Now in its ninth year, Healthcare Heroes began with the dual goal of honoring individuals that excel in healthcare and helping fund scholarships 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 nearly 200 Healthcare Heroes honored and tens of thousands of dollars 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.
Judging Process: Making the Tough Decisions
Over the years, Healthcare Heroes has had several distinguished members of Nevada’s medical industry serve as judges for the event. This year’s judges have the same unenviable dilemma as judges of previous years: determining the 20 Healthcare Heroes.
Judging starts with a nomination form that is sent out at the beginning of the year. This judging form is completed online and is sent to a massive list with the goal of reaching anyone that may want to nominate a hero in healthcare. From there, nominations begin to pour in. Those nominations are compiled by the editorial team at Nevada Business Magazine.
Once nominations close, the real work begins. Nominees are divided by location, additional information is gathered and nominee packets are submitted to the judges. Each judge in both Northern Nevada and Southern Nevada has an opportunity to review the nominees and to submit their own before formal meetings are held at both ends of the state. At those meetings the merits of each nominee is discussed as the judges attempt to identify the winners. Any categories that remains undecided after the meetings conclude go through an electronic balloting process. Ballots are sent to each judge and a final vote is held. From this process, the winners are determined and are recognized as the Healthcare Heroes for the year.
Alan Olive, MPH, MHA
CEO & Managing Director | Northern Nevada Medical Center
Born and raised in Reno, Alan Olive is committed to improving healthcare for the Northern Nevada community. With over 20 years of healthcare leadership experience, he believes the future of healthcare relies on collaboration and community.
“That’s part of my mantra,” Olive says. “That’s why I’m partnering with our local hospitals, as well as physician groups and the local government, to ensure that we provide the right models of care.”
Olive joined Northern Nevada Medical Center (NNMC) as CEO and managing director in June of 2013, and his high standards are reflected in the many accomplishments of his tenure. Under Olive’s leadership, NNMC has received the Quality Improvement Award from the Nevada Hospital Association, has expanded its tele-medicine and tele-stroke program into rural areas and recertified with the Joint Commission as a primary stroke center. The hospital has also been recertified in knee replacement, hip replacement, spine surgery and lower back pain.
Prior to joining NNMC, Olive served as the CEO for Carson Tahoe’s Sierra Surgical Hospital where he led the hospital to a financial recovery in just four months. Additionally, as the former CEO of Renown South Meadows Medical Center, Olive directed the facility’s expansion into becoming the first acute care hospital to be added in Reno in over 20 years. He has also served as chair for the Nevada Hospital Association, serves on several community boards and is actively involved with the Boy Scouts and the Boys and Girls Club.
Miriam E. Bar-On, MD
Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education | University of Nevada School of Medicine
As the associate dean for graduate medical education at the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM), Dr. Miriam Bar-On serves as the the chief administrator for all 21 allopathic graduate medical programs in Nevada. She has spearheaded a number of residency development programs for the state and led the creation of six new training programs, including acute care surgery, ear, nose and throat medicine, rural family medicine and gastroenterology.
One of the programs Dr. Bar-On is implementing is UNSOM’s statewide plans for graduate medical education expansion. The expansion would lead to a 25 percent increase in accredited positions. She has also developed an annual “Residents as Teachers” program that is required for UNSOM’s first-year residents and includes seven online modules and a minimum pass rate.
Dr. Bar-On leads the annual Graduating Resident Seminar in both Las Vegas and Reno, mentoring residents on job interviews and fellowships, CV preparation, finances, contracts, licensing and how to maintain a work/life balance. She is dedicated to the success of Nevada’s future healthcare professionals.
Additionally, Dr. Bar-On is a sought-after speaker with over 200 national and international presentations on academic, research and clinical topics. She has been published over 60 times and has been a member on countless healthcare and community committees. Dr. Bar-On has also been principal investigator and team member for dozens of research grants, and has served on the editorial boards for the American Academy of Pediatrics and Ambulatory Child Health: The Journal of General Pediatrics.
Marie M. McCormack, MD
Area Medical Director | Renown Health
Dr. Marie McCormack has a history of going above and beyond expectations. She enjoys being a family physician, caring for her patients and having the opportunity to work with those patient’s family.
In addition to her love of her work, Dr. McCormack is proactive in finding ways to keep her community members healthy. She challenges her patients to join her at the gym for early morning workouts and often gives presentations on how the elderly can become healthier at a local senior center.
Her involvement doesn’t end with just her patients, however. During the Fernley floods in 2008, Dr. McCormack not only provided medical services to all those who were injured, she also coordinated with other providers to make sure anyone with injuries or health concerns were properly cared for. Her selflessness and passion for helping others is recognized by both her peers and patients alike.
In addition to working and maintaining her own practice, Dr. McCormack is the area medical director for Renown Health, overseeing the primary care providers in Fallon, Fernley, Silver Springs and Carson City. Prior to practicing medicine she fought fires with the Bureau of Land Management. Regardless of industry or role, there’s no doubt that it is in Dr. McCormack’s nature to help others.
