Scheduling for Appointments Available Beginning Saturday, April 3 with Homebound Vaccine Services Available
Beginning Monday, April 5, everyone in Nevada ages 16 and older will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free, and the Southern Nevada Health District is urging everyone who can get vaccinated to make an appointment to do so at one of its sites or a community partner clinic. Registration for those who are newly eligible will be open beginning Saturday, April 3 at www.snhd.info/covid-vaccine. Additional information for clinic locations in Clark County is available at www.NVCOVIDFigher.org.
“This has been a tremendous undertaking, and it is due to the hard work of our staff and partners and the support of the public that we are ready to begin vaccinating all who are eligible,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, District Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District.
As of April 1, there have been 633,254 COVID-19 vaccines initiated, 353,330 doses completed and a total of 964,189 COVID-19 vaccines administered in Clark County.
As vaccine eligibility is opened next week, the Health District is reminding people that appointments may initially fill up quickly. Appointments will continue to become available, and everyone who wants the vaccine will be able to get it. People are also encouraged to take the vaccine that is available to them at the time of their appointments. All three of the vaccines that are currently authorized have been found to be highly effective at preventing serious illness and death. However, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one currently authorized for children 16-17 years old. Vaccine availability for the Health District’s Cashman Center and Las Vegas Convention Center sites is noted on its clinic website.
The Health District is also announcing the availability homebound vaccine services. People who are homebound, including those needing medical equipment to leave their home such as a wheelchair, a walker or crutches, or are bedridden can call 702-455-0696 or email email@example.com to schedule services. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine will be administered through this program, and participants must be 18 years of age or older.
It takes about two weeks after getting fully vaccinated (two doses of Moderna or Pfizer, one dose of Janssen) for the body to build protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. After people are fully vaccinated, they can begin to do certain activities again. More details are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html. It is important for people who are fully vaccinated to continue to wear masks when in public or around unvaccinated people, to avoid large gatherings, and to get tested for COVID-19 if they develop symptoms.
The Cashman Center and Las Vegas Convention Center sites are open Tuesday through Saturday. The Cashman Center clinic is located at 850 Las Vegas Blvd N., Las Vegas, NV 89101, Exhibit Hall B. The Las
Vegas Convention Center Clinic is located at 3150 Paradise Hall in the C-1 area of the facility’s Central Hall. Dedicated parking is available in the Silver Lot of Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive.
For more information and COVID-19 resources, including available transportation assistance, go to www. SNHD.info/covid.
Nevada Heart Associates Ronny Jiji, MD, FACC, and Anthony P. Dota, III, MD Provide Insights to Help Women Better Manage Risks
According to the CDC, one person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. Heart disease also happens to be the number one killer of women—accounting for one in every four deaths.
Heart disease refers to a variety of conditions and events that affect the heart including but not limited to; heart attack, coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmia), stroke and heart failure. Warning signs of heart disease are not always the same for women as they are for men, so understanding the signs is key.
Although it is common during a heart attack for most to experience chest pain and pressure, some women can experience a cardiac event without those symptoms. Women are in fact more likely than men to have nausea or flu-like symptoms, low back pain, discomfort in the neck jaw or arms, fatigue, lightheadedness, shortness of breath and even vomiting during a heart attack.
Smoking and a strong family history can put you at risk for heart disease as well, but it’s important to understand all lifestyle choices and habits. Ronny Jiji, MD, FACC, board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and adult congenital heart disease and Anthony P. Dota, III, MD, board-certified in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology at Las Vegas Heart Associates weigh in on lifestyle triggers that can increase a woman’s risk for heart disease and what can be done for better health.
Smoking Cessation– It is important to quit smoking to protect and improve your health. According to the CDC, when you quit smoking completely you can reduce your risk for heart disease immediately. “There are many resources available for patients to help them quit,” said Dr. Dota. “It’s important to discuss with your physician or healthcare provider the options that are available to you,” Dr. Dota says.
