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Members in the News – September 2020

New Poll: 68% of Americans View COVID-19 as a Severe or Extreme Crisis; Survey Results Cite Leading Sources of Induced Stress, Anxiety, Depression
Spring Mountain Treatment Center shares today the results of a new poll fielded by parent company Universal Health Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest and most respected providers of hospital and healthcare services. The national survey was commissioned to assess and quantify Americans’ views and perceptions on mental health amidst COVID-19. As of May 20 (end of survey fielding), the COVID-19 Dashboard at Johns Hopkins University reported the U.S. had:

  • 1,539,633 confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • 92,645 deaths due to the disease
  • 289,392 recovered patients
  • 12,233,987 million total test results

Major findings of the UHS survey include:

  • 68% of American adults surveyed view COVID-19 as a severe or extreme crisis in the U.S.
  • 62% of survey participants report increased stress, anxiety or depression. Of those feeling COVID-related stress, anxiety or depression, 55% report these stressors are interfering moderately, severely or overwhelmingly in their lives.
  • Nearly 25% feel COVID-related stress, anxiety and/or depression most or all of the time.
  • Concerns about the economy, unknown duration of COVID-19 effects, no ‘normalcy’ in near future, isolation from friends/family and risk of virus exposure are the leading sources of stress, anxiety and depression.
  • 1 in 4 surveyed are unclear what action to take if they had a mental health crisis.
  • Of those with COVID-related anxiety, stress or depression, most are self-managing these negative feelings; only 15% used online tools and/or sought help from a licensed counselor/therapist.
  • Fear of virus exposure was the key barrier to mental health treatment during this time, followed by cost of co-pay and negative perception of telehealth.
  • Telehealth: About half of Adults surveyed used Telehealth to treat a mental or physical condition, most of whom had a positive experience.
  • Nearly half of Americans expect to regain ‘normalcy’ within a few months; more than 90% are at least somewhat hopeful of their home life in the future
    • Link to multimedia news release:
      “A local interpretation of the survey for our region indicates the extreme stress and uncertainty this pandemic is perpetuating,” said Troy E. Mire, CEO of Spring Mountain Treatment Center. “Many individuals are experiencing feelings of insecurity that they have never had before. In addition, the pandemic has exasperated symptoms in those suffering with Mental illness.” The good news is there is relieve available for the stress, fear, and mental illness. Spring Mountain has implemented several safe guards to minimize the risk of exposure while offering the care people need at this critical time.”
      “The results of this survey reveal numerous valuable insights into the impact COVID-19 is having on the mental health of Americans, as well as the tools being used to manage the effects,” said Matt Peterson, Executive Vice President, UHS, and President, Behavioral Health Division. “Specifically, our data indicate that few Americans are utilizing the online tools that offer coping strategies or are seeking help from professionals to manage COVID-related stressors. However, it is promising that the majority of Americans surveyed who have used telehealth had a positive experience. Barriers to care – particularly for mental health – still exist and must be addressed. Research studies in this area will give us a better understanding of how to better support the citizens of our country to be resilient during this current pandemic as well as future challenges.”

Six Valley Health System Hospitals Earn Honors for Stroke, Heart Care
In the ongoing commitment to the rapid education, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of stroke and heart attacks, 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, along with Mission: Lifeline awards for heart attack diagnosis, intervention and treatment. The awards recognize the hospitals’ commitment to ensuring stroke and heart patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

“Our hospitals have been focused on cardiovascular outcomes for years,” said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President of The Valley Health System. “This includes staff, physician and community education, along with the rapid diagnosis, intervention and treatment of heart and stroke diseases in our emergency departments and our inpatient nursing units. We are very proud this has led to award-winning care and outcomes using clinically based outcomes guidelines.”

“Years of identifying and understanding these medical conditions have led to the accurate diagnosis and intervention of cardiovascular disease patients, which saves and extends lives. This is our mission for every patient we treat,” said Dan McBride, MD, Chief Medical Officer of The Valley Health System. “There is so much at stake to help our patients recover and discover what they have to live for, and it’s a responsibility that every employee and physician takes very seriously.”