Stephen J. Portz, MD, FACC
Chief of Cardiology | HealthCare Partners Nevada
Having practiced in Southern Nevada for over 25 years, Dr. Stephen Portz is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top cardiologists. He has received the Arnold Matera Award for Excellence in Radiology, and is a fellow and former governor for the American College of Physiology. At the top of his field, Dr. Portz was one of the first surgeons in the state to perform an endovascular aneurysm repair, a procedure that leads to a quick recovery for 80 percent of abdominal aortic aneurysm patients.
Dr. Portz serves as the chief of cardiology for HealthCare Partners Nevada and oversees 28 cardiologists across seven locations, ensuring that patients are receiving the highest level of care and being properly educated on maintaining cardiovascular health. Working under the medical group’s total care model, Dr. Portz manages team members so they can work cohesively to care for all aspects of a patient’s health.
An estimated 80 percent of Americans are overweight or obese and diabetes and heart disease are quick to follow. Watching a growing rate of individuals suffer from cardiovascular issues, Dr. Portz has made it his mission to fight the overweight and obesity epidemic plaquing Nevada and the United States.
“It’s the most common yet most preventable disease we treat in the U.S.,” says Portz. “I want to help prevent this disease and suffering, rather than treating it only after it already happened.” To that end, Dr. Portz seeks out channels to speak on the subject through medical opportunities and seminars.
Joshua Bardin, MD, FACS
Adjunct Clinical Professor | University of Nevada School of Medicine
For over 30 years, Dr. Joshua Bardin worked as a vascular surgeon while also holding varying positions at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He retired in 2006 and now dedicates his life to the future of healthcare through education.
The fall after Dr. Bardin officially retired as a vascular surgeon, he approached the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) about becoming a volunteer instructor for the first-year anatomy course. For the past eight years, Dr. Bardin has given of his time to teach every lecture and lab for this course, as well as independently researching areas of anatomical study for personal improvement. His knowledge base is now “comparable to some of the best anatomy professors in the world,” praises Carl Sievert, professor and director of the anatomy course at UNSOM.
In 2012, he was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding volunteer service to the school and was hired on by the School of Medicine as an adjunct clinical professor. Taking on this new role has not distracted Dr. Bardin from his passion for teaching. Rather, he continues to bring in top quality clinician speakers, put in extra hours on the weekends to provide assistance to students and staff the suturing workshops he helped to develop.
Renee Coffman, BS Pharm, PhD
President & Co-Founder | Roseman University of Health Sciences
In 1999, Dr. Renee Coffman helped take a bold step for healthcare in Southern Nevada. She co-founded the Nevada College of Pharmacy, now Roseman University of Health Sciences. Since then, Dr. Coffman has served as facilitative officer for academic affairs, associate dean, dean and now president for the school. In addition to leading and developing Roseman University, Dr. Coffman has taught as a professor for the school since it was founded.
Dr. Coffman was also a driving force behind Roseman’s merger with the Nevada Cancer Institute Foundation in November of last year. The merger allows for the continuation of cancer research along with an expansion into other areas such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, obesity, regenerative medicine and cardioavscular disease. In the same year, Dr. Coffman expanded Roseman’s campus to include a faculty research building. Under her leadership, the school is on track to open the Roseman University College of Medicine in the fall of 2017.
Before Roseman University was established, Dr. Coffman was a founding member of Western University of Health Sciences. Along with four of her colleagues, she received an honorable mention by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Innovations in Teaching awards program. At Purdue University, where Dr. Coffman earned her doctorate degree in industrial and physical pharmacy, she received the Kienle Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Coffman is also an active member of many local and national pharmaceutical organizations. She works to support the improvement of pharmacy education and healthcare with the Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition, iDo (Improving Diabetes and Obesity in Southern Nevada), the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy Medication Error Discussion Group, along with several others.
Nancy A. Roget, MS, MFT
Executive Director | Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies
From the beginning of her career, Nancy Roget has sought to help those struggling with substance abuse problems. She started as a direct care provider for patients until her talents led her in to administrative roles. She has served as both an instructor at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and a trainer for the State of Nevada. Nancy began working with the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technology (CASAT) as co-director and was named executive director in 2006. At the center, she continued to develop effective academic programs, prevention services, continuing education programs, outreach and innovation projects.
With Nancy’s innovative leadership, CASAT has developed into a multi-million dollar, grant-funded center that remains invaluable to UNR and the Northern Nevada community. While the results of her work is impressive, it is Nancy’s personal qualities that speak to her commitment to the community. When a group of students sought to provide services at the student-run outreach clinic for substance use issues, Nancy took it upon herself and CASAT to facilitate and support their endeavors. She assisted their program development, supplied materials and gave the students and patients a unique opportunity to help others.
Nancy is persistent in her mission to improve healthcare and healthcare education to better serve those in need. She challenges her colleagues and students to settle for nothing less than excellence while also being a compassionate and generous resource for others. Her problem solving, opportunism and ability to inspire others makes her an invaluable partner to the Reno community.
