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    • Clerical Administrative Support

    Patient Access Representative - Incentivized Career Ladder

    Full Time - Eligible for Benefits
    200630 Patient Access
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    • Careers
    • Behavioral Health

    Five Tips for Maintaining Your Mental Health While Job Hunting

    It is no secret that looking for a new job can be stressful and overwhelming. Yet a record number of Americans are quitting their jobs to look for new opportunities, a trend also known as the “Great Resignation.” While there are many reasons why someone might be on the hunt for new work, it’s important for all job hunters to check in with their mental health regardless of their job hunting circumstances. To learn more about maintaining your mental health while looking for a new job, we spoke to Dr. Mavis Major, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Behavioral Health Therapist at Renown Health. 1. Identify Goals When beginning your job-hunting journey, your first step should be to make a plan that focuses on quality over quantity. Make lists of companies you would like to work for and, if you’re looking to change fields or industries, make a list of careers that interest you. At this stage in the process, it’s also important to determine what salary range you’re looking for, what type of work environment you want (in-person, remote or hybrid) and understand what benefits are important to you. Identifying goals makes it easier to narrow down the list of jobs you apply for so you can produce quality applications rather than frantically applying for jobs without putting thought into the process. 2. Set Boundaries It does not matter if you are working full-time while applying for jobs or if applying is your job right now; it can be easy to get lost in the stress of it all. For that reason, it is essential to set intentional boundaries throughout the process. This can look like scheduling days that you fully take off from the job search or going for a walk before a big interview to clear your head. Setting boundaries will make you more productive overall and hopefully help you get your mind off the process. 3. Ask For Help Do not try and tackle this undertaking on your own. Once you have identified goals (see tip #1) make lists of people you know within those industries, and do not be afraid to reach out. Of course, never be afraid to reach out to a mental health professional to talk through why this process might be making you feel anxious. Talking to someone who is not your friend or family can give you a different perspective.

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    • Monday, Apr 11, 2022

    Renown Health Named Top Place to Work

    Recognized as a workplace that champions caregivers, diversity and professional growth by Ragan Communications Renown Health has been recognized among Ragan’s “Top Places to Work” for 2022. Ragan’s award winners represent organizations that value internal communications, foster collaborative and innovative workplaces that champion caregivers, cultivate a culture that thrives with diverse ideas and backgrounds and supports professional growth and well-being. In selecting Renown Health for this honor, Ragan judges noted that Renown Health earned its spot as a top place to work by “taking swift action to respond to pandemic challenges.” They noted that “the teams at Renown Health, serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California, practice emergency preparedness 365 days a year. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, those teams took swift action to ensure Renown and the community remained ready and prepared.” Renown had the foresight to create an Alternate Care Site (ACS) in the Mill Street parking structure of its Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev. No other organization in northern Nevada, public or private, prepared for an overflow of patients with COVID-19. Until January 2021, the ACS served hundreds of hospitalized patients and allowed caregivers to remain on campus with access to lab, pharmacy, imaging, food and other crucial services. Patients are now cared for within one of Renown’s hospitals or monitored in their homes 24/7 by clinicians in the Renown Transfer and Operations Center. Many employees worked remotely throughout the pandemic; Renown’s human resources department listened to their employees' thoughts and opinions. Positive feedback about remote work (which included decreased commute times, fewer distractions, improved work-life balance and a reduced carbon footprint) resulted in allowing more than 700 employees to continue working remotely, with having the option to “hotel” onsite at any time. In June 2020, the Renown Laboratory team sprang into action to help meet the growing demand for COVID-19 testing. Renown expanded staffing and in-house testing capabilities, allowing Renown to swab and process up to 1,000 COVID tests for patients each day and share results within hours. Working with the mayor’s COVID-19 task force and local faith and community leaders, the hospital also provided free COVID-19 testing for communities of color to address health equity needs. After several weeks of employee and volunteer drive-thru vaccination events, Renown also supported the Washoe County Health District and the state in vaccinating more than 70,000 neighbors and caregivers. Aristotle, supervisor of clinical nursing in Neurosciences says, “As a leader on my unit, I love the fact that I get to see the growth and development of my team, and be a part of a support system that helps elevate them in to the future endeavors to really breed that culture of excellence at Renown.” See his video here. Reviewers at Ragan stressed, “Employees want to work at organizations like Renown that champion their workforce and provide guidance, initiatives and resources that promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace, offer ample room for professional growth and provide effective communication that keeps them engaged and informed.” After listening to employees, Renown announced a number of additional benefits to promote ways to increase work/life balance; support rest-and-recuperation strategies, and new financial resources essential to sustaining happy, high-performing teams. 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. Renown Health is hiring key roles to support the health and well-being of our community, and encourages those with a passion for service to join the Renown family to Fight the Good Fight. Apply on line at careers.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. In U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital rankings, Renown Regional Medical Center was listed #1 in the State of Nevada. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improve the care and the health of our community. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.

    Read More About Renown Health Named Top Place to Work

    • Friday, Mar 25, 2022

    Food is Love! Nine Career Options at Renown to Satisfy Coffee Enthusiasts & Foodies

