SilverSummer Healthplan Shares Importance of Keeping Up to Date with Immunizations

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By Dr. Jeff Murawsky, Chief Medical Officer, SilverSummit Healthplan

With August being National Immunization Awareness Month, and as children return to school, it is a good time to make sure everyone in your family is up to date on immunizations. For older adults, updated immunizations are just as important as daily vitamins, exercise and keeping up with daily medications.  Here is important immunization information to keep on hand:

Dr. Jeff Murawsky, Chief Medical Officer, SilverSummit Healthplan

Q.: Why are immunizations so important?
A.: While many serious diseases are no longer common in the United States thanks to vaccines, there are still some diseases and viruses that exist and can spread when people are not vaccinated, like shingles, pneumococcal disease, seasonal flu, and let’s not forget COVID-19. Vaccines are safe and effective and work with your body’s natural defenses to help safely develop protection from diseases. Every year, thousands of people in the United States become seriously ill and hospitalized because of diseases vaccines can help prevent. Many adults even die from these diseases.

Q.: Who needs immunizations?
A.: Everyone! Babies, children, teenagers, adults, and seniors all need certain immunizations.

  • Getting vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health. Diseases can quickly spread among groups of children who are not vaccinated. Whether it is a baby starting at a new childcare facility – or even a college freshman – parents should check their child’s vaccination records.
  • All adults should get vaccines to protect their health. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill and can pass certain illnesses on to others.

Q.: How can our audience members find out if they are up to date on their immunizations?
A.: Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed at their doctor’s office, pharmacy or other visits with healthcare providers. Your primary care doctor should also have your immunizations records on file. Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person’s age, occupation or health conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes or heart disease.

Q.: Anything else you like to add?
A.: All vaccinations are important, some more than others depending on the time of year.  Right now, COVID is a priority and can be combined with most of our usual vaccinations. But we can’t forget about influenza coming up this fall and all those vaccines that protect our children from many serious conditions.

About SilverSummit Healthplan
SilverSummit Healthplan is a managed care plan that delivers quality health insurance to the people of Nevada. Established in 2017, SilverSummit is committed to improving the health of its members through focused, compassionate, and coordinated care. SilverSummit’s active community evolvement reaches beyond physical and mental health. We are dedicated to improve the quality of life, one person at a time. SilverSummit Healthplan is a diversified healthcare organization that offers healthcare services through Nevada Medicaid, Medicare, and the Health Insurance Marketplace. For more information on SilverSummit, visit their website.


MountainView Hospital and HCA Healthcare Open Sixth Specialty Practice in Las Vegas

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Highly-Skilled Surgeons Join Team Continuing to Raise Bar of Quality Care in Southern Nevada with Opening of New Oncology-Focused Specialty Practice

MountainView Hospital is pleased to announce that it has opened Las Vegas Complex Surgical Specialists, a surgical oncology and colon & rectal surgery practice dedicated to treating complex cancers as well as colorectal diseases and disorders.

The practice currently employs two dual board-certified surgeons and is located on the campus of MountainView Hospital. The clinic is in the medical office building adjacent to the hospital at 3150 N. Tenaya Way, Suite 510, Las Vegas, NV 89128 and is accepting patients.

Dr. Garrett Friedman, Colorectal Surgery and Dr. Matthew Selleck, Surgical Oncology

Established surgeons, Garrett Friedman, MD, FACS, FACRS, board-certified in general surgery and colon & rectal surgery and Matthew Selleck, DO, FACS, FSSO, board-certified in general surgery and complex general surgical oncology offer comprehensive patient management using the latest equipment and techniques including minimally invasive procedures such as robot-assisted surgery for faster recovery time, shorter hospital stays, smaller incisions and minimal scarring. The clinic is part of the larger network, HCA Healthcare joining six established outpatient practices, four hospitals and other care sites in the community.

“By employing a team of highly skilled and specialized surgeons with access to superior technology and state of the art techniques, we will be able to continue to raise the bar of the quality of care that is delivered to our community,” said Julie Taylor, MountainView Chief Executive Officer. “The two renowned surgeons are leaders in their field, and we are lucky to have them join us at MountainView.”

The practice is equipped to treat many conditions both benign and cancerous, complex to simple, with surgical and non-surgical approaches. Patients have access to the most comprehensive and supportive personalized care plans with the physicians and care team working to achieve the very best outcomes.  A full list of services can be found here.