Susan S. VanBeuge, DNP, APRN, CNE, FAANP
Assistant Professor | UNLV School of Nursing
Susan VanBeuge is a strong advocate for both current and future nurse practitioners. Having joined the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Nursing as an assistant professor, Susan teaches undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs while acting as a clinical advisor for students. She also works as a faculty member advisor for the School of Nursing’s alumni association to help provide a bridge for the school to community board members. Susan actively fosters relationships with agencies in order to better place nursing students in preceptor programs across the nation.
Outside of the classroom, Susan is an advocate for the empowerment of nurse practitioners in Nevada. She was critical to the development and passage of Nevada Assembly Bill 170, enabling advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to utilize the full extend of their education and training without formal physician oversight. Susan is currently working on two grants to provide educational training for geriatric patients with type II diabetes and to investigate medication errors.
Susan’s nursing career began in 1990 as a staff nurse at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Washington. After working at various hospitals around the country, she became the educational director and staff nurse for the community liaison’s office at the Okinawa Naval Hospital in Japan. She returned to the United States in 2001 as a staff nurse with oncology services at the Nevada Cancer Center and later worked with the O’Callaghan Federal Hospital, MountainView Hospital and the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Susan VanBeuge has dedicated the past 13 years of her life to Nevada’s healthcare and healthcare education.
J. Ivan Lopez, MD, FAAN, FAHS
DIRECTOR Stroke Center | Renown Health
Having been born and raised in Mexico, Dr. Ivan Lopez is particularly aware of the opportunities and freedoms available in the United States. Following the tragic events of 9/11, Dr. Lopez, moved by the sacrifices of American soldiers and their families, wanted to do his part for his adopted country. He spoke with a United States Army Reserves recruiter and, in 2005, volunteered for the United States Army Reserves. Dr. Lopez brought with him over 20 years of experience and, since then, has been deployed four times as a general medical officer and neurologist. He has served at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC, Camp Cropper in Iraq with the 322nd Medical Company and at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait with the 48th Combat Support Hospital.
Dr. Lopez’s care doesn’t end with treating young soldiers as a medical practitioner. In addition to caring for physical ailments such as debilitating insomnia, headaches and stress, he sometimes becomes their support system in the absence of friends and family.
Back home, Dr. Lopez is the director of the Stroke Center at Renown Institute for Neurosciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. Additionally, he is certified by the United Council in Neurologic Specialties in headache medicine, and by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with special qualifications in child neurology and vascular neurology. He views the ability to serve the U.S. Army with his extensive knowledge and experience as a privilege and an obligation.
Dr. John Anson discovered his passion for the neurosciences during his undergraduate years which led to a career he loves in neurosurgery. A board-certified neurosurgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Anson has made a mark on the Southern Nevada community. He serves as chief of the division of neurosurgery at Southern Hills Hospital and, formerly, as chief of neurosurgery at both Sunrise Hospital and Valley Hospital. Furthermore, he was the charmain of the department of surgery at Sunrise Hospital and the director of the Nevada Neurosciences Institute.
In addition to his work as a neurosurgeon and caring for his patients, Dr. Anson also uses his life-saving skills in a much different environment. Ten years ago, the ER physicians at University Medical Center invited him to join the Tactical Medical Team, one of three volunteer teams with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Search and Rescue Unit. Since then, Dr. Anson has devoted countless hours to the unit. He attends monthly trainings and goes on calls with the SWAT team, providing emergency care to the injured.
Dr. Anson’s devotion to his work is driven by his genuine desire to help others. “In neurosurgery we see a lot of tragedies as well as a lot of good things,” he says. “Like everything else in medicine, it’s a balance. At the end of the day, I feel like the good that we do far outweighs the bad stuff that we have to deal with.”
VIP Speaker | ThinkFirst of Northern Nevada
Andrew Simpson’s life is a miracle. He defied the odds and turned a near-fatal accident into an opportunity to educate others and change lives. In August 2008, just two weeks into his college baseball career, Andrew suffered a traumatic brain injury that he was not expected to survive. After friends and family said goodbye, Andrew continued to fight for his life even while his medical team projected that if he survived he would remain in a vegetative state. Andrew woke up after over two weeks in a coma. The following months were spent relearning basic skills, such as speech, and undergoing multiple surgeries to replace parts of his skull.
Andrew’s second chance not only gave him a newfound appreciation for life, but also a determination to use his experience as a way to give back to the community. With the help of his parents, Andrew set up a scholarship for Reno High School’s baseball team, where he was a record-setting player. He was then approached by the Hug Your Kids organization to share his story at their annual open, where Andrew discovered his love for motivational speaking.
In 2011, the chapter director of ThinkFirst of Northern Nevada invited Andrew to join her in speaking at local high schools about the importance of making good choices. As a VIP speaker, Andrew continues to educate youth to think before they act to avoid potential life-changing injuries, all while working and pursuing a college education. Andrew says, “Living my life to help others is like a reminder to me of how badly they fought in that hospital to keep me alive.”