    Passionate about food and coffee? Interested in serving patients and health care heroes? Courteous and diplomatic? Have a high school diploma? Read on to discover the career for you. When you think about the word LOVE, do you think about delicious FOOD or a mug of hot COFFEE? When you talk with friends, do your conversations start and end discussing a new recipe, a new restaurant or TV food show?  Do you get great satisfaction from preparing a great meal? Do you dream about being able to make a steaming hot latte with almond milk in minutes? Are you a nurturer who envisions creating and delivering a hot, delicious, nutritious meal to someone recovering from a surgical procedure or recovering from an illness? Would you enjoy making a special celebration meal for a family who has just delivered a baby, a cake for a wedding at a patient’s bedside, or for a family reunited with papa after receiving good news about his cancer recovery?  Are you looking for some career options to keep you connected to great food and coffee? Renown Health is now offering a number of career options that encourage you to satisfy your love for food; earn money, paid vacation/sick time, great health benefits; have a regular schedule; advance your career and earn a college or university degree at the same time.  There are some outstanding benefits to working in food-related careers at the region’s top employer and the region’s largest non-for-profit, charitable organization. Renown employees work every day to make a genuine difference in the lives of others, and we are looking for you to join us.  Many food services professionals started their careers in entry-level positions and worked their way up. Other benefits to working at Renown include transferable career skills, free or discounted food and the opportunity to give back and serve your community.  Whether you are just starting your career or looking for a new challenge, you are sure to find something that is perfect for you. Many positions require only a high school diploma or a GED. Start exploring today with our list of nine terrific food and beverage-related careers available today at Renown Health and apply online at renown.org.  1) Be a Barista at Starbucks; Renown Regional Medical Center, full/part time, all shifts If you love talking to people, have a good sense of humor and like to move fast, then this job is a great fit for you. You will meet people from every field and make friends with many of them. You will learn to be an expert in handcrafting delicious, perfect beverages—while proudly wearing the green Starbuck’s apron. You will be a part of the first Starbuck’s in the area to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Average Starbucks barista hourly pay is at the national average of approximately $12.32. In addition, you will receive paid training, tips, a full Renown Health medical, retirement, paid vacation/sick time benefit package and access to internally posted positions. You will need a high school diploma or GED; however, experience is not necessary for this entry-level position. Starbuck’s employees can drink as many lattes as they want—as most beverages are free for employees during work breaks! 2) Chef It Up as a Hospital Cook & Cook Lead; Renown Regional Medical Center, Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, full/part time, all shifts.  If you love preparing nutritious, appetizing food for others, understand the importance of individual requirements for medical and cultural diets, this may be the perfect job for you. Most people landing a job as a Cook in a hospital have five or more years of experience working in a restaurant but do not have a college degree, yet they are able to earn an average salary range: $26,860 – $61,870. Benefits include a predictable schedule, which may mean more time with your family and at home. You will also receive vacation and sick days, and health, vision and dental benefits. In addition, you would be fueling physicians, nurses and others to get through a long workday, making a genuine difference in the lives of others and having a positive impact on society.  3) Special Delivery! Food Servers; Renown Regional Medical Center, full/part time, all shifts. If you love assembling and serving meals to patients, this is the job for you. You will setup, prepare and clean up for patient meal service and may serve as the link between Nutrition Services and patients. You may also transport food carts to the patient room floors and help with kitchen general cleaning and sanitation. 4) Show Your Creative Side as a Food Prep Artist; Lead Sandwich Artist; Renown Regional Medical Center, full/part-time, all shifts In this role, you will make and serve salads, desserts, and sandwiches with fresh ingredients and promptly serve them to hungry and happy customers. Lead Sandwich artists are in demand at the Subway restaurant located within Renown Regional Medical Center.  5) Making it Just for You! Nutrition Representative; Renown Regional Medical Center; per diem, all shifts In this role, you will meet with patients, help them review their meal options, and ensure their special and customized meal is delivered to their room. As a customer service agent, you will answer the phone for food orders, enters the meal choices into the computer system and understand menus, diet restrictions, recipes and food inventory.  6) Cashing In as a Food Services Cashier; Renown Regional Medical Center; full/part-time, all shifts 7) Food as Medicine as a Clinical Dietitian; Renown Regional Medical Center; part time, days Patients recovering from illness need to fuel their bodies with the most nutritious foods. In this role, you will provide nutrition education and counseling, clinical nutrition assessments, planning and evaluation of infants, children, adolescents, adults and geriatric patients, and work to meet the patient's physical, cognitive and psychosocial needs through proper nutrition and education.  8) The Answer is YES! Manager of Hospitality; Renown South Meadows Medical Center; full time As our manager, you would deliver exceptional customer service in all aspects of food and environmental services. You would get to build, hire, train and lead an engaged team and provide the highest quality service to meet the needs of patients, employees, visitors, and physicians. 9) Customer Service Fanatic? Retail Food and Beverage Supervisor; Starbucks You would be very popular-leading the operations of Starbucks and Subway franchises at Renown Regional Medical Center. You would ensure lead and empower and train your team to be the best- and be sure you budget is balanced and the customer service is exceptional.  At Renown Health, we share a boundless vision that inspires us to learn, grow and exceed expectations for patients, their families and one another. A career with us offers you: • An uplifting and progressive environment focused on community health and wellness initiatives. • A culture that values your contributions and supports your personal and professional development. • Affiliations with the University of Nevada, Reno, Desert Research Institute and other organizations that help spur innovation and opportunity. To apply for these career opportunities and others, please visit us online at https://careers.renown.org/  About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. 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 Food is Love! Nine Career Options at Renown to Satisfy Coffee Enthusiasts & Foodies

    • Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

    Renown Health Lowers Minimum Employment Age To 16 Years Old

    Students ages 16 and older can now submit applications for entry-level, non-clinical opportunities at region’s top employer and one of the nation’s Top Places to Work ® Obtaining a career in healthcare has been the goal of many who seek to make a positive difference in the lives of others and improve the health of their communities. Overall employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations; and this increase is expected to result in about 2 million new jobs over the decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Today, Renown Health leaders announced they are accepting employment applications for individuals 16 years old to work in entry-level, non-clinical roles; formerly teens needed to be 18 years or older to apply for employment at Nevada’s largest not-for-profit health network. “Many of us who work today as physicians, nurses and key members of the healthcare team, started out as teenagers working or volunteering in our local hospitals,” says Brian Erling, MD, MBA, President & CEO, Renown Health. “Supporting local teens with their first jobs in healthcare, and providing support for life-long careers, helps build the workforce of the future. We are excited to welcome the next generation of Renown employees as they partner with us to care for our community and Fight the Good Fight.” “For more than 160 years, the foundation of our success has been to hire the brightest and most compassionate people,” says Brittany Brown, MBA, Director of Recruitment. High school students curious about a career in healthcare are encouraged to apply to one of the many entry-level, non-clinical positions available now at Renown Health. All entry-level positions offer flexible schedules to account for school schedules. Named Ragan’s “Top Places to Work for 2022,” Renown Health fosters a caring culture of values that include caring, integrity, collaboration and excellence. Renown was awarded for championing their workforce and providing guidance, initiatives and resources that promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace, offering ample room for professional growth and providing effective communication that keeps employees engaged and informed. “Renown Health is rising to the occasion by expanding employment opportunities for high school students,” said Ms. Brown. “We hope to help teens develop career skills that will serve them today, and for a successful future.” The decision to lower Renown’s minimum employment age to 16 was rooted in the health system’s desire to support students in their long-term career goals and foster their interest in healthcare. Renown’s expert recruiters are poised to welcome teen applicants and be a resource for them throughout the hiring process. Along with offering education and career growth opportunities, Renown has extensive employee benefits available to full time and part time employees. Open part-time and per diem positions available for students who meet the new minimum age requirement of include, but are not limited to: Patient Access Representatives Patient Safety Assistants Patient Transporters Dishwashers Food Service Workers Housekeepers Renown Health also recognizes the value of experienced workers and believes in equal opportunities for all. Part-time, full-time and flexible positions are also available for people 55+ and retirees. Individuals may apply directly at renown.org/careers. Renown Health ensures equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. For more information, see our non-discrimination policy at renown.org. About Renown Health 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, 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®.