Limit stress – Chronic or constant stress and traumatic events such as death of a loved one, a car accident or stress from work may cause damage to your arteries and promote the buildup of plaque deposits over time as well as worsen other risk factors for heart disease. “Studies show that high levels of cortisol from long-term stress can increase cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar and blood pressure,” said Dr. Jiji. “All of these risk factors are known causes of many known cardiac events such as a heart attack or stroke,” Dr. Jiji says. To reduce the effect of stress, try meditation, deep breathing exercises or yoga to relax your body and mind at least a few minutes a day. “Exercise is also a very heart healthy way to cope with stress and something I advise my patients to do,” said Dr. Jiji.
Yo-yo Dieting – Repeatedly losing and gaining weight, weight cycling or yo-yo dieting, can be detrimental for your heart down the road.
A study completed and presented in 2016 at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions looked at weight history that was self-reported for more than 158,000 post-menopausal women. The women were grouped into several categories: stable weight, steady gain, maintained weight loss or weight cycling. The findings were especially eye opening. Those of normal weight who lost and regained weight during the study period had a 3.5 times higher risk of cardiac death than women whose weight remained the same.
Keeping a balanced and consistent diet is key in managing your risk for heart disease. Diets high in saturated fat, trans-fat and sodium can increase anyone’s risk of heart disease and can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries. “If you eat meat, reach for lean meats like turkey and chicken rather than overly fatty, processed meats like sausage and bacon,” said Dr. Dota. “Plant-based proteins like tofu, beans and nuts are good options, too and I advise my patients to eat a diet incorporating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains versus processed foods,” said Dr. Dota.
Obesity – According to the Framingham Heart Study, obesity’s impact on the development of coronary artery disease (CAD) affects women far greater than men. The study showed an increased risk of coronary artery disease by 64% in women, compared to 46% in men.
Increased body weight can cause high blood pressure and is also linked to high cholesterol specifically affecting your HDL or “good” cholesterol with lower than optimal values. “You want the “good” cholesterol numbers higher as HDL cholesterol plays an important role in reducing your risk for heart disease,” said Dr. Jiji. “Obesity certainly plays a role in increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke and even sudden cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Jiji.
For women, if your BMI is over 30, it is considered obese and you may be increasing your risk on a number of heart diseases and conditions. It is important to be aware of your body mass index (BMI) and measure it at least once a year. Speak to your healthcare provider about lifestyle changes that you can do as well as weight loss support. It is important to take in fewer calories and develop healthy exercise habits.
Regular Exercise – Regular exercise is paramount in keeping your heart strong. Exercise can help manage weight, boost energy levels, improve sleep and manage stress. “Exercise has also been proven to help with blood circulation, cholesterol levels and managing high blood pressure which can reduce your risk of stroke,” said Dr. Dota. “For women, exercise can also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 30 to 40 percent,” said Dr. Dota. Walking, jogging, biking and swimming are great aerobic options for many starting out with an exercise plan. It’s also important to include resistance training which can include using your own body weight, resistance bands or weights.
“Moving your body for at least 30 minutes a day has tremendous health benefits and can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Exercise can strengthen not only your muscles and bones but also keeps your heart and lungs performing optimally,” Dr. Dota says.
Before you start any new exercise routine, it’s important to speak with your doctor to get clearance.
Screenings – For those individuals with a family history of heart disease, they should be vigilant and make sure they speak to their doctor about any risk factors and suggested screenings. “I advise my patients that if they do have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, the sooner we can get it under control, the less likely you are to have a serious heart event,” said Dr. Jiji.
The recommendations according to the American Heart Association includes getting blood pressure screenings at least every two years if your levels are below 120/80 mm Hg. For individuals with higher levels, they may need more frequent screenings. Every four to six years, you should also receive a fasting lipoprotein profile, a measurement of your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. And starting at age 45, be sure to have your blood glucose checked every three years, or more frequently if you’re at elevated risk.
It’s important to keep a balanced and heart healthy lifestyle in mind and not focus on any one aspect but the big picture as a whole. “Make sure that you are eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, managing blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels and most importantly, quit smoking,” said Dr. Jiji.
