Members in the News – February 2022
The Valley Health System Appoints Two Associate Chief Medical Officers
J. Randall Feikes, MD, and Leslie Jacobs, MD, have been appointed Associate Chief Medical Officers (ACMO) for The Valley Health System (VHS) hospitals and medical staff. In their roles, they will focus on quality and patient safety initiatives by reducing clinical variations and improving quality outcomes through evidence-based programs and protocols.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Feikes and Dr. Jacobs to their new positions within the southern Nevada market,” said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President of The Valley System. “They are both well-known and respected in our medical community and will lead any patient care redesign efforts and ensure our medical staff is actively participating in programs to drive improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of the care we deliver across all of our hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, outpatient services and physician offices.”
Dr. Feikes will focus on VHS hospitals on the western side of southern Nevada, including Centennial Hills, Spring Valley, Summerlin and Valley Health Specialty hospitals in Las Vegas and Desert View Hospital in Pahrump. Dr. Feikes previously served in multiple leadership positions at Sunrise Hospital, as a Member-at-Large with Valley Hospital’s Medical Executive Committee, as an Assistant Dean with the UNLV School of Medicine and a former board member for the Southern Nevada Medical Association, along with his work as a cardiovascular surgeon in Las Vegas. Dr. Feikes is a multi-award recipient for Top Doctor honors from local publications, and currently serves as the president of the southern Nevada chapter of the American Heart Association.
Dr. Jacobs will focus on VHS’s central and Henderson-based facilities, including Desert Springs, Henderson and Valley hospitals, while also serving as the 2022 Chief Medical Officer for the Silver State Accountable Care Organization. She will continue her internal medicine practice with Valley Health Physician Alliance on a part-time basis. Dr. Jacobs mostly recently served as the Chief Medical Officer for the Teachers Health Trust, and previously worked with CareMore Medical Group and Jacobs & Modaber Primary Care. She is a member of the VHS Board of Governors, and has received numerous accolades including Top Doctor by My Vegas Magazine, Best Doctors of America, and voted by her peers as a Top Doctor in Las Vegas Life magazine.
Tahoe Forest Health System Welcomes New Nurse Practitioner
Tahoe Forest Health System is pleased to announce that Jessica Hepner, MS, AGACNP-BC, has joined their team at the Tahoe Forest MultiSpecialty Clinics – Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine.
Ms. Hepner received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and her Master in Science with a Trauma, Critical Care, and Emergency Nursing Specialty at the University of Maryland. Ms. Hepner is Certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
The office of Ms. Hepner is located on the first floor of the Medical Office Building at 10956 Donner Pass Rd, Suite 130, Truckee. New patients are accepted. For appointments, please call (530) 582-6205.
Dignity Health Awards $330,000 to Six Local Non-Profit Collaborations
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican, Nevada’s only faith-based, not-for-profit hospital system, recently announced more than $330,000 in Community Grant Awards to six local non-profit collaborations in southern Nevada.
“Sharing Humankindness is a big task and we can’t change the world by ourselves,” said Sister Kathleen McGrail, O.P., Chair of the Community Grants Committee. “Through our Community Grants Program we are able to work collaboratively with community partners who share our goal of serving the vulnerable and underserved.”
The Dignity Health Community Grants Program continues a tradition of more than 20-years, awarding funding to local programs and organizations working to address the greatest health needs of the community, emphasizing prevention, engaging diverse community stakeholders, and building upon existing services in the community.
Sister Katie added, “This year’s award recipients truly reflect the unique times we are in and we are proud to support groups that are supporting our community and our neighbors, especially our vulnerable elders through this ongoing pandemic. We are fortunate to have so many committed groups in southern Nevada working with us to address important issues, such as access to care, mental health services, and violence prevention. We are grateful for all the applications we received and congratulate this year’s grant recipients.”
Organizations selected to receive 2022 Dignity Health Community Grants include:
$96,311 Program: Community Health Worker Students Helping COVID-Vulnerable Elders
Lead Agency: College of Southern Nevada
• Educate and train 60 Community Health Workers to help underserved populations, in particular seniors with chronic health conditions, to navigate their healthcare in the 21st Century, which has been changed by COVID-19 and the rise of telemedicine.
$73,465 Program: Emergency Shelter
Lead Agency: The Shade Tree
• Provide safe emergency shelter to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking; for women and their children. Victims are provided daily meals, shelter and life-changing services and programming.
$69,250 Program: Child Abuse Prevention and Services (CAPS)
Lead Agency: Signs of HOPE (previously Rape Crisis Center)
• A strategic partnership to increase access to mandated reporter training and child sexual abuse prevention education to those caring for our most vulnerable children, in addition to greater access to mental health services for minors who have been impacted by abuse and assault.
$50,000 Program: Health, Hope, and Housing
Lead Agency: Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
• Provide comprehensive case management services to CCSN’s apartment residents in need, such as connecting low-income residents, especially senior residents, with essential community services, medical care, and mental health care.