    Read More About Renown Health Lowers Minimum Employment Age To 16 Years Old

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    Department Spotlight: Hospital Care Management

    Navigating care through the hospital system can be a daunting task for any patient. When faced with a difficult diagnosis or a complex healthcare journey, patients hope for, and deserve, the gold standard of support in helping them get connected with the resources, counseling, follow-up care and action plan to Fight the Good Fight.  That hope quickly turns into reality and relief when the case managers and social workers at Renown Health step in to help.  Renown’s Hospital Care Management department consists of caring, compassionate case managers and social workers who are the ultimate welfare protectors. By tapping into the needs of every patient and bridging any needs gaps with the resources they need, these team members move mountains to ensure every case results in the best possible outcomes.  Your In-House Patient & Family Liaisons  Whether they are providing therapeutic services to patients experiencing behavioral health issues, referring patients in addiction recovery to resources to aid in their recovery process or guiding a patient with cancer through the complicated care process, our case managers and social workers ensure patients and family members stay on course throughout their healthcare journey from beginning to end.  “Our department has teams that cover all areas of the hospital, including the emergency department,” said Mary Matteoni, LSW, Director of Hospital Care Management at Renown Health. “We see all-aged patients, ranging from NICU babies and families to those experiencing the last moments of their life (and everyone in between).”  “All of our cases start in the prevention, or pre-acute, phase and continue through the healthcare continuum,” added Alma Yanez, DNP, Manager of Hospital Care Management at Renown Health. “We are here to partner with patients and families, helping them assess, plan, implement and evaluate options of care and services to meet everyone’s needs.”  These team members are your go-to counselors, crisis interventionists, community resource referrers, and most of all, patient advocates. When patients need a leader to follow if confronted with an intimidating hospital stay or life-altering diagnosis, our experienced Hospital Care Management department gladly steps in to be that support system, easing fears and anxieties along the way. Providing optimal care and guidance is par for the course for this team.  "We help patients understand confusing diagnoses, arrange rehab and other post-hospital supports, help families understand how they can best support a loved one facing a ‘new normal’, navigate end-of-life decisions and so much more,” said Abbie Smith, LSW, MSW, Social Work Care Coordinator at Renown Health.     This department also serves as Renown’s discharge experts. Our case managers and social workers facilitate appropriate length-of-stay and work around the clock to arrange services for patients as they acclimate back home.  “Reviewing each patient’s medical records to ensure every resource and section of care is delivered at the right time is crucial,” said Alma Yanez. “Patients depend on us to use the best judgment when it comes to cost-effective outcomes and the planning and execution of their care after they leave our hospital.”  Expert care coordination, health resource referrals, therapeutic services, workshop facilitation, healthcare financial liaising, crisis support, staff training...a better question for this department might be, “what don’t they do?” These team members are proud “do-it-all-ers.”  “Our team is proudest of being a support to our patients and their families, as well as the positive impact our work has during traumatic and difficult times in people’s lives,” said Abbie Smith.  “Everything is ‘Figure Out-able'”  Those are the wise words said by Abbie Smith, LSW, MSW and emphasized by her entire team. No case is too complex for our Hospital Care Management department, yet every case poses great rewards for both the providers and the patients.  “I love being a social worker for Renown, as every day is filled with new and diverse situations,” said Abbie Smith. “As the social worker assigned to the trauma intensive care unit, my experiences at Renown are challenging but very rewarding. I have the privilege of helping victims of traumatic situations get the social, emotional, psychological and medical assistance they need to help recover from their experience.”   Every team member in the Hospital Care Management department leads with the utmost care and concern for every single patient and their families, leveraging compassionate communication techniques every step of the way.  “For so many patients, they are admitted to the hospital and receive life-changing news,” said Mary Matteoni, LSW. “Our department is the one to answer questions like ‘what do I do now?’ or ‘how am I going to get through this?’ Our team members are experts in their field, and they have a unique holistic lens into the patient’s situation. They spend time learning about the patient’s experiences and circumstances before they were admitted and navigate the next steps of what their new reality means. We spend countless hours ensuring each patient has the resources needed to be successful upon discharge.”  “I always ask open-ended questions to help reduce my patients’ fears, such as, ‘How are you feeling?’ or ‘What can I do?’” added Abbie Smith. “We listen to learn more about the individual’s unique circumstances so we can offer appropriate support and guidance.”  Compassionate communication is especially important when our case managers and social workers approach terminal illness, palliative care options and end-of-life conversations with patients and families. While never easy, these team members always lead with empathy.  “End-of-life conversations, which I help facilitate, frequently occur in the ICU,” said Abbie Smith. “When needed, I help families work through painful, initial moments of grief after losing a loved one.”   Each social worker and case manager takes any opportunity to lessen patient stress, which can make all the difference in the end.  “Patients and families look to us for comfort and support, and we are proud to be a source of solace for them,” said Kami Price, LSW, Supervisor of Social Services at Renown Health. “No matter how complicated the case is, we are always there to guide them through what may otherwise be a daunting journey.”  Now Hiring: Holiday Heroes Needed  This dynamic department is expanding! This team is seeking case managers and social workers in a wide variety of disciplines, including behavioral health, oncology and chronic care management. From social work bachelor’s and master’s students looking for an enriching entry-level opportunity to highly experienced case managers seeking to make a genuine difference, the Hospital Care Management department is the team for you.  “Our team consists of some of those kindhearted and thoughtful individuals I’ve ever worked with,” said Alma Yanez, DNP. “Those attributes are vital to ensuring a positive patient experience, especially as we help them navigate a complicated and intimidating healthcare journey.”  “Respect and compassion are also required characteristics to work in social services,” added Abbie Smith, LSW, MSW. “Having respect for our patients, their personal information and challenges is essential. Social workers interact with highly diverse populations, and it is imperative to keep an open mind and seek understanding of patients’ unique situations.”  The holiday season can be especially difficult for many patients and families dealing with a difficult diagnosis or facing a long hospital stay. That’s why we need social work and case management heroes more than ever this time of year. Giving a patient and family the gift of support can be one of the greatest gifts of all.  “I strongly believe that Case Management/Social Services often gets to be the light in many dark moments,” said Mary Matteoni, LSW. “I have a great passion for the work that is done in Hospital Care Management and am so proud of the team we have built and the work they do daily. We are a team of laughter, enjoyment and solid expertise in our work.”  It’s time to ask yourself: are you ready to change the lives of patients and families?

