Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health Obtains Only (IND) From FDA to Test GE180 Ligand Tracer

By | Featured, News

New Imaging Study is the First to Use GE180 in this Patient Population to Better Understand the Role of Inflammation in Disease Pathology

The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health has obtained the only Investigational New Drug (IND) to be issued by the Federal Drug Administration to test the GE180 ligand tracer, an experimental diagnostic imaging tool used to detect neuroinflammation, in the brains of those with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

Ligand tracers are used in radiology to help better depict protein interactions in living cells. Aaron Ritter, M.D., director of clinical trials at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, holds the IND for GE180 and serves as the principal investigator of a new positron emission tomography (PET) imaging study observing neuroinflammation in the brain.

The study’s goals are to better understand the link between inflammation and neurodegeneration, as well as determine if the tracer works in a new application: a patient population consisting of participants with normal cognitive function as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Currently, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is the first and only trial site testing GE180 in this patient population.

While inflammation is proven to play a role in both kidney and heart disease, the extent of its impact in brain disease is yet to be determined. Researchers are increasingly reporting that neuroinflammation — or over-activation of immune cells in the brain — may play an important role in pathology for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, but more research is warranted.

“We do know there is some connection between inflammation and neurodegenerative disease, but we have yet to confirm what that is, and until now, it’s been hard to quantify in a living brain. The GE180 tracer is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the science of brain disease in ways that have not previously been studied,” said Dr. Ritter. “If we can confirm that inflammation plays a role in dementia, this could lead to new treatments that specifically target cognitive decline.”

The imaging study is an observational sub-study of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s Center of Biomedical Research of Excellence (COBRE) grant, which aims to understand the similarities between Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The two-year trial will use the GE180 tracer in conjunction with PET scans to detect neuroinflammation in the brains of 70 participants. The COBRE grant is funded by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA)P20GM109025from the National Institutes of Health.

For additional information about the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, visit

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 52,000 employees are more than 3,600 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 11 regional hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2017, there were 7.6 million outpatient visits, 229,000 hospital admissions and 207,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at

About Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health provides expert diagnosis and treatment for individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases; multiple sclerosis; frontotemporal dementia and related disorders; and multiple system atrophy. The center offers a continuum of care with no-cost opportunities for the community to participate in education and research, including disease prevention studies and clinical trials of promising new medications. An integrated entity, Keep Memory Alive, raises funds exclusively in support of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, visit and

World’s Highest Performing Organ Procurement Organization Celebrates Six Record-Breaking Year

By | Featured, News

NDN Recovered 530 Organs from 130 Organ Donors, 799 Tissue Donors and 1,238 Cornea Donors in 2018

Nevada Donor Network (NDN) is proud to announce its sixth record-breaking year out of the last seven in the number of lives saved and healed through organ, eye and tissue donation. In addition to their role as a federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO), NDN also coordinates healing tissue and cornea donation statewide.

Nevada Donor Network sets important records in 2018.

Throughout 2018, Nevada Donor Network coordinated the recovery of 530 lifesaving organs from 130 organ donor heroes, 799 tissue donor heroes and 1,238 cornea donor heroes. These precious gifts allowed NDN to provide 442 grateful organ transplant recipients with a second chance at life, facilitate increased mobility and function for thousands of tissue recipients, and restore sight to 1,980 cornea recipients. As a key metric in determining OPO success worldwide, the average rate of organ donors per million of population served (DPMP) around the U.S. is approximately 33 DPMP. In 2018, NDN reached an unparalleled 59 DPMP based on Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and U.S. Census data. Per this same data, NDN also leads the nation in the number of organs transplanted per million of population served (TPMP) in 2018, achieving 201 TPMP – more than double the U.S. average of 99 TPMP.

The organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Ferreira shares, “It is with great pride that the Nevada Donor Network team continues to save and heal more lives than ever before at such a remarkable per capita rate. With the support of our hospital partners and community champions, we have the privilege of honoring the wishes of a record number of heroic donors and their courageous families; each one whose legacy will live on forever. In addition to celebrating our success of maximizing the gift of donation, we remain mindful of the fact that our work is not done. Until all 619 Nevadans on the waiting list and the more than 114,000 others nationwide receive their lifesaving transplants, we will continue to passionately serve our mission with record-breaking success. More than 2 million people who call this beautiful state ‘home’ are counting on us. We will proudly continue serving those who give and saving those who desperately wait across the globe in honor of our donors and their families. We are #nevadastrong for Nevadans.”

