Rx For Research Success

Las Vegas, NV – AS UNLV SEEKS SUPPORT FOR A MEDICAL school, much of our advocacy has focused on community impact, and rightly so. Las Vegas is the largest urban area in the United States without a public allopathic medical school. Our lack of such a facility makes it more difficult to deliver the level of high- quality healthcare that Southern Nevada needs and deserves.
But what impact will the medical school have on the university and its research en-deavor?
Simply put, medical schools that per- form research are at the front lines of scien-tific innovation and discovery. They con- duct sophisticated studies on diseases, drugs, and procedures that advance the practice of medicine, and they train their students to think outside the box about es- tablished courses of treatment. They also attract highly motivated faculty and stu- dents — the type of pioneering scientists and scholars who produce breakthroughs with real-world applications and commer- cialization potential.

By Dr. Barbara Atkinson
Medical School Planning Dean
UNLV Innovation

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Website launched for Southern Nevada Trauma System

Health District, RTAB launch new website

May is National Trauma Awareness Month


LAS VEGAS –The Southern Nevada Health District and the Regional Trauma Advisory Board (RTAB) launched a new website for the Southern Nevada Trauma System to coincide with National Trauma Awareness Month.  In addition to the website, www.SouthernNevadaTraumaSystem.org, its companion Twitter site, @SNVTraumaSystem is also now available.

A trauma system is a coordinated network of care and resources to ensure the best outcome for patients suffering from catastrophic injuries. Website visitors can view personal stories about Southern Nevada trauma system survivors as well as get detailed information about the system and its components.

In the past four years, the three trauma centers in the Southern Nevada Trauma System have cared for more than 6,000 trauma patients each year. In the United States, intentional and unintentional injuries are the leading causes of death and disability for people between the ages of one and 44, which may lead to a patient’s initial encounter with an emergency medical services and trauma system.

The Southern Nevada Trauma System consists of University Medical Center, a Level I and Pediatric Level II trauma center; Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, a Level II trauma center; and St. Rose Dominican Hospital – Siena Campus, a Level III trauma center. Trauma centers are classified based on criteria developed by the American College of Surgeons – Committee on Trauma. The rankings are not based on the quality of medical care but on resources available to provide optimal care for injured patients.

“No matter which trauma center you’re brought to here in Southern Nevada, it is important to know that you will receive excellent lifesaving care. Each trauma center can provide high quality emergency medical care. Which center you are transported to is based on your injuries and what medical resources you would need to treat the injury,” said Christian Young, M.D., EMS & Trauma System medical director.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 43 million emergency department visits for injuries in 2011 (figure includes visits for adverse effects of medical treatment).

“Our slogan is ‘Serious Injuries. Superior Care. Trauma Systems Matter.’ because this statement sums up what the Southern Nevada Trauma System does,” said Dr. Joe Iser, chief health officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.  “Most people don’t know that the system is a well-coordinated, comprehensive injury response network of essential services. Patients are treated at the scene of an injury and transported to a health care facility that can best treat them to ensure a good outcome.”


Health District, RTAB launch new web site – add one


“Many people think the trauma system is only about the ambulance transport to a hospital, and this is the core element. What people don’t know is that the trauma system also works to reduce or prevent injuries and advocates for resources to meet the needs of injured people,” said Erin Breen, chair of the Trauma System Advocacy Committee.


The four components of a comprehensive trauma system include (1) the development of injury prevention programs, (2) transport and treatment protocols to ensure a patient is brought to the appropriate trauma center, (3) ensuring hospitals maintain appropriate trauma capabilities, and (4) rehabilitation services to maximize optimum recovery and reintegration into the community.


To do that, a statewide trauma registry is an essential tool to collect and analyze injury data that can help guide efforts to develop appropriate prevention programs, or legislative or regulatory efforts to reduce injuries. Further, it is important to have a dedicated and sustainable funding source to support the trauma registry and to maintain the necessary infrastructure to help drive decisions regarding trauma system development, operation, management, and enhancement.


Updated information about the Southern Nevada Health District can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, on YouTube  www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict

or Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo. The health district is now available in Spanish on Twitter www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the health district on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404

Las Vegas-originated website tests your brain health

HealthyBrains.orgweb1_web_BRAIN-HEALTH-MAY12-15_2, put together by experts at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, is the centerpiece of the Brain Health Initiative announced in the fall. It’s spearheaded by Dr. Kate Zhong, senior director of clinical research and development at the Ruvo center.




Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican and Partners Awarded Funding for Palliative Care Project

Veneta LeperaHenderson, Nev. – May 4, 2015 – Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican, in collaboration with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), has been awarded $14, 885 from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in Washington, D.C. for its Engaging Terminally Ill Patients with Palliative Care project. This award is one of 47 new projects to receive community-building funding support through PCORI’s Pipeline to Proposal Awards program. It is one of the first two projects to receive PCORI funding support in Nevada.


The project’s goal is to develop a Nevada State Palliative Care Association which will establish palliative care standards in Nevada. The association will provide education on palliative care and its services, in addition to community education about healthcare planning, i.e. POLST/advanced directives. These beginning stages will involve developing a network of medical professionals from the southern Nevada community that are dedicated to increasing the availability of palliative care in the area. In addition, the perspectives of patients and caregivers will assist in ensuring that further palliative care programs include a patient-centered approach.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPalliative care serves those with a life-limiting illness, and unlike hospice, there is not a requirement of having a diagnosis of six months or less to live. Palliative care can be provided simultaneously with curative treatments. The unit of care includes the patient, family and friends. Goals of service include providing pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, and advanced care planning. Providers of palliative care are part of an interdisciplinary team that often include a physician, nurse, social worker and chaplain. Palliative care can be received at home, in a hospital, and in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.


