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    • Tuesday, May 05, 2020

    Renown Using Technology to Help Keep Community From Superbugs

    Renown Health adds an electrostatic cleaning system to its list of innovative technology used to sanitize hospital rooms and equipment. During a time when many people might worry about seeking emergency care in fear of coming into contact with COVID-19, Renown Health is committed to the health and safety of everyone who enters our doors. As an added layer of protection for patients and staff, Renown is using a new electrostatic cleaning system to clean its emergency room. The same technology is also being used to sanitize Renown’s deployable medical facility outside its emergency room, employee dressing rooms and break areas, X-ray machines and more. The system kills 19 organisms in just two minutes including cold and flu viruses, MRSA and norovirus. “At Renown Health, we want our community to know that we are committed to providing a sanitary and safe environment,” said Renown’s manager of environmental services, Michael Yaranon. “Our electrostatic cleaning system is being used daily to help ensure our facilities are ready to safely care for our patients, as well as provide a clean environment for our caregivers who work in them. Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have continuously looked for new ways to expand our cleaning efforts, and the electrostatic cleaning system has served our facilities and hospital equipment well.”  In use at Renown since March of this year, the cleaning system uses a disinfecting solution included on the EPA’s list of registered antimicrobial products for use against novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is the cause of COVID-19. As an added safety precaution, the electrostatic technology helps the solution thoroughly clean and sanitize both hard and soft surfaces. This special cleaning technology is now being used in hospitals, commercial planes and hotels around the world to eliminate the spread of potentially dangerous pathogens. The handheld cleaning system is operated by a Renown employee. Once turned on, the machine uses an air compressor – with a force stronger than gravity – to dispel the disinfectant solution. Inside the device, an electrode introduces an attractive charge and atomizes the solution. Once the solution is propelled, the charged particles are instantly attracted to the surface being cleaned. The solution then reaches and wraps around the entire surface to uniformly coat and disinfect.  “Between our electrostatic cleaning system, germ-zapping robots, and diligent team of employees all operating around the clock to clean and disinfect, we truly are fighting the good fight against germs at Renown Health,” said Yaranon. “Please do not put off coming to Renown for emergency care if you need it – our facilities and equipment are extremely safe and ready to serve you.” For an in-person or virtual demo of Renown’s electrostatic cleaning system, please send an email to to coordinate a time.  For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at   About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit

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    • Friday, Apr 17, 2020

    Move Over, R2-D2. Germ-Zapping Robots at Renown Health Elevate Hospital Safety

    With the help of state-of-the-art, germ-removal technology, Renown Health touts another layer of protection to keep patients and staff safe. As hospitals around the country look for innovative ways to enhance quality patient care and eliminate the presence of germs and other bacteria, Renown Health’s four, germ-zapping robots are working around the clock to eliminate contagious superbugs in just minutes. The Xenex germ-zapping robots use pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV-C) light that is 25,000 times more powerful than sunlight to effectively eliminate harmful superbugs, including coronavirus (COVID-19), Clostridium difficile (C. diff), MRSA, norovirus, influenza, measles and Ebola. The portable robots are used as an extra layer of patient protection and are brought into operating rooms and certain patient rooms after hospital staff have done a thorough cleaning of the area. Renown was the first in the region to use this technology back in 2015, and is now joined by hundreds of other hospitals nationwide also using the robots, including MD Anderson Cancer Center, Sharp and Stanford. The technology has been credited with helping U.S. facilities in healthcare and hospitality settings reduce their rates of infection. “Our germ-zapping robots are a testament to the best practices put in place at Renown Health to enhance patient and staff health,” said Chris Baker, director, facilities engineering at Renown. “They operate 365 days a year, and help contribute to the unprecedented sanitary conditions that we pride ourselves on throughout all of our healthcare sites.” Because the Xenex robots use UV light to disinfect rooms, they are able to reach every surface in the room and do not leave any chemical residue. To disinfect a room after standard cleaning procedures have taken place, a hospital employee wheels the robot into the room, begins the automated sequence, and then leaves the room to allow the robot to eliminate any bacteria in just five minutes. “Renown has long been recognized as the region’s leader in technology and specialized care,” said Baker. “So, it’s only fitting that we apply this advanced technology to our methodical and detailed sanitizing measures.” To view the germ-zapping robots in action, check out this video. Xenex information on COVID-19.   About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit About Xenex Disinfection Services Xenex is a world leader in UV technology-based infection prevention strategies and solutions. Xenex’s mission is to save lives and reduce suffering by destroying the deadly microorganisms that cause hospital acquired infections. Xenex is backed by well-known investors that include EW Healthcare Partners, Piper Jaffray, Malin Corporation, Battery Ventures, Targeted Technology Fund II, Tectonic Ventures and RK Ventures. For more information, visit