Desert Springs Hospital Joins Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE)

By | Press Release, Recognition

Desert Springs Hospital has earned recognition status with the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE), a nursing education and consultation program focused on the care of older adults. The recognition underscores Desert Springs Hospital’s ongoing dedication to geriatric care and its implementation of system-wide interventions and initiatives, ranging from staff education to providing helpful information for patients and their families.

“We know a significant number of our patients are at least 65 years old, and arriving for emergency care, a procedure or surgery, recovery time in our acute rehabilitation unit, or assistance through our geropsychiatric center,” said Andrea Davis, Chief Operating Officer for Desert Springs Hospital. “We want to ensure we are providing the specialized care and resources that benefit our senior population. As a NICHE-recognized hospital, we can adopt additional best practices and utilize exceptional materials and education.” 

The NICHE program of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing helps develop age-friendly care for older adults across the continuum. To earn the recognition, Desert Springs Hospital submitted a comprehensive report of their program activities for review by NYU Meyers faculty. NYU Meyers faculty recommends recognition status based on pre-established criteria.

“Desert Springs Hospital is working diligently to meet the needs of older adult patients,” says Mattia Gilmartin PhD, RN, FAAN of NICHE. “The organization’s capacity to bring together geriatric nursing resources and support to enhance care, and marks it as an up-and-coming leader in the field.”


Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) is a nursing education and consultation program designed to improve geriatric care in healthcare organizations. The NICHE program of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing provides resources for nursing and interdisciplinary teams to achieve organizational goals for the care of older adult patients. For more information visit


What’s Your Move Southern Nevada?

By | Press Release

Health District and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services host 5K Run/Walk to kick off Move Your Way Campaign

The Southern Nevada Health District’s Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are hosting a free 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Family Fun Walk Saturday, Feb. 9 to promote the department’s updated physical activity guidelines for children and adults and to launch its new Move Your Way campaign and website. The event is open to everyone and will be held at Craig Ranch Regional Park, 628 W. Craig Rd., North Las Vegas. Event check-in begins at 8 a.m., and the race starts at 9 a.m. To register, visit The event is free, but registration is required, and space is limited. For additional information about the event, call the Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at (702) 759-1270 or visit the Get Healthy Clark County or Viva Saludable websites.

The 2nd edition of the DHHS Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans includes physical activity recommendations as well as new information about additional benefits related to brain health and fall-related injuries; immediate and longer-term health benefits for how people feel, function, and sleep; risks of sedentary behavior; guidance for preschool children between the ages of 3 and 5; and tested strategies that can be used to get people to be more active.

With 2019 underway, the Southern Nevada Health District challenges everyone to become more physically active. The Move Your Way campaign encourages people to discover the new physical activity guidelines and how to incorporate them into everyday life. Move Your Way has planners to help people stay on track to attain better fitness. The Southern Nevada Health District’s Get Healthy Clark County and Viva Saludable websites also offer free, online programs that can help increase physical activity. Online programs include Walk Around Nevada and Neon to Nature. Additional programs include tools and resources about healthy eating, nutritional information tips, smoking cessation, and resources to help maintain a healthier lifestyle.

In Clark County, one in four adults is sedentary, meaning he or she did not participate in any leisure-time physical activity in the past month. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risks of developing heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, as well as becoming obese.

 Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: Follow the Health District on Facebook:, YouTube:, Twitter:, and Instagram: The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website:

Clark County Medical Society Alliance Fashion Show Set for March 19

By | Featured, News

Event Benefits Organizations Connect Families with Expert Organizations

The Clark County Medical Society Alliance is having their 18th Annual Fashion Show & Luncheon to support another great healthcare related cause, Autism Spectrum Disorder, on March 19, 2019 from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

The event works to bridge the local Autism Community with the local Medical Community in transitioning families with Autism to adulthood. Donations are supporting three organizations; Sunshine Nevada, UNLV Project FOCUS, New Vista offering socialization, recreation, upper-education and housing.

About the Fashion Show

The Fashion Show presenter is Vasari at Tivoli Village who will be showcasing their spring collections at luncheon held at the Four Seasons Las Vegas.