Both Dr. Dota and Dr. Jiji are accepting new patients. Both are seeing patients at the 2880 N. Tenaya Way, Suite 100 location on the campus of MountainView Hospital. For more information about the practice, please visit their website.
About Las Vegas Heart Associates:
Las Vegas Heart Associates is part of HCA Healthcare, one of the most integrated healthcare networks with 32 access points to serve the Southern Nevada community. The practice offers the full spectrum of cardiovascular care with two convenient locations in the valley. The specialists at Las Vegas Heart Associates are highly trained in General, Interventional, Structural, Vascular, Nuclear and Sports Cardiology as well as Echocardiography and Electrophysiology.
$250,000 as Part of Five-Year Commitment of $50,000 Per Year to Support Organ Donor Programs
Nevada Donor Network Foundation (NDNF) is pleased to announce it has received a 5-year commitment of $50,000 per year from the VGK Foundation. The Vegas Golden Knights and Henderson Silver Knights partnered with Nevada Donor Network Foundation to launch the “End the Wait” campaign, an effort to raise $35 million for a virtual transplant institute for Nevada. This virtual transplant institute will recruit surgeons and transplant teams to bolster Nevada’s kidney transplant needs and save more lives. Over the next few years, the vision is for the virtual transplant institute to have an infrastructure for Nevadans to have liver, pancreas, heart and lung transplants done right here in our community.
The financial commitment will help expand the current kidney transplant program in Nevada and create a new liver transplant program for its initial two years. NDNF, in partnership with Nevada Donor Network (NDN), will recruit qualified physicians, nurses, and support staff to Nevada to implement a successful transplant program. It is estimated that within 12 months, this program would be fully operational, and self-sustaining by month 25. The number of Nevadans currently waiting for a kidney transplant is 521.
“58 percent of kidney transplant services are ‘exported’ to surrounding transplant programs in different states,” said Steven Peralta, President of the Nevada Donor Network Foundation. “Of the 233 kidneys available for transplant out of southern Nevada in 2019, only 33 were transplanted locally, and all other organs were sent out of state. We are very honored and grateful to the entire VGK family and organization for this tremendous philanthropic gift. This commitment will help launch our $35 million “End the Wait” campaign to bring more life-saving transplants to Nevada. This is a historical moment for NDN as we continue to lead the way in helping to serve our community’s needs.”
Nevada Donor Network President and CEO Joe Ferreira shared, “Most Nevadans waiting on a life-saving organ must relocate for months to receive their transplant. People typically go to neighboring California, Utah, or Arizona for care. Many never return to Nevada, instead opting to live where they can get continued care. Bringing a more robust transplant program to our state will provide greater access to those waiting on a life-saving transplant, as well as elevate the level of healthcare available in Nevada.”
President of the Vegas Golden Knights, Kerry Bubolz, will strengthen the partnership between
the teams and NDNF by joining its founding board. “The VGK Foundation and both teams are honored to partner with NDN and NDNF in their effort to bring awareness to organ donation and expand services available to all Nevadans in need. I joined the Foundation board because I believe in their mission to maximize the gift of life and health through organ, eye and tissue donation. I believe it is critical to the health of our community,” said Bubolz.
In appreciation for the Vegas Golden Knights’ support, NDN will be remodeling their C-Suite conference room with an all Knights look and host a special ribbon cutting ceremony in the coming weeks.
Additionally, NDN launched a new advertising campaign featuring VGK’s very own Alex Tuch #89. As a registered organ donor, he proudly supports NDNF and is excited for the opportunity to bring awareness to the mission. “I am a huge fan of the work NDN does to save lives,” said Tuch. “They are real heroes. I was honored when they asked me to be part of this ad campaign to spread awareness about the importance of registering as an organ donor and giving hope to those waiting for a transplant.”
About the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation
The Golden Knights Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the primary charitable link between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Las Vegas community.
The Vegas Golden Knights Foundation supports the Las Vegas community and local non-profits that make a difference every day via partnerships, community programming and direct grants. These initiatives are funded through financial donations and various programming throughout the year. As Las Vegas’ first major professional sports team, the Vegas Golden Knights recognize and embrace our duty to strengthen and inspire our community.
