Optum Cancer Care Adds Two New Physicians

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Optum Cancer Care has added two new physicians to help meet the growing need for health services in the Las Vegas community:

Okechukwu Obi, MD joins Optum Cancer Care (2300 W. Charleston Blvd.), specializing in internal medicine.

Swetha Pentapati, MD joins Optum Cancer Care (2300 W. Charleston Blvd.), specializing in internal medicine.

Centennial Hills Hospital Named to US News & World Report’s 2024 Best Hospitals for Maternity Care Lis

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Hospital Earns High Performing Designation for Second Consecutive Year

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice, has named Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center as a 2024 High Performing hospital for Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy). This is the highest award a hospital can earn for U.S. News’ Best Hospitals for Maternity Care, and the second consecutive year Centennial Hills Hospital has received this designation.

Best Hospitals for Maternity Care is an annual evaluation designed to assist expectant parents, in consultation with their prenatal care team, in making informed decisions about where to receive maternity care that best meets their family’s needs.

Centennial Hills Hospital earned a High Performing designation in recognition of maternity care as measured by factors such as newborn complication rates.

“I’m very proud of our Birthplace team for the outstanding care they provide to our expectant parents and their babies,” said Craig McCoy, CEO of Centennial Hills Hospital. “Every delivery is unique and our health care professionals are prepared to provide a successful labor, delivery and post-partum experience for all families.”

U.S. News evaluated hospitals from across the nation that provide labor and delivery services and submitted detailed data to the publication for analysis; 680 hospitals, an all-time high, participated in this year’s U.S. News survey. Fewer than half – 46% – of all hospitals that offer maternity care and participated in the survey received a High Performing designation.

“Hospitals that receive a High Performing designation as part of Best Hospitals for Maternity Care meet a high standard in caring for parents with uncomplicated pregnancies,” said Jennifer Winston, health data scientist at U.S. News. “These hospitals have C-section rates that are 26% lower, and newborn complication rates that are 37% lower than unrecognized hospitals. Parents-to-be can research their local hospitals’ performance metrics for free at health.usnews.com to help them choose where to have their baby.”

Located in the fast-growing northwest Las Vegas community, Centennial Hills Hospital added more labor and delivery suites and 36 mother-baby suites in late 2020. In 2021, the Birthplace expanded its NICU from 15 to 25 beds, including nine private baby suites, including larger suites for twins and triplets.

The U.S. News Best Hospitals for Maternity Care methodology is based entirely on objective measures of quality, such as C-section rates in lower-risk pregnancies, newborn complication rates, exclusive breast milk feeding rates, early elective delivery rates, birthing-friendly practices and transparency on racial/ethnic disparities, among other measures.

About Centennial Hills Hospital
Centennial Hills Hospital is a member of The Valley Health System, a system comprised of acute care and specialty hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, outpatient services and physician practices, cares for patients throughout Southern Nevada and surrounding communities. Located in northwest Las Vegas, the hospital offers a wide range of healthcare services including emergency care, surgical services, cardiovascular and advanced neurological care, women’s health, maternity and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, and specialty programs in stroke, chest pain, orthopedics, advanced wound care and hyperbaric medicine, and outpatient therapy and two freestanding emergency facilities, the ER at Valley Vista in North Las Vegas, NV, and the ER at West Craig (opening late 2023).

About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News, Real Estate, Careers and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Southwest Medical’s Oakey Health Care Center Earns National Honor

By | News

Southwest Medical’s Oakey Health Care Center at 4750 W. Oakey Blvd. in Las Vegas has been recognized by America’s Physician Groups’ (APG’s) among its 2023 Standards of Excellence program’s “Elite” status honorees.

Southwest Medical, part of Optum, was among 70 member physician groups nationwide that earned the acclamation.

