Southern Hills Hospital Welcomes New Chief Operating Officer

By | Featured, New Hires, Press Release

Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center announces Cullen Brown as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO) effective August 19th. In this position, Brown will oversee the operations of the Emergency Department, Surgical Services Department and other areas of the 252 bed facility. Brown most recently served as Vice President of Operations at Los Robles Medical Center, an HCA Far West Division Facility in Thousand Oaks, California.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to help lead this tremendous group of professionals at Southern Hills Hospital,” Brown said. “My goal is to continue to extend our mission of providing the highest quality care for our patients and the communities we serve.”

At Los Robles, Brown oversees several departments including neurosciences, radiology, laboratory, environmental services, food and nutrition, respiratory, and outpatient wound care. Brown was also instrumental in leading $35 million in capital improvement for the hospital, including relocating and renovating several departments.

“We are thrilled to have Cullen join the administrative team at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center,” said Alexis Mussi, Chief Executive Officer, Southern Hills Hospital. “Cullen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role. I look forward to the great things that he will help us accomplish as we continue to advance Southern Hills to meet the healthcare needs of the Las Vegas community.”

Prior to Los Robles, Brown held progressive leadership roles at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, an HCA hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  He also worked at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System’s bone marrow transplant clinic and interned for the HCA Healthcare North Texas Division in the business development department.

Brown was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee before moving to Dallas, Texas to study economics at Southern Methodist University.  From there he moved to Richmond, Virginia and received his Master in Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Brown will be relocating to Las Vegas with his wife Kari, an elementary school teacher.

 

 

Health District Issues Precautions as Additional West Nile Virus Cases Reported

By | Press Release

Three more Clark County residents have tested positive for West Nile virus, and the Southern Nevada Health District is reminding the public to take precautions to protect themselves from this potentially serious disease. One individual is a male over the age of 50 who had the non-neuroinvasive form of the illness, and another is a female under the age of 50 who had the neuroinvasive form of the illness. The third individual is a male over the age of 50 who was asymptomatic and is classified as a presumptively viremic donor (PVD). Because 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus are asymptomatic, all potential blood donors are screened to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus through blood transfusions. The Health District has previously reported two cases of West Nile virus this year, both in females over the age of 50 with neuroinvasive disease. These three new cases bring Clark County’s 2019 case count to five.

The Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance Program continues to identify West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis virus-positive mosquitoes throughout Southern Nevada. West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes have been found in 25 unique ZIP codes and mosquitoes testing positive for the St. Louis encephalitis virus have been found in ten unique ZIP codes so far this season. More than 33,000 mosquitoes have been submitted for testing this year. Of those samples, 4,987 pooled samples have tested positive for West Nile virus, and 433 have tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis.

“Our mosquito surveillance activities are showing us that there is an outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases occurring right now in our community. West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis are being actively transmitted from infected birds to mosquitoes, which then places the public at increased risk for disease,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.

“The most effective way to keep from getting infected with West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites,” said Iser.

The Health District is urging the public to use insect repellent, wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and to take steps to control mosquitoes in and around their home. Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellants containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or 2-undecanone. Eliminate areas of standing water, 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.

For additional information and weekly updates on the Health District’s mosquito surveillance activities go to: www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/programs/mosquito-surveillance/weekly-arbovirus-update/.

 

Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging to Open 9th Location

By | Developments, Press Release

Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging (SDMI) is excited to announce our 9th location in North Las Vegas. The new facility will be located on W Craig Rd. and Camino Al Norte and feature a modern 20,000 square feet facility. Tenant space will also be included in the building to create a much needed medical business park for the North Las Vegas area. The facility will be home to state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and will include MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography), 3D Mammography (tomosynthesis), Ultrasound, DEXA, and X-Ray to help further our mission of delivering an exceptional patient experience and accurate results through compassion and cutting edge technology.

“We are eager to offer a more convenient option to our North Las Vegas patients.” Dr. David Steinberg, CEO

SDMI is 100% locally owned, operated, and has been committed to the growth and development of Southern Nevada for over 31 years. This addition will not only add a convenient location, but also provide local jobs, and expand our ability to accommodate patients sooner. SDMI’s ninth facility is scheduled to break ground in August 2019 with an estimated completion date of Summer of 2020.

