Freenome, a privately held biotech company announced today that Renown Health has joined as a partner for the Sanderson Study, Freenome’s study of its multiomics platform, in combination with real-world data to detect multiple cancers
The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) and Renown Health are pleased to announce members of the first resident class of the new UNR Med Pediatric Residency Program. The four new Pediatric Residents will be working at Re
Bursting with Ride! The Oldest Hospital in Nevada Donates a Historic Heirloom to Recognize 160 Years of Healthcare and Emergency Medical Services in Northern Nevada
HealthyNV Project News
Study Shows Importance of Ensuring Participant and Provider Follow-up After a Genetic Screening Result
Released in partnership with the Desert Research Institute: New research from the Healthy Nevada Project® finds that a confirmed diagnosis does not always result in changes to patient care.
Presenting individuals with potentially life-al
Se Recomienda A Los Pacientes De Renown Que Los Acompane Una Persona De Apoyo A La Visita Medica O En La Estadia En El Hospital
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Note: "Stable" is not a condition.
A One Year Reflection: Thousands of Health Care Workers and Northern Nevadans Vaccinated Against COVID-19, Offering a Beacon of Hope This Holiday Season
The best protection continues to be getting a COVID-19 vaccine and booster, wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often. For the thousands of physicians and health care workers of Renown Health, this week is etched into the pandemic timeline as the start date of a nationwide wave that signaled the first vaccinations against COVID-19 and a beacon of hope for the future. A year ago, the nation’s health care systems in communities across the U.S. first began vaccinating physicians and health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19, and thousands received their first vaccine. One year ago, Renown Health, the Washoe County Health District (WCHD), the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began to distribute the initially available, limited supplies of the COVID-19 vaccines in Washoe County. Media representatives viewed the first healthcare workers as they obtained their first dose of the life-saving vaccines. Luis Martinez, first health care worker vaccinated, now plans to attend medical school Luis Martinez, who served on the front-line of the pandemic at Renown Regional Medical Center, received the first of his Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine a year ago this week, after it received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. He received the second and final vaccination in the series 21 days later. Luis has been at Renown since 2016, where he started as a phlebotomist and has been encouraged to advance his career in the medical field. He works as a technician on Renown’s Clinical Decision Unit — a short stay unit within the hospital for people who need clinical care, but do not need admittance to the hospital. Luis worked with patients and clinicians in the Clinical Decision Unit for a year before requesting to work in Renown’s Alternate Care Site, built in the Mill Street parking structure as a place to care for patients recovering from COVID-19 before they returned home. Today, Luis is working to fulfill his dreams of becoming a doctor. He took the Medical College Admission Test® earlier this year, interviewed virtually and applied to 24 medical schools. Luis has shadowed physicians in a number of medical fields, including internal medicine, emergency medicine, cardiology and orthopedics, and would be thrilled to train in any one of those areas. As for medical school, Luis was excited to hear about Renown’s new clinical affiliation with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med). He is enthusiastic about becoming part of the next generation of Nevada's health care professionals, and his first choice is UNR Med. He expects an admission decision by UNR Med this winter. If that doesn’t work out, he says, he has an interview with leaders at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV in January. Luis is bilingual and understands that Nevada continues to face a shortage of physicians and affordable medical care. He volunteers with CARE Chest of Sierra Nevada, a non-profit organization that provides free medical equipment, supplies, and prescription assistance to underserved populations when he is not working at Renown. His dream is to graduate medical school and stay in the community to provide medical care as a physician. Luis knows the importance of excellent medical care, and the importance of the vaccines against COVID-19. Last October, Luis turned 33 and contracted COVID-19 after a family birthday party. Because of his experience, his interest in medicine and his research, Luis obtained his COVID-19 vaccines- and his booster, and is pleased that everyone in his family is triple vaccinated too. He says they are all feeling well and looking forward to being together at the holidays. “As we celebrate this holiday season, we give thanks for Luis and the thousands of health care heroes who have been fighting this pandemic with care and compassion; continuing to safely screen, diagnose, care for and vaccinate thousands of employees and community members,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown Health. “It has been an honor to assist local and statewide health partners in the herculean vaccination effort. Over the past year, Renown’s vaccine team administered more than 58,000 dose 1 and dose 2 vaccinations to Nevadans ages five and older. We continue to work closely with our community health leaders and are always ready to assist. We are proud to be part of the solution for our community and pleased to have made a genuine difference in the health and well-being of others throughout this unprecedented time in our history.” Renown continues to use current local and national data, analytics, and public data sets for predictive modeling in service to our community. When there is heightened concern around an illness, enhanced infection prevention strategies are in place to ensure Renown is ready with the appropriate supplies and alternate plans should the need arise. Vaccination is still the best protection against Omicron and Coronavirus Today also marks a dark new milestone for Washoe County — over 1,010 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, and over 70,549 total cases in our population of nearly 500,000. The