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    • Monday, May 06, 2024

    Renown South Meadows Medical Center Earns Highest "A" Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group

    Only hospital in northern Nevada to receive national recognition for patient safety and quality Renown South Meadows Medical Center in south Reno has earned an “A” Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit watchdog organization that serves as a voice for health care consumers and purchasers, using their collective influence to foster positive change in U.S. health care. Leapfrog is the nation’s premier advocate of transparency in health care—collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data to inform value-based purchasing and improved decision-making. This national distinction recognizes Renown Health’s national accomplishments in ensuring safe, high-quality hospital care for patients. The Leapfrog Group is an independent, nonprofit organization that upholds the standard of patient safety in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. Developed under the guidance of a national expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,700 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. Leapfrog assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” or “F” grade to general hospitals across the country based on over 30 measures of errors, accidents, injuries, and infections as well as the systems hospitals have in place to prevent them.  Leapfrog sets their standards using peer reviewed literature and expert opinion, peer comparisons, and alignment with existing national standards or performance targets. “We are very proud to recognize physicians, nurses, clinicians and the entire team at Renown South Meadows Medical Center for achieving exceptional Leapfrog performance in Patient-Centered Care, Critical Care, Nursing and Bedside Care for Patients, Patient Safety, Medication Safety, and Care for Total Joint Replacement and Elective Outpatient Surgery Patients,” said Brian Erling, MD, MBA, President and CEO, Renown Health. “As the only locally governed not-for-profit academic healthcare network in the region, Renown’s success is shared with our patients and community. We celebrate and thank our physicians, nurses, and caregivers for their continued dedication to making a genuine difference in the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve.” “Everyone who works at Renown South Meadows Medical Center should be proud of this ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grade,” said Leah Binder, president, and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “It takes complete dedication at every level, and an ironclad commitment to putting patients first. I thank Renown South Meadows Medical Center’s leadership, clinicians, staff, and volunteers for caring so deeply for patients and their safety.” “We are proud of our affiliated physicians and teams who give their best every day, to ensure that every patient’s care and safety is their top priority,” said Sam Weller, MHPA, CEO, Renown South Meadows Medical Center. “We recognize that when you choose a hospital, you could be making a life-or-death decision. Not every hospital is the same. Performance on things like infection rates, surgical errors, or patient injuries varies considerably—and matters greatly. It’s important for consumers to know and consider these things when choosing what physicians, hospital, or Emergency Room to select for their care. We are very excited to be recognized as the only hospital to achieve this designation in northern Nevada, and only one of two in the state (the other being in Las Vegas).”   To see Renown South Meadows Medical Center’s full grade details and to access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit and follow The Leapfrog Group on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) and via The Leapfrog Group newsletter.   The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public. Renown Regional Medical Center received a B score for Fall & Spring 2023. For more information on the Leapfrog Group and the Spring 2023 scores, please visit: About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated health care network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe, and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,400 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 locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. For more information, visit  About The Leapfrog Group Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps for patient safety. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey and Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Survey collect and transparently report hospital and ASC performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog's other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents and infections. For more, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and sign up for our newsletter.

    Read More About Renown South Meadows Medical Center Earns Highest "A" Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group

    • Renown Health
    • Nursing
    • Safety
    • CEO

    Addressing the Threat of Workplace Violence in Hospitals

    In recent years, workplace violence against healthcare workers has been on the rise. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 75 percent of nearly 25,000 reported annual workplace assaults occur in healthcare and social service settings. Those who don’t work in healthcare may be surprised to learn that violent altercations are so common in our field. Hospital settings can create fear and stress for patients and their families. Pain, mind-altering medications and drugs, and difficult prognoses can amplify these feelings. While inappropriate responses may be understandable, violence cannot be tolerated. As the leader of a health system, protecting our employees is an issue that I take seriously. Reporting Workplace Violence Unfortunately, sometimes employees don’t report dangerous incidents fearing they might be blamed, or not realizing it’s a reportable offense. At Renown Health, we take these events seriously. We have clear, mandatory policies and protocols for reporting and investigating violent incidents. Each incident is investigated to ensure follow through and accountability. We also teach de-escalation skills to our hospital security teams, clinicians, and other frontline employees. As an added layer of protection, Renown Health has a first-rate security team that closely monitors activity on our campuses, addressing potential issues before they escalate. Our organization values our partnerships with community organizations including local law enforcement agencies like the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and the Reno Police Department. Renown Health maintains a close relationship with these partners, and we alert them when our care teams experience an increase in violent incidents. I also recognize that workplace violence is a national problem that demands collaborative solutions. That’s why I am also proud to serve as a member of the American Hospital Association’s Hospitals Against Violence Advisory Committee. Nurses, doctors, paramedics, and frontline health workers care for us every day. It’s our responsibility to support them by ensuring they feel safe at work.

