Desert Springs Hospital Joins Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE)

By | Press Release, Recognition

Desert Springs Hospital has earned recognition status with the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE), a nursing education and consultation program focused on the care of older adults. The recognition underscores Desert Springs Hospital’s ongoing dedication to geriatric care and its implementation of system-wide interventions and initiatives, ranging from staff education to providing helpful information for patients and their families.

“We know a significant number of our patients are at least 65 years old, and arriving for emergency care, a procedure or surgery, recovery time in our acute rehabilitation unit, or assistance through our geropsychiatric center,” said Andrea Davis, Chief Operating Officer for Desert Springs Hospital. “We want to ensure we are providing the specialized care and resources that benefit our senior population. As a NICHE-recognized hospital, we can adopt additional best practices and utilize exceptional materials and education.” 

The NICHE program of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing helps develop age-friendly care for older adults across the continuum. To earn the recognition, Desert Springs Hospital submitted a comprehensive report of their program activities for review by NYU Meyers faculty. NYU Meyers faculty recommends recognition status based on pre-established criteria.

“Desert Springs Hospital is working diligently to meet the needs of older adult patients,” says Mattia Gilmartin PhD, RN, FAAN of NICHE. “The organization’s capacity to bring together geriatric nursing resources and support to enhance care, and marks it as an up-and-coming leader in the field.”


Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) is a nursing education and consultation program designed to improve geriatric care in healthcare organizations. The NICHE program of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing provides resources for nursing and interdisciplinary teams to achieve organizational goals for the care of older adult patients. For more information visit


What’s Your Move Southern Nevada?

By | Press Release

Health District and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services host 5K Run/Walk to kick off Move Your Way Campaign

The Southern Nevada Health District’s Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are hosting a free 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Family Fun Walk Saturday, Feb. 9 to promote the department’s updated physical activity guidelines for children and adults and to launch its new Move Your Way campaign and website. The event is open to everyone and will be held at Craig Ranch Regional Park, 628 W. Craig Rd., North Las Vegas. Event check-in begins at 8 a.m., and the race starts at 9 a.m. To register, visit The event is free, but registration is required, and space is limited. For additional information about the event, call the Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at (702) 759-1270 or visit the Get Healthy Clark County or Viva Saludable websites.

The 2nd edition of the DHHS Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans includes physical activity recommendations as well as new information about additional benefits related to brain health and fall-related injuries; immediate and longer-term health benefits for how people feel, function, and sleep; risks of sedentary behavior; guidance for preschool children between the ages of 3 and 5; and tested strategies that can be used to get people to be more active.

With 2019 underway, the Southern Nevada Health District challenges everyone to become more physically active. The Move Your Way campaign encourages people to discover the new physical activity guidelines and how to incorporate them into everyday life. Move Your Way has planners to help people stay on track to attain better fitness. The Southern Nevada Health District’s Get Healthy Clark County and Viva Saludable websites also offer free, online programs that can help increase physical activity. Online programs include Walk Around Nevada and Neon to Nature. Additional programs include tools and resources about healthy eating, nutritional information tips, smoking cessation, and resources to help maintain a healthier lifestyle.

In Clark County, one in four adults is sedentary, meaning he or she did not participate in any leisure-time physical activity in the past month. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risks of developing heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, as well as becoming obese.

 Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: Follow the Health District on Facebook:, YouTube:, Twitter:, and Instagram: The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website:

Sunrise Children’s Hospital Accepts Special Delivery of Preemie Buddies to Neonatal ICU to Promote Baby Bonding

By | Press Release

Sunrise Children’s Hospital gratefully accepted a soft and cuddly supply of Preemie Buddies today from the compassionate sponsors at the Desert Sage Auxiliary of the Assistance League. Purchased from the Shadow Buddies Foundation, the Preemie Buddy serves as a special form of communication between baby and parents, provides companionship and comfort and is a useful tool for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff.

Made of soft sheepskin material, dressed in a pink or blue layette, the Preemie Buddy is designed to promote “bonding” with the baby and parents soon after the baby’s birth. The Preemie Buddy itself is placed in the isolette with the baby while the layette (gown) on the Preemie Buddy goes home for the parents to hold next to their skin. In a day or two when the human scent is absorbed, the Preemie Buddy, re-dressed in gown, works to bring baby and parent closer together through the sense of smell. Weighing about 1.4 oz., the buddies are 7” high and meet FDA requirements.