Participants in the project include Veneta Lepera, BA, BSN, RN, CHPN, Supervisor of Palliative Care Services at Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican; Maggie Ozan-Rafferty, DHA, RN, Chief Experience Officer for Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican; Jay Shen, PhD, Professor of Health Care Administration and Policy at UNLV; Abbie Kirkendall, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work at UNLV; Pearl Kim, graduate student at UNLV; and Diana Lee, MD, hospitalist and hospice/palliative care practitioner at the Platinum Medical Group.


“Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican is excited to be a part of this innovative, collaborative approach to public health,” said Veneta Lepera, Supervisor of Palliative Care Services for St. Rose. “This new project will be very beneficial for those that want to better the quality of life of all Nevadans with a chronic illness, and we’re excited to be a part of this project.”


Pipeline to Proposal Awards enable individuals and groups that are not typically involved in clinical research to develop the means to develop community-led funding proposals focused on patient-centered comparative effectiveness research (CER). Established by the non-profit PCORI, the program funds three tiers of awards that help individuals or groups build community partnerships, develop research capacity, and hone a comparative effectiveness research question that could become the basis of a research funding proposal to submit to PCORI or other health research funders.


“The Pipeline to Proposal Awards program is a manifestation of PCORI’s commitment to the meaningful involvement of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other stakeholders in all our research endeavors,” said Jean Slutsky, PA, MSPH, PCORI’s Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer. “It provides support to those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to contribute to the field of comparative effectiveness research. We’re pleased to follow the awardees’ progress as they develop partnerships and begin to form research questions.”


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI continuously seeks input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

About Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican

As the community’s only not-for-profit, religiously sponsored health system, Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican has been guided by the vision and core values of the Adrian Dominican Sisters for more than 65 years. As the Henderson and Las Vegas communities grow, the three St. Rose Dominican hospitals (the Rose de Lima, Siena and San Martín Campuses) and more than 3,400 employees will continue the Sisters’ mission of serving people in need. St. Rose Dominican is a member of the 21-state Dignity Health network of nearly 11,000 physicians, 56,000 employees, and more than 300 care centers, including hospitals, urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics. For more information, visit our website at www.strosehospitals.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or our Blog. St. Rose is hiring! To apply for an open position, visit our careers website.

Healthy Brains Initiative could help Las Vegas be named an “age-friendly city”

ThHealthyBrainsInitiative_t653e Healthy Brains Initiative is designed for people of all ages, but Zhong and her team at the Lou Ruvo Center hope users older than 50 pay particular attention to the clinical trials listed and consider joining. With more than 100 clinical trials for Alzheimer’s worldwide, the medical community needs 50,000 to 60,000 volunteer participants, she said.

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Las Vegas Adds to Its Imaging Arsenal

web1_BP-STEINBERG_042215bt_009Medical imaging technology is changing in Las Vegas. More powerful magnets are giving doctors improved images and wider-bore MRI machines are addressing patients’ concerns about comfort.

And there’s still a place for alternative MRI technology to accommodate patients with special needs.


Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health Introduces New Drug for Parkinson’s Disease

web1_DUOPA-DELIVERY_003_4Recently at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Robertson became the first patient in Nevada to receive a new form of carbidopa-levodopa, the tried-and-true medication for Parkinson’s patients.







Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican, Siena Campus Hiring 300 Employees for New Tower

Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican, Siena Campus is hiring employees for its new patient tower, a development that will increase the hospital’s capacity to 326 private rooms. The tower is being built by Kitchell, and was designed by Orcutt | Winslow Partnership. The Siena Tower is expected to be complete this fall and will create an estimated 300 jobs for southern Nevada.


The hiring of new Siena Tower employees is the latest milestone in a four-year renovation and expansion project of the Siena Campus. Last spring, the project held its groundbreaking ceremony, and last summer, held its topping off ceremony. A year ago, a new parking garage was built to helping parking capacity of the project, and two years ago, the hospital celebrated the opening of its expanded Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, projects also overseen by the design/build team of Orcutt Winslow Partnership and Kitchell.

School of Medicine Opens New Pharmacy in Las Vegas

The U_MG_0015_500niversity of Nevada School of Medicine announces the opening of its newest patient service facility: a full-service pharmacy located next to its Patient Care Center on Charleston Boulevard, just west of I-15.

Named Campus Pharmacy West, this new facility offers an easily accessible location for patients seeing health care providers in the Patient Care Center. Convenient free parking is located just outside the pharmacy.

“To better serve our patients, the School of Medicine launched this new pharmacy at 1701 West Charleston Boulevard under the leadership of Lawrence Coleman, a highly experienced professional with extensive training in medication management,” said Iain Buxton, Pharm.D., chair of the school’s pharmacology department.






web1_1000TH-SURGERY_042015EV_001_0Medical clinics across the Las Vegas Valley are performing treatments formerly available only in a hospital, driven by new technologies, patient demands for outpatient services and the goal of delivering the most cost-effective care.

The shift from inpatient to outpatient services, once opposed by hospital executives because it affected their bottom line, is now embraced by medical centers, community hospitals, for-profit chains and nonprofit providers alike. Doctors are performing procedures, from inner ear surgeries to hammertoe correction, in every corner of the valley with 44 of the 63 licensed ambulatory centers in the state located in Southern Nevada.