« All News

Meet Amanda Thomas, a Top Talent of the Year 2018 Winner


Inside Renown features monthly profiles of the 2018 Top Talent of the Year winners. This month, it’s Amanda Thomas, BSN, RN, OCN, Outpatient Infusion Services.

She was nominated for Top Talent because of her work as a triage nurse. She developed guidelines for reviewing all chemotherapy orders, ensured testing was done and identified many “good catches” that prevented harm to patients. She also volunteers with the infusion quality committee and takes initiative without being asked.

“I enjoy working at Renown as I feel that I truly have the opportunity to provide exceptional care for my patients and their families,” Thomas said. “I appreciate that the leaders of our organization are looking forward to expanding community relationships to bring health into the inner workings of our community.

“The culture here encourages personal and professional growth. This has allowed me to continue to evolve in my career to make strides in improving quality and safety for patients. “

Amanda said the art, culture and music of the Reno-Tahoe area, as well as the community, are some of the many reasons why she enjoys living here. “We have such beautiful nature around us to take in, as well as being so close to great travel adventures,” she said. “I enjoy spending time adventuring with my son and exploring nature, traveling and experiencing culture wherever we are visiting. Spending time mindfully connecting with friends and family is very important to me.”

Amanda recently wrote an essay about nursing from her personal perspective. It’s featured this week on the BestMedicine nursing blog. “It really sums up how lucky I feel I am to make a difference in others’ lives with the work I do as a nurse,” she said.

« All News

Documentary Brings to Light Perspective of Air Race Crash First Responders and Survivors


Out of the tragedy of the 2011 Air Races crash came many incredible stories across our community. Stories of nurses opening their homes, making meals and doing laundry for victims and their families still resonate seven years later.

Those powerful stories of first responders and care providers going above and beyond, and the Truckee Meadows’ strong community spirit are the center piece of a new documentary, Broken Propeller, by local filmmaker Christine Lazzarini.

Lazzarini also tells the story of the Elvin family who received care at Renown. The Elvin family has a long love of the Air Races. Cherie Elvin, 73, lost her life in the crash and her husband, Chuck, their two sons and daughter-in-law all lost part of their right legs.

The Elvins were among the more than 60 injured survivors treated at local hospitals and remain incredibly grateful for the care, kindness and support received in Reno. In 2015, they established the Cherie Elvin Memorial Fund through Renown Health Foundation. This annual scholarship helps a local nurse in pursuit of higher education.

The documentary is more than three years in the making and includes dozens of Renown employees alongside REMSA, Washoe County Emergency Management, former Mayor Bob Cashell as well as numerous survivors of the crash. You can learn more about the stories featured on BestMedicine.​


Upcoming Employee Viewing

An employee viewing of the documentary will be announced in the weeks to come led by internal champions Jenn Allen, Jen Richards, Alicia Glassco, Amy McCombs, Deena McKenzie, Michelle Hernandez and Sean Savoy. We will keep you updated as those details are available.


Thank You to Those Involved

Thank you to all the Renown employees who made this documentary possible. Special thanks to the following who appear in the film and escorted film crews on our campuses.

  • Katie McCarthy, Manager of Nursing – Orthopedics
  • Jennifer Bowler, Manager of Behavioral Health
  • Brenda Jones, PT Assistant – Rehab Therapy
  • Brian Heiter, Manager of Respiratory Services
  • Janiel Gorman, Clinical Lab Assistant Training Coordinator
  • Jonathan Dickenson, Supervisor of Imaging
  • Amy Hawkins, Supervisor of Clinical Nursing – Emergency
  • Keri Piper-Colonna, Manager of Nursing – Emergency
  • Tiffani Lenzi, Supervisor of Clinical Nursing – Emergency
  • Emery Emery, Emergency Trauma Technician
  • Brenda McNamara, South Meadows Emergency Nurse
  • Dr. Michael Morkin, Northern Nevada Emergency Physicians
  • Dr. Diana Chang, Hospitalist
  • Stacy Kendall, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
  • Stacey Sunday, Public Relations Business Partner
  • Jena Valenzuela, Marketing Coordinator
  • Allison Williams, Public Relations

