Southwest Medical Adds Four New Healthcare Providers

By | Press Release, Recognition

Southwest Medical Associates, part of OptumCare has added four new health care providers to help meet the growing need for health services in the Las Vegas Community:

Stephanneth Adams, DNP, APRN joins Southwest Medical’s Nellis Health Care Center (420 N. Nellis Blvd.) and specializes in gynecology.

Mona Baidwan, MD joins Southwest Medical’s Nellis Health Care Center (420 N. Nellis Blvd.) and specializes in pediatrics.

Juwaun Hinkle, PA-C joins Southwest Medical’s Tropicana Health Care Center (4835 S. Durango Dr.) and specializes family medicine.

Robert Korcal, MD joins Southwest Medical’s Oakey Health Care Center (4750 W. Oakey Blvd.) and specializes in family medicine.

 

 

Illness in Clark County Resident Linked to Vaping

By | Press Release

The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting Clark County’s first confirmed case of severe respiratory illness linked to e-cigarette products in a person under the age of 18. The youth was hospitalized with respiratory symptoms that met the case definition established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A pulmonary infection has not been identified. The patient was released from the hospital and is recovering. 

“Identifying a case in a young person who used vaping products that should not have been available to them is an unfortunate reminder of how pervasive these items have become and the danger they pose to our children and the public,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.

The Health District continues to advise people not to use vaping products and e-cigarettes. These products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, and people who do not currently use tobacco products. Even people who currently use tobacco products who wish to quit smoking should use FDA-approved therapies. Symptoms associated with the reported illnesses include:

  • Respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea)
  • Non-specific symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss)

People who use e-cigarettes and experience any of these symptoms are advised to seek medical care right away. People seeking help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) from a Nevada area code.

There have been 450 possible cases reported and six deaths; the most recent reported on September 10. These numbers are changing frequently. The CDC continues to report that it has not identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked in all cases. Many but not all patients report using e-cigarette products that contain cannabinoid products such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Up to date information is available on the CDC website

Advisory: Nevada Public Health Authorities Recommend Ceasing of E-Cigarette, Vaping Product Use

By | Press Release

3 deaths reported in U.S. from severe pulmonary disease linked to vaping

Carson City Health and Human Services, Southern Nevada Health District, and Washoe County Health District are warning the public of the potential for severe lung illness associated with the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). The public health authorities are advising people not to use vaping products and e-cigarettes. These products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, and people who do not currently use tobacco products. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 450 potential cases and three deaths associated with severe lung illness. At this time, investigators have not identified any specific product or compound that is linked to all cases; however, all patients have reported e-cigarette product use or vaping. In many cases, but not all, patients reported recently using products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

There have been no reported cases in Nevada. The public health authorities will work with health care providers to investigate suspected cases in their respective jurisdictions.

The patients who have been hospitalized have reported experiencing a gradual start of symptoms, including:

  • Respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea)
  • Non-specific symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss)

The Nevada health authorities advise people who use e-cigarettes to seek medical care right away if any of these symptoms are experienced. People seeking help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now. Additional information for the public includes:

  • Never buy these products off the street (for example, e-cigarette products with THC or other cannabinoids).
  • Avoid modifying e-cigarette products or adding any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Tobacco users who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications.
  • If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now.

Finally, the Food and Drug Administration encourages the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco or e-cigarette–related health product issues at its Safety Reporting Portal or by calling 1-800-222-1222. More info on the risks of vaping can be found in a report published today by the New England Journal of Medicine.

MountainView Hospital Worked to Crush the Crisis At Prescription Drug Take Back Event

By | Press Release

On Saturday, Sept. 7, MountainView Hospital and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro) held an opioid and prescription drug take back event. During today’s event, 20 pounds of prescription drugs were collected from participants.

In 2017, the most recent data available, there were 412 overdose deaths involving opioids in Nevada, dropping for the first time since at least 1999, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. To see a full accounting of deaths related to opioids, please visit (Resource here.)

MountainView Hospital’s event was part of HCA Healthcare’s first national “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day. More than 65 HCA Healthcare facilities across 15 states united to collect unused or expired opioids for one day.

“Opioid addiction is a growing crisis not only in Clark County, but across our nation,” said Jeremy Bradshaw, MountainView Hospital Chief Executive Officer. “Our goal for ‘Crush the Crisis’ is to raise awareness of the dangers of opioid addiction and educate our community about the proper disposal of these medications. Opioid addiction can happen to anyone and we are providing this drop off opportunity confidentially and anonymously.”

To further help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, the parent company of MountainView Hospital, proudly partners with the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic, consisting of more than 50 organizations that share best practices and identify gaps in the safe treatment of opioid addiction.

