Renown Health Has Open Appointments In May For Businesses To Get Employees Vaccinated Against COVID-19 At No Charge
Renown Health has been working with the Washoe County Health District, the state, and the CDC to distribute the limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines. Renown has completed more than 64,000 dose 1 and dose 2 vaccinations to date, which includes all of Tier 1A (Medical Staff members, Renown employees, students and volunteers) and eligible community members – which now includes everyone 16+. “Renown is excited to continue along our goal of providing the opportunity for everyone who is interested in receiving the vaccine to be vaccinated at no charge,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “We would like local businesses to know we have thousands of open appointments in early May and we encourage our business colleagues to share this information with employees so they may easily schedule an appointment through MyChart and continue on the path to a healthier and safer northern Nevada.” “Renown is excited to continue along our goal of providing the opportunity for everyone who is interested in receiving the vaccine to be vaccinated at no charge,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “We would like local businesses to know we have thousands of open appointments in early May and we encourage our business colleagues to share this information with employees so they may easily schedule an appointment through MyChart and continue on the path to a healthier and safer northern Nevada.” Vaccine appointments for 18+ Anyone ages 18 and older may register for a free Renown EPIC MyChart account. They do not need to have a Renown provider to enroll. With a MyChart account, they will be able to login and schedule their first vaccine appointment. These vaccines require two doses. After the first dose of the vaccine is documented in your MyChart account, you will get a notice to schedule your second dose. There are two easy ways to sign up for MyChart. Please see instructions in both English and Spanish. To schedule an appointment for a 16 or 17 year old: We have made special arrangements for minors ages 16 and 17. Please fill out this form, also found on https://covid.renown.org/vaccine/. Renown's Customer Engagement team will call the listed phone number within 14 business days to schedule the appointment. We appreciate your patience during this time as demand is high. Please note that a parent or guardian must accompany the teen when getting their vaccination. You are advised NOT to receive the vaccine if you: Are ill at the time of vaccination (fever, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea or acute illness). Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days. Have received any other vaccination in the last 14 days. Have a history of significant allergic reaction to this vaccine or any of its ingredients. “Hometown Health is proud to be part of an organization offering COVID-19 vaccines to our community at no cost,” said David Hansen, CEO, Hometown Health. “The business community in northern Nevada is an important piece of the vaccination puzzle, and as a community-focused organization, we are pleased that Renown can safely offer vaccinations to local businesses and contribute to an increased hope for the future.” Renown will provide additional updates on our websites at covid.renown.org. Please see b-roll, photos and fly-over footage of our Drive-Thru COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic here. 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. 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®. For more information, visit renown.org
Faster, Better Testing For COVID; Physician Researchers At Renown Health And UNR Med Seek Convalescent Plasma Study Participants
Physician researchers seek to understand how the immune system responds to COVID-19 and create a healthier Nevada. During the early stages of the pandemic, convalescent plasma was considered the only viable treatment option available for patients with COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is the component of the blood from recovered patients that may contain COVID-19 antibodies that help fight the infection. The National Institutes of Health has since developed treatment guidelines for COVID-19 based on clinical trial data and many studies are still underway worldwide assessing various additional treatment options. Convalescent plasma was in high demand but difficult to locate for COVID-19 patients in the northern Nevada area. A 24-year-old nursing assistant, Austin Meegan, was hospitalized and spent weeks staving off kidney and lung failure before learning he was eligible for an experimental blood transfusion that showed promise in treating COVID-19. Doctors estimated Meegan had only about a 3% chance of tracking down a donor to match his rare blood type. A COVID-19 survivor, Thomas Gibson, a Texas resident with the same blood type, traveled to Reno to donate his viral antibodies and a convalescent plasma donation