Valley Hospital Recognized as One of the Top 10 Percent of Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities in the United States

By | Press Release, Recognition

Valley Hospital’s acute inpatient rehabilitation unit has been recognized as one of the top 10 percent inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) in the United States. It is one of 868 facilities to be ranked in the IRF database of Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR) in 2018.

“We are honored to be identified as one of the best inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the United States,” said Claude Wise, CEO/Managing Director of Valley Hospital. “It underscores our tireless commitment to helping our patients return to their greatest level of independence and daily living activities. Our team is devoted to the patients in their care, work hard to create a family-like atmosphere, and create a personalized approach to helping each person throughout their recovery.”

“We use a 24/7 approach with our therapy services,” explained Anna Hutchison, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA, program manager for the inpatient rehabilitation program at Valley Hospital. “Our patients incorporate what they’ve learned during therapy sessions and apply it to activities they do with the nursing staff. For example, they practice walking to the bathroom or the dining room or getting dressed with nursing assistance. The entire staff is extensively trained on safe patient handling techniques and understanding patient precautions like weight-bearing restrictions. This 24/7 attitude has improved the length of stay efficiency for our patients and the interdisciplinary team process.”

The rehabilitation team also develops activities tailored to patients’ particular interests and home activities. “We practice a lot of cooking in occupational therapy,” explained Hutchison. “Our therapists will bring in specific food so patients can create a familiar meal, which is a closer simulation to what they will do at home.”

Throughout the patient stay, however, rehab employees are ultimately preparing their patients for discharge to home. The rehab department has a full-time social worker to identify many resources for patients. On the day of discharge, patients receive a graduation t-shirt and pose with staff for their official graduation photo, which is presented to the patient. “What we considered a fun celebration ultimately becomes a motivating factor for other patients,” said Hutchison. “They are determined they will have their own graduation celebration.”

“To recognize the efficient and effective care the hospital provides to its patients, we are pleased to present this award to Valley Hospital,” said Troy Hillman, Manager of the Analytical Services Group at UDSMR. “As the creator and caretaker of the nation’s largest database of rehabilitation outcomes, and with over 30 years of experience and data, UDSMR continues working with the industry to establish best practices. Development of the PEM Report Card has served as a tool to identify and recognize high-performing facilities, to work with them to learn how they provide efficient and effective care, and to share what we learn with others to elevate the performance of all. We look forward to working with Valley Hospital and the other top performing facilities across the country that rank in the top 10 percent to improve care in all inpatient rehabilitation facilities.”

Six Valley Health System Hospitals Earn Honors for Stroke Care

By | Press Release

In its ongoing commitment to the rapid evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of stroke, the six hospitals of The Valley Health System (VHS) have all received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Quality Achievement Awards. The award recognizes the hospitals’ commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

“Our hospitals have been focusing on stroke education and stroke diagnosis, intervention and treatment since the mid-2000s,” said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President of The Valley Health System. “According to the 2019 statistics from the American Stroke Association, someone dies from a stroke every 3.7 minutes. Additionally, 46 percent of U.S. adults are estimated to have hypertension [high blood pressure]* which is often called the silent killer and is a top risk factor for having a stroke.”

“We are continually educating our community about the risk factors, signs and symptoms of stroke, while simultaneously evaluating, diagnosing and treating both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes in our emergency departments and on our patient care units,” explained Perez. “It’s an enormous responsibility, and one that clinicians throughout our hospitals take very seriously.”

Each hospital earned its award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

According to the American Heart Association, the VHS hospitals have achieved the following awards:

Centennial Hills Hospital earned the Get with the Guidelines Stroke GOLD PLUS Award with Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Achievement Award.

Desert Springs Hospital earned the Get with the Guidelines Stroke GOLD PLUS Award with Honor Roll Achievement Award.

Henderson Hospital earned the Get with the Guidelines Stroke GOLD Award Achievement Award. 

Spring Valley Hospital earned the Get with the Guidelines Stroke GOLD PLUS Award with Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Achievement Award.