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    Department Spotlight Community Care Management

    When thinking about taking care of your total health, what comes to mind? Perhaps participating in your annual check-ups, taking your prescribed medication, eating a nutritious diet, checking in with your mental health, the list goes on and on.   Now, put yourselves in the shoes of someone who may not know where their next meal may come from, someone who may be homebound and not have access to transportation, someone who may be on a fixed income, someone facing homelessness or even someone who may be struggling with substance abuse issues. Getting healthy – and staying healthy – comes with a unique set of obstacles, or social determinants of health, for these patients to overcome. Inequities around social determinants and health behaviors have an outsized impact on patient outcomes, and social and economic factors make up 40 percent of those inequities.  This is where the caring and compassionate community health workers, social workers and registered nurses that make up Renown’s Community Care Management (CCM) department rise to the occasion. As the need for resources grows in northern Nevada, these dedicated team members fill those gaps and ensure every patient feels prepared, educated and equipped with everything they need to continue their care journey and live a healthy, fulfilling life.  Defying Disparities  When our community at risk faces healthcare disparities, it can create complications in each patient’s life that may keep them from addressing their healthcare needs and affect the likelihood of them being admitted or readmitted to the hospital or continuing to struggle with their care management – but not on CCM’s watch. Whenever possible, the CCM team steps in to provide critical resources, education and care journey guidance for any patient that finds themselves in need.  “In the simplest terms, we do outpatient case management with vulnerable populations,” said Barb Mader-Scherrer, Director of Community Care Management. “It may be anyone from elderly people who need help managing chronic diseases, to patients experiencing homelessness who are being discharged from the hospital. We work with folks who are facing all sorts of challenges.”  Several roles make up the CCM department, including Community Health Workers. These team members are the resource experts, on the front lines of helping educate patients and supporting them as they navigate through the facets of their care. Their main goals? Avoid admissions and readmissions to the hospital and continue to meet their unique goals.  “I have the pleasure of working with patients who may need financial help, transportation help or even help utilizing the food pantries in our community," added Steve Arm, Community Health Worker. “We help patients navigate healthcare and social services, address social determinants of health, encourage self-efficiency and provide general health education for many chronic conditions. We also provide home visits for our patients who need extra support.”  “The day in the life of a Transitional Community Health Worker is to outreach to the patient while being admitted, do a bedside assessment, complete the social determinants of health evaluation and provide any resources needed to avoid readmission,” added Sherrie Skaggs, Community Health Worker. “Our main population is Medicaid, and many are homeless and financially challenged. As needed, we continue to ensure that follow-up is completed, and all needs and goals are met.”  For those learning to cope with their condition and needing hands-on help especially after discharge, the CCM Social Work Care Coordinators take on this complex aspect of the healthcare journey. These individuals provide support and intervention for Renown patients facing a chronic, behavioral health or substance dependency condition to improve their overall quality of life beyond hospital walls, developing a strong framework to build a long-term healthcare plan.   “As social work care coordinators, we help connect patients with mental health resources, welfare programs, community support, caregiver burnout resources, placement for loved ones with terminal illnesses and much more,” said Irina Osmolovska, Social Work Care Coordinator. “Requests that come to us run the gamut of homelessness, family crisis, food insecurity and even situations where a patient has no electricity for their life-saving medical equipment. We receive challenging requests and are always ready to go above and beyond to advocate for our patients.”  Possessing a profound understanding of the delicate balance between medicine and the patient spirit, the CCM RNs help bridge the gaps between the hospital or primary care practice and post-discharge settings, ensuring a smooth transition for patients as they move from one healthcare setting to another. With their expertise in care coordination and patient education, these RNs help enhance patient outcomes and promote continuity of care.  “Our group is responsible for making discharge follow-up calls to patients who have Medicare, as well as scheduling their hospital follow-up visit if needed,” said Vanessa Alford, Consulting RN. “The goal is to have every patient see their primary care physician within 14 days of discharge for continuity of care and to prevent readmissions. We also screen patients for eligibility for Chronic Care Management or Personal Care Management. In addition to setting up the patient for follow up, I review each patient's medications, answer any questions they may have about their medications and health conditions.”  As another important part of unpacking the intricate web of social determinants impacting health, CCM RN Care Coordinators have the extraordinary opportunity to extend this department’s compassionate care beyond the boundaries of the traditional in-office environment. Whether it be through virtual connections, heartfelt conversations over the phone or in-person encounters outside the hospital, RN Care Coordinators create holistic and enduring plans of care for individuals facing chronic challenges – including behavioral health issues and chemical dependency struggles – at every stage of life.  All in all, the CCM department recognizes the interconnectedness of physical, emotional and social well-being for all patients, fostering a sense of wholeness and empowerment to ensure they continue to meet their goals and live healthier, happier lifestyles.  “Our team has a holistic approach to our work,” said Barb Mader-Scherrer. “We look at the whole picture. What are the medical things we can do for this person? What education do they need to help them manage their condition? Do they have food in their house? Do they have a safe living environment? Are there substance abuse issues? Do they need help in managing their medications?”  “My 18 years of experience in various areas of hospital nursing and home health have given me the knowledge to serve patients in our community holistically, and I feel good about what I do,” added Vanessa Alford. “I hope that I am able to lessen the load on the medical assistants and providers in the clinics so they can focus on their patients on site.”

    Read More About Department Spotlight Community Care Management

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    Department Spotlight: Child Life