bright spot is that over 65,714 people have recovered in Washoe County, although many still grapple with long-term effects of the illness. The world and the U.S., continue to experience an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with the highly contagious Omicron variant, which now accounts for 50 percent of the coronavirus cases in parts of the country. In some areas, there is a significant stress on the hospital system, particularly where vaccination rates are low. “The most important action you can take to protect yourself from the Delta and Omicron strains and the COVID-19 virus is to get fully vaccinated,” says Susan Lee, DO, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, Acute Care. “The COVID 19 virus and its related strains are 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 5 years and older be vaccinated against COVID-19. Data shows 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.” “The best protection from COVID-19 has been 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 a 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, especially through the holidays.” “Vaccinations have been a game-changer in terms of improving the health of our community,” said Rahul Mediwala, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Health Services. "Given the demands of this COVID-19 pandemic, we have been pleased to help in the fight by providing vaccinations. Our goal a year ago, was that all Renown physicians; employees and their family members; and all Hometown Health members and Renown patients interested in receiving the vaccine would have an opportunity to be vaccinated, we are excited to help make that dream a reality for all.” The COVID-19 vaccine is now mandatory for all Renown employees in an effort to protect those who are ill and physically vulnerable, and ensure a safe environment for patients and health care workers. Renown is covering all costs of the vaccine, and it is being offered free of charge to employees. As of today, 97% percent of all 6,750 Renown Health employees are vaccinated or have an approved exemption or deferral. “This year was a year no one will forget. For everyone- and for our health care workers at Renown, the year presented countless challenges and opportunities. Those of us who choose healthcare as our life’s work answer a true calling to serve others; this field requires a self-less commitment and a tireless dedication to caring for people when they are at their most vulnerable,” said Renown’s Chief of Staff, Sy Johnson, MBA. “I applaud the entire team- every physician, nurse and health care hero for their valor, their strength and perseverance in serving our patients and community during these unprecedented times.” What follows are highlights of some of the most remarkable moments and events that have taken place at Renown Health over the past year in relation to the response to COVID-19. Temporary Deployable Medical Structure Outside Renown Regional Emergency Department On March 12, 2020, Renown erected a deployable medical facility to serve as a respiratory illness evaluation and screening center for Emergency Room patients at Renown Regional Medical Center. A similar tent was also set up outside the Emergency Room at South Meadows Medical Center. An additional layer of protection, this proactive measure helped to care for people with symptoms of respiratory illness, and to protect patients and staff in the Emergency Department and other areas of the hospital. The tents were dismantled on January 20, 2021. (See photo here.) Alternate Care Site at Mill Street Parking Structure at Renown Regional As many communities across the nation experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases, including significant surges in hospitalized patients, Renown’s leadership had the foresight to create an Alternate Care Site (ACS) in the Renown Regional Medical Center Mill Street Parking structure. The ACS served additional hospitalized patients and allowed caregivers to remain on campus and still have access to existing hospital infrastructure such as lab, pharmacy, imaging, food services and other critical services. This solution also supported an efficient level of care escalation and other emergent interventions as needed. After just 10 days of intricate construction, including flooring, electrical infrastructure, lighting, water, technology and wall partitions, the ACS was completed on April 3, 2020 with space to hold up to 1,400 patients. On Nov. 12, 2020, Renown opened the ACS to serve additional hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who were clinically stable or improving. Healthcare workers at Renown cared for hundreds of patients in this site. In early Jan. 2021, the remaining patients returned home. The Site has been decommissioned and leaders expect the area to be available for additional parking later this winter. (Alternate Care Site B-Roll.) Renown invests in Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) ‘Hospital at Home’ Monitoring Systems Appropriate patients (including those recovering from COVID-19) are now offered a telehealth solution using wearable, continuous pulse oximetry, and the convenience of being in their own homes, with the confidence and security of knowing that Renown clinical staff are closely monitoring their health data through the Renown Transfer and Operations Center, and regularly communicating with them through their recovery process. The Renown Transfer and Operations Center spans 6,000 square feet, and is one of the largest centers of its kind in the nation, equipped with 28 high-definition dashboards on the front wall, two in the center of the room and four hanging monitors toward the back. Large plasma screens display important metrics such as patient vital signs, bed availability, facility capacity, staffing, technology and more. Registered Nurses and dispatchers continuously monitor activity around the clock, across Renown’s 100,000 square mile service area, 100+ locations and partner facilities to make the best decisions for patients, providers and care teams. “LOVE” Makes its Way to Renown On April 16, 2020, during a time of darkness and uncertainty, Artown loaned the “LOVE” sculpture, a one-ton, welded-aluminum artwork created by artist Laura Kimpton and fabricated by Jeff Schomberg to Renown, where it lit up Regional Medical Center’s main entrance on Mill St. The sculpture formerly debuted at Burning Man in 2019. On July 13, 2020, thanks to the support of former board chair and community supporter, Blake Smith and the Keyser Foundation, “LOVE” continues to glow in Renown’s signature purple every evening, shining brightly for patients, employees, visitors and passersby to enjoy. Throughout the pandemic, this sculpture has served as a source of inspiration, hope and positivity for our community. (LOVE sign B-Roll.) 