Vegas Hospital CEO Sam Kaufman Recognized In National Beckers’ Hospital Review

By | Editorial, Recognition, Slider | No Comments
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Sam Kaufman, the CEO of Desert Springs Hospital and Henderson Hospital in southern Nevada, struggled with his weight for his entire life until he underwent gastric sleeve weight loss surgery in April 2013. He didn’t go far for the procedure since Desert Springs Hospital is nationally certified as a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). Sam worked with Surgical Weight Control Center surgeons  Jim Atkinson, MD,  and Darren Soong, MD, to ensure the best possible outcome, losing over 135 pounds and opting to share his story with many others who were dealing with the same issues.
Sam was featured in a multimedia advertising campaign discussing his weight loss, and even blogged while he was undergoing the weight loss process (
To learn more Desert Springs Hospital’s Center for Surgical Weight Loss, visit  It includes information about the procedure, the surgeons, seminars, success stories, and even its own SHAPER app, which allows people to upload a photo and see what they would look like once pounds are swiped away. 
To read the original article in Beckers Hospital Review, click here.
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Desert Springs Hospital:

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The Valley Health System:

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Time to Fill Open Healthcare Positions Highly Elevated

By | Editorial, Health Care Employment

Recent indicators show that the average unemployment level in healthcare is now 3.2%, lower than other industries.  With an average time to fill at 44.7 days, healthcare employers have been turning to third-party agencies, increasing their overall cost of labor.  “New job creation and the need to fill existing roles as more healthcare professionals reach retirement age is creating a challenging recruiting environment, especially for clinical roles like physicians and nurses,” said Bryan Bassett, Managing Director of Health eCareers. “Although the number of professionals actively in the job market appears static, the increased availability of positions is making job seekers more selective.”

Read the entire report.

Curbing Chronic Disease A Key Policy Question For Presidential Candidates

By | Editorial, Healthcare Innovation OPM

As one of the early states in the 2016 presidential nomination process, Nevada is in a great position to drive policy messages in this election. Given that early voters have the power to give candidates critical momentum on the road to the White House, we have both the ability and responsibility to demand specific answers from the candidates on how they would handle the most important issues affecting our lives and futures.

And on one of the most important matters of the day — health care — we’re still waiting to hear their solutions.

The nation in general — and Nevada specifically — has a growing chronic disease crisis. Today, more than half of the citizens in our state have at least one chronic illness — heart disease, stroke, cancer, autism or diabetes — and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 percent of us have at least two chronic conditions. To make matters worse, data from the research firm IHS Life Sciences tell us that, unless we change course, a decade from now more than 1 million Nevadans will have cardiovascular disease and almost 250,000 of us will be diabetic.

And that’s just two of many costly chronic diseases.

With chronic disease being the leading cause of death and disability in our state, and affecting more of us every day, it seems perfectly reasonable to ask the presidential candidates what each plans to do about it. Thus far, the political dialogue regarding health care has focused on whether to repeal Obamacare or how many more government programs and regulations we need to make being sick cheaper. We’ve heard next to nothing about how to fight the chronic illnesses that are affecting hundreds of thousands of us and that account for 86 percent of health care spending.

Republican candidates for president will be in Las Vegas this week for Tuesday’s televised debate. There are a few questions they should answer. For example:

— We have a system that, by and large, treats symptoms as they occur instead of focusing on keeping people healthy. How would you change that? How would you improve the incentives in our health care system to encourage insurance companies, employers and medical professionals to prioritize the prevention, diagnosis and management of chronic diseases?

— How would you use the bully pulpit of the presidency to encourage individuals and communities to pursue and promote healthier lifestyles? More than six of 10 Nevadans are overweight or obese. How would you make population health a priority?

— Obamacare mandated that every American purchase health insurance. But studies show people receive recommended preventive care less than 60 percent of the time. How do we make sure that coverage equals affordable access to appropriate preventive medicine?

— Public and private research drives innovation for better treatments, therapies and cures for diseases. How would you accelerate medical progress, particularly if you support government restrictions on health industry revenues?

These questions concern not only the health of our population, but also our economic well-being. Building wealth depends on having good health, so we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that 86 cents of every health care dollar is spent to treat people with chronic diseases. If we can better treat, manage and prevent these illnesses, health care will be more affordable.

The chronic disease population is arguably the largest segment of voters in the country. The time is now for voters to direct the candidates’ attention to the importance of preventing and managing the chronic disease burden affecting every Nevadan.