“I look forward to serving my patients with the most advanced, compassionate care,” said Dr. Garrett Friedman. “I could not be more pleased to launch a practice that provides seamless care for patients in our community.  I look forward to using my extensive background and training to unite with my colleague, Dr. Selleck.  We are providing better access to more comprehensive services to meet the needs of this community.”

“As a native of Las Vegas, it means so much to be home to serve this city with personalized patient-centric care”, said Dr. Matthew Selleck.  “I look forward to providing specialized care to treat some of the most complex disorders and diseases including cancer.  With my advanced training in cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, the practice along with MountainView Hospital will be the only facility in Las Vegas offering this innovative treatment to treat and remove cancer cells surgically.”

Both Dr. Friedman and Dr. Selleck are now accepting new patients.  Appointments can be made by calling the office at (702) 962-2300.  To learn more about Las Vegas Complex Surgical Specialists, please visit:

About MountainView Hospital
MountainView Hospital is a state-of-the-art, full-service medical facility located in the heart of northwest Las Vegas. With a dedicated and talented staff of employees and outstanding physicians, MountainView Hospital is recognized for high patient satisfaction and for providing quality and compassionate care to our community since 1996, including earning The Leapfrog Group’s Grade A consecutively six times since fall 2018.  MountainView features nationally recognized programs including a top cardiovascular and thoracic center and integrated cardiology clinic, and the renowned Las Vegas Institute for Robotic Surgery. The Sunrise Health Medical Education Consortium, based at MountainView, trains the next generation of physicians and surgeons for our community.

MountainView is a member of the respected Sunrise Health System consisting of Sunrise Hospital, Sunrise Children’s Hospital, Southern Hills Hospital and several surgery, diagnostic imaging, urgent care center and hospital based emergency rooms, offering a complete range of specialized and technologically advanced services.

MountainView Hospital
3100 N. Tenaya Way,
Las Vegas, NV 89128

About HCA Healthcare in Las Vegas
Comprised of Southern Hills Hospital, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, Sunrise Children’s Hospital and MountainView Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare. HCA Healthcare is committed to providing the finest quality healthcare in Las Vegas, the system includes more than 32 access points for the community, from hospitals, primary care and specialty care clinics, urgent care centers, outpatient diagnostic imaging and surgery centers, as well as free-standing emergency rooms. The system’s respected Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Education Consortium offers innovative approaches to residency training in an extraordinary, collaborative environment for more than 200 residents in our community.

The Ultimate Game Day Guide to Las Vegas

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The Greatest Arena on Earth Goes the Extra Yard for Every Type of Fan

Fall marks the return of football season, and there is no better place to catch a favorite team than Las Vegas. The destination has the perfect spot for all fans and visitors with an array of deals, specials and food and drink packages.

For People Who Actually Watch the Game
Circa Resort & Casino boasts the largest sports betting experience in the world, Circa Sports, with a 78-million-pixel screen for the ultimate viewing experience. There is no bad seat in the house, with a three-story, technologically advanced sportsbook and an overhanging bar with a combined capacity of up to 1,000 people. Fans can also head outside to Stadium Swim to watch a game on a 143-square-foot screen.

For Being in the Action
Get in on the blood, sweat and tears as Allegiant Stadium welcomes fans for the first time this football season as the home of the Las Vegas Raiders. The Silver and Black will kick off on Sept. 13 vs. the Baltimore Ravens, followed by nine home games throughout the season. College football fans will also mark their first year in the stands at Allegiant Stadium this year with the UNLV Rebels kicking off their season on Sept. 2. Later this year, Allegiant Stadium will host the 2021 Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 30, where depending on the year you can catch your favorite Pac-12 team playing either the Southeastern or Big Ten conferences.

For Whiskey Lovers
The newly opened Stadia Bar at Caesars Palace was inspired by sports fans, from the net-like chandeliers to baseball sconces and other touches throughout. The lavish lounge presents a large selection of classic libations, specialty cocktails, and incredibly rare spirits like Kentucky Owl, Pappy Van Winkle and exclusive barrel picks direct from the distiller.

For Tailgating
MGM Resorts and Bud Light partnered on the Bud Light Beer Garden offering football fans the ultimate tailgating experience before and after Raiders and UNLV home games at Allegiant Stadium. Conveniently located within walking distance of Allegiant Stadium, Bud Light Beer Garden has football challenges, life-sized Jenga and chess, DJs, food and beverage specials and more for fans.