    March is National Child Life Month. Join us in recognizing our Child Life team at Renown Health!  The hospital environment can be a daunting and confusing place for a child. Whether they are admitted to the hospital themselves or have a family member who is currently undergoing treatment, they undoubtedly bring along a lot of overwhelming questions and concerns.  No one would be better to guide them through the process than the Child Life department at Renown Health. Our devoted Child Life Specialists and Child Life Assistants dedicate themselves to helping our youngest patients and children of relatives in the hospital cope with their anxieties and fears. With the smiling faces of the Child Life team on their side, children at Renown have a sense of solace while they are in the hospital with a team to cheer them on every step of the way.  Offering a Hand to Hold  From the first moment of a child’s visit to Renown, they are never alone. The Child Life team, which is made up of three specialists and two assistants, is here to provide a helping hand throughout the entire hospital process, explaining each test, procedure and process every step of the way and creating the best possible plan for each patient – all while fostering and maintaining a safe and supportive environment.  “We are specifically trained to help patients and families throughout their healthcare experiences,” said Amanda Cleary, MS, CCLS, Child Life Specialist. “This looks different for every family. We are trained to tailor our services to meet individual family and cultural needs based on our assessment.”  “It does not take long for a Child Life Specialist to create a safe relationship with a pediatric patient,” added Angie McEvers, CCLS, CFLE, Child Life Specialist. “The Child Life department can help any care team do their job by redirecting a child’s focus and distracting them from painful interventions, and this is a win-win for both the patient and the care team.”  This team’s primary goal is to make talking to doctors and undergoing tests a little less intimidating for our youngest patients. Interaction is a crucial part of a child’s healthcare journey. Our Child Life Specialists are masters at procedure preparation, surgery preparation, trauma support and diagnosis education while meeting each child where they are at developmentally.  “A day in the life of a Child Life Specialist is never the same, and every child is different,” said Jennifer Nunzir, CCLS, Child Life Specialist. “To make sure patient care is possible, I make sure I am here mentally for the patients and families. I am ready with a smile to greet them and try to make them comfortable from the start. We are always present to support a patient and family with a new diagnosis, talk to children when there has been a tragic accident, make memories for families and giving children a distraction from tests and procedures.”  “One of the biggest benefits to our job is our ability to provide emotional support and communicate with families in a way that makes them feel seen and heard,” added Amanda Cleary. “We listen to the family’s past medical experiences and work on building rapport by building those connections. When you get a child to open up, you see who they are as an individual, and we build from there.”  The efforts of the Child Life team go beyond helping children with coping skills. They also jump in with activities to keep kids of all ages engaged – from arts and crafts to pet therapy.  “Bringing children smiles through play and giving them fun things to do – whether it’s watching a movie, playing a game, doing an art project, going for a wagon ride or taking them to the Children’s Healing Garden – makes me feel I am making a difference,” said Jennifer Nunzir. “If I can get the child and family to at least smile or laugh, I feel I have already eased some fear and anxiety. It truly is the best feeling to get them smiling and laughing.”  “Through play, conversation, distraction or relaxation techniques, patients cope better, and families are calmer,” added Angie McEvers.  Teaching Every Step of the Way  Education is a crucial aspect in this department. Each Child Life team member works closely with their patient’s care teams to break down “doctor speak” with age-appropriate explanations.   “Children come into the hospital for all sorts of reasons, from a broken bone to cancer; our background in child development and psychology helps us collaborate with the patients’ providers and explaining what each part of the care journey is depending on a child’s developmental level,” said Amanda Cleary. “For example, we can explain what a brain tumor is with playdough and help a child with a new diabetes diagnosis understand what it means to balance sugars using play food. It's all about providing family-centered support so that they feel more in control. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen parents’ eyes light up when the kids play. They are all coping, learning and growing together.”  To Help with the Happy and the Sad  When healthcare journeys don’t go as planned, support from care teams is crucial for families facing grief or loss. The Child Life Specialists are one of the first on the scene to provide support for children and their families, providing education on how to talk to children about death and helping families preserve the memories of their loved ones for years to come.  “One of the most difficult things we do is provide bereavement support,” said Angie McEvers. “Not only do we provide support for families of pediatric patients but also adult patients who have children. Our team takes the time to help families with memory making with handprints, journals, books, the list goes on. No one should have to go through this process alone, and we make sure that doesn’t happen.”  Above all else, the Child Life team are here, first and foremost, for the patients and their families. They are the drive that keeps them going – and helps them reinvigorate that passion for their work every day.  “I have met some of the most amazing children and families, and they definitely are what keep me here at Renown,” said Jennifer Nunzir.  The Road to Child Life  The journey to becoming a Child Life Specialist looks different for every team member, and many of them discovered the field while pursuing careers in other healthcare areas. Beyond their passion for children and families – and their Certified Child Life Specialist credential – our Child Life team members are also highly educated in the fields of human development, nursing and psychology, knowledge that benefits them greatly in their career.  Amanda Cleary had the unique experience of pursuing a Child Life career at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles before she arrived at Renown last year, implementing her knowledge from her bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies into a clinical child life internship and a robust career in Child Life.  “While at Penn State, I learned about the Child Life career path through the Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon,” said Amanda. “I knew that this was the path I wanted to take. I did a 600-hour internship, and from there I was hired at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where I stayed for 11 years. As a lifelong learner, I knew I wanted to pursue more – so I achieved my master’s degree online in child life leadership and advocacy at the Erickson Institute in Chicago, and what I learned in that program continues to serve me well in my career at Renown.”  Other Child Life Specialists, like Angie McEvers and Jennifer Nunzir, had already been with Renown for several years in other departments and built up a wealth of healthcare knowledge before discovering their passion for the mission of Renown’s Child Life program.  “I have been here for 23 years; I always knew I wanted to work with children in the hospital because I love kids, and although I originally wanted to be a nurse, I realized that I actually wanted to be on the other side of helping,” said Jennifer. “At the time, I didn’t know there was a job like the Child Life Specialist out there, and I feel so lucky to have found this career. Over the years, as Reno has grown, so has our program, which is very exciting. I knew Renown would be the place where I could grow as well."  “This year is my 24th year with Renown,” added Angie. “Before I worked here, I was an Advanced EMT/Firefighter while pursuing my nursing degree. In working with the medical team from Children's Hospital of Oakland in pediatric hematology/oncology, I was able to see first-hand the benefit of Child Life. I was driven to finish my human development degree and passed my certification testing, and ever since then, I’ve been with Pediatrics, PICU and the Children’s ER.”   We could not have said it better ourselves – this is a field that is constantly evolving and progressing, and while not everyone is familiar with it, our Child Life Specialists are ready to change that narrative.  “There is a lot of opportunity here to continue to grow the Child Life program,” said Amanda. “Not all hospitals have a Child Life program, but we are lucky that Renown does. Any aspiring Child Life Specialist should consider coming here, as it has been a great experience. It is a familial feeling here, and I definitely feel like I am in the right place.”  There is Strength in Numbers  It takes a village to serve the emotional needs of the many children and families that walk through the doors of Renown Children’s Hospital, and our Child Life Specialists are considered some of the key leaders of that village.   The outpouring of support for our Child Life program is astonishing. Not only have our patients and employees made generous donations, but members of the greater Reno-Sparks community are always there ensure kids in the hospital can be kids. The Nevada Wolf Pack, SCHEELS, Great Reno Balloon Race and Atlantis Casino are just a few of the many generous organizations that have donated both toys and time to our youngest patients.  To support any child dealing with a serious illness, especially cancer, Beads of Courage steps in to help children “visually record, tell and own their stories of courage” using beads as a symbol. Representatives from Beads of Courage volunteer their time to help our youngest patients keep track of their valiant fight against their illness, adding a bead to their necklaces after every step in their care journey.  “We rely on our generous community and donations that come in, and we see a lot during the holiday season – we definitely can benefit from this year-round,” said Amanda.  The donations allow the Child Life team to expand their play, coping and distraction opportunities for patients and families, allowing them to reach more children within their small, mighty and growing team of five.   “Our goal as a team is to work with as many pediatric patients and children of relatives seeking treatment as possible, so the opportunity to grow our team would be awesome,” said Amanda.  And grow they will! The team recently welcomed two dedicated Child Life Assistants, Marissa Arriaga and Sydnee Patterson, during Child Life Month. These team members work alongside the Child Life Specialists to help provide opportunities for developmental play, both in the playroom and at the bedside. Marissa and Sydnee ensure that the kids can still be kids, even while they are in the hospital.  Additionally, the Child Life department is currently hiring more Child Life Specialists. If this line of work speaks to you or someone you care about, they are strongly encouraged to apply, because in the end:  "We do it all for the kids,” closes Jennifer Nunzir.