Summerlin Hospital earned the Get with the Guidelines Stroke GOLD PLUS Award with Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Achievement Award.

Valley Hospital earned the Get with the Guidelines Stroke GOLD PLUS Award with Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Achievement Award.

The Target: Stroke Honor Roll awards recognize that hospitals have met quality measures to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat stroke.

*https://professional.heart.org/professional/ScienceNews/UCM_503383_Heart-Disease-and-Stroke-Statistics—2019-Update.jsp

About The Valley Health System

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.

 

Health District Debuts Healthy Aging and Green Restaurant Initiatives

By | Press Release

Inaugural State of the Health District offers preview of new programs and highlights agency accomplishments 

The Southern Nevada Health District hosted its first State of the Health District on Thursday to provide the public and stakeholders with highlights of agency accomplishments, an overview of the Community Health Needs Assessment developed in partnership with Dignity Health – St. Rose Dominican, and a preview of new initiatives planned for the upcoming fiscal year. 

“The inaugural State of the Health District was an opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments, the hard work and dedication of our staff, and to recognize our community partners for their contributions,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Health District. “With our committed workforce and partners, I am confident we will continue to successfully meet the public health challenges and issues facing our community.”

One public health issue facing Southern Nevada is an aging population. Adults aged 65 and older in Clark County are the only age group that is projected to increase its proportion among the total population. From 2013 to 2017, the top 10 leading causes of death among Clark County residents 65 years and older were: heart disease; cancer; chronic lower respiratory disease; stroke; Alzheimer’s disease; influenza and pneumonia; unintentional injury; diabetes; kidney disease; and Parkinson’s disease. Older adults have unique health concerns and to ensure this fast-growing segment of the population has the support needed to continue leading healthy, productive, and active lives, the Health District reviewed healthy aging models and frameworks from across the country in its efforts to design a comprehensive initiative that meets the unique local conditions of Southern Nevadans.

In developing its healthy aging framework, the Health District identified four goals and related priorities:

  1. Reduce health disparities for older adults in Clark County.
  2. Empower Clark County older adults to engage in health-related education and activities.
  3. Provide clinical and community-based preventive services to Clark County older adults.
  4. Create healthy and safe community environments for older adults in Clark County.

More information on the Health District’s healthy aging initiative is available on the Health District website.

The second initiative, Putting Green on the Menu, is a voluntary program for food facilities. This green restaurant initiative will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase is designed to encourage restaurants to adopt environmentally-friendly practices and to recognize those that do. Eight criteria have been developed for the first phase of Putting Green on the Menu. A restaurant meeting five of the eight standards can complete an electronic form that will be made available by the Health District. The Health District will maintain a list of self-reported food facilities that meet the criteria on a special section of its website for the public to access. This program will not be affiliated with the Health District’s regulatory programs.

“Putting Green on the Menu is a positive way to recognize facilities that are proactively going that extra step to improve the environment,” said Dr. Iser. 

In addition to these initiatives, Health District division directors provided highlights of their programs, and the Community Health Needs Assessment was presented. The full presentations and a copy of the Community Health Needs Assessment are available on the Health District’s State of the Health District webpage.

Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.

Summer Monsoon Season & Flash Floods Can Impact Your Health

By | Press Release

Safety Tips from The Valley Health System

While rain may be considered a novelty in Las Vegas, the summer monsoons and resulting flash floods can affect your family’s health unless proper precautions are taken.

As fun as it may seem to play in the water during the rain, it’s not safe for a variety of reasons, including the speed of the water and what it is carrying. “The water is picking up garbage, fertilizer, oil, feces, rocks and everything else in its path. Swift-moving water can hide debris that can knock someone down or cause an injury,” says Jeff Davidson, MD, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Valley Hospital. “It’s better to limit your water play to swimming pools, splash pads or sprinklers.”

 If you’ve been around flood waters, hygiene is also important, says Dr. Davidson. “Plan to wash your hands or take a shower, if you’ve been in or around flood water,” he said. “You don’t know where that water has been. It could be overflow from a sewer system, and you want to make sure you and your family practice good hygiene, wash all the clothes, clean all the footwear, and take precautions so it doesn’t affect your health.”

