Seeking Individuals Who Have Recovered From COVID-19 To Donate Plasma To Help Patients Fighting The Infection
New study, led by physician researchers from Renown Health and University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine seeks to understand how the immune system responds to COVID-19 with goal of developing a new treatment. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may now be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating their plasma. Those who have recovered from the infection may have COVID-19 antibodies in their blood. These antibodies provided one way for their immune systems to fight the virus when they were sick, so their blood may be used to help others fight off the disease through convalescent plasma. Convalescent plasma is a component of blood from recovered patients that may contain precious COVID-19 antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that might help fight the infection. In this study, we will be collecting plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and investigating its efficacy in helping treat other patients with COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is being investigated for treatment of COVID-19 because there is no approved treatment for the disease and there is information that suggests it might help some patients recover from COVID-19. Renown Health and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) are leading a study locally to better understand how the body’s immune system responds to the virus, how it presents in northern Nevada and ultimately, aid in developing a new treatment for COVID-19. “Renown and UNR Med are at the forefront of conducting essential research to increase the health and safety of our community,” said Sara Healy, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the study and a pediatric infectious disease physician at Renown Children’s Hospital and UNR Med. “So little is known about effectively treating COVID-19 and we are venturing into new territory. This important study is instrumental in helping us understand the immune systems of people who were affected by COVID-19, and with their help, getting us one step closer to finding a treatment for the disease that has significantly impacted our nation and our community.” “COVID-19 survivors are in a unique and exciting position to be a part of something much bigger than the virus,” said Mark Riddle, MD, DrPH, FISTM, associate investigator of the study and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at UNR Med. “As a participant of this study, not only are you helping us to better understand the disease and the chronic health affects it has long term, but it’s a way to help those suffering from the disease to fight it and hopefully recover. We encourage participation in this important study and invaluable contributions to advancing medicine and our knowledge of COVID-19.” This community-wide study led by physician researchers from Renown Health and UNR Med is a collaborative effort with Vitalant, county and state health districts, Saint Mary’s Medical Center, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Carson Tahoe Health and the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, along with the many care providers in our area. People aged 18-60 in general good health who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks are encouraged to consider donating convalescent plasma as part of this study. There are 332 people, just in Washoe County (as of 5/1/20) who have recovered from COVID-19 and have immune systems that may now be producing antibodies to protect them from becoming infected again with coronavirus. Donated plasma is needed right now, for this clinical trial to determine definitively if this treatment works. Participating in this research study will also make it easier to donate plasma to the Mayo Clinic convalescent plasma program that Renown is a part of in hopes to find a treatment for COVID-19. There is no cost to participate in this study and participation is voluntary. An individual’s decision to participate will not affect their current or future relations with their health care provider(s), health district, or the community. Those who decide to participate are free to withdraw at any time. Confirmed COVID-19 patients who have recovered from the virus and are interested in participating in the study are invited to contact the project coordinators at the Renown Research Office at (775) 982-3646, or via e-mail at email@example.com, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 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 University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), Nevada’s first medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit med.unr.edu.
Renown’s general surgical unit debuts a set of angel wings crafted by staff and their families in Renown’s general surgical unit debuts a set of angel wings crafted by staff and their families in commemoration of Nurses & Hospital Week, May 4–10. A special piece of artwork in Renown Health’s general surgical unit is bringing color and joy to everyone who walks by. The unit’s new angel wings backdrop is made up of individually-decorated feathers – created by Renown nurses, certified nursing assistants, unit clerks, supervisors, staff’s family members and anyone else who wanted to contribute their creativity. Assembled in celebration of Renown’s Nurses & Hospital Week, observed May 4–10, this angelic backdrop sheds light on some of the things our nurses are most grateful for. “This art project was a month in the making,” said nurse manager of Renown’s general surgical unit, Deanna Olson. “A true collaborative effort, our staff, and even some of their children, would use their breaks and downtime to cut out and decorate feathers. Some focused on using bright, vibrant colors, while others wrote about what they are grateful for and the things that make them happy.” Doodles of pets, names of family members and inspirational quotes are just a few of the things featured on the feathers. The names of the 110 employees working in the unit can also be found throughout the angel wings. The idea behind the backdrop theme was inspired by nurse Melissa Vierra, who spent her last night as part of the general surgical unit working with a few team members to build the angel wings. Vierra now serves as a nursing administrative manager for Renown. “It takes an angel to be selfless enough to devote oneself to the care of others,” said Vierra. All our angels are as unique as the feathers in the wings, but together, we are united as a team to provide the best care possible for our patients. I am extremely grateful for my nursing family and all the lives they touch, including mine, every day.” A few Renown nurses joined Vierra in expressing their gratitude: “I am grateful that I have a job and for everything I have in my life.” – Elizabeth Rios, CNA “I am grateful for my family.” – Jena Smith, RN “I am grateful for my health.” – Mary Gutierrez, UC “I am grateful that I am not sick.” – Barby Workman, CNA “I am grateful for my life.” – Sierra Genz, RN “I am grateful for my health.” – Alyssa Daly, RN “I am grateful to be working.” – Skye Sauls, RN “I am grateful for my pets and my family.” – Colette Chapman, RN “I am grateful for the Bob Ross-esque landscapes.” – Tahni Murphy, RN “I am grateful for my family, my health and having a job that I love.” – Deanna Olson, RN During times of uncertainty, it’s these things, coupled with our amazing patients and teammates that keep us going,” added Olson. “I’m lucky to have the angel wings right outside my office. Seeing our angels from all departments take photos in front of the wings and hearing the love and happiness in their voices gives me hope to look towards the future – our community is in amazing hands.” ### 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 there 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. Media Contact: Public Relations M: 775-691-7308 E: firstname.lastname@example.org