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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.




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Renown Celebrates National Medical Assistant Week


There are about 325 Renown employees who are helping to provide positive patient experiences every day. Medical Assistants, known better as MAs, work in medical group locations around the health network and bring a strong work ethic and knowledge to patient care for the community.

National Medical Assistants Week is taking place from Oct. 14-20, and Renown MAs are getting recognition from their leaders, learning through educational events and having a ton of fun as they are celebrated for their work with patients, families, physicians and fellow employees.



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Meet Brian May, 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 Brian May, Risk Adjustment Supervisor for Hometown Health.

He was nominated for Top Talent for being highly respected and assisting with process improvement. His hard work with the Population Health Management Office, Hometown Health and Medical Group improved member access to care. He has also worked on care gap closures to improve Senior Care Plus goals.

May said that his team helps ensure the integrity and accuracy of the data that is submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is so it completely reflects each Hometown Health member’s health journey and insures that proper reimbursement is received.

“I enjoy working at Renown, because the culture cannot be beat,” May said. “I have a great team that I look forward to interacting with every day. Renown is also a company that truly values its employees as people and not as just a widget.”

May said he grew up in Reno and loves being close to his family. “Reno offers all of the necessary amenities, while the mountains are right in our backyard to go fishing, snowmobiling or camping,” he said.

May and his wife, who he met while they were both attending college in Chico, Calif., enjoy remodeling projects, including houses and RV trailers. “We also have twin two-year-olds, a boy and a girl,” May added. “We love to go camping as a family to get away and disconnect.”




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Ty Windfeldt Honored for His Work with the Boys and Girls Club

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


Ty Windfeldt, Hometown Health CEO and Renown Health Senior Vice President, was recently awarded the National Service to Youth Award from the Boys and Girls Club of the Truckee Meadows.

This award is for Boys and Girls Club board members, employees of volunteers who have attained five or more years of devoted full- or part-time service to the organization. Ty has been working with the Boys and Girls Club for about 15 years.

Throughout the years, Ty has been in numerous committee chair positions on the Boys and Girls Club executive board and is currently serving as its board president.

“Ty has also played an instrumental role in philanthropically aligning the Club with both Renown and Hometown Health, and by supporting us through special events, providing nearly 3,000 sweatshirts to deserving kids in northern Nevada over the past 10 years,” said Mike Wurm, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Truckee Meadows. “He also made significant contributions to the recent remodel of the Donald L. Carano Facility on Bresson Avenue.”



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Winners Announced for We C.A.R.E. Story Submission Contest


A panel of judges including We C.A.R.E. master trainers from across the network reviewed all recently submitted stories about how employees are implementing We C.A.R.E. service behaviors as Renown’s cultural compass.

The following three submissions were selected as the winning stories:


First Place Winner – Sterile Processing Team

We C.A.R.E. behavior the story showcases: I stay off my cell phone while in meetings and “on-stage” areas.

This story was submitted by the Sterile Processing Team about Victor Olivera, Supervisor of Sterile Processing:

“As he was entering the hospital for his shift via the Second Street entrance on Aug. 20, Victor Olivera noticed a woman lying on the ground near the entrance doors. No one was around, and it was unknown how long she had been there. He stopped to check on the woman, who was not conscious, called the emergency extension and activated the code blue team. The woman’s husband arrived moments later and Victor reassured him that the team was on the way to assist her. The team arrived almost immediately after her husband and assisted the woman.

Victor stated he was even more aware of his surroundings and makes an effort to stay off of his phone in on-stage areas thanks to We C.A.R.E. training. He stated that if he had been on his phone, or if anyone had been on their phone, there was no way the woman would have been seen due to where she was lying. Victor has demonstrated the very core of our Mission, Vision, and Values by making a difference and possibly saving a life.”


Second Place Winner – Imaging Team

We C.A.R.E. behavior the story showcases: Anticipate Needs and Connect with Compassion.

“While rounding through our department, I noticed a very quiet patient in our fluoroscopy room. I asked the tech, who was outside the room, how her day was going and she mentioned that she felt the patient was kind of shut off. I went into the room and the patient’s head was turned away from me. I addressed the patient by his name and without turning to look at me, he just answered, ‘Yes.’

I asked if he was getting everything that he needed and he just said, ‘Yes.’ I could hear an accent and thought that he might be from the West Coast. He turned and looked right at me and said, ‘Why yes, I am.’ We started talking about how he ended up in the West and I found out that he was the only living serviceman that had served in all four branches of the military – very impressive. I thanked him for his service and thanked him for sharing his story with me.