To keep your family safe in times of sudden weather changes such as flash floods, remember:

Do not drive or walk through water when you can’t see the street or pavement. Remember the phrase, “turn around, don’t drown.”  Fast-moving water can sweep vehicles off the road, and make it difficult to see the condition of the road underneath the water.

Know where the detention basins and washes are in your neighborhood and if it looks like rain, stay away from these areas. This could include walking, biking and hiking trails and other recreational areas.

About The Valley Health System

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.

 

Health District Encourages Parents to Get Children’s School Shots Early

By | Press Release

Give Kids a Boost event, Saturday, Aug. 10

The Southern Nevada Health District urges parents and guardians to beat the back-to-school rush by bringing their pre-schoolers, kindergartners, and 7th graders for mandatory vaccinations to one of its public health centers. This year, the first day of school for students in Clark County is Monday, August 12.

Giving Kids A Back-to-School Boost!

For parents and caregivers who can’t make it to a clinic before the rush, the Health District will host Give Kids a Boost on Saturday, August 10, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The immunization event and health fair will be held at its main public health center, located at 280 S. Decatur Blvd. Only immunizations for children up to age 18 will be available. The Family Planning Clinic will also offer oral and injectable birth control services as well as STD screenings on a walk-in basis. In addition, the health fair will offer family resources and information for clients.   

Sports and Day Care Physicals Available

Between Friday, July 26, and Friday, August 16, the Health District’s Family Health Care Center located at 280 S. Decatur Blvd. and its East Las Vegas Public Health Center at 570 N. Nellis Blvd., Ste. D1, will provide children’s sports and day care physicals for $25 by appointment. For additional information or to make an appointment, call the Family Health Care Center at (702) 759-1800.

Clinic Locations

The Health District offers back-to-school immunizations at its following locations.

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

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Must arrive by 4 p.m. to receive services.)

Travel vaccines will be available 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.; clients should expect longer wait times.

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

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Must arrive by 4 p.m. to receive services.)

  • 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

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Special Clinic: Friday, August 9, 8 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

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

The Clark County School District requires the following vaccinations for students enrolling in school: chickenpox (varicella), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, polio, tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (DTaP and Tdap), quadrivalent meningitis, and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR). Parents who recently moved to Nevada should note hepatitis A vaccination is required in the state. Immunizations that were up-to-date in other states that do not require hepatitis A vaccination might not be current in Nevada. For a list of immunization requirements for school, visit Immunize Nevada’s Nevada School Requirements page. 

Children entering 7th grade must be immunized against tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) as well as Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis) in the form of a quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY). The meningitis vaccine is also required for 8th through 12th grade students who are new to the Clark County School District. A booster dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate and the meningococcal B vaccines are recommended for teens who are 16 to 18 years old. College freshmen younger than 23 years old who are enrolled at a Nevada college or university and living in a dormitory are required to receive the meningococcal vaccine. The Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis), meningococcal B, and quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccines are all available at the Southern Nevada Health District.

Parents vaccinating a child at a Health District clinic should bring immunization records. Parents who cannot locate immunization records should contact their health care provider. If their children were immunized in Nevada, parents can also visit Nevada WebIZ, a statewide immunization registry, at https://izrecord.nv.gov/public/Application/PublicPortal or call Nevada WebIZ at 1 (877) 689-3249. Non-custodial adults may accompany a child; however, written consent must be provided to the Health District from the parent or guardian at the time of service. Administrative fees and cost of vaccines may be applied depending upon insurance status.  

The Health District accepts most insurance plans. Not all immunizations are covered by insurance. Contact the Health District’s immunization clinic for information and current fee schedule. For information, contact the Health District’s immunization clinic at  (702) 759-0850 or visit the Vaccines for School page. For wait times, follow us on Twitter @SNHDinfo or visit our website, www.SNHD.info.

Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Hires Radiation Oncologist and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner

By | On The Move, Press Release

Comprehensive Cancer Centers (Comprehensive) has hired advanced registered nurse practitioner, Tracey Neuman, MSN, APRN, FNP, as well as radiation oncologist, Dr. Samual R. Francis, MD, MS.

