Two Years We Won't Forget: COVID-19 at Renown Health
On March 19, 2020, Renown Regional admitted the first patient in need of care while sick with COVID-19. Our providers navigated two years of a pandemic and overcame many challenges while providing the best care for our patients and the community. Anicia Beckwith’s series “The Art of Healing” captured Renown Health during this time. Let's take a look back on the last two years. February 2020: Standing Up the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) On February 25, 2020, leaders at Renown Health stood up Renown’s Hospital Incident Command System (HICS), a standardized system used to organize response personnel and resources and manage response operations during emergencies and crises. March 2020: Temporary Deployable Medical Structure Placed Outside Renown Regional Emergency Department On March 12, 2020, Renown set up a deployable medical facility to serve as a respiratory illness screening center for emergency room patients at Renown Regional. A similar tent was also set up outside the emergency room at South Meadows Medical Center. This proactive measure helped our teams care for community members with respiratory illness symptoms while protecting patients and staff in the emergency department and other areas of the hospital. Check out photos of the tent here. Read the Reno Gazette Journal Article about the tent here. April 2020: Alternate Care Site at Mill Street Parking Structure at Renown Regional Renown’s HICS team decided to create an Alternate Care Site (ACS) in the Renown Regional Medical Center Mill Street parking structure. The ACS served additional hospitalized patients and allowed caregivers to remain on campus and still have access to existing hospital infrastructure such as lab, pharmacy, imaging, food services and other critical services. After just 10 days of construction, the ACS was completed on April 3, 2020 with space to hold up to 1,400 patients. Check out photos of the ACS under construction here. On Nov. 12, 2020, Renown opened the ACS to serve additional hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who were clinically stable or improving. Healthcare workers at Renown cared for hundreds of patients at this site. In early Jan. 2021, the remaining patients returned home. Check out the video of Connie, a patient who received care in the ACS. April and July 2020: The LOVE Sculpture Placed at Renown Regional On April 16, 2020, during a time of darkness and uncertainty, Artown loaned Renown the LOVE sculpture, a one-ton aluminum piece of art created by artist Laura Kimpton and fabricated by Jeff Schomberg. The structure, which originally debuted at Burning Man, was lit up Renown Regional's main entrance on Mill St. Watch a video about the LOVE sculpture’s debut at Renown Regional. On July 13, 2020, thanks to the support of former board chair and community supporter Blake Smith and the Keyser Foundation, the LOVE sculpture is now a permanent fixture at Renown Health. Throughout the pandemic, it has served as a source of inspiration, hope and positivity for our community and care providers. Check out a video of the LOVE is Here to Stay celebration. June 2020: Renown Offers In-House COVID Testing In June 2020, the Renown laboratory team sprang into action to help meet the growing demand for COVID-19 testing amongst Washoe County residents and businesses. Renown invested in expanded staffing and in-house testing capabilities that ensured our teams could swab and process up to 1,000 COVID-19 tests for patients each day. All with results returning within hours. November 2020: Renown Introduces “Hospital At Home” Remote Monitoring In November 2020, six patients at Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center diagnosed with COVID-19 were outfitted with a remote Hospital at Home monitoring system. Renown clinicians plan to continue using this system to monitor upwards of 1,000 hospitalized patients and lower acuity patients from their homes. December 2020: Renown Administers COVID-19 Vaccines to Health Care Employees On Dec. 17, 2020, Renown began to vaccinate its healthcare workers. Among those receiving the first vaccines was Luis Martinez, a technician on Renown’s Clinical Decision Unit who cared for patients recovering from COVID-19 in the Alternate Care Site field hospital. Read the Reno Gazette Journal article about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout at Renown. January 2021: Renown Administers COVID-19 Vaccines to Community After several weeks of successful employee and volunteer drive-thru vaccination events, Renown supported the Washoe County Health District and the state in vaccinating Washoe County community members. Click here for a playlist of videos featuring Renown Health employees and patients talking about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine. February 2021: Local Widow Inspires Renown to Change Visitor Supporter Policy Darlene Randolph’s husband Dave spent 17 days hospitalized at Renown Regional Medical Center before losing his battle with COVID-19 on December 13, 2020. Darlene wrote a passionate letter to Renown Health asking for the visitor policy that allowed patients with COVID-19 to receive visitors. In February 2021, Renown hospitals were among the first in the country to lift visitor restrictions for patients with COVID-19 to encourage families to be at the patient's bedside. Read Darlene’s full story here. May 2021: Renown Celebrates Volunteers, Partners and Community Who Aided in Vaccine Efforts In May 2021, Renown administered the last dose of COVID-19 vaccines to community members in Renown’s drive-thru clinic. Between January and May 2021, over 80,000 doses were administered at the drive-thru. View drone footage of this effort here. Click here to see pictures of vaccine volunteers and employees. November 2021: Renown Offers Vaccine for Children Ages 5+ In November 2021, Renown vaccinated children in the Reno-Sparks community with the 2-dose series in a limited round of weekend clinics. The vaccine clinics featured therapy dogs, local mascots and donuts donated by Doughboy’s Donuts. Click here to see pictures of the children’s vaccine clinics and watch a video about the clinics here.
