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    • Employees
    • Wound Care
    • Diabetes

    Department Spotlight: Wound Care

    For the average person, wounds aren’t an everyday worry. However, for at least eight million Americans, chronic wounds can pose a serious threat to health and well-being. From a person with diabetes experiencing painful neuropathy to a patient healing from a significant burn, caring for advanced wounds is a major part of their healthcare journey. Who do they go to get the care and guidance they need? The answer: Renown Wound Care. Serving patients in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, this department provides comprehensive, best-in-class treatments for severe and chronic wound healing and ostomy care. Our Wound Care team members have mastered the art of harnessing cutting-edge technologies and a patient-centric approach to redefine the standards of healing.  Advanced Care for the Best Repair  At Renown Health, we are fortunate to have a team full of nurses, physicians and more caring for patients with wounds caused by a wide variety of conditions. Those include:  Burns Trauma Vascular diseases Radiation therapy Pressure ulcers Diabetes and diabetic neuropathy Adding to the expert-level continuum of care, Renown is the only health system offering complete ostomy services in the entire region. The Wound Care team helps ostomy patients with the fitting of their medical bags, treatment of any skin conditions that may arise after ostomy bag placement, care coordination and much more.  With a multidisciplinary network of experts tailoring personalized treatment plans, there is never a dull moment on the floor. On the outpatient side, the team expects 50-60 patients in one day alone.  “As a clinician, wound care is a lot of ‘arts and crafts,’ so we get to use our creative and critical thinking skills to provide the best possible care,” said Samantha Moore, Advanced Wound Care Specialist RN for Outpatient Wound Care. “Each patient has an individualized plan of care – we greet them as they come into the clinic, escort them back to their treatment rooms and get their latest health updates and life situations before providing wound or ostomy care. We prepare each morning doing chart reviews to determine patient needs, wound progression and referral needs.”  “We are a highly specialized, dedicated group of professionals with a passion to treat and heal our patients’ wounds,” added Lori Conner, Advanced Wound Care Specialist RN for Outpatient Wound Care. “When a patient comes to our clinic for evaluation, they are given a dedicated appointment to thoroughly go over their medical and surgical history, medications and nature of the wound.”  Switching over to the inpatient care team, they operate like a well-oiled assembly line, navigating different daily assignments with precision and flexibility.  “On the inpatient side, our day starts in our office with triaging our consult list; after the triage process is completed, we get our assignments, which can consist of wound vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) patients, follow-up patients, ostomy education patients and new wound consults,” said Megan Uy, Advanced Wound Care Specialist RN for Inpatient Wound Care. “In the case of patients requiring wound VAC changes, we consider what kind of pre-medication for pain that they need. Although some patients may be seen on a time schedule, the day ends up flexible as patients are being seen by other specialties. This flexibility also benefits the patients, making them feel more empowered with their care.”  “Each day in the inpatient setting, we get to our office and sort through all the new consults that came in overnight, and the charge nurse makes the assignment for the day,” added Madison Arlin, Advanced Wound Care Specialist RN for Inpatient Wound Care. “After the assignment is completed, each nurse is responsible for researching their patients and organizing their day, typically by priority – wound VACs and ostomies usually take top priority.”  Now, how do these treatments actually work? This specialized field handles advanced methods of treating each condition, including:  Biological skin substitutes Surgical debridement Advanced wound dressings Negative pressure therapy Pre-ostomy markings and education Offloading techniques, such as padding or dressing “Before starting treatments, we communicate with our nurses and providers to make sure that the patient is comfortable prior to wound care,” said Dianna Seo, Advanced Wound Care Specialist RN for Inpatient Wound Care. “After we see the patient, if there is a need for escalated care, we contact the provider for additional testing or consults. We continue to follow-up on patients that have severe wounds, wound VACs and ostomies.”  In the hands of the Wound Care team, patients exit our hospital walls not only restored but also empowered, set on a trajectory for long-term healing. Your Expert Care Guides  No matter the case or the severity of the wound or condition, patient care, comfort and communication always come first – before, during and after treatment.   “Many of our patients have chronic needs, so we end up seeing them for several months, if not years in some cases; we stay up to date with their specific psychosocial needs and help remove barriers that would prevent their wounds from healing,” said Samantha Moore.  “I enjoy knowing that my positive attitude can improve our patients’ days,” added Maddie Pauley, Patient Access Representative for Outpatient Wound Care. “When they’re routinely coming to appointments they might not enjoy, hearing them praise our team and give their thanks is one of the most rewarding feelings.”  As a wound care patient, there can be a lot of unknowns when beginning their care journey. However, these team members carefully walk each patient through every step from beginning to end.  “When we go to see a wound care patient, our team is very consistent about explaining to the patients what our role is and what we plan to do with their wound, and then we continue to actively communicate throughout wound care each step that we are doing as we are doing it,” said Madison Arlin. “We also encourage some of our patients to listen to music that they enjoy during the wound care, or we will cover their eyes with a cloth if they request so that they don't have to see their wound. Sometimes, we will ask the family to stay at the bedside to hold their family member's hand.”  Education is crucial to ensuring each patient knows what to expect in order to care for their wound and understanding the stages of healing. Fortunately, this team is well-versed in the world of wound wisdom.  “A lot of education is provided on the type of dressing we are applying, and if the patient is going to be performing their own dressing changes, we will go over the entire change with them and provide supplies for discharge,” said Megan Uy. “Additionally, there will be written instructions in their discharge paperwork. In the cases of wound VAC dressing changes, each step is explained to the patient before doing it, and we also go over discharge options and expectations.”  “As a clinician who sees a lot of patients prior to having their ostomy placed (pre-surgical marking), one of the most important things we do is first sit with the patient and/or caregivers and talk about their fears, concerns, questions and goals,” said Samantha Moore. “We provide a lot of emotional support and education, helping identify community resources. For our wound patients, we spend a lot of time educating our patients/caregivers about how and why their wounds occurred. We try to connect with them on a personal level and help them identify ways to help their wounds heal.”  To see a patient’s care journey from the second they enter through our doors to the moment they return home is one of the most rewarding feelings for the Wound Care teams. In fact, they’ve had the pleasure of treating patients for years and seeing their wounds almost completely heal. The team collectively values the successful healing journeys of their patients as their proudest achievement.  “One of our team's greatest accomplishments was being able to see one of our long-term patients discharged with nearly resolved wounds,” said Megan Uy. “This patient had been in our care on-and-off for the past year with many hospitalizations and had complicated high-output enterocutaneous fistulas within his wound bed. These were incredibly hard to keep a dressing on successfully, and he often had issues with the dressing leaking. Eventually, we got a dressing that could remain intact until his next scheduled dressing change, and he was able to get surgery that fixed his fistulas. Being able to see him recover and heal his wounds was a very large accomplishment for us.”  The admiration and compassion this team has for their patients also extends to each other. The cohesive way they work together only further benefits their patients, offering the best-possible collaborative care.  “We have extremely skilled clinicians in our group that are not only incredible in the work that they do and the patient care that they provide but are also enjoyable to work with as well,” said Geane Weaver, Advanced Wound Care Specialist RN for Inpatient Wound Care. “There is something to be admired in each and every one of my coworkers.”  “Our team is very close and supportive of each other at all times,” added Madison Arlin. “I feel very lucky to work with such an amazing group of people. Our team is very proud of the work we do.” Fervently Fighting the Good Fight So, with the highly specialized nature of advanced wound care, how did these team members get inspired to join the Wound Care team in the first place?  Well, for many of these devoted employees, their first exposure to caring for wounds took place on different units – sparking their interest in making wound care their full-time career.  “Renown was the most welcoming towards me as a student nurse, and I liked that it was a teaching hospital,” said Madison Arlin. “I started in the General Surgical Unit (GSU) immediately after graduating nursing school and worked there for two years before transferring to wound care. I decided to apply to the wound team after watching the wound nurses do wound VACs and ostomy changes on the floor. I would ask them if I could watch, and I was always very fascinated by the wound healing process.”  “Prior to joining the inpatient wound team, like Madison, I was also a bedside nurse in GSU,” added Geane Weaver. “Working on that floor, I was already exposed to a lot of patients that were requiring some kind of advanced wound care in one way or another. Working in the GSU, I also cared for a lot of patients that had wound VACs and ostomies. These patients make up a huge group of the individuals that our team sees on a regular basis, and they've always been intriguing for me, so naturally, wound care has always been on my radar.”  For other team members, wound care has always been a point of curiosity throughout their education and career. From their very first exposure to this care area, they were hooked.  “I was always curious about wound care even through my nursing school experience,” said Dianna Seo. “When I was working on the floor, I would trade to do wound care for patients. When I had time, I would follow wound care and help when I could. I joined the skin team which drove me to be increasingly involved with wound care. As soon as there was a job opening, I applied for the position. I worked in outpatient wound care for approximately four years and now inpatient for another four years. I have enjoyed all aspects of wound care and patient care.”    “I had great clinical experience at Renown when I was in nursing school; I also was very interested in caring for trauma patients, and Renown being a Level II trauma center aligned with my interests,” added Megan Uy. “I began my nursing career in the GSU, but my dream job was always Wound Care. During my nursing school clinicals, I had the opportunity to watch some members of the wound team do wound VAC changes and thought it was incredibly intriguing and a great combination of utilizing the knowledge of anatomy and physiology while being creative with handicraft. A position opened on the team around the time I met the prerequisites to be eligible for the position, and luckily, I got it.”  Our Wound Care team has achieved significant employee and departmental milestones over the past year, reflecting their dedication to enhancing patient care and overall process improvement.  “We have had many accomplishments within the last year and are currently working on more to improve the hospital,” said Dianna Seo. “Madison Arlin won the DAISY Award for her great work with our patients. Megan Uy won Top Talent of the Quarter for helping a stranger. Ande Ferriera has worked tirelessly to improve our process improvement. Allie Saunders, as our leader, has worked to improve patient skin by getting new beds for Renown Regional. All our patients that have healed or are on their way to healing under our care is our greatest achievement that we as wound team is most proud of.”  “We are constantly updating protocols, notes and orders for bedside nursing so that it is a more straightforward and seamless charting process,” added Madison Arlin. “We have representatives of different supply companies come and present new products that we think may benefit our patients better. Our wonderful tech has even updated our department site on Inside Renown so that the nurses always have references available.”  Renown’s strong influence in the region – and the opportunity to give back to their community – was, and continues to be, a major draw for this team.  “Since I can remember, Renown has always been the most prevalent healthcare name for my family and has always taken the most amazing, thorough care of my loved ones,” said Maddie Pauley. “I have always wanted to work somewhere I could help people, and starting at Renown has really opened my eyes into how much of a difference each one of us can make.”  Our Wound Care department’s success stories and proactive approach not only reflect their passion for healing but also inspire a ripple effect of positive change throughout our health system. They proudly exemplify a shared commitment to enhancing the well-being of all patients under their care.  “Being part of Renown and part of this team has been my blessing; I get to do a job I love with people that love it too,” closed Dianna Seo.