Our players, coaches, staff, and fans enthusiastically work each day to inspire the Las Vegas community and become agents of growth and change.
Cure 4 The Kids Foundation (C4K), Nevada’s only pediatric cancer treatment center, will officially open the Robert and Dorothy Keyser Foundation and Cashman Family Foundation Preventative Healthcare Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 24 at 11 a.m.
Nevada’s first pediatric physical medicine center, a 1,422-square-foot, full-service gym with the latest therapy equipment, will help patients rehabilitate following surgeries and procedures, but it will also prevent secondary comorbidities from developing.
“We’re excited to offer this specialized care and better access to the comprehensive and innovative, yet affordable, healthcare solutions this new facility brings to the children we’re treat-ing,” said Annette Logan-Parker, president and CEO of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. “The role of our physical therapy doctors is to work with the child and their family, helping the child reach his or her maximum potential and positively looking toward the future, while decreasing pain and promoting active participation at home, school and in the community.”
Logan-Parker said the facility was made possible thanks to donations from the Robert and Dorothy Keyser Foundation and the Cashman Family Foundation.
It is staffed by C4K physical therapists, led by Dr. Brooke Conway-Kleven, who are specifically trained to improve the lives and daily function of children with a wide range of medical diagno-ses. The center houses Woodway treadmills, a concept 2 rower, Olympic lifting platform and weights, suspension training equipment, mats and blocks for functional training and an electri-cal stimulation unit for dry needling.
The physical therapy program will utilize the “5×5 Program,” where all patients with an oncology-related diagnosis will receive evaluation and treatment to assess five fundamental goals of wellness:
1. Increase daily physical activity participation (activity challenge will be held monthly for the patients who have met their goal)
2. Mobility/movement assessment
3. Cardiovascular fitness assessment
4. Balance assessment
5. Sensory/neurological assessment
About Cure 4 The Kids Foundation
Founded in Las Vegas in 2007, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation provides high-quality, research-focused medical treatment to children battling cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Cure 4 The Kids Foundation operates the only outpatient childhood cancer treatment center in Nevada and is proudly accredited by The Joint Commission. This stringent medical accreditation and the required unannounced inspections ensure patients are getting the best care possible. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation increases access to specialized treatments that improve patient outcomes. Its Charity Care Program provides high-quality treatment on a sliding-scale basis. No patient is ever turned away for financial reasons. For more information, visit http://www.cure4thekids.org.
Dr. Karthiek Narala Uses Shockwave IVL to Treat Calcified Coronary Plaque
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Siena Campus announced that Dr. Karthiek Narala recently performed the first-in-Nevada use of a newly approved treatment option for patients with severely calcified coronary artery disease. Approved by the Food & Drug Administration in February, the new technology is a novel application of lithotripsy, which uses sonic pressure waves to safely break up kidney stones. The new shockwave procedure, intravascular lithotripsy or IVL, has now been approved to treat problematic calcium in the coronary arteries that can reduce blood flow in the heart.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Each year, more than 600,000 people in the United States die of heart disease. As people with heart disease, specifically coronary artery disease, grow older and their disease progresses, plaque in the arteries evolves into calcium deposits, which can narrow the artery. Physicians often use stents to open an artery, and of the approximately one million patients that undergo a stent procedure each year, 30 percent have problematic calcium that increases their risk for adverse events.
Calcium makes the artery rigid and more difficult to reopen with conventional treatments, including balloons, which attempt to crack the calcium when inflated to high pressure, and atherectomy, which drills through the calcium to open the artery. The new IVL shockwave technology allows physicians to fracture the problematic calcium – using sonic pressure waves – so that the artery can be safely expanded, and blood flow is restored with the placement of a stent and without unnecessary complications.
Dr. Narala said, “This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the treatment of heart disease, which is still the leading cause of death in both men and women. After using the same tools for the last 30 years we are now using new technology that improves the safety of the procedure for the benefit of patients in our community.”
