Hands Together: Volunteers in Medicine’s Annual Fundraiser Set For November 4

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Dr. Tony Marlon, Sierra Health Services founder, will be honored

Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada (VMSN), a nonprofit dedicated to providing free health care services to low-income, uninsured Southern Nevadans, will host its ninth annual dinner fundraiser, Hands Together, Saturday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. in the Palazzo Ballroom. All proceeds will help fund VMSN’s medical services and programs.

This year’s Hands Together honoree is Dr. Tony Marlon, former chief executive and founder of Sierra Health Services, and a longtime supporter of VMSN’s core mission to serve Southern Nevada’s less fortunate.

“Hundreds of thousands of Southern Nevadans remain uninsured and need access to health care,” said Dr. Florence Jameson, VMSN’s founder and president. “The Hands Together fundraiser is about the community uniting in a shared cause to help the most vulnerable among us. For nearly a decade, VMSN has been the medical safety net for thousands, and we could not do it without the support of selfless individuals like Dr. Marlon.”

Through the generosity of community partners, donors, and more than 650 volunteers, VMSN provided over $5 million in healthcare services at the Paradise Park and Ruffin Family clinics this past year. Additionally, VMSN provided:

  • 8,000 primary and specialty medical care appointments to approximately 2,700 men, women and children
  • More than $1 million in free diagnostic testing
  • More than $3.1 million in free medications

Last year, as part of its pledge to provide “holistic healthcare,” VMSN added a dental program and social and behavioral health intervention programs to its list of services.

For more information, or to purchase tickets to Hands Together, contact Esther Green at (702) 912-0020 or visit www.vmsn.org.


Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada (VMSN) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, staffed primarily by volunteers, that offers free health care and wellness services to the working uninsured and unemployed residents of Southern Nevada. VMSN clinics provide free adult and pediatric primary care, preventive and acute care, newborn checkups and immunizations, diagnostic tests, medications, breast, and cervical and colorectal cancer screenings to eligible Southern Nevada residents who do not qualify for Medicaid/Medicare or cannot afford health insurance coverage. Founded in 2008, VMSN’s mission is to provide quality health care and support for people without access within a Culture of Caring. In 2015, VMSN opened its second location – the Ruffin Family Clinic – near downtown Las Vegas in one of the city’s highest poverty zip codes and expanded its services to include dental, social and behavioral health interventions. To learn more about VMSN, visit www.vmsn.org or call us at (702) 967-0530.

US News and World Report Names Siena Campus High-Performing

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Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican’s Siena Campus has been recognized as a “High-Performing Hospital” by U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of best hospitals for 2017-2018.  This is the second year in a row that Siena hospital has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report for its performance.

Siena’s High-Performing status was based on its scores in the following procedures:

·         Colon Cancer Surgery

·         Hip Replacement

“We are committed to ensuring that our patients receive the best possible care, and this is especially important with our aging population,” said Eugene Bassett, Senior Vice President of Operations in Nevada and Chief Executive Officer of Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican’s Siena Campus. “For all procedures, giving patients back their quality of life is a top priority and we are proud that we have been recognized for our high-performance in two procedures that are doing just that. Thank you to the efforts of our medical staff and employees who have worked diligently to care for each patient on an individual basis – human kindness is contagious.”

U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital rankings, now in their 28th year, are designed to help patients decide where to receive care, and US News evaluates data on nearly 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult specialties, 9 adult procedures and conditions and 10 pediatric specialties. The Best Hospitals methodologies include objective measures such as patient survival, the number of times a given procedure is performed, infection rates, adequacy of nurse staffing and more. The ratings in procedures and conditions focus on Medicare patients.

About Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican

As the community’s only not-for-profit, faith-based health system, Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican has been guided by the vision and core values of the Adrian Dominican Sisters for more than 70 years. As the Henderson and Las Vegas communities grow, the three St. Rose Dominican hospitals (the Rose de Lima, Siena and San Martín Campuses) and nearly 4,000 employees will continue the Sisters’ mission of serving people in need. St. Rose Dominican is a member of the 22-state Dignity Health network of nearly 9,000 physicians, 62,000 employees, and more than 400 care centers, including hospitals, urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics. For more information, visit our website at strosehospitals.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or our Blog. St. Rose is hiring! To apply for an open position, visit our careers website.