For Fun in the Sun
Every Sunday, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub will transform into a football oasis. Lounge poolside or take a dip while catching the action on the big screen, complete with bottle service, game-day eats, refreshing beverages and a DJ.

For Something Different
Resorts World Las Vegas, the newest casino resort on the Strip, is home to Dawg House Saloon & Sportsbook where football fans will find draft beers, cocktails and American fare with a Southern twist. And for those looking for something other than the game, the resort is home to AYU Dayclub with an exotic Southeast Asian feel and resident DJs Zedd and Tiësto, among others.

For Football, Amped
Making its debut this year at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Money, Baby!, is the first of its kind and combines the best of Vegas – sports viewing, culinary, betting, entertainment and nightlife. With 15,000 square feet indoors and 5,500 square feet outdoors overlooking the Virgin Pools, Money, Baby! has two DJ booths, state-of-the-art golf simulators, shuffleboard and other games, 360-degree viewing experience and in-venue sportsbook. DJs spin during commercials and other breaks, taking game day to the next level.

For Raiders Fans
The home-team hotspot is Raiders Tavern & Grill at M Resort Spa and Casino. Become immersed in silver and black with décor and memorabilia celebrating the rich history of the Raiders. Serving American fare and stadium favorites, this is the perfect spot for locals, Raiders fans and lovers of the great game of football.

For Ease
Treasure Island will launch the TI Super Fan Shuttle, a roundtrip service that will transport fans to and from TI and Allegiant Stadium for all home games during the regular season. The non-smoking deluxe motorcoach features comfortable seating and wi-fi, running every 30 minutes before and after games. Start the pre-game festivities early with drink specials at Treasure Island’s Golden Circle Sportsbook & Bar and celebrate the win or forget the loss at Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que or Breeze Bar.

For Bottle Service
Catch all the action with game day bottle service at Electra Cocktail Club at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas during Thursday, Sunday (after 1 p.m.) and Monday football games. A 40-foot, 70-million-pixel digital screen provides an up-close viewing experience with the renowned hospitality of Electra’s staff serving packages for 4 – 10 guests that includes a bottle of your favorite spirit and mixers, beers by the bucket and Moon Palace Sliders and Hot Chips.

For Luxury
After an extensive renovation, the Wynn Las Vegas Race & Sports Book is back with state-of-the-art technology featuring a sophisticated design and luxurious feel. The comfort is unmatched with plush seats equipped with personal monitors, individual lighting, USB plugs and electrical outlets. The Race & Sports Book offers an unparalleled viewing experience boasting a 1,600-square-foot wraparound LED screen. Next door, Charlie’s Bar + Grill was also remodeled and serves elevated tailgate favorites and beer.

For Not Breaking the Bank
Podcaster Raider Cody will broadcast live from CASBAR Lounge inside SAHARA Las Vegas every Raiders home game, and fans will get a kick out of the associated discounts on room rates, with food and beverage credit and complimentary room upgrade available. In addition, CASBAR has drink specials and will have a popup Black Sunday shop.

For a full list of locations or to book your Las Vegas adventure, visit

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide and with operating the 4.6 million square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). With 150,000 hotel rooms and 14 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space in Las Vegas alone, the LVCVA’s mission centers on attracting leisure and business visitors to the area. The LVCVA also owns the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, an underground tunnel designed by The Boring Company and the Las Vegas Monorail, an elevated 3.9-mile system with seven stops throughout the resort corridor. For more information, go to, or

Daniel Emmet Holding Pop-Up Event in Support of Nathan Adelson Hospice

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America’s Got Talent Finalist, Daniel Emmet, to Hold Pop-Up Event at Downtown Summerlin® in Support of Nathan Adelson Hospice

Las Vegas Headliner and America’s Got Talent Sensation, Daniel Emmet; Nathan Adelson Hospice executives and team members; and pet therapists that are part of Nathan Adelson Hospice’s Bonnie Schreck Memorial Complementary Therapies program are teaming up to hold a Pop-Up Concert featuring Emmet. The event will be held on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at 6 p.m. (event will last approximately 20 minutes) at the Downtown Summerlin ® – Dining Arroyo (Near Maggiano’s Little Italy and California Pizza Kitchen)

In anticipation of Nathan Adelson Hospice’s annual fundraiser, “Serenades of Life – Doctors in Concert,” the nonprofit is hosting a short pop-up musical event featuring headliner Daniel Emmet. The outdoor mini concert is a teaser of what guests can expect at the 25th Annual Serenades of Life – Doctors in Concert event on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 at The Smith Center.