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Avoid Counterfeits and Find the Right Protective Mask with This Helpful Guide
To better protect our patients, visitors and employees, cloth masks are no longer allowed at Renown facilities. Surgical masks, KN95 and N95 masks are allowed at Renown facilities. Appropriate face masks will be provided for visitors and patients who need one. With recent surges in the infectious COVID-19 omicron variant, many have sought to upgrade their face masks. But, let’s face it, shopping for face masks with adequate protection can be a challenge, especially considering the countless variations and the rise of counterfeit masks. Follow our straightforward guide below which includes some common red flags to help you discern between a high-quality face mask that provides proper protection and those that may be counterfeit. Types of Masks Qualities of a Real N95 Respirator Mask According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), N95 approved masks form a tight seal around your face and include a disposable respirator that removes particles including bacteria, viruses and dust as you breathe. N95 masks that are NIOSH approved undergo strict quality assurance and performance requirements to ensure mask respirators filter out up to 95% of hazardous particles. As a rule of thumb, N95 masks will not have ear loops, commonly used in cloth or surgical face masks. N95 respirators will contain two elastic bands or head straps that fasten behind the head, one securing the crown of the head and the other resting at the base of the neck, providing a snug fit and seal. Some other common signs that an N95 might be counterfeit include lack of all proper labeling, misspellings of NIOSH, decorative fabric and claiming to be approved for children. Currently, masks in adult sizes are the only masks to undergo NIOSH’s quality assurance and testing process. Respirators approved by NIOSH will include a testing certification (TC) approval number and will contain specific labeling on the facepiece of your mask. Find a full list of Center for Disease Control (CDC) and NIOSH requirements here. Identifying Real KN95 Respirator Masks Often preferred due to comfortability, the KN95 respirators were initially designed to meet Chinese standards for medical masks. Firstly, if a KN95 mask claims to be approved by the CDC, it is counterfeit as the CDC and NIOSH do not support any respiratory protective devices according to international standards. However, when KN95 masks are fitted and worn appropriately they do provide more protection than disposable masks. Legitimate KN95 masks will display a manufacturer number, GB2626-2019, ensuring accordance with current Chinese respirator standards for all masks made after July 1, 2021. Unlike N95 masks, it is important to note that KN95 masks are available in children's sizes. You might run into KN95 masks claiming to be “FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved” or “FDA-registered,” but be aware that this does not mean much and is a misleading statement. What this indicates is that a mask maker has submitted paperwork to the FDA, but the product has not been thoroughly tested for proper filtration and protection. Surgical Masks Medical procedure masks often referred to as surgical or disposable masks vary in their protection according to a variety of factors including fit and filtration. The CDC defines medical procedure masks as “variably shaped, including flat pleated, cone-shaped, or duck-bill. Medical procedure masks are loose and are not expected to provide a reliable level of protection against airborne or aerosolized particles as N95 respirators regulated by the National Institute of for Occupational Safety and Health.” However, these types of masks provide more protection than cloth masks and are certainly better than wearing no mask at all. Often popular due to their level of comfort and cost-effectiveness, surgical masks can be knotted in the ear loop areas to provide a tighter seal and can be layered for additional filtration. Depending upon your budget and level of comfortability and protection, one variation of mask may suit you over another. Please remember to do your part in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and wear a surgical mask, KN95 or N95 mask when visiting Renown facilities.