Dr. Karleen Adams, D.O. Joins Nathan Adelson Hospice

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Carole Fisher, president and CEO of Nathan Adelson Hospice, today announced that Dr. Karleen Adams, D.O. has joined the nonprofit hospice as Medical Director.   In this role, she will work directly with patients and their families providing hospice and palliative care.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science and Engineering from Eastern Washington University, and later graduated from Touro University-Nevada as a Doctor of Osteopathy. Dr. Adams received additional training as a Family Medicine resident at Valley Hospital Medical Center, and in 2017 completed a Nathan Adelson Hospice Palliative Care Fellowship. She became a board-certified family medicine physician in 2016. Before embarking on her medical career, she served in the U.S. Navy with a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion in Mississippi.

Dr. Adams is dedicated to helping the community and is involved with multiple organizations, donating her time as a speaker, volunteer and committee member. Among them are: The Donor Appreciation Committee; Emergency Department Volunteer- Valley General Medical Center and Sacred Heart Medical Center; Emergency Medical Responder in Spokane County, Washington; Medical Spanish Club – Secretary and fundraiser; Soup Kitchen of Las Vegas; Relay for Life; Silverman medical team; Safe Haven for Women; Walk for Breast Cancer; and United Way.

A mother to an adult son, she enjoys rock climbing, canyoneering, yoga, and training for her first Tough Mudder mud run this fall. She also enjoys practicing mindfulness, meditation and Buddhism.

About Nathan Adelson Hospice

Nathan Adelson Hospice, the trusted partner in hospice care and palliative medicine for almost 40 years, is the largest non-profit hospice in Southern Nevada, caring for an average of 400 hospice and palliative care patients daily. In 1978, Nathan Adelson Hospice began providing home care hospice service in Southern Nevada with the mission to offer patients and their loved ones with comprehensive end-of-life care and influence better care for all in the community.  In 1983, Nathan Adelson Hospice opened an in-patient hospice in Las Vegas, and today the hospice is recognized as a national model for superior hospice care. The mission of the hospice is to be the Hospice of Choice, the Employer of Preference and a Training Center of Excellence for comprehensive end of life care.  Its vision is simple: no one should end the journey of life alone, afraid or in pain.

The hospice also is home to The Center for Compassionate Care, a non-profit counseling agency providing individual, group and family counseling services to address grief, loss and issues related to surviving life-threatening illnesses. For more information, visit www.nah.org.

Second Valley Health System Hospital Installs Bacteria Fighting Operating Room Light Fixtures

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Indigo-Clean™ light fixtures installed to help keep patients safe in Spring Valley Hospital’s new hybrid cardiac surgical suite

Spring Valley Hospital, part of The Valley Health System, recently unveiled its $1.8 million hybrid cardiac operating suite. The 930-square foot suite is used for advanced procedures like thoracic aneurysm repairs, minimally invasive heart surgeries and cardiac catheterizations. Within the suite, Indigo-Clean™ disinfectant light fixtures were installed to help proactively kill bacteria, thus reducing the risk of infections.

“We designed our new hybrid cardiac operating suite with our patients and community in mind,” said Leonard Freehof, CEO/Managing Director, Spring Valley Hospital. “Providing high-quality patient care, while maintaining a safe, clean environment for our patients is our number one priority. Knowing Indigo-Clean™ is a proven disinfectant technology, we felt it was important to partner Indigo-Clean with our current cleaning protocols within our new hybrid cardiac suite.”

Indigo-Clean fixtures use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to generate visible white light that also contains a narrow spectrum of indigo colored light. This indigo color uses a wavelength of 405 nanometers (nm) to automatically, safely and continuously disinfect the air, hard and soft surfaces. The 405nm light is absorbed by molecules within bacteria, producing a chemical reaction that kills the bacteria from the inside as if common household bleach has been released within the bacterial cells. When the OR is not being used, the lights can be switched to an Indigo-only mode, providing a higher degree of safe disinfection.
Freehof also noted, “We appreciate the ease of use of Indigo-Clean. Because the system is automated, safe and continuous, it doesn’t require a person to operate it which reduces risk of human error, and there is no room downtime which is important in a busy operating room.”