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. Evolving in an Ever-Changing World: Long-Term Remote Work for Renown Employees The COVID-19 pandemic pushed healthcare leaders throughout the world to determine how best to provide care in this ever-changing environment. Leaders in Renown’s Human Resources department evaluated the thoughts and opinions of employees working remotely throughout Renown Health. Due to the positive feedback from employees, including decreased commute times, fewer distractions, improved work-life balance and a reduced carbon footprint, over 700 Renown employees will continue working remotely. Renown Offers In-House COVID Testing In June 2020, the Renown Laboratory team sprang into action to help meet Washoe County residents and businesses’ growing demand for COVID-19 testing. Renown invested in expanded staffing and in-house testing capabilities to be able to swab and process up to 1,000 COVID tests for patients each day, with return of results within hours. Renown’s CEO, Dr. Tony Slonim also collaborated with the Mayor’s COVID-19 Task Force, local faith and community leaders beginning in Oct. of 2020 to address health equity by providing free COVID-19 testing for communities of color. (Lab B-Roll). An Extraordinary Year of Service Renown’s leadership remains steadfast commitment to keeping our community safe. “We thank the community for standing by us and helping us all emerge as stronger people with hope for the future. We continue to fight the good fight,” said Dr. Slonim. “With COVID now imbedded into our daily lives, it’s remarkable to reflect on the progress we’ve made and the obstacles we’ve overcome. I will be forever grateful for the precautionary measures, innovation, and acts of service and love implemented by our dedicated team over the past two years. We hope by demonstrating our caring values and exhibiting hope and determination, we are inspiring others.” 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 grateful for our community’s support during these unprecedented times. If you are interested in supporting 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 6,500 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 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.
Read More About A One Year Reflection: Thousands of Health Care Workers and Northern Nevadans Vaccinated Against COVID-19, Offering a Beacon of Hope This Holiday Season
Renown Health and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Partner to Extend Value-Based Care For Anthem’s Medicaid Members in Northern Nevada
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid members will now have access to providers in the value-based Western Clinical Alliance, powered by Renown Health. RENO, Nev. (Dec. 20, 2021) – Members of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid in Nevada can now receive care from providers in the Western Clinical Alliance, powered by Renown Health. A first of its kind agreement, the partnership between Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid and Renown Health extends care for Anthem members in northern Nevada. This agreement gives providers and patients in the region better access to care by focusing on health and well-being while reducing the overall cost of care. The Western Clinical Alliance is a value-based clinically integrated network that puts the patient at the center of care and allows collaboration between providers across the community. “The Western Clinical Alliance has been seeking this kind of innovative and forward-thinking partnership for a while, and we are excited to be working with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield,” said Thomas Graf, MD, Chief Clinical and Quality Officer and Western Clinical Alliance chair. “The partnership creates an environment that eliminates many of the traditional barriers associated with providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time. For us, it is all about ensuring Anthem members have the greatest opportunity to live healthy lives; this includes their participation in preventative and wellness care as well as optimization of their chronic diseases” Western Clinical Alliance providers – including those at Renown hospitals, Renown medical groups and other community-based health organizations – have developed a relationship that makes vital data and insights readily available to better understand every patient’s journey through the healthcare system. Providers in the Western Clinical Alliance work together to drive better outcomes by helping patients receive care in the highest-value settings. “Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is excited to partner with Renown Health and the Western Clinical Alliance because we believe effective health coverage begins with a trusted primary care provider who can guide our members through the complexities of the healthcare system, with an emphasis on prevention and wellness leading to better health outcomes,” said Lisa Bogard, President of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada. Many people in the northern Nevada community covered by a Medicaid plan like Anthem’s will have an open enrollment window starting Jan. 1, 2022. In addition to an opportunity to foster a relationship with providers from Renown Health and the Western Clinical Alliance, Medicaid members in Nevada can go to www.chooseanthem.com to enroll in a plan that offers a range of added benefits that promote physical fitness, nutritious home-delivered meals, transportation assistance, Boys and Girls Club memberships, essential support services for new and expecting parents and more. About Western Clinical Alliance & Renown Health Western Clinical Alliance® is a Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) which joins together physicians across our community into a single comprehensive care delivery network. The CIN is in collaboration with Renown Health and other care providers that share a common set of goals focused on increasing value by improving outcomes and better managing the total cost of care for patients. Renown Health is the region’s largest 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 and a medical group and urgent care network. For more information, visit renown.org.