credited with helping to save Meegan’s life. Physician clinical researchers and scientists at Renown and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) knew they needed to create better options for patients and physicians. Clinical researchers developed a study to help other patients like Austin, and pleaded for donations from recovered COVID-19 patients to donate their convalescent plasma. The researcher teams looked to understand how the body’s immune system responds to the virus over time, to aid them in developing new treatments for COVID-19. “The world’s capacity to get through the COVID crisis will depend on four things — science, technology, innovation and partnerships, says Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “Taking lab bench discoveries to the bedside of patients in an efficacious and timely manner is not easy, but with UNR Med and our partners, we are making great strides in advancing clinical research which has the power to save lives and to create a healthier Nevada.” “It’s tremendously promising to partner on clinical research that will not only help us better understand the disease, but help inform treatment for those combatting COVID-19 that has had such a devastating impact on Nevadans, our nation and the world,” says UNR Med Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, MD. Renown, UNR Med and other area health care partners collaborated with Vitalant to collect plasma from recovered donors for a study on the treatment's efficacy. Eligible donors are at least 18 years old, weigh more than 110 pounds and are healthy. Donors had fully recovered from a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Project coordinators at the Renown Research Office were overwhelmed by the community’s support and plasma blood donations. Additional partnerships with the Washoe County Health District, the State of Nevada and the Governor’s office, Saint Mary’s Medical Center, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Carson Tahoe Health and the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, along with many area health care providers helped the team meet their goals of enrolling 120 eligible participants in the study. “Our success in this study rests heavily on the support of our great community, as well as the innovation and collaboration demonstrated by Renown and UNR Med,” said Sara Healy, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the study and a pediatric infectious disease physician at Renown Children’s Hospital and UNR Med. “We are proud to be at the forefront of conducting essential research during such a pivotal time in history, and look forward to our continued partnership as we continue this important work.” “The control of COVID-19 in our communities relies on testing. The study that is being launched to develop a sensitive, specific and easier way to collect specimens (blood) is advancing the field and brings promise towards getting to our common goal of having the right diagnostic test for the right clinical situation at the right time,” says Mark Riddle, MD, DrPH, FISTM, associate investigator of the study and associate dean for clinical research and professor at UNR Med's Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Research. The research team is now asking area residents to participate in a study to analyze the efficacy of two COVID-19 tests. Participants will undergo two blood tests: one being a finger stick to provide results for a rapid test, and the other is a traditional venipuncture draw confirming the presence or absence of COVID-19 antibodies. This study is a collaboration with InBios International, Inc., a leading biotechnology company based in Seattle. Researchers are seeking: Individuals who have confirmed positive for COVID-19 and who have recently recovered from the virus. Study participants must be within 7-28 days from the onset of their symptoms. Individuals who have recently tested negative for COVID-19 and have never tested positive. Those who are interested in participating in the study may contact project coordinators at the Renown Research Office at (775) 982-3646, or via e-mail at email@example.com, 7:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. Individuals aged 18-75 in general good health are encouraged to consider participating in this ongoing study. 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. “Time is of the essence with COVID. If we can get test results to people and their clinicians in a more timely way, we can make a faster diagnosis of a patient's condition, says Christopher M. Kozlowski, MD, MHA, Renown's institutional research officer and Medical Director/VP of Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health. “As we refine the accuracy of our testing; we are applying sensitivity and specificity testing for true negative and true positive results. This provides people with more timely and accurate results and better quality care.” 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. 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.