Stacy J. Fisher, PT, DPT, CEAS
Assistant Professor | Touro University Nevada, School of Physical Therapy
Stacy Fisher attributes her compassion and desire to help others to an example set by her parents who encouraged her particpiation in her first fundraiser. At the young age of six, she completed a 26.2-mile walk to raise money for multiple sclerosis. Ever since, she has donated several thousands of hours and dollars to many organizations and charities. While in college, for example, Stacy volunteered over 2,500 hours with the Special Olympics tryout events and took several trips to Mexico to volunteer in orphanages and underserved populations.
As a toddler, Stacy followed her father, a now retired surgeon, on his rounds and was inspired to get into healthcare. Even within her profession, Stacy finds ways to give back. Darilyn Goett, a former patient of Stacy’s at St. Rose Dominican Hospital, can attest to this. “She didn’t have to come in on her days off to help me, visit me and my family and come to help me understand that despite feeling lousy, it is okay to cry,” Goett says of Stacy. “If nothing else, know she is my hero and an inspiration to me and my family.”
Stacy has been an active member of the Children’s Heart Foundation for more than 10 years, and volunteers her time and services with her synagogue and the Jewish National Fund. For over 15 years, Stacy consistently travels to Washington, DC to advocate for improved healthcare access for underserved communities.
Director, Nursing Operations | Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center
As the director of nursing operations for Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Tami Carbonell’s innovations lie not in tangible discoveries but in her philosophies of care. She learned early on in life that genuine compassion for others can make the greatest difference, even in the gravest moments. Tami began her career in healthcare in 2001 as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in the critical care unit, and has continued to stay with the unit as she advanced in her career.
As a CNA, oftentimes Tami worked with the individuals in critical care as they passed into death. She considers the opportunity to take care of patients and their families during those difficult times an honor. Tami found that by taking the time to know the patient and treating them as family, she was able to give back to patients and their families even after they were gone. Tami noticed, even within internal operations, that when things got busy, nursing staff would often get stuck in routines. As she rose to leadership roles within Saint Mary’s, Tami was able to bestow her philosophy for patient care to other members of the nursing staff. She encourages others to think outside of the box and find ways to bring a human touch back to every aspect of their care.
No matter the changes happening in healthcare today, Tami rests assured it does not affect her ability to touch lives. Tami believes nurses should be focused on treating patients and giving back to them and their families, and that should never change regardless of other shifts in the industry.
Charles Bernick, MD, MPH
Associate Medical Director | Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
With over 25 years dedicated to the field of Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Charles Bernick has blazed a trail for advancements in both research and treatment of the disease. His work has made Nevada one of the states leading the charge in dementia-related work. He came to Las Vegas in 1994 as the director for the University of Nevada School of Medicine’s Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centers in Las Vegas, Reno and Elko. When the centers closed in 2009, Dr. Bernick joined the Cleveland Cinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health as their associate medical director and brought with him a following of nearly 1,000 patients loyal to his care, expertise and compassion.
Dr. Bernick’s dedication to the state led him to recognize a deficit in the care of those with memory problems and craft a statewide system for Alzherimer’s care that is now recognized across the nation. The system is comprised of three prongs: core neurology treatment, research opportunities and free social services, including education and counseling. To ensure proper care was accessible to all, Dr. Bernick established a tele-health program providing dementia care and caregiver services to rural Nevada.
As the principal investigator for the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study, Dr. Bernick pioneered a study in brain health noting that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a common condition amongst fighters, parallels the initial findings on Alzheimer’s disease 30 years ago. He is also the lead neurologist for the NFL Players Association’s brain health check-ups on the West Coast. In 2011, Dr. Bernick launched a Retired Athletes Clinic at the Lou Ruvo Center to care for retired professional athletes with declining memory and brain function.
Phi Delta Epsilon Nevada Alpha
International Medical Fraternity | University of Nevada, Reno
Phi Delta Epsilon (PhiDE) fosters the growth of future physicians around four principles: philanthropy, deity, equity and education. The Nevada Alpha chapter of the international medical fraternity lives by their motto, “Facta Non Verba,” or “Deeds Not Words.” Since its charter just two years ago at the University of Nevada, Reno, the chapter of over 50 young men and women has made significant contributions to children’s healthcare through both volunteerism and fundraising. It comes as no surprise that “to promote non-profit group service to the community” is written into the fraternity’s values.
PhiDE Nevada Alpha partners with Renown Children’s Hospital, the area’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospital (CMNH), to fund the development of children’s programs and state-of-the-art equipment. The fraternity has donated countless hours staffing CMNH events, making cards and blankets for pediatric patients and raising awareness for supporting children’s health.
Every year, the chapter hosts “Miracle Madness,” a philanthropic dance marathon that draws involvement from UNR and the broader Reno community to raise funds and create awareness for Renown Children’s Hospital. During their second annual Miracle Madness, PhiDE Nevada Alpha raised over $8,200 and they continue to seek new ways to make a difference. At the start of 2014, the chapter established a partnership with the Nevada Food Bank, sending members to volunteer on a monthly basis to help sort and package donated food products.