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    • Employees
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    • Renown Health

    Department Spotlight: Emergency

    The emergency department is a central part of Renown Health’s hospitals. Serving patients in need of emergent attention, this team has an incredible level of dedication to not only tending to emergencies big and small, but also saving lives 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This critical work happens daily at Renown Regional, Renown South Meadows and Renown Children’s Hospital. Patients in Renown’s emergency rooms (ER) are in the best hands, and it is all thanks to the devoted, hard-working teams who run the show. Saving Lives Around the Clock  As the only Level 2 trauma center between Sacramento and Salt Lake City, taking care of a constant stream of patients in the Renown Regional, Renown South Meadows and Renown Children’s ERs come naturally for these teams. Whether it be 3 a.m. or the lunch hour, this team is always ready to spring into action to attend to virtually any health emergency under the sun. According to Gabby, an RN in the Renown Regional ER, everyone in the ER must be ready for anything. “We are the first line of care that the patient receives before they are admitted or discharged,” which means the team sees a wide variety of emergency situations each day.  Patients rely on the ER to protect them and help them heal from severe conditions. From head injuries and broken bones to heart attacks and strokes, this team has seen it all at every time of the day and night. “The ER is an uncontrolled, unpredictable environment,” said Miriam, an RN in the Renown Regional ER. “It’s essential that we all are ready to jump in and help at any time.”  Beyond the general ER at Renown Regional, Renown Children’s Hospital is the only accredited Children’s Hospital Emergency Room in all northern Nevada. The first and only facility of its kind in the Reno-Tahoe region, this robust emergency department is equipped with pediatric specialists and child-sized equipment to give children the highest level of support. “We are proud to keep a fun atmosphere with vibrant colors to help our young patients ease their anxieties, making them as comfortable as possible while providing excellent care,” said Ginger, Manager of Nursing for Renown Children’s ER.  While the majority of patients are treated onsite and discharged that same day, several ER patients get admitted to the hospital, when that happens, the emergency department works quickly with the Renown Transfer and Operations Center (RTOC) to get patients in a bed as soon as possible.   All day and all night, ambulances and helicopters deliver members of our community in need of care. But never fear – our incredibly capable emergency department is here. Kicking off into immediate action is a core requirement for the emergency department, and it is a task the entire team has nailed down to a science.   Team Tenacious  When asked about their team, members of the emergency department echoed the same notion: “I am not alone.” The emergency department never leaves their colleagues out to dry, and in an emergency environment, always being able to lend a hand whenever needed is vital. For Ashley, an RN at Renown Regional, one of the main reasons why she continues to work at Renown is because of her colleagues, along with a myriad of resources and state-of-the-art technology that are at their disposal. She adds, “It is such a joy to come in to work alongside my team.”  Amy, Supervisor of Nursing for the Renown South Meadows ER, feels the exact same way. “Being an emergency department, we sometimes see things you don’t always see every day,” said Amy. “It’s a relief for our patients to know that they are in the best place in the region for their care. I credit all of that to my team.”  As our emergency room capabilities continue to grow, this also includes our Children’s Hospital ER. Last year, the William N. Pennington Foundation provided a $7.5 million gift to the Renown Health Foundation to keep pediatric care – including pediatric emergency care – closer to home and expand our availability to our youngest patients. As reported last year, Dr. Joseph Gassen, a pediatric emergency doctor with Children’s Hospital, was the only pediatric emergency physician in the region as of 2021. Thanks to this gift, he was able to move to Reno to provide care in the Children’s Hospital ER.  “The hospital is dedicated to improving the care of children in northern Nevada, and I wanted to be a part of this amazing vision," said Dr. Gassen. “I would not have been able to relocate to Reno without the support from the hospital and the William N. Pennington gift.”  Besides achieving optimal outcomes for their patients, their efforts also paid off in the form of awards and recognition. Internally, the emergency department recognizes Employees of the Month for their outstanding work. Recently, Renown Regional Emergency Physician Dr. Patrick Russell and Claire, an RN, were recognized with this honor. Outside organizations have also noticed these exceptional team members. The Reno Gazette Journal’s recognized the Renown Regional ER as the Best Emergency Room in the 2022 Best of Reno Awards, complimenting Renown Regional’s wins as the Best Hospital and Best Place to Have a Baby.   The tenacity of the emergency department continues to surpass expectations, and their published achievements only scratch the surface of what is sure to come.  A Growing Team of Heroes  To continue meeting the growing need for emergency care regionally, especially when it comes to trauma and children’s services, the emergency department is looking forward to welcoming new team members. For those looking for a fast-paced, team-oriented atmosphere and the opportunity to be on the healthcare frontlines, the emergency department is a perfect fit.   As teamwork is clearly essential, the emergency department is an ideal environment for someone who is “not afraid to ask questions and always eager to learn new things,” according to Miriam. While one staff member’s patients may be settled, staff one assignment over could be overwhelmed with patient volume, so it is an imperative skill for a colleague to be a self-starter and take the initiative to help wherever needed.  Bryan, an emergency trauma technician at Renown Regional, emphasizes this point, adding, “A good colleague is one that knows you well and can infer your body language. They know how to read a situation and pre-plan for the next step. Being attentive, a valuable resource and knowledgeable about patient populations – that's the works!”  Career growth and lifelong learning are important to this group, so career-minded individuals will be in good company in the emergency department. “I choose Renown so I can jumpstart my career as a nurse in the top ER in the region,” said Gabby. This team is always learning and always on top of the latest research – which only further solidifies Renown’s place as the preeminent ER in northern Nevada and northeastern California.  If you take one thing from this article, let it be these parting words from Amy: “These are some of the smartest, most devoted individuals you will ever meet, and we are so lucky to have them serving our emergency department. You will only regret not working with this team.”

