When it comes to health care, Nevada needs more of just about everything

Daniel_Mathis_t140In 2012, Daniel Mathis became president and CEO of the Nevada Health Care Association, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of care in Nevada’s nursing homes. Among his duties: advocating for the organization’s member institutions to legislators in Carson City.

The Nevada Health Care Association has grown significantly over the past year. What is the expected growth over the next few years?

We expect to represent post-acute care providers in Nevada to help improve care in the state. With the passing of the IMPACT 14 legislation in Congress last fall, we are drawn together more than ever and will be measured by the quality of care we deliver.


Vegas hospitals get good marks for using drug prescribing systems


If you’ve been hospitalized recently, you’ve probably been asked your name and date of birth more than any other time in your life.

Nurses aren’t asking those questions to frustrate patients. They’re trying to ensure the right patient receives the right medication in the right dose at the right time by the right route.

Although patient identification is part of that process, technological advances can go even further to promote safety.


Healthgrades’ top-ranked hospitals offer insights on patient experience

hospitalHealthgrades’ annual Patient Safety Excellence Award and Outstanding Patient Experience Award winners offer valuable lessons about what drivespatient satisfaction, according to a white paperfrom the firm.

To determine the winners for both awards, Healthgrades applied a scoring methodology to 10 patient experience measures using Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services claims data.

More than 450 hospitals achieved the Patient Experience Award, while 467 received the Patient Safety Excellence Award, indicating they are in the top 10 percent of hospitals for patient safety. If all hospitals had performed similar to hospitals with “better than expected” patient safety performances from 2011 to 2013, they could have prevented an average of 133,896 patient safety events, the company said in an announcement.


UNLV School of Medicine Launches Scholarship Drive for its Entire Charter Class

“60 by 16” fundraising campaign targets $6 million for 60, four-year scholarships; immediate community support has school nearly two-thirds of the way to goal.


The UNLV School of Medicine recently launched a “60 by 16” scholarship drive to cover tuition costs for its entire 2017 charter class. Just days after the campaign’s formal launch, the school is nearly two-thirds of the way to its goal of 60 scholarships.

The Engelstad Family Foundation committed $2.5 million to fund 25 scholarships, and local businesses, physicians, families and UNLV administrators have added 13 to bring the current total to 38. With each four-year scholarship estimated at $100,000, school officials are seeking a total of $6 million for the program.



UNLV Planning Full Scholarships For New Medical School’s Inaugural Class

Organizers of UNLV’s proposed medical school knew from the start that getting students to enroll in their program before it was fully accredited might be a tough sell.
Here’s what they came up with to sweeten the deal: Every student in the school’s inaugural class will receive a full-ride scholarship.

Med school dean Barbara Atkinson revealed this week that she has been quietly seeking donations from the community over the past few months to make it happen.

So far, she has commitments for $1.3 million, which is enough to fund 13 out of the 60 students planned for the school’s first class. A four-year scholarship at the proposed school runs around $100,000. Nationally, average medical school tuition for four years is around $125,000. It can be nearly double that at private schools.

Those who have committed to donating money include the Children’s Heart Center Nevada and Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce trustee Duncan Lee and his wife, Irene.

UNLV President Len Jessup and university administrator Bill Boldt are also each pitching in $100,000 to sponsor a student, as are a handful of others.

Brand-new medical schools are often passed over by potential students because one class has to complete the program before the school can receive full accreditation from the national Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Atkinson said the idea to attract applicants with scholarships was inspired by a similar approach taken by the University of Central Florida College of Medicine for their inaugural class in 2009. Forty students there were awarded $40,000 each year for tuition and expenses. They received more than 2,700 applications.

“The whole point of this is to pick the very best class that we can,” Atkinson said.

She’ll need around $6 million in total to cover tuition for all 60 students, who have to perform just as well or better on medical exams than their national counterparts for the school to be considered for full accreditation.

“That class is key to getting accreditation, and they sort of have to take a chance on us,” she said. “We want to ensure that they get something special for doing it.”

In 2013, less than half of those who applied to medical school got in. And it’s typically very pricey. The average debt for U.S. medical students who graduated last year was $167,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Right now UNLV’s med school is still years away from holding its first classes. Atkinson and her team are submitting accreditation plans in August and will host a site visit this winter. A committee will decide next June if the school can start accepting students. Atkinson wants classes to start in fall 2017.

“It’s not just about the university, it’s about Southern Nevada,” Jessup said. “I think the medical school is the most important thing we’re working on right now.”

His $100,000 donation is the most he’s ever given to a school. The scholarships are important, he said, because they show support for the school in the wider community.