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    • Monday, Jun 01, 2020

    Renown Patients Encouraged to Have One Supporter Accompany Them to Medical Visit or Hospital Stay

    Embraces patient and family-centered care, enhanced safety measures and new visiting hours.   Today, Renown Health announced the Patient Supporter program, recognizing the important role that family and friends play in the healing, recovery and care of patients and serve as integral members of the health care team. With a continued decline in COVID-19 patients and the move to Phase 2 of Governor Sisolak’s Silver State Stabilization program, and in alignment with the Nevada Hospital Association, Renown hospitals and medical practices are now allowing limited visitors for non-COVID-19 patients and have put extra safety measures in place to protect patients, visitors and healthcare employees. One healthy adult Patient Supporter may now accompany a patient to their Renown medical visit or hospital stay. Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown said, “We live by our values of caring, integrity, collaboration and excellence. We believe in ‘person-centered care,’ an approach that embraces the perspective of the patient and their loved ones, while promoting a healthy, encouraging environment for caregivers and addressing the health needs of our community.” At Renown, "family" is defined by the patient. The patient may designate anyone they choose as their Patient Supporter. The Patient Supporter may be asked to assist the health care team with communications to other family members and friends, participate in training and education activities and assist the patient with complying with care and medication instructions. Jen Richards, PhD, RN, Chief Nursing Officer for Acute Services explained, “The partnership between patients, families and healthcare providers is based on the understanding that everyone's role is important. What we do together is greater than what any of us can do alone. Involving families in the patient's care supports the healing process and can improve the outcome. This belief shapes our work, our services and the care we provide.” Beginning today, each patient may be accompanied by one healthy adult Patient Supporter. Enhanced safety measures in place include across all Renown sites to safeguard health include: • Wearing a mask at all times; • Observing hand hygiene practices; • Conducting health screenings upon each entry; • Implementing strict social distancing protocols; • Extra cleaning and disinfection of high-touch, public surface areas. In alignment with the state-wide guidelines, visitors will be limited to one Patient Supporter per patient and be able to access hospitals as noted: • Renown Children’s Hospital: Open access. (Two parents and/or guardians may be designated as Patient Supporters, however, due to current space      constraints, we ask that you visit one at a time). • Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center, 3 pm-8 pm • Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, 9 am-4 pm partnerships; the importance of including trusted support people in your care; Nutrition; the nurturing aspect of food; center/shops-at-renown/ Spirituality; wellness resources and the Spiritual Center & Estelle J. Kelsey Interfaith Sanctuary Healing arts, including art, music, Fianna’s Healing Garden and The John & Sue Dermody Children’s Healing Garden, serene environment designed to promote patient healing and environments conducive to health Physical, emotional safety, security and patient confidentiality. There are multiple ways to support patients at Renown Regional Medical Center, South Meadows Medical Center, Renown Children’s Hospital or Renown Rehabilitation Hospital. You can send a personalized message to a loved one and it will be hand-delivered to patients staying overnight. Staff are pleased to arrange video calls with loved ones. To speak with a patient, call 775-982-4100. Renown Care Providers Are Fighting the Good Fight For You. You may send a Thank You note or make a donation to support their efforts at For more detailed information on the Patient Supporter program visit Please see b-roll to accompany this story here.     About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit

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    • Tuesday, May 18, 2021

    Renown Health Further Expands Visitor Policy to Two Loved Ones

    Always listening to the voice of the patient, Renown Health is pleased to welcome any two patient supporters to visit their loved ones during their Renown medical visit, surgery, birthing or hospital stay. Renown continues to have extra safety measures in place to protect the health of patients, visitors and healthcare employees, and as the situation changes with COVID-19, these guidelines are subject to change. Under this updated visitor policy, patients no longer need to identify their supporters ahead of their arrival. Patients may receive more than two visitors per day; however, to help ensure adequate physical distancing, only two guests are asked to visit at a time. All people entering Renown sites must continue bringing and wearing a face mask for their entire visit, including inside patient rooms. Renown’s visitor policy updates were inspired by family members, who requested that the policy be expanded to encourage two family members per day to be able to visit a loved one who was hospitalized at Renown. The request was approved by Dr. Debra Adornetto-Garcia, Chief Nursing Officer and Dr. Paul Sierzenski, Chief Medical Officer, both of Acute Services. With a high percentage of Renown hospital staff now vaccinated against COVID-19, declining hospitalizations of patients with COVID-19, and understanding that the best communication is in-person, as of April 28, 2021, Renown hospitals and medical practices now allow two visitors, instead of one, for all patients and have put extra safety measures in place to protect patients, visitors and healthcare employees. “We are pleased to expand our visitor policy and welcome two healthy adult patient supporters to accompany every patient to their Renown medical visit or hospital stay,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown. “We are always looking to our patients’ lived experiences to help us address the health needs of our community. Just a few months ago, we were reminded by Darlene Randolph that the best care is ‘person-centered care’, which inspired us to be one of the first healthcare organizations in the nation to expand our visitor policy to all patients, including those with COVID-19. Today, we thank our patients’ family members for voicing the importance of a larger, connected support system to help foster the best healing environment for all patients.” “At Renown, the definition of ‘family’ is defined by the patient,” said Debra Adornetto-Garcia, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, AOCN, Chief Nursing Officer, Acute Services. “Our patients may have anyone they choose as their patient supporters, and these individuals serve as an invaluable extension of our care teams. Patient supporters are asked to partner with the patient’s healthcare team to assist in communicating to other family members and friends, participating in training and education activities and assisting the patient with complying with care and medication instructions.” “Visiting the hospital can be an anxious experience,” said Paul Sierzenski, MD, MSHQS, CPE, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer, Acute Services. “It’s incredible how the company of loved ones can reduce anxiety and promote healing. What we can do together with families to support patient care and excellent outcomes is greater than what any of us can do alone. We are glad to welcome patient supporters to our hospitals to help our patients feel more at ease, so they can focus on their recovery, health and healing.” Two patient supporters per patient are now able to access Renown campuses as noted: Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For Intensive Care Units (ICU): 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors must be at least 12 years of age or older. Renown Children’s Hospital: Open access. For the Pediatric unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU): Visitors must be at least 12 years of age or older. For the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Visitors must be at least 18 years of age or older. Renown Rehabilitation Hospital: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. One designated patient supporter is allowed to visit the patient inside their room throughout the duration of their stay. Other loved ones may visit from an exterior window, outside the patient's room. Our care team is also pleased to facilitate bedside virtual visits. In addition to in-person visits, there are many ways to brighten the day of a patient at Renown Hospitals. You can send a personalized message that will be hand-delivered to your loved one, call 775-982-4100 to speak with a patient, or our care team is pleased to facilitate virtual visits via computer or tablet from the bedside. Renown Health reserves the right to limit visitors in the best interests of patients, families, visitors or staff.   About Renown Health Renown Health is Nevada’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 locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown is currently enrolling participants in a community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®.

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    • Monday, Mar 09, 2020

    Renown Health Implements New Visitor and Respiratory Care Restrictions To Address COVID-19

    Renown Health continues to monitor coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensure constant readiness by working closely with the Washoe County Health Department and staying informed of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates. When there is heightened concern around an illness, we implement enhanced infection prevention strategies and 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. Out of an abundance of caution, Renown Health has implemented the following measures to ensure the safety of patients, staff and community members. Patients with Respiratory Symptoms: If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, call 775-982-5000 to be directed to the appropriate level of care. This phone screening is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is offered free by Renown Health to our community. Additionally, Renown staff are performing respiratory illness screenings at the entrances of all of our Renown hospitals, urgent care and medical group locations to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and community. Limiting Visitation: While we understand the importance of in-hospital patients having friends, family and loved ones by their side, to help protect against flu and other respiratory illnesses, as of Tuesday, March 10, patients at Renown hospitals will not be receiving visitors. If a family member or friend is at a Renown hospital, please telephone them. If there are extenuating circumstances, we will allow one designated visitor per patient through controlled entrances at both hospitals from 4 to 9 p.m. No visitors under the age of 12 will be permitted. These new rules will allow one visitor to stay overnight with laboring mothers, NICU, pediatric and palliative care patients. Approved visitors will be subject to screening before entering by answering a series of questions about any recent symptoms of respiratory or influenza-like illness prior to entering a Renown facility. Access to Renown hospitals (Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center), is through the main entrances and the emergency room entrances only. Volunteers: For the safety of our volunteers, we have temporarily suspended volunteer operations at Renown until further notice. Events at Renown Locations: To ensure the health and safety of our community, we have cancelled upcoming community events scheduled at Renown and Hometown Health locations. Protecting  Yourself: You can protect yourself the same way you would protect against other viruses with a few common-sense practices. 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. Stay home when you are sick. If you have fever, cough, gastrointestinal, or respiratory symptoms please call the Free Respiratory Health Line at 775-982-5000. 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. Any decisions and information related to COVID-19 will be shared via official Renown Health communication channels. For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at  About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving 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

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    • Safety
    • Employees
    • Careers