Richard E. Steinberg
President & CEO | WestCare Foundation
Richard Steinberg discoverd the necessity of drug treatment programs when he was serving as a clinical specialist in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Vietnam. While overseeing Army personnel, facilities and programs, he developed substance abuse programs for his battalion as well as medical civic action projects to assist the elderly, women and children in the area’s villages. Upon returning to the United States, Steinberg worked as an educational therapy assistant at the Long Beach Veterans’ Hospital.
In 1978, Steinberg moved to Las Vegas to join Fitzsimmons House, a local treatment community focused on male heroin addicts and, just a year later, was named director. Steinberg recognized a greater need within the community and, under his leadership, Fitzsimmons House broadened their services and grew to become the WestCare Foundation. Expansion began with including services for both men and women abusing alcohol and other drugs and, eventually, included outpatient, day treatment, education and prevention services for adults and youth. By the end of the 20th century, WestCare was offering intervention services to runaway and homeless youth in Nevada.
Today, the non-profit organization is in 18 states as well as the US Virgin Islands. Steinberg continues to oversee all aspects of the foundation including program design and implementation, developments and community relations. As the past president of Treatment Communities of America, he encourages research and improving quality of care within several communities. Steinberg is also a member of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, American Correctional Association and many other national and international associations.
Technology & Research
David P. AuCoin, PhD
Associate Professor, Microbiology & Immunology | University of Nevada School of Medicine
After receiving his master’s and doctorate degrees in cell and molecular biology from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), Dr. David AuCoin went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Since then, he has made tremendous contributions to the advancement of healthcare and shows no sign of slowing down. Dr. AuCoin lectures at the University of Nevada School of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology as an associate professor and he assisted in the recent creation of the molecular microbiology and immunology major. From 2010 to 2013, Dr. AuCoin served as the chairman for the UNR Molecular Biosciences Admission Committee.
In January 2014, Dr. AuCoin presented a TEDx talk discussing his research on developing diagnostics and therapeutics for infectious diseases. He is the co-founder and chief of DxDiscover, a biotech start-up that focuses on translating diagnostic research into FDA-approved products. DxDiscovery was recently awarded a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer grant for the development of a point-of-care test diagnosing invasive candidiasis, the fourth most common bloodstream infection among hospitalized patients in the United States. Additionally, Dr. AuCoin has received three active research grants through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), leading to the production of the Active Melioidosis Detect Diagnostic test. The AuCoin laboratory also developed a platform technology called “in vivo microbial antigen discovery,” or InMAD, to identify the secreted antigens necessary for diagnosing disease.
With more than 20 microbiology research articles published, he is the review editor for the journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology and an ad hoc reviewer for nine other journals. Dr. AuCoin is also an active member on multiple NIH scientific review panels.
Oscar B. Goodman, Jr., MD, PhD
Medical Oncologist | Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada
Dr. Oscar Goodman, Jr., a medical oncologist with Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada (CCCN), is a leader in cancer treatment research. Well-respected by his peers, Dr. Goodman focuses his research on the development of personalized therapies and targeted medicine to fight against prostate and other cancers. Specifically, he aims to identify how cancer cells are able to evade treatments in order to develop a drug that can inhibit that evasion. The clinical research study Dr. Goodman developed, which is currently undergoing approvals, will focus on an advanced prostate cancer type that is considered incurable.
During his 15 years in the healthcare industry, Dr. Goodman has already received several honors for his research. He earned the Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and was named Regional Top Doctor by U.S. News & World Report. Dr. Goodman is also a current member of the American Society of Hematology, American Association of Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology and Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.
Outside of CCCN and his research, Dr. Goodman teaches as a clinical assistant professor and adjunct professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and Roseman University of Health Sciences, respectively. He is also a reviewer for nine peer-reviewed journals and is a medical staff member with Summerlin Medical Center, UMC, St. Rose, Southern Hills Hospital and Spring Valley Hospital. Prior to joining CCCN, Dr. Goodman worked with the Nevada Cancer Institute.
John F. Gray, MD, FACG, AGAF
co-Founder, Clinical Gastroenterologist | Gastroenterology Consultants
Dr. John Gray has specialized in gastrointestinal and liver care for the past 30 years in Nevada. He co-founded Gastroenterology Consultants in 1986, and has served as the medical director for Renown Institute for Digestivve & Liver Care since 2007. At the head of many new technologies and extremely active in both the local and national medical communities, Dr. Gray has been an extraordinary influence within his field.
One gastrointestinal infection called Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, has increased in both incidence and severity with over 300,000 reported cases and 14,000 related deaths each year in the United States. Existing treatments proved to be costly and potentially ineffective. When a new transplant procedure was developed, Dr. Gray recognized the importance of offering this alternate method of care. Since 2013, Dr. Gray has successfully completed many of these procedures and plays a critical role in the long-term implementation of the program.
Dr. Gray also co-founded the Nevada Colon Cancer Partnership. Prior to its founding, Nevada was ranked 47th out of 50 for colon cancer screening compliance in the U.S. With Dr. Gray’s direction, the state has already made an impressive move up to 43rd in less than five years. Additionally, Dr. Gray was formerly the president of Washoe County Medical Society, chief of staff at Washoe Medical Center and on staff at many of local Northern Nevada hospitals.