Onlookers can also learn from and interact with onsite pet therapists and their pets, which are part of Nathan Adelson Hospice’s Complementary Therapies Program. Pet Therapy is just one of the many complementary offerings provided by Nathan Adelson Hospice, the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice in Nevada.  Proceeds from the 25th Annual Serenades of Life – Doctors in Concert will benefit the Bonnie Schreck Memorial Complementary Therapies Program.

Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic Marks First Anniversary with NIH Grant to Study Effects of Gender and Sex in Alzheimer’s Disease

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Grant Expands Research Program Aimed at Understanding Why Women More Likely Impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease and How to Reduce Risk

Jessica Caldwell, Ph.D., director of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic, has been awarded a grant expected to total $1.8 million from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the interactive effects of gender and sex on biological processes in Alzheimer’s disease.

The four-year grant will examine how gender-linked stress exposure and estrogen may interact to impact memory, inflammation in the body, and brain activation and connectivity in women at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

“We know that gender and sex, indexed by stress exposures and estrogen, promote changes in the brain, which may facilitate Alzheimer’s pathology in women at risk for the disease,” said Dr. Caldwell. “This project is an opportunity to better understand these mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease risk and how we might implement the appropriate risk reduction approaches to benefit women.”

Dr. Caldwell anticipates data from this study will provide evidence linking greater lifetime gender-based stressor exposures to poorer verbal memory in women at risk for Alzheimer’s, as well as processes likely to contribute to sex and gender disparities in the disease. She hopes that findings will help to inform development of interventions targeting stress and inflammation to reduce Alzheimer’s risk.

The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement has helped fund Dr. Caldwell’s sex-based research since 2016, providing the seed money to build the data infrastructure to apply for this grant, as well as to establish The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic – the nation’s first prevention center designed specifically for women located inside the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Alzheimer’s research, particularly studies examining the role of a woman’s biology, genetic make-up and lifestyle in developing the disease, is critical in helping us understand why women are at the epicenter of this epidemic,” said Maria Shriver, founder of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and the visionary behind The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention Center.

“We’ve only scratched the surface on investigating these connections, and more funding is needed to advance the effort,” continued Shriver. “This award from the NIH is a true testament to the importance of investing in clinical research, as it will position us one step closer to understanding the myriad gender-specific factors that contribute to Alzheimer’s and why the disease discriminates against women, especially women of color.”

Since opening its doors in summer 2020, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic has welcomed women from 40 states across the country and received honorable mention in Fast Company’s list of 2021 World Changing Ideas.

This project is supported by NIH grant award 1R01AG074392-01.

For more information about The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic visit or email

About The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic: 
The Women’s Alzheimer’sMovement Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic is a one-of-a-kind, three-year pilot program specific to women for Alzheimer’s disease prevention located within Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada. Building on peer-reviewed science indicating that up to 40% of all Alzheimer’s cases might be preventable through risk-reduction strategies, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Prevention Center combines the latest science on prevention with a woman’s medical history, habits and biological risks to create a customized, sustainable plan for lifestyle modifications that can reduce her individual risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Maria Shriver, founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM), is the visionary behind The Women’s Alzheimer’s Prevention Center, which is a collaboration between WAM and the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. For more information, visit  

About Cleveland Clinic: 
Cleveland Clinic – now in its centennial year – is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 70,800 employees worldwide are more than 4,660 salaried physicians and researchers, and 18,500 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 19 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2020, there were 8.7 million total outpatient visits, 273,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 217,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at 

About the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health: 
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which opened in 2009, provides expert diagnosis and treatment for individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body, frontotemporal and other dementias; Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, multiple system atrophy and other movement disorders; and multiple sclerosis. With locations in Cleveland, Ohio; Weston, Florida and headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada, the center offers a continuum of care with no-cost opportunities for the community to participate in education and research, including disease prevention studies and clinical trials of promising new medications. An integrated entity, Keep Memory Alive, raises funds exclusively in support of the Nevada location.

About Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM): 
Founded by Maria Shriver, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to raising awareness about women’s increased risk for Alzheimer’s and to educating the public — women and men — about lifestyle changes they can make to protect their brain health. Through annual campaigns and initiatives, WAM raises funds to support women-based Alzheimer’s research at leading scientific institutions around the country.WAM’s goal is to make this center the first of many clinics around the world that address the specific needs of women, including addressing the needs of women of color, to help reduce their risk for Alzheimer’s.

