Las Vegas HEALS Partners with AHEC for December Workforce Task Force Meeting

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Meeting Set for Thursday, December 5 At Roseman University Summerlin Campus

Las Vegas HEALS will be partnering with the local Area Health Education Center (AHEC) for its December Workforce Task Force meeting. Dr. Jerry Reeves will present information on The Nevada AHEC Scholars Program, a nationally funded program by the Health Resources and Administration Association (HRSA).

The meeting will take place on Thursday, December 5, at the Roseman Auditorium inside Roseman University’s Summerlin campus located at One Breakthrough Way. Check-in starts at 11:45 a.m., and the meeting, which includes lunch, will begin at noon. Workforce Task Force members are encouraged to bring other HR professionals and leaders from their organizations that have an interest growing the Las Vegas pipeline of future healthcare workers.

Attendees of the meeting can expect to learn about the efforts being made from both organizations and how their respective companies can get involved. The education sub-committee of Las Vegas HEALS has been working with leadership from CCSD, planning health career related events for the Spring of 2020. AHEC developed the “Camp Med” program with a similar goal of introducing physician careers to high school students. Bringing these efforts together will allow both partners to achieve their goals and mission.

“Our shortage of healthcare professionals leads to delayed access to needed care and poor health outcomes in Southern Nevada,” said Dr. Jerry Reeves. “Our best hope is expanding our pipeline of students who pursue health services careers. Nevada Area Health Education Centers hope to collaborate with Las Vegas HEALS to develop more future leaders in health care. Together we can make a difference.”

“Las Vegas HEALS is always looking for ways to expand our information and communication measures,” said Doug Geinzer, CEO of Las Vegas HEALS. “The goal of Las Vegas HEALS is to bring together healthcare leaders to start and continue discussions that are necessary to fulfill the organization’s mission. It’s just another way to keep our members in the know of local, important happenings.”

The Nevada AHEC is a program of the Office of Statewide Initiatives, University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine. The Nevada AHEC Scholars Program is aimed at strengthening the health care workforce across the state in collaboration with Desert Meadows AHEC, High Sierra AHEC, and Frontier AHEC.

Tij von Nieda New Encompass Health Rehabilitation CEO

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Tij von Nieda named CEO of Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Las Vegas

Tij von Nieda new CEO of Encompass.

Tij von Nieda has been named CEO of Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Las Vegas. In his position as CEO, von Nieda oversees all of the day-to-day operations as well as patient care and quality at the 79-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital. He assumed the position on August 19th, 2019.

“Tij is a proven leader in the post-acute hospital space and is a great addition to lead our team in Las Vegas,” said Jerry Gray, regional president of Encompass Health’s west region. “He will continue to build on Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Las Vegas’ reputation of being a preeminent healthcare provider for patients recovering from debilitating illnesses and injuries.”

Von Nieda trained as an executive in the Encompass Health CEO development program. Prior to becoming CEO, he served as a speech therapist and, later, as the Patient Assessment Standards Coordinator. Von Nieda earned his master’s degree in speech language pathology from University of Utah as well as dual bachelor’s degrees in Russian (arts) and communication science and disorders (science) from Brigham Young University.

About Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Las Vegas
Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Las Vegas is a 79-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital that offers comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation. Serving patients throughout the Las Vegas Valley, the hospital is located at 1250 S. Valley View Blvd. and on their website.

About Encompass Health
As a national leader in integrated healthcare services, Encompass Health (NYSE: EHC) offers both facility-based and home-based patient care through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies and hospice agencies. With a national footprint that includes 133 hospitals, 245 home health locations, and 82 hospice locations in 37 states and Puerto Rico, the Company is committed to delivering high-quality, cost-effective, integrated care across the healthcare continuum. Encompass Health is ranked as one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. For more information, visit their website.


CMS Changing How Doctors Paid to Coordinate Care

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Announces New Guidelines

The CMS on Friday finalized rules that modify how physicians get paid for evaluation and management services and changes how the agency determines the financial rewards that doctors receive for improving healthcare quality and lowering costs.

The final physician fee schedule rule updates E/M codes for every specialty in 2020, but the CMS targeted its changes to encourage primary care physicians and other clinicians to spend more time coordinating care for their patients. The agency hopes these changes will help address the social determinants of health, increase patient adherence to treatment and improve the continuity of care. The final rule is virtually unchanged from the regulation proposed over the summer.

Read the full story.