Boris Decourt, Ph.D., Joins Cleveland Clinic Nevada

By | Press Release, Recognition

Boris Decourt, Ph.D., Joins Cleveland Clinic Nevada to Lead Center’s First Translational Neurodegeneration Research Lab

Neurobiologist will enhance research capabilities with the addition of translational research to help create new therapies and improve clinical outcomes

Cleveland Clinic Nevada welcomes Boris Decourt, Ph.D., as assistant staff to spearhead its first Translational Neurodegeneration Research Lab. 

Decourt, a neurobiologist, brings 15 years of experience to the center’s robust research program, most recently serving as an assistant research professor at Arizona State University. Through his work in fundamental science – a branch of science that provides a foundation of knowledge essential for applying discoveries to patient care – Cleveland Clinic Nevada will now be able to broaden the scope of its clinical trials program.

The addition of this new research capability cultivates an environment for translational research, which builds on basic scientific research to create new therapies, medical procedures, or diagnostics. This will allow physicians to readily apply what’s learned in the research lab to clinical care, helping to improve overall patient outcomes.

 “We are thrilled to add a talent like Dr. Decourt to our team, which allows us to elevate our research capabilities through our inaugural Translational Neurodegeneration Research Lab right here in Las Vegas,” said Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., FAAN, CCRI, director of the Camille and Larry Ruvo Endowed Chair for Brain Health at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “Cleveland Clinic remains committed to innovation and Dr. Decourt’s expertise and ability to conduct fundamental research will be instrumental in exploring new treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease.”                                                                  

Decourt received his doctorate of philosophy in neuroscience and pharmacology from The University of Bordeaux in France. He has since conducted nearly 10 influential research projects, specifically targeting early treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease in association with Arizona Alzheimer’s Research Consortium and an Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellowship, among others. In his new role, he will be working in conjunction with physicians on a variety of research projects out of the Translational Neurodegeneration Research Lab located at Roseman University.

“The ultimate goal of my research is to slow down or cure neurodegenerative diseases with early treatment interventions, and I can’t think of a better place to continue my work than Cleveland Clinic Nevada,” said Decourt. “I am enthused by Dr. Sabbagh and the entire Cleveland Clinic team’s proactive approach to the research of neurodegenerative disease and look forward to working alongside them in pursuit of new treatment options for those suffering from these debilitating diseases.”

For additional information about Cleveland Clinic Nevada, visit


First Flu-Related Deaths Reported in Clark County

By | Press Release

The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting the 2018-2019 season’s first flu-related deaths. One of the reported deaths occurred in a child in the 0-4 age group. The two adult patients who died were in the 50-64 age group. 

“These flu-related deaths are tragic reminders that influenza is a serious illness,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District. “Young children, older adults, and people with certain health conditions may be more at risk for complications. It is not too late to get vaccinated this season, and we want to remind everyone to get a flu shot and to practice healthy habits to protect yourself and your family.”

As of Dec. 22, there were a total of 68 hospitalized influenza cases reported to the Health District. Flu cases are reported on a weekly basis, and reports are available on the Health District website. The Health District is reminding Southern Nevadans that flu season typically peaks in January and February and there is still time to receive a flu vaccine. For information about the Health District’s flu vaccine clinics call (702) 759-0850 or visit the Health District’s Flu Clinic page.

It takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for full protection to set in. Flu vaccination reduces flu illnesses and can prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Every year seasonal flu viruses cause substantial illness and death in the United States, much of which could be prevented with vaccination and other preventive measures. The Health District encourages everyone to get flu vaccinations, especially persons at high-risk of complications from the flu including children younger than 5 (children younger than 2 years old are at highest risk), adults 65 years of age and older, and pregnant women.

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your sleeve when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs can spread when a person touches something that is contaminated and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu has caused between 9.3 million and 49 million illnesses, between 140,000 and 960,000 hospitalizations, and between 12,000 and 79,000 deaths annually since 2010. For more information visit the CDC’s Disease Burden of Influenza webpage.

States are not required to report individual seasonal influenza cases or deaths of people older than 18 years of age, and seasonal flu is infrequently listed on death certificates of people who die from flu-related complications. Many seasonal flu-related deaths occur one or two weeks after a person’s initial infection. The ill person may develop a secondary infection, such as bacterial pneumonia, or the flu may aggravate an existing medical condition, such as congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. 

For more information on influenza activity visit the CDC’s website at:

Nevada Donor Network Welcomes Sarah Harris as Manager of Organ Services

By | New Hires, Press Release

Nevada Donor Network (NDN) is pleased to announce the newest member of its leadership team, Sarah Harris, who now serves as the organization’s Manager of Organ Services. In her role, Harris will support the mission of NDN by providing direct oversight to the clinical team tasked with managing all aspects of organ recovery and maximizing the number of lifesaving organs for transplant, education and research.  She and her team help provide hope, strength and life to the more than 500 Nevadans and 115,000 people nationwide in need of a lifesaving transplant. 