$22,000 Program: Roseman Medicare Call Center
Lead Agency: Roseman University of Health Science
• In collaboration with Dignity Health’s MAP program and State of Nevada ADSD division, this project will train pharmacy and nursing student volunteers to provide free, unbiased Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved counseling to Medicare beneficiaries regarding cost effective plan selection and federal and state assistance programs.
$20,000 Program: Senior Transportation and In-Home Care
Lead Agency: Lend A Hand of Boulder City
• Boulder City senior clients who are unable to transfer to/from volunteer vehicles will be provided safe and appropriate transportation to medical appointments, procedures, and necessary errands, as well as in-home care and respite for caregivers.
Dignity Health Grants awards range from $20,000 to $100,000; applicants must be a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. The Community Grants Program uses specific funding criteria to ensure that its charitable resources strategically address significant health needs in ways that demonstrate accountability for impact.
Valley Hospital Celebrates 50-Year Anniversary in 2022
Valley Hospital commemorated 50 years of caring for southern Nevada residents and tourists in January 2022.
Originally built as a nursing home, Valley Hospital was converted into an acute care hospital with 269 beds, four operating rooms and 11 beds by seven local businessmen. In 1979, Valley Hospital was acquired by Universal Health Services (UHS) founder Alan B. Miller, creating the foundation of one of the largest hospital management companies in the US. Today, the 328-bed hospital specializes in advanced cardiovascular and neurological care, emergency and surgical services, adult behavioral health, and an outpatient wound care and hyperbaric medicine care.
“When you think about the incredible growth in population and tourism over the past 50 years, and the role Valley Hospital has played in saving lives, caring for patients and training our future physicians, it’s a pretty impressive arc,” said Claude Wise, CEO of Valley Hospital. “Valley Hospital’s culture and its commitment to caring for patients, families, coworkers and our community is one of its greatest strengths.”
Fast Facts & Unique Highlights
Excellence in Stroke Care – In 2020, Valley Hospital was the first hospital within The Valley Health System to become an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center from The Joint Commission and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The hospital was accredited as a Primary Stroke Center in 2007 and established its neurology residency program in 2007. Among its advanced neurological procedures performed at the hospital are mechanical thrombectomies to treat large vessel occlusions and transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR), a minimally invasive procedure that utilizes a “reversal of blood flow” approach to protect the brain during insertion of a stent to treat a narrowing in the carotid artery (carotid stenosis). This results in a decreased risk of perioperative and long-term stroke rates.
Adding Physicians to Southern Nevada. In 2006, Valley Hospital established its graduate medical education program for physicians. Today, it offers residencies and fellowships in family medicine, internal medicine, neurology and orthopedic surgery, and fellowships in pulmonary critical care and gastroenterology, along with a Pharmacy residency program. Graduates of the residencies and fellowships have established their practices locally, joined other medical practices locally and throughout the US, work as ICU intensivists throughout Las Vegas hospitals, continued their service with the military or pursued additional fellowships for advanced training.
Expanding Tourist Access to Medical Care – In 2021, Valley Hospital acquired Elite Medical Center, located at 150 E. Harmon, adjacent to Las Vegas Boulevard.
Seven Businessmen – The local businessmen who established the hospital included Lawrence Brett, Martin M. Neirick, Robert C. Rishling, George Rudiak, Bert Sager, Milton I. Schwartz, and William L. Trent. The first executive director was Charles Showalter.
On the Small Screen and Big Screen – Valley Hospital was featured in the 1970s television show “Vegas” starring Robert Urich as Dan Tanna and its exterior was briefly showcased in the 2016 movie, “Jason Bourne.”
Flight For Life: The area’s first “flying emergency room” – Flight For Life was the first hospital-based air ambulance service in Southern Nevada and had an air speed of 140 mph. Established in February 1980, it made 365 patient flights its inaugural year. In December 2001, the service was sold to Mercy Air, having logged approximately 20,000 flights within a four-state radius. Over the years, the Flight for Life crews have been recognized on numerous national programs, including “Trauma-Life in the ER,” “Paramedics” and most recently, “Las Vegas Medical,” a Discovery Health Channel program that aired in November 2001.
“Firsts” to Celebrate – Over the years, Valley Hospital was the first in the community to provide new services and technological advances which are now taken for granted. For example, it was the first Nevada hospital to initiate a new program to prepare intravenous (IV) medicine (1974), install a CT scan (1977), offer the region’s first hospital-based air ambulance service (1980), perform a successful percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty in Southern Nevada, organize the state’s first eye bank (1982), install the first MRI in Clark County (1987) and offer labor-delivery-recovery suites in its obstetrics unit (1987).
Establishing The Valley Health System – Valley Hospital is the namesake and foundation of The Valley Health System which includes Summerlin Hospital (1997), Desert Springs Hospital (acquired 1998), Spring Valley Hospital (2003), Centennial Hills Hospital (2008), Henderson Hospital (2016), The Valley Health Specialty Hospital (2021) and West Henderson Hospital (groundbreaking 2022).