    Read More About Department Spotlight: Wound Care

    • Pain Management
    • Employees
    • Spine, Sports, and Pain Medicine
    • Back Pain
    • X-Ray and Imaging

    Department Spotlight: Special Procedures

    Chronic pain can be one of the most distressing feelings someone may encounter – and more likely than not, you know someone who is managing their pain as a part of their healthcare journey. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 U.S. adults have experienced chronic pain in recent years. One of the most common methods of treating pain is through prescription pain medications; however, with the rise of the opioid epidemic across the country, leveraging other interventions to help patients manage their chronic pain has become increasingly more important. What if there was a way to treat pain directly without the automatic need for pain medication? Luckily for patients in northern Nevada, our Special Procedures department at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital specializes in exactly that: interventional pain mitigation sans painkillers. With nearly 95% of their patients who come in with pain-related mobility issues being able to physically walk out of the hospital after their treatment, much-needed relief is clearly in store. Tight-knit and forever-caring, the Special Procedures team knows how to transform the purpose of pain management. A Penchant for Pain Alleviation Renown's Special Procedures team offers a wide variety of pain management solutions that are uniquely tailored to each individual patient’s needs. With the help of a team of 14 attentive nurses, interventional radiology technologists and a surgical technician – plus a dedicated patient access representative ensuring everything goes smoothly behind-the-scenes – these lifechanging interventions include: Epidurals (including steroid epidurals) Nerve blocks Ablations Tenotomies Spinal cord stimulator trials Peripheral nerve stimulator trials The nurses on this specialized team guide patients before, during and after their procedures, making sure they are at ease throughout the entire process. Each nurse emulates both expertise and empathy to help light the path towards healing.  “Before each procedure, we get the patient’s vitals, health history and work with the doctor to answer any questions they may have about what is going to happen in the procedure room,” said Michon Edgington, RN. “After they’re all done, they come back to me, and I make sure they are ready to go home by educating them on their discharge. Our goal is to get them back to their families very quickly.”  “In the actual procedure room, we perform safety checks, do charting, prepare the sterile tray for the doctor and give medication for conscious sedations, all while consistently monitoring the patient and helping the doctor out along the way to help the procedure go well,” added Shannon Boelow, RN.  This team’s dedicated imaging professionals harness expertise that goes beyond capturing images. Their skillful utilization of X-ray technology serves as a guide for doctors administering treatments for pain – and according to our own physicians, our imaging technologists are some of the best in the business.  “Our X-ray skills here are specialized,” said Julie Smith, Imaging Lead. “Visually, the doctor needs to see what’s going on inside the body so they can accurately place needles and steroids. We all work together collectively and work with each doctor to accommodate their preferences, helping the treatments go much faster and minimizing the patient’s exposure to radiation.”  Serving as the ideal representation of both precision and support, the surgical technician on this team is an important collaborator in the procedure room, helping to ensure the success of every interventional procedure with a meticulous eye for detail.  “As the Special Procedures surgical technician, I get the room ready with all the necessary instruments, including making sure everything is sterile,” said Carrie Crow, Surgical Technician. “I enjoy keeping the team organized.”  Overseeing it all are the physicians, who are eternally grateful for the team for the life-changing interventions they offer every day.  “Our physicians are so phenomenal,” said Brittney Summerfield, Manager of Nursing. “They are very supportive and collaborative, and they always do the right thing. They have total confidence in us.”  Seeing patients walk out of the hospital happy and healthy is a driving motivator for this team. Whether they had significant experience in pain management or were ready for a completely new challenge, each team member comes to work every day inspired to move mountains.  “I had worked in pain management in other facilities, and I was extremely excited to come here and solely focus on pain,” said Jodi Eldridge, Supervisor of Special Procedures. “I enjoy seeing the patients so happy when they leave no longer in pain. I feel immediate gratification, because you truly feel like you’re doing something big for the patient. It’s very rewarding.”  “I decided to come work here because I worked in the inpatient setting for a long time, and I was ready to see a different side of healthcare and provide a different type of care to our community; plus, my coworkers are the best,” added Lisa Dunnivant, RN.  There’s no question that the realm of pain management is a delicate one – and there is no team better suited to take on that challenge than Special Procedures, working harmoniously to bring relief and a renewed sense of livelihood for every patient they serve.  “Some people believe pain management is just all about pills, and that is simply not true,” said Carrie Crow. “Our procedures are yet another way to help them manage their pain and find relief.”

