VegasInc’s Health Care Headliners 2019 Honorees

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VegasInc Celebrates Several of Southern Nevada’s Finest Medical Professionals

VegasInc’s Health Care Headliners 2019 handed out in categories that cover a wide range of roles in the health care industry, including research/scientist, community outreach, manager/administrator, volunteer, physician, emergency services, nursing, education, innovation and lifetime achievement. Honorees include doctors, scientists, professors and volunteers.

A special event at the Stirling Club honored all of the headliners, which included the following individuals and institutions.

Jon Bilstein
Tanya Brizzi
Dr. Terry Lewis
Desert Radiology
Dr. Phil Tobin
Annette Logan-Parker
UMC Trauma Center
Ash Mirchandani
Dr. Jessica Caldwell
Dr. Michael Wood

UNLV Med School Brings More Pediatric Surgeons to Community

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Young Surgical Patients Have Better Outcomes When Treated by Pediatric Surgeons

They cannot always say what’s bothering them. They cannot always answer medical questions. They are not always patient during a medical examination.

Children are definitely not small adults. They behave differently and treating them often means different tests and techniques.

The more you talk with the UNLV Medicine pediatric surgery team — Drs. Michael Scheidler, Stephanie Jones and Shirong “Sara” Chang — and the more you research their specialty, the more you realize just how important it is for children to have access to pediatric surgeons who diagnose, treat, and manage children’s surgical needs, including:

  • Surgical repair of birth defects
  • Serious injuries requiring surgery
  • Surgical care of tumors
  • Weight-loss (bariatric) surgery
  • Chest wall deformities
  • Endoscopic procedures (bronchoscopy, colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy)
  • Surgery for abnormalities of the groin in childhood and adolescence, which include undescended testes, hernias, hydroceles (swellings in the scrotum) and varicoceles (when veins become enlarged inside the scrotum, which can impact fertility)

Scheidler, Jones and Chang comprise the only academic pediatric surgery practice in Las Vegas, meaning they’re connected with a medical school where both research and teaching are expected. They teach general surgeons and are always pleased when a resident decides to pursue a fellowship in pediatric surgery. The trio has also published research in distinguished journals that include the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Journal of Pediatric Surgery, and Journal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques.

Scheidler points out that the UNLV pediatric surgical unit is one of the first on the West Coast to move beyond traditional laparoscopic surgery to provide robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery for children. That can mean a decreased length of stay in the hospital.
Better Outcomes

While many children still receive surgical care from adult specialists, the research, as reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is clear: Children treated by pediatric surgeons have better outcomes than those treated by adult specialists.

According to Scheidler, who is board-certified in both pediatric surgery and pediatric trauma surgery, a five-year residency in general surgery, followed by a two-year fellowship in pediatric surgery, better prepares a surgeon to handle children from the newborn stage through late adolescence. There are fewer than 700 board-certified pediatric surgeons practicing in the nation.

Scheidler, the father of two children, loves working with pediatric patients.

“They’re so innocent. They just want to play. They look at you, want to know why they’re sick. They didn’t do anything wrong, but don’t feel good. It compels you to make them feel better,” he said.

Jones recalled being operating on a premature baby born at 23 weeks. “The child needed multiple operations — had a lot of problems,” she recalled. “Now the child is growing and thriving. I still get birthday cards from the family showing how well the child is doing. It was an honor to help the child and the family. I feel very privileged to do this work.”

Like Scheidler, she is excited about the recently established pediatric bariatric surgery program. Studies show 35 percent of Nevada’s adolescents are overweight or obese and projections show that by 2030, 50 percent will be obese and 85 percent overweight.

“The program is important for this population,” she said, noting that problems like diabetes and hypertension may be solved through bariatric surgery. She added that processed foods, coupled with a lack of exercise, have heavily contributed to the weight problem.

Scheidler says clinical psychologists and nutritionists are part of the bariatric program that could prolong a child’s life by as much as 20 years.

“We have to be sure that the child is psychologically mature enough for this program.” he said, stressing no child under the age of 14 can have the surgery.
Robotic Surgery

Chang said she appreciates minimally invasive robotic surgery because it means a faster recovery for kids.

“It’s much easier to operate for a surgeon,” she said. “And it means less pain for a child.”

Not long ago, Chang had to perform a thyroidectomy — where all or part of the thyroid gland is removed — on a child with thyroid cancer. “That child is now cancer free,” she said.

Chang, who once operated on a child who weighed only 450 grams, said pediatric surgery requires intense focus and concentration. “You must handle tissue more gently as a pediatric surgeon,” she says.