Dr. Randall Pierce began his healthcare career in surgery but soon found that radiology was a better fit for his personality. As a radiologist for Northern Nevada Medical Center (NNMC) and with surgery training under his belt, Dr. Pierce is equipped with a complete understanding of the necessary care for his patients. He serves as NNMC’s medical director for diagnostic imaging and chairs the Board of Governors. In his leadership roles, Dr. Pierce ensures that the highest standards are met in all areas. In addition, Dr. Pierce played an integral part to the acquisition of high-end and advanced equipment for NNMC that has helped make the hospital competitive with larger institutions. Outside of the radiology team, he is actively involved with NNMC’s quality and service intiatives.
It only takes one conversation with Dr. Pierce to recognize his compassion and integrity. He strives to make himself fully accessible to patients and has implemented new processes that ensure that his radiology team is providing those patients with the absolute best care. One example of a recent change is that outpatients must now speak to a radiologist before they leave to answer any questions they may have about their care. Dr. Pierce also acts as a mentor to others, sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with team members and teaching medical students at UNR.
Devoted to excellence and constantly challenging the status quo, Dr. Pierce is a driving force behind NNMC’s growth and improvement.
Heather J. Allen, MD, FACP
Medical Oncologist | Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada
Dr. Heather Allen has practiced medicine since 1981, beginning with her own private hematology oncology practice. In 1997, she joined Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada. Since then, patients have travelled from all over the United States seeking Dr. Allen’s expertise as a result of her reputation for patient care.
Specializing in breast cancer, Dr. Allen has dedicated over 30 years to the improvement and advancement of cancer care. She helped to establish, and now serves, on the executive committee for Sunrise Breast Center, the area’s first breast center at Sunrise Hospital. Dr. Allen has conducted and participated in many clinical research studies, one of which led to FDA approval of Herceptin, now a standard drug in breast cancer treatment. She participates in the Susan G. Komen of Southern Nevada’s Race for the Cure each year and was an honoree in their “18 Faces, 18 Races” campaign in 2013.
The list of Dr. Allen’s accomplishments is impressively long, and continues to grow as she makes remarkable contributions to the Nevada community. She served as a past president of both the Nevada State Medical Association and Clark County Medical Society. Dr. Allen has been on the board of an organization know as Blood Systems since 1995 and is currently the chair of the medical and scientific committee of the organization. Beyond healthcare, she was the chairmain of the Nevada Humanities Committee and a board member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Dr. Allen is a founding member and current vice president of the Nevada Chapter of the International Women’s Forum, and was inducted into the Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame this year.
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. This legacy continued last year as the health insurer, its charitable foundation and local associates contributed more than $1.37 million and hundreds of volunteer hours to vital organizations and causes across the state.
“Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is committed to transforming healthcare with trusted and caring solutions, and that extends directly to our work in communities throughout Nevada,” said Mike Murphy, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada. “We’re proud to support the organizations and programs that are working to help our friends and neighbors live their healthiest lives possible.”
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 include 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 include: Susan G. Komen For the Cure, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Immunize Nevada, Food Bank of Northern Nevada and the 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 the March of Dimes.
Through the company’s Associate Giving Campaign, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield associates make one time contributions and ongoing pledges to health-focused charities in Nevada.
”With roots dating back to 1969, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has seen a lot of change,” Murphy said. “What’s not changed is our commitment to serving our members and advancing health in Nevada. It is a true honor to work with so many great people and organizations and we look forward to doing so again in the year ahead.”
Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada (CCCN) is an award-winning multidisciplinary oncology group comprising medical oncology, hematology, radiation oncology and breast surgery, with 11 treatment centers and offices throughout Southern Nevada. The practice has provided adult oncology services and clinical research to residents and visitors for more than 35 years. The specialized physician and nursing staff is dedicated to offering the most effective treatments, both existing and emerging, in order to diagnose and successfully treat cancer and serious blood disorders.
Through national affiliations with some of the world’s most recognizable research and cancer-fighting organizations, CCCN is at the forefront of treatment and diagnostic enhancements. For more than 20 years, CCCN has been affiliated with The US Oncology Network and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA, allowing the practice to bring world-class treatment options to patients right here in Nevada.
All of the advances in cancer during the last 50 years have come by way of research. Within the past five years alone, CCCN has developed the largest Phase I clinical research program in Nevada. CCCN currently participates in more than 170 Phase I, Phase II and Phase III clinical research studies each year, and has helped develop 49 FDA approved cancer therapies, accounting for nearly one-third of all approved therapies to date including Provenge, Xofigo and Hercepin.
Most recently, CCCN has pioneered partnerships with numerous pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop the newest cancer fighting compounds through immuno-oncology, re-establishing the body’s immune system to recognize the cancer cells and selectively destroy them through natural means. The success of these compounds is unprecedented, some even being designated as ‘breakthrough therapies” by the FDA. Having these novel trials available at CCCN allows patients from Southern Nevada easy access to promising drugs that are normally only available at distant centers located in other states and countries.