Four Seasons Las Vegas
3960 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Phone: (702) 632-5000
Map Link: Directions

Tickets & Sponsorships

Individual Tickets are $225.00
Table of 10 is $2,250

Click here for tickets.

Sponsorships opportunities available at the Platinum, Gold & Silver Levels. Contact Clark County Medical Society Alliance at for more details:

Clark County Medical Society Alliance
2590 E. Russell Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89120


Jacquelyn Warn of Nevada Donor Network Promoted to Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs

By | Featured, News

Warn Joins Executive Leadership Team to Ensure Organizational Quality and Compliance

Nevada Donor Network Promotes Jacqueline Warn.

Nevada Donor Network (NDN) is pleased to announce the promotion of Jacquelyn (“Jackie”) Warn to Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs. Warn originally joined the NDN team in 2017 as the organization’s Director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs. In her role as Director, she has expertly guided the organization through crucial policy updates, trainings, and exercises to strengthen compliance with all applicable regulatory agencies, ultimately ensuring we may continue to provide lifesaving and healing gifts to those who desperately wait. In her new role as VP of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Warn will join the executive leadership team to ensure the organizational pillar of quality and compliance is represented at all levels.

Nevada Donor Network President and CEO Joe Ferreira says, “It is a true honor to welcome Ms. Warn to the executive leadership team. As one of the highest performing Organ Procurement Organizations in the world, it is only fitting we recruit and promote the most highly talented individuals the world has to offer. The NDN team holds high regard for her expert understanding of advanced quality and compliance measures, as well as her enthusiasm for sharing this knowledge. We congratulate Jackie on this accomplishment and thank her for her dedication to the mission on behalf of those we humbly serve.”

With more than two decades of experience, Warn is undoubtedly a recognized leader within the donation and transplantation community. Prior to joining NDN, she served as the Corporate Director of Quality and Compliance for DCI Donor Services and the Senior Director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs for Donor Network of Arizona for more than 10 years. In addition to holding a Masters of Business Administration degree, she is a Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence by the American Society for Quality. She also maintains certification by the American Society of Clinical Pathology. Warn’s professional memberships include the American Association for Tissue Banks (AATB) Quality Council, where she currently serves as Chair (2016-2020) and previously served as Vice Chair (2014-2016); The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), in which she served as Quality Improvement Co-Chair in 2005 and Chair in 2006; The Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Membership Professional Standards Committee.

Mike Willden Retires and Reflects on Four Decades of Healthcare Service

By | Featured, News

Former Chief of Staff to Gov. Brian Sandoval Talks to Nevada Indy

Mike Willden

Mike Willden is considered one of the most knowledgeable civil servants in Nevada — when he spent his final day on the clock last Friday as former Gov. Brian Sandoval’s chief of staff, he ended a 45-year career with the state.

Willden hasn’t decided on his next steps, but at 63, he said he’s not yet ready to retire. He sat down with The Nevada Independent on Tuesday to field questions on the origins of Nevada’s healthcare and welfare systems and where he thinks it should go under Gov. Steve Sisolak’s leadership.

Read the full story in the Nevada Independent.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital Accepts Special Delivery of Preemie Buddies to Neonatal ICU to Promote Baby Bonding

By | Press Release

Sunrise Children’s Hospital gratefully accepted a soft and cuddly supply of Preemie Buddies today from the compassionate sponsors at the Desert Sage Auxiliary of the Assistance League. Purchased from the Shadow Buddies Foundation, the Preemie Buddy serves as a special form of communication between baby and parents, provides companionship and comfort and is a useful tool for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff.

Made of soft sheepskin material, dressed in a pink or blue layette, the Preemie Buddy is designed to promote “bonding” with the baby and parents soon after the baby’s birth. The Preemie Buddy itself is placed in the isolette with the baby while the layette (gown) on the Preemie Buddy goes home for the parents to hold next to their skin. In a day or two when the human scent is absorbed, the Preemie Buddy, re-dressed in gown, works to bring baby and parent closer together through the sense of smell. Weighing about 1.4 oz., the buddies are 7” high and meet FDA requirements.