Before joining the NDN team, Harris served as an Organ Procurement Coordinator for Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank (PNTB) in Portland, Oregon. She was responsible for assessing and evaluating potential organ donors, communicating with courageous donor families, evaluating and placing organs for transplant, coordinating multiple transplant and medical teams during recoveries, and assisting with the surgical recovery and transportation of organs. Prior to her experience with PNTB, she served as a critical care registered nurse at a variety of hospitals in Tennessee.

Harris earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Baptist College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing in Memphis, Tennessee. She is currently enrolled in a Healthcare Master of Business Administration Program at Oregon Health and Science University. Her memberships include the North American Transplant Coordinators Association, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, and the American Organization of Nurse Executives. In addition, Harris is a skilled presenter for professional organizations and nursing schools interested in learning more about the process and importance of organ donation.


Southwest Medical Associates Adds Eight New Healthcare Providers

By | New Hires, Press Release

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

Michael Albring, MD joins Southwest Medical as a hospitalist. Albring completed his medical training at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania and completed his residency at Summa Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio.

Cornell Clark, MD joins Southwest Medical’s Rancho Health Care Center (888 S. Rancho Dr.) and specializes in urgent care. Clark completed his medical training at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and completed his residency at the SUNY Buffalo Graduate Medical-Dental Education Consortium in Buffalo, New York.

Amanda Dickerson, APRN joins Southwest Medical’s Eastern Health Care Center (4475 S Eastern Ave.) and specializes in adult medicine. Dickerson completed her medical training at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Pei-Chi Fu, MD joins Southwest Medical’s Siena Heights Health Care Center (2845 Siena Heights Dr.) and specializes in adult medicine. Fu completed her medical training at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in Montserrat and completed her residency at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan.

Diane Johnson, PA-C joins Southwest Medical’s Lake Mead Parkway Health Care Center (270 W Lake Mead Pkwy.) and specializes in adult medicine. Johnson completed her medical training at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.

Kevin Refahiyat, PA-C joins Southwest Medical’s Durango Convenient Care (7150 S. Durango Dr.) and specializes in urgent care. Refahiyat completed his medical training at Touro University in Henderson, Nevada.

Hae Ran “Helen” Rhim-Kim, MD joins Southwest Medical’s Oakey Health Care Center (4750 W. Oakey Blvd.) and specializes in rheumatology. Rhim-Kim completed her medical training at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea and completed her residency at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Flushing, New York as well as a fellowship in rheumatology at Cabrini Medical Center in New York, New York.

Sandra Vega, MD joins Southwest Medical’s Montecito Health Care Center (7061 Grand Montecito Pkwy.) and specializes in OB/GYN. Vega completed her medical training at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois and completed her residency at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago.


Health District Reports Imported Measles Case

By | Press Release

Encourages Southern Nevadans to review immunization status

The Southern Nevada Health District has confirmed an internationally imported case of measles in Southern Nevada. This is the first confirmed case of measles in Clark County since 2015. The patient is a previously vaccinated adult with a history of international travel. Appropriate testing confirmed the case on Monday, Dec. 24. The Health District is notifying individuals who might have had contact with this patient and will not be releasing any additional information about the patient.

The measles vaccine is highly effective; however, some people may not be adequately protected. Recommendations for measles vaccination may vary depending on your age, occupation, or health status. For additional information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know page. 

Because measles can be highly contagious, the Health District is advising people who visited the following locations between Monday, Dec. 10 and Tuesday, Dec. 18 to review their immunization status and contact their health care providers if they are not fully immunized against measles and have not already had the disease. In addition, they should contact their health care providers if they develop a rash with fever or other symptoms consistent with measles within 21 days after their visit to these locations. It is recommended that anyone with symptoms contact a health care provider’s office before entering a health care facility to allow the facility to make appropriate arrangements to ensure the illness is not spread.

  • Young Israel Aish Las Vegas, 9590 West Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas 89117

Monday, Dec. 10 and Thursday, Dec. 13 or any synagogue-related activities during these dates.