    Read More About Department Spotlight: Special Procedures

    • Renown Health Foundation
    • Employees
    • Donation
    • Professionals

    Department Spotlight: Renown Health Foundation

    Kick off 2024 with us as we celebrate the team behind our very own Renown Health Foundation!  When you visit Renown Health, you take a look around and can’t help but notice the robust programs in place. You look left and see our thriving Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at Renown, making a lasting impact on pediatric healthcare in our region. You look right and see the advanced William N. Pennington Cancer Institute, providing leading-edge treatments right here in our community. You look around you and notice an influx of smiling nurses from the Orvis School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) who receive tuition assistance, thanks to generous donations to the Gerald “Jerry” Smith Academic Practice Partnership. Then, you think to yourself: “These programs must need a lot of money and support. So, how on earth is this all possible?”  What you may not know is that these programs are funded by the generosity of our community, all made possible by the work of Renown Health Foundation. As the largest not-for-profit health system in northern Nevada, our mission to make a genuine difference in the health and well-being of everyone we serve flourishes because of the donations, sponsorships, endowments and more that our Foundation brings in from philanthropists all over the region.  Making It Happen  The reach of Renown Health Foundation has proven to be virtually limitless, with a clear focus on supporting and raising funds for programs and initiatives that enhance the lives of our patients and their families, all for the betterment of our community for years to come.  Under their growing umbrella, the dedicated team at the Foundation makes miracles happen through administering a wide range of philanthropic programs, including: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH), a nonprofit organization that supports the health of 10 million children in the U.S. and Canada every year. Renown Children’s Hospital is proudly recognized as a member of CMNH. Gerald "Jerry" Smith Academic Practice Partnership, a partnership between Renown Health and the UNR Orvis School of Nursing to provide 24 nursing students a year with full-ride tuition assistance and a guaranteed career in nursing at Renown. Fianna’s Healing Garden, a healing garden bringing serenity to all at Renown Regional Medical Center, built from the vision of Fianna Dickson Combs. Miracles at Montreux Golf Tournament, an annual golf tournament that takes place at Montreux Golf & Country Club and consistently raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for Renown Children’s Hospital. A full slate of individual giving programs, including Legacy Giving, Employee Giving and Leadership Giving.  But it doesn’t stop there – the Foundation is helping our health system build more ways to care for our community by securing major gifts to fund advanced healthcare facilities and innovative healthcare solutions:  William N. Pennington Cancer Institute, the premier oncology institute in the region providing a large array of personalized cancer care services, including Medical Oncology, Infusion Services, Clinical Research and more. Renown Institute for Robotic Surgery, offering the latest advancements in surgical technology with robotic-assisted surgeries, which ensure precision, faster recovery and improved outcomes. Sophie’s Place, a state-of-the-art music therapy room currently in construction at Renown Children’s Hospital. This new space will be specially designed for children and their loved ones to enjoy the healing power of music and engage in the arts. Conrad Breast Center, the latest addition to the planned Specialty Care Center at Renown South Meadows Medical Center which will include breast imaging, infusion and surgery services along with a wellness center. Jeanne and Raymond Conrad donated a $5 million lead gift to support this important project and the Foundation team is currently working to raise an additional $6 million in 2024. It may go without saying that a day-in-the-life of these spirited team members is never a dull one. Every day brings on a new challenge to face and a goal to meet.  “A day at the Foundation is a day full of emails, calls and visits with friends of Renown,” said Abbey Stephenson, Planned Giving Officer. “Our main goal is to raise funds to support the mission of Renown, and most of our outreach efforts are to encourage philanthropy and donations. We have a very collaborative team, so we can often be found in each other’s offices strategizing about fundraising initiatives, communications and next steps with specific supporters.”  “For me, a typical day involves making sure I have a donor scheduled for coffee or lunch, working on proposals that may need research and preparing presentations,” added Jerry Cail, Major Gifts Officer. “Staying connected, I send thank you notes for any donations-usually once a week and make at least three ‘Grateful Patient’ calls to set appointments. I always make sure I am ready to contribute to any meetings I have for the Foundation."  While the scope of the Foundation’s charitable efforts goes beyond hospital walls, they also thrive right here in our own health system. Through our Grants Program, Renown’s departments and programs can leverage the connections and skills Renown Health Foundation has in order to secure funding from a multitude of grant sources.  "Grant funds from foundations, and local, state and federal governments benefit the patients and communities we serve to further our mission, vision and values,” said Pam Citrynell, Development Officer. “Past grants have supported the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment, facility development, pandemic recovery, research and clinical trials, physician and researcher recruitment, community health programs and educational training for our healthcare professionals.”  Every Foundation team member lives their passion every day while at work, frequently expressing gratitude for the immense impact they have the opportunity to make.  “I love coming to work because I get a very real opportunity to make a genuine difference and meet some fantastic people who believe in and support our mission,” said Leah Nelson, Director of Community Giving. “I have had the honor of meeting donors and the families they support. I couldn't be prouder of what our team has accomplished over the years and am excited for what is to come.”  The impact of the Foundation team’s tireless efforts extends far into the future, securing Renown’s lasting legacy in contributing to the continued health and well-being of our community.  “Philanthropy is not only a financial science but a very specific methodology where connecting resources are paramount; it requires careful intelligent management coupled with lots of hard work, patience, and vision,” said Yvonne Murphy, Development Officer. “The work that the foundation does every day makes resources available to enhance the healthcare experience for all those who seek care at Renown. Our work impacts not only this present moment but in fact is a legacy that will bless this community beyond our lifetime.”

    Read More About Department Spotlight: Renown Health Foundation

    • Employees
    • Nursing
    • Safety

    Department Spotlight: Float Pool

    Ring in the New Year and the rest of the holiday season by celebrating Renown’s Float Pool team!  After coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no mystery that healthcare across the country has shifted and adapted to the growing needs and new demands of our patient populations. Renown Health is no different. As the largest not-for-profit health system in the region, we are no stranger to change, even when change presents challenges. Who do we call on when a unit needs more team members in the eleventh hour? Who can help when our patient volume spikes up with seconds to spare?  This is where the Float Pool at Renown comes to the rescue. Skilled in a wide variety of healthcare specialties, from acute care nursing and critical care to care aiding and patient safety, this is the team that can seamlessly step in to provide crucial patient care to the units that need it most, whether a team is understaffed for the day or needs extra all-hands-on-deck for a specific patient or procedure. Float Pool team members are equipped to work in virtually any clinical area at Renown, making a genuine difference with every patient they encounter.  A Pool of Relief Teams across Renown can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Float Pool has their back in times of need. As the backbone of our health system, these dedicated team members possess a wealth of clinical knowledge and the ability to navigate diverse medical environments. Their flexibility allows them to fill staffing gaps and provide essential support to many different units.  “We fill in the gaps of staffing to make everyone's day better,” said Patti Crepps, Critical Care Float Pool RN. “A float nurse has to be flexible and able to adapt to different situations and places – basically, ‘go with the flow.’ Patient care is basically the same all over; we make patient care possible by being familiar with all the various specialties and providing the specific care needed depending on the population we are taking care of on that shift.”  “Float Pool staff members are like healthcare chameleons, transitioning between different departments,” added Shelby Riach, Acute Float Pool RN. “We incorporate flexibility, teamwork and a commitment to ensuring patients receive the best care, regardless of the setting or circumstances.”  This team thrives in uncertainty; in fact, no workday is the same in Float Pool – and that’s exactly the way they like it. Working with many different teams across a multitude of specialties, these Care Aides, RNs, Critical Care Techs, Patient Safety Assistants (PSAs), Certified Nurses Assistants (CNAs) and more enjoy facing change, while they all share a goal of providing the best patient care possible.  “No day looks the same; since we are the Float Pool, we are assigned a different assignment on Smart Square every day, whether it be as a care aide, a patient safety assistant, a unit clerk or patient transport,” said Melina Castenada, Care Aide. “If we are assigned as a care aide on the floor, we help assist with call lights and help with whatever nurses and CNAs may need, including feeding, transporting, walking, helping patients use the restroom, etc. When we are assigned as a PSA ‘sitter,’ we sit for the patient to help keep them safe. If we are assigned as unit clerk, we help answer phones and direct patients appropriately, file paperwork, answer call lights if needed and assist with office work.”  “I love that every day is a different floor with different tasks and a different atmosphere,” added Julia Chappell, Critical Care Technician. “I find out which floor that I will be on right before my shift starts and head to the floor to find out my assignment for the day. Depending on the specialty, such as the medical-surgical floor versus an intensive care unit (ICU), my daily job tasks can vary.”  When it comes to high-risk patients, who require special attention, PSAs within Float Pool step in to help.  “The PSA role within Float Pool largely consists of adverse event prevention for our high-risk patients, and being a Float Pool employee allows us to work wherever we are needed,” said Dimitri Macouin, Patient Safety Assistant. “Whether it be in the emergency department, neurology or pediatrics, the PSA will be the eyes and ears for the nurses working with this patient population.”  “Great strides have been made to ensure that PSAs remain vigilant and are recognized as an integral part of the patients' care team rather than 'just a sitter,’” added Karla Phillips, Patient Safety Assistant.  Float Pool also oversees our Discharge Lounge, which offers patients and their families a dedicated space to reconnect and prepare for their discharge from the hospital.  “The increase in utilization of the Discharge Lounge is something we are very proud of,” said Kara Abshier, Care Aide. “We assist in discharging patients from all over the hospital to help the floor and get new patients into rooms.”  Every day brings a new challenge for Float Pool. As these team members wake up with uncertainty, they are ready to embrace the diverse demands of caring for patients of all ages.  “The fact that Float Pool exists is amazing,” said Hannah Luccshesi, Acute Float Pool RN. “We wake up with no clue as to whether we will be working with babies, children or adults and then fill in the needs of the hospital.”

    Read More About Department Spotlight: Float Pool

    • Kid's Health
    • Pediatric Oncology
    • Employees
    • Cancer Care
    • Pediatric Care