    Department Spotlight: Security

    “Safety is Number One,” isn’t just a saying – it's a fact of life, especially at Renown Health. The safety of all patients, visitors, staff and volunteers is always the top priority, and our Security Department takes that commitment seriously. This team is devoted in their efforts to provide a safe environment for all, building cooperative and proactive security processes leveraging crime prevention techniques and state-of-the-art technology. Renown Security sets the safety and well-being bar high, and they continually exceed that standard day in, day out at all of our hospitals and urgent care, primary care and lab locations.  Specially Trained, Continually Present  Our Security Department isn’t staffed with your run-of-the-mill Security Officers; these team members surpass security and safety expectations. Think city and state police-level standards. You read that right – many of Renown’s Security Officers come from Nevada Highway Patrol, the Washoe County and Carson City Sheriff’s Offices, the state probation and parole board and more.   This team fosters specialized training in a collaborative environment. Every member of the security team has extensive training in compassion, empathy and de-escalation techniques to provide the highest levels of safety and security. They implement this training in all their daily duties, whether they are saying a simple ‘hello’ to a patient passing by or preventing harm to a staff member.  Before their shift begins, the team meets to debrief meeting to discuss major incidents that occurred on the previous shift. These meetings ensure the next shift is aware of situations to be on special alert for and individuals to look out for. After, the team members head off to their assignments.  “The day could be as mellow as greeting someone at the welcome table, or it could be as chaotic as de-escalating someone in distress,” said Emmanuel Fernandez-Orozco, Supervisor of Security at Renown Regional. “Regardless of the day, every experience is rewarding in its own way. The only thing that is promised is that every day will be different.”  While every Security Officer has varying experiences, one aspect of their job always stays the same: they are always on alert for any potential safety issue. Even on the “slowest” days, it is important for this team to stay vigilant in order to mitigate any potential risks. There are several security programs that the team uses to keep everyone at Renown safe and secure: Renown's security operations center team (also known as dispatch) monitors all cameras in real time, with security officers patrolling parking areas 24/7.   Security escorts are always available for any employee, patient or guest at every Renown location. Security Officers can escort anyone to their designated site, check surroundings for danger and monitor the person until they safely leave for their next destination.     Rescue officers are available for any Renown location where an employee feels unsafe.  Security maintains a strong relationship with the Reno Police Department (RPD) and assists with reporting and providing information that aids RPD in pursuing and deterring criminal activity.  “In security, we are a counselor, teacher and rule enforcement officer, all rolled into one,” said Bob Stone, Supervisor of Security for Renown Health. Talk about master multitaskers!  Protection is only one part of the job. Through positive and meaningful interactions with guests, patients, community and staff, regardless of where they are posted, the Security Department continually helps Renown achieve its mission of making a difference for the people they serve.  Devoted Dispatch Speaking of multitasking, no one does this better than the Security Dispatch Center. Security Dispatchers are the “eagle eyes in the sky” at Renown, keeping a close watch on everything that happens within every Renown location, as well as REMSA (including Care Flight). From overlooking the many cameras around campus and administering codes over the PA system to manning the radio and phones to ensure Security Officers are dispatched quickly, our dispatch team helps ensure every safety or security issue at Renown is immediately addressed.  When a call comes in, dispatchers like Jessica Fernandez, Security Dispatcher for Renown Health, go through a quick discovery process (sometimes in seconds) to figure out the details of the situation or code and what level of security is needed to assess and de-escalate.   According to Jessica, the ability to prioritize is something she values in her work. “80 percent of our duties are on the phone and the radios, and we are skilled in prioritizing concerns based on the sheer volume of calls we get,” she said.  Jessica and her teammates are proud of the outcomes from their calls. Their attentiveness to every nook and cranny at Renown and their quick response times to make them not only a valued partner to the Security Department but also a necessity to our health system.  Your In-House De-Escalation Experts  Being in a hospital environment is undoubtedly stressful for any patient, and many factors can increase these emotions. The Security Department takes these feelings seriously and never hesitates to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of everyone at Renown. With the unfortunate rise of violence against healthcare workers, especially amid the pandemic, our first-rate security team has been crucial in countering violence with specialized de-escalation techniques.  The key to de-escalating, according to the Security Department, is to put yourself in the shoes of whoever you are working with. As stated by Bob Stone, the team approaches each situation by asking themselves: How would I want to be treated if I was in the same circumstance?  “Being empathetic to their situation and listening to what is going on in their lives is key to re-directing them accordingly,” said Bob. “Applying real-life experience to similar circumstances can make them feel like they are not alone. Educating people on hospital policies can also help them reduce their anxieties and solve the problems.”   Jhorddy Lopez, Security Officer at Renown Regional, approaches each situation with the mindset of knowing that each person’s reactions are different. “Different techniques need to be implemented every time,” said Jhorddy. “You have to use your best judgment call.”  Quick and effective judgment calls are a task that the Security Department has conquered. Rosie Garcia, Security Officer at Renown Regional, knows that using your best judgment means getting both sides of the story. “Whenever I need to step in and de-escalate a situation, I first speak with whoever is attending to the patient and gather information,” said Rosie. “Then, I always get the patient’s side as well. I want to understand how they’re feeling, so both the staff member and the patient can meet in the middle and come up with a collaborative solution.”  An example of the heroism and advanced de-escalation displayed by our Security Officers takes us back to last spring. In the middle of the night, a Care Flight helicopter transporting a patient and their family was about to touch down on the landing pad outside of Renown Regional. Right as the helicopter was about to land, an individual jumped over the safety barricade and onto the landing pad. Alexander Pico, a former Security Officer Lead at Renown Regional (who recently joined the Carson City Sheriff’s Department) immediately communicated with the individual to leave the area. The individual then went under the rear blade, which is the most dangerous part of the helicopter. Knowing that he had to risk his own life at this point to save another, Alexander ran around the back of the helicopter and tackled the individual, preventing catastrophic injury or even death. Steve Perkins now uses this example of a swift judgment call, which was captured on dispatch cameras, as training material for new staff.  Exceptional character, compassion and emotional intelligence are the attributes that every member of the Security Department holds. As noted by Steve Perkins, these attributes “allow for a quick assessment of each situation in order to de-escalate and move towards the best possible solution."  Securing the Job  The Security Department at Renown is actively hiring caring, dedicated team members who are ready to jump in and perform exceptional high-risk healthcare security services for our health system.  “We seek people with the right combination of ability and demeanor,” said Steve Perkins. "The training and skills development we provide result in a high caliber of success.”  Every team member in the Security Department is passionate about the same thing: helping others. And in a healthcare environment, this is important.  “Working a healthcare security job is far different than working any other security job,” said Jhorddy Lopez. “At a hospital, you get the chance to interact with people one-on-one. I get to experience the feeling of, ‘I can make a difference in this person’s life.’”  Any interaction can change the course of a person’s day, and the Security Department embraces this fact. “I really do love helping people so much, whether it be an elderly patient who needs help with their wheelchair or a situation where I need to step in and de-escalate,” said Rosie Garcia.   In order to succeed in this fast-paced department, being a collaborative team member is crucial. “A good coworker is a team player – someone that loves to work in a team atmosphere,” said Emmanuel Fernandez-Orozco.  Jhorddy Lopez reiterates this, adding that “communication and trust are also extremely important. Everyone has to have great communication skills and have each other’s backs.” For people like Bob Stone, having a special connection to Renown inspires him to serve. As someone who experienced two life-saving hospital stays here, he is proud to give back to the organization that gave so much to him. “It was only natural to return to a facility I was familiar with my entire life,” said Bob. “After serving as a paramedic and transporting patients into Renown from Plumas County, I knew I was not done giving back to the community. Renown was the place to do exactly that.”  All Genders Welcome  A common misconception about the security field is that it is strictly a “man’s job.” In Renown’s Security Department, that couldn’t be further from the truth.   As a female Security Officer, Rosie Garcia is a prime example of proving that idea wrong. As a master patroller and de-escalation expert, she ensures everything is running smoothly and that everyone feels safe at all times.  “When I first started here, I knew right away that nobody that works here is biased,” said Rosie. “Everyone is equal, and I am treated as an equal in this department. I know I can do the job as well as any man."  Both Rosie and her counterparts in the Security Department firmly believe that this line of work is for everyone, and they continually lift each other up and support one another.  “No matter your gender, as long as you have confidence and integrity, you will do well,” adds Rosie.  The Bottom Line If you are passionate about creating a secure environment to ensure patients get the care they deserve and employees receive the safety they merit, the Security Department is your team to join.  “I come into work with pride,” said Jhorddy Lopez. “Knowing that I can change someone’s life – that makes me proud to work here.”  “You’re in good hands with us,” closes Steve Perkins.

