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Hometown Health Employees Adopt a Park


Sometimes it’s the little things you do that can really help the community, and those chances to help can be found in your own backyard. That’s what’s happened with the Customer Service employees at Hometown Health, who recently adopted Anderson Park in south Reno.

It’s a part of the Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful Adopt-a-Spot program. Participants are encouraged to invest in the health and beauty of our community by regularly working on a roadway, park, open space or along the Truckee River.

The Customer Service employees will be spending select weekends at Anderson Park cleaning up trash and making the park look great for its visitors. Plus, it’s a great chance for team building! For their efforts, there will be a sign at Anderson that reads: “Park Adopted by Hometown Health-Customer Service.”

To see some photos of the group’s first clean-up efforts, go to the Hometown Health Flickr page.


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The Latest Enrich-U Grads: Creating Amazing Careers at Renown


Last week, 34 graduates from the Enrich-U professional development program celebrated their achievement with leaders in a ceremony at Mack Auditorium. While in Enrich-U, employees from the High Potential Program and Leaders in Training course strengthened their skills, expanded their knowledge and continued on the road to planning their own career paths at Renown.

It has also become a great pathway to future leadership in the health network. Here’s a look at the most recent statistics:

Leader in Training

  • Promotion rate (into leadership positions): 55%
  • Retention rate: 95%

High Potential Program

  • Career progression rate: 36%
  • Retention rate: 84%

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See Employees During the MLK Day of Service


Across the health network, employees spent some time beautifying their campuses – and having some fun in the process. See their photos in this special Flickr gallery​

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a great opportunity to give back to the community. Members of the four Renown-wide committees believe that as well, and they’re encouraging everyone who works here to participate in the national Day of Service that takes place on MLK Day.

Members of the Employee Volunteer, REACT, Diversity and Wellness committees each sponsored a clean-up of the larger Renown outside properties on Monday, Jan. 21.



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Dawn Ahner Named to “Women Leaders to Know” List


Dawn Ahner, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Renown Health, has been named to the Becker’s Hospital Review’s annual list of 143 women hospital and health system leaders to know.

“These leaders face the challenges of running healthcare organizations head-on,” writes Becker’s in their listing this year. “Many wear multiple hats within their health system to promote organizational growth and drive innovation.”

Ahner, who has been with Renown since 1993, was honored for her many accomplishments, including spearheading the launch of Transformation Health Care at Renown, a model of continuous improvement based on lean methodology.

The leaders on this list were selected based on editorial judgment after evaluation of their management and leadership skills, as well as career accomplishments.


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With Komen Grant, Employees Bring Better Access to Patients, Help Save Lives

Renown Health has been working to improve its community outreach, especially to patients that may be under-served for cancer prevention. That is where a recent grant from Susan G. Komen Nevada has come in – and the results have been great.

Statistics from the American Cancer Society show that Nevada has a higher breast cancer rate than the national average. To that end, Renown Health Foundation earned a grant from Susan G. Komen Nevada to support free mammography screening and diagnostic services for women in Washoe County and Carson City. ​

After receiving the grant, a group of Renown employees started the work to reach the women who needed this service the most. Those employees include:

  • Jess Shorter, Breast Health Coordinator
  • Kayla Flores, Breast Health Coordinator
  • Georganna Reynolds, Nurse Navigator, Renown Institute for Cancer
  • Norma Restivo, Development Officer, Renown Health Foundation

In conjunction with the University of Nevada, Reno, they hosted focus groups to understand the cultural factors of the region’s minority groups to better understand their audience.

From there, they reached out to 26 specific groups to find women who could use free screenings. These included local food banks, homeless shelters, reduced-cost clinics, church groups and the Native American health services network. The Breast Health Center team also attended 14 different events to provide education and schedule mammograms.

Since their work began in April 2018, there have been 70 women who have received the grant-based mammograms, and six cancers were found. Imaging employees tell us that is five times what you would expect to find in a regular patient population.

Kudos to these employees for inspiring health and increasing the access and affordability of healthcare for our community.

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Behavioral Health Moves to Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute Location


As part of developing the Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute, Renown Behavioral Health recently moved into its newly remodeled space at 85 Kirman Ave. Consolidating the team members into one specialty location will help enhance access and coordination of care, and will prepare handoffs for patients receiving mental health and substance use disorder treatments.

This relocation is one of the first steps in the plan to establish the institute, which was made possible by a generous gift from Stacie and Charles Mathewson. Over the next five years, the Mathewsons will donate $6 million to Renown Health Foundation to establish this much-needed behavioral health and addiction institute in northern Nevada. These funds aim to decrease stigma and encourage more people to seek help.

Remodeling at the new location began this past spring. The first floor will house the intensive outpatient and partial hospital programs, which provide intensive treatment and more frequent clinical contact for patients who need a higher level of care. Ambulatory services will be located on the second floor. These include psychiatric medication evaluation and management; individual, group and couples therapy; psychological testing and pre-procedure evaluations.

If you would like additional information about existing programs and services, as well as how to make a referral, please contact Behavioral Health at 982-5318.

Stay tuned to Inside Renown for more updates in the coming months on this important institute for our community.


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Broken Propeller Documentary: Special Show Time for Employees and Physicians on Oct. 19


The Washoe County School District has partnered with Renown to create and pursue an internship program, in which high school students within our community are able to gain exposure and firsthand experience within their particular field of interest.