NIH funded Research at UNLV to Focus on Down Syndrome

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UNLV Physical Therapy Professor Thessa Hilgenkamp Conducts Research on Cardiovascular Physiology Among Populations with Neurological Limitations

One of the more daring moments for Thessa Hilgenkamp happened recently when she moved more than 5,300 miles away from home to work at an ambitious university with a can-do attitude. Now she’s preparing to continue her research focused on cardiovascular physiology among people with neurological limitations. But if you want to present Thessa with a challenge today, ask her to describe the taste of an “oliebol.”

Read the full story.

Las Vegas Patients to Get Alzheimer’s Drug During FDA Review

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New Therapy Demonstrated Promise During New Analysis of Clinical Studies

The director of clinical trials for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas hailed as “great news” Tuesday’s announcement by the drug company Biogen that it would seek federal approval for a new drug to treat cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.

“It’s a step in the right direction toward a therapy that may change the course of a disease that affects millions of Americans,” said Dr. Aaron Ritter, the principal investigator in a study of the drug conducted at the Ruvo Center. Read more.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada

Comprehensive Cancer Centers May Move HQ to Downtown Las Vegas

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Comprehensive Considering Leaving Henderson for Downtown Las Vegas

Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada is considering leaving its headquarters in Henderson for downtown Las Vegas, where it would construct a four-story facility in Symphony Park that also would expand services for the flagship office.

Under the proposed project, the central business office in Henderson — which houses administration, human resources, marketing, billing and finance departments — would be closed. It would be replaced by the 100,000-square-foot downtown headquarters, which would also accommodate 10 medical oncologists, a breast surgeon, pulmonologists and researchers, according to city documents. Read more.

CEOs Against Cancer Research Symposium Hosted by Roseman University

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Event Bringing Together National, Local Leaders in Cancer Research

This year’s symposium event, to be held on November 14, is designed to encourage collaborative research among various educational institutions and other organizations in Nevada, while providing national perspectives on research. Panelists for the event include Marian Waterman, PhD from UC Irvine and Comprehensive Cancer Centers’ Oscar B. Goodman, Jr., MD, PhD., with opening comments presented by Roseman University of Health Sciences President, Renee Coffman PhD, RPh.

Marian Waterman, PhD, is professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine; Director of the Cancer Research Institute; and Deputy Director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Irvine. Dr. Waterman will share insights into the importance of American Cancer Society-funded research and how it has impacted her work, provide an overview of the grant application process, and share her journey as a member of a peer review committee.

Oscar B. Goodman, Jr., MD, PhD, is a medical oncologist and physician-scientist at Comprehensive Cancers of Nevada and serves as Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Roseman University College of Medicine. Dr. Goodman will speak about his work in translational clinical research in the areas of prostate cancer research. Key discussion points will include: understanding the shortcomings of androgen deprivation therapies; potential points and approaches to restoring sensitivity; and identifying the shortcomings of prostate cancer-directed cytotoxic therapies and considering novel therapeutic approaches to address these shortcomings.

Following the reception, local research projects will be displayed at an informal networking reception. All attendees are encouraged to stay and network with fellow researchers and faculty.


To attend the event, please RSVP to Dr. Coffman at

To display research boards, please contact Sam Wise at for an application, as space may be limited and is available on a first come, first served basis.


November 14, 2019 | 12:30 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Roseman University of Health Sciences
Summerlin Campus (click here for a map link)
One Breakthrough Way
Las Vegas, NV 89135


12:30 p.m. – Registration and Welcome reception
1:30 p.m. – Opening comments by Renee Coffman PhD, RPh
1:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Presentations by Dr. Waterman and Dr. Goodman
4:30-5:30 p.m. – Research showcase and reception
5:30-7:30 p.m. – We welcome you to join us for the CEOs Against Cancer reception


Marian Waterman, PhD

Dr. Waterman received her degree in biochemistry and biophysics from Oregon State in 1981 and her doctorate in physiology/pharmacology from UC San Diego in 1987. Dr. Waterman discovered one of the first gene regulators for a signaling pathway called “Wnt” – which is heavily implicated in multiple types of cancers.

She has devoted her research career to uncovering how Wnt signaling leads to colon cancer and how signaling directs stem cell behaviors in normal tissues. Throughout her career, Dr. Waterman has been supported by the American Cancer Society, starting as a post-doctoral fellow and then with research grant funding as an Assistant Professor.

