The Healthcare Heroes Legacy
Now in its eighth year, Healthcare Heroes began with the dual goal of honoring individuals that excel in healthcare and helping fund scholorships for Nevada’s future healthcare educators. After realizing there wasn’t a program in place to honor individuals that have done amazing things to propel healthcare in the Silver State, Healthcare Heroes was born with 10 categories and a seemingly endless supply of nominees.
Taking the idea of contributing to healthcare a step further, the Healthcare Heroes scholarship fund was created. With a scholarship set up at the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the funds are set aside for those students seeking careers as healthcare educators.
With over 160 Healthcare Heroes honored and thousands donated to Nevada schools, it’s safe to say that Healthcare Heroes is and continues to be a success. The Healthcare Heroes team extends a huge “thank you!” to everyone that has helped this event succeed, especially our corporate sponsor Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the associate sponsors and all of the Healthcare Heroes participants and event attendees.
Administrator | Mt. Grant General Hospital
Richard Munger has been administrator of Mt. Grant General Hospital for nearly 33 years. The hospital, located in Hawthorne, has seen a multitude of changes under Richard’s guidance. The hospital is licensed for 11 acute beds and 24 long-term care beds and was the first hospital in Nevada to receive the Critical Access Hospital designation. That designation, and the skills along with it, proved vital when the hospital recently treated six seriously injured Marines from a nearby training accident. Richard is proud of the quality and level of care his hospital provides.
In addition to overseeing the hospital, Richard is a founding member of the Nevada Rural Hospital Partners (NRHP), a consortium of 14 of Nevada’s small, rural and frontier hospitals. NRHP was formed in 1988 after being awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is also a founding member of the Liability Cooperative of Nevada, which was established in 1989. The cooperative is an inter-local public agency designed to make professional liability insurance more affordable for rural hospitals, which is essential to keeping their doors open. A native Nevadan, Richard cares about healthcare in this state, particularly healthcare to Nevada’s more rural areas. As such, he’s made strides to improve the access and quality of care for Nevada’s harder to reach, smaller communities and stays involved and informed in healthcare regulation and innovations to provide access of care.
CEO and Managing Director | Desert Springs Hospital
In 2005, Sam Kaufman was named the chief executive officer and managing director of Desert Springs Hospital after serving as its COO for the previous five years. He began his career in medical records and moved into an assistant administrator role before being promoted to the hospital’s top position. Sam’s dedication to providing high-quality healthcare to Southern Nevada shows through the tremendous development and expansions Desert Springs has seen under his leadership.
During his tenure as CEO and managing director, Desert Springs became the first hospital to be granted the Certificate of Distinction for Advanced Inpatient Diabetes Care from the Joint Commission. Similarly, Sam has guided Desert Springs’ expansion to provide life-enhancing product lines for individuals recovering from stroke or other debilitating injuries, as well as an inpatient geropsychiatric services program.
In his 23 years in healthcare, Sam held several active board member roles in the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the Henderson Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Those who have worked with Sam give endless praises regarding his management skills, strategic visions and positive impact on both patients and employees. Sam’s expertise and extensive background in healthcare administration, combined with his commitment to the community, makes him a tremendous asset to the industry.
Lisa Nelson, DO
Chief of Staff | Northern Nevada Medical Center
Dr. Lisa Nelson’s comittment to quality care is second only to her compassion for people. Serving on several committees and boards, she cares about the quality and care each patient at Northern Nevada Medical Center (NNMC) receives. An emergency medicine physician by trade, Dr. Nelson has paid particular attention to the quality of care in the hospital’s emergency room. As such, she has taken a leadership role to ensure that the ER provides fast, efficient service without compromising on quality patient care. As to why quality care is so important to her and the hospital’s emergency department, Dr. Nelson said, “Northern Nevada Medical Center is our home, and we like to treat our patients like we would our own family.”
In addition to her efforts on behalf of the emergency department, Dr. Nelson played on important role in NNMC’s certification as a Primary Stroke Center and an accredited Chest Pain Center. She wears several hats at the hospital serving as the chief of staff, co-chair of the Ethics Committee and on the hospital’s Board of Governors. Dr. Nelson is actively involved in the Reno community serving on the board for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
After receiving her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) from the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, MO, Dr. Nelson did a rotating internship and then emergency medicine residency at the Garden City Hospital in Garden City, MI. She then moved to the Churchill Community Hospital in Fallon and eventually to Reno. Dr. Nelson is Board Certified in emergency medicine and a member of several professional organizations including the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Washoe County Medical Society.
Paul K. Treadwell, MD
Radiation Oncologist | 21st Century Oncology
Dr. Paul Treadwell’s compassion and selflessness is felt by all of those around him, which is what makes him so well-respected by both patients and colleagues alike. As a radiation oncologist with 21st Century Oncology, Dr. Treadwell is faced with tremendous challenges every day yet consistently goes above and beyond the expectations of his patients and their families. He also donates much of his time to provide equally excellent service to many uninsured or under-resourced individuals around Southern Nevada.
