Groundbreaking population health study will open to 40,000 more volunteers
January 9, 2018
Fifteen months after launching the state’s landmark Healthy Nevada Project, Renown Institute for Health Innovation (Renown IHI) is taking steps toward significantly expanding public enrollment in its community-based population health study. Today, executives and research team members announce they have partnered with personal genomics company, Helix for the next phase of the study expected to open enrollment this spring.
Utilizing Helix’s proprietary Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology and uniquely personalized suite of DNA-powered products, research teams at Renown Health and the Desert Research Institute (DRI) plan to offer an additional 40,000 Nevadans the opportunity to have their DNA sequenced and participate in phase two of the study. The Healthy Nevada Project will offer study participants a DNA kit from Helix that provides information on personal traits or ancestry, and a Helix.com account which will enable them to explore additional DNA-powered products through the Helix App store if they choose.
In September 2016, the pilot phase of the study enrolled 10,000 participants in less than 48 hours and completed DNA sample collection in just 60 working days. Participants ranged from 18-90 years old from 135 zip codes in northern Nevada. Socioeconomic survey information was also collected using an advanced, confidential online survey tool. Research teams are currently working on the first peer-reviewed scientific results from the study after gaining valuable community and population health insights from the data.
“From the beginning, our focus with the Healthy Nevada Project has been on delivering personalized health data to our communities that will ultimately drive positive change for our state,” said Anthony Slonim, M.D., DrPH, president and CEO of Renown Health, and president of Renown IHI. “We are very excited about the opportunities the next phase of this groundbreaking study will offer. Community participants will be able to gain deeper, actionable insights into their DNA data, while our research teams gain unprecedented access to the largest clinical DNA sequencing facility in the world.”
Northern Nevada’s healthcare catchment spans 100,000 square miles and serves almost 1 million people. The diverse population, generational healthcare data and innovative combination of leading-edge research tools and detailed environmental databases make the region an ideal location for advanced health science.
“Our pilot phase used genotyping, which was a great start, but moving to NGS sequencing and inviting an additional 40,000 people to participate will dramatically accelerate what we can learn about the human genome and has the potential to greatly improve preventative health,” said Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., an associate research professor at DRI, co-director of Renown IHI, and principal investigator of the Healthy Nevada Project.
“Our mission is to empower every person to improve their life through DNA. We invested heavily in our Exome+ assay, partner infrastructure, and CLIA- and CAP-accredited laboratory – which is now the largest clinical exome sequencing facility in the world – with the vision of empowering individuals with access to data about themselves and the DNA-powered products that enable them to take a more active role in their health,” said Robin Thurston, CEO of Helix. “Helix is proud to support this important project which will empower people to make better health choices and will contribute to novel genomics discoveries.”
Community members are encouraged to stay tuned to HealthyNV.org as Renown IHI finalizes the details of phase two enrollment of the Healthy Nevada Project. Enrollment is expected to open this spring.
International speaker discusses suicide prevention and mental health stigma
February 1, 2018
Click here to add your own textNevada had the fifth highest suicide rate in the nation in 2016, with suicide claiming more than 600 lives in the Silver State. This heartbreaking statistic is one of many that shows behavioral health is critical to improving overall health in the Truckee Meadows.
With a shared passion for improving mental health and removing the stigma associated with mental illness, Renown Health is bringing suicide survivor turned international speaker, Kevin Hines, to Reno to discuss mental illness, suicide prevention and more.
More than 17 years ago, Hines jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in an attempt to take his own life. But Hines was one of just 36 people (less than one percent) to survive. In the time since, he has made it his mission to share his story to help remove the stigma associated with mental illness while helping to prevent suicide.
Renown Manager Adam Porath Named to State Opioid Crisis Partnership
February 14, 2018
Adam Porath, Ambulatory Pharmacy Manager for Renown Health, will now be part of a team of Nevada civic and business leaders that will address the use of opioids in our community. Porath was recently appointed by the Nevada State Attorney General to serve on Gov. Brian Sandoval’s Statewide Partnership on the Opioid Crisis. He begins his year-long service in the partnership in March.