Ric Miller, Dignity Health Nevada Senior Director of Cardiovascular Services, added, “Some of the most difficult and frustrating coronary blockages we deal with are those that have become calcified. Prior to the arrival of this technology we would utilize everything available and sometimes still be left with a hard blockage that would not fully open. The Shockwave device works to gently break up the calcium, clearing the artery, allowing the placement of a stent and thus eliminating, in some cases, the potential need for open heart surgery.”
The Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Siena Campus has earned numerous awards and ratings in the area of cardiac care. In July 2020 Siena earned a “High Performing” rating from U.S. News & World Reports for Heart Failure in recognition of care that was significantly better than the national average, as measured by factors such as patient outcomes. “High Performing” is the highest rating U.S. News awards for that type of care. The Siena Campus also earned the 2020 Mission: Lifeline® STEMI Receiving Center – GOLD Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association for its continued success in applying the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines to improve patient care and outcomes.
The Valley Health System and Vera Whole Health have partnered to open two primary care centers. The Valley Health Care Centers powered by Vera Whole Health bring the outcomes-driven Vera advanced primary care (APC) model to Valley’s clinically integrated delivery network, boosting access, improving member experience and delivering better health outcomes.
The Valley Health Care Centers powered by Vera Whole Health will be available to contracted employer workforces and payer members. Vera’s nationally recognized APC model helps people achieve optimum social, psychological and physical well-being, while driving down the overall cost of care. The model delivers one-to-one population health at scale, from pediatrics to senior care. The primary care team provides acute, chronic and preventive care combined with clinically integrated health coaching.
“The Vera partnership with Valley Health System dramatically expands primary care access, simplifies the management of care, and legitimizes the value of primary care as a critical piece of the entire delivery system,” said Ryan Schmid, CEO of Vera. “The Valley Health System is a trusted community healthcare provider, and now through this partnership, we can bring increased value to employer workforces and payer members.”
“The availability of primary medical care is the foundation of a healthy community because it focuses on prevention and managing day-to-day health concerns,” said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President of The Valley Health System. “Primary care providers play a vital role in helping their patients manage health conditions that could escalate into medical emergencies if not property diagnosed, treated and monitored. Our care centers will play a key role in the Southern Nevada health community.”
The Valley Health Care Centers powered by Vera Whole Health will care for members and their families at two locations: 100 Green Valley Parkway, Suite 235, Henderson, NV, in March 2021; and 331 N. Buffalo Parkway, Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV, opening in May 2021. These care centers serve members with appointments from contracted employer groups and payer organizations.
The Valley Health System (VHS), the Official Health System of The Vegas Golden Knights and a Founding Partner of the Las Vegas Aviators, 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:
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
About Vera Whole Health
Vera Whole Health is at the vanguard of a health revolution and a national leader in advanced primary care. The Vera model is uniquely designed to help people achieve optimum social, psychological, and physical well-being – an outcome that’s neither probable nor affordable within the current sick-care system. Vera is the first provider in the United States to earn a Certificate of Validation by the Validation Institute for sound population health cost outcomes. Learn more at http://www.verawholehealth.com.
Written exclusively for Las Vegas HEALS by Jennifer Vale
Learn More About the Impact of COVID-19 on Nurses in Nevada
According to a recent WalletHub study, Nevada is one of the best states for nurses — earning top scores in categories like “Highest Annual Nursing Salary” and “Lowest Competition.” And while this is great news, it doesn’t change the fact that Nevada nurses still face a myriad of challenges.
Last January, pandemic-related deaths for the month peaked at 1,132. That’s more than a quarter of the 4,278 COVID-19 deaths reported in Nevada since March 2020. With the pandemic still very much a reality in the Silver State, here are three of the most significant issues our nurses face today.
The Emotional Toll of the Pandemic
Of the many difficulties nurses experience these days, the most pressing would likely be the emotional toll today’s health crisis has caused. In a survey by the American Nurses Foundation, over 10,997 nurses reported that the pandemic has impacted their mental health and wellness in more ways than one. While 51% said they experienced feeling overwhelmed, 48% felt anxious, irritable, and unable to relax. Other negative emotions that were prevalent among nurses include sadness, anger, isolation and loneliness, depression, guilt, and numbness.