Dr. Treadwell graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno medical school with a Certificate of Distinction in Surgery, and proceeded to his residency at the University of California, Irvine where he served as chief resident for two years. He previously served as the Associate Head of Radiation Oncology at St. Joseph Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Orange County, as well as the clinical professor of radiation oncology at the University of California, Irvine.
Additionally, Dr. Treadwell does extensive work with the Lied Clinic, which serves Clark County Social Services patients who have little or no access to resources. While he is well known and is viewed as one of the top experts in the oncology world, Dr. Treadwell remains exceptionally humble. His team and patients all recognize his big heart, dedication and sincere and caring nature, which is what makes him so loved and respected as a care provider.
Sonia Budhecha, MD
Faculty Physician | University of Nevada School of Medicine
Teaching by example, Dr. Sonia Budhecha is a faculty physician at the University of Nevada School of Medicine’s pediatric clinic. The clinic has a combined pediatric pulmonary and allergy division which can diagnose and treat children’s lung and allergy problems in one place. Dr. Budhecha thrives under the dual responsibilities of teaching Nevada’s next generation of doctors as well as treat young patients. Her passion is in the field of pediatric pulmonology and she handles everything from asthma to respiratory treatments for premature infants and patients with cystic fibrosis. She is affiliated with the SpectREM Sleep Medicine Center, which screens children with sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders. She also runs, in partnership with Renown Children’s Hospital, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, an accredited cystic fibrosis center in Northern Nevada. Her clinic is the only bronchopulmonary dysplasia clinic in the area.
Dr. Budhecha’s other responsibility is to her students at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. She serves as a faculty physician at the school and takes her position seriously. She understands Nevada’s need for quality and qualified physicians and has taken a personal interest in ensuring that the students she teaches understand that caring for patients is an important part of helping to treat them.
“While she acts swiftly and sharply as a physician ought to, what sets her apart from other physicians my family has worked with is her compassion, the human side to her healing process,” said Marcie Lucas, the mother of one of Dr. Budhecha’s patients. Lucas credits Dr. Budhecha with saving her child’s life. There’s no better recommendation for someone who is training Nevada’s future doctors.
Rhigel Jay Alforque Tan, DNP, RN, APN
Assistant Professor, Nursing | University of Nevada Las Vegas, School of Nursing
Dr. Rhigel Jay Alforque Tan’s passion for educating future generations of nurses stems from primarily personal experiences. Having grown up on the Filipino island of Cebu, he realized his dream of attending medical school and overcame numerous obstacles, including his family’s struggle against poverty. Currently an assistant professor of nursing and appointed board member on the Nevada State Board of Nursing by Governor Brian Sandoval, Dr. Tan advocates for nurses involvement in professional organizations. He also strives to ensure nurses are educated on regulations so they can provide quality and safe nursing care throughout Nevada.
Dr. Tan graduated cum laude from Cebu State college-Cebu City Medical Center College of Nursing and, with the help of family, was able to take the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Services (CGFNS) examination in order to work in the United States. Starting out in the field as a nursing assistant, he earned his RN license and an opportunity on the nursing administration team at El Jen. He was later invited to join the College of Southern Nevada as faculty. While he served as a committee member for CGFNS, Rhigel continued his education in the adult nurse practitioner, geriatric nurse practitioner, and psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner fields. He also received his doctor of nursing from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.
Within the Las Vegas community, Dr. Tan is actively involved in the Asian community and was an active board member of the Philippine Nurses Association. He is also a volunteer in the Clark County Emergency Corps and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses. Dr. Tan continues to contribute to education through his Yolanda Alforque-Tan Scholarship Foundation and Maria Libron Flores Nursing Scholarship Foundation.
Evan Klass, MD
Associate Dean for Statewide Initiatives | University of Nevada School of Medicine
Dr. Evan Klass has taken an active role in ensuring that rural Nevada has access to the best and brightest doctors through Project Echo (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). As the first associate dean for statewide initiatives with the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Dr. Klass is responsible for overseeing the team of medical professionals that specialize in outreach, health education and healthcare policy. Project ECHO is a program adapted from a tele-health outreach of the same name in New Mexico. Its purpose is to promote care in underserved areas by allowing for the safe and effective treatment of chronic, common or complex diseases in rural areas and to monitor the same.
He recognized a need for some type of remote medicine program when a patient of his drove from a rural Nevada community, half a day each way, for an evaluation on an abnormal endocrine lab result. Dr. Klass saw that the lab result could have been addressed via phone and realized there was a better way to serve residents in remote areas of the state. He has since worked to ensure that Project ECHO is a success. While working to put the program in place, Dr. Klass organized road trips through rural Nevada to learn from the area’s primary care providers what specialty needs their individual communities have.
In addition to the tele-health side of the project, a video clinic-model is also in place to increase the capacity of rural doctors to provide the necessary care themselves through a structured coaching clinic. Specializing in diabetes and endocrinology, Dr. Klass oversees Project ECHO in addition to his administrative, teaching and clinical roles at the University.