A learning health system, which uses data from approximately 31 million annual patient encounters to help continuously improve care, HCA Healthcare has been using the science of “big data” to reduce opioid misuse and transform pain management, with initiatives in surgical, emergency and other care settings, including:

  • Enhanced Surgical Recovery (ESR)/ALTernatives to Opioids in the Emergency Room (ALTO in the ER): HCA Healthcare focuses on a multi-modal approach to acute pain management. This means two or more methods or medications are used to reduce the need to use opioids to manage a patient’s pain while recovering from surgery or in the emergency room. As of August 2019, ESR is live at 140 HCA Healthcare facilities, with the goal to implement in all facilities, in at least one major service line, by the end of 2019. ALTO protocols will be expanded enterprise-wide by the end of 2019.
  • Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS): Physicians have access to aggregated electronic health records that make it more difficult for medication-seekers to doctor-shop or alter prescriptions. ECPS is available across HCA Healthcare.

WGU Launches New Value-Based Healthcare Degree

By | Education, Press Release

WGU’s new Bachelor of Science in Health Services Coordination will prepare graduates for careers in patient-centered care coordination

To address an urgent shortage of healthcare professionals needed to navigate an increasingly complex healthcare system, Western Governors University (WGU) is now offering a first-of-its-kind Bachelor of Science Health Services Coordination (BSHSC) degree program. The program, which began accepting applications September 1, will prepare graduates to coordinate among healthcare providers, patients, caregivers, and services to improve the effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of an evolving healthcare system.

In addition to medical coordination skills, students will develop competencies in leadership skills, cultural awareness, patient-centered care coordination, and the ability to identify and intervene with high-risk patients through WGU’s proprietary Professional Leadership and Communication course.

“This new degree program will help individuals advance their careers in a fast-growing health profession,” said Dr. Stephanie LaPuma, Academic Program Director/Associate Dean in WGU’s College of Health Professions. “Aligning curriculum with current workforce needs is at the core of what we do. This degree program is specifically designed to offer individuals a pathway to a value-based healthcare career that is in high demand.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in health services coordination will increase 20% by 2026. This degree program will benefit students new to health professions, while also creating a bachelor’s degree pathway for experienced pre- and paraprofessionals, medical assistants, certified nursing assistants (CNAs), home health aides, EMTs, paramedics, and military medics seeking job security or promotion. BSHSC graduates will be prepared to navigate emerging value-based care systems, promote patient-centered holistic care, and provide integrated care management.

The BSHSC, like all WGU degree programs, is competency-based, allowing students to study and learn on their own schedules and advance as soon as they demonstrate mastery of course materials. WGU’s affordable tuition of approximately $7,000 per year and flexible learning model make it possible for busy students to earn an accredited degree on a tight schedule.

Details of the program are available at  www.wgu.edu/BShealthservices.

About WGU Nevada

WGU Nevada is an online, nonprofit, competency-based university established to expand Nevadans’ access to higher education throughout the state. Formed through a partnership between the state of Nevada and nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Nevada is open to all qualified Nevada residents. The university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, K–12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing.  Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). WGU’s Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and its nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)*.

In addition to WGU Nevada, there are five other WGU state-based, state-endorsed universities: WGU Indiana, established in June 2010; WGU Washington, established in April 2011; WGU Texas, established in August 2011; WGU Missouri, established in February 2013; and WGU Tennessee, established in July 2013. For more information, visit the WGU Nevada website, www.nevada.wgu.edu, or call 877-214-7005.

*Western Governors University offers nursing programs that are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 5380, Washington, DC 20036

 

New West Henderson Development Features Unique and Upscale Retail and Restaurants to Join with Medical and Office Space

By | Developments, Press Release

Commercial real estate developer Stable Development to start project in coming months

One the fastest growing parts of town, West Henderson, will soon have a new 300,000-square-foot, mixed use project from Stable Development, a Las Vegas-based commercial real estate developer, right down the street from the new Raiders headquarters along the growing St. Rose Parkway corridor.

Stable Development plans to start the project on a 12.5-acre property at the cross streets of St. Rose Parkway and Cactus Avenue in 2019. The 300,000-square-foot development will feature a mix of retail, office and medical space. Pre-leasing for the development is underway.

“This development is perfectly situated in the growing West Henderson area just down the street from the Raiders practice facility, existing retail and the Henderson Executive Airport,” said Lance Bradford, chief executive officer of Stable Development. “We anticipate bringing unique and upscale dining and retail options to Henderson where there is a high demand for these services.”

The commercial real estate developer will begin in early 2019 with The Korte Company for construction and the Cunningham Group, an international architecture firm. Stable Development has made a substantial investment in Henderson recently purchasing 8.15 acres from the City of Henderson for $8.25 million to create the 12.5-acre space for the project.