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    • Employees
    • Safety
    • Careers

    Department Spotlight: Facilities Engineering

    When an appliance or fixture stops working at home, who do you contact? If your lights stop working, you call an electrician. Is your air conditioning unit out of order? Reach out to an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) technician. What about if your sewer drains start backing up? Time to contact a plumber. And if your fire safety equipment needs servicing? Better call a fire safety technician.  Regular maintenance and repairs on the inner workings of your household are always important, and when something goes wrong, it can be distressing and inconvenient to you and everyone living with you. You feel the need to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible, right?  Now imagine that those needs are magnified – to the tune of hundreds of thousands of people every year. Who could potentially take on such a monumental task? Enter: Facilities Engineering at Renown Health. Crucial to ensuring our health system performs at its peak, these team members step in to make sure every patient, team member and visitor who walks through any of our doors are able to access the facilities they need and make their time with us as comfortable – and as successful – as possible.   The Silent Heroes  As our care teams move heroic mountains to save lives, another set of heroes emerge behind-the-scenes. As a strong backbone of our health system, the Facilities Engineering department plays a key role in maintaining the infrastructure that supports patient care, from ensuring the HVAC systems are functioning optimally to maintaining the plumbing and electrical systems that keep the lights on and the equipment running smoothly.  Renown is fortunate to have some of the most dedicated journeymen in the business. This team boasts many experts, including:  Plumbers Fire Safety Technicians Craftsmen HVAC Journeymen Electricians Boiler Operators Facilities Technicians As one can imagine, every day brings on a new challenge for our Facilities team members.  “Each workday is always different; it could be water, power or HVAC issues or anything in between,” said Nhil Dado, Supervisor of Facilities Services. “We are proud of the services we provide for the needs of patients and employees.”  “Every day, we have a variety of equipment to work on,” added Alfred Santos, HVAC Journeyman.  “Whether it’s facility upkeep, plumbing, HVAC or electrical, we want to help,” added Brian McCarty, Facilities Technician.  This department works around the clock to ensure that every aspect of our hospitals and outpatient care locations meets the highest standards of safety and efficiency, from routine maintenance and equipment improvements to emergency repairs. These are huge responsibilities – all of which they perform with pride.  “As an HVAC journeyman, we are responsible for making sure the air circulating in the hospital is clean,” said Christopher Bobis, HVAC Journeyman. “It is also our job to make sure the air is positive and negative in isolation rooms and ensure patients are satisfied with the temperature in their rooms.”  “In addition to performing regular maintenance tasks like changing air and water filters, we complete any random work order that may come up,” added Brett Courtney, Facilities Technician. “We also recently switched out our lighting at Renown South Meadows to LED lights, which helps with energy savings.”  “I overlook the boiler house equipment and coordinate the fixing of maintenance issues reported by hospital staff,” added Arnt Utnes, Boiler Operator. “We also respond to every single alarm."  It’s difficult for us to imagine what our health system would be like without the Facilities team providing us with the comfortable and safe environment our patients need and deserve. Luckily, we’re never alone in our efforts to keep us running, and this department expertly leads that charge.  “Along with writing down the PSI readings in the gas rooms and answering calls from dispatch and the boiler rooms, I go through all the daily work orders and complete them,” said Ken Carrillo, Facilities Technician. “It always feels good to see when we complete all the work orders for the day, especially as the next shift arrives.”  “We fix, replace and dispose of pieces that are no longer in service – bottom line, we help keep the building up and running,” added Alejandro Cardenas, Craftsman.  But it doesn’t stop there – Facilities Engineering is currently in the midst of creating a whole new fleet vehicle program to improve the operations of our many on-site vehicles, including trucks, forklifts and more.  “I am the point of contact for all things fleet,” said Michelle Bay, Administrative Assistant. “We are building a new fleet program and working closely with leadership to move the program forward. I am involved with setting up new fleet fuel cards and can set up the program in the best interest of our internal customers while looking to the future for growth.”  It’s clear that the Facilities team is indispensable to Renown. Through their expertise, professionalism and commitment to quality, they stop at nothing to keep our health system functioning at its highest level.

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    • Employees
    • Nursing
    • Safety