— Ann Lynch is president of Las Vegas HEALS and co-chair of the Nevada Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

Will Nevada Follow In California’s Effort To Revamp Addiction Treatment For Medicaid Recipients

By | Editorial, Healthcare Innovation OPM

Nevada has been working tirelessly to address its own mental health challenges with many instrumental changes made during the last legislative thanks to the work done by the mental health sub-committee of the Southern Nevada Forum, led by our own George Ross and Dr. Andy Eisen.  With Nevada’s expanded Medicaid population, being able to provide addiction services could be a big move.  We should plan to watch the outcomes of California’s efforts and borrow any best practices discovered.

Learn more about California’s Effort To Revamp Addiction Treatment For Medicaid Recipients.

Heart And Sole

By | Editorial

Participants pass the Molasky Corporate Center on Saturday, Nov. 7, during the 2015 Las Vegas Heart & Stroke Walk and Run sponsored by the American Heart Association Las Vegas Division.

The American Heart Association enlisted the brains of Google and Las Vegas heels in its effort to combat cardiovascular disease.

The Heart Association and Google Life Sciences announced on Nov. 8 that will each contribute $25 million over the next five years to seek out new strategies in the prevention and treatment of heart disease.

All resources will be dedicated to an as yet to be determined approach delivered through a single multi-discipline research team. When participants are named and work begins next year, researchers will be “tasked with developing a richer, deeper understanding of cardiovascular disease,” according to the Heart Association.

Along with the financial resources, Google Life Science will contribute the company’s expertise in technology and data analytics. This marks the largest one-time research investment in Heart Association history.

One day before the announcement, hundreds of Southern Nevadans raised more than $320,000 on behalf of the American Heart Association at the annual Las Vegas Heart & Stroke Walk and Run. Several major healthcare organizations participated, including Las Vegas HEALS members.

Brought to you by Doug Puppel.

Feds Launch Brain Health Campaign At Las Vegas Expo

By | Editorial, Healthcare Innovation OPM

Dr. Jane Tilly, head of federal efforts to combat Alzheimer’s disease, announced that Las Vegas, home to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, would be a key market for a $4 million brain-health public-service campaign.

“This good news from my colleague Dr. Jane Tilly leverages our work,” said Dr. Kate Zhong, who leads research efforts at the Ruvo Center. “Knowledge is a powerful weapon, and that is as true at the kitchen table as it is in the lab.”

The “What is Brain Health? ad campaign seeks to ease fears of discussing the issue with family and physicians.

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske Chooses Las Vegas For Breast Cancer Treatment

By | Editorial, Healthcare Innovation OPM

The news that Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske has a disease that will afflict more than 230,000 women this year — and kill more than 40,000 of them — is awful. The news that she isn’t leaving the state for breast cancer treatment is uplifting.  As reported Saturday by Review-Journal columnist Jane Ann Morrison, Mrs. Cegavske had a lumpectomy Sept. 8.  This week, she began a five-day radiation regimen at Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Las Vegas.

Read more at the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Miss Colorado – you are more than “Just a Nurse”

By | Awards, Editorial

Watch this heartwarming video of Kelley Johnson, Miss Colorado, who delivers a monologues about her experience as a nurse, rather than the traditional singing, dancing or musical presentation delivered during the talent competition of the Miss America preliminaries. It further validates that nurses deliver an unprecedented level of care.

Nurse Johnson – you are much, much more than “Just a Nurse.”



Domestic Medical Travel – What HR Should Know

By | Editorial, Tourism

As Las Vegas continues to position itself as the most globally recognized destination for health & wellness travel (medical tourism), it is important that the human resource community understand the benefits and value of domestic medical travel.  The Society of Human Resource Management, the largest professional association of HR professionals, recently published this article called Domestic Medical Travel – What HR Should Know.

This type of education must continue within the employer marketplace as employers are the ultimate ‘buyers’ of healthcare.  As most know, Las Vegas HEALS has been hosting a series of focus groups recently to identify all of the regional accomplishments made since we published the Las Vegas Regional Strategic Plan for Medical and Wellness Travel in July 2014.  We will publish those accomplishments by year’s end.  We have done accomplished a lot.  It is amazing what can get done when you have a plan.  And I believe we are the only destination that has successfully pulled together stakeholders (147 in total) to write a strategic plan.