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Urban Roots, Renown Open Teaching Farm

At a ceremony on Aug. 1, Renown Health and Urban Roots formally opened their Urban Teaching Farm. It is located at 1700 E. Second St., a few blocks away from Renown Regional Medical Center.

The event included tours, farm-fresh snacks for attendees and activities geared toward the budding scientists at the event. Photos from the opening ceremony and Renown employees volunteering their time on the farm can be found on Renown’s Flickr page.

The development of the Urban Teaching Farm started in 2015 when Urban Roots and Renown teamed up to create a community resource dedicated to healthy eating and academic achievement.  This is the first-of-its-kind partnership in this region.

The farm includes several fruit trees and pollinator gardens, used to educate and encourage healthy habits for kids and the community as a whole.

Urban Roots runs another teaching farm in west Reno where it hosts trainings for K-12 teachers and day camps for youth. Renown will invest annually in Urban Roots to help maintain and support the farm and the eight AmeriCorps volunteers who will oversee the site.

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See These Ongoing Reviews and Updates to Renown Benefit Programs

It’s very exciting to see that many of you have been able to take advantage our newest benefit, the Student Loan Repayment program. Since going live on July 18, nearly 500 employees have already enrolled to receive $200 per month paid directly to their student loan servicer. This benefit will enable participants to reduce student loan debt at a faster pace.

Also effective July 1, the one-year waiting period was eliminated for the Tuition and Certification reimbursement program. Employees who are continuing their education can participate as early as their hire date.

Our Newest Benefit Addition: Military Leave of Absence

Renown is proud to support employees currently serving in the military, and was recently named as one of 15 recipients across the nation for the Freedom Award. This award is given to employers who show exceptional support of their military employees.

As part of this support, Renown offers a paid military benefit as reflected in the updated policy, RENOWN.HRM.725, Military Leave of Absence. Beginning August 1, full- and part-time employees that are active members of the U.S. Armed Forces and National Guard are eligible to receive up to 120 hours of paid military leave. This benefit can be used for weekend drills, annual trainings and deployment.

Other Changes: Deductions from Paychecks – Badge Pay Provisions

Badge Pay is a popular and convenient payroll deduction service for full- and part-time employees. Employees can use Badge Pay for the purchase of food and merchandise at restaurants, cafeterias and The Shops at Renown.

Effective August 1, Renown.HRM.540, Deductions from Paychecks – Badge Pay Provisions, is changing with respect to limits and payment. The practice of allowing charges to be carried over and paid back over multiple pay periods is being discontinued.

Allowing employees to charge expenses and pay back the balance over multiple pay periods was reviewed and determined to be the same as providing “no interest loans.” This practice has potential tax consequences to both the employee and Renown. For this reason, as well as instances of abuse of this privilege, the decision was made to end the practice.

Employees can still charge up to $200 per pay period through Badge Pay for food, retail, scrubs, Auxiliary sales, etc. The full amount of charges will be deducted in the current pay period. The policy change does not prevent employees from charging their purchases through other means. Employees who currently are paying back a balance over multiple pay periods will be able to continue the payments over the remaining number of pay periods in their payment plan.

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Renown Named a Most Wired Health Network, Top 30 in the Digital Hospital 500

Renown has strived for innovation, convenience or patients and following best practices when it comes to the digital world. And now, the health network has been honored with two national awards with technological ties. Here are the details on each:

Most Wired Health Networks

Hospitals and Health Networks magazine and the American Hospital Association named Renown Health to its 19th annual Most Wired list, which also includes Kaiser Permanente and Cedars-Sinai among others.

To make the list, hospitals need to implement increased clinical technologies, telehealth and mobile technology. Also, the honorees show that health networks have been focusing on integrating tech into strategies to improve population health, capitalize on data analytics, boost patient engagement and introduce new efficiencies.

More on the Most Wired list can be found at the Hospital and Health Network website.

 Digital Hospital 500

Renown was also ranked No. 26 in the annual Digital Hospital 500 report by the Internet Health Management company. For this list, hospitals are ranked via the digital and mobile healthcare solutions they provide for patients. This includes enabling patients to access their health information, find doctors online and pay bills digitally, among many other metrics.

In an article on linkedin.com, Renown Health is specifically cited as one of two health networks that had the most complete digital offerings for patients, ahead of hospitals such as Cleveland Clinic and Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

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LEAD Rounds: Jo Duszkiewicz Sees How Renown Rehab Team Works Together

Pictured above from left, Jo Duszkiewicz and Angela Talley

Employees at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital greeted Jo Duszkiewicz with hugs and laughter — one of them even asked her to make brownies again. But Duszkiewicz doesn’t work at the rehab hospital, she is the Renown Health Vice President of the Institute for Cancer.

Duszkiewicz rounded at Renown Rehab once a week from April through June as part of the LEAD Rounds program. Angela Talley, Director of Nursing at Renown Rehab, guided her in getting to know front-line employees and their work.