Though Renown is a health network, it offers a diverse field of careers and passions that all coincide with the Renown setting. Ranging from medical to fine arts, this internship program offers so much to a variety of people and their interests. Renown is so much more than stethoscopes and syringes. Renown is a diverse community of varying interests and occupations. It is because of this that the Renown Internship Program is so successful with what it offers and teaches.

The close to 30 students in the program this year are eager and excited to learn and grow throughout the course of the semester. They will need 45 hours of on-site service and are already tackling their hours and having fun in the process. Through projects and collaborations, these students are able to establish relationships and dabble in a professional environment. This experience allows for students to better evaluate their career choice and gain insight into what tasks their career consists of.

An internship also allows for a student to experience and witness a passion and interest of theirs, without the mandated use of textbooks and algorithms. Instead, an internship offers exposure to the reality of the working world — how it functions, its complexities and its adaptability to the ever-changing workforce. An internship allows for a bond between intern and occupation.





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Broken Propeller Documentary: Special Show Time for Employees and Physicians on Oct. 19


In September, an inspiring documentary by local filmmaker Christine Lazzarini of Gypsy Moth Productions premiered to the public at University of Nevada, Reno. The film features interviews with Renown employees, Washoe County Emergency Management, REMSA and survivors from the 2011 Air Race tragedy that killed 11 people and brought our community to action to save more than 60 spectators who arrived at local hospitals within minutes of the crash. Learn more about the movie at gypsymothproductions.com.

For staff and physicians who were living in Reno at the time, this was an unforgettable event. Seven years later, the many facets of the crisis response and recovery from this event have been brought to life in the film. It is ultimately an insightful movie told from the perspective of the survivors, first responders, care providers and Air Race fans.

Renown Emergency Management is collaborating with representatives from Human Resources, the Critical Incident Stress Management team, Spiritual Services, nursing leadership and others to host showings of the film at Renown Regional. All employees and physicians are invited to attend. The first showing took place on Sept. 28.

During this final showing, emergency management will share opening remarks and lead a debrief to discuss the film and offer a chance for the amazing teams who responded to the crash or have been part of a major incident response to process all they’ve been through.

Join us for this special event in honor of every member of the crisis response and medical community who do so much for our community each day. Attend a movie viewing on either date. The movie is 1 hour 30 minutes, plus opening remarks and debrief. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

Friday, Oct. 19
Mack Auditorium
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


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Renown Joins Leading Hospitals Integrating with Apple Health Records


Renown Health is now one of just 97 leading health systems in the country to join the Apple Health records project. This integration is part of the IT Department’s hard work on an exciting update that ties some third party apps into MyChart information for easier, more convenient access to medical record information.

In most cases, Renown Health employees shouldn’t endorse or promote specific third party apps to patients. In some cases, it may be beneficial to the patient to make a recommendation about using an app that can help them in their plan of care. Please review the FHIR policy and contact the MyChart Help Desk at 982-2781 if you have further questions.

With the go-live of FHIR, or Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, apps that have been approved by EPIC can now talk to MyChart and import a patient’s data. Some big name examples include 1Up Health and Apple Health apps. When a patient finds an app that allows for this integration, they will be able to share their MyChart data by following these steps:

  • Open the app and search Renown Health as the healthcare provider
  • Follow the app’s instructions to link their MyChart information
  • When the app directs to the MyChart portal, sign in
  • Review what information will be shared with the app before selecting to allow access
  • Return to the app, which will import MyChart data

By allowing this access, users will be importing any information that is already available in MyChart, such as allergies and lab results. Information not already stored in MyChart and provider notes will not transfer. Currently, this tool does not allow users to input or share data back into MyChart.

Benefits for users include easy access for those who utilize more than one healthcare network or who travel out-of-network. As opposed to the PDF format currently available by requesting your Medical Records, this tool releases information directly to your phone, where it will be encrypted to that device.

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Renown Appoints Joseph Grzymski as Chief Science Officer


Taking the next step toward expanding its landmark population health and genetics research initiative to a statewide and national level, Renown recently appointed Joseph Grzymski, PhD, a recognized leader in biomedical and translational research, as the organization’s first Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).

An associate research professor of microbiology and computational biology at the Desert Research Institute (DRI), Dr. Grzymski has an extensive background in data analysis, bioinformatics and public health. He serves as senior director of DRI’s Applied Innovation Center and principal investigator of the Healthy Nevada Project – a pioneering population health study launched in 2016 by Renown and DRI. The project which initially enrolled 10,000 volunteers for free genetic testing in less than 48 hours, now has more than 35,000 enrollees, and is on track to include 10 percent of northern Nevada’s population by the end of 2018.

To accelerate innovation at the national level, Dr. Grzymski will work to engage fellow scientists, researchers, physicians and health systems across the U.S. to build new strategic partnerships that will extend the Healthy Nevada Project wellness model to serve additional communities and populations.

“I know of no other health system with such dedication to predicting, preempting and preventing disease and I am truly honored to lead the research and scientific efforts at Renown Health,” said Dr. Grzymski. “We are building a pipeline of healthcare innovation and transformative research with an incredible team assembled by Renown IHI. I look forward to continuing to expand our efforts and rapidly advancing the genomic and health information that is available to improve clinical care in Nevada and across the country and inform people at high risk for disease, so they can seek information and treatment if needed.”

In his role as Renown CSO, Dr. Grzymski will lead the not-for-profit health system’s organizational efforts to advance and expand its portfolio of genetic study participants to evaluate data to better understand the patterns that contribute to population-level health and disease while providing individualized feedback to participants, so they can modify behaviors to reduce risks and improve health.