Read More About Renown Health and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Partner to Extend Value-Based Care For Anthem’s Medicaid Members in Northern Nevada
Hometown Health Enters Affordable Care Act Marketplace
Softheon and Hometown Health, Nevada's largest not-for-profit insurance company, have formed a partnership to serve Nevadans enrolling through Nevada Health Link state-based ACA marketplace. Nevada's largest not-for-profit health insurance company, Hometown Health, has entered the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace and has expanded their health plan offerings through a partnership with Softheon, a leading cloud-based health insurance exchange and service provider. Softheon's innovative platform is helping bring quality health care to Nevada residents enrolling in Hometown Health insurance through Nevada Health Link. “Softheon’s expert knowledge of the ACA marketplace coupled with their leading enrollment and billing technology has made them the perfect partner during Hometown Health’s first open enrollment period on the exchange,” said David Hansen, Hometown Health CEO. “Today, more than 100,000 people in Nevada choose Hometown Health for their insurance needs. Thanks to Softheon, we look forward to expanding insurance coverage options, in a way that is simple and convenient, to our friends and families who use Nevada Health Link.” Since the beginning of the 2021 open enrollment period, over 800 new members have seamlessly enrolled in Hometown Health’s insurance thanks to Softheon’s cutting-edge software. The partnership with Softheon will improve member enrollment, billing and communications, enabling Hometown Health to remain focused on their core mission of providing excellent healthcare to Nevada residents. As the health insurance division of Renown Health, northern Nevada’s leading healthcare provider, Hometown Health offers members competitive rates and the largest network of providers in the region. Renown Health provides advanced medical services including Renown Regional Medical Center, an 808-bed full service regional hospital, Renown South Meadows Medical Center, a 76-bed acute care community hospital, Renown Children’s Hospital, the region’s only children’s hospital with 83 beds, and Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, a 62-bed rehabilitation hospital. These facilities provide quality healthcare for Renown's primary service area, Washoe County and the secondary service areas of northern Nevada and northern California. Renown Health has more than 7,000 employees and serves northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California with a total population in excess of 2 million. In addition to hospitals, Renown also has 110 medical group practice sites, urgent care and outpatient imaging sites. Renown Health and Hometown Health offer advanced care for patients and embrace their role in improving the health and well-being of the people and communities. “The continued growth of the Affordable Care Act marketplace is welcome news for consumers who are seeking more options for accessing health coverage,” said Eugene Sayan, CEO and founder of Softheon. "We are excited to partner with Hometown Health on their entrance into the ACA marketplace to create seamless experiences for their members and connect more individuals in Nevada with quality health care.” Along with improving member enrollment, billing and communications, Softheon helps Hometown Health continue to ensure accuracy through monthly Advanced Premium Tax Credits premium reconciliation. The turnkey solution provided by Softheon has guided Hometown Health in handling all regulatory and operational requirements required of insurers in the ACA marketplace. The partnership has given Hometown Health the opportunity for expanded reach while making a bigger impact on communities across the state. To learn more about Softheon, visit www.softheon.com. To learn more about Hometown Health, visit www.hometownhealth.com. About Softheon Founded in 2000, Softheon’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Business Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) solutions solve complex challenges for health plans and government health agencies. Currently, Softheon’s solutions serve 8 State agencies and over 90 health plans. Issuers and consumers utilizing Medicaid, Medicare, and the ACA Marketplace benefit from Softheon’s innovative technology that reduces administrative overhead and enhances user-experiences. Softheon is an Agent, Broker, and Merchant of Record that facilitates health insurance enrollment, billing, and renewal. About Hometown Health Established in 1988, Hometown Health is the insurance division of Renown Health and is northern Nevada's largest local, not-for-profit health insurance company. Providing wide-ranging medical coverage and great service to members, Hometown Health represents a philosophy of health care that emphasizes active partnerships between members and physicians. For more information, call 775-982-3000 or visit www.hometownhealth.com.