    Department Spotlight: Children’s Infusion Services

    Help us celebrate the holiday season by sharing joy with our Children’s Infusion Services team!  Thinking about blood can make any of us squeamish, and seeing it can be even more intimidating to the children in our lives. Being treated for a condition that requires blood transfusions or chemotherapy infusions is no easy feat, especially during the holiday season. This time of year, we are proud that we can offer our pediatric patients the power of proximity and excellence by having access to high level care close to home.  The Children’s Infusion Services (CIS) department at Renown Children’s Hospital is committed to bringing the gift of quality care to our community’s youngest patients. Whether they are caring for a child with a blood disorder or giving expert infusion care for a child battling cancer, no team does what they do better than these expert nurses, medical assistants, intake coordinators and physicians.  ‘Tis the Season to Bring Hope As the only pediatric oncology and hematology program in the region, the CIS department has a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. From inpatient chemotherapy to outpatient infusion services, this team treats a long list of pediatric blood conditions including:  Pediatric cancers Anemias Immune-mediated blood disorders Sickle-cell disease Bone marrow failure syndromes Bleeding disorders  “Our team provides a large variety of services from labs draws, sedations for procedures, infusions for diagnoses such as Crohn's disease, blood transfusions, as well as chemotherapy,” said Jen Torres, RN.  “Our team works extremely well together. We try to go above and beyond for our patients every day. It may be something as simple as a hug to comfort a parent or a special birthday gift for a patient.”  “My job allows me to work with several departments and providers when coordinating care for our littlest of patients,” added Jane Strawn, Intake Coordinator. “I assure proper authorizations are in place for the care that is needed, I communicate with our families when scheduling appointments, I organize End of Treatment Celebrations, as well as birthday shout outs and work closely with our Child Life team to help make the challenging appointment little easier.”  To best serve their patients, the team thrives on being expert multitaskers. Central line care, chemotherapy administration, blood transfusions, medication management, preventative injections, lab draws, lumbar punctures, biopsies, imaging – you name it, they do it. And they do it all with the utmost focus on safety and support.  “Our days have a lot of variation, as we perform a number of different services,” said Meagan Bertotti, RN. “We provide infusions for patients with chronic or acute medical conditions and chemotherapy/biotherapy treatment to patients undergoing cancer treatments. Overall, though, we work as a team to make these difficult procedures and treatments as easy as possible for the patients and families by providing engagement and support.”  “While we handle a lot of chemotherapy treatments for pediatric patients, we also do other infusions and transfusions as well such as blood and platelet transfusions, enzyme replacement therapies, different types of injections such as Rabies vaccine or Synagis for high-risk babies who need that extra protection during the RSV season, and lab draws,” said Chelsea Angues, RN. “We care for patients that get their therapies from outside hospitals, but the patient lives within the Reno area. We receive orders from those outside hospitals to care for those patients, so they can still be with their families and not have to travel.”  As members of the Children’s Oncology Group, a highly-regarded clinical trials group where over 90% of pediatric cancer patients across the U.S. receive treatment, teams like CIS in Renown Children’s Hospital deliver the highest standard of care. This partnership is a true testament to the devoted collaboration and relationship-building this team commits to on behalf of their patients every day.  "One of the biggest accomplishments of our team is the fact that we became a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, and the Children's Infusion Center and Pediatric Oncology became one unit,” said Shelby Nolte. "Instead of being a clinic on one side and an infusion center on the other, we really came together to make it a whole unit that collaborates on almost everything.”  “We've put much time into trying to understand other departments, their flow, their rationales and their processes so we can come to a solution that benefits our patients the greatest,” added Tiffany Macie, RN. “We've taken the last few years to really build our relationships with our pharmacy staff, our lab staff and our central supply resources. Our relationship building extends beyond the walls of the Renown building as well and out to the community providers too. In the past few years, we've been able to build relationships with the providers in the community where they trust they can send us their patients for treatment and lab draws. Finally, we've spent much time working on the relationships as a team. It's emotional work we do on our unit, and these families become our family. It's important to us that we take the time to be together outside of our shifts to enjoy one another and laugh!”  In the compassionate realm of pediatric healthcare, CIS knows that the complexities of a cancer or blood disorder diagnosis can take an emotional toll on their patients and families. The team firmly believes that emotional support can be as important as the physical and medical support throughout each patient’s unique care journey, striving to be a comforting presence during daunting times.  “The most important part of my day is collaborating with the Children's Infusion team to make life manageable for the families that are going through this experience,” added Shelby Nolte, Senior Medical Assistant. “We work as a team to make life easier for the blow of a cancer diagnosis.  We are there for our families in every way.  If they need a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen or just someone to play cards with or tell a funny story too, we are there.”  “One of the things our team does extremely well to help our patients and their families with new diagnoses is to simply meet them where they are,” said Tiffany Macie. “That looks different for every family and every patient. We work in an environment where can build relationships with our patients and their families. This allows us the unique opportunity to really get to know them. We learn their fears, their joys, their worries, what their family lives are like, and we learn how to best meet them where they are.”  Transcending the conventional boundaries of care, the CIS department closely supports each patient, offering them solace tailored to the unique fabric of each family's life.

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    • Employee Story
    • Nursing
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    • Employees