The dedicated group of healthcare professionals at CCCN is committed to providing the highest quality patient care through sophisticated diagnostic tools, the latest advances in cancer treatment, a full range of innovative services and groundbreaking clinical research that aims to improve the outcome of cancer treatment in Nevada
The talented staff at EV&A Architects collectively offer more than 250 years of architectural, planning and interior design service experience. An increase in new clients has allowed the firm to expand and develop a medical studio dedicated solely to healthcare projects. Vice President and Co-Owner Darris Peterson leads the seasoned healthcare team whose work has been recognized for design excellence. The firm’s overall mission – to be the clients’ trusted advisor – is supported by state-of-the-art technology and a solid reputation of leadership, dependability, integrity and performance.
A few noteworthy upcoming healthcare projects by EV&A Architects are:
Ambulatory Surgery Center and ENT Clinic – A 12,000-square-foot Ambulatory Surgery Center is scheduled to open in late 2014 and will be one of the most advanced ambulatory surgery centers in Las Vegas. This facility is comprised of three class “C” operating rooms, six treatment rooms, one special procedure room and state-of-the-art hearing testing facilities. Exteriors feature high-performance glazing, rooftop skylights, metal panels and locally quarried Southwestern stone. With a focus on patients and their families, EV&A has designed a modern clinic environment that will provide every patient with a relaxed experience.
Montevista Hospital – Set to open in the fall of 2014, the more than 36,000-square-foot expansion will nearly double the size of the current 90-bed psychiatric and chemical dependency hospital. Improvements include adding 72 beds with 48 beds divided into four- and 12-bed units devoted to residential youths ages 12 to 17. The remaining 24 new beds will be dedicated to expanding the existing acute care, adult and chemical dependency units.
Ronald Reagan Memory Support Suites at The Grove – Located within Las Ventanas, the nearly 15,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open late 2015 and will feature 16 new memory care suites within the existing resident campus. The project includes a welcome area, a private kitchen, dining room and an outdoor garden area for memory care residents to enjoy. Designed to “feel like home,” the project will re-purpose the floor of an existing resident building to provide an environment where residents affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia can feel accepted, comfortable and safe.
WellHealth Quality Care is Nevada’s first multi-specialty Accountable Care Network. Based on the principle of providing the very best in patient care, the network of hand-selected providers includes some of the area’s finest medical professionals, dedicated to providing five-star, coordinated and accountable care. WellHealth’s specialty care programs provide intense and focused care for complex and costly medical conditions such as Asthma, COPD, diabetes and high-risk pregnancies.
WellHealth is committed to making a positive impact on healthcare for patients, providers and payors. The organization’s providers coordinate patient care between all medical specialties, significantly reducing repetitive and excessive office visits and testing. In addition, WellHealth serves commercial insurance carriers and self-funded employer groups, bringing a comprehensive and accountable care delivery system to clients. WellHealth also invests in top of the line technology and clinical reporting tools, delivering the most-efficient model of patient and network management, data reporting, and analytics. The result is improved medical outcomes and lower overall program costs which, in turn, equates to lower costs for patients.
As a care delivery system, WellHealth Quality Care also strives to distinguish itself by radically improving the healthcare experience for patients. Health advisors and care coordinators work with each patient to ensure they get the care they need, when they need it. Likewise, in order to give patients better control over their healthcare, WellHealth provides patients with the tools they need to manage their personal healthcare, including a comprehensive website and mobile apps for easier manageability.
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 an 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 and is now a 380-bed acute care hospital offering inpatient, outpatient and wellness services. Nationally recognized and accredited by the Joint Commission, Saint Mary’s offers a robust line of services including a top-rated Center for Cancer featuring the region’s only CyberKnife radiosurgery delivery system, state-of-the-art William N. Pennington Emergency Room, a Cardiology program dedicated to long-term wellness and a comprehensive Center for Neurovascular Care. The health system also operates a fully-integrated medical group with over 50 providers and a state-of-the-art fitness center. As a long-standing community partner, Saint Mary’s is dedicated to ensuring the health and wellness of Northern Nevada remains strong.
At Northern Nevada Medical Center, Excellence Runs Deep
Northern Nevada Medical Center’s (NNMC) tradition of caring began in 1983, with the opening of the Sparks Family Hospital. It was renamed Northern Nevada Medical Center in 1994 to better reflect its regional presence. Today, NNMC maintains its commitment to Sparks, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and the surrounding rural areas in Nevada and California. NNMC is dedicated to providing quality patient care and service that patients will recommend to their families and friends.
NNMC is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC) and licensed by the state of Nevada. It is accredited as a Chest Pain Center by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care and as a Certified Primary Stroke Center by TJC.
TJC also certified NNMC in Total Hip Replacement, Total Knee Replacement and Spine Surgery. NNMC is the nation’s first and only program to be certified in Low Back Pain. NNMC is the only hospital in Nevada with all of these quality distinctions.
TJC also recently recognized NNMC as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for 2012 for attaining and sustaining excellence in heart attack, pneumonia and surgical care.
