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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Fighting for Your Health and Safety; As COVID-19 Cases Rise, Renown is Prepared
Protect yourself by obtaining a vaccination against COVID-19 and the Delta strain if you are 12 years or older; seek urgent care if needed The world, the country and our area continue to experience an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with the highly contagious Delta SARS-CoV-2 virus strain. The Renown Health team continues to safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illnesses, including those at risk for COVID-19. Renown continues to use current local and national data, analytics, and public data sets for predictive modeling in service to our community. Renown Health ensures constant readiness by working closely with the Washoe County Health District, the Governor’s office, and is informed by updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When there is heightened concern around an illness, we implement enhanced infection prevention strategies to ensure we are ready with the appropriate supplies and alternate plans should the need arise. Renown Health providers are educated and prepared to quickly and safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illness, including COVID-19. Vaccination is the best protection against Delta. “The most important action you can take to protect yourself from the Delta strain and the COVID-19 virus is to get fully vaccinated,” says Brion Hill, MD who practices at the Renown Urgent Care - Los Altos location. “The COVID 19 virus and Delta strain is preventable and controllable through safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, which are free and now widely available in our area. The CDC recommends all people 12 years and older be vaccinated against COVID-19. Recent data show that nearly all COVID-19 deaths are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.” A list of providers in our area offering vaccines is available at vaccines.gov.” Protecting Yourself, Friends and Family Dr. Hill adds, “You can protect yourself the same way you would protect against other viruses with a few common-sense practices.” Wear a cloth mask or medical procedure mask when in a public setting. For situations when you are in close contact with people who do not live with you, you may want to consider a mask option that provides a higher level of protection (improved fit and/or improved filtration). Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Make sure you are cleaning between your fingers and under your nails. Use alcohol-based sanitizers when soap and water are not available. Use disposable tissues when coughing and sneezing; dispose of carefully and promptly. If tissues are not available, direct your cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm/sleeve. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms. Avoid shaking hands, especially with those who appear to be ill. Disinfect shared surfaces. Practice social distancing, 6 feet or more. Stay home when you are sick. If you have fever, cough, gastrointestinal, or respiratory symptoms please call your medical provider and explain your symptoms before coming in to their offices. If you do not have a health care provider, and have medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, visit a Renown Urgent Care physician or healthcare provider. Virtual Urgent Care is available for people for COVID-19 symptoms and Virtual Urgent Care visits are available through MyChart. MyChart is a free, secure online patient portal that allows you to access your Renown Health medical record and manage your health care information. There are 11 conveniently located Renown Urgent Care offices with providers ready to see you 7 days a week. You have the option to book ahead and schedule an appointment at 11 locations near you. How to Get Accurate and Reliable Information: We continue to advise our community regarding the importance of accurate sources of information, and to provide regular updates. For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at renown.org. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, the region’s only children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improving the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
Read More About Fighting for Your Health and Safety; As COVID-19 Cases Rise, Renown is Prepared
Wildfire Smoke More Dangerous Than Other Air Pollution for People With Asthma
Stage 2 Air Quality Index and alarming research studies from DRI, Renown Health and the Washoe County Health District leads to public health advisory- seek care if needed For people who suffer from asthma, wildfire smoke is more hazardous than other types of air pollution, according to a study from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the Renown Institute for Health Innovation (Renown IHI) and the Washoe County Health District (WCHD). The study published in the journal Environmental Health examined associations between airborne particulate matter (PM) from sources such as wildfire, transportation and industry, and medical visits for asthma at Renown Health’s emergency departments and urgent care centers in Reno, Nev. during the six-year period from 2013-2018. “In places like Reno, where wildfire events occur regularly during parts of the year and are expected to become more frequent in the future, an accurate understanding of the impacts of wildfire smoke on population health is critical,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown Health. “We have an exceptional process in place through our urgent care sites, Renown Medical Group offices and hospital emergency departments to screen, diagnose and treat members of our community who come to us for care related to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other upper respiratory diseases that may be exacerbated by wildfire smoke. At the same time, we continue to develop and refine, in real-time, the data that supports our predictive analytic models. We are using every tool and resource-including scientific data and clinical reporting, to ensure that we are meeting both the health and healthcare needs of the people we serve.” In the study, researchers found that air quality in the Reno area was affected by wildfire smoke on a total of 188 days during the study period. A total of 18,836 asthma-related emergency room and urgent care visits occurred over the same five-year period of time, indicating that the influences of wildfire smoke and other types of air pollution on this medical condition are important to understand. The Washoe County Health District – Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) has issued a Stage 2 Air Pollution Warning due to smoke from area wildfires. Air quality in the Reno-Sparks area is now “Very Unhealthy” with an Air Quality Index of 247. The Stage 2 warning means that all residents should stay indoors and reduce activity levels due to the susceptibility of increased health risks. To see current air quality in Reno-Sparks, click here. Brion Hill, MD who practices at the Renown Urgent Care - Los Altos location warns, “This is an important health advisory, exposure to elevated PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in smoke) concentrations can result in eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, impaired lung function and chest pain. Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy. Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD. When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider,” says Dr. Hill. “If you do not have a health care provider, we have 11 conveniently located Renown Urgent Care offices with providers ready to see you 7 days a week." Dr. Joseph Grzymski, a research professor at Desert Research Institute, a corresponding author on the study and Chief Scientific Officer, Renown Health, says, “This air is very bad for your health. Given today’s Air Quality Index in Reno, being outside and breathing this air for a day equals about smoking half a package of cigarettes.” Additional Information: The full text of the article “Particulate matter and emergency visits for asthma: a time-series study of their association in the presence and absence of wildfire smoke in Reno, Nevada, 2013–2018,” is available from Environmental Health: https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-020-00646-2 To learn more about the Renown Institute for Health Innovation, please visit: https://www.dri.edu/renown-ihi/ Renown Urgent Care provides treatment for a wide range of minor injuries, illnesses and medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, that require same-day medical attention and avoid the long wait times and high prices of the emergency room at 13 convenient sites, including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, USA Parkway, Fallon and Fernley. You can walk-in or book ahead online. The Washoe County Health District offers online health information on its Be Smoke Smart website, including fire information, daily air quality information, fire and smoke maps and how to protect yourself. About the Desert Research Institute The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied interdisciplinary research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe. Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge, supported Nevada’s diversifying economy, provided science-based educational opportunities, and informed policymakers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education. For more information, visit www.dri.edu. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
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Got a Cough, Runny Nose, Sore Throat and Fever? It Might Be RSV Virus
Renown Urgent Care team prepares you to stay alert and safe this season and is available for medical assistance, 7 days a week at 11 locations across northern Nevada. In June, staffers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a Health Advisory requesting that clinicians and caregivers watch for the respiratory syncytial virus, usually known as RSV, an infection that puts thousands of toddlers and senior citizens in the hospital each year with pneumonia and deep lung inflammation. According to the CDC, RSV results in roughly 58,000 hospitalizations and 100 to 500 deaths each year among children under five as well as 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths among adults 65 and above. RSV was cropping up in 13 southern and southeastern states, the agency warned, and clinicians should test for the virus if kids showed up sneezing, wheezing, or with poor appetites and inflamed throats. Usually a winter infection, RSV is usually gone by June. Instead, this year, it is spreading—and has since continued to spread across the country, and to northern Nevada. “We know that many of the good hygiene habits we developed to defend against COVID-19 disrupted the viral landscape over the past 16 months, suppressing infections from almost every pathogen. Now RSV’s out-of-season return tells us that we need to continue to be on the alert,” says Robert Thole, MD, a physician with Renown Urgent Care. “We are surprised to be seeing so many kids with RSV right now.” “We ask parents and caregivers to keep a watchful eye out for a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Symptoms are usually mild and resemble those of the common cold. RSV infection sometimes leads to bronchiolitis, pneumonia, or both. Symptoms of these complications include; difficulty breathing; wheezing; coughing that is getting worse; lethargy, increased tiredness, decreased interest in surroundings, or loss of interest in food,” explains Dr. Thole, who is board certified in family medicine. Catching and spreading the virus People with RSV infection may spread the virus through their secretions (saliva or mucus) when they cough, sneeze, or talk. You can catch the virus by: Touching an object or surface contaminated with the virus and then touching your nose, eyes, or mouth without first washing your hands. The virus can survive for more than 6 hours on countertops and other hard surfaces, such as doorknobs, and for 30 minutes on hands, clothing, or tissue. Close contact. If an infected person coughs or sneezes near you, you could breathe in RSV that is in his or her saliva or mucus. The virus spreads easily in crowded settings, such as childcare facilities, preschools, and nursing homes. Children attending school often spread the virus to their parents and siblings. The incubation period—the time from exposure to RSV until you have symptoms—ranges from two to 8 days but usually is 4 to 6 days. People are most likely to spread the virus within the first several days after symptoms of RSV infection begin and remain contagious for up to 8 days. Babies and young children may spread the virus for at least 3 to 4 weeks. Most children and adults feel better after a week or two. Treatment For an otherwise healthy child who has symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as a cough or runny nose, home treatment usually is all that is needed. It is important to watch for signs of complications, such as dehydration. Watchful waiting may not be a good choice when your child with an upper respiratory infection has an increased risk for complications. Watch your child closely if there are symptoms of an upper respiratory infection. If symptoms get worse or new symptoms develop, see a doctor right away. There is no vaccine and few specific treatments aside from supportive care, such as administering pain relievers and fluids. In the most severe cases, some children or adults might need additional oxygen. Not just in kids, older adults at risk Dr. Thole explains, “RSC is not only seen in children. Adults older than 65 have an increased risk of complications following infection with RSV. Pneumonia is a particular risk, especially if other health problems exist, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart failure. It may take older adults longer to recover from RSV infection and its complications than people in other age groups.” Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if: Your child has severe trouble breathing. Your child's breathing has stopped. Start rescue breathing. Call your doctor now if your baby or child has moderate trouble breathing. Call a doctor if your child: Breathes slightly faster than normal and seems to be getting worse. Most healthy children breathe less than 40 times a minute. Has cold symptoms that become severe. Has shallow coughing, which continues throughout the day and night. Has a poor appetite or is being less active than usual. Has any trouble breathing. Hospitalization Doctors sometimes give a monoclonal antibody treatment to high-risk babies throughout the respiratory season to prevent them from catching the virus or developing a severe infection. Some hospitals have started to increase use of the prophylaxis in response to the recent uptick in RSV cases. “Those kids were being protected,” said Kristina Deeter, MD who was quoted in a July 1st Wall St. Journal article on this topic. Dr. Deeter is a pediatric intensivist and medical director at Renown Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care and Hospitalist Medicine. Dr. Deeter, who also oversees Pediatrix Medical Group’s critical-care team in dozens of pediatric intensive care units across the country, said hospitals are also considering taking additional precautions in the neonatal intensive-care unit similar to some wintertime protocols. At Renown Children’s Hospital, there were no children hospitalized with RSV throughout the winter season, Dr. Deeter said, when there are normally hundreds of cases in our county- many of which do not need to be hospitalized.” A total of 31 cases have been reported in Washoe County, Nev., since April, and 26 of those occurred within the past three weeks. Preventing infection To prevent infection, or at least to mitigate them, wear masks, stay home when sick, and washing hands could make a difference in how the next viral season unfolds. For more information on RSV, visit renown.org. Renown Urgent Care Renown Urgent Care is available for medical assistance, 7 days a week at 11 locations across northern Nevada providing treatment for a wide range of minor injuries, illnesses and medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening. If you require same-day medical attention, you can avoid the long wait times and high prices of the emergency room at 13 convenient sites, including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, USA Parkway, Fallon and Fernley. You can walk-in or book ahead online. 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 Got a Cough, Runny Nose, Sore Throat and Fever? It Might Be RSV Virus
Where There is Smoke; There May Be More Headaches, Nausea and Coughing
Renown Urgent Care team prepares you to stay safe this season and is available seven days a week at 11 locations across northern Nevada Millions of people across the West live in areas where air pollution can cause serious health problems. Local air quality can affect our daily lives. Like the weather, it can change from day to day. The Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for Plumas County, to notify the public of the possibility of poor air quality conditions resulting from the Beckwourth Complex Fire in addition to other wildfires in northern California. In addition, there is the potential for wind shifts to carry smoke to other parts of Plumas County from the Beckwourth and several other regional wildfires. Air quality is expected to vary greatly depending on fire behavior and weather conditions, with smoke settling in low areas at night and in the early mornings as long as these fires are active. The advisory mentions, “Exposure to elevated PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in smoke) concentrations can result in eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, impaired lung function and chest pain, especially among sensitive individuals such as the elderly, children, people with asthma, people with heart or lung conditions, pregnant women and anyone who is exercising or working hard outdoors.” Kouros Farro, MD, a physician with Renown Urgent Care advises that there are people who are more likely to be affected when fine particle pollution reaches an unhealthy level. People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People who have heart disease or high blood pressure. Children and older adults. People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy, physical activity like playing sports or working outdoors. “Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy. Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD. When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider,” says Dr. Farro, who is board certified in family medicine and practices at Renown Urgent Care at 975 Ryland St in Reno. “If you do not have a health care provider, know we have a Renown Urgent Care office on almost every corner, with providers ready to see you.” Dr. Farro advises the following: Take it easy and listen to your body. Limit, change, or postpone your physical activity level. If possible, stay away from local sources of air pollution like busy roads and wood fires. If you have asthma or other breathing conditions like COPD make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you. People with asthma should review and follow guidance in their written asthma action plan. Make an appointment to see your health provider to be sure you have an asthma action plan. “Even just one hour of smoke exposure can affect our lungs and hearts, and these consequences can reach people far beyond the direct area endangered by the fire. Children, older adults, pregnant women, people with preexisting cardiopulmonary disease, communities