The SOE® program is an annual, comprehensive survey administered by APG that evaluates the coordinated care models and the value-based care infrastructure of the organization’s physician group members. Now in its 16th year, the SOE® survey assesses organizations based on five rigorous categories: population health management, health information technology, accountability and transparency, patient-centered care, and advanced primary care.

January 2024 Task Force Dates Announced

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Task Force Meetings Return on January 18th and January 25th. Details and links are below:

January 18th Meetings Location:
USI Risk & Insurance Services
8360 W Sahara Ave Ste 110
Las Vegas, NV 89117
Link to Map

Legislative Task Force Meeting
January 18 | 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Learn More/Register

Healthcare Technology Task Force Meeting
January 18 | 11:30 AM – 12:15 PM
Learn more/Register

Workforce Task Force Meeting
January 18 | 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Learn more/Register

Physician Engagement Task Force Meeting
January 18 | 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Learn more/Register

January 25th Task Force Meeting (via Zoom)
Learn more/Register

Boys & Girls Clubs Winter Break Camp during Holiday School Break

By | News
With schools closing for winter break, some parents – particularly working parents – are wondering what to do with their kids and teens during this time. Known for its before and after school programs, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada is offering a one-week “Winter Break Camp” that combines the fun of camp and the holiday season with the nonprofit’s mission to help youth – especially the most vulnerable – reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens in a safe and supportive environment.

Winter Break Camp is Monday, Dec. 18 through Friday, Dec. 22, 2023, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registration is now available at all 13 Boys & Girls Clubs locations throughout the valley. Youth can enroll and attend camp every day or select days during the week. There are early drop-off and late pick-up options, with breakfast and lunch served at all 13 Clubs and included in the camp cost.

Activities will cover regular Boys & Girls programs, including games, sports, art and music, E-sports and gaming, performing arts, and STEM and STEAM projects. Additionally, each Club features a different holiday theme:

  • The Holiday Village Camp at the Andre Agassi Club
  • The Hunger Games Camp at the Mary & Sam Boyd Club
  • Santa’s STEAM Workshop Camp  at the Boulder Highway Club
  • Holiday Movie Extravaganza Camp at the Desert Pines Club
  • Grinchmas Winter Wonderland Camp at the Downtown Club
  • Home Alone STEAM Camp at the Ralph & Betty Engelstad Club
  • Winter Wonderland Camp at the John D. “Jackie” Gaughan Club
  • A STEM Christmas Camp at the Natalie Gulbis Club
  • Winter Spectacular Camp at the James Club
  • Winter Break Film Festival Camp at the John C. Kish Club
  • The Members Who Stole Christmas Camp at the Lied Memorial Club
  • Holiday Art Camp at the Donald W. Reynolds Club
  • Game Show Extravaganza Camp at the Southern Highlands Club

Winter Break Camp provides the perfect opportunity for families and youth who are new to the Club experience to learn about it at during the CCSD Winter Break. The camp fee is $80 for the week or $20 per day for daily drop-ins. Financial assistance is available for qualifying families.  

For information, call (844) 458-2582, email membership@bgcsnv.org,

register online or visit bgcsnv.org.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada  

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada is a non-profit organization with 13 Clubhouses throughout Southern Nevada. Our mission is to enable young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Focused on three main impact areas – Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles and Good Character & Leadership – Clubhouses provide a safe, supportive place to go (both physically and mentally), life-changing opportunities, and the chance for youth to learn, grow, and become who they want to be. Serving over 7,000 youth each year between the ages of 6-18, Clubs operate Monday through Friday before and after school, with extended hours over school breaks such as spring break, winter break and over the summer. For more information: www.bgcsnv.org Facebook @BGCSNV | Instagram @BGCSNV | Twitter @BGCSNV | 702-367-2582

SNHD: ‘Tis the Season for Flu Vaccines!

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2023 National Influenza Vaccination Week is December 4-8

National Influenza Vaccination Week is an annual observance the first week of December to encourage those who have not received a flu vaccine to get one. It’s also an optimal time to remind everyone 6 months and older that it’s not too late to get vaccinated against flu now that both the holiday and flu season have officially arrived in Clark County.