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    Department Spotlight Cardiac: Catheterization Lab

    February is American Heart Month, but our incredible heart heroes are here to serve you all year long. So please join us in honoring the Cardiac Cath Lab team at Renown Health! At the core of who we all are, we find the heart: one of the largest sources of life that gives us the blood and oxygen we need to live full and healthy lives. When the heart doesn’t function to the best of its ability, a delicate approach led by cardiac experts might be necessary. These individuals can not only save lives but also help facilitate a higher quality of life.  The team entrusted to protect that vital source of life includes the hard-working and talented individuals in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab (a.k.a. “Cardiac Cath Lab” or “Cath Lab”) at Renown Health. These team members are known for their expertise, precision and quick-thinking in emergencies. When it comes to the function of your heart, you are in the best hands with this team. Their passion for Renown’s mission of making a genuine difference in the health and well-being of the people they serve is a testament to what they do every day.  Cardiac Champions  Whether the procedure is emergent or planned, the Cardiac Cath Lab wears many different hats. The team is a well-coordinated group of nurses, imaging professionals, electrophysiology technologists, interventional technologists and more who band together to provide a diverse array of services, including stent placements, pacemakers, balloon pumps, interventional angioplasties, TAVRs and of course, catheters.  “A day in the life in the Cath Lab can go various ways,” said Erica Drummer, RN at Renown Health. “Every day, you are either a part of the electrophysiology team, doing cardiac ablations and placing devises such as pacemakers; the structural heart team, which includes MitraClips for mitral regurgitation and TAVRs; or the heart catheterization team, which includes diagnostic angiograms, heart catheterizations, angioplasties and stents for clogged arteries.”  With the wide variety of cases the team sees daily, an average day in the Cath Lab consists of many moving parts.  “We handle cases from left and right heart catheterizations, where we can diagnose and fix the artery right then, to electrophysiology cases like heart ablations and pacemaker implants, all the way to emergency STEMI (heart attack) patients,” said Michael Blankenship, Electrophysiology Technologist at Renown Health.  “We do so many things in the Cath Lab,” added Laurel Douglas, RN, Imaging Manager at Renown Health. “We ensure we have 24/7 coverage for emergencies, as we often have to act at a moment’s notice to care for emergent situations.”  Many of those emergency situations involve heart catheterization.  If someone has a heart attack, the team immediately steps in to place stents to open the coronary arteries that are causing the attack. If a patient’s heart needs any assistance during an emergency, the team can place devices such as Impella (temporary ventricular support) or intra-aortic balloon pumps. Renown is a major advocate for advanced medical technology, and the Cardiac Cath Lab team embraces these technologies to perform life-saving procedures, all while working together as a cohesive unit.  “We work amongst each other to ensure sterility, safety and the best outcome for each patient,” said Zohra Benbrahim, RN at Renown Health. “We try to fit in as many cases as possible into the workday, and sometimes after hours, so patients can get the care they need.”  “Each team usually has 3-4 members, and each member has a critical job to carry out in order to implement excellent cardiac care,” added Erica Drummer, RN. “Many of our patients tell us that we all work well together, and I couldn’t agree more. We have become like a well-oiled machine or a NASCAR pit crew.”  Naturally, patients undergoing any heart procedure might feel frightened and anxious. Never fear – the compassionate Cardiac Cath Lab team is here to ease those fears throughout each patient’s entire visit. Their main solution? Communication.  “Being a patient in the Cath Lab can be daunting,” said Erica Drummer, RN. “When we have patients who may feel scared or have concerns, we try our best to connect with them, keep them informed and educate them on the procedure and the step-by-step process, including what they may feel before, during and after.”  “Overall, we try to keep spirits light,” said Zohra Benbrahim, RN. “Our team is excellent at explaining the procedure as it is happening. We also advocate for comfort throughout the procedure, which helps tremendously with anxiety, including giving patients warm blankets and music of their choice!”  Our experts in the cardiac Cath Lab make sure that no stone goes unturned when it comes to optimal heart function for every patient. Together, the team mends hearts and saves lives, day in, day out.  A Growth Mindset  Always learning, always improving, always reaching new heights – that's the Cardiac Cath Lab team.  This team’s accomplishments speak for themselves on both a local and national scale.  “Over the years, we have achieved several milestones, including becoming a STEMI Receiving Center, gaining our Chest Pain Center Accreditation (which is achieved by Cath Labs who provide emergent percutaneous coronary intervention for heart attack patients 24/7) and having our accredited electrophysiology program,” said Laurel Douglas, RN. “We also offer services that other facilities do not offer. We have brought in several new procedures to the Cath Lab over the years. This is impactful, as the community members get to stay here for treatment.”  The Cath Lab team is anything but ordinary. There is never a dull moment in this department, and despite an ever-growing caseload, the team is always ready to rise to the challenge and continue pushing to surpass the average.  “I am so proud of my team for providing care for such sick patients,” said Zohra Benbrahim, RN. “We never really know how the day is going to go because emergencies happen, and things always change. Recently, we had a record high volume of cases, and my team powered through these busy weeks like champs.”  “We strive to get our STEMI door-to-balloon times at or below 60 minutes,” added Erica Drummer, RN. “Door-to-balloon time refers to the time from when a patient arrives in the ER to the time the Cath Lab has a catheter guide wire crossing the culprit lesion in the coronary artery that is causing the heart attack. The national average (and current guideline) is 90 minutes, so our 60-minute time is a notable accomplishment for us.”  The importance of staying on top of your heart health comes center stage during American Heart Month, which is a prime opportunity for our cardiology professionals to educate the community and help them grow their cardiac knowledge. The cardiac quality team participates in community events throughout the month (and beyond!) to raise awareness for cardiac health. The team also outreaches to other health systems and healthcare partners to highlight what Renown has to offer in the way of heart care. Each Cath Lab team member always reminds patients about lifestyle choices and diet changes that can improve cardiovascular health, and they take this outreach with them all around Renown Regional Medical Center as well, walking through the hallways promoting many different ways of living a heart-healthy life.  The journey continues! The team will soon welcome a new Cardiac Cath Lab at Renown South Meadows Medical Center. The new lab will allow our experts in heart care to treat patients at our South Meadows location experiencing a heart attack and needing immediate intervention to open vessels in their hearts. The team is looking forward to embracing even more access to emergent cardiac care for our community at large.   Learn more about how Renown is building more ways to care for our community.  Now Hiring for Heart Heroes  Those looking to join a caring, committed and tight-knit group of cardiac care professionals will be in good company with the Cath Lab team. According to the members of this department, being a quick-thinking, dependable team member is key to predicting a successful Cath Lab professional.  “A good coworker communicates with everyone and is able to be flexible when things get hectic,” said Zohra Benbrahim, RN. “Our team stays so close with each other because of everyone’s ability to recognize where help is needed. Especially in the Cath Lab, it is important to be always aware of the patient’s vitals and clinical presentation so you can speak up if you notice changes. There are always new procedures or products coming out that become integrated into our practices, so it’s also good to welcome new policies and be adaptive.”  “We are a small team, and everyone sees each other as a friend,” added Laurel Douglas, RN. “We all know we will need help at some point, whether it be covering an on-call shift or helping during a procedure, so we all help each other. Teamwork and positive attitude are really what makes you a good team member.”  Not only are these individuals dedicated to impacting the lives of patients with the very organ that beats life into them, but they also are devoted to Renown – and it shows.  “I started working for Renown when I was 19 years old, and Renown was the medical system I went to for care; as I spent more time working here and becoming a part of the community, I could not see myself working anywhere else or getting care at any other hospital,” said Zohra Benbrahim, RN. “I truly believe Renown provides the best care and best serves the growing community of northern Nevada.”  The Cath Lab team members agree that Renown is a great place to both start and continue your career. Many of them have taken advantage of Renown’s training and educational opportunities, which in turn have helped them expand their knowledge to better serve the community.  “I chose to work at Renown because it gave me the place to grow in my career and experience different avenues within my career,” said Michael Blankenship. “I first started off as a student here, and I quickly realized that everybody I worked with genuinely cares for our patients. I started off in x-ray seeing patients and eventually did rotations up in the operating room, and I got hired full time in the Cath Lab.  After a short time being here, I was crossed trained in the electrophysiology lab, where I furthered my knowledge in my career.”  This dynamic department is actively hiring, and many open positions are sign-on bonus eligible. The team cannot wait to welcome you to their, as Erica Drummer puts it, “well-oiled machine.”  “Being a Cath Lab nurse is very rewarding, especially when you’re able to be a part of a team that can save someone’s life,” Erica closes.