« All News

Renown Physician Leader Honored as a Healthcare Hero

Dr. Beenfeldt poses with others from Renown who attended the recent Healthcare Heroes ceremony


Nevada Business magazine named Dr. Derek Beenfeldt, Chief of Primary Care at Renown Health, to its annual Healthcare Heroes list. He was chosen as the Northern Nevada Physician Hero.

Nevada Business magazine also published a story that honors Dr. Beenfeldt’s work and you can read it here or below:

Even with the tremendous responsibilities of clinical and operational decision-making for the 18 location, 90 provider primary care group of Renown Health, Dr. Derek Beenfeldt remains dedicated to his patients. His compassion was evidenced even prior to medical school when he volunteered in palliative care at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital and with Circle of Life Hospice. As a medical student, family medicine resident and primary care physician, his commitment has grown to include the care of large numbers of patients in the Northern Nevada region.

Prior to medical school, Dr. Beenfeldt was a practicing attorney in Reno. His leadership skills were evident early on when he was the student body president at the University of Nevada, Reno. Later he assumed leadership roles at the University as well as the School of Medicines’ family medicine residency. Currently he leads as a primary care physician in the Renown Health Medical Group.

He joined the group in 2014 and, last year, was appointed chief of primary care and charged with overseeing quality, patient satisfaction and access to all locations within the system. He developed and implemented the Primary Care Model, which has become the model for the system population health strategy, of which he leads.

In addition to his roles as physician and chief of primary care, Dr. Beenfeldt remains active in community organizations and donates freely of his time and talent to serve the Northern Nevada community.​


« All News

How Nurses Contribute to Renown Regional’s Award-Winning Heart and Stroke Programs

Nurses from the Neurosciences Unity, Telemetry and the Institute for Heart and Vascular Health attended the presentation of the Get with the Guidelines awards from the American Heart and Stroke Association.


Renown Regional Medical Center has been honored by the American Heart and Stroke Association once again for high quality heart and stroke care.

In stroke care, Renown Regional was recently awarded The Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus with Target Stroke Elite Award. And in heart care, Renown was awarded The Get with the Guidelines – Heart Failure Gold Achievement for continually treating heart patients using the highest standards of care.

Meet some of the nurses whose great work contributed to Renown Regional’s quality care achievements in the treatment of heart and stroke patients.​

Sarah Pipitone, Nurse Navigator in the Institute for Heart and Vascular Health, spends the majority of her time caring for patients with heart failure, which she says is challenging, but rewarding.

“It’s so rewarding for me when I am sitting with a patient and I see their eyes light up when they grasp a concept such as how a certain medication stalls the decline in cardiac function, when a patient smiles and thanks me because their new learning on how to manage their symptoms makes them feel as if they have some control over their lives again.

“We wouldn’t have sustained our measures of achievement for as long as we have to qualify for the Gold level of recognition without the support of so many others and a strong culture of quality.”

Becca Cornell, RN, Neuroscience Unit, works caring for patients who have suffered a stroke.

“My work involves a lot of evidence-based practice like making sure a patient receives aspirin within that specific timeframe or getting neuro patient assessments. It also includes coordinating with the therapy teams to make sure patients receive all the care that they need.

“I really enjoy the patients themselves – we have longer-term patients, and it’s nice to see their progression from when they first had a stroke to when they get to leave.”

Renown’s Heart and Stroke care programs earn the Get With the Guidelines Awards year after year in part due to the quality care provided by nurses.