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COVID-19 Booster Shots, What You Need to Know
Getting the COVID-19 booster is the best way to protect yourself from severe illness or death due to COVID-19, and both the CDC and the FDA have approved booster shots for people ages 18 and older. So, with the holidays right around the corner and infection rates on the rise both in Nevada and nationally, the best thing you can do to prevent the continued spread of this deadly virus is to get boosted today. The Basics: Who: It is recommended that everyone 18 years or older get a COVID-19 booster shot. When: At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series. What: Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States. The CDC allows for mix and match dosing for booster shots. How: To make an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccine booster, please visit vaccines.gov today. Appointment Reminders: Don’t forget to bring your CDC vaccination record card to your appointment. Refresh yourself on the potential side effects and remember that these are normal signs your body is building up protection. Commonly Asked Questions: Q: Does anything change if I received the Johnson & Johnson as my first COVID-19 vaccine? A: If you received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, you are elidable for a booster two months after completing your primary vaccine. Q: Is the formula the same for the boosters as it was for the primary vaccine? A: COVID-19 booster shots are the same formulation as the current COVID-19 vaccines. However, in the case of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, it is half the dose of the vaccine people get for their primary series. Q: Am I still considered “fully vaccinated” if I don’t receive a COVID-19 booster shot. A: Yes, everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine. All information courtesy of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. All information courtesy of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
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How to Ease Your Child's Fear of Vaccines
Getting a shot can be scary for kids and anxiety-inducing for parents and caregivers. With flu shot season well underway and children's COVID-19 vaccine clinics in full swing, we wanted to share ways to reduce the stress for you and your child. Plan Ahead and Be Honest A few days before the scheduled appointment, casually mention to your child that you’re both going to the doctor’s office (or vaccine clinic, or pharmacy) soon for their vaccine. Explain to them that this will help protect them and will only take a second. Being honest is important, telling your child that it will hurt for a moment. If possible, try and schedule the vaccine at a kid-specific vaccine clinic, your pediatrician's office or a school-based site. Remember that words are powerful. Take notice if you are using a word that might make them more upset, such as prick, jab, needle or shot. You can interchange words such as vaccine, immunization or injection. Bring Toys Don’t be afraid to let your child bring one of their favorite toys or stuffed animals to the appointment. This can make them feel more comfortable and provide distraction. Ask for Pain Reliever/Numbing Agent If you know from past experience (or suspect) that your child has a needle phobia, talk to the vaccination location ahead of time and ask if they can use a pain reliever or numbing agent before administering the vaccine. Distract. Distract. Distract. Sing a song, tell them a joke, make a funny face. If you can pull your child’s attention away from the needle and make them laugh, they won’t focus all their energy on worrying about the shot. Lead By Example If you haven't gotten your flu shot, COVID shot or COVID-19 booster yet, ask the facility ahead of time if you can also get a shot before your child. Show them that the shot is no big deal and that they will have no problem getting it themselves. Celebrate Don’t be afraid to celebrate this victory with your child once it is over – bring them to the park, go out for an ice cream cone, let them pick what’s for dinner. This reward will show that you’re proud of them for being brave and may also make the next time your child is due for a shot easier.
Reliable Care From Home
Renown Health has always been on the frontlines of technological advancement, and that innovation remained unwavering during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our telehealth teams heeded the call to provide home monitoring for our patients, transforming how we provide care. The care providers at Renown successfully monitored lower acuity COVID-19 patients from the comfort of their own homes. Bernard Lee was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia, and was able to return home to continue his recovery with a home monitoring system. While at home, Bernard’s health took a turn for the worse while he was sleeping, but thanks to the continuous monitoring of Health at Home, his worsening vitals did not go unnoticed. “This monitoring system really saved my life,” Bernard said. “It was telling me that my sats were low, but I didn’t even feel the common COVID symptoms; I just felt tired.” Because of his low oxygen saturation (sats) and the continuous monitoring, he woke up to providers calling to check on him in the early morning. He was immediately transferred to the Renown Intensive Care Unit to be cared for and monitored by our expert care teams. Today Bernard is recovering, feeling great and continuously refers to the team and the home monitoring system as his guardian angels.