    20 Years of Compassion and Dedication

    When you meet Poeth Kilonzo, Director of Oncology Nursing at Renown Health, you are immediately greeted with a warm smile that puts your mind at ease. Within the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute, Poeth enjoys a strong reputation among her employees and patients as someone they can always rely on, no matter how rough the tides may flow.   As an incredibly humble oncology professional, you may not realize that behind that smile is the power of a best-in-class nurse and leader holding a 20+ year career of diverse nursing experience and leadership excellence – dedicating the majority of her service to Renown Health.  Join us as we dive into Poeth’s unique journey through Renown.  Finding Her Passion  Ever since she could remember, Poeth has been a “people person.” Above all else, she cared for people – and she cared a lot. What better place for her to be than healthcare?  After moving to northern Nevada from Kenya, she began working in private patient care working with home health and dementia patients while taking classes at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in 2000. One day, a patient asked her a question that would change the course of her career journey: Did you ever think about becoming a nurse?  Driven by not only the words of encouragement of her patients and supervisors in home health but also the rallying support from her family and friends, including her husband and high school friend, who both have decades of experience interacting with nurses in healthcare (with her husband spending many of those years at Renown), Poeth knew this was the path she was meant to take.  “That was it; it was like a light switch had flipped,” said Poeth. “I switched to nursing overnight.”  According to Poeth, TMCC’s nursing program offered her an incredibly supportive environment, which was especially important as she was a young mom at the time. Working in healthcare, going to nursing school and raising a family all at the same time is no easy task, but to Poeth, this was her calling.  “Regardless of my path, I knew I wanted to be a nurse that was close to patients, sitting with them and holding their hand throughout their treatment,” said Poeth.  During nursing school, Poeth completed clinicals at several hospitals in Reno – three of them were at Renown Health (known as Washoe Medical Center at the time). What immediately stood out to her was the passion of the pediatrics unit, especially in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).  “While I knew that pediatrics wasn’t going to be my arena, some of the best times in my life were during my pediatrics clinical,” said Poeth. “It opened me up to how welcoming Renown is.”  While doing her rotations, nursing leaders helped Poeth and her fellow classmates discover Renown’s Nurse Apprentice program, an apprenticeship designed exclusively for local northern Nevada nursing students. One of those leaders asked her, “have you considered doing a rotation in oncology?”  And another light switch flipped.  “Bingo. I am becoming an oncology nurse apprentice,” Poeth recalls. And that’s exactly what she did.   After her four-month apprenticeship ended in February 2002, she walked into her interview with Joanna Gold, who would end up being her supervisor and one of her greatest mentors until she passed away in recent years. With her experience and enthusiastic spirit on her side, Poeth fervently expressed her passion and interest in working in oncology. And Joanna saw all of that and more.  In June 2002, Poeth was presented with a two-year oncology RN contract, which she easily signed – however, she knew right then and there but she was not going anywhere. Renown was her home, and oncology ignited the fire within her.  “The nurses in this unit are part of what kept me here,” Poeth remembers. “These nurses would really do anything for their patients. The commitment and love they all had for one another truly was like family. It inspired me to learn more and give even better care to my patients."  To Poeth, it didn’t feel like she was coming to work just to do a job – she was following her dreams.  “You don’t think about the work you do; you think about the service,” said Poeth.  From there, Poeth spent three years on the floor as an oncology RN and became a night shift supervisor in 2005. She was thriving.  But this part of her journey was only the beginning.  When Opportunity Arises, Take It  In March 2007, Poeth and her husband welcomed their third child – and for her, working a day shift position would serve her the best at her current stage of life. This revelation led her down to Renown South Meadows Medical Center, where she became a staff nurse in Medical Telemetry.  It was in the telemetry unit where Poeth contributed to one of the largest digital transformations Renown would ever go through: transitioning from paper records to electronic records on EPIC.  From there, Poeth was inspired to get back into leadership in 2012 as the Supervisor of Clinical Nursing overseeing nurses, clinical outcomes and payroll in the medical/telemetry unit and intensive care unit (ICU). The timing of her leadership role lined up perfectly with her decision to take her skills to the next level, achieving a bachelor’s degree from Nevada State College in 2016. The timing of her degree lined up perfectly with what was about to come; she embarked on her first leadership role at Renown  This is where she would happily stay for 11 years, eventually becoming the Manager of Nursing in telemetry and the ICU, noting that Renown South Meadows felt like a second home to her.  “I wore many hats at South Meadows,” Poeth recalls. “From piloting back coding and handling compliance work to being on the patient floor and heading up South Meadows’ first high school hospital volunteer program, I got very involved. We had seven years without having a single nurse traveler in our unit."  It wasn’t long before Poeth was inspired to expand her education even further, and she graduated in January 2018 with a master’s degree in nursing clinical leadership from Western Governors University. Thanks to Renown’s educational assistance programs, our health system invested directly in Poeth’s education with tuition reimbursement and a $1,000 nursing scholarship.  Soon after celebrating her achievement, Jennifer Allen Fleiner – who was the Director of Nursing at Renown South Meadows at the time – asked Poeth yet another question that would bring her to the precipice of another career detour: “Have you ever considered transferring from South Meadows to Renown Regional?”   Moments later, Alicia Glassco, Director of Nursing for Renown Regional, asked her the same question, noting that the hospital’s neurosurgery unit needed the leadership of someone just like Poeth.  “It took me a whole week to make a decision, because this was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” said Poeth. “I truly loved South Meadows. After that week, my leader told me, ‘you know what, Poeth? You’ve reached your pinnacle. You need and deserve a new challenge. Learn from this new team and teach them something. I think you have a huge opportunity for growth.”  So, Poeth decided to apply for the position and shadow the neurosurgery team, where unlike her unit, the majority of the team at the time were travelers. But this was a challenge Poeth was up to – so she was accepted into the role.  “At the end of the day, these patients deserved consistent care,” Poeth emphasized. “I knew I had to take this position for the patients – they were the ones who sold me on this job. They are the reason why we are all here. It was important for me to be an advocate for them.”  The big hills to climb didn’t slow down Poeth; in fact, the exact opposite happened. Within her first year in the neurosurgery unit, her team onboarded 18 new graduates and replaced travelers.  “We were hiring like crazy,” said Poeth. “My standing agenda at all section meetings focused on hiring and our quality metrics. I started having a relationship with our doctors. Once we created a strong doctor/nurse collaboration, our nurses started staying with us longer.”  Everything on the unit was going great.  Then, COVID-19 hit.   “Since we had private patient rooms, our unit became the first COVID unit at Renown Regional,” Poeth recalls. “My whole staff that I had built up had to be distributed elsewhere. I started caring for COVID patients. We relied on our Infection Prevention team a lot. And at the same time, I was worried about my family in Africa.”  Despite the stressful nature that the pandemic brought upon health systems everywhere, according to Poeth, she knew she had to continue on.  “The neurosurgery team ended up merging with orthopedic trauma, which was very difficult,” said Poeth. “We went from 28 beds to 58 beds. The key to success here was training. Nurses are very resilient, and through training, we were able to stabilize the unit.”  Noticing the opportunity for virtual demonstrations that were previously offered only in-person, Poeth spearheaded online trainings for nursing, physical therapy, mobility, head injuries and more, allowing teams across Renown to upskill in safe spaces.  These programs continued throughout the pandemic, and Poeth was proud to be a figurehead through it all, helping to stabilize the unit while creating strong relationships with the entire team, many of whom followed her from Renown South Meadows to Renown Regional.  Then, she gets another visitor – her Chief Nursing Executive – in her office with yet another opportunity.  Have You Considered...  In September 2022, Chief Nursing Executive Melodie Osborn walked into Poeth’s office with those three words that Poeth has heard for decades: “Have you considered...”  “Before Melodie could even finish, I thought, ‘I have considered A LOT in my career!’” said Poeth.  Melodie told Poeth that the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute was looking for a Director of Oncology Nursing, noting that this could be yet another growth opportunity for her and a chance for her to go back to her roots.  “I had just celebrated my twentieth year at Renown; I knew this was going to be a decision I really had to think about,” said Poeth. “Everyone believed in me. Alicia Glassco told me, ‘Poeth, you are ready for this. Go for it.’ Once I applied for the position and started getting my updated chemotherapy certifications, I thought, ‘they are right; I got this.’”  At this point in her career, Poeth had been hyper-focused on inpatient care, and this role would be her first time caring for patients in the outpatient setting. After going through the interview process, however, Poeth knew that this was where she was meant to be yet again – and colleagues she hadn’t seen in years reaffirmed that commitment.  “I felt the most excited about the job when I toured the facility,” Poeth recalls. “I’ll never forget what one of the infusion nurses told me on my tour. She told me, ‘I don’t know if you remember me, but I remember you; I came from Renown South Meadows, and you were so nice to me as I was precepting as a new nurse. Your kindness was unforgettable to me.’ The fact that people like her wanted me in the unit so badly inspired me to come back.”  Soon enough, Poeth became the Director of Oncology Nursing, a position she still proudly holds to this day. Once she was hired, she immediately went into deep learning mode, mastering skills such as revenue integrity, credentialing and the insurance process. She attributes Supervisor of Infusion Kaitlin Hildebrand and Director of Radiation Oncology Services Susan Cox for helping her succeed.  Shortly after assuming the position, Poeth noticed yet another opportunity for cross-training within the organization to combat short staffing – training nurses from the Float Pool to care for patients in Infusion Services.  “Between May and July of this year, we trained six nurses from Float Pool to do infusion therapy services, which offered so much relief to my team; I am so thankful to Rendee Perry, the Manager of Nursing in our Float Pool unit, and her team for their support,” said Poeth. “My mission in outpatient oncology is to serve the staff and patient population and create those strong relationships."  Poeth's efforts to circumvent nurse burnout go beyond cross-training – as a director, she is always there for her team members no matter what, leading with kindness every step of the way.  “I never miss a 7:45 a.m. huddle unless I am in a ‘cannot miss’ commitment; I want my employees to always know that I am there for them and that they are cared for both on and off the job,” Poeth emphasizes. “I want them to feel like they are valued, their families are valued and their mental health is valued; after all, without my team, we cannot care for patients. It’s important for them to know that I am here to be a security blanket and that there is always something we can do to solve a problem."  Today, Poeth enjoys a full team of core Renown staff members whom patients look forward to seeing – and the high patient satisfaction scores to prove it.  “Our team is so established that patients feel comfort in knowing they are always going to know exactly who they are being treated by,” said Poeth. “We will always work to maintain that consistency.”  Staying True to the Mission  Renown’s mission of making a genuine difference in the health and well-being of our community resonates closely with Poeth. Before she arrives at the infusion unit every day, she asks herself: What can I do to make it easier for my team to deliver care?  “It takes a village to deliver the care we do,” said Poeth. “Our nurses are priceless. You can’t place a monetary value on dealing with life and death every day. This is what inspires me. It’s all about helping each other out and keeping those relationships strong.”  Maintaining those relationships on the floor, according to Poeth, requires one main ingredient: work-life balance.  “I want my nurses to be able to balance sending their kids to kindergarten and giving their patients their first chemotherapy treatments,” Poeth emphasizes. “I genuinely care about their lives. It’s nice when you get to know your team’s children, grandkids, spouse and hobbies. I’m grateful that Renown has given us the autonomy to foster that flexible environment within our teams. It is so rewarding to have such a strong impact on these employees.”  To Poeth, it’s all about doing and then duplicating. Luckily for her team and infusion patients in northern Nevada, a new infusion center at Renown South Meadows is planned to open in the coming years as part of our commitment to expanding care. Her team is excited to grow their expertise down to south Reno – Poeth's original home hospital.  “I strongly believe that as nurses, we are meant to be where we are meant to be at the time,” said Poeth. “Be kind to yourself and remember your ‘why.’ Take advantage of the opportunity you have.”  To all nurses (and future nurses) out there, Poeth wants you to know that you are welcomed and valued. You are saving lives every day, and to her, that is worth everything.  “Always remain focused, even throughout all the challenges. Never forget why you got into nursing. And lastly, always stay true to your own mission,” closes Poeth.

    Read More About 20 Years of Compassion and Dedication

    • Renown Health Foundation
    • Renown Health
    • Donation
    • Employees

    A Token of Appreciation: Renown’s Employee Giving Program

    Pictured above from left to right: Jessica Bajwa, Nancy Bell, Laurie Goodman and Troy Fernandez As we approach the holidays and the season of giving, we reflect on the generosity and kindness that our employees here at Renown embody. Since 2007, Renown employees have donated $2,931,018 through Renown’s Employee Giving Program. This program provides our staff with the opportunity to make a difference by funding advanced equipment, research, community health initiatives, professional training and more. Regardless of the dollar amount, every contribution has a meaningful impact and remains entirely within Renown to support our mission. Employees can participate in the program at any time of the year by signing up for recurring payroll deductions or by making a one-time donation of any dollar amount. They can donate to one of Renown’s top priority areas of support or a different fund of their choice.  Meet Jessica, Nancy, Laurie and Troy  Renown employees Jessica Bajwa, Nancy Bell, Laurie Goodman and Troy Fernandez all have their own reasons for participating in the Employee Giving Program, but they all share the same goal: To give back to their community. Jessica Bajwa has been working at Renown for about seven years. She was at an employee event five years ago and found out about the Employee Giving Program through Renown Health Foundation. They explained the different areas she could donate to and how to get signed up. When Jessica looked back on the comforting care and healing her daughter had received at Renown Children’s Hospital, she felt empowered to give back to other children and families staying at Renown, so she enrolled in recurring payroll deductions to donate to Healing Arts. “It’s so easy and convenient to sign up,” said Jessica. “It means a lot to me to give to this area where they provide a healing environment, especially for patients and families at Renown Children’s Hospital – My daughter still has a blanket they gave her when she was there,” Jessica said she likes that the Employee Giving Program allows employees to choose their area of support to donate to and donation amount.   Nancy Bell said she’s proud to give back to Renown after having received a great amount of support from her coworkers during an incredibly difficult time when a family member of hers was being cared for in Renown’s ICU, just three weeks into her employment at Renown. “I had employees from not just my team but also across the organization reaching out to me and checking in to see how I was doing,” said Nancy. Nancy said she was positively impacted by that kind of support through her work family at Renown and decided to start giving back in 2011 by signing up for recurring payroll deductions to donate to the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute – to this day, she is still making donations to this area of support.   When Laurie Goodman began working at Renown in 2013, Renown’s Human Resources team offered her different ways to give back as an employee. “At the time, I was often caring for foster children and seniors,” said Laurie. “My family and I have always wanted to help others in need.” Laurie had been taking care of an elderly woman who was a patient at the old Renown Skilled Nursing Facility and decided to enroll in payroll deductions to donate to this facility. When that facility closed, she received a letter asking which area she wanted to transfer her donations to, and she decided to begin donating to Renown Children’s Hospital to give back to kids in the community. “I’m fortunate for not only my employment at Renown, but my husband’s and daughter’s employment as well. As employees of Renown, we have such great jobs, benefits and opportunities, and I think we should all strive to give back to express our gratitude and appreciation.”  At his employee orientation in 2012, Troy Fernandez heard about Renown’s Employee Giving Program and learned that funds were needed for individuals who needed financial support to pay for healthcare services at Renown. He knew his donations would go to a good cause and signed up for recurring payroll deductions to donate to the Greatest Need Fund. “It feels good to be able to give back to those who are less fortunate than us,” said Troy. “It was very easy to enroll in this program, and I’ve been donating to the same support area ever since.”