She said she can think of nothing she’d rather do professionally than help children get well.

“I don’t think there can be anything more rewarding.”

(UNLV pediatric surgery is located at 3121 S. Maryland Parkway, Suite 400. To make an appointment, call 702-650-2500.)

Grand Opening Event – Pulmonology Group

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New Office Located on Horizon Ridge Parkway

Vikas Sayal, MD invites the community to the grand opening of his new medical office, Pulmonology Group, on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. To attend, RSVP are required and can be emailed to

Pulmonology Group
2904 W Horizon Ridge Parkway
Henderson, NV 89052
Map Link

Dr. Vikas Sayal, a graduate of Patiala Medical College, Patiala, Punjab. Dr. Sayal is licensed in Nevada and Arizona to practice in the areas of Internal Medicine, Critical Care, and Pulmonary Diseases. With impeccable medical and academic credentials, Dr. Sayal started the Pulmonary Group LLC where he is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer. Currently, Dr. Sayal serves as the Chairman of the Medicine and Chief of Pulmonology and Critical Care at the Valley View Medical Center, Fort Mohave, Arizona. Dr. Sayal also worked as Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the US Department of Veteran Affairs.

Dr. Sayal completed his internship/residency at the Tufts University’s Tufts-Lemuel Hospital, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts and St. Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ. After completing his residency, Dr. Sayal completed the fellowship in Pulmonary Diseases from Yale University’s Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, Connecticut. Additionally, his commitment towards further enhancing his skills, Dr. Sayal completed his second fellowship in Critical Care from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, New York.

Joining Dr. Vikas Sayal is Meena Mehta, MD, a graduate of Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, India. Dr. Mehta completed her internship at the Saint Peters University Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Additionally, Dr. Mehta finished her medical residency and fellowship in pulmonary at the St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Boston,

City of Las Vegas Seeks Input for 2050 Master Plan

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Help Shape the City for Next 30 Years

The City of Las Vegas Department of Planning is conducting a major public outreach effort to gather feedback and input from the community on the City’s 2050 Master Plan. The Master Plan is important because it sets future goals and priorities on a wide range of topics, such as housing, health, parks, and other issues related to future community growth and development. During this process, it is crucial to receive feedback from as many residents, stakeholders, and partners as possible.

The City invites all those interest in participating to fill out a brief survey – click here – to answer a few questions as well a use an interactive map to offer other insights.

There will be public meetings where those interested in the process can attend. The current list of events and locations includes:

  • April 25, 5 – 7 p.m. Safe Summer Nights – McWilliams Elementary School
  • April 26, 6 – 9 p.m. Modernism Show and Sale w/Nevada Preservation Foundation World Market Center Pavilion 2
  • April 27, 11:30 – 3:30 p.m. Fantastic Indoor Swap Meet – 1717 S. Decatur Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 8902
  • May 1, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Safe Summer Nights – Reed Elementary School
  • May 2, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Safe Summer Nights – Wendell Elementary School
  • May 3, 4 – 6 p.m. Safe Summer Nights – Hollingsworth Elementary School
  • May 4, 10  a.m. – 6 p.m. Meadows Mall Cinco de Drinko – 4300 Meadows Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89107
  • May 5, 1 – 6 p.m. Cinco de Mayo  – Centennial Hills Park
  • May 7, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. First Tuesday – LVMPD Bolden Area Command – 1851 Stella Lake Street, Las Vegas, NV 89106
  • May 9, 5 – 7 p.m. Safe Summer Nights – Kelly Elementary School
  • May 16, 5 – 7 p.m. Safe Summer  Nights – Booker Elementary School
  • May 17, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Ward 4 Movie in the Park – Garehime Heights, 3901 N. Campbell Road, Las Vegas, NV 89129
  • June 1, 12 – 2 p.m. Ward 4 Summer Splash – Durango Hills YMCA, 3521 N. Durango Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89129

Select Medical and Dignity Health Celebrate Opening of New Rehabilitation Hospital

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New Facility to Serve Henderson and Greater Las Vegas Area

Select Medical and Dignity Health announced the official opening of Dignity Health Rehabilitation Hospital, a joint venture partnership between the two health care providers.  The 60-bed hospital is expected to begin admitting patients later this month. In celebration of the opening, Dignity Health and Select Medical hosted an invite-only ribbon cutting event today, April 11, at 2930 Siena Heights Drive in Henderson, Nevada.

Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospital Vice President of Mission Integration Sister Phyllis Sikora opend the event with a blessing of the new hospital.  Select Medical President and CEO David Chernow and Dignity Health Senior Vice President of Operations Nevada Eugene Bassett offered remarks, followed by tours of the new hospital.