Thomas J. Hunt, MD
Associate Professor, Family and Community Medicine | University of Nevada School of Medicine
Thousands of citizens in Southern Nevada have been touched by Dr. Tom Hunt’s myriad of contributions to the health of the community. Even more have benefitted from his broader, national scale efforts. Through his mentorship of medical students and residents, community health publications and involvement with the University Medical Center and county health groups, Dr. Hunt is highly regarded for his commitment to community health.
In addition to his current role as an associate professor at the University of Nevada, School of Medicine in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Dr. Hunt has also served as residency director, chair of the department and course director for the school. His leadership and community influence reaches through several levels of the medical school and professional organizations. Under his direction, the University of Nevada, School of Medicine offered free medical screenings to those who lived or worked near the Nevada Test Site during the atmospheric nuclear testing. This helped to facilitate early detection of potential health hazards due to radiation exposure.
Dr. Hunt was named a National Health Service Corps Scholar by the Public Health Service and a top doctor by U.S. News and World Report. He has also educated thousands on community health through speaking engagements, radio and television appearances.
Sister Cyndie Cammack, RN
Hospice Nurse | Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center
Sister Cyndie Cammack has immersed herself in the Reno community and serves at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center as an advocate for patients and families. Sister Cyndie moved to the area in 2009 from Sacramento, CA where she worked as a case manager for a 165-bed skilled nursing facility. After moving to Reno, she has served as a nurse case manager at Saint Mary’s Hospice.
Sister Cyndie is a compassionate nurse with a desire to help people. She is heavily involved in the community through faith-based organizations and non-profits. Sister Cyndie genuinely cares for the people she serves and that care translates in the time and dedication she gives her patients. Never easy, Sister Cyndie brings compassion and understanding to hospice care and bereavement support. She is a steady voice for the population she serves. Additionally, in an effort to better serve patients, she acts as a liaison between skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.
Sister Cyndie combines education, outreach and case management with a caring attitude that helps individuals at some of the most difficult times in their lives. She excels at helping patients and families in transition into hospice services. Having dedicated her life to serving others, Sister Cyndie is the very definition of a humanitarian. Concerned with the welfare of her patients and their families, she gives of her time to ensure the comfort and care of others.
Olya Banchik, DDS
Founder and Executive Director | Smiles for Survivors
After years of providing dental services, Dr. Olya Banchik noticed a correlation between cancer treatments and oral complications in her patients. She found that approximately 40 percent of cancer patients tend to suffer substantial oral side effects when given chemotherapy. However, with cancer treatment as the top priority, oral care is often neglected. With a mother, mother-in-law and friend as breast cancer survivors, Dr. Banchik is personally invested in this issue and launched a local program offering cosmetic dental work for breast cancer survivors.
Smiles for Survivors launched in 2010, connecting financially-exhausted breast cancer patients with dentists and other specialists to provide preventative and restorative services. Over $25,000 was invested in treatments across 85 different procedures last year, a 400 percent increase from the founding year. Now in its third year, the foundation continues to grow in Las Vegas and is on its way to expanding across the nation.
In addition to being the current principal of Hillcrest Dental, Dr. Banchik also serves as the Executive Director for Smiles for Survivors. She obtained her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from New York University College of Dentistry, and completed a general practice residency program at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Her post-doctoral training focuses on patients with headaches, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and sleep apnea disorders. Furthermore, Dr. Banchik has been featured as the subject-matter expert for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s annual conference in 2012 and in numerous publications.
Immediate Past President, Volunteer Board | Northern Nevada Medical Center
If a volunteer is defined by their willingness to serve and great attitude, Linda Read is the very definition of a volunteer. She joined Northern Nevada Medical Center’s (NNMC) volunteer corps in 2009 and has already served more than 300 hours at the hospital, lending a helping hand wherever she can. In August of 2011, Linda became president of the volunteer’s board at the hospital after serving as vice president. Patty Downs, human resources director of NNMC, said of Linda, “She is a very calming, gentle and good soul. We are lucky to have her.”
Linda’s dedication to the patients she serves is obvious by the way she steps up to help wherever she might be needed. Linda was one of the first to volunteer when the hospital’s chief nursing officer suggested a concierge program and has become a vital part of the program. As a concierge volunteer, Linda welcomes each new patient on the day after he or she is admitted to the hospital allowing those patients to ask questions or voice any concerns they may have. Linda can then act as a liaison, helping patients and their families feel as comfortable as possible. In addition to her responsibilities in the concierge program, Linda has been entrusted with the task of interviewing prospective volunteers, introducing them to the facility and training them in their responsibilities.
With a knack for knowing where a volunteer would best serve, Linda is able to place them in the ideal position so they, and the patients, can get the most benefit from their service. Linda is heavily involved in NNMC and serves a vital role in the organization, both within and without. At NNMC’s monthly health fairs, Linda has taken a leadership position to ensure the event runs smoothly and everyone is receiving the care and service they need.
Emelina Quisumbing, MD
Oncologist | FirstMed Health and Wellness Center
Having witnessed firsthand an extreme lack of access to healthcare services for the low-income and uninsured population, Dr. Emelina Quisumbing resigned from her for-profit oncologist position in 2009 to start FirstMed Health and Wellness Center. With a group of dedicated colleagues, Dr. Quisumbing sought to provide quality healthcare services to all patients, regardless of their financial and insurance situation. By providing primary care services to a vulnerable population, FirstMed is able to help individuals stay healthy to maintain employment, thus enabling these individuals to give back to the community.