“It was the best three months of this year so far,” Duszkiewicz said. “In all the years that I’ve done rounding, this really was one of the most fun and informative. And I learned so much, that this is a true, self-contained hospital with all the services to assure outstanding care. Everyone I met during the three months were committed to optimizing each patient’s rehabilitation to meet their potential.”

The LEAD Rounds program pairs one senior management leader with a different team from across the Renown network to help open the lines of communication and make connections across departments and employees. Senior leaders address employee concerns and questions while they’re rounding in their front line areas. Leaders round for 12 weeks in the selected departments, and new leaders are rotated in quarterly.

After attending some of Rehab’s interdisciplinary rounds with physicians, nurses and therapists, Duszkiewicz said it was amazing to see how the Rehab team really works together for their patients.

“It’s all about the patient here – every decision, the conversation and participation,” she said.

“I think so often we miss possible connections with other experts in other areas,” Talley said. “I felt that way when Jo first came to Rehab, but I feel very different now. To me, I see the LEAD Rounds as a huge way to impact improvement in patient outcomes and getting them home safely.”

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Renown Closes In On Epic Upgrade Go-Live, Hundreds Attend IT Epic Fairs

Thanks to many employees who have been working diligently on this important project, the upgrade to Epic 2017 is on track to take place on Saturday, Aug. 26.  The upgrade features significant look-and-feel changes in areas such as Chart Review and the After Visit Summary.

Information Technology and employees from Renown’s clinical and non-clinical teams have been working together on the upgrade. Usability testing has been taking place with all areas being covered. Training material is also available at the Online Learning Academy and the Epic Upgrade team site on Inside Renown.

For the actual upgrade, there will be downtime in Epic. The command center is staffed with IT resources and also includes a roving team of IT and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) trainers that will round in clinical areas after the go-live date.

The IT Ambassadors will also be on hand to bring peer-to-peer help at various locations. The ambassadors have access to Epic tip sheets and can contact the command center if needed.

More on This Year’s Successful IT Epic Fairs

Thank you to everyone who attended the two Epic fairs at Renown Regional, as well as the fair at Renown South Meadows. There were more than 250 employees who attended a fair.

The fairs received a lot of positive feedback, with most attendees rating the event as Excellent or Very Good. We will consider adding more stations and/or the option for users to log into Epic directly in future fairs, and will continue to look for other options to allow more people to attend. Thanks to everyone who gave their feedback.

As part of the fair, Matthew Lastimosa, Supervisor of the Central Business Office, won a drawing for a night’s stay at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. He is shown below at center with Ron Fuschillo, Vice President and Chief Information Officer (right); and Sy Johnson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Be on the lookout for more IT fairs in the future, where more information will be shared about the innovations that IT is bringing to Renown.

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Wanted: RN Case Managers for Population Health Care Transitions Department

Seventeen RNs are needed to join a new care model within the Population Health Care Transitions Department for the position of RN Case Manager.

The position will be housed within the acute care hospitals and the RN will work a day shift schedule that rotates through weekends and is a part of the Care Transitions team.

Criteria candidates must meet are as follows: must have at least three years of acute care nursing experience; excellent documentation and communication skills; and must be able to use critical thinking, find solutions quickly and be comfortable escalating when services or care are not delivered efficiently or appropriately.

These RNs will be responsible for the day-to-day clinical coordination of patients within the acute care setting and will work closely with the RN Bed Day Nurses (in a centralized location outside of the hospital) and the Social Workers within the acute care setting.

Roles and responsibilities include but will not be limited to:

  • Attending rounds and ensuring
    • All orders written
    • Discharge plan is in place and in computer
    • Social Workers are assigned to appropriate patients
    • Choice forms (when needed) and IMMs are signed 48 hours prior to discharge
    • All are in agreement with discharge plan, date of discharge and plan for care transitions
  • Reviewing charts and ensuring
    • All orders are written and signed and follow up with physicians (Hospitalist, UNR, Surgeons)
    • Face-to-face documentation is done
    • Discharge summaries are written and in system in time for discharge
    • Ensure all tests are scheduled timely and escalate as needed
      • Lab
      • Imaging
      • Surgery
    • Length of stay does not extend beyond what Bed Day Management review states is appropriate and ensures everyone on care team is working to discharge timely
    • Clinically complex cases are worked up appropriately for discharge needs (wound vac, IV meds, meds requiring pre approval etc.)

To apply, click here.

For more information please contact Ursula Palma-Guerrero at 982-6301.

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RN Jessica Thompson Honored As Healthcare Hero

Jessica Thompson, RN, Director of Group Practice Operations, Renown Medical Group – Tonopah has been named the Northern Nevada care provider honoree at the 12th Annual Healthcare Hero awards – an award that honors outstanding healthcare professionals in Nevada across 10 different categories.