Currently she is professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. Dr. Waterman serves as Director of the Cancer Research Institute, an Institute that operates as the basic science arm of the nationally designated UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

She also serves as Deputy Director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Irvine. In 2018, Dr. Waterman and two colleagues established an NCI-funded Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CaSB@UCI) – one of only 13 centers in the United States devoted to the promotion of interdisciplinary research among mathematicians, engineers, and biologists. At the national level, Dr. Waterman has served for many years as a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, recently concluding her term as chair of an NIH cancer grant review panel. She is most proud of her service to the ACS as a reviewer and Chair of a grant review panel, and most recently as a member of the National Extramural Council for Grants.

Oscar B. Goodman, Jr. MD, PhD

Dr. Oscar Goodman is a physician-scientist. He is a hematologist, medical oncologist, and clinical researcher at Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Dr. Goodman also serves as an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Roseman University College of Medicine, where he conducts translational research with colleagues on the Prostate Cancer Research team as part of the university’s Cancer Research Program. His basic,translational, and clinical research projects center around understanding mechanisms that govern cancer’s resistance to hormonal therapy, focusing on prostate cancer.

Prior to joining Comprehensive Cancer Centers and Roseman in 2012, Dr. Goodman worked as a medical oncologist at the UC San Diego Nevada Cancer Institute. Before moving to Las Vegas, Dr. Goodman worked as a clinical associate and later as a physician for the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Campus, in New York City.

Dr. Goodman has earned multiple awards during his extensive career. He is a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology and has been named a Regional Top Doctor by US News and World Report and Castle-Connolly annually since 2008. Dr. Goodman has been honored with the title of Research Healthcare Headliner by Vegas Inc. and received the 2014 Southern Nevada Technology & Research Healthcare Hero award by Nevada Business Magazine. He was awarded the Inspired Excellence in Health Care Award by Las Vegas HEALS. Additionally, he is consistently recognized as a Top Doctor by Vegas Inc. and Desert Companion in its annual polls.

In addition to years of research and medical practice, Dr. Goodman has authored numerous abstracts, book chapters, and more than 40 peer-reviewed publications. He also received peer-reviewed translational research support through the Department of Defense.

Dr. Renee E. Coffman, BS Pharm, PhDPresident and Co-Founder

Dr. Renee Coffman is president and co-founder of the Nevada College of Pharmacy, now Roseman University of Health Sciences. She previously served as the University’s Executive Vice President for Quality Assurance and Intercampus Consistency and the Dean of its College of Pharmacy. Prior to establishing Roseman University, Dr. Coffman became a founding member of the faculty at Western University of Health Sciences, where she also held the position of Facilitative Officer for Student Services. While at Western, Dr. Coffman and four colleagues received Honorable Mention for the AACP Innovations in Teaching Awards.

A licensed pharmacist in the state of Nevada, Dr. Coffman earned a Pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University in 1987 and following graduation worked as a pharmacist in her hometown of Bucyrus, Ohio and in Piqua, Ohio. In 1995, Dr. Coffman earned a doctoral degree in Industrial and Physical Pharmacy from Purdue University, where she received the Kienle Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Jenkins-Knevel Award for Outstanding Graduate Research and was awarded an AAPE-AFPE Association Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Desert Radiology Partnerships Power Career Growth

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Desert Radiology Working with UNLV College of Southern Nevada (CSN) to Provide Comprehensive Internships

The radiology industry is growing at record pace in Southern Nevada. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the number of technologists is expected to increase nine percent between 2018-2020, which is faster than all other occupations.

Desert Radiology understands this growth and attributes most of the valley’s increase to the older generations moving to Las Vegas for retirement. Recently, the Desert Radiology team at the Palomino facility held a community job fair to recruit qualified candidates for available scheduling and front desk positions. Interested applicants had the opportunity to talk with Desert Radiology team members and learn about careers within radiology and the multiple professional growth plans available.

In addition, Desert Radiology has also established partnerships with University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and College of Southern Nevada (CSN) to provide comprehensive internships to develop hands-on skills. The Desert Radiology Palomino facility works with students from both colleges to help prepare them for a career in radiology. When the internship is over, interns who have successfully completed their responsibilities are hired onto the team.

“Here at Desert Radiology we believe it’s vital to partner with our community to address the need for technologists. Radiology is critical for proper healthcare as we help diagnose multiple health conditions,” said Geri Hazelitt, Vice President of Human Resources at Desert Radiology. “By partnering with our local higher education institutions, we provide students a real hands-on experience to understand the radiology career and how they can make an impact on the overall health of our community.”

Desert Radiology currently has 10 interns from UNLV and CSN who are rotating at their facilities. To learn more about internships and career opportunities, visit their website.