Neuman currently treats patients at Comprehensive’s Southeast Henderson Treatment Center (1505 Wigwam Parkway, Suite 130, Henderson, Nevada 89074). She brings more than 16 years of nursing experience to her role as a nurse practitioner at Comprehensive. Neuman offers consultations and manages treatment plans for patients with cancer and serious blood disorders. Previously, She served as an infection prevention nurse at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital. She worked as a medical surgical floor nurse at Mountainview Hospital in Las Vegas and also visited patients in long-term care facilities as a case manager nurse at Comfort Hospice. Neuman is familiar with oncology and the practice as she worked as an oncology hematology nurse at Comprehensive from 2008 to 2015. She graduated with her B.S. in nursing from Kaplan University and earned her Master of Science as a family nurse practitioner from Purdue Global University.

Dr. Francis will see patients at Comprehensive’s Central Valley Treatment Center (3730 S. Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89169) effective July 1. Prior to joining Comprehensive, Dr. Francis gained extensive experience utilizing external beam treatment modalities as well as brachytherapy and simulation treatment planning through image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). He graduated with a B.S. in biomedical engineering, a M.S. in bioengineering and earned a M.D. from the University of Utah. He completed his residency in radiation oncology from the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Hospital. Dr. Francis is currently a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Radiation Oncology, American College of Radiation Oncology, American Brachytherapy Society and American Radium Society.

About Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada

Comprehensive Cancer Centers is an award-winning multi-specialty practice comprising medical oncology, hematology, radiation oncology, breast surgery, pulmonary services, cancer genetic counseling and clinical research, with treatment centers and offices throughout Southern Nevada. For more than 40 years, the practice has provided oncology services to patients in and out of state with a specialized physician and nursing staff. Comprehensive, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, offers state-of-the-art technologies, latest advancements in cancer treatment and groundbreaking clinical research trails. The practice participates in more than 170 Phase I, Phase II and Phase III clinical research studies each year and has played a role in developing more than 85 FDA-approved cancer therapies. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.cccnevada.com, and follow the practice on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Healthy Nevada Project Brings in Research to Better Understand Liver Disease

By | Press Release

Renown Institute for Health Innovation Announces Strategic Collaboration to Advance Understanding of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

Renown Institute for Health Innovation (IHI) announced a strategic collaboration to determine if there is a link between liver disease and genetics, improving the understanding of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) through the collection and analysis of genetic data.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects 30-40 percent of adults in the United States, and NASH, a type of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, currently has no medicine approved to treat it. People with NASH have an increased chance of dying from liver-related causes. 

“To understand complicated diseases like NASH, we need large cohorts,” said Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., associate research professor at DRI, principal investigator of the Healthy Nevada Project and chief scientific officer for Renown Health. “The Healthy Nevada Project is able to provide this cohort, which will significantly benefit the patient population in Nevada and meet our goal of improving health in our state which ranks near the bottom.”

To make this research possible, this new partner will provide funding to Renown IHI for the Healthy Nevada Project to sequence and analyze the DNA of 15,000 patients living with NASH or NAFLD, as well as a control cohort of 40,000 individuals in Nevada. This collaboration will leverage genetic data and electronic health records to further the understanding of NASH and to inform the future development of treatment options for the disease.

“We have the tools, ample technology and science to make this a reality,” said Tony Slonim, MD, Dr.PH, FACHE, president and CEO of Renown. “Combining genetic sequencing with large sets of data can play a critical role in understanding and identifying serious health risks, including diseases like NASH. We are excited to collaborate with a new partner to better understand the condition and its complexities. Any genetic variants identified in individuals through the collaboration will be shared with the participants to help guide their own health decisions.”

With nearly 40,000 study participants enrolled in just over two years, the Healthy Nevada Project has become the fastest-enrolling genetic study in the country. The Project was created by Renown IHI – a collaboration between Renown Health and the Desert Research Institute (DRI). The Project has already been returning clinical results to study participants, notifying them of their risk for CDC Tier 1 conditions including familial hypercholesterolemia, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, and Lynch syndrome, a precursor to colon cancer.