Dignity Health Rehabilitation Hospital will serve the needs of patients in Henderson and the greater Las Vegas area requiring care resulting from stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputation and neurological disorders, among other conditions.

About Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican
As the community’s only not-for-profit, faith-based health system, Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican has been guided by the vision and core values of the Adrian Dominican Sisters since 1947. As the Henderson and Las Vegas communities grow, the St. Rose Dominican health system and its nearly 4,000 employees will continue the Sisters’ mission of serving people in need. St. Rose Dominican is a member of the multi-state Dignity Health network of 10,000 physicians, more than 60,000 employees, 41 acute care hospitals and 400-plus care-centers including neighborhood hospitals, urgent care, surgery and imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics. For more information, visit their website at

About Select Medical
Select Medical is one of the largest operators of critical illness recovery hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and occupational health centers in the United States based on the number of facilities.  As of December 31, 2018, Select Medical operated 96 critical illness recovery hospitals in 27 states, 26 rehabilitation hospitals in 11 states, and 1,662 outpatient rehabilitation clinics in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Select Medical’s joint venture subsidiary Concentra operated 524 occupational health centers in 41 states. Concentra also provides contract services at employer worksites and Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinics. At December 31, 2018, Select Medical had operations in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Information about Select Medical is available at

HEALS’ Healthcare Happy Hour April 11 at New Dignity Health Rehabilitation Hospital

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Visit New Rehabilitation Hospital On Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Siena Campus

Las Vegas HEALS and Dignity Health have partnered up for the next Las Vegas HEALS Healthcare Happy Hour to celebrate the grand opening of Dignity Health Rehabilitation Hospital located on the Siena Campus of Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican on Thursday, April 11. Guests can enjoy cuisine and cocktails while touring the newest state-of-the-art facility specializing in rehabilitative care.

The event will take place on Thursday, April 11 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at 2930 Siena Heights Drive in Henderson. Event registration is complimentary for all Las Vegas HEALS members by calling 702.952.2477 or using our registration form on the right of this page. Non-members who are interested in attending the Healthcare Happy Hour event for the first time may also register for free as a guest.

“As the spouse of a paraplegic, I am excited to help bring quality rehabilitative care to our valley,” said Stacie Wichman-Roch, Dignity Health Acute Care Director of Business Development. “Years ago, when my husband was injured, we were offered an out-of-state option, which was not good for our family. When we decided to stay locally and received mediocre care, a seed was planted in me then to one day be able to change that and carry that mission with me today.”

The Dignity Health Rehabilitation Hospital is a 60-bed, all-private-room medical rehabilitation hospital. The hospital unites Select Medical’s highly regarded medical rehabilitation expertise with Dignity Health’s world-class, compassionate clinical care. Patient-focused programs and services have been specially designed to help restore strength, mobility, and independence as patients heal and recover from stroke, brain injury, neurological disorders, spinal cord injury, amputation, and orthopedic conditions. The hospital’s multi-disciplinary care team will be working closely with each patient to design and implement a specialized program that will help patients return to a fuller, more productive life.

“The next Healthcare Happy Hour event will be an exceptional one, as we will be celebrating Dignity Health’s brand-new rehabilitation facility in Henderson,” said Doug Geinzer, chief executive officer of Las Vegas HEALS. “Every time a top-of-the-line medical facility opens up in Nevada, it brings us one step closer to achieving our goal of being a globally recognized destination for health & wellness travelers.”

Register for Healthcare Happy Hour.

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. Join Las Vegas HEALS.

The Valley Health System Graduate Medical Education Consortium Fills 100 Percent of Residency Openings

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Inaugural Program Welcomes Physician Residents for Summer 2019

The Valley Health System Graduate Medical Education (VHSGME) Consortium filled 100 percent of its residency openings for its new Family Medicine and General Surgery programs during the National Resident Matching Program’s Match Week activities earlier this month.

Andrew M. Eisen, MD, FAAP​

“We have an outstanding group of physician residents who will join our programs this summer,” said Andrew Eisen, MD, Chief Academic Officer for VHSGME. “The match is a very competitive process which begins in the last year of medical school, and includes applications, on-site interviews and ranking by both the residency program directors and the prospective residents. We’re very excited to welcome our inaugural class when they begin their orientation in late June.” 

“I’m very pleased with the caliber of physician residents who will be joining our two programs this year,” said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President for The Valley Health System. “Our GME programs will focus on providing high-quality care to patients in our hospitals and the community, and also create opportunities for physicians who want to remain in southern Nevada to practice medicine.” 