As of November 18, the Southern Nevada Health District is reporting 68 flu-associated hospitalizations and three deaths in Clark County. Flu activity in the state is currently moderate and typically increases in the community around the holidays. During National Influenza Vaccination Week, the Health District is urging everyone to get vaccinated to enjoy a safer and healthier holiday with family and friends.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine each year. By getting the vaccine, people can protect themselves and others from spreading the flu or getting severely ill. Older adults, younger children, pregnant people, and those with underlying medical conditions face a greater risk of becoming seriously ill from the flu.

Flu vaccines are available at Health District clinics as well as doctor’s offices and pharmacies throughout Southern Nevada. Visit the Flu Vaccine – Southern Nevada Health District web page for more information on SNHD flu clinics and to make an appointment.

Simple measures can help people prevent the spread of flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and running water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home when sick and limit contact with others.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw the tissue away after using it.
  • Take a COVID-19 test if flu-like symptoms develop.
  • Take antiviral drugs for flu if prescribed by a doctor.

Getting a flu vaccine should not be delayed. It takes about two weeks to develop sufficient protection against flu after getting vaccinated. The CDC has information about the flu vaccine on its Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine web page. The Southern Nevada Weekly Influenza Surveillance Snapshot can be viewed at Health District’s Influenza Surveillance web page.

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Las Vegas HEALS Healthcare Magazine’s December Theme is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

By | Featured, News

The theme for December’s Las Vegas HEALS Healthcare magazine is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We invite anyone interested in having content featured to send materials to Adriana. Those interested in placing advertisements can also email Adriana to send in materials, or ask any questions you may have.

Ad Specs
1/2 page ads – 7.5″ w x 5.5″
1/4 page ads – 3.5″ w x 4.5″
8 ½ x 11 Full pages

Member Ad Costs
Quarter page $75
Half-page – $125
Full page – $250
Advertorial – $525
Front Cover – $650
Back Cover – $350

Non-Member Costs
Quarter page $150
Half-page – $250
Full page – $500
Advertorial – $1,050
Front Cover – $1,300
Back Cover – $700

NOTE: Content must be received by the 10th of each month

Dr. Harrison Scott Pollinger Joins Nevada Donor Network as Associate Medical Director and Recovery Surgeon

By | News

Nevada Donor Network (NDN) announced today the appointment of Harrison Scott Pollinger, DO, FACS, multi-organ abdominal transplant surgeon. Dr. Pollinger brings several decades of experience in organ donation and transplant surgery to his new position, including more than 17 years of experience in leading one of the country’s largest transplant centers.

As associate medical director and recovery surgeon, Dr. Pollinger will help expand and grow NDN’s footprint within Nevada on behalf of donor heroes, growing organ donation as well as helping the team strategize and build towards the ultimate goal of more robust organ transplantation to Nevadan recipents close to home.

Having successfully performed over 700 liver transplants and thousands of abdominal procurements, Dr. Pollinger is well equipped to continue to expand NDN and the Nevada transplantation community. Patients under his care consistently benefit from his compassionate approach and unwavering dedication to improving their quality of life. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Prior to joining Nevada Donor Network, Dr. Pollinger served as program director, surgical director of liver transplant and co-chairman of the Transplant Clinical Committee at Piedmont Transplant Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. He completed his general surgery internship and residency at Carolinas Medical Center in North Carolina, and his abdominal transplant surgery fellowship at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Pollinger earned a Bachelor of Science, Biology from Syracuse University, and a Medical Degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He has been married to his wife Dana for 27 years and they have one daughter Noa Grace. Dr Pollinger is an accomplished fitness athlete having competed in several marathons as well as ultra marathons. He is passionate about family and enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. He also enjoys playing guitar and spending time with his cavapoo Roy.