“We felt this was the time to come forward,” said Bill Evans, co-director of the Children’s Heart Center Nevada, which has operations in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City. “I think [our gift] is a statement that we support this not just in words, but in actions.”

The organization, which provides care to children with heart disease, is donating $1 million, with $100,000 of that going to scholarships and the rest to research.

According to a study commissioned by UNLV, Las Vegas is the largest metropolitan area in the country without a medical school. A dearth of opportunities for residencies in the region means there is little reason for medical students to stay here, which has left us with one of the worst doctor shortages in the country.

Duncan and Irene Lee had never been involved with UNLV until they read that study, they said. When they heard about the plan to provide full-ride scholarships, they decided to pitch in $100,000.

“I hope the community will hear our message and jump in,” Irene Lee said.

Atkinson will officially announce the program and the full list of donors at a luncheon this Thursday.

Sun logo

Roseman University of Health Sciences Purchases Flagship Building of the Former Nevada Cancer Institute

LAS VEGAS  – Roseman University of Health Sciences today announced it has acquired the flagship building of the former Nevada Cancer Institute at One Breakthrough Way in Summerlin from the University of California, San Diego. The purchase will revitalize the building, which has been vacant since January 2013.

The purchase of the four-level, 143,290-square-foot building expands Roseman’s Summerlin campus, which already includes the 184,000-square-foot Ralph & Betty Engelstad Cancer Research Building located across the street at 10530 Discovery Drive. The Engelstad building was acquired in November 2013 through a merger and the absorption of the Nevada Cancer Institute Foundation. The Summerlin campus houses Roseman’s MD-granting (allopathic) College of Medicine.

Roseman University President Renee Coffman said the university’s purchase of the building further demonstrates the university’s commitment to its College of Medicine, which is progressing through the accreditation process with the goal of enrolling its first class of 60 medical students in 2017. “This acquisition greatly accelerates Roseman’s expansion of its Summerlin campus and development of the College of Medicine, allowing the university to increase its already significant contributions to health care and the economies of Clark County and the state, without taxpayer dollars,” she said.

Coffman added that with the purchase of the flagship building, combined with assets Roseman University acquired through the merger with the Nevada Cancer Institute Foundation, the University now has significant infrastructure assets to support the College of Medicine. “As we retrofit the campus buildings to meet the unique needs of the College of Medicine and continue to hire outstanding faculty, clinicians and researchers, philanthropic support from the community will be vital,” said Coffman.

“It is gratifying and exciting to know that the spectacular flagship building, as part of Roseman University’s College of Medicine, will once again help to advance medical education and research for the benefit of the people of Las Vegas and Nevada,” said Heather Murren, founder of the Nevada Cancer Institute.  ”This facility is a unique and important asset to our community that benefited thousands of patients, scientists and scholars, and I am happy to see it once more deployed to serve a critical purpose.”

The flagship building provides the College of Medicine additional space for student services, biomedical research, community outreach and public education programs, and administrative and faculty offices. The building also allows the university to capitalize on existing infrastructure to offer medical students, along with the students from the university’s other health professions programs, enhanced inter-professional teaching, learning, and simulated patient care opportunitiesSuch opportunities will enable Roseman University’s medical, pharmacy, dental and nursing students to work together to enhance their clinical and communication skills and improve health care delivery protocols.

“I’m grateful for Roseman University’s substantial investment in the College of Medicine, as well as for the support demonstrated by our donors,” said Founding Dean Mark A. Penn. “I’m also very pleased with the response from Southern Nevada’s healthcare leaders as we continue to create partnerships to build a premier medical program that will serve the residents of Southern Nevada.”

About the Roseman University College of Medicine
Roseman University began building the foundation for its MD-granting College of Medicine in 2010 through the establishment of medical research programs that now focus on diabetes and obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, and adult stem cell and regenerative medicine. On December 13, 2013, the Board of Trustees of Roseman University unanimously approved the university’s plan to develop an allopathic medical school in Southern Nevada. Under the direction of Founding Dean Mark A. Penn, in January 2014, Roseman University’s College of Medicine submitted an application to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) to begin the accreditation process. The Roseman University College of Medicine now employs 25 administrators, faculty/researchers and staff.

About Roseman University of Health Sciences
Founded in Henderson, Nevada in 1999, Roseman University of Health Sciences is a private, non-profit institution of higher learning with campuses in Henderson, Summerlin and South Jordan, Utah. The University is comprised of the College of Dental Medicine, offering an Advanced Education in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics/MBA residency and Doctor of Dental Medicine program; College of Pharmacy, offering a Doctor of Pharmacy and Professional Continuing Education; College of Nursing, offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing; and an MBA program. The University is currently developing an MD-granting medical school based at its Summerlin campus. Roseman’s research endeavors include cancer, diabetes and obesity, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, adult stem cell and regenerative medicine, and cardiovascular disease. Roseman University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

17th Annual Silver Syringe Awards Set for April

Silver_Syringe_Logo_Color_LargeLas Vegas, NV —Immunize Nevada is holding two annual Silver Syringe Award ceremonies to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to protect Nevadans from vaccine-preventable diseases. The 17th Annual Silver Syringe Awards is being held in conjunction with National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) and will have event locations in Las Vegas and Reno.