With Dr. Quisumbing’s direction, FirstMed has served over 5,000 patients with 14,000 clinic visits in 2012 alone. She modeled the Center after the Federally-Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) found across the nation to tend to Nevada’s population that currently requires Medicare/Medicaid services. Dr. Quisumbing believes it is through collaboration and the willingness to contribute that the community will be able to thrive.
FirstMed Health and Wellness Center continues to grow under Dr. Quisumbing’s guidance. The center unveiled its renovated mobile clinic last month, which will provide the same quality and holistic medical services to those in need who are unable to travel to the center.
Vice President, R-Total Health | Renown Health
Kirk Gillis has a history of innovation in healthcare including the development of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, occupational health and a tele-medicine program for Northern Nevada. Kirk joined Renown Health in 2007 in order to develop new healthcare programs for under-served populations. An innovator in the healthcare industry for over 30 years, Kirk currently oversees Renown’s accountable care initiatives designed to improve the quality of care for individuals, while reducing healthcare spending for both patients and employers.
One of Kirk’s most innovative projects was the creation and implementation of the R-TeleMed Program which connects Nevada’s rural healthcare communities with the state’s larger population bases to bring quality care to every region. The tele-medicine network Kirk worked to developed required the investment and approval of several area stakeholders. Nevertheless, Kirk was persistent and determined that a large-scale network allowing remote exams and diagnosis was feasible. He enlisted the support of HealtHIE Nevada, Nevada Hospital Association, Nevada Rural Hospital Partners, Renown and the University of Nevada School of Medicine to launch the program which enables skilled specialists in Reno to consult on the evaluation and treatment of patients in outlying areas.
The program uses secure video conferencing technology to enable long-distance medical care. The technology was specifically adapted for tele-medicine and allows physicians to conduct a live, interactive discussion with both the patient and the patient’s rural care provider. Currently, R-TeleMed has programs covering a multitude of practice areas connecting 25 rural communities to 35 urban medical specialties.
Sherif W. Abdou, MD
President and CEO | HealthCare Partners Nevada
Dr. Sherif Abdou is president and chief executive officer of HealthCare Partners Nevada, and a highly respected healthcare professional known for his innovative efforts in healthcare. He has been a leader for many years within the industry, and has managed numerous large companies that led to significant impacts and changes to the way healthcare is delivered in Nevada.
After receiving his medical degree from Mansoura University School of Medicine in Mansoura, Egypt, he completed his residency at the University Medical Center School of Medicine in Las Vegas. Dr. Abdou then received a Master of Medical Management from the University of Southern California. A Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Physician Executives, Dr. Abdou is committed to bringing a new system of healthcare to the state. HealthCare Partners Nevada, a physician network organization, is changing the way healthcare has traditionally been offered in Nevada. The patient-centered model is designed to put patients first.
During Dr. Abdou’s tenure, HealthCare Partners Nevada has grown significantly and now has approximately 100 primary care practices in the state. Dr. Abdou is determined to find new and better ways to deliver healthcare to Nevada and continues to deliver innovative approaches to patient care. In addition to his primary role at HealthCare Partners Nevada, Dr. Abdou serves on several healthcare committees in Southern Nevada. He is also a member of the Nevada Regional Chapter of the Society of Hospital Medicine.
Charles Krasner, MD
Chief Medical Officer | Northern Nevada HOPES
Dr. Charles Krasner serves a variety of roles at several organizations including non-profits, healthcare and education. By trade, he is a respected infectious disease physician but he’s also a well-known advocate for the under-served population and a mentor for medical students. Dr. Krasner serves as the medical director of infection control at Northern Nevada Medical Center where he has been integral in achieving low infection rates at the hospital. Additionally, he is a provider for the Access to Healthcare Network and a faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
One of Dr. Krasner’s most important roles, however, is as chief medical officer for Northern Nevada HOPES. A community non-profit dedicated to building a healthier community through coordinated care, HOPES was formed in 1997. The organization is a resource for under-served populations in Reno and, under Dr. Krasner’s leadership, has managed to offer a growing list of services including primary care, chronic disease management and behavioral health services.
An internist who is no stranger to infectious diseases, Dr. Krasner has made it his mission to help those that sometimes find it difficult to access healthcare. Reaching out to the LGBT community, drug and sex workers, the homeless and poverty stricken, he is an advocate to help them receive the care they need. As a mentor at the School of Medicine, Dr. Krasner often has a trail of medical students following him and is known for his effective and patient teaching methods.
President and CEO | Nathan Adelson Hospice
Leading Nevada’s largest non-profit hospice, Carole Fisher is the driving force behind a myriad of initiatives with Nathan Adelson Hospice. Her uncanny awareness of the community’s needs, and inspiring and compassionate leadership as president and chief executive officer, has grown the organization to become a role model for other hospices across the nation.