  • Trader Joe’s, 2315 Summa Dr., Ste. 100 Las Vegas 89135

Thursday, Dec. 13 between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

  • Albertsons, 2550 S. Fort Apache Rd., Las Vegas 89117

Thursday, Dec. 13 between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

  • Costco, 801 S. Pavilion Center Dr., Las Vegas 89144

Thursday, Dec. 13 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

  • Smart & Final, 8485 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas 89117

Thursday, Dec. 13 between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

  • Starbucks, 340 E. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas 89109

Friday, Dec. 14 between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.

  • Summerlin Hospital/Emergency Dept., 657 N. Town Center Dr., Las Vegas 89144

Sunday, Dec. 16 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

  • Southern Nevada Health District, 280 South Decatur Blvd Las Vegas 89107

Monday, Dec. 17 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. main lobby/immunization waiting area

  • Simon and Joe’s, 3720 W. Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas 89103

Monday, Dec. 17 between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. 

The risk of disease is low for persons previously vaccinated against measles or diagnosed with the disease. Because individuals who are not immune to measles might have been exposed between Monday, Dec. 10 and Tuesday, Dec. 18, the Health District is alerting the community about the possibility of measles transmission so that Valley residents have an opportunity to receive a measles immunization. The Health District advises anyone who develops measles symptoms to seek medical attention. 

Measles can be spread among susceptible people and can result in serious infections resulting in pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and death. Many people born before 1957 had the disease in childhood, and younger people are routinely vaccinated against it. 

Symptoms can begin up to 21 days after exposure to the virus.  On average, an infected patient will develop a fever about 10 days after exposure to the virus. The fever can last two to four days and can peak as high as 103˚ F to 105˚ F. Following this, people will often also develop a runny nose, cough, and/or red eyes. On average, about 14 days after exposure the telltale rash appears; the rash can last five to six days. It begins at the hairline, moves to the face and neck, and eventually reaches the hands and feet. Measles can be spread approximately four days before the rash appears and four days after.

People who have had measles or have been adequately immunized against it are protected. Immunity can be determined by a blood test. People are considered immune if:

  • they were born before 1957 as many of them had the disease as a child;
  • they have written documentation of adequate vaccination:
    • one or more doses of a measles-containing vaccine administered on or after the first birthday for preschool-age children and adults who are not at high risk
    • two doses of measles-containing vaccine for school-age children and adults at high risk, including college students, healthcare personnel, and international travelers
  • a blood test for measles antibody is positive.

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, 560 N. Nellis Blvd., Suite E12, 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.

Sunrise Health Systems Hospitals Report on First Babies of the New Year

By | Press Release

The first infants born at Sunrise Health hospitals are as follows:

Sunrise Children’s Hospital

Santiago Sanchez, born at 2:24 a.m. weighing 7 lbs. 2oz. and measuring 19 ¾ in – is the third child of Diana Patricia Barraza-Lopez. The baby’ father is Teodoro. Santiago is receiving a stroller full of gifts including baby safety essentials, toiletries, sleep sack, blanket, clothes, bath essentials and a musical plush toy. Mother Diana is also receiving beauty products complements of Missing Ingredient, Inc.

MountainView Hospital

James Smith, Jr. was born at 6:37 a.m., weighing 7 lbs. 1.9oz. and measuring 20 in. The fifth baby of Sharae Banks, baby James is receiving a hamper filled with diapers, clothes, plush bear, toys, bath towel, quilts and a Pack-n-Play.

Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center

Siena Liwanag-Lingat, born at 7:27 a.m., weighing 5 lbs. 7 oz. and measuring 18 1/4 in is the first baby of Ronnie Liwanag. Ronnie’s partner is Marie Lingat.

On behalf of every Care Team member at Sunrise Health System, we extend our congratulations to these special families.


Christmas Day at Catholic Charities: Free Community Meal to Serve 1,000 Southern Nevadans in Need

By | Charity Organizations, Press Release

Free Community Meal Will Benefit More than 1,000 Southern Nevadans in Need

Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada will open its doors on Christmas, as more than 100 volunteers will serve a Christmas meal to more than 1,000 of Southern Nevada’s homeless and less fortunate. Executive Chef Jun Lao has planned a special holiday menu: honey pineapple glazed ham, scalloped potatoes, creamed corn, dinner roll with butter and maraschino cherry cake.

Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada’s St. Vincent Lied Dining Facility has been serving meals to the community’s homeless and vulnerable men, women and children since 1965.


WHEN: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, 1501 Las Vegas Blvd North, Las Vegas, NV 89101

MEDIA: Media will have the opportunity to capture photos and obtain b-roll before and during the meal. Interview opportunities are available with CCSN staff and volunteers upon request.

For additional information on Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada’s suite of programs, or to make a donation, please visit their website.