can result in eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, impaired lung function and chest pain. Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy. Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD. When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider,” says Dr. Hill. “If you do not have a health care provider, we have 11 conveniently located Renown Urgent Care offices with providers ready to see you 7 days a week." Dr. Joseph Grzymski, a research professor at Desert Research Institute, a corresponding author on the study and Chief Scientific Officer, Renown Health, says, “This air is very bad for your health. Given today’s Air Quality Index in Reno, being outside and breathing this air for a day equals about smoking half a package of cigarettes.” Additional Information: The full text of the article “Particulate matter and emergency visits for asthma: a time-series study of their association in the presence and absence of wildfire smoke in Reno, Nevada, 2013–2018,” is available from Environmental Health: https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-020-00646-2 To learn more about the Renown Institute for Health Innovation, please visit: https://www.dri.edu/renown-ihi/ Renown Urgent Care provides treatment for a wide range of minor injuries, illnesses and medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, that require same-day medical attention and avoid the long wait times and high prices of the emergency room at 13 convenient sites, including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, USA Parkway, Fallon and Fernley. You can walk-in or book ahead online. The Washoe County Health District offers online health information on its Be Smoke Smart website, including fire information, daily air quality information, fire and smoke maps and how to protect yourself. About the Desert Research Institute The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied interdisciplinary research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe. Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge, supported Nevada’s diversifying economy, provided science-based educational opportunities, and informed policymakers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education. For more information, visit www.dri.edu. 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, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
Renown Urgent Care team prepares you to stay safe this season and is available seven days a week at 11 locations across northern Nevada Millions of people across the West live in areas where air pollution can cause serious health problems. Local air quality can affect our daily lives. Like the weather, it can change from day to day. The Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for Plumas County, to notify the public of the possibility of poor air quality conditions resulting from the Beckwourth Complex Fire in addition to other wildfires in northern California. In addition, there is the potential for wind shifts to carry smoke to other parts of Plumas County from the Beckwourth and several other regional wildfires. Air quality is expected to vary greatly depending on fire behavior and weather conditions, with smoke settling in low areas at night and in the early mornings as long as these fires are active. The advisory mentions, “Exposure to elevated PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in smoke) concentrations can result in eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, impaired lung function and chest pain, especially among sensitive individuals such as the elderly, children, people with asthma, people with heart or lung conditions, pregnant women and anyone who is exercising or working hard outdoors.” Kouros Farro, MD, a physician with Renown Urgent Care advises that there are people who are more likely to be affected when fine particle pollution reaches an unhealthy level. People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People who have heart disease or high blood pressure. Children and older adults. People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy, physical activity like playing sports or working outdoors. “Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy. Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD. When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider,” says Dr. Farro, who is board certified in family medicine and practices at Renown Urgent Care at 975 Ryland St in Reno. “If you do not have a health care provider, know we have a Renown Urgent Care office on almost every corner, with providers ready to see you.” Dr. Farro advises the following: Take it easy and listen to your body. Limit, change, or postpone your physical activity level. If possible, stay away from local sources of air pollution like busy roads and wood fires. If you have asthma or other breathing conditions like COPD make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you. People with asthma should review and follow guidance in their written asthma action plan. Make an appointment to see your health provider to be sure you have an asthma action plan. “Even just one hour of smoke exposure can affect our lungs and hearts, and these consequences can reach people far beyond the direct area endangered by the fire. Children, older adults, pregnant women, people with preexisting cardiopulmonary disease, communities of color, economically disadvantaged communities, and people with preexisting chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and obesity are all especially vulnerable to the air pollution that wildfires cause," says Dr. David Lemak, Division Chief of Urgent Care at Renown. Renown Urgent Care provides treatment for a wide range of minor injuries, illnesses and medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, that require same-day medical attention and avoid the long wait times and high prices of the emergency room at 11 convenient sites, including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, USA Parkway, Fallon and Fernley. You can walk-in or book ahead online. You can get the latest fire and smoke information at the Washoe County Health District’s Be Smoke Smart webpage. It includes information about air pollution levels and how to protect yourself from the smoke. An on-line subscription page allows you to sign up for EnviroFlash, notifying you about air quality. 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, 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.
Rise And Shine Renown Sterling Silver Club Host Virtual Stretching Lecture For Community Members 55+
Renown Health Physical Therapist Dr. Kelly Winkel leads virtual event to connect adults through basic stretching exercises and helpful movement strategies to aid in healthy aging. To help our 55+ community experience the many benefits of stretching, Renown’s Sterling Silver Club is hosting a free, virtual Rise & Shine Stretches lecture on Wednesday, July 15 from 10-11 a.m. During the live event, Kelly Winkel, doctor of physical therapy for Renown Physical Therapy, will teach attendees the basic principles of exercising as we age and provide a demonstration of gentle stretching and stabilizing exercises to help start the day. She will also share her expertise on some of the common ailments we develop as we age and offer tips for overcoming those ailments. This virtual event will be hosted via Microsoft Teams. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP online or call 775-982-7787. A dial-in option is available for individuals who don’t have access to a computer. “A good morning stretching routine puts the body in motion and has the power to set the tone of your entire day,” said Dr. Winkel. “Plus, stretching becomes even more important as we age and our range of movement lessens and we wake up with more aches and pains. Improved flexibility, balance, muscle control and a reduced risk of injury are just a few of the wellness benefits of routine stretching, all contributing to a healthier lifestyle. There is no better way to start your day than with a few tried-and-true stretches.” Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable workout attire and sturdy shoes so they can try the exercises out with the group. They are also invited to ask for clarification or a modification if needed. Anyone over the age of 55 is invited to join Renown’s free Sterling Silver Club, created to help people live healthy, happy lives every day. The Club is a program of the Renown Institute for Healthy Aging. Members enjoy exclusive benefits all designed with their interests in mind. From social events and lectures to entertainment, special discounts, and health insights and tips, this club is a place for community members to shine and embrace the joys of healthy aging. While the Sterling Silver Club is not currently hosting in-person events during this time, it is hosting educational talks like this one to help aging adults stay healthy through its online channels. “The last few months have been difficult for many older adults as they stay indoors with little to no in-person contact with their loved ones,” said Tori DellaRocca, who oversees Renown’s Sterling Silver Club loyalty program. “The need to stay connected is more important now than ever. It has been a joy giving our members something to look forward to- a chance to learn, ask questions and share their stories. Seeing everyone tune in from their homes has been a powerful reminder that we truly are all in this together.” For more information on upcoming virtual events from Renown’s Sterling Silver Club and to sign up, please visit www.renown.org/SterlingSilver. About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath, Neurosciences and Robotic Surgery. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.