    Department Spotlight: Float Pool

    Ring in the New Year and the rest of the holiday season by celebrating Renown’s Float Pool team!  After coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no mystery that healthcare across the country has shifted and adapted to the growing needs and new demands of our patient populations. Renown Health is no different. As the largest not-for-profit health system in the region, we are no stranger to change, even when change presents challenges. Who do we call on when a unit needs more team members in the eleventh hour? Who can help when our patient volume spikes up with seconds to spare?  This is where the Float Pool at Renown comes to the rescue. Skilled in a wide variety of healthcare specialties, from acute care nursing and critical care to care aiding and patient safety, this is the team that can seamlessly step in to provide crucial patient care to the units that need it most, whether a team is understaffed for the day or needs extra all-hands-on-deck for a specific patient or procedure. Float Pool team members are equipped to work in virtually any clinical area at Renown, making a genuine difference with every patient they encounter.  A Pool of Relief Teams across Renown can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Float Pool has their back in times of need. As the backbone of our health system, these dedicated team members possess a wealth of clinical knowledge and the ability to navigate diverse medical environments. Their flexibility allows them to fill staffing gaps and provide essential support to many different units.  “We fill in the gaps of staffing to make everyone's day better,” said Patti Crepps, Critical Care Float Pool RN. “A float nurse has to be flexible and able to adapt to different situations and places – basically, ‘go with the flow.’ Patient care is basically the same all over; we make patient care possible by being familiar with all the various specialties and providing the specific care needed depending on the population we are taking care of on that shift.”  “Float Pool staff members are like healthcare chameleons, transitioning between different departments,” added Shelby Riach, Acute Float Pool RN. “We incorporate flexibility, teamwork and a commitment to ensuring patients receive the best care, regardless of the setting or circumstances.”  This team thrives in uncertainty; in fact, no workday is the same in Float Pool – and that’s exactly the way they like it. Working with many different teams across a multitude of specialties, these Care Aides, RNs, Critical Care Techs, Patient Safety Assistants (PSAs), Certified Nurses Assistants (CNAs) and more enjoy facing change, while they all share a goal of providing the best patient care possible.  “No day looks the same; since we are the Float Pool, we are assigned a different assignment on Smart Square every day, whether it be as a care aide, a patient safety assistant, a unit clerk or patient transport,” said Melina Castenada, Care Aide. “If we are assigned as a care aide on the floor, we help assist with call lights and help with whatever nurses and CNAs may need, including feeding, transporting, walking, helping patients use the restroom, etc. When we are assigned as a PSA ‘sitter,’ we sit for the patient to help keep them safe. If we are assigned as unit clerk, we help answer phones and direct patients appropriately, file paperwork, answer call lights if needed and assist with office work.”  “I love that every day is a different floor with different tasks and a different atmosphere,” added Julia Chappell, Critical Care Technician. “I find out which floor that I will be on right before my shift starts and head to the floor to find out my assignment for the day. Depending on the specialty, such as the medical-surgical floor versus an intensive care unit (ICU), my daily job tasks can vary.”  When it comes to high-risk patients, who require special attention, PSAs within Float Pool step in to help.  “The PSA role within Float Pool largely consists of adverse event prevention for our high-risk patients, and being a Float Pool employee allows us to work wherever we are needed,” said Dimitri Macouin, Patient Safety Assistant. “Whether it be in the emergency department, neurology or pediatrics, the PSA will be the eyes and ears for the nurses working with this patient population.”  “Great strides have been made to ensure that PSAs remain vigilant and are recognized as an integral part of the patients' care team rather than 'just a sitter,’” added Karla Phillips, Patient Safety Assistant.  Float Pool also oversees our Discharge Lounge, which offers patients and their families a dedicated space to reconnect and prepare for their discharge from the hospital.  “The increase in utilization of the Discharge Lounge is something we are very proud of,” said Kara Abshier, Care Aide. “We assist in discharging patients from all over the hospital to help the floor and get new patients into rooms.”  Every day brings a new challenge for Float Pool. As these team members wake up with uncertainty, they are ready to embrace the diverse demands of caring for patients of all ages.  “The fact that Float Pool exists is amazing,” said Hannah Luccshesi, Acute Float Pool RN. “We wake up with no clue as to whether we will be working with babies, children or adults and then fill in the needs of the hospital.”

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    • Emergency Care
    • Drowning
    • Safety

    What You Need To Know About Cold Water Drowning

    Northern Nevada's stunning lakes, including Lake Tahoe, with its average summer water temperature of 50 degrees, present a potential risk of hypothermia. Unlike mild 50-degree air, water at the same temperature poses severe, life-threatening risks, including rapid-onset hypothermia and drowning. Awareness of the symptoms and taking proper precautions are crucial to prevent cold-water drowning. The 4 Phases of Cold-Water Drowning 1. Cold Shock Response: This response affects breathing and happens within the first minute. An automatic gasp reflex occurs in response to rapid skin cooling. If the head goes below water, water may be breathed into the lungs, resulting in drowning. A life jacket will help keep your head above water during this critical phase. Additionally, hyperventilation, like the gasp reflex, is a response to the cold and will subside. Panic will make this worse, so the key is to control breathing. 2. Cold Incapacitation: This response occurs within the first five to 15 minutes in cold water. In order to preserve core heat, vasoconstriction takes place decreasing blood flow to the extremities to protect the vital organs. The result is a loss of movement to hands, feet, arms and legs. Unless a life jacket is being worn, the ability to stay afloat is next to impossible. 3. Hypothermia: Important to note, it can take 30 minutes or more for most adults to become hypothermic. So there’s time to take action and survive. Keeping panic at bay is critical, as you have more survival time than you think. Symptoms include: Shivering Slow and shallow breathing Confusion Drowsiness or exhaustion Slurred speech Loss of coordination Weak pulse 4. Circum-rescue Collapse: This experience can happen just before rescue and is not well understood. Symptoms range anywhere from fainting to death. Some experts believe an abrupt drop in blood pressure may cause this final stage of cold water drowning, post-rescue. Additional Safety Tips and Helpful Resources Always wear a personal flotation device as well as a wetsuit or drysuit. Your personal flotation device is the most important piece of water safety gear. Try not to panic as the first phases will subside. Controlled breathing is to staying calm. Research suggests the body can withstand the cold longer than we think. The Heat Escape Lessening Posture (HELP) is a position which helps conserve energy if you’re wearing a personal flotation device. By hugging your knees to your chest, this posture helps maintain body heat for some time.

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