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    • Employees
    • Professionals
    • Renown Health

    Department Spotlight: Marketing and Communications

    Nov. 12-18 is Health Care Strategy & Market Development Week. Please join us in celebrating the Marketing and Communications team at Renown Health!  When you think of the brand of Renown Health, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think about our Fight the Good Fight motto that you see integrated throughout our commercials and advertisements. Or maybe your mind drifts to our signature purple that you saw on a print design or social media post. You may even think of a local news story that showcases the essence of who we are as an organization. Or you may gravitate toward the look and feel of our patient-friendly website. Managing the brand of our health system is crucial as patients look to Renown to be the voice of not-for-profit healthcare – and it takes a wide range of expertise to solidify that voice.  The masters of our voice can be found within Renown’s Marketing and Communications (“MarComm”) team. From branding and business-to-business to content and community relations, this robust department is the minds behind our reputation within the communities we serve. This team is chock-full of expert writers, speakers, designers and marketers who craft positive and memorable communications that lead to a lifetime of patient and employee loyalty.  The Connoisseurs of Communicating  As the keyholders of Renown’s brand position and promise, our MarComm team are experts at ensuring the community at large remembers precisely who Renown is and what our health system stands for. This all-hands-on-deck department encompasses a wide variety of talents:  Marketing and creative services: Traditional and digital advertising, brand templates and collateral and brand image and awareness Communication and public relations: Employee and provider communications, intranet management, social media, media relations, photography and videography, community relations, crisis communications and strategic planning and advisement Digital specializations: Website and microsites, email marketing, customer journey mapping, blogs and chatbots  Our Marketing and Creative Services team members are the ultimate dreamers, starting diverse campaigns from the ground up.  “In marketing and creative services, we are always dreaming up something new,” said Emily MacMillan, Manager of Marketing & Creative Services. “Between our brand advertising, to service line campaigns to external partnerships, you can always find our team working on a marketing plan and creating ads, content, messaging, videos, graphics, emails, photoshoots and more.”  “From Fight the Good Fight brand work to a service line promotion or a sponsorship creative package, the variety of projects my role allows me to bring to life for Renown is almost endless,” added Chad Norton, Senior Creative Specialist. “That can make every day at my job nothing like the day before – which keeps things interesting and my creativity flowing.”  For all things storytelling and public image management, Renown looks to the Communications team for expert guidance.  “As the Manager of Communications, I get to lead the most talented group of professionals I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Caroline Ackerman, Manager of Communications & Public Affairs. “Sometimes there is an urgent matter to tend to, and we drop everything to support larger-scale communications. Other days, we get last-minute requests from our local media partners for TV interviews. On top of that, the communications team supports event planning and employee recognition. It’s so fun to work in this hybrid space where we can get our work done from home while also being present at meaningful Renown events.”  At Renown, we believe our external image is just as vital as our internal culture. Keeping our employees informed and engaged every step of the way is of utmost importance to MarComm.  “While most of our department supports projects that focus on our patients, guests and visitors, our employee communications team supports internal clients (our employees),” said Dani Vogel, Communications Business Partner. “Therefore, I spend a good portion of my time working with internal departments and service lines to deliver important communications across the organization using a variety of channels. In a nutshell, my day starts with the question, ‘what do our employees need to know today?’ We get to work with so many amazing internal teams.”  “I internally project manage some of the marketing campaigns, from open enrollment to our annual report, and each project is different and requires its own approach,” added Colleen McLellan, Senior Production Specialist. “I create the framework for each project, such as establishing a kickoff and ongoing meeting cadence during the project, ensuring we track lessons learned and decisions made for each, create the folder structure in Sharepoint, and opening a project and maintaining the tasks and deadlines in Workfront. I am also often part of a quality circle, proofing ads and other materials created as part of a campaign. As with all of my colleagues in MarComm, we are often resources for where to learn more or find information for other departments.”  “One of my roles is to maintain the Brand HQ site and review approval requests,” added Aurora Boles, Creative Services Specialist. “I enjoy hopping on Teams calls to assist our employees with their questions about the site or templates.”  Maintaining a high standard of digital excellence comes easy for the Marketing Technology team, who manage the complexities of Renown’s digital front door – starting with our website.  “Think about how many health service lines Renown has to offer; now, let's create an organized set of pages for that specific service line on Renown.org – that a lot of pages!” said Sarah LaBarge, Digital Specialist. “It takes time to curate the layout, work with providers and the Communications team to ensure the content is correct and create components and images for the page to give the user the best digital experience while continually updating and maintaining all our pages. We don't just have Renown.org; we have many other microsites that we maintain as well. It is a nice challenge to make both our team and users happy and have a good experience.” "The user experience is always at the forefront of whatever I do," added Tori Bowlin, Digital Content Editor. "When writing health blogs, emails, or health service web content, it's essential to attribute the information to one of our outstanding providers and link the post to a Renown Health Service or reputable source. A thoughtful workflow helps our customers make informed decisions regarding their health and well-being." As a not-for-profit health system, Renown reinvests right back into the community we serve. Our Community Benefit team serves as the overseers of this promise, ensuring our local non-profits that share our mission are able to deliver on their own goals.  “I absolutely love the role of community impact and partnership liaison and the opportunity it provides to work with so many wonderful local nonprofits,” said Melissa Dahir, Community Benefit Liaison. “Our local community is filled with so many organizations designed to help those in need, and it is an honor to be contributing to and supporting the work these amazing groups do. My work with this department involves partnering with nonprofit organizations by providing funding for program support through groups identified in our Community Health Needs Assessment, and providing grants for traditional events such as community walks, golf tournaments, dinners, galas and more.”  The MarComm team’s paramount focus on maintaining a caring and collaborative culture stems from the impact they have on patients' lives and the crucial trust placed in the organization. For this team, no project to benefit the health and well-being of Renown’s patients is too big nor too small.  “As someone holding a core leadership position on this team, I can see firsthand that our team is all about culture and retention,” said Cristal Woodley, Senior Director of Marketing, Communications and Customer Engagement. “At the end of the day, we have an impact on patients’ lives and trust in the organization. I’ve surrounded myself with such smart people.”

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    • Employees
    • X-Ray and Imaging
    • Careers