Under Carole’s direction, Nathan Adelson Hospice implemented the Three Square meal delivery program for low-income patients, developed an application for hospice referrals by doctors and provides $1 million per year in uncompensated hospice care. Furthermore, she has increased census at the hospice by 50 percent and instituted the Angel Tree Program, which assists more than 400 under-privileged families during the holiday season. Carole’s community involvement and accomplishments are extensive, including Nevada Executive Women in Healthcare, Access to Healthcare Network, United Way of Southern Nevada Women’s Leadership Council and Nevada Hospital Association Policy Development Committee. She has been honored as a Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Nevada.
Carole was a substance abuse counselor and executive director of Bridge Counseling Associates early in her career. She then served as the executive director for Southwest Medical Associates providing medical services to over 500,000 patients in Southern Nevada. Carole later joined Nathan Adelson Hospice as executive vice president in June 2005 and was offered her current role as president and chief executive officer within her first year on staff.
Technology & Research
Wei Yan, MD, PhD
Professor of Physiology and Cell Biology | University of Nevada School of Medicine
With a curriculum vitae that is impressively long, it’s obvious from one glance that Dr. Wei Yan is uniquely qualified to conduct research on the molecular biological mechanisms controlling reproduction and early development. What is less readily apparent from his CV and evident from one conversation with him is, Dr. Yan’s passion for research. Firmly believing that research will lead to much need cures and breakthroughs, Dr. Yan has dedicated his professional life to studies. His research centers on the genes that program the development of sperm and egg and the mechanisms that turn these genes on and off.
Through his dedication, Dr. Yan has substantially advanced the University of Nevada School of Medicine’s resources and his list of accomplishments is impressive. Having authored or co-authored over 79 manuscripts, he is also no stranger to being asked to speak at various medical events around the world and has investigated everything from normal development of reproductive cells to infertility and contraception.
Achieving his medical doctorate from the China Medical University in 1990, Dr. Yan also received a PhD from the University of Turku in Finland. He joined the department of physiology and cell biology at the University in 2004 where he, just this year, achieved the rank of professor at the School of Medicine. Through Dr. Yan’s efforts in the study of molecular biology and reproduction, more information about the earliest development of life is being revealed every day. Because of his passion for science, Dr. Yan is relentless in the pursuit of knowledge and his recent work has shown, among other things, the effects of environmental agents that can be passed from generation to generation. Dr. James Kenyon, the senior associate dean for research at the School of Medicine summed it best, “His scientific accomplishments have been nothing less than outstanding.”
Ronald Fiscus, PhD
Vice President, Research | Roseman University of Health Sciences
Dr. Ronald Fiscus currently balances his roles as Roseman University’s Vice President for Research, Research Director for the Center for Diabetes and Obesity Prevention, Treatment, Research and Education (The Center) at Roseman University of Health Sciences and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy. Dr. Fiscus’ efforts to build the research program at Roseman University is what led the school to be named Nevada Research Organization of the Year in 2012 by the Nevada Biotechnology and Health Science Consortium.
In his brief three years at Roseman, Dr. Fiscus has been a driving force behind the school’s various research efforts including publishing seven manuscripts and three book chapters, as well as international scientific meetings presenting the team’s cutting-edge research and scientific instrumentation. The Center now has active research partnerships with world-renowned scientists including Nobel Laureate Dr. Ferid Murad and Dr. Chikao Morimoto of the University of Tokyo.
Prior to Roseman University, Dr. Fiscus served as the Director of the Cancer Molecular Biology Section at the Nevada Cancer Institute, establishing state-of-the-art technology for conducting molecular-level cancer research. He was also responsible for the development of new medical school curriculum for the Chinese University of Hong Kong School of Medicine as their former coordinator for new curriculum. Dr. Fiscus’ early research during his time as a senior post-doctorate fellow and pharmacology staff scientist with Dr. Murad contributed significantly to Nobel Prize-winning research.
Roger Miercort, MD
Medical Director | Carson Tahoe Cancer Center
With nearly 50 years in healthcare, Dr. Roger Miercort has seen more than a few changes in the medical field. Serving as a radiation oncologist and medical director for the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, Dr. Miercort’s professional career has been marked by his caring manner and the thousands of lives he has touched.
Dr. Miercort’s career began when he graduated from medical school at the University of Colorado in 1964. He then went on to serve in the United States Navy, establish a private radiation oncology practice in Reno and serve as president of the Washoe County Medical Society. Moving to Carson City 26 years ago, Dr. Miercort has since been integral in ensuring the area has the best cancer treatments available. He was pivotal in helping to establish the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center and now serves as its medical director. The center is now in its sixth year of operation and has served over 100,000 area patients. Additionally, the center is the first of its kind in Nevada to receive a Gold Level Accreditation from the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer. This is particularly impressive considering the requirements to reach the accreditation and is a testemant to a career that has spanned decades as Dr. Miercort was integral in helping the organization receive the designation.
His dedication to Nevada and to his patients is apparent. Dr. Miercort continues to leave a legacy for Nevada of quality care, compassionate bedside manner and hope for his patients.