Each hospital earned its awards by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular patients at a set level for a designated period
According to the American Heart Association, the VHS hospitals have achieved the following awards:

Centennial Hills Hospital
Get with the Guidelines® 2020 Gold Plus Stroke Quality Achievement Award and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite and Target: Diabetes Honor Roll
American Heart Association® Mission: Lifeline® 2020 Gold STEMI Receiving Center Quality Achievement Award

Desert Springs Hospital
Get with the Guidelines® 2020 Gold Plus Stroke Quality Achievement Award and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite and Target: Diabetes Honor Roll
American Heart Association® Mission: Lifeline® 2020 Gold STEMI Receiving Center Quality Achievement Award
Get with the Guidelines® 2020 Silver Plus Heart Failure Quality Achievement Award

Henderson Hospital
Get with the Guidelines® 2020 Gold Plus Stroke Quality Achievement Award
American Heart Association® Mission: Lifeline® 2020 Gold Plus STEMI Receiving Center Quality Achievement Award

Spring Valley Hospital
Get with the Guidelines® 2020 Gold Plus Stroke Quality Achievement Award and Target: Stroke Honor Roll
American Heart Association® Mission: Lifeline® 2020 Gold STEMI Receiving Center Quality Achievement Award
American Heart Association® Mission: Lifeline® 2020 Bronze NSTEMI Receiving Center Quality Achievement Award

Summerlin Hospital
Get with the Guidelines® 2020 Gold Plus Stroke Quality Achievement Award and Target: Diabetes Honor Roll
American Heart Association® Mission: Lifeline® 2020 Gold STEMI Receiving Center Quality Achievement Award

Valley Hospital
Get with the Guidelines® 2020 Gold Plus Stroke Quality Achievement Award and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite and Target: Diabetes Honor Roll
American Heart Association® Mission: Lifeline® 2020 Gold STEMI Receiving Center Quality Achievement Award

Living a Healthy Life Today
“It is vital that our family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, neighbors and fellow citizens undertake physical activity, review their diets, lose weight, stop smoking and both understand and take action to improve their numbers for blood pressure, cholesterol and AIC for diabetes so they don’t become a statistic,” McBride said.

Important Statistics
According to the 2020 statistics from the American Heart Association, someone in the United States has a stroke about every 40 seconds and, in 2017, it accounted for about one of every 19 deaths in the country. Additionally, in 2017, there were 90,098 deaths attributed to hypertension [high blood pressure]. It is anecdotally referred to as the silent killer and is a top risk factor for having a stroke.*

Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States, accounting for approximately 13 percent of deaths in 2017 (approximately 365,914 deaths, about 1000 people per day). *

The American Heart Association tracks seven key health factors that increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. These include smoking, physical inactivity, nutrition choices, overweight/obesity, cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. *

Renown Health & University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine announce intent to affiliate
Renown Health and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) announced their intent to develop plans for a proposed long-term partnership designed to enhance Nevada’s medical education system, expand clinical research capacity in northern Nevada and create a world-class health care network.

The collaboration between Nevada’s oldest medical school and one of its largest non-profit health care organizations is well underway, with the organizations executing a Letter of Intent. The final agreement with details of the arrangement is slated to be signed by the end of the year.

“Over the last 50 years, Renown Health has been an important UNR Med partner. We share a common vision, and recognize how expanding our collaboration will benefit the community through increased access to care and expanded clinical training and research programs. We know we can do more together than we would be able to do separately,” said UNR Med Dean and Vice President, Health Sciences, Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., professor, family and community medicine. “As health care professionals, we are forever changed by the events of the last six months. This new affiliation acknowledges our changing educational and health care environment, and advances our state-wide vision of A Healthy Nevada.”

Like many health care systems and medical schools across the nation, Renown Health and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine have worked together for decades to advance a mutual commitment to improving the health of the community. Over the last five decades, UNR Med has educated more than 3,900 physicians with over 30% percent practicing in Nevada, increasing access to care for residents across the state. Equally rooted in the community, Renown’s long legacy of service started in 1862 as a county hospital, Washoe Medical Center. Now, Renown Health serves the community by providing care through hospitals, outpatient medical offices, institutes and an insurance plan, Hometown Health.

Expanding on their long history of collaboration, both Renown Health and UNR Med have new strategic plans based on recruiting top-tier physicians and health care professionals, improving access to and developing new models of innovative care, and investing in clinical research. As pillars of health care in in northern Nevada, both provide key services for underserved populations, and collaborate to educate, train and employ the next generation of doctors and health care professionals to support the health of local and rural communities, the state and the nation.

