Nursing Students Awarded Humboldt General ‘Hanssen’ Scholarship
Two nursing students say a scholarship award is both the emotional and monetary boost they need to make it through the coming two years of college.

Kylie Lewis and Jenny Setzer began studying toward their Associate of Applied Science in Nursing last month at Great Basin College. Both women hope to be full-fledged registered nurses by May 2020—but first they’ll have to clear some significant hurdles, including paying for college.

That’s why both women were elated to learn they are recipients of the 2018 Ed and Mollie Hanssen scholarship that is awarded each year by Humboldt General Hospital. The scholarship provides $1,000 per semester—money that can pay for tuition, books or even school-related expenses.

If there’s a catch to the scholarship, said HGH Chief Nursing Officer Darlene Bryan, it’s a good one: “We want our recipients to commit to come back and work at HGH.” Bryan said that initial commitment is one way HGH can honor the scholarship’s namesakes.

Mollie Hanssen, a nurse, died in February 2004; Ed, a former HGH administrator and nurse anesthetist, unexpectedly passed away five months later. Their son, Allan, established the Ed and Mollie Hanssen Scholarship Fund in both their memories.

Allan Hanssen said at the time that his parents “were both very dedicated to Humboldt General Hospital and the people there. They helped support [the hospital] as well as the medical community; that was important to them.”

Hanssen also said local health professionals’ continued education and hard work would propel this area’s medical community forward—which is what his parents would have wanted.

While the actual Hanssen monies were exhausted several years ago, Humboldt General Hospital opted to continue the scholarship in the Hanssen name.

Kylie Lewis has worked as a certified nursing assistant at the Harmony Manor Skilled Nursing and Residential Care Community since 2016. She said that even though she loves her job, she has always wanted to study nursing “because it is an honorable and fulfilling profession.”

Kylie comes from a long line of nurses; her father was also a medic in the army. Not only that, but her mother is also studying to be a nurse through Great Basin College.

Recently, while caring for her grandfather who was dying of cancer, Kylie said: “As hard as it was, I felt very fulfilled with making his end of life more comfortable.”

She added, “I look forward to this career knowing it is full of excitement, diversity and personal rewards.”

Jenny Setzer has worked in the healthcare industry for the past 13 years. While she enjoyed the experience of approaching healthcare from the administrative side, she said, “It did not bring me the joy I have felt in direct patient care.”

That, along with the amazing and dedicated support of her family, is what finally propelled her to seek her nursing degree. Jenny said her goal is to merge her coming reality with the vision she has of a nursing professional—of a compassionate and strong leader who makes patient care a priority.

Jenny’s CNA instructor believes Jenny is well on her way: “She was an enthusiastic student in my CNA class and one of those who possesses great intelligence and a cheerful personality. These traits, I believe, will make her a great nurse someday.”

Bryan, who interviewed the candidates along with three other nursing leaders, said both women were very impressive in their presentations, their past history and their future ambitions.

“We thought both of them have great potential as future RNs,” she said.

Renown Skilled Nursing Facility to Close in December 2018
After careful consideration, Renown Health has made the decision to close its skilled nursing facility on Saturday, December 15, 2018 in an ongoing effort to ensure the highest quality and most appropriate care for our growing population. Due to the continued challenges with a decline in admissions, coupled with the complex regulatory environment and difficulty in recruiting staff, this is the right decision for our community.

“The northern Nevada area is fortunate to have a number of forward-thinking, innovative skilled nursing facilities. Transitioning residents from the Renown Skilled Nursing facility will allow Renown to focus on delivering care through our hospitals, medical group and urgent care network, while keeping up with the tremendous growth our region is experiencing,” said Melodie Osborn, RN, Vice President, Transitional Care and Chief Nursing Officer.

“Our focus during this transition is finding new homes for our 57 residents so no resident will go without service—even for a day,” said Chris Nicholas, Senior Administrator of Rehabilitation Services at Renown. ”Our residents and their loved ones may have been a member of our ‘Renown Skilled Family’ for a week, a month or many years and we truly appreciate the trust and confidence the community has placed in us.”