IN_logo_with_tagline_4C_LargeLas Vegas winners will celebrate Friday, April 24 at 6:00 p.m. at Springs Preserve, while Reno winners will be honored Friday, April 17 at 6:00 p.m. at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. Tickets for both events can be purchased online at www.immunizenevada.org/SilverSyringe.

Abbi Whitaker, owner of the Abbi Agency, will be the keynote speaker of the Las Vegas event, sharing her story of being an HPV-associated cancer survivor and a mom.

“The Silver Syringe is a prestigious award that celebrates immunization champions in Nevada,” said Immunize Nevada Executive Director Heidi Parker. “Both events will give us the opportunity to recognize passionate individuals and organizations that are committed to making Nevada a healthier state.”


  • Outstanding Childhood Immunization Program: Milestones Pediatrics
  • Outstanding Adolescent Immunization Program: The Shade Tree
  • Outstanding Adult Immunization Program: Hep B Free Las Vegas
  • Outstanding Influenza Immunization Program: Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services – Rawson Neal Hospital
  • Outstanding Rural Immunization Program: Clark County Fire Department
  • Outstanding Pharmacy Immunization Program: Roseman University – College of Pharmacy ACCPSN Chapter
  • Outstanding Immunization Nurse: Sherrie McCallister, RN, BS, CCM
  • Outstanding Community Partner: Southern Nevada Health District Immunization Clinics
  • Outstanding Corporate Partner: Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospital
  • Outstanding Immunization Champion: Jasmine Sandoval
  • Outstanding Physician Champion: Kim LaMotte-Malone, MD, FAAP
  • Innovation In Immunization: Southern Hills Hospital And Medical Center
  • Outstanding Media Partner: Jeff Ross Photography

Silver Syringe began in 1998 as a way to celebrate Nevada’s immunization successes and champions.

Today, the event has become a statewide tradition for Nevada’s immunization and healthcare stakeholders. This annual ceremony is an opportunity to honor those immunization champions who provide excellent service, but may not otherwise be recognized.

This year’s event is generously supported by: Renown Health, Nevada State Immunization Program, UnitedHealthcare, Southwest Medical Associates, Nevada Health Care Association, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Perry Foundation with the Nevada Health Care Association, Carson-Tahoe Health, Safe Kids Washoe County, Healthcare Guidance Program and Star Nursery.

Immunize Nevada advocates for and educates about the benefits of vaccines and fosters statewide collaboration to achieve Nevada’s health priorities. Immunize Nevada’s vision is for healthy communities across Nevada being protected from vaccine-preventable disease. For more information, visit ImmunizeNevada.org

Spring Valley Hospital Honored for Hepatitis B Vaccine Birth Dose Rate

Hospital honored for second consecutive year; only one in Nevada in 2014.

Spring Valley HospitalSpring Valley Hospital has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) and the Southern Nevada Health District for achieving the highest reported rate in the state for its work to protect newborns from hepatitis B virus infection during 2014.

“Our goal is to give every baby the very best start in life. Making sure they receive all the proper immunizations before they leave the hospital is a critical step we can take to protect all newborns,” said Leonard Freehof, CEO / Managing Director for Spring Valley Hospital.

Spring Valley Hospital is listed in IAC’s Birth Dose Honor Roll (www.immunize.org/honor-roll/birthdose), which recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have attained high coverage levels for administering the hepatitis B vaccine at birth. Spring Valley Hospital immunized 90 % of its newborns between January 1 and December 31, 2014, and took additional steps to prevent perinatal transmission of hepatitis B.

The national standard of care to prevent hepatitis B virus infection in babies is to administer hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns before they leave the hospital or birthing center. This standard is being adopted by centers of healthcare excellence nationwide as a safety net to protect newborns from a wide range of medical errors that lead to babies being unprotected from perinatal hepatitis B infection.

Spring Valley Hospital, located in southwest Las Vegas, NV, is a full-service hospital, offering emergency services, advanced cardiovascular and neurological care, maternity, Level III neonatal intensive care unit, surgical services, an inpatient acute rehabilitation center and outpatient wound care and hyperbaric medicine care. The hospital maintains its status as an accredited Chest Pain Center and Primary Stroke Center. For more information, visit www.springvalleyhospital.net or follow us on Facebook at Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center.