At the moment, there are no government-initiated programs that aim to support the mental wellbeing of nurses. But, there are a few that were spearheaded by different associations. There’s the National Well-Being Initiative for Nurses, which was launched last May and is a collection of resources intended to help nurses heal from trauma and build resilience. Trusted Health also introduced Just-in-Time Support for Frontline Nurses, a support hotline for distressed nursing professionals.
Las Vegas nurses have also pleaded with the public to avoid gatherings and unnecessary visits, highlighting how this can not only help save lives, but also ease the distress of local healthcare workers.
The Shortage of Nurses
Another factor that further aggravates the emotional toll nurses are feeling during these trying times is the nurse shortage. Inadequate staffing has been a huge problem since the turn of the century, but with the current crisis filling hospitals to the brim, it has become even more perilous. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that in order to close the gap and replace retirees, the country would need 1.1 million new nurses.
Currently, different organizations are doing what they can to alleviate the shortage. Coalitions like the Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow focus on curating advertising campaigns that will encourage the youth to enter the profession and shed some light on the shortage. Corporations such as Johnson & Johnson are also doing their part by working with The Honor Society of Nursing on the Campaign for Nursing’s Future, which aims to attract more people to work in hospitals and extended-care facilities.
Educational institutions, too, began expanding their programs online over the past few years to encourage more students to take up nursing, wherever they may be. And now that most schools have shifted to distance learning, nurses can earn their certifications and even advance their careers through online RN to BSN programs. These programs are often more affordable without sacrificing the quality of learning across clinical, research, and leadership skills with a practical focus. In this way, newer batches of nurses can be trained with industry expertise to replace retiring nurses and fill up gaps in staffing.
The Workplace Hazards
As the very professionals who are at the frontline of the outbreak response, nurses are exposed to a wide array of hazards that put them at risk of infection. The World Health Organization points out how these hazards include pathogen exposure, long working hours, stigma, and physical and psychological violence.
While the onus of keeping healthcare workers safe and protected is mainly on the government, there are many ways health institutions can pitch in. These include efforts to make staff safety an uncompromisable and fundamental value. Another way they can help is by establishing processes that make staff safety transparent and every safety incident a learning opportunity.
Regular folks can also help alleviate the hazards nurses face in simple ways. They can start by wearing masks, following social distancing rules, and staying informed to prevent the spread of misinformation.
WGU Made List of Nation’s Best Schools for Military Members, Veterans, and Their Dependents 11 Years Running
Western Governors University (WGU) once again has been named one of the best universities in the nation by Military Friendly® Schools, earning Top Ten status for 2021–2022 and ranking third in the online/vocational category. Created to increase access to high-quality postsecondary education that meets students where they are, WGU has ranked on the nationwide list 11 consecutive years.
Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Over 1,200 schools participated in the 2021-2022 survey, with 747 earning the designation.
“WGU has many incredible students and alumni with military ties, and we are proud to help these individuals with earning degrees and meeting their higher education goals,” said Rick Benbow, Regional Vice President of WGU Nevada. “This recognition speaks volumes as we continue to maintain a strong military connection and friendliness as part of our mission.”
Competency-based, affordable, portable, and relevant to today’s workforce, WGU offers student-centered, personalized support, giving students—including veterans, active-duty military personnel, their spouses, and their children—the opportunity to further their careers with higher education in a way that fits their unique and often unpredictable circumstances. As of December 31, 2020, some 13% of WGU’s enrolled students were military members, veterans, spouses, or dependents.
About WGU Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 131,000 students nationwide and has more than 218,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 24 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu and www.wgu.edu/advocate.html.
About Military Friendly® Schools The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all postsecondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at militaryfriendly.com.
About Viqtory Founded in 2001, VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs® and Military Friendly® brands. VIQTORY and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Dept of Defense or any federal government entity. Learn more about VIQTORY at viqtory.com.