Jessica’s family has called Tonopah home for more than 100 years. She was born and raised in Tonopah and graduated with her bachelors of science in nursing from Orvis School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1997.

 Jessica started working at Nye Regional Medical Center as a nurse’s aide at 14. She has served nearly 28 years in healthcare with 20 years in nursing.

 From Jessica’s Nomination:

Living in Tonopah and providing care to this rural community is something that runs in Jessica’s family. They have called Tonopah home since the late 1800s and their commitment to caring for the community runs just as deep.

At Nye Regional, Jessica’s mom acted as chief financial officer for 20 years, her uncles cared for patients as a physician and physician assistant and her great aunt served as the director of nursing. At age 14, Jessica began following in her family’s footsteps, working as a nurse’s aide at Nye Regional. After graduating from the Orvis School of Nursing in 1997, she went on to hold a number of job titles at Nye Regional including staff and emergency room nurse, infection control, inpatient and clinic pharmacy manager, and chief nursing officer.

Jessica was one of the only remaining employees when Nye Regional shut its doors in August 2015. Shortly after, she began working with Renown to help find a solution to bring primary and specialty care back to Tonopah. She now serves as both a registered nurse and the director of group practice operations at Renown Medical Group – Tonopah.

Click here to read a story on Jessica when the Renown Medical Group – Tonopah opened in June 2016.

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Certified Nurse Midwife Pioneer Hangs up Her Stethoscope After 25 Years, 3,000 Deliveries

Certified Nurse Midwife Peggy Williamson (pictured in the Centering Room at The Pregnancy Center) has devoted 25 years of her life to her profession and delivered 3,000 babies in our community.

After dedicating countless hours, 25 years of her life, and delivering more than 3,000 babies in our community, it’s only fitting that certified nurse midwife trailblazer Peggy Williamson ended her career with a 24-hour shift.

During one of her last shifts on July 22, Peggy was delivering a baby and reflected it could be one of her last in her devoted career.

“I had a woman I’d been with for her first two pregnancies but I hadn’t delivered any of her babies,” Peggy said. “I delivered her third that night and she was so happy. I was telling the nurses this could be one of my last deliveries and it’s bittersweet.”

Peggy holds a master’s degree in nursing with a specialty in midwifery and is a women’s health nurse practitioner. She has worked at Renown as a certified nurse midwife for the past 12 years and has worked in the Reno community for 25 years.

She became a nurse in 1995, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, and served as a Labor & Delivery nurse for seven years. She went to Salt Lake City for a two-year nurse midwife program – which was always her career goal – and hasn’t looked back since.

A pioneer in her profession in Northern Nevada, Peggy started the first nurse midwifery program in Reno and was the first person in the city to earn hospital privileges. She has seen Renown’s midwife program grow to eight nurse midwifes and seven physicians.

“As a nurse midwife I can give the care a woman wants with no intervention or an epidural, numb up to her eyebrows if she wants, always making sure that baby and mom are OK,” she explained. “That’s what’s great about it.”

She’s delivered babies of the former babies she’s delivered, she’s seen mothers turn their life around and change their behaviors after having their baby, she’s seen moms give their babies up for adoption and she was the spearheading force for getting Renown’s nurse midwifes to be credited as surgical first assistants. She’s made lifelong friends and she’s done it all while being able to help an under-served population – something she has always wanted to do.

Some of her most touching moments have come when the outcome wasn’t something anybody expected.

“When babies die and it’s not what was expected I usually cry more than they do,” Peggy said. “Every patient is different. Every birth is different. Every family is different. It’s just amazing.”

While Peggy will miss all of her fellow nurses, doctors and co-workers, she is ready to call it a career and is very proud of the work she’s done.

“It’s been exhausting – sometimes mentally and physically exhausting,” she said. “There’s been more than one night I’ve come home and cried myself to sleep mostly because I was so touched. I’ve served this population well and now it’s time to do other things.”

What else is Peggy looking forward to? She is looking forward to traveling to Disneyland and Disney World with her husband (she already has a trip booked next month!), having more time for quilting and sewing (“I have fabric that goes from the floor to the ceiling, so my motto is I’m going to live long enough to sew it all up.”) and spending time with her family and 12 grandkids and three great-grand kids.

The Renown Health OB/GYN and Certified Nurse Midwife Team
Myron Bethel, MD, Chief of OB/GYN
Amy Condon, MD, OB/GYN
Susan Hsu, MD, OB/GYN
Scott Jacobs, MD, OB/GYN
Vickie Tippett, MD, OB/GYN
Maria Sheila Santa Maria Torres, MD, OB/GYN
Tamsen Carson, PA
Rebecca Chavez, CNM
Amanda Christian, CNM
Carie Wright, CNM
Cindy Pitlock, DNP/CNM
Peggy Williamson, APN, CNM
Lillian Bronson, CNM
Tami Baumann, CNM