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.
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.
Faster, Better Testing For COVID; Physician Researchers At Renown Health And UNR Med Seek Convalescent Plasma Study Participants
Physician researchers seek to understand how the immune system responds to COVID-19 and create a healthier Nevada. During the early stages of the pandemic, convalescent plasma was considered the only viable treatment option available for patients with COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is the component of the blood from recovered patients that may contain COVID-19 antibodies that help fight the infection. The National Institutes of Health has since developed treatment guidelines for COVID-19 based on clinical trial data and many studies are still underway worldwide assessing various additional treatment options. Convalescent plasma was in high demand but difficult to locate for COVID-19 patients in the northern Nevada area. A 24-year-old nursing assistant, Austin Meegan, was hospitalized and spent weeks staving off kidney and lung failure before learning he was eligible for an experimental blood transfusion that showed promise in treating COVID-19. Doctors estimated Meegan had only about a 3% chance of tracking down a donor to match his rare blood type. A COVID-19 survivor, Thomas Gibson, a Texas resident with the same blood type, traveled to Reno to donate his viral antibodies and a convalescent plasma donation credited with helping to save Meegan’s life. Physician clinical researchers and scientists at Renown and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) knew they needed to create better options for patients and physicians. Clinical researchers developed a study to help other patients like Austin, and pleaded for donations from recovered COVID-19 patients to donate their convalescent plasma. The researcher teams looked to understand how the body’s immune system responds to the virus over time, to aid them in developing new treatments for COVID-19. “The world’s capacity to get through the COVID crisis will depend on four things — science, technology, innovation and partnerships, says Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “Taking lab bench discoveries to the bedside of patients in an efficacious and timely manner is not easy, but with UNR Med and our partners, we are making great strides in advancing clinical research which has the power to save lives and to create a healthier Nevada.” “It’s tremendously promising to partner on clinical research that will not only help us better understand the disease, but help inform treatment for those combatting COVID-19 that has had such a devastating impact on Nevadans, our nation and the world,” says UNR Med Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, MD. Renown, UNR Med and other area health care partners collaborated with Vitalant to collect plasma from recovered donors for a study on the treatment's efficacy. Eligible donors are at least 18 years old, weigh more than 110 pounds and are healthy. Donors had fully recovered from a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Project coordinators at the Renown Research Office were overwhelmed by the community’s support and plasma blood donations. Additional partnerships with the Washoe County Health District, the State of Nevada and the Governor’s office, Saint Mary’s Medical Center, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Carson Tahoe Health and the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, along with many area health care providers helped the team meet their goals of enrolling 120 eligible participants in the study. “Our success in this study rests heavily on the support of our great community, as well as the innovation and collaboration demonstrated by Renown and UNR Med,” said Sara Healy, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the study and a pediatric infectious disease physician at Renown Children’s Hospital and UNR Med. “We are proud to be at the forefront of conducting essential research during such a pivotal time in history, and look forward to our continued partnership as we continue this important work.” “The control of COVID-19 in our communities relies on testing. The study that is being launched to develop a sensitive, specific and easier way to collect specimens (blood) is advancing the field and brings promise towards getting to our common goal of having the right diagnostic test for the right clinical situation at the right time,” says Mark Riddle, MD, DrPH, FISTM, associate investigator of the study and associate dean for clinical research and professor at UNR Med's Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Research. The research team is now asking area residents to participate in a study to analyze the efficacy of two COVID-19 tests. Participants will undergo two blood tests: one being a finger stick to provide results for a rapid test, and the other is a traditional venipuncture draw confirming the presence or absence of COVID-19 antibodies. This study is a collaboration with InBios International, Inc., a leading biotechnology company based in Seattle. Researchers are seeking: Individuals who have confirmed positive for COVID-19 and who have recently recovered from the virus. Study participants must be within 7-28 days from the onset of their symptoms. Individuals who have recently tested negative for COVID-19 and have never tested positive. Those who are interested in participating in the study may contact project coordinators at the Renown Research Office at (775) 982-3646, or via e-mail at email@example.com, 7:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. Individuals aged 18-75 in general good health are encouraged to consider participating in this ongoing study. There is no cost to participate in this study and participation is voluntary. An individual’s decision to participate will not affect their current or future relations with their health care provider(s), health district, or the community. Those who decide to participate are free to withdraw at any time. “Time is of the essence with COVID. If we can get test results to people and their clinicians in a more timely way, we can make a faster diagnosis of a patient's condition, says Christopher M. Kozlowski, MD, MHA, Renown's institutional research officer and Medical Director/VP of Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health. “As we refine the accuracy of our testing; we are applying sensitivity and specificity testing for true negative and true positive results. This provides people with more timely and accurate results and better quality care.” About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improve the care and the health of our community. About the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), Nevada’s first medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit med.unr.edu.