Read More About Hometown Health Enters Affordable Care Act Marketplace
Biointellisense and Renown Announce Strategic Collaboration
BioIntelliSense medical grade vital sign monitoring and Renown Health’s centralized command center creates a scalable system to optimize critical healthcare resources and nurse workflow efficiencies DENVER, CO AND RENO, NV; DECEMBER 6, 2021 – BioIntelliSense, a continuous health monitoring and clinical intelligence company, has entered into a strategic collaboration with Renown Health, a not- for-profit integrated healthcare network of hospitals and care facilities serving over one million people in Nevada and northeast California, to provide more convenient, effective and personalized care to patients via continuous remote monitoring for both in-hospital patient care as well as at-home health management. This innovative program integrates BioIntelliSense’s FDA-cleared BioSticker™ wearable device into Renown Health’s state-of-the-art clinical remote monitoring services to address today’s significant healthcare workforce shortage challenges and enhance their patient-centered model of care. BioIntelliSense’s BioSticker continuously monitors data on a patient’s skin temperature, resting heart rate and respiratory rate, step, gait, sleep, activity levels, and more, including infection-like symptom alerts that supports COVID-19 monitoring. The BioSticker’s medical-grade trending and advanced analytics will be visualized and monitored by clinical staff within the Renown Transfer and Operations Center (RTOC). The Renown Transfer and Operations Center is powered by Renown doctors, nurses, technicians and national technology partners, including BioIntelliSense, to help ensure seamless care for patients and providers. Through this highly coordinated care logistics system, Renown will be able to customize health care to the needs of every patient; delivering the right care, at the right time and place across the integrated delivery system. Renown clinicians will be able to access near real-time information on patients’ vital signs and symptoms, enabling them to identify adverse changes in health sooner and intervene earlier. “Given the growing healthcare workforce crisis, routine patient monitoring has become more expensive and less frequent, especially during the ongoing public health emergency. With the BioSticker, vital signs monitoring can be provided for each patient far more frequently and at a fraction of the cost,” said James Mault, MD, Founder and CEO of BioIntelliSense. “Our strategic partnership with Renown Health serves as a gold standard demonstration project for other hospital systems. What we are learning from patients and providers at Renown will help create fully integrated, continuous care delivery that starts during the patient’s hospitalization enabling monitoring of their health status throughout their recovery process, and from the comfort of their own home after leaving the hospital.” During the first phase of the collaboration and during this phase one implementation, the BioSticker will be applied to all patients admitted to Renown’s community hospital, Renown South Meadows Medical Center in Reno, Nevada. Patients may wear the device throughout their hospital stay and continue to wear it when they leave for their homes, ambulatory, outpatient surgical, rehabilitation or skilled nursing settings. “We are excited to continue to enhance our relationships with patients by integrating technology that supplements our care teams and provides patients with a virtual care solution that will continuously track vital signs, making healthcare more accessible, affordable and convenient,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DPH, CEO, Renown Health. “We believe patients and their loved ones will have confidence in knowing that their Renown clinical team will be closely monitoring their health data and communicating with them regularly to deliver high quality, personalized care throughout their healing process.” Initially, this collaboration will focus on understanding the logistics of patient monitoring in the hospital and at home or remote sites using the BioIntelliSense remote care technology. Renown Health will then work towards streamlining and operationalizing the clinical workflow, while scaling the program, to measure clinical improvement and the economic impact on patient care. “We are entering a new era in continuous health monitoring, as innovative hospital systems like Renown Health are integrating remote care technologies that provide scalable, user friendly and cost-effective solutions for health screening, COVID symptom monitoring and remote patient monitoring,” noted Mault. “We anticipate that within ten years, our wearable devices will become the standard of care for those not feeling well, giving people peace of mind that they or their loved ones are being monitored 24/7 by a supportive clinical team and have the security of knowing that if their condition worsens, we can elevate their level of care – immediately and in real-time.” "We are excited to serve as the national training site for BioIntelliSense and continue to bring new technology that improves the patient and provider experience to colleagues. We will continue to develop a well-trained, inter-professional and flexible workforce with technology skills that match the current pace of health care innovation,” added Slonim. “Our team is excited to be improving health care access and affordability across the state, and especially with critical access hospitals serving rural communities. Remote patient monitoring technology offers great benefit to patients at or near their homes, and it may transform hospital care by expanding access to clinical expertise to patients, and extending and increasing workforce capacity for limited hospital physician, nursing and clinical teams. We are pleased to be working with Dr. Mault and the team at BioIntelliSense, on the demonstration project with the BioSticker for vital signs monitoring as we take another bold step in innovating health care for long-term success.” 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. About BioIntelliSense BioIntelliSense is ushering in a new era of continuous health monitoring and clinical intelligence for Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). Its medical-grade Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform seamlessly captures multiparameter vital signs, physiological biometrics and symptomatic events through an effortless patient experience. The FDA-cleared BioSticker™ and medical grade BioButton® devices make remote monitoring and early detection simple. Through the platform’s advanced analytics, clinicians will now have access to high-resolution patient trending and reporting to enable medical grade care from in the hospital to the home. For more information on how BioIntelliSense is redefining remote patient monitoring through medical-grade and cost-effective data services, please contact us at email@example.com or visit our website at BioIntelliSense.com.