Adam has dedicated his entire pharmacy career promoting wellness and appropriate use of medications for the patients of Northern Nevada. Among his previous honors are receiving the rare Added Qualifications in Cardiology designation from the American Pharmacists Association in 2015. He also is a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist and a board certified ambulatory care pharmacist.
In 2016, Adam was given the National Bowl of Hygeia award by the state Society of Health System Pharmacists, which honors outstanding civic leadership and community service. Among his work in the community has been working with the state legislature to improve healthcare and access, leading activities such as prescription drug round-ups and poison prevention education, and providing professional education to other health professionals.
Randy Harmatz Joins Renown as Vice President of Quality and Safety
February 13, 2018
Pictured is Randy Harmatz, during her last position as Chief Quality Officer and Senior VP with University of Florida Health in Gainesville.
Randy Harmatz, a leader with decades of experience in spearheading and implement culture change in healthcare, has joined Renown Health as our Vice President of Quality and Safety.
Randy most recently served as Chief Quality Officer and Senior Vice President with University of Florida Health in Gainesville. Randy was recruited to be the first chief quality officer, where she revamped the department’s strategic plan, led a clinical risk management program that reduced serious safety events by 80 percent, created an Office of Patient Experience that included patient and family advisors, and developed a quality and patient safety council for medical school residents.
Randy is particularly known for engaging and supporting physicians and providers in high-priority initiatives. While at Renown, she will be responsible for accreditation and regulatory compliance, clinical excellence, risk management, infection prevention and control, clinical documentation, service excellence and volunteer services.
Randy also served as Vice President of Quality at University Hospitals-Cleveland Medical Center. She has a master’s degree in business administration from Baruch College in New York City, and a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.
Volunteers Seeking High School Students for Summer Program
February 8, 2018
Volunteer Services is looking for high school students who are ready to explore a medical career by giving their time and talents this summer. The High School Volunteer Program runs from June to August, and the deadline for applications is Friday, March 16.
The volunteer program is for those starting their junior or senior year in high school. It is not a job-shadowing program, but instead offers students the chance to assist patients, visitors and employees at either Renown Regional Medical Center or Renown South Meadows Medical Center. High school volunteers will:
Learn to work at one of our welcome desks
Greet and escort patients and family to their destinations within the hospital
Visit rooms and lobbies to interact with patients and visitors
Help with running errands, delivering mail and flowers
It’s a great opportunity for students to enhance their communication, customer service and critical thinking skills. Volunteers work as a team and also build relationships while at Renown. It’s also a good boost to a college application. Plus, volunteers will have fun and feel good at the same time, knowing they have the power to make a difference in someone’s life.
Qualifications and requirements include:
Completed application and cover letter forms
One letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor or coach
The ability to volunteer twice a week for a scheduled shift of four hours
Attending mandatory orientation with a parent/guardian. Orientation will consist of reviewing policies and procedures and going through the process to obtain a medical clearance (blood work required)
Passing a background check
Missing no more than two weeks of scheduled shifts. If you are taking an extended vacation over summer break, we will not be able to accept your application.
For information and an application packet, please call 982-7124 or email VService@renown.org. Only the first 60 completed and qualified applications will be accepted.
A New Class of Coding University Grads Gets Celebrated
February 7, 2018
An important part of quality and service excellence at Renown Health, another group of graduates at Renown’s Coding University has earned their diplomas. In a ceremony on Jan. 31 at Mack Auditorium, the eight graduates celebrated their accomplishments with their leaders and fellow employees. See our Flickr page for photos of this special event.
This year’s Coding University graduates include:
The Renown Coding University program began in 2014 to offer in-house training for the needed skills for facility coding as well as decrease the need for contract coding staff. The goal is to create highly trained coders that meet or exceed industry standards for benchmarks and productivity. The university includes online education and on-the-job training customized to Renown’s needs.
This first class of seven graduated last year. All 15 graduates specialize in coding for various inpatient and outpatient services including home health, inpatient rehab, skilled nursing, hospice, wound care, injection and infusion services.