Henderson Hospital Adds 69 Adult Inpatient beds Through Patient Care Tower Expansion

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Relocation of Observation Unit Increases ER Capacity; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Expansion Planned for Fall 2021

The team at Henderson Hospital added an additional 69 adult medical-surgical inpatient beds in August as it opened its new six-story tower, increasing its licensed bed count from 170 to 239.

A 33-bed medical-surgical patient care unit opened August 12, 2021, with another 36-bed patient care unit approved by the State of Nevada on August 25, 2021. The latter allowed hospital staff to immediately begin relocating patients from the Observation Unit, adjacent to the Emergency Department, to the new unit. The relocation of the Observation unit increased the Emergency department bed capacity by 25, for a total of 52 ER beds. ER beds are not included in licensed bed counts.

“We appreciate all the efforts of the State of Nevada, our general contractor, SR Construction, and our own team, to continue construction and add more inpatient and ER beds in the midst of the pandemic,” said Sam Kaufman, CEO of Henderson Hospital. “It’s been a true testament to the commitment and teamwork of all the groups to help our community access the care they need.”

Additional plans for the new patient tower include adding 18 more neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) beds, four antepartum rooms for high-risk-maternity patients, and a final 36-bed medical-surgical patient care unit by year-end 2021. Once the NICU beds are relocated to the new tower, the Birthplace will undergo renovations to add another surgical suite for maternity-related surgeries and six more labor-delivery-recovery rooms to meet the ongoing demand for maternity services. Completion of this project is planned for early summer 2022.

The project is valued at $150 million and includes a 480-space parking garage and 44 beds shelled out for future growth needs. Other construction activities included enlarging ancillary departments such as Laboratory, Supply Chain, Pharmacy, Dietary, Dialysis and other areas that support the increased patient care expansion.

Prior to the patient tower opening, Henderson Hospital opened a 25-bed observation unit in July 2020, along with a larger ER patient lobby, eight new rapid medical exam/triage rooms, a second CT scan and the preparation of three shelled out surgical suites for future use. The hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was certified as a Level III unit in spring 2020, enabling its Birthplace team to care for patients who are less than 32 weeks in gestational age, weigh less than 1500 grams (approximately 3 pounds, 3 ounces) or are critically ill.

About Henderson Hospital, A Member of The Valley Health System
Located in Henderson, NV, Henderson Hospital offers emergency care, surgical services, including an outpatient surgery center, cardiovascular care, women’s health and maternity services, including a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, outpatient wound care and a freestanding emergency department. It is accredited as both a Chest Pain Center and Advanced Primary Stroke Center. Henderson Hospital has also been honored by The Leapfrog Group as a Top General Hospital in 2018 and 2019; a Top Teaching Hospital in 2020; and earned the “A” Patient Safety Grade from the Leapfrog Group during its last six award cycles.

About The Valley Health System
The Valley Health System (VHS), comprised of acute care and specialty hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, outpatient services and physician practices, 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

Intermountain Healthcare Provider Honored by Mattel for Frontline COVID Work

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Dr. Cruz’s Work as Physician and Leader in Advancing Equality Celebrated

Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, an Intermountain Healthcare provider who works at our Blue Diamond myGeneration clinic, is one of six women in healthcare worldwide chosen by Mattel to honor COVID-19 Frontline Workers. Mattel reached out to Dr. Cruz after she and several fellow providers went viral for their #IAmNotAVirus campaign against Anti-Asian and Asian-American hate this past spring.

Intermountain Healthcare’s Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz.

Dr. Cruz was, at that time, living in Southern California where animosity towards Asians and Asian-Americans was occurring. She had been working as a hospitalist and an assistant professor of medicine when she teamed up with other doctors to create the video that addressed anti-Asian violence related to the pandemic. The video was shown on national media.

As an Asian-American, Dr. Cruz has encountered ethnocentric and racist sentiment while she was living in California. On more than one occasion, she’s had patients refuse to be seen by her because they wanted someone with more experience or a different background, or who have inquired about her background in intrusive and judgmental ways.

“Words do matter. Individuals need to think twice before saying hurtful things,” says Dr. Cruz. Her activism and her role as a health and wellness influencer on Instagram got the attention of Mattel, which created a life like replica of her and five other women who worked to battle COVID-19 during the spring and fall of 2020. Mattel reached out to her because of her activism and Dr. Cruz began working with them to create a Barbie doll based on her likeness that would inspire girls to become future doctors.