Read More About Biointellisense and Renown Announce Strategic Collaboration
Renown Welcomes Director, Cardiovascular Services; Jayson Morgan, MD, FACC
Dr. Morgan embraces a patient-centered approach to delivering a comprehensive cardiac and vascular program in Nevada. Renown Health is excited to announce that Dr. Jayson Morgan has been promoted to serve as Director of the Cardiovascular Services. Dr. Morgan, who formerly served as the Cardiology Division Chief, began his new position on September 6. Dr. Morgan plays a key role in supporting clinical and administrative leaders to embrace a patient-centered approach in delivering the most effective, highest-quality care within the Institute for Heart and Vascular Health and across Renown Health. Dr. Morgan will expand care, enhance clinical outcomes and transform cardiovascular health care through adopting technological advances which promote patient-centered health care that is both convenient and affordable. “At Renown, delivering the highest quality care is our #1 priority. Embracing our vision to improve the health of Nevadans, we are pleased to promote an extraordinary physician like Dr. Morgan to lead and further develop cardiovascular services - and elevate and grow this important Destination Health program to serve the growing needs of our community,” said Tony Slonim, MD, D.Ph., President and CEO, Renown Health. “Unfortunately, Heart Disease continues to be the #1 cause of death in Washoe County, the state and the nation. Dr. Morgan and his team focus on saving lives and reducing the number of people needing heart and vascular interventions. He embodies our core values of caring, integrity, collaboration and excellence, and respect for all, and we are pleased to have Dr. Morgan at the helm of our cardiovascular program.” Dr. Jayson Morgan is a highly accomplished physician leader. He served as both an Internal Medicine Hospitalist and an Internal Medicine resident at UCSF Health in San Francisco, where he specialized in the care of advanced heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and heart transplant patients. He completed his cardiology fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, CA in 2017 and immediately joined Renown afterwards. In 2019, he served as director of the Echocardiography laboratory at Renown. In 2020, he was promoted to Division Chief, Cardiology. “The experts at Renown’s Institute for Heart and Vascular Health provide an integrated, multi-disciplinary, patient-centered approach to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular disease. I am proud to have Dr. Jayson Morgan leading a team of experts who respond to and treat heart and vascular problems that extend from mild to the most critical of emergencies. Our specialized physicians (cardiologists, interventional radiologists, heart and vascular surgeons) work collaboratively with our clinical team to determine the best treatment plan for each patient,” says Rahul Mediwala, MD, Medical Director, Health Services. “High blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke affect one in three Nevada residents. These diseases are preventable and many acute events are avoidable, by leading heart-healthy lifestyles including not using tobacco products, limiting sodium and adopting a plant-based diet, engaging in at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily, limiting or eliminating alcohol consumption, and following prescribed medication regimens. Together, we can make a genuine difference in improving the health of our families, friends and neighbors,” says Jayson Morgan, MD, FACC, Director, Cardiovascular Services. “We are pleased to offer a medically supervised, Pritikin-certified, intensive cardiac rehabilitation (ICR) program for those with heart disease. Our expert team creates tailored plans, providing the support heart patients need to make lasting lifestyle changes.” Dr. Morgan continues, “Renown now has 3 cardiac surgeons, 17 cardiologists and 16 advanced practice providers who provide excellent cardiovascular care. Our technical capabilities have expanded with a structural heart program including trans catheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR), trans catheter mitral valve repairs (Mitraclip), patent foramen ovale closures, and atrial septal-defect closures; with over 100 structural heart procedures being performed each year. Our Cardiothoracic surgeons are the highest volume in the region and consistently exceed national performance standards for operative care. Renown Regional Medical Center was the first hospital in the region to implant the CardioMEMS pulmonary artery pressure monitoring system for advanced heart failure patients, dramatically reducing hospitalizations in these patients. Three interventional cardiologists have joined our team which has expanded our capacity to handle interventions for complex coronary artery disease. Renown’s three electrophysiologists have performed over 1000 procedures this year, drastically decreasing the symptomatic burden of atrial fibrillation in our community. In addition, with the UNR Medical School affiliation, we look forward to even greater contributions to cardiovascular research.” Dr. Morgan graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and graduated from Yale University with his undergraduate education in Chemical Engineering. “I am excited to continue to help patients enhance their health and well-being,” said Dr. Morgan. “I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the great progress that Renown Health is making in becoming the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. I am excited to advance our journey of transformation to value-based care, and to serve patients, clinicians and the community.” To make an appointment with a provider at Renown’s Institute for Heart and Vascular Health, request that your primary care provider make a referral. For more information on Renown’s Institute for Heart and Vascular Health, visit renown.org/Health-Services/Heart-Care. Renown Institute for Health and Vascular Health is the recipient of a number of national awards for outstanding clinical care and service, including: In U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital rankings for 2021, Renown Regional Medical Center- #1 in the State of Nevada for 2021. No other hospital in Nevada earned recognition from U.S. News. Renown Regional Medical Center is High Performing, its highest rating possible, for Heart Failure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Awarded by the American College of Surgeons for the Renown Regional earned America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Critical Care Award™ (2021) for Superior clinical outcomes in treating pulmonary embolism, respiratory system failure, sepsis, and diabetic emergencies. Regional also earned the Pulmonary Care Excellence Award (2021), for superior outcomes. Designated Level II Trauma Center. For the 30th year, Renown Regional Medical Center is northern Nevada's only designated level II trauma center. Renown Regional awarded The Get with the Guidelines – Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement award for continually ensuring heart failure patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, as well as AHA’s Mission: Lifeline Gold Receiving honor for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks. American College of Cardiology’s NCDR Chest Pain ̶ MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award. Renown Regional Medical Center is one of only 225 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor. The award recognizes Renown’s success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that Renown has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations. 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 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.