The 7TH Annual KLIP IT FOR KIDZ Benefits Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation

KLIP IT FOR KIDZLAS VEGAS  – Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF), in partnership with Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada (CCCN),  present the 7th annual Klip It for Kidz fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 2, in the center park area at Town Square Las Vegas. NCCF invites local businesses, children and individuals to raise money for critically ill children in Southern Nevada as well as for local schools Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevadaand sports groups. Last year, more than $40,000 in pledges was raised and more than 85 heads were shaved, collecting 92 hair donations and pony tails.

Professional stylists will be on-hand ready to shave participants’ heads for summer, or cut hair to make wigs for children. NCCF invites the community to participate by raising pledges, shaving or cutting hair. Participants must be willing to cut a minimum of eight inches to donate. Individuals may set their own fundraising goals and collect pledges for NCCF. During previous years, teams of co-workers, family members, classmates and sports teams have collected pledges in honor of their companies, families, loved ones and schools.

The event is open to the public and features entertainment, family fun and exhibitions by METRO units as well as fire engines from the Clark County Fire Department. Funds raised will benefit NCCF’s more than 45 programs and services for children and adults affected by cancer and life-threatening illnesses in our community.

In addition, Klip It For Kidz gives sports groups and school children, kindergarten through 12th grade, an opportunity to raise money for their school or sports team. A child, teacher, school or sports team may raise pledges for Klip It For Kidz and their school/team will receive 50-percent of the total amount collected. Donors will receive tax deductions from NCCF for all pledges.

Check-in and registration for pledges will be available at the “Klip It For Kidz Salon.” The pledge form is available at www.nvccf.org and on the event’s Facebook page. In addition, companies, family, friends and individuals are encouraged to collect pledges to benefit critically ill children.

For more information about Klip It For Kidz, visit www.nvccf.org or call 702-735-8434. Stay up-to-date and follow the event on Facebook and Twitter @klipitforkidz.

About the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation:

Nevada Childhood Cancer FoundationNevada Childhood Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1993, which offers over 45 programs and services including a variety of educational services, financial support and counseling for critically-ill children and their families living in Southern Nevada. The foundation’s mission is to work side by side with the medical community to provide social, emotional, educational, financial and psychological support services and programs to families of ALL children diagnosed with a life-threatening or critical illness such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell, hemophilia, renal disorders and other immunologic diseases as well as to adults touched by cancer.  Contact the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation at 702-735-8434 or visit them at www.nvccf.org for pediatric services and www.thecaringplacenv.org for services for adults touched by cancer.

Nevada Health Care Association expands its influence with new inclusion of statewide organizations

LAS VEGAS – Daniel Mathis, president and CEO of the Nevada Health Care Association (NVHCA), announced the expansion of the association as it continues to improve the quality of health care in Nevada.

NVHCANVHCA has grown significantly over the past year starting with its conversion to a divisional structure. Under this new structure NVHCA continues to represent Skilled Nursing Facilities while now also representing the Nevada Assisted Living Centers (NVALC), the Nevada Speech Language Hearing Association (NSHA) and the Nevada Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (NALPN).

“We’re working shoulder to shoulder with health care professionals across the state to improve the quality of health care for our community’s most vulnerable citizens, and we look forward to accomplishing great things together,” Mathis said.

NSHA President Theresa Richard and NALPN President Ovida McGuiness agreed. “Nevada Health Care Association is the voice of quality post-acute care in Nevada. We are excited to have this opportunity to join our memberships for a better tomorrow,” said Richard. “With the majority of the LPNs in Nevada working in post-acute settings and Nevada Health Care Association representing post-acute care, it seemed a natural progression,” said McGuiness.

The NVHCA began the previous year with nearly all of the state’s skilled nursing facilities as members, with facilities representing an additional 500-plus beds coming online in 2015. NVALC member facilities now offer 1,900 beds for Nevada residents, with Mathis expecting that number to grow to more than 4,000 beds in 2015.

About the Nevada Health Care Association

The Nevada Health Care Association (NVHCA), a member of the American Health Care Association, is a non-profit organization established in 1974 as the Nevada Association of Health Facilities (NVAHF). Under the divisional structure NVAHF established in 2014 NVHCA continues to represent Skilled Nursing Facilities while new divisions include the Nevada Assisted Living Centers (NVALC), the Nevada Speech Language Hearing Association (NSHA) and the Nevada Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (NALPN). Its mission is to provide leadership and support and to advocate for its members while working with them to improve the quality of care in Nevada’s post-acute community, which includes skilled nursing and related care facilities. For more information, visit NVHCA.org.