As has always been the case, residents and their families have a choice of the provider and potential residence they feel is best for them. The skilled nursing residences in the Truckee Meadows are widely regarded for their expertise, compassionate care, contemporary practices and attractive, modern facilities. They have capacity to accept new patients and Renown is confident their services are of the same high caliber as those patients and families have been receiving.

“The quality, compassionate care offered at the Renown Skilled Nursing facility is due to the hard work and dedication of our employees,” said Nicholas. “Our Human Resources team is working with employees to find them positions in Renown, or with other local skilled nursing centers who are currently recruiting staff.”

Renown Skilled Nursing was established in 1977 to ensure around-the-clock licensed nursing care for patients before returning home from the hospital and to provide access to physical, occupational and speech therapies that restore function, improve quality of life and facilitate emotional, physical and social support. Renown Transitional Care also includes Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, Renown Home Health Care, Renown Hospice Care, Renown Palliative & Supportive Care, Advanced Wound Care, Physiatry, Physical Therapy & Rehab and Monaco Ridge Assisted Living.

Valley Health System General Surgery Program Receives Approval from ACGME
The Valley Health System (VHS) General Surgery Residency Program has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for 28 total resident slots, which includes four categorical residents and eight preliminary resident slots.
Under the direction of program director Saju Joseph, MD, the first cohort of 16 residents will begin in July 2019, including PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents. They will rotate through Desert Springs, Henderson, Spring Valley and Summerlin hospitals in partnership with private practice surgeons throughout Las Vegas.

The 5-year program will feature a mix of simulation and operating room experiences, research, clinic follow-up with patients, specialty certification upon residency completion, and preparation for the American Board of Surgery (ABS) Certification Exam.

One of the residency’s unique features will be its video-based surgical skills training platform, said Dr. Joseph. “Residents will be able to record their teaching cases and have their videos reviewed by local faculty and also international experts for feedback and insights into techniques they might not otherwise have access to. This program is unique to The Valley Health System, and enables our resident physicians to develop a library of cases for future reference, along with mentorships outside the standard training models,” said Dr. Joseph. “This program is funded by the $794,000 GME grant through the Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology (OSIT) and the State of Nevada. I believe the use of technology and innovation in surgical education will lead to a better surgical workforce and outcomes for patients in the future.”

Other program highlights include:
Using a comprehensive simulation curriculum to train in a consequence-free environment, housed at Spring Valley Hospital.
Performing autopsies with the Clark County Coroner’s Office and assisting on organ procurements with the Nevada Donor Network.
Performing rotations at UCLA Medical Center for transplant and hepatobiliary surgery and at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, the only Level I trauma center in the state, for trauma rotations, in collaboration with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Utilizing an inter-professional curriculum, which includes nursing, physician assistants, and other allied health science professionals to prepare residents to work in complex health teams.

Receiving certification in the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) and Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) upon completion of their residency program, along with training in ultrasound and robotic surgery.
Having access to the Surgical Council of Resident Education (SCORE) curriculum to prepare for the American Board of Surgery (ABS) Certification Exam.

Research & Quality Improvement
Participating in scholarly research and develop leadership skills by participating in hospital committees and quality improvement programs.
The general surgery residency program is the first of eight planned by The Valley Health System to enhance graduate medical education programming in southern Nevada. Other programs include internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, OB/GYN, orthopedic surgery, psychiatry and the transition/internship year.

“The Valley Health System has been involved in graduate medical education since 2006, when we began our program at Valley Hospital,” said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President. “Along with a focus on primary care physicians, we’re adding residencies for in-demand specialists to meet our community’s needs. The Physician Workforce in Nevada 2018 report indicated that in 2017, 76 percent of physicians who completed both undergraduate and graduate medical education in the state are currently practicing in Nevada*. This underscores our commitment to provide an excellent program and then recruit them to remain in our community.”

Applicants for the general surgery program must apply through the national ERAS application process. Click here for program details.