“We believe in this project and we believe in West Henderson,” Bradford said. “This area is growing quickly with new retail, restaurants and services that will support the surrounding communities.”

Stable Development has experienced substantial growth over the last eight years even though the Las Vegas real estate market was enduring one of the worst economic downturns in its history. Other developments in Southern Nevada include: The Parkway in Summerlin, Corporate Center in the southwest region across from IKEA, Seven Hills Business Plaza, Coronado Medical and Surgery Center.

For more information, contact (702) 735-5532

Health District Reports Potential Hepatitis A Exposure

By | Press Release

Encourages Southern Nevadans to review immunization status

The Southern Nevada Health District has identified a person with hepatitis A that worked at a 7-Eleven convenience store located at 2910 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Maryland Parkway and Vegas Valley Drive) while they were potentially infectious to others. Although transmission of hepatitis A from food handlers to patrons is rare, the Health District is informing customers who purchased non-prepackaged foods such as hot dogs or hot deli items between Friday, July 26 and Friday, Aug. 7, 2019, at this 7-Eleven location that they may have been exposed to the virus.

Customers who purchased food at this location should contact their health care providers about getting a hepatitis A immunization or receiving post-exposure treatment. Packaged items, including bottled beverages and microwaved foods, are not implicated in this potential exposure. Customers who are fully vaccinated (two doses) against hepatitis A or who consumed only packaged or bottled items are not at increased risk.

This person is considered linked to the ongoing outbreak in Clark County. Currently, there are 86 reported cases, and one person has died. Updated outbreak reports are available on the Health District website at www.SNHD.info/hep-a-control. For up to date information on the nationwide Hepatitis A outbreak visit the CDC website.

Hepatitis A is commonly spread from person-to-person through the fecal-oral route. Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and light-colored stools. Vaccination is the best prevention against hepatitis A. Practicing good hygiene can also help prevent the transmission of hepatitis A. Wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.

Food handlers are not at increased risk for hepatitis A virus because of their occupation. Most food handlers with hepatitis A virus infection do not transmit it to exposed consumers or patrons. During ongoing outbreaks, transmission from food handlers to restaurant patrons has been extremely rare due to sanitation standards and food safety practices that help prevent the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend vaccinating all food handlers because it would not be an effective method of stopping an outbreak. Hepatitis A outbreaks primarily affect individuals who report using injection or non-injection drugs and people experiencing homelessness.

For information about the Health District’s immunization clinics, call (702) 759-0850. Immunizations are available at the following locations. Please arrive by 4 p.m. to allow time for processing: 

  • Main Public Health Center, 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • East Las Vegas Public Health Center, 570 N. Nellis Blvd., Suite D1, Las Vegas

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • Southern Nevada Health District Henderson Clinic, 874 American Pacific Dr., Henderson

Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Closed daily 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

By appointment only. Call (702) 759-0960.

  • Mesquite Public Health Center, 830 Hafen Lane, Mesquite

Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closed noon – 1 p.m.

By appointment only. Call (702) 759-1682.

 

Twenty-eight Cases of West Nile Virus Reported

By | Press Release

Health District declares outbreak —urges the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites

The Southern Nevada Health District is declaring an outbreak of West Nile virus in Clark County after receiving reports of 28 cases of the disease in humans – the highest case count in a season since the virus was first detected in the state in 2004. In addition to the high number of cases, 17 of the 28 reported cases have had the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness.

The Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance Program has identified both West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis virus-positive mosquitoes throughout Southern Nevada. West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes have been found in 39 unique ZIP codes, and mosquitoes testing positive for the St. Louis encephalitis virus have been found in 15 unique ZIP codes so far this season. More than 38,600 mosquitoes have been submitted for testing this year. This season 19 percent of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile or St. Louis encephalitis virus. Last season less than 0.1 percent tested positive for the virus. Updated reports on mosquito activity and human case counts are available on the Health District website each week at www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/programs/mosquito-surveillance/weekly-arbovirus-update/.

“The West Nile virus activity we are seeing in our community is a serious public health concern,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District. “I urge people to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using repellents whenever they are outdoors and to make sure they are eliminating standing water from around their homes.”

The Health District is reminding the public that West Nile virus is preventable. The disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. The illness is not spread person to person. Most people with the virus (eight out of 10) will have no symptoms or very mild symptoms of illness. About one in five people will develop mild symptoms which include fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus recover completely but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. About one in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous symptom such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).

The most effective way to keep from getting infected with West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites. In addition to using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or 2-undecanone, wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and take steps to control mosquitoes in and around the home. Eliminate breeding sources, including non-circulating ponds, “green” swimming pools, and accumulated sprinkler runoff, which support mosquito breeding. For more tips, go to the Health District’s Mosquito Breeding Prevention website. 