    Department Spotlight: Interventional Radiology

    National Radiologic Technology Week is from Nov. 5-11, 2023. Join us in celebrating Renown's Interventional Radiology department!Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who is told that they have a massive blood clot in their lung, someone who needs a biopsy to determine the next steps of their care, someone facing a stroke or brain aneurysm or someone who needs a catheter to receive treatment such as chemotherapy. You may immediately think that an intense and intimidating surgery is on the horizon. What if, instead of surgery, your care teams were able to use the necessary tools to treat your blockage or administer your medicine with an image-guided procedure?  That’s precisely what the Interventional Radiology (IR) team at Renown Health does. Behind the doors of this department is where you’ll find a team of highly skilled individuals who operate like a well-oiled machine, ensuring that each procedure is executed with precision and care. Their commitment to excellence knows no bounds as they provide essential interventions to patients of all ages, from the tiniest newborns to the elderly. Their mission extends beyond diagnostic and therapeutic procedures; they are experts in understanding and serving the ever-evolving needs of their patients.  Minimally Invasive, Maximally Impactful  With their advanced expertise, our IR teams at both Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center harness the power of X-ray, CT and ultrasound technologies to navigate their way through life-saving minimally invasive procedures, such as thrombectomies, angioplasties, stent placements, embolizations, catheter and drain insertions and needle biopsies. In the world of medicine, Interventional Radiology often offers an alternative to traditional surgical methods, reducing the risk of hospitalization and helping patients embrace recovery more quickly.  Our IR teams have a diverse and busy daily work life in order to make these complex and life-saving interventions happen – and they all have each other’s backs to ensure that every patient gets the care they deserve.  “Every day is different, and no two days are alike,” said Ryan Nunes, Specialty Procedure IR Technologist at Renown Regional. “The day can start off first thing in the morning with several emergent cases, such as ruptured brain aneurysms to brain blockages. We all work really well together; we help each other out and come together to do things as a team.”   Like every other team at Renown, patient well-being is always a number one priority. The IR department takes this commitment seriously, upholding the highest standards of ethics and safety.  “We start the day by preparing rooms and making sure they are well-stocked, checking that all devices are working, performing safety checks and making sure the entire team is well-prepared for whatever cases come through the door,” said Aubrey Goldsmith, Supervisor of Clinical Nursing in IR at Renown Regional. “We have routine cases like drain placements, biopsies, line placements and more, and we also have life-threatening cases that come at a moment’s notice. Our nurses are responsible for monitoring patients throughout the procedure to make sure they are doing well the entire time and are there to respond if the patient has a decline.”  "After completing the prior assessment of each patient, we look for any medical problems the patient may have before confirming it is safe for the patient to have procedure done,” said Brandon Hartwig, Interventional Radiology RN at Renown South Meadows. “We work closely with the physicians on all our cases while assessing each patient, going through labs and vitals and personalizing the procedure for each patient.”  Even though the procedures they oversee are minimally invasive, the IR team understands that any procedure, regardless of the severity, can be incredibly frightening for any patient. Their best tool for handling patient anxieties? Communication.  "The best thing we can do to reduce anxieties and fears in patients is to have communication with them to ensure they know what is going on and what to expect,” said Megan Rios, IR Technologist at Renown Regional. "We set clear expectations for the patients and give reassurance throughout the entire procedure.”  "All of our team members are very attentive to our patients when it comes to potential fears and anxieties that they may have,” added Jazmynn Kimsey, IR Technologist at Renown Regional. “We always take the extra time to listen to our patients and break things down, explaining every step before, during and after the procedure.”  Knowledge sharing is also a crucial part of the IR process. No patient will ever have to wonder, “what exactly is going on here?”  “We provide each patient with education and advocacy throughout the process,” said Blaire Henderson, Interventional Radiology RN at Renown Regional. “We ensure every patient is as comfortable as possible at all times.”  “When it comes to procedures, patients tend to be scared and nervous,” added Ryan Nunes. “The silver lining to what we do is that it is all done through very small openings of the skin, and we all explain this to patients. Most procedures we do are done under moderate sedation which helps put the patient more at ease.”  In a world where advanced medical care meets the human touch, the IR team exemplifies Renown’s commitment to making a genuine difference in the health and well-being of everyone they serve.

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    • Cancer Care
    • Employees
    • Nursing

    Department Spotlight: Infusion Services

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Join us in honoring our Chemotherapy & Infusion Services team at Renown Health!  Living life with a chronic condition is never easy – and the road to recovery can take many different turns. When it comes to a daunting diagnosis like cancer or a lifelong illness like multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis, chemotherapy, transfusions and IV medications are often significant parts of the puzzle. We’re proud to introduce our experts that provide that crucial puzzle piece.  The Chemotherapy & Infusion Services department at Renown Health is where compassionate care meets cutting-edge expertise. Proudly boasting a 100% patient satisfaction rate for 2023, this team – which encompasses nurses, physicians, pharmacists, dietitians, social workers, scheduling and insurance staff and financial counselors – embodies a profound dedication to healing while simultaneously empowering patients to face their diagnosis with resilience and hope.  Going Above and Beyond  The expertise within the Infusion Services team is unmatched in the region, offering education and treatment for a wide variety of illnesses, including:  Cancer Multiple sclerosis (MS) Anemia Osteoporosis Osteomyelitis Rheumatoid arthritis Genetic disorders Polycythemia vera  According to this team, it truly takes a village to deliver this expert care to all their patients.  “It's really impressive how many key players are involved in caring for our patients!” said Kaitlin Hildebrand, Supervisor of Infusion Services. “The process starts with our amazing Medical Oncology team or community providers referring patients to us. Our nurses are the absolute best advocates for our patients and are amazing at what they do; over half of us are Certified Oncology Nurses. We couldn’t do what we do without our CNAs or our pharmacy team as well; they are such valuable resources for us.”  “It is remarkable to think of the details that take place to ensure care for our patients,” added Amanda Thomas, Chemotherapy RN Specialist. “First, our incredible intake team schedules and obtains authorization, and the patient access representatives check in our patients. From there, our CNAs greet our patients, take their vital signs, ensure they have the proper nutrition and make sure they feel welcomed and comfortable with the process. Then, our chemotherapy specialist RN – which is my role – reviews treatments and coordinates with providers, personalizing care for each patient. In the background, the pharmacy specialists perform safety checks and medication preparation. And of course, our sincerely caring team of nurses assess, care and treat the patient while ensuring they feel educated, led by the charge nurse who supports the team doing safety verifications for all chemotherapies.”  Managing a diagnosis is more than medication – the hope and healing this team provides their patients is a huge aspect of each patient’s journey.  “We work together to take care of this amazing population of patients,” said Stacy Demitropoulos, Infusion Services RN. “We go above and beyond. It is more than just giving patients their medications. It is about human connection, helping them navigate this journey in their health and so much more! We help to troubleshoot problems they may be having and help give them resources.”  “I view going through someone’s cancer journey with them as a privilege,” added Ashley Gravelle, Infusion Services RN. “I try to just meet them where they are. Sometimes we are the only people patients are truly able to express themselves to, whether that be complaining about symptoms, talking about death and dying or being lighthearted about something really serious. I will be whatever the patient needs me to be that day.”  While the work of infusion therapy is fast-paced and requires close attention to time and detail, these teammates are never alone. They work closely together to ensure every patient gets the individualized care they need and deserve.  “Infusion Therapy is busy and extremely time-oriented,” said Audrey Arthur, Infusion Services RN.   “Between handling chemotherapy, immunotherapy, blood products, injections, antibiotics and central lines, there is always a task that needs to be handled. There is an expectation to provide detailed care as swiftly as possible so that these patients can go back home to their families. Additionally, you must keep treatment moving forward so the next person waiting in the lobby can receive their treatment in an appropriate and timely manner.”  “Life in the infusion center is fast-paced but rewarding,” added Nick Leid, Infusion Pharmacist. “The protocols that have been put in place by our clinical specialists allow us to provide patient care for dozens of patients every day while remaining safe and accurate. On the pharmacy side of the infusion center, we ensure that protocols are being adhered to: Making sure doses are calculated correctly, labs are appropriate for treatment, pre-medications for nausea and other symptoms are ordered correctly and that the products delivered to the patient are made correctly.”  “A day in the life of an infusion nurse is a busy one,” added Ashley Gravelle. “We care for usually 9-10 patients each on a given day, and the treatment ranges from chemotherapy and antibiotics to various biologics, TP, injections, lab draws and port/central line care. You have to be an excellent multitasker and be able to switch gears very quickly. It is impossible to do this work without our whole team. When one of us needs help, someone is always there to jump in. We work as a well- oiled machine.”  Together, the infusion services team exemplifies the power of compassionate care, dedication and expertise, lighting the way for healthier tomorrows.

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    • Employees
    • Professionals
    • Renown Health