“Other disinfecting technologies are currently available to hospitals and health systems, but are optimized for daily or on-demand applications,” said Cliff Yahnke, Ph.D., Kenall’s Director of Clinical Affairs for Indigo-Clean. “Hospital staff needs to be trained to operate the technology, increasing cost and creating potential compliance issues which can easily undermine their benefits. Indigo-Clean uses visible light to automatically, continuously, and safely disinfect the environment 24/7 without the need for additional training or staff.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on any given day, around 1 in every 25 U.S. hospital patients contracts an infection in a healthcare setting. A CDC survey estimates that 75,000 hospital patients with hospital-acquired infections died during their hospitalization in 2011, and nearly one fourth (157,500 patients) developed infections from surgeries. Increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is estimated to kill up to 99,000 Americans and infect another 1.7 million each year.

“Surgical Site Infections are the most costly form of healthcare-acquired infection and providers are placing a renewed focus on improving cleanliness in the OR as part of a comprehensive bundle,” said Yahnke. “We are pleased The Valley Health System experienced the ease of use and the effectiveness of Indigo-Clean at the System’s newest hospital, Henderson Hospital, and chose to invest in the innovative technology at Spring Valley Hospital. Their commitment to patient safety is commendable; Indigo-Clean is proud to be a partner in their efforts.”

About Spring Valley Hospital
Spring Valley Hospital, located in southwest Las Vegas, is a full-service, tertiary care facility. The hospital offers emergency care, advanced cardiovascular and neurological services, comprehensive maternity services and a level III neonatal intensive care unit, an acute inpatient rehabilitation unit, outpatient wound/hyperbaric care and outpatient physical/occupational/speech therapy for adults and children.

About Kenall, manufacturer of Indigo-Clean™
Indigo-Clean™ is an affiliate of Kenall Manufacturing, which has earned a reputation for lighting challenging applications. Since its inception in 1963, Kenall has been known for superior quality, exceptional value, and durable solutions, and it is proud to provide sealed lighting for containment or clean spaces, security lighting for detention facilities, and specialized healthcare and transportation applications. Kenall products are designed and manufactured in the USA and meet the guidelines established under the Buy American Act and the North American Free Trade Agreement. For additional information on Indigo-Clean™, visit our website at http://www.indigo-clean.com or contact us directly at 262-891-9200.

Valley Health System Nurse Ethicist Helps Families Find Peace with Legislative Change

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Nevada leads the nation with use of American Academy of Neurology standards to determine brain death

During the 2017 session of the Nevada State Legislature, The Valley Health System helped make health care history by spearheading efforts to make Nevada the first state in the nation to formally adopt the American Academy of Neurology standards for the determination of brain death. The law becomes effective October 1, 2017 (Nevada Revised Statute 451.007).

Brain death is not the same as being in a coma or a persistent vegetative state (PVS), explained Ellie Powell, RN, the nurse ethicist for The Valley Health System, who also has a master’s degree in Ethics and Policy Studies. “Brain death means complete and permanent absence of neurological function in the cortex and the brain stem,” said Powell.

An example of brain death is a massive, irreversible brain injury of identifiable cause, which then causes a lack of blood flow to the brain.

While a patient might remain on a ventilator for breathing purposes, receive medications and feel warm to touch after being declared brain dead, it is for organ-sustaining purposes. The “organ-sustaining” language is also a key part of the legislation since the common term has been “life-sustaining,” yet there is no life to sustain. Life-sustaining applies to coma and PVS patients.

“This is important legislation for a patient’s loved ones,” said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President for The Valley Health System. “With American Academy of Neurology standards, there are no doubts. It has been determined through a battery of tests that the brain stem is dead, and the physician can speak with loved ones about next steps.”

Powell played a key role in the entire process, first bringing the issue to the attention of The Valley Health System Ethics Committee for consideration and approval, and then working with Perez, legislators and lobbyists to shepherd it through the legislative session. Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle, the chair of Health and Human Services committee, sponsored the bill. It passed unanimously in the Senate and with only one dissent in the Assembly during the 2017 session.

The Nevada State Legislature bill sparked attention in the bioethics world, including legislative tracking by The Kennedy Institute of Ethics, which was established at Georgetown University in 1971 as a bioethics center, think tank and library.

Prior to the passage of the legislation, Nevada hospitals followed the accepted medical standards of the Uniform Determination of Death Act, which does not specify the elements to be used in making a brain death diagnosis and are not standardized.

