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.

Las Vegas Orthopaedic Surgeons Donate and Build a Playground for the Palabra Viva Community

LAS VEGAS—Last winter, children from Palabra Viva church put crayons to paper and drew pictures of their dream playground. On Tuesday, March 24, those dreams become reality as hundreds of orthopaedic surgeons and other volunteers attending the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) 2015 Annual Meeting join forces with KaBOOM! and members of the community to bring those designs to life.

Dr. Michael Lee, Dr. Abdi Raissi and Dr. Mike Miao and their team Tiffany, Justin, Annice, Juan, and Tiffany

Dr. Michael Lee, Dr. Abdi Raissi and Dr. Mike Miao and their team Tiffany, Justin, Annice, Juan, and Tiffany

Since 2000, the Academy has sponsored a one-day Safe and Accessible Playground Build as a gift to the AAOS Annual Meeting host community. This will be the Academy’s 16th playground build and the second in the Las Vegas area.

“The Safe and Accessible Playground Build is a great way for the Academy to show appreciation to the people of Las Vegas, and contribute to the overall health and well-being of the community,” said David D. Teuscher, MD, incoming president of AAOS. “‘In line with the AAOS Vision of keeping the world in motion through prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions,’ the playground is one way for orthopaedists to encourage all children to safely remain physically active with healthy lifestyles to build strong bones, reducing risk of future bone and joint injuries.”

The playground will cover 2,600 square feet and be built with components for children ages 2 through 12 of different abilities, including two slides, swings, a climber, a series of interactive panels, a “cozy cocoon” designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, and accessible wheelchair ramps.

“With this playground, we are providing kids the opportunity to grow up healthy, which will in turn create healthy families and finally, a healthy community,” said Sunny Chavarria, a special events coordinator with Palabra Viva.

The build will take place at Palabra Viva church, located at 3415 S. Mojave Rd., with an 8:30 a.m. kick-off ceremony. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate build completion will take place at 2:30 p.m.

Each year, more than 200,000 children in the United States sustain a playground injury requiring medical attention. Orthopaedic surgeons treat bone and joint injuries, know first-hand the impact of playground-related accidents, and would rather help prevent injuries than treat them. The Academy is dedicated to creating Safe and Accessible Playgrounds where children—with and without disabilities—can play together safely. This playground will provide children opportunities to play, improve balance, flexibility and strength, and build strong bones for life.

School of Medicine’s Class of 2015 learns residency match results

LAS VEGAS, Nev.— The University of Nevada’s medical students continued their tradition of placing in some of the nation’s most competitive residency programs today when the Class of 2015 learned the results of the National Resident Matching Program.

From left, Elizabeth Marchionne matched into dermatology at UC San Francisco; Helena Wichova matched into otolaryngology at the University of Kansas; and Shruti Patel will train in internal medicine at UC Davis.

From left, Elizabeth Marchionne matched into dermatology at UC San Francisco; Helena Wichova matched into otolaryngology at the University of Kansas; and Shruti Patel will train in internal medicine at UC Davis.

Sixty-nine students matched with residency institutions in Nevada and across the nation and will enter specialties ranging from anesthesiology to physical medicine and rehabilitation. The Class of 2015’s top specialty choices were anesthesiology, emergency medicine, general surgery and internal medicine.

“The fact that so many of our students placed into the nation’s most competitive residency programs speaks well to the level of training and education they receive here at the School of Medicine,” said Cherie Singer, Ph.D., associate dean of admissions and student affairs.

“For example, for the first time in our school’s history, we had two students match in very competitive and prestigious residency programs at UC San Francisco and two at the Mayo Clinic.”

Of note, 22 School of Medicine graduates, or 32 percent, will enter primary care specialties including internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine. A shortage of primary care physicians exists nationwide, and in especially in Nevada. Five students will complete their residency program with branches of the U.S. military services.

The School of Medicine also learned that 107 graduates matched into its 12 residency programs and will start their training this June in Reno, Las Vegas and rural Nevada.

Residency training location is a strong indication of where physicians will likely set up their practices following completion of residency and has strong implications for the future availability of health care professionals in a given area.

Nearly 32 percent of the Class of 2015 will leave the state for their residency training for programs not offered in Nevada.

The University of Nevada School of Medicine, a research-intensive, community-based, statewide medical school, has served Nevada for more than 45 years as its only public medical school. Our mission is improving the health of Nevada’s diverse population through world-class biomedical research, an innovative curriculum integrating basic and clinical sciences, and highly competitive residency and fellowship programs that complement a statewide network of urban and rural clinical facilities. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services and education, we are a resource for improving health care regionally and across the country.

New Las Vegas Based Conference to Train for Operating Room Excellence

Perioperative leaders from throughout North America will flock to Las Vegas this summer for an exciting new conference that offers a unique blend of top-notch educational sessions and entertaining networking events.