Las Vegas HEALS Congratulates Chamber Awards Winners

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Las Vegas HEALS Congratulates Members Recognized at the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards

Las Vegas HEALS congratulates Comprehensive Cancer Centers, Fingerprinting Express and Healthy Nevada Project that were selected by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce as 2019 Business Excellence Award winners. Recipients for this year’s Business Excellence Awards were recognized at MEET Las Vegas on Oct. 16.

Each winning recipient was chosen in one category: Comprehensive Cancer Centers won in the Legendary Leaders category, Fingerprinting Express was the winner in the Game Changers category, and Healthy Nevada Project won in the Global Benefactors category.

The Chamber Business Council’s Business Excellence Awards committee, which judged the nominations, is comprised of community and business leaders. The committee selected the honorees based on various factors, including the company’s innovation, workplace culture and community involvement. In addition to the recognitions at the event, the companies and organization honored also received a special feature in the Business Voice magazine and on the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce website.

Las Vegas HEALS members Capability Health & Human Services (formerly known as Easterseals Nevada) and Driven Neuro Recovery Center were both recognized as Business Excellence Awards finalists. Las Vegas HEALS was also honored as a Business Excellence Award finalist.

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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 community, collaborating on workforce issues, and being a proactive force for legislative initiatives to improve access and the delivery of quality healthcare. The organization now represents members who collectively employ over 34,000 healthcare professionals. Multiple task forces, councils and committees meet on a regular basis to address various issues and opportunities.

Lady Gaga’s Foundation to be Honored Locally

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Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Selected as Beneficiary of Event in March 2020

Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation was selected to receive the proceeds from Clark County Medical Society Alliance’s 19th annual Spring Fashion Show luncheon being held at the Las Vegas Four Seasons on March 19, 2020. The fashion show – which in past years drew over 400 attendees and featured fashion industry stars like Louis Vuitton, Emilio Pucci, St. John, Tory Burch, Anne Fontaine, and Diane Von Furstenberg – will allow both Born This Way Foundation and the Alliance to join forces to support Nevada’s youth and their mental wellness.

Clark County Medical Society Alliance (CCMSA) Co-Presidents, Michele Volker and Ginger Allen said, “Each year we choose a different organization as the beneficiary of our fashion show, focusing on organizations whose goals align with our mission to promote health education and support health related charitable endeavors.” Michele, continues, “We look forward to working with Born This Way Foundation at this year’s fashion show and helping them expand their work to improve youth mental wellness in Nevada.”

Born This Way Foundation, in collaboration with the National Council for Behavioral Health recently created the teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) pilot program and chose Valley High School, in Southern Nevada, as one of eight pilot schools across the country. tMHFA is an in-person training for high school students, grades 10 to 12, that teaches students about mental illnesses and how to identify and respond to a developing mental health problem among their peers. tMHFA teaches students a 5- step action plan to help their friends who may be facing a mental health problem or crisis and highlights the important step of involving a responsible and trusted adult. Valley High School teachers and staff trained 650 students in the program just this past year.

President and Co-Founder of Born This Way Foundation, Cynthia Germanotta shared that, “We are so excited and grateful that CCMSA has chosen us as this year’s beneficiaries of the funds raised at this year’s fashion show. Support from local community members who both volunteer for CCMSA and those who will be in attendance only reinforces the need for youth mental health support in Nevada.”

The funds raised by the Alliance at this year’s annual fashion show will help bring the tMHFA program to other Southern Nevada high school seniors. The funding given to Born This Way Foundation will go towards connecting local high school students and their families with the local medical community so they can access mental health awareness and education services, as needed.

Born This Way Foundation was co-founded by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. Their mission aligns with that of the Alliance – a non-profit service organization composed of spouses of physicians in Clark County that focuses on health-related needs in the community.

For more information or to sponsor the Clark County Medical Society Alliance’s Spring Fashion Show, email Co-Presidents Michele Volker and Ginger Allen at

Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2012 to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. To achieve these goals, Born This Way Foundation leverages evidence-based research and authentic partnerships in order to provide young people with kinder communities, improved mental health resources, and more positive environments – online and offline. To learn more, visit

CCMSA is a nonprofit service organization composed of spouses of physicians in Clark County. They are also members of the Nevada State Medical Association Alliance and the American Medical Association Alliance. The alliance, primarily a service organization, focuses on health-related needs in the community, initiating projects or providing volunteer hours and monetary assistance to charitable organizations or groups. For more information, visit