About The Valley Health System: The Valley Health System (VHS) cares for patients throughout Southern Nevada and surrounding communities. Accredited by The Joint Commission, VHS hospitals provide a comprehensive array of medical services including cardiovascular, neurosciences, maternity and women’s health, emergency and surgical care, along with specialty programs in stroke, chest pain, pediatrics, orthopedics, diabetes, wound care, surgical weight loss/bariatrics, geropsychiatric services and acute inpatient rehabilitation units. For more information, visit www.valleyhealthsystemlv.com


Updated information about The Valley Health System can be found on:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ValleyHealthLV
YouTube: www.youtube.com/TheValleyHealthSystem
Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center
Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center
Henderson Hospital
Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center
Summerlin Hospital Medical Center
Valley Hospital Las Vegas


Innovative, In-Home Digital Companion Provider Launches Pilot Program, Seeks Local Participants

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Revolutionizing how in-home care is provided, HAPPIE Home provides caregivers 24/7 peace of mind via mobile device

Approximately 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the previous 12 months, according to a 2015 report, “Caregiving in the U.S. 2015,” conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Public Policy Institute. As a result of circumstances, many of those caregivers see there is no other option than to place their elderly family members into assisted living facilities.

Those seeking alternatives to putting their family members into such facilities have a new option and can take part in a breakthrough pilot program by HAPPIE Home. HAPPIE (Helping All People Promote Independence Every day) Home is the creator of HAPPIE, an innovative, in-home digital companion that pairs with a caregiver’s smart phone.

“No one signs up to be a caregiver,” said Anthony Rufo, president of HAPPIE Home and Las Vegas resident. “Being a caregiver is mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting as well as time-consuming and stressful. Our hope with the HAPPIE system is to ease a lot of those things for caregivers, which will allow them to regain some of their strength and energy and, ultimately, be the caregivers they really want to be.”

Rufo knows first-hand how the stress of caring for an aging parent can take its toll on a family. In 2014, his sisters became caregivers for their aging mother on Long Island. Sometimes Rufo’s mother would not answer her daughters’ calls, worrying them to the point of dropping everything to drive over (an hour each way) to check on her. The situation was exhausting for Rufo’s sisters. It also became Rufo’s inspiration for HAPPIE.

Drawing on his experience as a caregiver and marketing/sales professional, Rufo partnered with longtime friend Will McMaster, Ph.D., who has 25 years of experience in technology and cybersecurity and is credited with multiple patents and U.S. government technologies. Together, the duo invented HAPPIE Home to keep loved ones in their own homes longer, enjoying their independence, while providing 24/7 peace of mind to caregivers, regardless of the distance.

After three years and countless hours of ideation, invention, testing, re-working, patent applications and much more, HAPPIE Home’s pilot program will begin in Southern Nevada in October.

While Rufo’s mother is no longer with us, all of her ideas and feedback created the foundation for HAPPIE. The innovative program’s technology comes in two parts:

  • The caregiver portal acts as a digital assistant to someone who is caring for a loved one. HAPPIE communicates with the caregiver via messages and alerts sent right to their smart phone, tablet or computer.
  • HAPPIE’s main components are installed in the home of the person being cared for, allowing HAPPIE to serve as a companion. HAPPIE learns their daily patterns. The loved one speaks to HAPPIE in a natural voice from anywhere in the home. They are not required to learn any new technology to use the system. Powered by proprietary voice recognition technology, HAPPIE responds verbally and displays answers on the home TV screen. Like Amazon Dot and Echo, HAPPIE’s long-range microphones and remote speakers can cover an entire home or residence.

During the pilot program, HAPPIE Home will install HAPPIE TV units in the homes of 250 selected participants in Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas to gain valuable customer feedback on the features and functionality of the HAPPIE system. Participants may have up to five caregivers who will pilot the caregiver smart phone portal.

Pilot participants will receive:

  • Professional installation of the HAPPIE TV in-home system
  • Smart video camera(s), which allows caregivers to visually check on their loved one from their smart phone
  • Remote hallway sentry pack
  • Door sensors
  • Caregiver portal – Apple IOS- and Android-compatible
  • Secure, dedicated cellular network connection
  • Device insurance coverage

In exchange for weekly feedback, pilot participants will receive exclusive pricing that will not be available to the general public.