The radiologist that day happened to be military trained, so I told him about the patient and the exam was completely different. The radiologist and patient were like old friends and the patient perked up and engaged with everyone. It was nice to see what a little conversation could do.”


Third Place Winner – General Surgery Unit

We C.A.R.E. behavior the story showcases: Anticipate Needs

“One of our long-stay patients on GSU has fallen multiple times and has been aggressive, so the team really pulled together to come up with ideas on how to keep him and the team safe. We simply talked to him to make connections and learned as much about him as possible.

First, they learned that he enjoyed playing the guitar, so one RN brought in a guitar for him. Some music was played for him and other times he would play it for the nurses. From there, the team learned that he especially loves rock music. At appropriate times, the team would set him up at the nursing station with an extra available workstation on wheels and play music for him. He would watch the videos and listen to the music, and we started to see more of who he was. He started to communicate socially, smile and laugh. He really enjoys telling us who his favorite musicians are and why.

His behavior has significantly improved since he first arrived to our unit; he says hello when we walk by and is not as impulsive as he once was. Seeing how impactful this was on his demeanor, the team decided that they would give him an iPod with lots of rock music on it, so when he discharged he would have his favorite music and it would help him heal. Many staff donated Apple Music gift cards, headphones and the iPod. The team went above and beyond and collaborated together to improve the quality of life for this patient.”



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Growing Our Family at Renown Children’s Hospital

Dr. Max Coppes, the Chair of Pediatrics for Renown Children’s Hospital, shared insights from the recruitment efforts for pediatricians and pediatric specialists.

The greatest and most exciting part of my role as Chair of Pediatrics has been recruitment. In 2016, we were very fortunate to have the Pennington Foundation donate $7.5M to Renown Health with the sole purpose of recruiting much needed pediatricians and pediatric specialists to our community. In addition, the Pennington Foundation indicated that they hoped the extensive recruitment efforts would lead to the establishment of a pediatric residency program. How have we done so far?

In 2016, we recruited five new pediatricians to our community.

In 2017, we signed another eight, while one private practice specialist joined our faculty at UNR Med and now serves as our clerkship coordinator.

In 2018, we grew by another 13. This means that over the past three years, we signed 26 new colleagues to our Renown Health family. These new members of our community bring years of experience in pediatrics and they hail from different parts of the country. There are so many new ideas and a tremendous amount of energy to helping to build Renown Children’s Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics.

Some of our colleagues have started new service lines, including: pediatric hematology/oncology, pediatric infectious diseases, pediatric emergency medicine, pediatric ophthalmology, and pediatric nephrology. Others have expanded existing service lines, including: pediatric pulmonology, pediatric endocrinology, pediatric hospital medicine, pediatric critical care and pediatric anesthesia. As you can imagine, this expansive growth has been exhilarating and made our 91-bed Renown Children’s Hospital a much more comprehensive children’s hospital.

Access to specialized pediatric care has increased dramatically and the need for children to seek treatment outside our area has decreased. We believe that children and families deserve quality pediatric care close to home, in their local community. However, we continue to recruit. We intend to add new positions for providers employed by UNR Med or Renown Children’s Hospital and we are supporting private practices to attract pediatric surgical specialists (e.g. general surgery, neurosurgery). Over the next 12-18 months we hope to recruit another 5-10 new providers to our community.

So what does the immediate future hold? First, Renown Children’s Hospital now allows many more children to remain in the community when needing medical care. We want to increase the number of children and families who are able to receive outstanding pediatric care in our local community. Second, we have appointed a pediatric clerkship director and with the addition of so many pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists, we are revamping the pediatric clerkship experience for UNR Med’s 3rd year medical students. Third, we will expand our educational efforts and are in the early stages of applying for an ACGME accredited pediatric residency program in Reno, NV in 2021. Fourth, we expect to join the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) as a full-fledged member. This will allow Renown Children’s Hospital to provide the very best care to children with cancer, and offer them participation in innovative clinical trials. Finally, we look to employ a number of providers through UNR Med to increase the core academic faculty focused primarily on education and research.

The future is bright! The sky is the limit! But most importantly, we are enjoying this growing work family, our community, our hospital, our university, and the spectacular nature that surrounds us.


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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.

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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.

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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