A coalition of 60 top hospitals and healthcare institutions have joined forces in a nationwide campaign to encourage adults to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Led by Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, the campaign "Get the Vaccine to Save Lives" is designed to reassure the public that vaccines are safe, effective and necessary to achieve herd immunity and return to normal activities. "We're asking people to talk to their healthcare providers if they have questions and then get vaccinated," says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Mayo Clinic's president and CEO. "The vaccine is our strongest asset to end the pandemic, and I urge everyone who is eligible to get whichever vaccine you're first offered to save lives." The campaign hopes to reach adults who are hesitant to receive a vaccine, including racial and minority ethnic groups and people living in rural communities. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey published March 30, 17% of the public say they will take a wait-and-see approach before getting it themselves, and another 20% say they will never get a vaccine or will only get it if required to do so for work, school or other activities. This leaves a significant portion of the population at risk of going unvaccinated. The nationwide campaign includes print and digital advertising, media outreach, social media, an awareness video and an informational website. "The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective and offers our best hope for beating the disease," said Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., Cleveland Clinic's CEO and president. "We all want to see a return to our pre-COVID routines, when we can once again gather safely with family and friends. To reach that goal, we must improve vaccination rates to achieve herd immunity. Please sign up today because we are all in this together." With vaccine distribution underway, the campaign aims to help Americans feel safe and confident about receiving a vaccine. To achieve herd immunity and help end the pandemic, leading health officials say at least 75% of the population needs to receive a vaccine. Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who have been vaccinated. In addition to Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, 58 other leading U.S. healthcare institutions have joined the campaign. They include: Advent Health Adventist Health Allegheny Health Network Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Arizona Medical Association Ascension St. Vincent's Atrium Health Banner Health Baptist Health South Florida Baylor Scott & White Health Beaumont Health BJC HealthCare Brooks Rehabilitation Broward Health Centura Health Einstein Healthcare Network Emory Healthcare Essentia Health Hackensack Meridian Honor Health Intermountain Healthcare Lee Health Mass General Brigham McLaren St. Luke's MedStar Health Memorial Healthcare System Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Mercy Health Michigan Medicine Monument Health NCH Healthcare System Nicklaus Children's Health System North Shore University Health System Northwestern Medicine Norton Healthcare Peace Health Piedmont Healthcare ProMedica Renown Health Rush University Medical Center Chicago Southwestern Health Resources Spectrum Health Summit Health Texas Health The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The James Cancer Hospital The Toledo Clinic The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Theda Care UC Health (Cincinnati) UNC Health University Hospitals University of Chicago Medicine University of Iowa Health Care University of Toledo Medical Center UT Southwestern Medical Center Virtua Health Well Span Health Yale New Haven Health More than 209 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and 50% of the population age 18 and over has received at least one vaccine dose in the U.S. through April 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration's rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. Ethos Creative Group of Burlington, North Carolina, created the campaign and donated their services. Facebook, iHeartRadio, Spectrum Reach, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and YouTube also provided complimentary resources. For more information about the campaign, visit ourshot2savelives.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. 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®. For more information, visit renown.org.
For leaders, employees and patients of Renown Health, April 14, 2020 will eternally be etched into the COVID-19 pandemic timeline. This was the day the organization invited community leaders and members of the media to tour the Alternate Care Site (ACS) in the Mill St. Parking structure. While other healthcare systems around the world were setting up field hospitals to care for an anticipated influx of COVID-19 patients, Renown was the first to do so in a parking garage. During this preview event, Renown Health CEO and President, Dr. Tony Slonim, spoke to area leaders on the decision to commission the $11 million Alternate Care Site, which at the time, was a precautionary measure and a demonstration of Renown’s commitment to the health and well-being of the one million people and communities it serves across 100,000 square miles of Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Also on April 14, 2020, Dr. Slonim observed his 56th birthday. Rather than a celebration to mark the occasion, during the news conference, he received a call that would further alter his life. The intensivist caring for his dad, Anthony Slonim Sr., in a New Jersey hospital, told him that after a hard-fought battle against the novel coronavirus, his father had died. Dr. Slonim said, “April 14, 2020 was the day the COVID-19 pandemic was no longer just a tragedy devastating the east coast and other hotspots around the world. COVID-19 hit home, stealing my father and threating both of my beloved communities- New Jersey and Reno - that my family calls home.” The bright light of LOVE shines through the darkness Later that week, on April 16, 2020, Beth Macmillan, Executive Director of Artown loaned Renown the LOVE sculpture, a one-ton, welded aluminum artwork with letters 10-feet tall and eight-feet wide created by artist Laura Kimpton and fabricated by Jeff