Mary Guinan, PhD, MD
Dean, School of Community Health Sciences | University of Nevada Las Vegas
Dr. Mary Guinan’s accomplishments over the course of her career make her one of the most renowned and influential women in public heath. Dr. Guinan is widely known for her initial research and investigation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and as a leading expert on sexually transmitted diseases.
A trailblazer, Dr. Guinan became the first woman to ever serve as chief scientific advisor for the CDC as a result of her groundbreaking discoveries on sexually transmitted diseases. She spent time in rural India ridding the area of smallpox, was the assistant director for evaluation in the office of HIV/AIDS from 1990-1995 and later was the chief of urban research centers for New York City, Seattle and Detroit. Dr. Guinan came to Nevada in 1998 and served as the Nevada State Health Officer. She took on the role of executive director for the Nevada Public Health Foundation from 2002-2004. Dr. Guinan was also president of the American Medical Women’s Association for the 2011-2012 term.
At the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Dr. Guinan founded the School of Community Health Sciences in 2004 while she taught as a professor of epidemiology and community health. In 2008, she was called upon by the governor to return to her role as Nevada state health officer to address a Hepatitis B outbreak. For the following 10 months she split her time between state health officer and dean.
She continues to work with an extensive network of local, state and federal health authorities to further her mission of eliminating health gaps between socio-economic and ethnic groups, while providing quality education for her students.
Harry Rosenberg, PharmD, PhD
President Emeritus | Roseman University of Health Science
hen Dr. Harry Rosenberg co-founded the Nevada College of Pharmacy, now Roseman University of Health Sciences, he sought to surpass the status quo. The school was founded with the philosophy that pharmacy education could be improved, become more effective, and is capable of producing highly competent graduates. Higher education was revolutionized with Dr. Rosenberg’s innovative educational philosophies and models of teaching.
Dr. Rosenberg, along with current president Dr. Renee Coffman, designed the curriculum model based on the singular focus of student success. The unique curricular structure leads to most Roseman students completing their degree programs on an accelerated timeline compared to traditional models, yet allows students more academic hours. Along with other first-of-its-kind concepts, such as the block curriculum program and mastery learning philosophy, Dr. Rosenberg’s realized vision has produced over 1,700 Roseman alumni. Under his leadership, Roseman has experienced tremendous growth over the years and contributed to the improvement of healthcare in Southern Nevada from its successful graduates.
Prior to establishing the University, Dr. Rosenberg served as the Dean of the College of Pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences, and as the Dean and Professor of North Dakota State University, College of Pharmacy. Additionally, he has countless publications in scientific and educational journals, and focuses the majority of his research on secondary complications of diabetes. He is also an active member in the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, the Henderson Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau.
Dr. Rosenberg retired in December 2012 but continues to develop new academic programs at Roseman to address the ongoing health needs of Nevada.
Corporate Sponsor: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
With roots dating back to 1969, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada (Anthem) has a proud tradition of serving not only its members, but also the broader community. In 2012, this legacy continued as the health insurer, its charitable foundation and local associates contributed more than $1.26 million and hundreds of volunteer hours to vital organizations and causes across the state.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its foundation work to identify the health issues most in need of attention and then direct charitable support and volunteer efforts toward improving those areas. Major areas of focus for Anthem in 2012 included promoting active lifestyles and working to reduce the devastating impact of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease on Nevada children, adults and seniors.
Key areas of support included:
Susan G. Komen For the Cure
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Carson City Health and Human Services
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Nevada communities also benefit from grants made by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s parent company to national and regional organizations, such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America, American Cancer Society and OASIS Institute.
On an annual basis, Anthem’s local associates enthusiastically support two of the parent company’s signature social responsibility programs: Community Service Day and Associate Giving Campaign.
During Community Service Day, company associates and their families also volunteered at community organizations throughout Nevada. Taking place at three sites throughout the state, the annual effort benefitted non-profits dedicated to improving the quality of life in local communities, including Opportunity Village, Food Bank of Northern Nevada and Step2Reno.
Through the Associate Giving Campaign, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield associates make one time contributions and ongoing pledges to health-focused charities in Nevada.
“The health causes we are supporting are not quick-fix issues,” said Mike Murphy, president of Anthem. “However, our hope is that by improving the lives of individuals we can make inroads on the major health challenges of our time and create brighter futures for families across the state.”
Holland & Hart Salutes the 2013 Healthcare Heroes
Holland & Hart is proud to provide legal support to Nevada’s healthcare businesses. Partners Connie Akridge and Matt Milone lead their field in understanding and responding to obligations and opportunities facing healthcare clients today. Together, Connie and Matt guide businesses in Nevada and across the nation through the increasingly complex regulation, extraordinary competition, and exciting innovation that define the industry.
With offices in Las Vegas and Reno, and backed by Holland & Hart’s extensive resources, Connie and Matt deliver full-service legal solutions to clients in the healthcare industry. As appropriate, they coordinate with experienced attorneys from corporate, tax, intellectual property, employment, and litigation to address and resolve client needs.