How to Talk to Your Vaccine-Hesitant Friends About Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Roughly 59% of eligible Nevadans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of mid-September. That number is up 9% from only a month ago, but our work is far from done! One of the most powerful ways to convince someone to get vaccinated is for a person they trust and respect to take the time and have that complicated conversation with them. We know these conversations can be daunting, so we consulted Marie McCormack, MD, Primary Care Division Chief at Renown, about the six best ways to approach and frame these conversations to be productive and effective. 1. Be firm, but not aggressive. 2. Listen to what they have to say, and don’t assume you know why they haven't gotten the vaccine yet. 3. Cater your responses to their concerns. The CDC even has a helpful reference table identifying main reasons people are not getting vaccinated. If they are scared, offer to go with them. If they are not worried about getting sick, explain that they are more at risk of infecting those around them who are more likely to have a severe reaction to the virus. If they don’t know how to make an appointment, help them find the most convenient time and place for their schedule. If they are worried about how fast the vaccine was developed, remind them that the mRNA technology used in these vaccines has been studied for years. If they are worried the vaccine will affect fertility, tell them that in August the CDC officially recommended that pregnant people can get vaccinated. 4. When in doubt, hit them with the stats! 1 in 500 Americans has died from COVID-19. Vaccinated people are nearly five times less likely to get infected, according to the CDC. Vaccinated people are 10 times less likely to get so sick they ended up in the hospital, according to the CDC. 5. Remind them of all the things they might not be able to do if they aren't vaccinated. Attend concerts or sporting events Travel Potentially even keep their job 6. When all else fails, use the tough love approach. Tell these people you don’t feel comfortable meeting with them in person until they are vaccinated.
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How You Can be a COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador
We get it – the entire world has been overwhelmed with COVID-19 vaccine information, questions and celebrations around vaccines developed to combat COVID-19 induring the past several months. It’s hard to know where to start in digesting all this news and information. But one thing is clear: healthcare experts agree that the authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and recommended to help end this pandemic. If you are passionate about stepping up in your community to encourage the vaccination efforts, we’re offering a few ideas on how you can be an ambassador. Find the Facts Content on the vaccine is abundant, but and there’s a few resources that we can all rely on to help digest the information: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updates its website content around the vaccine regularly, and also offerings information in Spanish. Health departments across the U.S. are leading the way in distribution logistics planning, and partnering with other providers, like such as hospitals and pharmacies, to distribute give people doses. Their websites are great resources to understand options where you live. Locally, check out washoecounty.gov/health/programs-and-services/environmental-health/covid-19-guidance for vaccine updates in Washoe County. Many providers like Renown Health and other providers are sharing content around their recommendations for the vaccine. Get answers about the vaccine types from one of our pharmacists, read common concerns addressed by experts and view videos from many doctors and other specialists on our YouTube Channel.
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Reno Widow Inspires New Visitor Policy for Renown
Renown Health is one of the country’s first health systems to lift visitor restrictions for patients with COVID-19 and encourage the family to be at the patient’s bedside. Read Darlene and Dave’s story to understand why we’re updating our visitor policy. Dave and Darlene Randolph found joy in exploring antique shops and garage sales to find damaged or discarded vintage pieces. Dave would spend many hours scraping, cleaning, sanding, and refinishing items, transforming them into functional, beautiful pieces of furniture. Every piece in their home rekindles a memory and has a story to tell. On Thanksgiving, when Dave was too ill to gather around their antique dining room table, Darlene called the ambulance. Ailing with COVID-19 for two weeks, Dave had not been improving. When the EMTs reached her home and asked Darlene what underlying conditions he had, she said, “all of them.” David was seriously ill. Hospitalized for COVID-19, their communications options were limited. The only way Darlene could communicate with Dave was on a video call or by telephone. Dave spent 17 days hospitalized at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. Darlene spent 17 days waiting by the phone for more information on his condition. Darlene said he had “up days and down days,” but thought he might be home, sitting at their antique dinner table for Christmas. Sadly, Dr. David Randolph lost his battle with COVID-19 on December 13, 2020, and died as he slept in a hospital bed. When Darlene wrote his obituary for the newspaper, she gave thanks to the “tremendous nurses and doctors at Renown Regional Medical Center, for providing his care during a time when the family could not be with him.” Taking Action to Inspire Change Darlene wished she could have been there. Over their 45-year marriage, she had always been there. Darlene said, “I had always been at his bedside, as his advocate, to help communicate and straighten things out.” As a registered dietician, she worked in hospitals, knew the protocol, and knew that Renown had a restricted visitor policy to stop the virus’s spread- to other patients, staff, and their family members. Still, she wished she could have spent more time with him. On Christmas Eve, she sat down and wrote to Renown leadership. “As the wife of a COVID patient who recently passed away in your hospital, I want to express my thanks to you and your staff for the care he received in the last days of his life. I am aware that the nurses and staff are working