Five Tips from Dr. Russell Amundson, National Senior Medical Director, UnitedHealthcare
As many people in Nevada and across the country transitioned to working from home amid COVID-19, office furniture may have been replaced by makeshift desks and household chairs. However, the dining room table or a spot on the couch may not have the same ergonomic design as a traditional office setup, which may have contributed to a spike in low back pain since COVID-19 emerged.
About 80% of people experience low back issues at least once, with pain ranging from a minor nuisance to a major disability. Now more than ever it’s important to focus on CORE: correct posture, overweight, relax, and exercise. Here are 5 tips from Dr. Russell Amundson, National Senior Medical Director, UnitedHealthcare:
Focus on Posture. Whether you are now working at the kitchen table or on the couch, focusing on proper posture may help. Make sure to sit up straight with your knees at a 90-degree angle, with your shoulders in a straight line over your hips and your ears directly over your shoulders. If you’re working at a computer, be sure to adjust the screen height to eye level and consider elevating the keyboard to help keep your hands, wrists and forearms in line and parallel to the floor. Instead of tilting your chin down while on the phone, raise the device to eye level and avoid tucking it between your ear and shoulder.
Take Breaks. You may notice you feel sore even if you maintain good posture throughout your workday. If you stay in one spot for too long, your muscles and joints may get stiff. Consider taking quick breaks every 30 minutes to get up and stretch or walk around. This may promote better blood flow for your muscles and joints, and it may also give your eyes and mind a break.
Stay Active. While some people with low back pain may be tempted to consider bed rest, staying active in many cases may be the best option. Low impact activities to consider include walking and swimming, while research indicates that strengthening leg muscles may also prove helpful. Yoga and tai chi have been shown to ease moderate to severe low back pain. If time is a factor, a brief walk at lunch or going up and down the stairs a few times can help.
Eat a Healthier Diet. The bones, muscles, discs and other structures in the back may need proper nutrition to help support the body. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats may help reduce inflammation, often a contributing factor to chronic back pain. Eating a healthier diet may also help you maintain a healthy weight, which may also reduce your risk for back pain.
Consider care options. The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends exercise-based therapies as the first line of treatment. If low back pain persists, ACP encourages the use of nonsurgical options for initial treatment, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. These noninvasive treatment options, which in some cases may be covered by your health benefit plan, may help 95% of people with low back pain recover after 12 weeks. Muscle relaxants should be secondary options, and imaging (such as an MRI) and surgery should be a last resort. However, certain “red-flag” symptoms, such as fever or loss of bladder and bowel control, may require immediate testing and intervention.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.
Comprehensive Cancer Centers Drives Donations to Support UNLV’s Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Comprehensive Cancer Centers (Comprehensive) got directly involved with the University of Nevada Las Vegas #RebelsGive 2021 fundraising initiative on March 2-3. Comprehensive donated $2,500 to help support the work of Dr. Ernesto Abel-Santos in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.
The donation will directly go to Dr. Abel-Santos’ research to develop anti-germinants to prevent Cdiff infections. Cdiff is a multidrug resistant bacteria that is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a major nosocomial complication. Healthy gut microbes normally protect humans from Cdiff, but the use of antibiotics compromise this function. Due to widespread antibiotic use, Cdiff infects over a quarter-million Americans each year, resulting in thousands of early deaths.
“Supporting UNLV healthcare students and its faculty is incredibly important for us at Comprehensive,” said Jon Bilstein, CEO of Comprehensive. “Several of our doctors are UNLV faculty and alumni and each year we partner with several schools within UNLV to promote healthy living and healthcare related initiatives. We’re glad to support Dr. Abel-Santos and this important research.”
“I am honored to receive this gift from Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Cdiff is an insidious infection that attacks vulnerable patients, especially those taking chemotherapy. It is heartbreaking to see a cancer patient in remission just to be taken by this infection. The contribution from Comprehensive will allow the Abel-Santos lab to further develop prevention methods against Cdiff infections. In the name of all the researchers in the Abel-Santos lab, I thank Comprehensive for their contribution”
During the two-day #RebelsGive program, Comprehensive’s gift combined with all donations to the College of Sciences, raised a total of $19,150.
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