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    • Monday, May 23, 2022

    Thirteen Area Nursing Students Recognized With Scholarships

    Three scholarship recipients honored with Cherie Elvin Memorial Scholarship for 2016 Reno Air Race tragedy; Ten others recognized with nursing scholarships by Renown Health Foundation donors. Thirteen area nursing students were the stars of the show today at an event celebrating nursing education. Renown Health leaders held the 2022 Nursing Scholarship Award ceremony to recognize future nurses making a genuine difference in the lives of others, and awarded scholarships to help them pursue their education. Scholarships were presented to thirteen nursing students who are also working at Renown Health and currently pursuing their nursing degrees. Today’s financial awards build on scholarship support from The Cherie Elvin Memorial Fund, which was created by the Elvin Family as a legacy to honor their mother, Cherie, who died at the 2011 Reno Air Races.  Melodie Osborn, RN Chief Nursing Executive; Jana Elliott, RN, DNP, Chief Nursing Officer for Renown Regional; Erin VanKirk, RN, Director of Nursing Education and Alicia Glassco, RN, Director of Medical-Surgical Nursing, presented the scholarships with Thomas Graf, MD, interim CEO of Renown Health during the event held at Mack Auditorium at Renown Regional Medical Center this morning. Members of the Elvin family attended the event via video link, and spoke to the group after watching a clip from Broken Propeller, an online documentary film by producer/director Christine Lazzarini that honors the heroes who responded to the tragedy on September 16, 2011. It was on that day that The Galloping Ghost, a highly modified North American P-51D Mustang racing aircraft, crashed into spectators while competing at the Reno Air Races in killing the pilot, James K. "Jimmy" Leeward, and ten people on the ground. Sixty-nine more people on the ground were injured. It was the third-deadliest airshow disaster in U.S. history.  The 2011 air race crash had an immeasurable impact on the entire Elvin family. Cherie, 73, lost her life, while Chuck, her husband of 52 years, their two sons and daughter-in-law all lost part of their right legs. The family received treated at area hospitals and is still grateful for the care, kindness and support received in northern Nevada. Cherie's son, Bill, and daughter-in-law, Rachel, spoke to the group saying, “As the Elvin family we honor and remember Cherie and work to support nurses in our community.” The care the family received from the physicians, nurses, hospital care providers, EMS teams, and the community inspired the Elvin Family to increase their funding from one scholarship to three scholarships.  Cherie Elvin Memorial Fund scholarships were presented to Alexis Perkins, Katelynn Mahone, Veronica Wentker, who all attend the nursing program at Carrington College.  To recognize the dedication and sacrifice, and to encourage others to pursue a nursing education, the nursing leadership team and Renown Health Foundation donors, for the first time, also awarded scholarships to ten additional recipients for a total of 13 awards. Each scholarship is valued at $1,000 and awarded to employees who are committed to working at the bedside, convey the fundamental qualities of a nurse and look to connect with patients recovering from traumatic situations. Kami Sherpa, who is a critical care technician in Telemetry, wants to work as a registered nurse in Telemetry or the Intensive Care Unit when she graduates. She is currently attending the Orvis School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno. Kami wrote, “I lost my grandad at a very young age. When he died, I decided to become a nurse and to do my best to make every person’s hospital stay a good one. I am the first person in my family to go to school and to earn a bachelor’s degree. This scholarship means so much. I know my mom and my grandma will be proud. I promised them I would take care of people in need and ease their pain. Nursing is my passion in life.” Nursing is an extremely rewarding career, and it has the added benefit of being in high demand. However, getting through nursing school takes a lot of hard work—and it can be expensive. According to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2019, there were approximately 3 million people working as registered nurses in the U.S. Demand for the role is expected to increase by 7% from 2019 to 2029. The average cost of nursing school can vary widely. The cost for a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) can be comparable to any other four year degree. According to U.S. News, the average cost of tuition for the 2020-2021 school year was $9,687 for a four year public school, and $35,087 for a four year private school. Some may pursue other pathways, such as an online RN to BSN program, which can sometimes be more affordable ranging between $25,000 to $80,000 in cost. While this may seem costly, the median annual salary for an RN in 2019 was $75,330. “There has never been a more important time to recruit and retain qualified candidates to become nurses,” said Thomas Graf, MD, interim CEO of Renown Health, as he announced the increased commitment of donors to Renown Health Foundation.  “Your journey to become a nurse includes a lifelong commitment to learning and showing up as your best self,” said Jana Elliott, Chief Nursing Officer for Renown Regional Medical Center. “Treat each patient as the most important person in the world to you. There is no more important or fulfilling work than to serve as a nurse.” She added, “You are on an incredible journey filled with joy, fulfillment, and a deep sense of purpose. Being a nurse requires a passion for people, a profound belief in serving others; trust in your teammates, the ability to embrace change, flexibility and true grit. It is an incredible privilege to be a nurse and to serve others in what is, perhaps, their greatest time of need.  The scholarship recipients of the 2022 Renown Health Nursing Scholarships are: Jion Manicdao Emily Thomas Christian Roberts Blake Conger Alaina Galyean Sadie Chalupa Jillian Dutra Leslie Zolan Kami Sherpa Erin Kristin Ramos Renown Health values and encourages employees to continue their education and supports career aspirations and goals. The education assistance program offers loan reimbursement and repayment opportunities as well as educational and financial guidance from experts. College tuition, certification and certificate reimbursement is provided for employees who are currently enrolled in college/university or taking the extra steps to receive a professional certification or certificate. In addition, the organization supports employees who have previously completed their education and are now managing the burden of student loans.  Renown Health is currently hiring registered nurses and other positions at https://careers.renown.org/ As a not-for-profit health system, Renown relies heavily on community funding. To donate to the Renown Health Foundation and nursing education, please call 775-982-5545 or email foundation@renown.org.   About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. 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.

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