    Department Spotlight: Patient Experience

    At Renown Health, our commitment to the experience of all our patients and guests is not just a mission – it's a way of life. Our unwavering dedication to creating exceptional experiences for the communities we serve is what sets us apart. Every day, we strive to build a service culture of excellence, one that ensures that every person who walks through our doors has an extraordinary encounter that exceeds their expectations.  Renown’s Patient Experience department is the team that fulfills this mission and more. These passionate individuals intimately understand that top-of-the-line service involves the entire healthcare continuum, from the first phone call when scheduling an appointment to the final discharge and follow-up instructions and everything in between. With this collective dedication, Patient Experience is consistently on a journey to redefine what it means to leave a lasting impact in the minds of patients, setting a new standard for healthcare excellence in our community.  Our In-House Jack-of-All-Trades  It takes a village to ensure every patient and guest continues to have a positive experience at every Renown location and maintains trust in our providers and employees. Our Patient Experience team serves as the mayors of that village, encompassing four main aspects of healthcare service:  Service Excellence: Compiles, reviews and resolves patient complaints and concerns to help with service recovery and identify opportunities for improvement. Volunteer Services: Enhances the patient experience by leveraging dedicated youth, adult and college-aged volunteers in a variety of volunteer programs, including pet therapy, healing arts, hospice and more. Language Access: Provides qualified interpretation and translation services to assist our limited- or non-English-speaking populations. Data Management: Uses patient experience data, research and surveys to prioritize system, location and unit-specific service needs to improve clinical and quality outcomes.  “Because our department has many segments, no day is the same, which keeps the work week exciting,” said Shelbi Whitehead, Manager of Patient Experience. “Whether we are hosting a pet therapy parade for patients, de-escalating and rounding with upset patients to provide service recovery, offering interpretations for our Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients, or managing data for the organization, we have one goal in mind: to enhance the experience for our patients and guests at Renown Health.”   Cultivating a sense of community and fostering trust in our health system, the Service Excellence team steps in to ensure no concern goes unnoticed and every opportunity to make a positive chance is addressed.  “My day consists of listening to patient concerns, connecting with different department leaders and providing support, and working on projects to improve processes,” said Julianne Revilla, Customer Experience Specialist. “To help enhance the patient experience, I round with patients on different floors to know more about their stay and experience with us. If they have any issues or concerns, I let floor staff know and do our best to resolve the issue in the moment.”  “My team and I have an amazing opportunity to work with multiple leaders throughout the organization to resolve any patient concerns and provide valuable feedback on how patients are doing while using services that we offer,” added Ricky Garcia Sanchez, Senior Patient Experience Specialist. “A typical day will involve calling patients, rounding with patients, communicating with leaders to resolve events, handling grievances and staying in compliance with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines.”  “It’s all about hearing what is upsetting them and letting them know that we care about them,” added Shay Morgan, Customer Experience Specialist. “We ask ourselves, what is the main concern the patient has, and what is it they are seeking? From there, we do our internal investigation through Midas and send it to leadership, and then we find a reasonable and appropriate solution or response to let the patient know we are looking into their concern.”  As the only not-for-profit health system in the region, Renown depends on the dedicated service of our volunteers. Our Volunteer Services team deploys volunteers across many programs who make a significant difference in the lives of patients and their families.  “On a typical day, I may be going between the volunteer information desks assisting that team with anything that comes up while they are helping guests,” said Wendy Peukert, Volunteer Coordinator. “We find wheelchairs for departments, provide guest escorts, deliver flowers and mail to patients, locate doctors’ appointments or anything else that helps someone that walks in the door. We ensure all our programs go smoothly by planning ahead while also being flexible to be ready for anything that comes our way and by keeping communication open with our volunteers. Patients and guests being greeted by friendly, knowledgeable volunteers who show empathy and care is my goal!”  “Some of my best days at Renown are volunteering with my dog Moose, who is a certified therapy dog, and watching the healing he provides to patients and employees,” added Shelbi Whitehead.  At Renown, we believe that language should never be a barrier to receiving care. Our Language Access team ensures that this goal is realized through providing expert interpretation and translation services.  “Renown has many different resources we use to ensure LEP patients and visitors receive a positive, quality visit to our health system,” said Seth Rubin, Supervisor of Language Access. “With signage strategically placed at front desks and check-in areas, patients can point to their preferred language, and we can use the Language Line iPads, phone lines or a dual-role Qualified Medical Interpreter to communicate with the patient or visitor. Within EPIC, we can also set a patient’s preferred language indicating to Renown staff what language to use with the patient and prepare forms in that language. I always ensure all patients are provided with these proper language services, and I also help with employees taking our online interpreter certification course, as well as help when a department needs new Language Line equipment. Additionally, I enjoy meeting with community groups to stay informed on community updates, events and trends around language, immigration and more.”  Renown values and utilizes the opinions of our patients across all corners of our health system Maintaining service transparency is a promise, and that promise is fulfilled by our Data Management team, who use all the research and survey tools at their disposal.  “My daily work includes a lot of updating scorecards across the network, working with the tech teams to ensure the patient data is getting to the right places, training leaders, analyzing market data and maintaining the reports that go to every corner of Renown,” said Brooke Cyphers, Market Data Analyst. “Through a partnership with our patient satisfaction survey vendor, PRC, Renown ensures data integrity, neutrality and credibility in surveying patients in all our care areas. The data from completed surveys are compiled and disseminated to our providers and leadership at all levels with the goal of transparency and patient-centric practice. These surveys are incredibly important to process improvement directly targeted at addressing areas that have been mentioned by our patients. I love it when people reach out to dive into a particular initiative they want to track or an issue they want insights on.”  In their relentless pursuit of excellence in service across many programs, the Patient Experience team remains steadfast in their commitment to delivering the highest quality care and experiences.

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    • Cancer Care
    • Employees
    • Providers

    Department Spotlight: Medical Oncology

    The month of September recognizes several cancer-related health observances. Join us in celebrating our Medical Oncology team at Renown!  No person ever wants to hear the words, “You have cancer.” Those three short yet impactful words immediately change the course of someone’s life. As these patients Fight the Good Fight against cancer, there are a lot of intimidating unknowns that can take over their minds. What happens next? What will my treatment be like? What is my prognosis? How will I be able to handle this physically and emotionally? What will it take for me to beat this?  Who is better to be by their side than the devoted team members at the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute at Renown Health? From helping patients manage the process of complex paperwork and referrals to delivering personalized oncology and hematology treatment options tailored to each individual diagnosis, those fighting virtually any type of cancer are never alone, thanks to this team. The William N. Pennington Cancer Institute always lives up to that promise, guiding patients through the daunting journey of cancer treatment ahead, one step at a time.  Courageous Against Cancer Our exceptional Medical Oncology department inherently understands that each moment in life is precious, especially for patients battling cancer. This team is dedicated to orchestrating the most comprehensive plan for each patient, seamlessly weaving together diagnoses and treatments, oral chemotherapy, medication management, clinical trials, radiation oncology and more.   With the many patients they impact, there’s no question that there is never a dull moment in the day of the life of a healing hero like those in this department.  “No day is the same in Medical Oncology,” said Hollyann Dehm, Registered Nurse. “As a nurse, we wear many hats in the clinic. Our role is to educate patients on their treatment plans and specific drugs they are receiving, triage symptom calls from patients, refill medications and implement our oral chemotherapy program.  We help provide direct patient care by accessing ports, drawing labs and giving IV hydration when needed.  We also help fill out family and medical leave (FMLA)/disability paperwork, help with physician orders, help obtain prior authorizations for prescribed medications and treatments.”  “We do our best to let our patients know that they will not be going through this alone,” added Danielle Say, Physician Scheduling Coordinator. "We will be here for them every step of the way, guiding them and making sure their treatment is as smooth as possible and making ourselves available to them as much as we can. We end up getting to know many of our patients on a very close, personal level, and this helps to build that trust.”  “Our day-to-day activities include seeing patients and helping to manage their therapies as well as their toxicities,” added Dr. Harry Menon, DO, Oncology Physician. “We work closely with our infusion room staff and have a robust team to help us deal with these complex patients. We also work very closely with our surgical and radiation oncology colleagues in a multidisciplinary fashion to provide comprehensive care for our patients.”  The Medical Oncology team excels not only in providing cutting-edge cancer care but also in their compassionate approach to helping patients reduce the anxieties they understandably feel. Recognizing that a cancer diagnosis can be an emotionally overwhelming experience, this dedicated team combines medical expertise with unwavering support to create a healing environment.  “When patients are referred to our department, a lot of them have many fears and questions,” said Heather Cortez, Medical Assistant. “A majority of what our team does is focused on the mental support that our patients require to help them have the most successful outcomes. One thing I have learned about cancer care is that positivity in the face of adversity is everything. Just being there to listen to our patient’s concerns can make all the difference. Helping them to navigate their many appointments and taking the time to explain things in a patient and compassionate way, is part of how our team serves this vulnerable population.”  “The uncertainty is one of my patients' biggest fears: How far has my cancer progressed? How long will I have left? Is treatment even an option?” added Mary Wilson, Senior Medical Assistant. “The best advice that I can give my patients is that they are not alone. While this battle is going to be one of the hardest parts of their lives, they are surrounded by constant support to try and help with any burdens they may be facing. I also tell my patients that we have to take the little wins no matter how small they may be, because while cancer treatment is a physical battle, it is also a large mental battle."  “While we don’t have answers to all the questions patients and their family members may have, we do our best to listen to their questions and concerns regarding their cancer diagnosis and treatment and guide them through their cancer journey," added Hollyann Dehm. “We provide emotional support and education on their type of cancer, managing their pain and side effects of their treatment.  We also connect them to nurse navigators and our social worker who also help identify barriers to care and provide the patient with resources.”  Whether it's explaining treatment options in understandable terms or offering emotional support through difficult moments, this department is committed to empowering patients on their journey toward healing. Their holistic approach not only treats the disease but also nurtures the spirit, all while being a strong advocate on each patient’s behalf.  “Getting a cancer diagnosis can be the worst news that a person can hear; what we try to do is focus on improving quality life and focus on goals that help to promote quality of life,” said Dr. Harry Menon. “If the option for a cure is on the table, we try and focus on that goal in concert with promoting quality life. I try and have our patients focus on what they can control, with the understanding that even if some things are out of our control, the way we approach and manage those things, including our mindset, is still within our control.”  “In our clinic, we truly value our patients and how they are cared for,” added Mary Wilson. “The amount of compassion our team shows is incredible. Patients constantly commend our team on how much they feel like the provider's care. Our providers and staff are not afraid to advocate for patients and that truly is an accomplishment in and of itself.”  “We know patients are only hearing a small amount of the immense volume of information we provide them, so we encourage them to ask questions until it makes sense because the timeframe is different for every patient,” said Lillian Morton, APRN of Medical Oncology. “Cancer is an anxiety inducing lack of control whirlwind – if we can help by being responsive to patient calls and messages, we do so.”  With their harmonious and integrated approach, each patient’s treatment journey progresses uninterrupted, bringing them closer to a brighter and healthier future.

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