under dangerous conditions and risking their health and lives by caring for multiple COVID patients. The staff is gracious, concerned, and doing everything they can.” She continued, “I know procedures are changing every hour to try to stay ahead of this dangerous virus, and I am sharing my experiences, hoping they will be helpful when establishing policies that impact families.” Darlene explained that despite receiving assurances that Dave’s nurse or a doctor would call daily, sometimes they would forget. She explains in her letter, “how important it is, in these times when the family cannot visit, and has only infrequent communication and is anxiously waiting at home for information about their loved one, how much it means to get a call from someone caring for him at the hospital. If there is a way you can help assure nurses have time to make calls or assist patients in making calls because it is an important part of patient care.” A Person-Centered Visitor Policy After receiving her letter, Renown leadership called Mrs. David Randolph to thank her, offer his sympathies and ask if Renown could help in any way. Darlene asked if he might reconsider allowing families to visit hospital patients during treatment for COVID-19. As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, the policy has as well. Renown hospitals and medical practices now encourage limited visitors for all patients, including those diagnosed with COVID-19. Renown also has extra safety measures to protect the health of patients, visitors and healthcare employees. Darlene is very pleased that her letter inspired this shift in visitor policies for patients with COVID-19. She says, “I have always tried to think of ways I could help other families. Especially those senior couples where one has been hospitalized and the other is home. My wish is to help others.” Renown Health Visitor Policy Renown Health patients may identify two healthy adult “patient supporters” to accompany them on their hospital stay. For more details, visit our Patient Supporter Guidelines page.
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Pharmacists Answer Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccines
Vaccines that provide protection against the COVID-19 virus are bringing us closer to the end of this deadly pandemic. Two different COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in the U.S. today: one from Pfizer and the other from Moderna. Kate Ward, PharmD, BCPS, Director of Clinical Pharmacy at Renown Health and Adam Porath, PharmD, Vice President of Pharmacy at Renown, share what you need to know about these vaccines. When two COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2020, it was cause for celebration. Why? Because according to the CDC, the vaccines are 94 percent or more effective in providing protection against the COVID-19 virus! Many people are seeking information about the new Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Below, our pharmacy leaders provide answers to some commonly asked questions. How do the COVID-19 Vaccines Work? The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both mRNA vaccines that help your immune system develop antibodies against the COVID-19 virus. The vaccines use messenger RNA, or mRNA, to show our bodies’ protein-making cells how to make the spike proteins of the COVID-19 virus. Our immune system reacts to these spike proteins by creating antibodies that can recognize and destroy them. So when a person is exposed to the virus in the future, they will be less likely to get sick. What are the Differences between the Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines? The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are very similar, with just a few small differences worth noting. The main difference between the two vaccines is when you should receive your follow-up dose. Patients who receive a first dose of Pfizer should receive their second dose about three weeks later. Those who receive a first dose of Moderna should receive their follow-up vaccination roughly four weeks after their first dose. People 18 years and older can receive the Moderna vaccine while people 16 years and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine. Dosage for the Moderna vaccine is 0.5 ml (100 mcg). Dosage for the Pfizer vaccine is 0.3 ml (30 mcg).
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COVID-19 Vaccine Expert Advice
With front-line workers receiving the first COVID-19 vaccinations, many of us are feeling hope, but also worry. As a result, we are joining with the Ad Council, the COVID Collaborative, HHS, CDC and NIAID (along with top health and medical organizations) to address your vaccine concerns and questions. Will the vaccine be available to everyone in Nevada? The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is collaborating with health systems about the use of initially available, limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines. They will provide guidance on the prioritization order of who will receive the vaccine. This will be based on available quantities, high-risk locations of work and certain other risk factors, and recommendations and guidance for public health agencies. The CDC has provided guidance to initially focus on the following groups: Healthcare personnel likely to be exposed to or treat people with COVID-19, nursing home residents and others in institutional settings; People at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions; People 65 years of age and older; Other essential workers. I worry the vaccine has been rushed The U.S. national vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible, and because vaccines are given to millions of healthy people to prevent serious diseases, they’re held to very high safety standards. COVID-19 vaccines are undergoing a rigorous development process that includes vaccinating tens of thousands of people who participate in a study to generate the needed clinical data. These clinical trials generate scientific data for the FDA to determine the safety and efficacy of each vaccine. It’s worth noting that the clinical studies to establish the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines were as big and thorough as recent studies for other licensed vaccines (for example, the shingles vaccine). I'm concerned about the vaccine's side effects The most common side effects are very similar to those seen with most vaccines, such as: sore arms, fevers, and tiredness