About Nevada Donor Network
Nevada Donor Network is a federally designated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) committed to saving and healing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. Established in 1987, Nevada Donor Network is one of only 56 OPOs in the United States serving more than 3 million people in the state of Nevada and over 100,000 potential transplant recipients across the country. We work collaboratively with hospital staff and community partners to promote research and provide a strong support network to courageous donor families who’ve turned loss into hope. At Nevada Donor Network, we encourage Nevadans to help individuals in need of life-saving transplants through education, research and action. Nevada Donor Network is a member of Donate Life Nevada, an affiliate of Donate Life America, whose state-wide efforts encourage Nevadans to register as donors. For more information, please visit their website.

Palm Mortuaries & Cemeteries Holds Tree of Memory Lighting and Fundraiser

By | News

Palm Mortuaries & Cemeteries and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada will host the 26th annual Tree of Memory Lighting and Fundraiser December 5 through December 7.

Held to help families and individuals who are spending their first holidays without their loved ones who have passed away, Palm Mortuaries annual Tree of Memory event draws more than 1,000 attendees across its three locations. The events include an opportunity for the community to purchase engraved ornaments honoring loved ones, that can be placed on the Tree of Memory. In addition to the Tree of Memory lighting, attendees can also enjoy a special remembrance service, food, drinks, music, performances from local high schools and photos with Santa Claus.

Ornament sales for the Tree of Memory are available now and through the end of December and can be purchased at any of Palm Mortuaries’ locations across the valley. 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to this year’s selected charity, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada, which provides emotional support, quality of life programs, and financial assistance for children and their families affected by childhood cancer. Past charity recipients include Nathan Adelson Hospice, Nevada Donor Network, Alicia Renee Foundation and The Unforgettables Foundation.

Southern Nevada Health District Observes World AIDS Day

By | Featured, News

The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) joins with community partners in observing World AIDS Day on Friday, December 1, a day of solidarity for those affected by HIV. More than 32 million people have died worldwide from AIDS-related illness. In Clark County, more than 11,000 people are living with HIV and 488 were newly diagnosed in 2022.

On World AIDS Day, SNHD will offer free, rapid HIV testing from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at its Fremont Public Health Center, 2380 E. Fremont St., Las Vegas, NV 89104. Information about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) will also be available. Additionally, Express Testing is available Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed noon – 1 p.m.) at SNHD’s Southern Nevada Community Health Center Sexual Health Clinic, 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107. Testing at this location is for those who are asymptomatic and would like to know their HIV status.
SNHD also offers rapid HIV testing options including home HIV test kits. The Collect2Protect program allows users to conveniently and privately order an at-home HIV test kit at no cost and get their results at home. Test kits for chlamydia and gonorrhea are also available for a fee.

Area residents are invited to collectively create a community AIDS quilt on December 1 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at The Center, 401 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, 89101. This event will also feature music, food and free HIV testing. Also on the 1st, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation will provide free HIV testing from 7 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. at Entourage Spa & Health Club, 953 E. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89104, and a reception will be held at Community Counseling Center, 714 E. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89104.

The local schedule of observances is being extended to include the following partner activities:

Thursday, November 30

  • 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Free rapid testing will be available at the Southern Nevada Community Health Center Sexual Health Clinic, 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107.
  • 4 p.m.: Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) will host the “Turning the Sign Red” event at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign.


Saturday, December 2

  • Noon – 3 p.m.: People wearing red shirts will form a “human AIDS ribbon” on the south side of  the Commercial Center, 900 E. Liberace Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89109.

Sunday, December 3

  • 1 p.m.: The 35th Annual Ribbon of Life Holiday Spectacular will be held at the Tropicana Las Vegas, 3801 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109. Sponsored by Golden Rainbow, this event supports people who are impacted by HIV/AIDS by providing emergency assistance, education, financial aid and affordable housing in a safe and inclusive environment.

For more information on World AIDS Day, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at World AIDS Day | CDC.

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.