Valley Health System Hospitals Achieve National Certification as Gluten-Free Food Service Facilities

Four Valley Health System hospitals have achieved certification as a Gluten-Free Food Service program, joining a handful of other hospitals in the United States to achieve this status. The Food & Nutrition teams of Centennial Hills, Desert Springs, Summerlin and Valley hospitals met the rigorous standards and expectations for safety required to achieve this honor. The team is proud to serve delicious meals for any diet preference on a daily basis and this designation portrays their commitment to provide quality food for patients.

The Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) audits and validates restaurants and food businesses that serve gluten-free food. The GFFS validation program is a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), a non-profit organization that has been serving the needs of the gluten-free community for over 45 years. GIG is on a mission to make life easier for everyone living gluten-free.

The hospitals will display the validated Gluten Free Safe Spot logo throughout the hospital to represent the independent verification of quality, integrity, and purity of businesses serving gluten-free food. Validation as a Gluten Free Safe Spot establishes trust with gluten-free patrons in the ability of a facility to provide safe gluten-free food.

Established in 2009, GFFS has held its food service establishments to the highest standards. Consumers recognize locations validated as Gluten Free Safe Spots serve gluten-free food that meets the nonprofit GFFS’s rigorous standards and expectations for safety. GFFS validates participating establishments, from restaurants to college dining, senior living, hospitals and more, by visiting locations in-person to ensure they follow best practices for gluten-free food safety and ensure high-quality staff training.

“I’m proud of our teams’ hard work to achieve gluten-free validation,” said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President of The Valley Health System. “The GFFS validation confirms our commitment to support our employees, physicians, patients and visitors who are living gluten-free.”

Centennial Hills Hospital Expands Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Adds Family Amenities

The Birthplace at Centennial Hills Hospital recently expanded its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) from 15 to 25 beds. The expansion features nine private baby suites, including separate suites for twins and triplets, to provide families with much-needed solitude during a stressful time, helping them feel welcome and secure as the NICU care team and parents care for medically fragile babies in comfortable surroundings.

The expansion was designed to address a need for increased space and privacy, explained Rebecca Kole, RNC-NIC, MSN, NICU Nurse Manager. “We understand this is a tense and demanding time, and the NICU becomes a family’s home away from home,” she said.

“Parents are vital members of their baby’s care team, and are supported through our Family Integrated Care support system. Along with our suites providing more space and storage for personal belongings, we also added a Family Lounge. This provides parents with some time away from the bedside to refresh, refuel and connect with other parents for support in a more relaxed setting,” explained Kole. “And, when parents are away from their babies, they can check on them any time with our password-protected NICView® live-streaming technology.”

The NICU features a 24/7 visitation policy. As part of the baby’s growth and development plan, “kangaroo care” is encouraged; this skin-to-skin contact between parents and babies yields medical benefits such as regulating the temperature, heart and breathing of infants, along with family bonding and ability for mothers to provide breast milk.

“For critically ill patients, breast milk is like medicine that only a mother can provide, and it has been shown in medical evidence that it decreases many problems associated with being born prematurely,” said Kole. The NICU provides dedicated Lactation Consultant services for families, and hospital metrics between 2019 and YTD 2021 shows that more than 84% of Centennial Hills NICU babies were discharged to home on breast milk.

Advanced Baby Expertise for Northwest, North Las Vegas Families
The Level III NICU is for babies as young as 23 weeks (gestational age) who require specialty care, along with infants with low birth weights and other medical needs, explained Clarissa Gervasio, MD, Medical Director of the NICU at Centennial Hills Hospital. “Over the past several years, our tiny patients have benefited from many advances in the field of neonatal medicine, including the development of new modes of providing ventilator support, the use of total body cooling for infants with perinatal asphyxia, and an increased focus on quality improvement activities to optimize outcomes for the babies in our units,” said Dr. Gervasio.

“We’ve always used a multidisciplinary, family-centered approach, utilizing the skills and strengths of various members of our healthcare team to address all aspects of care for critically ill babies with many complex medical issues,” said Dr. Gervasio. Along with neonatal physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and dedicated Lactation Consultants, the NICU support team includes respiratory therapists to assist with breathing issues; the expertise of Certified Neonatal Therapists (CNT) who specialize in the care of premature infants; and the support of social workers to assist with a variety of social, financial and emotional issues.

“As our community continues to quickly grow, we are prepared to care for all mothers and babies and we are very proud to offer this increased capacity for our community,” said Sajit Pullarkat, CEO of Centennials Hills Hospital. “We understand babies arrive on their own schedules and may need additional levels of medical expertise and intervention, and I’m proud we can provide this high-quality mother-baby care, close to our patients’ homes while offering the additional privacy for our families.”

The NICU expansion is part of a $95 million master plan project for Centennial Hills Hospital that also included the addition of labor and delivery suites and 36 new mother-baby suites that opened in November 2020. Women choosing to deliver at The Birthplace work with their healthcare provider to create an individualized birth plan. Options include a natural delivery model with water laboring tubs, anesthesia services or a planned Caesarean section. Two operating rooms are located within The Birthplace, providing immediate access for planned and emergency Caesarean sections.

The Birthplace has a laborist (obstetrician) onsite 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist with any deliveries, and specially trained staff to provide specific care within the triage, antepartum labor and delivery, mother-baby and neonatal intensive care departments.

ER at Skye Canyon Opens to the Public

MountainView Hospital’s ER at Skye Canyon opened on July 20. ER at Skye Canyon is in the heart of the Skye Canyon community, in northwest Las Vegas.

The ER is located at 9860 W. Skye Canyon Park Dr., in the Smith’s Marketplace center and just west of U.S. 95.
The 24-hour facility operates as a fully-integrated department of MountainView Hospital, while serving patients in a convenient, off-site location.