“Nursing carries the primary role in regards to this award,” says Sadie Wangler, Stroke Program Manager. “They are the front line who provide the standardized care to our patients which is guided by the AHA/ASA clinical practice guidelines in conjunction with the Joint Commission core measures… Nursing – from nurse quality coordinators to bedside nurses – ensure that our measures are met on every patient every time. Without nurses, our programs would not exist.”

« All News

Employee Named as Finalist for Next-Generation Pharmacist Honors


Zack Marcus, a Pharmacy Critical Care Clinical Specialist with Renown Regional Medical Center, has been announced as one of 30 selected finalists in the country for the 2018 Next-Generation Pharmacist awards.

Given by the national Pharmacy Times news site and Parata Systems, a pharmacy technology company, the Next-Generation awards are given to pharmacists, students, technicians and industry advocates who are making tremendous strides in their career and for the profession of pharmacy in general.

Zack was honored as a Health System Next-Generation Pharmacist. He has worked as a pharmacist for Renown for 14 years and is the Director of the Post Graduate Year 2 (PGY2) Critical Care Pharmacy Residency at Renown.

Zack has a doctorate of pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis. He completed his PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno.

In addition, Zack is a Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist (BCCCP) and is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS), which means he can help ensure the safe, appropriate and economical use of medications as part of a treatment team.

He said that he wasn’t aware that he was up for a Next-Generation Award and learned that he was nominated for it after he received it.

“I’m amazed, surprised and proud to have been selected as a finalist,” Zack said. “I am surrounded by and work with so many talented people that it seems very surreal to be nominated and chosen as a finalist.” “Nursing carries the primary role in regards to this award,” says Sadie Wangler, Stroke Program Manager. “They are the front line who provide the standardized care to our patients which is guided by the AHA/ASA clinical practice guidelines in conjunction with the Joint Commission core measures… Nursing – from nurse quality coordinators to bedside nurses – ensure that our measures are met on every patient every time. Without nurses, our programs would not exist.”

« All News

REACT Committee Represents Renown for Local Award

Pictured above are Leo Horishny (left) and Kira Krayk at Raise the River, the Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful event on Aug. 16 Horishny and Krayk are members of the employee REACT committee.


On Aug. 16, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful gave its Adopter of the Year award to Renown Health. Leo Horishny and Kira Krayk, members of the REACT employee committee at Renown, were joined by Wendy Damonte, Vice President of Advocacy and Community Partnership, to accept the award at KTMB’s Raise the River event at Idlewild Park.

In addition, Randy Harmatz, Vice President of Quality for Renown, is a new board member of KTMB and was introduced at Raise the River.

Renown was given the award for REACT’s work in leading a year-round cleanup of John Champion Park in which other employees and community members participated, including the Orvis School of Nursing Alumni group. The award also honors Renown and REACT’s attendance and support of KTMB annual cleanup events.

The REACT group inspires better health in our communities by conserving and protecting our natural resources and promoting environmental health to employees. They have organized the annual Earth Day event at Renown as well as coordinated recycling efforts throughout the health network.


« All News

Dr. Tony Slonim Featured in National Magazine and Northern Nevada “Leaders to Know” List


Recently, Dr. Tony Slonim, President and CEO of Renown Health, was featured sharing his perspective on the Healthy Nevada Project in a prominent national magazine. A special edition of Modern Healthcare on social determinants includes an interview with Dr. Slonim in which he discusses how the Healthy Nevada Project is truly the ultimate in strategic planning.

“In not-for-profit healthcare, we have a responsibility to care for the community,” Dr. Slonim writes. “Unfortunately, much of our services, staffing and efforts are devoted to healthcare not health. However, systems at the forefront of population health are creating opportunities to change the status quo.”

Dr. Slonim also earned another acknowledgment of his leadership. He recently was featured in the Northern Nevada Business View’s annual Northern Nevada Book of Lists in the “Leaders to Know” section. The book of lists includes leaders from a wide range of regional industries, including health and wellness, who have made an impact on the lives of residents in our region.