Boris Decourt, Ph.D., Joins Cleveland Clinic Nevada

By | Press Release, Recognition

Boris Decourt, Ph.D., Joins Cleveland Clinic Nevada to Lead Center’s First Translational Neurodegeneration Research Lab

Neurobiologist will enhance research capabilities with the addition of translational research to help create new therapies and improve clinical outcomes

Cleveland Clinic Nevada welcomes Boris Decourt, Ph.D., as assistant staff to spearhead its first Translational Neurodegeneration Research Lab. 

Decourt, a neurobiologist, brings 15 years of experience to the center’s robust research program, most recently serving as an assistant research professor at Arizona State University. Through his work in fundamental science – a branch of science that provides a foundation of knowledge essential for applying discoveries to patient care – Cleveland Clinic Nevada will now be able to broaden the scope of its clinical trials program.

The addition of this new research capability cultivates an environment for translational research, which builds on basic scientific research to create new therapies, medical procedures, or diagnostics. This will allow physicians to readily apply what’s learned in the research lab to clinical care, helping to improve overall patient outcomes.

 “We are thrilled to add a talent like Dr. Decourt to our team, which allows us to elevate our research capabilities through our inaugural Translational Neurodegeneration Research Lab right here in Las Vegas,” said Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., FAAN, CCRI, director of the Camille and Larry Ruvo Endowed Chair for Brain Health at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “Cleveland Clinic remains committed to innovation and Dr. Decourt’s expertise and ability to conduct fundamental research will be instrumental in exploring new treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease.”                                                                  

Decourt received his doctorate of philosophy in neuroscience and pharmacology from The University of Bordeaux in France. He has since conducted nearly 10 influential research projects, specifically targeting early treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease in association with Arizona Alzheimer’s Research Consortium and an Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellowship, among others. In his new role, he will be working in conjunction with physicians on a variety of research projects out of the Translational Neurodegeneration Research Lab located at Roseman University.

“The ultimate goal of my research is to slow down or cure neurodegenerative diseases with early treatment interventions, and I can’t think of a better place to continue my work than Cleveland Clinic Nevada,” said Decourt. “I am enthused by Dr. Sabbagh and the entire Cleveland Clinic team’s proactive approach to the research of neurodegenerative disease and look forward to working alongside them in pursuit of new treatment options for those suffering from these debilitating diseases.”

For additional information about Cleveland Clinic Nevada, visit


Nathan Adelson Hospice Names April Stewart as Chief Nursing Officer

By | Featured, News

Stewart Responsible for Nursing Operations Leadership, Direction and Administration

Carole Fisher, president and CEO of Nathan Adelson Hospice, today announced April Stewart, RN and CHPN, has been promoted to the position of Chief Nursing Officer for the nonprofit hospice.

April Stewart, Chief Nursing Officer for Nathan Adelson Hospice.

In her role, Stewart will be responsible for providing leadership, direction and administration of nursing operations to ensure compliance with the organization’s strategic plans and objectives, in order to maintain high-quality, cost-effective hospice and palliative services.

Prior to this promotion, Stewart was hired as the Director of Palliative Care for Nathan Adelson Hospice. In that role, she led the palliative care team and served as project manager for the implementation of new palliative care software and worked with the Nathan Adelson Hospice team and product engineers as they built it. She played a major role in the expansion of the home-based palliative care program.

She also stepped in as the Interim Admissions Clinical Manager where she was responsible for clinical oversight of the admission team members. She partnered with the business development team to foster relationships with healthcare providers and the community, in order to support patients in need of hospice services.

Stewart began her medical career as a triage nurse and took on various leadership positions, including hospice patient care administrator and later hospice executive director. Of her 14 years of healthcare experience, 12 have been in hospice care. Prior to her healthcare career, she was a non-commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps. Most recently, Stewart was Executive Director and Senior Director of Clinical Operations for Remita Health, where she provided oversight for seven locations and clinical operations for the multi-site hospice agency.

Stewart earned her Associate’s Degree in the Science of Nursing from Maric College in San Diego, CA. She holds memberships in several organizations, including HPNA, the Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association. She holds a certification in hospice and palliative nursing and is an active community volunteer.

About Nathan Adelson Hospice

Nathan Adelson Hospice has been providing hospice care and palliative medicine for over 40 years. The oldest, largest and only non-profit hospice in Southern Nevada cares 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 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