The inaugural OR Today Live!, presented by OR Today magazine, is set for Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at the luxurious Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas. The resort is a recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award and was named one of the world’s best new hotels by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

OR Today Live! presents a dynamic environment for perioperative leaders to engage with industry leaders, advance their education, further develop management skills, discover the latest services and products and ultimately deliver solutions to improve their health care facility’s performance.

OR Today Live! will foster solutions for the prevailing challenges, regulations and culture changes facing the surgical suite and the professionals called on to manage the business decisions and patient care within the OR.

John Krieg, president and owner of MD Publishing, said the new OR Today Live! Surgical Conference is an exciting venture that will benefit a variety of health care professionals.

“OR Today Live! was created because of a need in the surgical services community for a smaller, more intimate conference,” Krieg explained. “Our experienced editorial board for OR Today brought to our attention that no such meeting existed.”

“What we are doing, essentially, is making the OR Today magazine live – thus the name,” Krieg added. “We are giving the attendees, our readers, an opportunity to engage with leaders at a three-day conference that is a gathering place and a community for the surgical services professional.”

Benefits of attendance include networking with professionals in the industry and the opportunity to connect with members of the surgical services community who experience the same issues creating an atmosphere of collaboration for solving problems. Another feature is the ability to build exhibitor relations with vendors who will showcase the latest technology, tools and product knowledge in the exhibit hall.

Patient safety, always a priority, will be highlighted at OR Today Live! as attendees establish new management practices ensuring each patient has a positive experience by learning new ways to reduce errors and readmissions at their health care facilities.

The OR Today Live! educational committee includes respected thought leaders representing different areas of the health care industry. Educational committee members are Sharon L. Morris, BSN, RN, CNOR, Surgical Services Staff Nurse North Valley Hospital; Deborah A. Herdman, RN, BSHA, Director, PeriOperative Services, Trinity Health System; Susan Phillips, Vice President of Surgical Services, UNC Hospitals; Ren Scott Feagle, MSN/Ed, RN, CNOR, Clinical Educator for Surgical Services, University Medical Center of Southern Nevada; and R. Clinton Crews, MPH, Director, Master of Surgical Assisting Program, Eastern Virginia Medical School.

OR Today Live! will follow a three-day format beginning with workshops and a welcome reception on Sunday, Aug. 30.

MD Publishing has more than a decade of experience with successful conferences, including the popular MD Expo. Find out more about OR Today Live! and register to attend online atORTodayLive.com.

Child Life Specialists at Children’s Medical Center at Summerlin Hospital Play a Unique Role

March marks Child Life Month, which is dedicated to celebrating and increasing awareness of the important work of child life specialists.

Summerlin HospitalWhen a child or adolescent arrives at Summerlin Hospital, they may encounter a special kind of health care professional. Child life specialists help their patients cope with the stress, uncertainty, and anxiety they may feel during an ER visit or hospital stay.

When tests or procedures are scheduled, child life specialists help explain what is happening, using language and techniques that are kid-friendly. They may also help their patients identify strategies that will help them cope with fear or discomfort. “The goal of procedural preparation and support,” explains Jody Miles, child life specialist with the Children’s Medical Center at Summerlin Hospital since 2006, “is to empower children and their families with a sense of mastery that will carry over into future challenging situations.”

Child life specialists have an important role in making the unfamiliar hospital environment seem more manageable. “Helping patients and their families navigate through their diagnosis and daily medical goals can help them feel more comfortable and more involved in their care,” says Jacquie MacLeod, child life specialist with Children’s Medical Center since 2014. “Taking the time to address a patient’s tears, fears, and accomplishments allows us to care for their social and emotional needs as well.”

Besides providing support for procedures, child life specialists offer opportunities for developmentally appropriate play, therapeutic activities, art, music, and games. “One of our primary goals is to help keep life as normal as possible for children and adolescents experiencing hospitalization,” explains Jody. Using the playroom for group play, recognizing important dates such as birthdays and holidays, and even special visits from therapy dogs or favorite super heroes help children and their families feel more at home.

In addition to working with patients, child life specialists also work closely with their families. “Children pick up on their parents’ stress and anxiety and this can impact how well they respond to hospitalization and treatment,” explains Jody. “Our goal is to help everyone cope with the present circumstances. By helping to reduce stress and anxiety, our patients can respond more readily to their medical treatments and ultimately, return home and resume their lives.”

“The philosophy behind our care is ‘patients and families are our purpose,’” said Rob Freymuller, CEO/Managing Director of Summerlin Hospital. “Our child life specialists take that philosophy to heart every day.”

Certified child life specialists have earned a minimum bachelor’s or master’s degree with an educational emphasis on human growth and development, education, psychology, or a related field of study; have completed a supervised 480-hour clinical internship; and have passed a national examination administered by the Child Life Council.

