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Members in the News – April 2021

Call For Community Members To Be Involved in Carson Tahoe Health Patient/Caregiver Partnership Council
The COVID-19 pandemic truly shook up our worlds, especially that of the healthcare industry. As a result, and to fully embrace its mission of enhancing the health and well-being of those it serves, Carson Tahoe Health is creating a Patient/Caregiver Partnership Council to garner thoughtful & constructive input from its community.

“At Carson Tahoe Health, we believe listening to understand is vital to healing,” says Kitty McKay, Carson Tahoe Health Patient Experience Director. “Bringing in the voices of those we serve will help our teams be more proactive in addressing the community’s needs.”

The council meetings will consist of patients, caregivers, and staff members who will meet on a bi-monthly basis. Each meeting will be small enough to be held in person and socially distanced. Discussion will be guided by topics related to the patient experience and ongoing improvements at Carson Tahoe. The patient experience begins the moment someone chooses Carson Tahoe, whether it be to schedule an appointment, their hospital stay, or their lab draw.

“We’re committed to providing a forum where community partners help to inform our work, so that we can continue to provide compassionate, quality, and patient-centered care, especially during these changing times,” McKay said. “If you are interested in enhancing the care experience for all patients and their loved ones, and are able to communicate collaboratively, we’d love to hear from you!”

To learn more about becoming a member and submit an application online, please visit The deadline to apply is Friday, May 28, 2021. Should you have any questions about the process, contact (775) 445-5148 or

The Valley Health System Partners with Vera Whole Health to Open Two Primary Care Centers
The Valley Health System and Vera Whole Health have partnered to open two primary care centers. The Valley Health Care Centers powered by Vera Whole Health bring the outcomes-driven Vera advanced primary care (APC) model to Valley’s clinically integrated delivery network, boosting access, improving member experience and delivering better health outcomes.

The Valley Health Care Centers powered by Vera Whole Health will be available to contracted employer workforces and payer members. Vera’s nationally recognized APC model helps people achieve optimum social, psychological and physical well-being, while driving down the overall cost of care. The model delivers one-to-one population health at scale, from pediatrics to senior care. The primary care team provides acute, chronic and preventive care combined with clinically integrated health coaching.

“The Vera partnership with Valley Health System dramatically expands primary care access, simplifies the management of care, and legitimizes the value of primary care as a critical piece of the entire delivery system,” said Ryan Schmid, CEO of Vera. “The Valley Health System is a trusted community healthcare provider, and now through this partnership, we can bring increased value to employer workforces and payer members.”

“The availability of primary medical care is the foundation of a healthy community because it focuses on prevention and managing day-to-day health concerns,” said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President of The Valley Health System. “Primary care providers play a vital role in helping their patients manage health conditions that could escalate into medical emergencies if not property diagnosed, treated and monitored. Our care centers will play a key role in the Southern Nevada health community.”

The Valley Health Care Centers powered by Vera Whole Health will care for members and their families at two locations: 100 Green Valley Parkway, Suite 235, Henderson, NV, in March 2021; and 331 N. Buffalo Parkway, Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV, opening in May 2021. These care centers serve members with appointments from contracted employer groups and payer organizations.

Michael Peter Hagen

Tahoe Forest Health System Welcomes New Physician Michael Peter Hagen Jr., MD, Family Medicine
Tahoe Forest Health System is pleased to announce that Michael Peter Hagen Jr., MD, has joined their team at the Tahoe Forest MultiSpecialty Clinics.

As a family medicine provider, Dr. Hagen provides comprehensive health care, including preventive care and chronic disease management, to people of all ages.

Dr. Hagen attended medical school at Texas A&M College of Medicine and completed his family residency at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program. He is also fellowship-trained in sports medicine from the Methodist Willowbrook Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship. Dr. Hagen is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine in family medicine and sports medicine.

The office of Dr. Hagen is located at 10978 Donner Pass Road, Truckee. New patients are accepted. For appointments, please call (530) 582-1212.

VASNHS Offers New ‘self-scheduling’ Vaccine Tool, Addresses SAVE LIVES Act
VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System (VASNHS) is offering a new COVID vaccine scheduling tool that will allow enrolled Veterans to schedule their vaccine appointment without having to make a phone call.

Now, an enrolled Veteran can text the word “Vaccine” to 53079, and VEText will start the direct scheduling process. VASNHS is deploying this new option so Veterans can schedule their vaccine faster without wait times that are often associated with scheduling by phone. Veterans who still wish to schedule by phone may do so by calling 702-791-9185.

Additionally, Veterans Affairs shared a press release on March 24 announcing President Joe Biden’s signage of the SAVE LIVES Act. At this time, VA still has a limited supply of vaccines and must continue to prioritize vaccinations and healthcare delivery to Veterans currently enrolled in VA health care. VA is working diligently to determine how quickly the Veterans Health Administration can begin to offer vaccines to other groups.

• In the meantime, Veterans, caregivers, spouses, and CHAMPVA beneficiaries newly eligible under the law can go to to register and indicate their interest in receiving a vaccine from VA. Signing up will also give users regular updates about VA’s vaccine rollout process.
• Individuals can also sign up to get vaccinated through their employer, pharmacy or local public health office. We encourage Veterans and their loved ones to take the first opportunity to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
• Veterans can also visit VASNHS’ COVID-19 Vaccine website as this page will be updated when we are able to offer additional individuals the vaccine.
March 29, VASNHS reached a milestone of distributing 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to enrolled Veterans in just 103 days. Through vaccine clinics at North Las Vegas VA Medical Center, Primary Care Clinics, and homebased care outreach, VASNHS has contributed to the overall VA total of over 4 million doses. This total includes doses of all three Emergency Use Authorized vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).

“I’m very proud of all our staff has done to ensure our local enrolled Veterans are vaccinated quickly,” said William J. Caron, VASNHS director/CEO. “While we look forward to providing vaccines to the expanded groups approved under the SAVE LIVES Act, we want to encourage enrolled Veterans who are currently eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”