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Members in the News – October 2020

Tahoe Forest Health System Welcomes New Physician
Tahoe Forest Health System is pleased to announce that Scott Protzman, MD, has joined their team at Tahoe Forest Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.

As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Protzman specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and both surgical and non-surgical treatment of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Dr. Protzman attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He completed his residency at Fort Worth Affiliated Hospitals. Dr. Protzman is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in orthopaedic surgery.

Spring Mountain Launches New Intensive Outpatient Program for Seniors
Spring Mountain Sahara has launched its new Senior Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), a comprehensive, group-based structured therapeutic program specially designed for mature adults who are ages 55 years and older. The Program opens on Monday, October 5, 2020, and will be located at Spring Mountain Sahara hospital, 5460 W Sahara, Las Vegas, NV 89146.

Spring Mountain’s Senior IOP provides treatment for mature adults experiencing depression, anxiety, addiction and other mental health disorders who participate in group therapy. Our experienced staff utilize a client-centered, solution-focused approach to assist Seniors in managing and improving symptoms. The Senior IOP is offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to noon with a light lunch and refreshments.

Seniors will develop and or improve life skills such as coping strategies and mindfulness; communication skills and interpersonal effectiveness; emotional regulation and distress tolerance as well as ways to change their thinking and cognitive restructuring.

Referrals for the Senior IOP can be made by a variety of sources, including primary care providers, case managers, senior organizations and facilities, and community agencies. For more information about the Senior IOP or to refer for services, please call the intake office at 702-322-1919 or visit

The Valley Health System Completes Real Estate Purchase of Orthopedic Hospital
The Valley Health System has completed the purchase of the real estate of the former Orthopedic Specialty Hospital of Nevada (also previously known as Mountain’s Edge Hospital).

This acquisition allows The Valley Health System to expand its services that continually support the healthcare needs of the community.

The hospital will re-open in the first half of 2021 after some remodeling and renovations.

Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Education Releases Study About Prevalence of COVID-19 in Clark County
The Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Educate Consortium, based at MountainView Hospital, recently helped with a public health surveillance study to better estimate the prevalence of COVID-19 in Clark County during August 2020.

The study included 319 people, who came in to an outpatient medical setting in Las Vegas. SARS-CoV-2 testing (testing for the virus that is causing COVID-19) was offered to every single patient, visitor, relative, staff member and resident who visited the office. No one was denied testing and testing was completely voluntary. Participant ages ranged from 3 years old to 92 years old.

• True number of exposures in Clark County is not very high. The study found that 3.76 percent of residents in Clark County are estimated to have been exposed to COVID-19 as of August 2020. Some of these people might have never experienced symptoms, and have just been exposed.

• True number of acute infections are even less. Only four persons (1.25%) has positive tests for an acute infection. Of these, only one (.31%) had very recent encounter and exposure.

• Most people with positive tests had baseline medical problems. The most common comorbidities included hypertension, chronic lung disease, seasonal allergies, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

• Most common symptoms in people with the disease were respiratory. Cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell and taste were the most common.

In a separate, unaffiliated study conducted in Reno, NV, in July 2020, the prevalence was estimated at 2.3 percent. In that study in Washoe County, 1,270 households from within 128 unique census blocks were used and 234 people agreed to provide blood samples for antibody testing. In contrast, the Sunrise Health GME study was done using a medical office as the site and revealed a 3.76 percent prevalence in Las Vegas during almost the same time period. This can be the difference between a more urban area with more visitors.

“The results do not mean that we should let our guard down,” said Dr. Hossein Akhondi, one of the investigators and Sunrise Health GME Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. “Precautions still should be taken, such as wearing a mask, washing your hands and avoiding large crowds. This will help continue to keep our numbers down and keep our community and neighbors safe.”

VASNHS Honored with Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Award
For the fifth consecutive year, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System was chosen as one of Practice Greenhealth’s top hospitals in the nation for Environmental Excellence. This year VASNHS was selected as a Partner for Change Award recipient and recognized for leading the health care industry with innovation in sustainability, maintaining superior environmental programs, and illustrating how green initiatives are entrenched in the facility’s culture.

“This was truly a team effort,” said William Scott, VASNHS GEMS (Green Environmental Management Systems) Manager. “Many services came together to make this happen, from housekeeping to engineering, from pharmacy to food service. We all worked hard to earn this achievement.”

One major project for Energy and Sustainability is the Las Vegas VAMC Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), which was awarded April 8, 2020 and is projected to save approximately $755,000 per year in energy, water, and sewer costs. These include optimization of chilled water production, replacing all lighting fixtures to LEDs thereby reducing the kWh usage, installing Solar Domestic Hot Water for Building 5, reducing natural gas consumption for hot water production, optimization of Air Handling Units, and installing sub-metering for electricity, steam, and water.

Another project that earned recognition was Nutritional Food Service development of a new way to reduce the food waste on the patient tray line. The goal was to reduce the overproduced servings of food by 50% at the lunch meal. New processes were developed and periodically adjusted with staff input, resulting in sustained reduction of approximately 83% in 2019 and 2020 from the original overproduction.

Practice Greenhealth is a nonprofit membership organization founded on the principles of positive environmental stewardship and best practices by organizations in the health care community. They strive for sustainable health care that’s good for the environment, good for patients and staff, and good for the bottom line. Practice Greenhealth presents these awards annually, and VASNHS has been recognized every year since 2016. Nominees must submit a 195-page application to be considered for the award.

“It’s an honor that we share with all the staff at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center,” said Scott. “We will continue to make improvements and strive to earn the honor again next year.”