Mosquito activity can be reported to the Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance Program at 702-759-1633.

 

Looking for Medical Billers? Ajilon Can Help

By | Press Release

With new regulations, new competitors and new trends emerging every day, the healthcare industry changes rapidly. Keeping pace requires having the right people – with the right skills – in all roles at all times.

At Ajilon, we can help your workforce get up to speed quickly. We have established relationships with thousands of top non-clinical healthcare professionals available for immediate hire – and immediate results.

When you work with us, you get access to top candidates who possess the knowledge and skills required for success today and tomorrow.

  • Through our extensive screening, selection and assessment methods, we validate our candidate’s proficiency in electronic health records compliance, ICD-9 and ICD-10 software conversions and more.
  • Our experienced professionals receive continuous professional training opportunities to keep their skills current.
  • We network with premier colleges and universities throughout the country to build a pipeline of talent with the latest skills and high technical aptitude.

We have a proven track record aligning leading companies to top professionals across a variety of essential positions, including:

  • Medical Billers and Coders
  • Medical Records Clerks
  • Admitting Representatives
  • Credentialed Coders
  • Credentialing Specialists
  • Insurance Verification/Authorization Representatives
  • And more!

With flexible, customized staffing solutions that include temporary, temp-to-perm and permanent placement options, Ajilon can help you build a high-performing workforce on your schedule and on your budget.

Interested in learning more? Contact Cyndi Goyeau at 702.727.2712 or Cyndi.Goyeau@ajilon.com.

Southern Nevada Harm Reduction Alliance Hosts its Annual International Overdose Awareness Day Event, Aug. 29

By | Press Release

In 2017, there were 464 fatal drug overdoses (excluding alcohol) in Clark County. Opioid-related overdoses and deaths continue to occur across the United States and the world. In an effort to acknowledge those deaths, the Southern Nevada Harm Reduction Alliance (SNHRA) is participating in its 3rd annual International Overdose Awareness Day, from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Thursday, August 29 at the Chuck Minker Sports Complex, 275 N. Mojave Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89101. The SNHRA will also offer overdose prevention trainings at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Participants will receive a free overdose prevention kit that contains nasal naloxone ((Narcan®), the opioid overdose reversal medication, as well as community resources. For more information about the event, visit http://www.overdoseday.com/las-vegas/  or https://www.facebook.com/SoNVHarmReductionAlliance/. 

The event is an opportunity for community members and partners to remember and acknowledge those who have died or who have suffered permanent injury, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and raise awareness and begin discussions about overdose prevention and drug policy.

Australia’s Penington Institute began International Overdose Awareness Day to offer awareness, education, and training about overdoses and as a memorial to individuals impacted by them. Events are now held worldwide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017, and opioids (prescription and illicit) accounted for 47,600 of those deaths. The CDC estimates that on average, 130 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose.

Although opioid-related deaths in Clark County decreased since 2015, they continue to occur. In 2017, there were 281 opioid-related deaths among Clark County residents. In 2017, the death rate of opioid poisonings (overdoses) in Clark County was 12.7 deaths per 100,000 residents. The rate for Nevada during that same period was 13.7 deaths per 100,000 residents. The rate was highest in the 89101 and 89109 ZIP codes at 39 deaths per 100,000 residents. The national rate during that same period was 14.6 drug-poisoning deaths per 100,000 residents.  

In October 2017, the opioid epidemic was declared a national emergency highlighting the importance of providing viable resources, prevention education, and tools to combat addiction through treatment and recovery efforts. Between 1999 and 2017, the CDC reported that overdose death rates from all substances (excluding alcohol) are highest among people between the ages of 25 and 54. Men are more likely than women to die from an overdose. In addition, overdose rates are highest among non-Hispanic whites, Native Americans, and Alaskan natives.

The Southern Nevada Harm Reduction Alliance (SNHRA) is composed of public health professionals, HIV providers, addiction specialists, syringe exchange programs, homeless service providers, substance use prevention community coalitions, recovery advocates, and health care representatives. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of people who use drugs by reducing drug-related stigma, overdoses, and the harmful effects of drugs among Southern Nevadans regardless of their circumstances. SNHRA also provides education and resources about reducing substance misuse and unintentional overdose deaths, as well as reducing the risks of acquiring or transmitting bloodborne infections. Each month, the Southern Nevada Health District, in conjunction with members of SNHRA, provides testing for HIV and hepatitis C, sterile syringes, and homeless services. In February 2017, the first comprehensive needle/syringe exchange program in Clark County began operating at Trac-B Exchange, a member of the Southern Nevada Harm Reduction Alliance. Currently, there are five syringe vending machines placed within service provider organizations.