Read More About Renown Welcomes Director, Cardiovascular Services; Jayson Morgan, MD, FACC
Local Artist Auction Benefits Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute
The annual Art for Recovery event features artwork from 13 local artists inspired by the Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute mission. Sales will benefit the Institute. Renown Health Foundation hosts Art for Recovery at the Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute on Thursday, Sept. 23 from 4-7 p.m. The annual fundraising event is free, open to the public and benefits the Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute at Renown, located at 85 Kirman Ave. in Reno, Nev. The family-friendly event features an art auction, live DJ, craft vendors, activities for kids and refreshments. Established in 2018, the Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute at Renown focuses on expanding community access to prevention and intervention services for mental health disorders and alcohol and drug addiction, with the goal of decreasing stigma and encouraging more people to seek help. The annual Art for Recovery fundraiser features the artwork of 13 local artists who have created pieces inspired by the Institute's mission. Each work of art addresses themes of hope and resilience. “We look forward to continuing the tradition of celebrating local artists, supporting our healing programs and bringing awareness to addiction recovery during the annual Art for Recovery event. This event shows that not only are our providers here to help our patients get through life’s challenges, but our community is here to support, too,” said Steve Shell, vice president of the Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute at Renown. Participating artists include Bryce Chisholm, Naomi Ferrall, Amy Lawrence, Jessamyn Parker, Emily Reid, Arthur Richmond, the Robison Family (Paula, Elsa, Rosemary and Nathan), Cooper Sandoval, Trisha Shepherd, Sam Sprague, Cat Stahl, Julie Steiner and Jim Tuxon. Read the inspiration behind every donated piece of art here. Local 12-year-old artist Cooper Sandoval is donating a work of art titled, ‘Time.’ Cooper shares that his inspiration comes from the hope of time. “No matter how bad of a day it is, I always know that things will get better with time,” said Cooper. Bidding for the highly anticipated art auction is now open and concludes Sept. 23 during the free outdoor event. Funds raised will support improved patient care services at the Institute. To view and bid on the art pieces, visit www.renown.org/artforrecovery. 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.
Read More About Local Artist Auction Benefits Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute
Renown Welcomes New Chief Clinical and Quality Officer; Thomas Graf, MD
Dr. Graf will support clinical providers in delivering the most effective, highest-quality patient care at lowest cost. Renown Health is excited to announce that Dr. Thomas Graf is joining the organization as its Chief Clinical and Quality Officer on September 20. In this role, Dr. Graf will support clinicians in delivering the most effective, highest-quality patient care at the lowest cost. Dr. Graf will also assist Renown in expanding innovative care models like Hospital at Home and remote patient monitoring technology to deliver patient-centered health care that both convenient and affordable. “At Renown, delivering the highest quality care is our #1 priority. Embracing our vision to improve the health of our community, we are pleased to welcome an experienced leader like Dr. Graf to our organization and to Nevada,” said Tony Slonim, MD, D.Ph., President and CEO, Renown Health. “As the Chief Clinical and Quality Officer, Tom will fuel Renown’s transformation to a value-based care organization, help advance technologies to enhance the patient experience, and collaborate with providers in our medical group, acute care hospitals, and through our clinically integrated network, accountable care organization and affiliation with UNR Med to create a healthier Nevada. Dr. Graf embodies our core values of caring, integrity, collaboration and excellence, and respect for all. We are thrilled to bring him to the Silver State, and to continue to offer health care that is affordable, accessible and of the highest quality.” Graf is a highly accomplished physician executive with leadership experience from leading health care and insurance organizations as well as a national consulting firm. A family medicine physician, researcher and academic, Dr. Graf has focused on driving quality improvement to lower the total cost of care. He has developed and published on care models that have delivered measurably better results for quality, cost, and experience in a variety of venues. He has practiced in an integrated delivery system, with over a decade at Geisinger (PA), as well as clinically integrated networks and accountable care organizations. He also has worked with a number of academic medical centers through his consulting work with The Chartis Group. Dr. Graf is respected for his adaptable and effective leadership style and the ability to create consensus through shared perspectives. Dr. Graf adds, “My goal is to produce greater value for the patient by delivering care that is of highest clinical quality. Renown has a national reputation for delivering excellent care using approaches that are creative, innovative and maximize technology, and I look forward to engaging physicians and administrators in an agenda that supports this vision.” Dr. Graf comes to Renown from Ascension in