of color, economically disadvantaged communities, and people with preexisting chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and obesity are all especially vulnerable to the air pollution that wildfires cause," says Dr. David Lemak, Division Chief of Urgent Care at Renown. Renown Urgent Care provides treatment for a wide range of minor injuries, illnesses and medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, that require same-day medical attention and avoid the long wait times and high prices of the emergency room at 11 convenient sites, including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, USA Parkway, Fallon and Fernley. You can walk-in or book ahead online. You can get the latest fire and smoke information at the Washoe County Health District’s Be Smoke Smart webpage. It includes information about air pollution levels and how to protect yourself from the smoke. An on-line subscription page allows you to sign up for EnviroFlash, notifying you about air quality. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
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Renown Health Foundation Announces Partnership with Forever Young Foundation to Build a Sophie's Place Music Therapy Room
At a press conference this week, Renown Health Foundation announced its partnership with San Francisco 49ers legend and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young and the Forever Young Foundation to build a Sophie’s Place at Renown Children’s Hospital. The music therapy room, set to break ground later this year, is specially designed for children and their loved ones to enjoy music and other interactive activities during their hospital stay. A longtime Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals celebrity ambassador, Young has helped raise over $1 billion to support children’s hospitals around the nation like Renown’s Children’s Hospital. His passion for giving back to pediatric patients, coupled with one remarkable friendship, led to the evolution of Sophie's Place. Established in 2013 by the Forever Young Foundation, Sophie’s Place was created in loving memory of singer, songwriter and dear friend of the Young family, Sophie Barton. Sophie often sang in hospitals, understanding music’s power to heal people of all ages. Barb and Steve Young shared, "Research has proven that music therapy fires the synapses to help create new neuro-pathways to replace those that have been damaged. It increases oxygen-saturation levels, alleviates pain, eases anxiety and depression, assists in fine and gross motor-skill development, and so much more. We are honored to partner with Renown Children's Hospital as we share with you the building of our newest Sophie's Place space, a music-therapy room which will bring hope, healing, and harmony to the children being treated in this special CMNH Children's hospital." “As a pediatric intensive care physician, I’ve seen firsthand how music therapy can positively impact the health and well-being of hospital patients,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, Renown Health President and CEO.” We are proud to partner with the Forever Young Foundation and honor Sophie’s life and commitment to music through the creation of Sophie’s Place to share the healing power of music with our patients and their families at Renown Children’s Hospital.” Sophie’s Place will feature a stage and seating area for groups, private recording and practice rooms, an editing station and storage space for generously donated instruments. There will also be a healing arts playroom equipped with games, art supplies and TV. This unique, music oasis was thoughtfully designed to help patients create meaningful connections with others, serve as a positive distraction from the unknowns that may accompany a trip to the hospital, and most importantly, encourage expression, creativity and healing. Project renderings may be accessed here. “Thanks to the support of Barb and Steve Young and the Forever Young Foundation, we are proud to add a music therapy room to our Healing Arts program,” said Renown’s Chief Development Officer, Greg Walaitis. “The first of its kind in our community, Sophie’s Place will provide our youngest patients a calm and beautiful space to take a break from the hospital environment, where they can relax, socialize and just enjoy being kids.” “We are extremely fortunate to have the Forever Young Foundation as generous partners who share Renown’s commitment of investing for the future,” 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. “Sophie’s Place will help countless young patients feel more comfortable along their healing journey, contributing to a brighter and more positive experience here at Renown.” Sophie’s Place currently provides music therapy to children at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Sutter Children’s Center in Sacramento, Calif., Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz., and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. Renown Children’s Hospital will be its next location to break ground. For ongoing updates on Sophie’s Place at Renown Children’s Hospital and ways you can support this impactful music therapy room for current and future generations, please visit Renown Health Foundation’s website or call 775-982-5545. About Renown Children’s Hospital Renown Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated children’s hospital in northern Nevada, and offers a variety of programs and services designed specifically to care for the community's families. It has the region’s only Children’s ER and Pediatric ICU. Renown Children’s Hospital is the only hospital affiliated with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) in the region and local CMN Hospitals' programs and events directly benefit children in the Truckee Meadows. It is also the only hospital in the region affiliated with CHA (Children’s Hospital Association). For more information, visit renown.org/children. About Forever Young Foundation Founded in 1993 by NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young, Forever Young Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization focused on passing on hope and resources for the development, strength, and education of children. The Foundation serves children facing significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges by providing them with academic, athletic, and therapeutic opportunities currently unavailable to them. Forever Young Foundation primarily focuses our efforts in Northern California, Arizona, Utah, and Ghana, Africa.
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