“This new agreement builds on the close collaboration we have had for many years with UNR Med leadership,” says Anthony D. Slonim, MD, DrPH, FACHE, President and CEO, Renown Health; who also serves as professor of clinical medicine and pediatrics at University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine. “We have collaborated in research, medical education, grant funding for public health, clinical trials and integrated clinical practices to improve access and affordability of care. We both serve communities with significant health needs and socioeconomic challenges that have worsened through this pandemic. We recognize that this new level of affiliation will drive innovation and research that improves the health of our community, and together, we can be more effective in creating a healthier Nevada.”

University of Nevada, Reno President Marc A. Johnson, PhD, said, “Physicians, clinicians and clinical researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and Renown have worked together to care for patients during the COVID-19 crisis, from the bedside, to the research labs, and to the medical offices. That is a powerful example of the partnership between the two organizations as we have faced an historic pandemic. This new agreement reinforces what has already been a strong and impactful partnership. It promises to extend the health care mission of our School of Medicine and Renown for a community benefit that will be felt far beyond the next generation.”

James DeVolld, board chair of Renown says, “During such a difficult time for our community, we are thrilled to bring two great organizations together, and present the community with such a precious gift. We have an urgent imperative to transform the delivery and financing of health care. Health systems and medical schools across the country are collaborating in innovative new ways, finding new efficiencies and better solutions by sharing clinical experience, intellectual resources, grants and community support.”

Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, Professor and Nell J. Redfield Chair of Pediatrics at UNR Med and Physician in Chief at Renown Children’s Hospital, added, “We are thrilled to have the support of so many elected officials, UNR Med students, alumni, donors, and community members to advance a mutual commitment to ensuring that people in northern Nevada can get top medical care right here at home. The envisioned integration will result in better access to state-of-the-art patient care, enhance and expand our ability to teach the next generation of health care providers, and actively engage in medical research, bringing new clinical research trials to our area.” Dr. Coppes noted the partnership’s previous success in 2014 when Renown Health and UNR Med collaborated in launching a transformation of Renown Children’s Hospital, the region’s only children’s hospital dedicated to full pediatric services.”

Dean Schwenk will present the Letter Of Intent to the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents on Friday, September 11. With NSHE regent approval, the affiliation will enter a period of review and due diligence within the organizations and with the relevant regulatory and oversight bodies. Until then, it will be business as usual within the two organizations. The process is estimated to continue through the end of the year.

“Together, we can bring a higher level of world-class care providers, leading-edge care and new delivery approaches to meet the needs of people in our community.” says Sy Johnson, MBA, and Chief Of Staff for Renown Health. “This is what we call – Destination Health- “enabling patients and families, including both local patients and those traveling long distances, to receive the most comprehensive medical care, right here at home.”

The planned integration resembles other partnerships such as Washington University-Barnes Jewish Health System, Yale New Haven Health System, Penn Medicine, and RWJ-Barnabas-Rutgers. These partnerships expand medical education training opportunities for students and residents, retain more physician graduates in the community, recruit prominent physicians and researchers and build a more robust health care workforce.

Carson Tahoe Welcomes New Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer, Joanne Miller
Carson Tahoe Health (CTH) is proud to announce Joanne Miller as its new Vice President (VP) and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). She brings with her more than 30 years of hospital operations experience and nursing excellence. Before joining the CTH family, she served as VP & CNO of Patient Care for Johns Hopkins Medicine/Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington D.C. From the east coast to the west coast, Joanne says the most exciting thing about calling Nevada her new home is the majestic mountains, the beautiful landscape, and the fresh air!

“I was seeking an opportunity in an organization whose mission and core values mirrored my own,” says Miller. “I want to make significant contributions that fill my passions for eliminating preventable harm, improving the patient experience and creating a healthy work environment for all. Carson Tahoe’s way of treating the whole person; mind, body, and soul resonates with my proven outcomes for improving staff engagement and patient experience.”

In addition to healthcare running in her blood (Joanne’s great grandfather was a physician), she was also inspired at a young age to serve beside caring and compassionate nurses, like those that helped her younger brother when he was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer at the age of 12.

After her decision to pursue nursing, she has had much success … holding a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Drexel University, a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration from the University of Hartford, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Mount Saint Mary College. Joanne is a transformational leader who after working in both major academic health systems and community-based hospitals, truly believes in the care experience, how it affects both patient and family, and innovative approaches for successful outcomes & care delivery models.

“Joanne has an abundance of experience and because she has spent most of her career on the East Coast, she looks at the world differently,” says Alan Garrett, CTH President & Chief Executive Officer. “I’m excited to see how that may contribute to our vision for Carson Tahoe and care in this community.”