Schomberg, where it lights up Renown Regional Medical Center’s main entrance. LOVE glows, and continues to glow, in Renown’s signature purple every evening, shining brightly for patients, employees, visitors and passersby to enjoy. The art piece debuted at Burning Man in 2019, and was originally slated for the 9/11 Tribute Museum in NYC. “Healthcare heroes and patients of the hospital have been warmed and inspired by the art and this one word, LOVE! Now, more than ever, the power of art has provided something beautiful on which to focus,” says Beth Macmillan. In July, the LOVE sculpture found a permanent home at Renown thanks to a donation from the Robert and Dorothy Keyser Foundation. “Through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the LOVE sculpture has been a powerful source of hope, inspiration and determination for our community,” said Blake Smith, chair of the Keyser Foundation. “Now, we can’t imagine the entrance of the hospital without it. We are happy that the incredible piece of art will continue shining a bright light while spreading warmth and comfort to all who care for those in our hospitals, patients and families, and those who pass by.” (LOVE sign B-Roll.) For Dr. Slonim, he found the art a reminder of the love of his father. “I have so much respect for artists like Laura and Jeff, and the way they connect with people through their art. Passing by the LOVE sculpture was immensely therapeutic for me, especially after the loss of my dad,” said Dr. Slonim. “Caring for others and their emotions is also an art. Over the last year, I have been inspired by the compassionate caregivers who have practiced the art of medicine under extremely stressful and difficult conditions brought on by the pandemic.” When words fail, art speaks Recognizing art’s powerful healing capabilities, Renown collaborated with prominent artist and fine art photographer, Anicia Beckwith, to immortalize the many battles fought against and amidst COVID-19 within the healthcare system’s walls. Beckwith captured portrait images of Renown caregivers, patients and their loved ones, showing raw and touching scenes from the COVID Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Departments, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Wilbur D. May Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Alternate Care Site field hospital. A group of Renown caregivers hold a COVID patient’s hand. Tears well up in their eyes as the patient takes his last breath. Care providers respond to a patient’s only request – a facial shave. The man beams at the sight of his freshly groomed face, and is visibly touched by the tender care he received to make it happen. Lupe, an environmental services worker, takes special care in her efforts to clean and sanitize patient rooms—a craft she has perfected and taken pride in for the 25+ years she’s worked at Renown. These are just a few of the captivating moments Beckwith illustrates through her art. Beckwith’s full photo gallery of images from Renown are located here; and downloadable visual assets are available here. “I was in awe as I watched Renown caregivers administer chest compressions to a patient whose heart had just stopped,” said Beckwith. Promptly after assisting in saving that patient’s life, I observed a nurse walk into the room next door where an elderly patient peacefully discussed coming to the end of hers. I can’t help but wonder how the staff have these conversations daily—always with compassion, dignity and grace. It was an honor and privilege to commemorate this pivotal time in our world’s history, and in turn, aid in the healing process for those hurting both physically and emotionally.” “Anicia’s photography provided a comforting outlet for all who were involved in the project,” said Annie Zucker, Manager of Community Impact at Renown. “Her work gave care givers an opportunity to reflect on the last year and fueled the strength and determination they needed to get through it, as sometimes it takes an outside lens to see the magnitude and impact of your work. Anicia gave patients and families an opportunity share their stories and feel support and encouragement from the outside world.” In addition to taking photos on standard digital cameras, Beckwith also honed her skills using various vintage film cameras and historical techniques. “I purposely use these images as testimony to the science in front and behind the lens,” said Beckwith. “COVID has shown us technological advances cannot cure every condition, and sometimes we must go back to the basics to move forward. Some of the film I used for this project is no longer made and rare to possess. Each time I click the shutter translates to one less photographic possibility left in the world. To decide when and what to capture is a metaphor for the importance, reverence and weight I place on the subject in front of me.” Beckwith plans to continue her photography project at Renown using a 104-year-old camera that was present during the time of the Spanish Flu of 1918. Her goal is to highlight the remarkable stories of strength, resilience and perseverance that have come from the ashes of the pandemic, as we look towards a hopeful future. “For more than 30 years, art has played an important role at Renown Health,” said Sy Johnson, Chief of Staff at Renown. “Healing is more than getting quality medical care—it’s about the heart, the mind and the spirit. We are proud to bring extraordinary artists like Laura Kimpton, Jeff Schomberg, Anicia Beckwith and others, to find meaningful ways to connect with our patients, employees and community through the universal language of healing arts. Much of the art on our campuses has been made possible by generous artists and donors, who have make a tremendous impact on how our community—and our providers—reflect, engage and heal.” If you are interested in supporting the Healing Arts Program at Renown Health, a charitable, non-profit health organization, please consider giving to Renown Health Foundation. Donations are accepted through the following ways: Make a gift at www.renown.org/give Call Renown Health Foundation at 775-982-5545 Mail a check to Renown Health Foundation, 1155 Mill St., O2, Reno, NV 89502 Venmo: @RenownFoundation 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. 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.