“I am one of two women in the U.S. who were chosen for this honor,” says Dr. Cruz. The other woman is Amy O’Sullivan, an emergency room nurse who treated the first COVID-19 case in Brooklyn, NY.  Sarah Gilbert, who led the creation of the University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine and Dr. Jacqueline Goes de Jesus, a Brazilian biomedical researcher who worked on a team that sequenced the genome of a COVID-19 variant, were also chosen by Mattel to be part of this doll line. At this time the dolls are not for sale and have been made as a one-of-a-kind collection, though many people have shared their interest in purchasing the dolls.

Dr. Cruz was recently interviewed on CNN about this honor where she spoke about the process and the joy of receiving the doll from Mattel. “Never in a million years did I ever think this could happen to me. It means so much to me as a minority, as a woman, and as a healthcare worker.”

Health Plan of Nevada Offers Tips to Keep Kids Healthy

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Resources Shared as Part of National Childhood Obesity Month Efforts

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 1 in 5 children is obese in the United States and in Nevada specifically, about 12.9% of children ages 10-17 have obesity, giving our state a ranking of 36 among 50 states and D.C.

Childhood obesity is a serious health concern as it can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, joint problems, asthma, and sleep apnea.

September is National Childhood Obesity Month and Health Plan of Nevada wants to provide parents and caregivers with tips to promote healthy growth in children.

These tips could be especially important this year as many families and children have experienced adjustments to their routines because of the pandemic that may have led to lessened physical activity and altered eating habits.

Below you can find a handful of quick tips from Health Plan of Nevada to prevent childhood obesity:

  1. Better together
    • A good motivation for exercise or eating healthy is getting the whole family involved. Consider a weekly dance party, jump rope contest, or sack race. Maybe even try hula hooping, which the American Council on Exercise says can be a total-body workout, improving flexibility and balance while strengthening muscles. In the kitchen, let the kids pick a nutritional recipe of their choice, have them help shop for ingredients and prepare the meal.
  2. Call it what you want
    • Kids can be turned off by the words broccoli or cauliflower. To help overcome the fear of eating vegetables, call it by a different name. Whether it be “the enchanted forest” or “Bob the broccoli,” make it fun! Exercises can also take on new identities – maybe next time you’ll be running with lions, tigers, and bears.
  3. Be aware of your child’s sleeping habits
    • Sleep has been proven to reduce the risks of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity later in life. Some ways to better your child’s sleep are reducing screen time before bedtime, setting a consistent bedtime, and keeping their bedroom dim and at a comfortable temperature.

To learn more, you can visit Health Plan of Nevada here.


Southern Nevada Health District Releases Community Health Assessment

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The Southern Nevada Health District worked with multiple partners and individuals to conduct an in-depth analysis of the community’s health-related needs and strengths as well as resources available to address and improve health outcomes in Clark County. The result, the 2020-2021 Community Health Assessment (CHA), is now available on the Healthy Southern Nevada website.

The CHA provides an overview of health information and helps to identify populations who may be at increased risk of poor health outcomes. Through the course of the assessment process, common themes emerged from the feedback provided by the community participants. Identified priority areas include: Access to Care (cost, availability, knowledge of services); Transportation; Chronic Disease; Mental Health; Funding; and Community Safety. The assessment process also includes a review of 67 health indicators, and of those, 51 are reviewed by ZIP code. The core health indicators include demographic and socioeconomic status, maternal and child health, infectious diseases, chronic diseases, mental and behavioral health, health care access, environmental health, crime and overall wellness score. The five ZIP codes identified with the highest health burdens are: 89101, 89106, 89030, 89169, and 89115.

Key assessments within the CHA include: Community Themes and Strengths; Forces of Change; Local Public Health System Assessment; and Community Health Status Assessment. This framework, known as Mobilizing Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) was developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) as a community-driven strategic process for gathering data. Each assessment provides a process to review key areas and indicators within the community.

The 2020-2021 Community Health Assessment is designed to inform the public, stakeholders and organizations about the current health status of Clark County residents and provide guidance for making shared decisions for improving the public health status of the community.

Findings from the CHA are used to identify strategic priorities and the development of a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). This plan will guide Health District and community partner activities and interventions through the next three to five years.

The Health District and community partners will meet to determine Community Health Assessment priorities and begin working on the Community Health Improvement Plan in October.