within 72 hours after the vaccine. These side effects usually mean that the vaccine is generating an immune response, indicating it is working. Short-term side effects observed in the leading COVID-19 vaccine trials include: Injection site pain and redness Fatigue Muscle aches and pains Joint pain Headache I’m afraid I’ll get COVID-19 from the vaccine None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines, or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States, contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. Can children receive the COVID-19 vaccine? Not at the moment. In early clinical trials for various COVID-19 vaccines, only non-pregnant adults at least 18 years of age participated. However, clinical trials continue to expand those recruited to participate. The groups recommended to receive the vaccines could change in the future. As of now, it is recommended that children do not receive the vaccine. More information will be available from the vaccine manufacturers. I do not believe vaccines are effective Both this disease and the vaccine are new. We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who get infected or those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice. The FDA is responsible for making sure that, just like any other medications, any FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and they work. The EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) will not be provided if the FDA feels that the vaccine is unsafe. I can't get vaccines to due to a medical condition Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. The following information aims to help people in the groups listed below make an informed decision about receiving the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. It is extremely important to speak with your doctor regarding your specific medical condition, and always follow their strict advice regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, or any other vaccines. Sources: Renown COVID-19 Ad Council COVID Collaborative U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
Bringing a Public Health Perspective to Healthcare
There are many lenses through which to view health. As you would expect, medical providers typically focus on the health of individual patients. For example, doctors consider a person’s symptoms, their current lifestyle, their past medical history, and their family’s history to diagnose medical conditions and recommend treatments. The Public Health Perspective Public health professionals look beyond the health of an individual and instead focus on the health of an entire community or population of people. They strive to achieve “the greatest good for the greatest number.” As the CEO of a health system, I feel fortunate to have education and training in both medicine and public health. As Renown Health’s leader, it is my responsibility to care for the people and communities we serve. That involves bringing world-class staff and innovative medical care to northern Nevada. We also focus on prevention by looking for ways to improve health outside of our facilities. That means partnering with local organizations to address the social, economic, and environmental factors that shape our health. Or working with local government to create policies that help to prevent disease and injury. In order to make a genuine and long-lasting impact on health, we must foster a community that helps our neighbors live well. Public health is especially important during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that we’re experiencing now. During these times, health systems must be able to swiftly shift focus from prioritizing the needs of individual patients to considering what is best for our local population. For example, we may need to temporarily limit hospital visitors or educate the public about how to socially distance in order to stop the spread of disease. Being prepared to make this shift and having strong relationships with our local health department and community organizations help us better serve the public. In both good times and bad, I am thankful that my public health background provides me with the perspective to look beyond our health system and embrace the health our community.
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Emergency Care During a Pandemic
Medical emergencies like strokes and heart attacks still happen, even in a pandemic. That’s why Renown Health is always ready to provide emergency care to patients in need, and being admitted at Renown does not put patients at risk of getting COVID-19. When to Get Emergency Care Resources like Renown Virtual Visits have allowed us to stay home while making routine visits with our primary care physician. But, if you are feeling any of the following symptoms, please call 911 or have someone you know take you to the emergency room. Symptoms that may require emergency care: Heart attack Stroke symptoms Difficulty breathing Chest pain Seizure Sudden loss of consciousness Severe abdominal pain Serious allergic reaction Fighting the Good Fight for Our Patients Renown Health provides a clean and safe environment 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day. Alongside regular sanitation practices, Renown is dedicated to protecting patients from infectious disease while providing emergency care. Staff, Care Providers and Visitors Wear Masks Every staff member, care provider and visitor is wearing a mask. Additionally, providers are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on wearing protective equipment, such as masks and gloves. Respiratory Illness Screenings for Everyone Care providers and staff members are participating in respiratory illness screenings. Therefore, any care provider or staff member with a fever, cough, difficulty breathing or severe respiratory illness is not on a Renown campus. Visitor Restrictions are in Place Visitor restrictions are in place to prevent the spread of infectious disease by practicing physical distance. Because of these restrictions, Renown is only allowing one visitor per patient for with extenuating circumstances. Staying healthy and safe means caring for yourself in emergency situations, too. Please do not hesitate to call 911 when you or a loved one are in need of emergency medical care. Virtually Visit a Renown Urgent Care Login to MyChart to “get in line” for a virtual urgent care visit between 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Login to MyChart