The firm advises on laws including Stark, the Anti-Kickback Statute, HIPAA, EMTALA, the Nevada Insurance Code, HCQIA, Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 449 concerning medical facilities, Corporate Practice of Medicine restrictions, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Connie and Matt routinely design solutions for hospitals, medical providers, medical groups, managed care organizations, third party administrators, health information exchanges, practice managers and administrators, independent practice associations (IPAs), imaging centers, ambulatory surgery centers, medical device and life science companies, rehabilitation centers, and extended and elder care facilities.
ACA and its supporting regulations have significantly altered how healthcare is delivered and paid for in the United States. Connie and Matt help clients in the following matters:
Forming physician networks and IPAs;
State and federal regulatory investigations, including fraud and abuse;
Laws and regulations involved in the merger and consolidation of healthcare entities;
Forming and representing captive insurers owned by medical professionals and facilities;
Representation of providers and payors in disputes regarding healthcare claims;
Forming and licensing HMOs, PPOs, health discount plans, limited health plans (including dental plans), and other insurance entities; and
Drafting and negotiating contracts and joint venture agreements for medical providers, medical groups, and other healthcare entities.
When Roseman University of Health Sciences was founded in Henderson in 1999 as the Nevada College of Pharmacy, the institution aspired to create the best doctor of pharmacy program in the world. Today, Roseman is on the forefront of preparing tomorrow’s healthcare professionals, thanks to its proven educational model and the strong dedication of its Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, students, alumni, partners, supporters, and friends.
Over the past fourteen years, Roseman has experienced remarkable growth that has seen expansions into the fast-growing and high-demand fields of nursing, pre- and post-doctoral dental medicine, healthcare business and robust research. This growth demonstrates Roseman’s commitment as a transforming force in vital areas of healthcare education.
Much of the university’s success is due to how it’s different. Roseman created a highly effective pedagogical model that is unique to health professions education. The Roseman educational model is immersive and incorporates mastery learning, problem-based and active learning, cooperative or team-based learning, and a block system model of curricular design specifically engineered to support attainment of learning outcomes and the highest level of achievement for all students.
Roseman assesses students based on its mastery learning philosophy, rather than the traditional testing and letter grading system. Students are assessed regularly on their knowledge and skills, and must score 90 percent or higher on assessments of their programmatic knowledge and clinical skills before they may progress to the next curricular block. This model has been employed from the inception of the university and is utilized in all academic programs.
Throughout the institution’s history, the Roseman educational model has been proven to produce successful graduates. The best evidence of this success is student achievement on board licensure examinations; Roseman students and graduates achieve passing rates that are consistently better than national averages, with individual exam scores that are typically much higher than national averages.
In addition to its Henderson campus, Roseman also operates a campus in the Salt Lake City suburb of South Jordan, Utah. The university is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and each of its academic programs is accredited by its respective accrediting body.
Founded in 1966, Desert Radiologists began with two small outpatient facilities and one hospital contract. Today, it operates five American College Radiology accredited outpatient facilities throughout Southern Nevada and is the exclusive radiology provider for a multitude of hospitals and medical practices in Nevada and beyond.
The group’s mission is to provide the highest level of medical imaging available where quality is first and foremost. At Desert Radiologists, quality is defined as report turn-around, thoroughness, and delivery of accurate reports to referring physicians. It’s greatest strength is the highly trained Board Certified Radiologists and the significant volume of studies/procedures they complete. The practice, which now employs 50 radiologists, has great depth in terms of sub-specialty coverage. The highly sub-specialized radiologists can handle and diagnose the very difficult oncological, pediatric, musculoskeletal or neurological cases. In addition, all of its radiologists provide cross-sectional coverage. This keeps their skills honed in all aspects of radiology so they can cover the practice at any time, 365 days a year.
Rather than outsourcing reads to another practice at night or on the weekends, Desert Radiologists provides all of its interpretation services in-house, and always has. Additionally, the practice provides teleradiology services to other healthcare facilities and physician groups around the country, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Desert Radiology Solutions, LLC. At present, Desert Radiologists provides radiology services to twelve hospitals throughout Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas. Furthermore, they are the exclusive radiology source for a large group of multi-specialty clinics, a leading oncology organization and several smaller physician practices.
One of the reasons Desert Radiologists continues to grow is because its radiologists deliver exceptional service to referring physicians and clients. This is due, in large part, to a unified worklist from which the radiologists read, across 64 sites of service. This unified worklist is essential because it means all studies are prioritized in one system, ensuring that every exam is read in a timely manner. In 2012, Desert Radiologists completed over 1.3 million studies/procedures.
Desert Radiologists is a leading provider of quality medical imaging and radiology interpretations. In 2012, the group ranked as one of Imaging Economics “Best Radiology Facilities”. Additionally in 2012, U.S. News & World Report named a number of the group’s physicians as “Top Doctors” nationally.
Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center
Saint Mary’s began its legacy of caring for the community in 1877, when a few Dominican Sisters made an unplanned stop in Reno, on their journey from California to Kentucky. The Sisters stayed in Reno and built Mount Saint Mary’s Academy to bring education to the children of farmers and miners in the area. The Academy would eventually become Sisters’ Hospital, as the rapidly growing community was in need of quality, caring healthcare.