The four-week pilot program is at no cost and also includes a professional installation at no cost (a $995 value). Additionally, a $1,000 security deposit is required; it will be refunded — regardless of duration of use — when the HAPPIE equipment is returned.

Pilot participants who wish to continue using the HAPPIE system will receive a 50 percent discount on the ongoing service cost: $499 per month (instead of the usual $995). A Wi-Fi hot spot service is included in the monthly fee, as is device replacement. Anyone who decides to discontinue the use of HAPPIE can rest assured knowing all of their information will be completely wiped from the system upon return.

Those interested in taking part in the pilot program can visit happiehome.com and click on the “Pilot Program” tab.

“Our goal is to make Nevada No. 1 in the country for elder care,” Rufo said. “We believe that revolutionizing how in-home care is provided is an excellent first step.”

Initially HAPPIE Home was designed for Alzheimer’s patients, but it quickly became apparent there was a greater need for all elderly – as well as adults with special needs – to stay in their homes longer.

A HAPPIE Home demonstration video can be found here. For more information, visit happiehome.com, call 702-997-8600 or email contact@happiehome.com.


Las Vegas HEALS to Host 6th Annual “Inspired Excellence in Healthcare Awards”

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LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas HEALS (Health, Education, Advocacy and Leadership of Southern Nevada) will honor its most diverse honorees as part of sixth annual “Inspired Excellence in Healthcare Awards” for their outstanding contributions to the Southern Nevada community.

Inspired by the pioneer exploits of Dr. Royce W. Martin, Las Vegas’ first chief surgeon circa 1905, the award ceremony will recognize the following healthcare leaders as those who ignite and inspire continued possibilities for healthcare excellence:

Chowdhury H. Ahsan, MRCP, M.D., Ph.D., FSCAI – University Medical Center
Mary Ann K. Allison, M.D., F.A.C.P – Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada
The Honorable Shelley Berkley – Touro University Nevada
Anashu Shah, M.D. – Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging
Troy S. Watson, M.D.  – Desert Orthopaedic Center
Carolyn Yucha, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, CNE – University of Nevada, Las Vegas

“This year’s class continues to raise the bar for healthcare in Southern Nevada by improving the quality of care through innovation,” said Ann Lynn, president of Las Vegas HEALS. “These individuals highlight the diversity that exists in our healthcare community who elevate the care, education, and workforce in our community.”

Past recipients have included healthcare leaders Dr. Joseph Adashek, Dr. Howard Baron, Dr. Charles Bernick, Dr. Joel Bower, Dr. Dale Carrison, Dr. Jim Christensen, Dr. Michael Ciccolo, Mr. Bob Cooper, Dr. Michael Crovetti, Dr. Jeff Cummings, Dr. Rutu Ezhuthachan, Dr. Mitchell Forman, Dr. Oscar Goodman, Jr., Dr. Joe Hardy, Dr. Don Havins, Dr. Flip Homansky, Dr. Florence Jameson, Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin, Dr. Edwin Kingsley, Dr. J.D. McCourt, Dr. Russ Nevins, Dr. Ben Rodriguez, Dr. David Steinberg, Dr. Steven Thomas, Dr. Nick Vogelzang, and Dr. Dylan Wint.

Las Vegas HEALS’ Chief Executive Officer Doug Geinzer said, “Las Vegas is home to healthcare leaders that are passionate about education, research, and the delivery of care. This year’s event, which also celebrates 15 years of Las Vegas HEALS, highlights individuals who continue to raise the bar and want to make our community better every day.”

The 6th annual gala will take place on Thursday, October 19th, 2017, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Individuals interested in attending or sponsoring the event should contact Las Vegas HEALS at 702-952-2477 or click here for more information.

About Las Vegas HEALS

Founded in 2002, Las Vegas HEALS (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Leadership in Southern Nevada) is a nonprofit, membership-based association whose mission is to foster strategic alliances in the healthcare and wellness communities, collaborating on workforce issues, and being a proactive force for legislative initiatives to improve access and enhance the delivery of high quality healthcare. The organization now represents members who collectively employ over 28,000 health care professionals. Recent initiatives have included the release of the Las Vegas Regional Strategic Plan for Medical & Wellness Tourism, the expansion of graduate medical education, and the issue of reimbursement rates.

Media Contact: Douglas Geinzer
(702) 604-5627