Children’s Medical Center at Summerlin Hospital offers pediatric emergency care, inpatient care, pediatric sedation services, and pediatric outpatient speech, physical, and occupational therapies. Children’s Medical Center is also affiliated with Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City for advanced medical needs and consultations.

Centennial Hills Hospital Receives Top Marks from Consumer Reports for Infection Prevention

Hospital is one of 37 nationwide, only one in Nevada, to receive recognition for reducing three common infections

Centennial Hills HospitalCentennial Hills Hospital was one of only 37 hospitals nationwide and the only one in Nevada to receive recognition from Consumer Reports magazine for preventing surgical-site infections, bloodstream infections stemming from central lines, and infections stemming from the use of urinary catheters during a hospital stay

The announcement was made in the February 19, 2015, online edition of the magazine, and utilized data from April 2012 through March 2013. The hospital’s most recent scores for 10 surgical care measures range between 95 and 100 percent according to the website HospitalCompare.gov (January – December 2013).

“We are very proud of this distinction,” said Sajit Pullarkat, CEO/Managing Director of Centennial Hills Hospital, a 190-bed hospital located in northwest Las Vegas. “To prevent infections is a collaborative effort among our 725 employees and 760 physicians. We use a set of specific interventions during surgical procedures and throughout the hospital stay to reduce our patients’ chance for an infection.”

Proper hand hygiene (handwashing) is a central component of infection prevention for everyone who enters a patient’s room, including hospital staff, physicians and visitors.

Hand hygiene is a key component of infection prevention interventions, including those noted below. These interventions are also known as “bundles” since it is a group of interventions “bundled together,” to prevent infections.


Surgical Site Infection Prevention
Did you ever wonder why the hospital staff wants you to arrive at a certain time for surgery? The answer is because a series of tasks must take place before the actual surgical procedure, including giving patients certain medications one to two hours before surgery to reduce the chance of a surgical site infection.


Other activities that help prevent surgical site infections include removing any hair by clipping or a depilatory agent, and using specific antiseptic agents and techniques. Post-surgery, it’s important to keep the surgical wound dressings protected, control the patient’s blood glucose and stop antibiotics within 24 hours after surgery.


Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI)
A “central line” is a catheter that is placed in a vein in your chest, arm or groin, and it ends at your heart. Its role is to carry medicine and nutrition into the body, and it can also be used for blood tests. Central lines are removed when they are no longer needed, and the hospital staff use specific techniques to clean the skin, protect the patient, and protect the central line.


Catheter-Acquired Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)
Urinary catheters may be used for a variety of reaons, including incontinence, surgery or the inability to empty the bladder . Patients and family members should avoid touching the catheter since the hands carry many germs, which could lead to an infection.


Catheters should be removed within two days unless the physician determines it is medically necessary. Health care professionals take additional steps such as using protective equipment and specific techniques for insertion, maintenance and proper placement of the catheter and drainage bag.

Desert Springs Hospital Receives Nevada Hospital Engagement Network Leader Award

Desert Springs Hospital has been honored with the 2014 Nevada Hospital Engagement Network Leader award for demonstrating excellence in patient safety.

Desert Springs Hospital“We are very proud of this recognition,” said Sam Kaufman, CEO/Managing Director of Desert Springs Hospital. “Patient safety is always our number one priority, and our leadership team works very closely with our employees and medical staff to use proven, evidence-based practices to assure that consistent medical care for our patients is carried out, every hour, every shift, every day.”

Among the hospital’s quality improvements in 2014 were zero instances of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and reductions of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) and central line associated blood infections (CLABSI) in the ICUs. There were also fewer patient falls throughout the hospital.

Desert Springs Hospital recently finished a three-year voluntary program by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to identify methods and implementation strategies to reduce harm and improve patient safety. One of its key results was a reduction of CAUTIs by 25 percent.

“We are always interested in improving the care our patients receive at Desert Springs Hospital,” said Kaufman. “We’ve also achieved special accreditations in our bariatric surgery, stroke, heart failure, chest pain and diabetes programs. Our ongoing work to maintain these accreditations means we are constantly reviewing our patient cases to find ways to improve our patients’ medical outcomes.”

The Nevada Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) recruits and provides training and technical assistance to individual Nevada hospitals to facilitate the adoption of evidence-based clinical practices that improve patient care and safety. Network members include short-term acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals and in-patient hospice.

The scoring system for the Leader awards was based on national Partnership for Patients HEN evaluation criteria. The facilities have to prove improvement in hospital-acquired conditions, alignment of measures to HEN-specific measurement strategies, participation in Nevada HEN activities, establishment and adherence to patient and family engagement practices and policies, and leader engagement.

The Partnership for Patients is an initiative sponsored by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Center focused on the improvement of the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans.

The Nevada Hospital Engagement Network is one of only 26 national organizations chosen to participate in this landmark campaign.