In 1908 Sisters’ Hospital opened its doors with just two nurses on staff. Even in those early days of the hospital, the workload was overwhelming, and skilled help was hard to find. In response, the Sisters established a nurse’s training school that opened in 1910. The school would later transition to the University of Nevada in 1959, through the Orvis School of Nursing.
As the area continued to grow, so did healthcare demands, so in 1912 a new adjoining facility opened, and the Sisters’ Hospital became Saint Mary’s Hospital. From 1912 to present day, new additions have been built and a network has expanded, creating Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center.
Saint Mary’s has since evolved to be an acute care and general medical/surgical hospital serving Northern Nevada and its surrounding rural communities. A member of Prime Healthcare Services, Saint Mary’s continues to focus on mission-based care and providing patients with affordable, comprehensive medical options. Nationally accredited by the Joint Commission, Saint Mary’s offers a range of services including women’s & children’s care, home care, hospice & palliative care, a nationally accredited Breast Center of Excellence within the Center for Cancer, a full-service cardiovascular program, a multi-specialty medical group, state-of-the-art fitness center and more. Part of a Top 15 Health System by Truven Analytics, Saint Mary’s is at the leading edge of healthcare delivery.
When you need emergency or urgent care, Renown Health offers many choices.
Whether you have a minor illness or injury, or need more serious emergency treatment, Renown offers three convenient ER and nine Urgent Care locations – and two easy ways to find the best location for you. Simply visit renown.org on your smartphone or computer to check how quickly you can be seen by a medical provider. That way you can head straight to the most convenient location.
When a minor emergency strikes after hours or when primary care is not available, visit an Urgent Care location near you for non-life threatening injuries or illnesses such as:
Minor asthma attack
Minor burn or sunburn
Coughs or colds
Minor cuts or lacerations
Flu, fever or nausea
Sprains, strains or simple fracture
Call 9-1-1 for immediate help and head to the nearest ER for more serious or life-threatening injuries or illnesses such as:
Severe asthma attack
Sever Burn with blisters
Confusion or fainting
Irregular heart beat
Numbness, weakness or unable to move
Severe stomach pain
Trauma, severe injury or shock
Shortness of breath
Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
Swallowing of poison
Vomiting or coughing blood
When you need ER or Urgent Care, don’t wait to get care – go to renown.org on your smartphone or computer to find the best Renown ER or Urgent Care location for you.
Healthcare Partners Nevada
Driven by its goal to lead the transformation of the nation’s health care delivery system, HealthCare Partners Nevada serves as a role model for integrated and coordinated care. Through its unique, patient-centered model of care and expansive network of primary and specialty care providers across Southern Nevada, HealthCare Partners strives to keep community members healthy and out of hospitals.
Founded in 1996 by Dr. Sherif Abdou and Dr. Amir Bacchus, HealthCare Partners provides patients with access to the Total Care Model, a value-based approach to health care that focuses on prevention. Through this model of care, primary care providers, specialists and professional staff work as a coordinated team to manage all aspects of patients’ care and overall health, resulting in improved outcomes and lower costs. This allows primary care providers and specialists to work in harmony to determine the best course of action for patients.
The organization has significantly expanded its presence in Southern Nevada while practicing this innovative model of care. Since the group started with five physicians at three locations in 1996, (then operating as Summit Medical Group), the network has expanded to include approximately 290 primary care providers and more than 1,700 specialists throughout Southern Nevada. HealthCare Partners Nevada now serves more than 300,000 patients each year.
HealthCare Partners continues to grow as it pursues strategic acquisitions and providers join the network out of support for the organization’s vision for the future of health care. The company has most recently expanded to include Solari Hospice Care and HealthCare Partners Medical Group Oncology/Hematology, a new division created to provide patients with access to a full suite of oncology and hematology services at four locations in Southern Nevada.
Backed by a team of experienced professionals with a shared vision for the future, HealthCare Partners hopes to continue its growth in the community and maintain its commitment to promoting the expansion of integrated and coordinated care in Southern Nevada.
Nevada State Bank
On behalf of Professional Banking from Nevada State Bank, we are honored to sponsor and recognize the 2013 Healthcare Heroes. Throughout the history of our state, banking and healthcare have maintained a mutually beneficial relationship, and we are proud to have played a part in that partnership for more than 50 years.
It’s a time of change, not only in banking, but also for medical professionals and the healthcare industry. We applaud your efforts to ensure that Nevadans have access to quality and accessible medical care in the midst of a changing environment. One of the greatest challenges we face as a community is the fact that Nevada has a significant physician shortage. Many of our medical students end up practicing out of state following graduation. The problem may unfortunately get worse before it gets better as our population ages and requires more care.
All is not lost. One way we can address this issue is to invest in the future. Education is critical and investing in our medical professionals is paramount. The recognition and appreciation we show with these Healthcare Heroes awards is another way. We need to reverse the trend and it can start right now. From innovations to education, the 2013 honorees deserve to be recognized for the time, talents, sacrifices and innovations they make every day, within our communities and beyond.
At Nevada State Bank, our Professional Banking team is here to help align your personal and business finances for the present and in planning for the future. We are your trusted finance specialists—