The Family Medicine program is under the direction of Thomas Hunt, MD, Family Medicine Program Director for The Valley Health System and the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine for Roseman University College of Medicine in Nevada. The Family Medicine program will welcome 10 first-year residents. The three-year program focuses on primary care and preventive medicine and will include training in both outpatient clinics and hospitals. Family Medicine residents will rotate through Southwest Medical outpatient clinics as well as Spring Valley and Summerlin hospitals for inpatient rotations. 

The General Surgery program is under the direction of Saju Joseph, MD, General Surgery Program Director for The Valley

Macie Enman on Match Day

Health System and begins with 16 residents, including four physicians who have already completed some prior residency training and will join the program as second-year residents; four first-year residents committed to 5 years of training; and eight residents enrolled for one year of preliminary training. The program will feature a mix of simulation and operating room experiences, research, clinic follow-up with patients, and classroom education, all providing preparation for Board Certification by the American Board of Surgery (ABS). Surgery residents will rotate through Desert Springs, Henderson, Spring Valley and Summerlin hospitals for the majority of their residency, but will also do rotations at UCLA Medical Center for transplant and hepatobiliary surgery and at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada for trauma rotations in collaboration with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The 26 residents graduated from 21 different medical schools. The standard first day of clinical work for all resident physicians in the United States is July 1, regardless of the day of the week.

The Valley Health System is planning to offer future residency programs in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Psychiatry.

Valley Hospital, which is also part of The Valley Health System, has offered graduate medical education programs since 2006; current residencies include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology and Orthopedic Surgery, along with Fellowships in Gastroenterology and Pulmonary/Critical Care. 

About The Valley Health System

The Valley Health System (VHS), the Official Health System of The Vegas Golden Knights, 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


Touro University Nevada Uses Actors to Train Students

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Actors Help Students Learn Diagnostics

Vegas Inc. recently featured the innovative teaching methods employed by Touro University Nevada to train the next generation of healthcare providers in the community by using professional actors to simulate patient diagnostic scenarios:

A few times each week, Beverly Washburn and Kerstan Szczepanski are being examined by students at Touro University Nevada.

Inside one of the exam rooms in Touro’s Objective Structured Clinical Experience lab, Washburn complains about certain symptoms or asks for prescription drugs. It’s up to the student to properly assess the situation. Washburn isn’t really ailing; she is a standardized patient, an actor helping Touro students hone their craft.

Read the full story in Vegas Inc., and learn more about Touro University Nevada.

Las Vegas HEALS Appoints Dr. Gillian Barclay to Executive Committee

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Dr. Barclay Brings Year of Medical and Policy Expertise to HEALS

Las Vegas HEALS, a nonprofit membership-based healthcare association, announced today that it recently added Dr. Gillian Barclay to its Executive Committee. She was also appointed co-chair of the Las Vegas HEALS Legislative Task Force.

Gillian Barclay Las Vegas HEALS

Dr. Gillian Barclay

Dr. Barclay is currently the Industry Specialist in Healthcare for the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. She is a member of expert groups at the National Academy of Medicine within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She also is an expert reviewer for national and global initiatives that develop and scale digital technology for community and global development. She has taught at the Harvard School of Public Health and Hunter College at the City University of New York. She also been published in peer-reviewed literature and has been a frequent presenter at conferences internationally. She earned a Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard University and a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan. She also holds a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Detroit Mercy and completed her residency at New York Hospital. Her undergraduate degree was earned at the University of the West Indies.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Barclay to the Las Vegas HEALS Executive Committee,” said Doug Geinzer, CEO of Las Vegas HEALS. “She has been a member of our Board of Directors since the beginning, and we are thrilled to appoint her to another Las Vegas HEALS committee. Her experience in the healthcare industry is invaluable, and we know that she will help us move forward in achieving our goals.”

The Executive Committee is dedicated to advancing healthcare quality and perception in Southern Nevada through providing time, resources and leadership for the efforts of Las Vegas HEALS. There are several networking opportunities for members to meet other healthcare professionals and businesses that support healthcare. The monthly Healthcare Happy Hour is the largest networking event attended by physicians, healthcare administrators, allied health professionals and those who support the growth of healthcare. The organization relocated its offices to the Roseman University Summerlin Campus at One Breakthrough Way in 2018. The new space is situated across from Roseman University’s 98-seat auditorium, which the organization uses for various events. Las Vegas HEALS recently partnered with GOED on the “Diversifying the Health Economy in Nevada” conference.