The new ER is designed to meet the needs of the community of northwest Las Vegas and its rapidly growing population. It allows residents to seek emergency care in their neighborhood.

“MountainView Hospital has long recognized the need for emergency services in in our communities. We are proud to bring ER at Skye Canyon, nestled in the heart of this beautiful and fast-growing community to the northwest,” said Julie Taylor, MountainView Hospital Chief Executive Officer. “With this new facility, we can offer an additional options for our patients to receive high-quality health care close to home and provide the community with an ER to meet their needs.”
The 11,000-square-foot building includes 12 patient rooms and is staffed by board-certified ER physicians and nurses, with a wide range of on-call hospital specialists.

The ER is open 24-hours-a-day, seven-day-a-week. ER at Skye Canyon accepts vehicle ambulance services and walk-in patients, and is fully equipped to provide emergent and urgent care, in addition to ancillary services. The facility offers a fully functional lab and blood bank, a (non-retail) pharmacy and a full spectrum of radiology services, including CT scan, X-ray and ultrasound. The ER serves adult and pediatric patients.

ER at Skye Canyon adheres to the same regulatory and accreditation standards as traditional emergency departments. The facility provides all of the services available at on-site ERs, with the exception of trauma care and medical services or patients transported by air ambulances. Patients who require hospital admission will be transported to an affiliated hospital that meets the required level of care.

Monoclonal Antibody Therapy to Treat COVID-19 Available at ER at Blue Diamond

COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (MAb) therapy drugs authorized by the FDA for emergency use (EUA) are available as an intravenous therapy at the ER at Blue Diamond, an extension of Spring Valley Hospital, located at 9217 S. Cimarron Road (cross street Blue Diamond).

Specific criteria must be met for all available anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies and combinations for the treatment of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized adults and children 12 and older and weighing 40kg or more, who are at a high risk for progressing to more severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.

According to the FDA EUA, individuals must meet at least one of the following criteria to qualify for MAb therapy **
• Aged ≥65 years OR
• Body mass index (BMI) ≥35 OR
• Diabetes mellitus OR
• Chronic kidney disease OR
• Immunocompromising condition OR
• Currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment OR
• Aged ≥55 years and have:
• Cardiovascular disease, or
• Hypertension, or
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or another chronic respiratory disease.

Potential recipients must:
• have and show a documented positive COVID-19 test that can be scanned or included in the medical chart;
• have a high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19;
• not require any additional interventions, such as oxygen therapy or hospitalization; and
• meet certain high-risk criteria** in order to qualify for the treatment.
• Area residents cannot come in and request the treatment without meeting the criteria.

Those who meet the criteria can arrive as an ER visit for treatment, or work with their primary care physician to schedule the treatment as an outpatient procedure at the ER at Blue Diamond. Physicians must be on staff at any Valley Health System hospital and submit the necessary physician orders through the pharmacy at Spring Valley Hospital in order for the procedure to be scheduled.

“This is a safe infusion of antibodies that will directly attack the virus before your body has fully made its own antibodies,” explained Patrick Olivieri, MD, medical director of the ER at Blue Diamond. “The goal of this therapy is to help temper symptoms, prevent hospitalizations and reduce mortality and morbidity.”

The therapy takes approximately one hour to infuse, followed by monitoring for any side effects for another hour.

“We want to be as flexible as possible to meet the patients’ needs,” explained Dr. Olivieri. “We began offering this in late November after it received emergency use authorization. This MAb therapy helps reduce patients’ viral loads, the severity of symptoms and, hopefully, hospitalizations. It’s a painless, easy two hours and the side effects are typically limited to a rash or itchiness, which is what we are monitoring.”

Tahoe Forest Health System Welcomes Anna Ferrera Baumann, MD, Board Certified in Internal Medicine

Tahoe Forest Health System is pleased to announce that Anna Ferrera Baumann, MD, has joined their team at the Incline Village Community Hospital.

Dr. Ferrera Baumann specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in adult patients. She is trained to care for a broad spectrum of health conditions, from common to chronic illnesses, and to counsel patients on overall wellness.

Dr. Ferrera Baumann attended medical school at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine, and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

The office of Dr. Ferrera Baumann is located on the 2nd floor of Incline Village Community Hospital at 880 Alder Ave., Incline Village. New patients are accepted. For appointments, please call (775) 831-6200.

The Valley Health System Acquires Elite Medical Center Las Vegas

The Valley Health System announced today the acquisition of Elite Medical Center Las Vegas, a privately owned micro-hospital offering emergency and inpatient care in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.

“We are pleased to further expand The Valley Health System’s network by providing comprehensive healthcare services to residents and visitors,” said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President, Universal Health Services. “Las Vegas Boulevard is almost a city within itself. Accessing emergency medical care right on the Strip is convenient, and our ability to quickly transport patients to one of our affiliated tertiary care hospitals can be life-saving in complex situations such as emergency surgery, balloon angioplasty for heart attacks or stroke interventions.”

The facility’s new, official name is Elite Medical Center, an Extension of Valley Hospital. Elite Medical Center will continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The majority of the medical center’s clinical staff accepted job offers with The Valley Health System.

Elite Medical Center will offer emergency care, imaging (radiology) services, laboratory services, and COVID-19 testing for employees returning to work or travelers who need testing before returning home or to their next destination A 22-bed inpatient medical/surgical unit accommodates low-acuity overnight stays, eliminating the necessity for transfer of patients whose conditions meet criteria.

New NHA Member Accepting Commercial Referrals 
Desert Winds Hospital, one of the Nevada Hospital Association’s newest members, successfully completed The Joint Commission survey and is now accredited. At this time, they are pending CMS certification and are currently accepting commercial insurance for their psychiatric residental treatment facility unit and program. For details, please email