St. Louis, MO, where he served as Senior Vice President, Chief Population Health and Value Based Care Officer. He has extensive experience in population health, having been involved in clinical re-engineering and payment model evolution since 2005 with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the Physician Group Practice Demonstration project as well as Geisinger’s Proven Care® and ProvenHealth Navigator® programs. “Choosing a physician and hospital for their care is one of the most important decisions people will ever make. I am excited to begin my work with Renown to help patients enhance their health and well-being,” said Dr. Graf. “I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the great progress that Renown Health is making in becoming the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. I am excited to join this journey of transformation to value- based care, and to serve patients, clinicians and the community.” Dr. Graf will report directly to Dr. Tony Slonim, president and CEO, Renown Health. Dr. Graf earned his Doctor of Medicine from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and completed his Family Practice Residency at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. In U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital Rankings, Renown Regional Medical Center is named #1 in the State of Nevada for 2021. No other hospital in Nevada earned recognition from U.S. News. 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 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.
Read More About Renown Welcomes New Chief Clinical and Quality Officer; Thomas Graf, MD
Renown Health Shines A Blue Light On Child Abuse Prevention
Child Abuse Prevention Month serves as an important reminder of the year-round need to protect and support those most vulnerable in our community. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month- a time to raise awareness for the safe, healthy and carefree childhood all children deserve to have. Renown encourages the community to join the organization in supporting and advocating for the health and well-being of our local children 365 days a year. Blue is the designated color to bring awareness to child abuse prevention and the pinwheel is the official symbol of the month-long observance. Demonstrating support and community-wide solidarity, the iconic “LOVE” sculpture at the main entrance of Renown Regional Medical Center located at 1155 Mill Street in Reno is illuminated in blue each evening in April. Renown also sponsored the Washoe CASA Foundation to help distribute pinwheels and potentially life-saving information throughout our community. “According to NevadaTomorrow.org, Washoe County received over 6,000 tragic referrals and reports of child abuse in 2020. While this number is lower than the previous year’s report of over 6,500 cases, there is clearly important work that still needs to be done,” said Tony Slonim, MD, D.Ph., President and CEO of Renown Health. “Even one case of child abuse is one too many. At Renown Health, we are proud to support our employees’ efforts to create a brighter future for our local children, as well as our community partners who are committed to providing all children a safe, healthy and loving home environment.” “We know child abuse is preventable and our actions have the power to make a difference,” said Max Coppes, M.D., Ph. D., MBA, Nell J. Redfield Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and pediatrician-in-chief at Renown Children's Hospital. “With limited in-person interactions, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on the children in your neighborhood and report any unusual activity. Also, remember to check on your fellow parents, as so many are under significant stress right now. We owe it to our children to build a safer and healthier Nevada.” “Child Abuse Prevention Month is essential in bringing attention to the importance of promoting safe families and communities for children who are one of the most vulnerable groups within our society,” said Dr. Mavis Major, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Renown. “Here at Renown, we have a dedicated team of mental health experts available to both pediatric and adult patients to help ensure their overall health and well-being. We are proud to serve our community and support all those in need of some extra support.” Local Resources to End Child Abuse If you suspect child abuse or neglect, immediately contact Child Protective Services in your area or call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child. To schedule a behavioral health appointment at Renown, please call the Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute at 775-982-5318. 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.
Read More About Renown Health Shines A Blue Light On Child Abuse Prevention
Businesses: Get Employees Vaccinated Against COVID-19 for Free
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
Read More About Businesses: Get Employees Vaccinated Against COVID-19 for Free
Researchers at Renown 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Read More About Researchers at Renown Seek Convalescent Plasma Study Participants
Leading U.S. Hospitals Team Up To Promote COVID-19 Vaccine
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.
Read More About Leading U.S. Hospitals Team Up To Promote COVID-19 Vaccine
A One-Year Reflection: Using the Art of Medicine to Heal Amidst a Pandemic
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.
Read More About A One-Year Reflection: Using the Art of Medicine to Heal Amidst a Pandemic