NNMC has received numerous other quality awards and distinctions. For three consecutive years, Healogics, Inc. has recognized NNMC’s Wound Care Center with a Center of Excellence Award for outstanding patient satisfaction and wound healing success rates.
The Nevada Hospital Association recently honored NNMC for its efforts to improve patient safety by reducing or eliminating healthcare-associated infections.
NNMC also received the 2013 Nevada Excellence Award by the Small Business Institute for Excellence in Commerce for consistently demonstrating and upholding business ethics and company values.
Northern Nevada Medical Center is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc., a King of Prussia, Pa.-based company that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.
Early detection is vital for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases and conditions. Since it was founded in 1966, Desert Radiologists has been at the forefront of medical imaging in Southern Nevada. With more than 60 board-certified, sub-specialty trained radiologists, the experienced team is Nevada’s largest provider of leading-edge medical imaging and one of the country’s largest private diagnostic imaging practices.
Most recently, Desert Radiologists became the only outpatient facility in Nevada to offer three dimensional (3D) mammography, called breast tomosynthesis, for breast cancer screening. The latest in digital imaging technology, it produces an exceptionally sharp, 3D view of breast tissue that helps radiologists identify and characterize individual breast structures, one layer at a time, without the masking of overlapping tissue from a traditional two dimensional (2D) mammogram.
Breast cancer screening with tomosynthesis when combined with conventional 2D mammography has a 40 percent higher cancer detection rate than conventional 2D mammography alone and fewer false positives, which eliminates the need for additional follow-up studies and unnecessary stress and concern for the patient.
Providing fast and accurate information is equally important, and Desert Radiologists excels in these areas. Comprehensive systems are in place to ensure the highest level of quality and service. In fact, the practice defines quality as “report turnaround, thoroughness and accurate report delivery to referring physicians and hospitals.” Measured in minutes – not hours – many reports are available in under 15 minutes with most available in less than an hour. In 2013, Desert Radiologists completed more than 1.4 million studies and procedures.
Desert Radiologists’ philosophy of care also encompasses making its services accessible by operating five American College of Radiology-accredited, full-service outpatient facilities throughout Las Vegas and Henderson. It recently opened a sixth office in northeast Las Vegas, the only imaging center east of I-15 and U.S. 95.
The practice is the radiology provider for 11 Nevada hospitals and provides radiology services for a large cancer center, a group of multi-specialty medical centers and several other facilities throughout Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Desert Radiologists is one of the largest and most progressive radiology groups in the nation, offering the most comprehensive procedures available.
On behalf of Nevada State Bank, we are honored to sponsor and recognize the 2014 Healthcare Heroes. Many medical professionals agree that the economic climate of Nevada has improved considerably in the past two years, and some are actively looking to either purchase their first medical building, add another location or acquire a competitor’s practice to expand their medical footprint. The Nevada State Bank Professional Banking Group has a team of highly trained relationship officers who can handle all financial aspects for these types of transactions.
For Nevada’s medical professionals, it is vital to have a bank that can provide solutions to make their finances easier and more efficient. Nevada State Bank has lending and credit solutions to enhance a medical practice or to create short-term working capital. We also have the ability to finance real estate expansions, as well as help with mergers or acquisitions. Here at Nevada State Bank, we continue to assist our medical professionals with the financing they need, so their practices can continue to thrive.
Physicians save lives each and every day, providing the necessary medical services for Nevada’s ever-changing population. As research, technology and regulations continue to evolve the way many physicians practice and administer medical services, rest assured, Nevada State Bank’s Professional Banking Group will be there to help you adapt to the changing healthcare marketplace, so we can succeed together.
We’ve built a highly qualified team of medical bankers who work very closely with our physician clients to create a customized financial road map. We’re committed to supporting the medical industry with the financial tools they need to be successful.
You do your best for our community. It’s our pleasure to do our best for you. Congratulations to all of the Healthcare Heroes honorees.
At Renown Health, we believe that sometimes the best medicine isn’t medicine at all. While Renown offers the region’s most advanced care for illness and injury, the hospital also champions the implementation of good habits and practices to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital.
Living a healthy lifestyle is easier than one might think; it’s about having the information and tools necessary to enjoy a healthy, productive life. Consider this:
- Laughing boosts your immune system and lowers your risk of depression.
- Lifting weights a few times a week improves bone density and lowers your risk of osteoporosis.
- Snuggling up to a dog can lower stress and even help reduce a child’s risk of developing allergies.
- Something as simple as eating more fruit can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
Don’t know where to start? Check out the BestMEDICINE website where Renown’s expert team of doctors, nurses and specialists share advice and answer questions on how to live better and be well every day. The BestMEDICINE team understands that empowering patients with the knowledge necessary to take ownership of their health goes a long way toward building a healthier community.
So embrace life with BestMEDICINE. No matter where someone is on the health spectrum, they will find valuable information to enable them to live better today. Renown will help individuals get healthy, stay healthy and experience a higher quality of life.
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 15 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 medical research. The university’s commitment to Southern Nevada and the region as a transforming force in vital areas of healthcare education is steady as it continues its planning to establish an allopathic medical school in Las Vegas.
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. The best evidence of the model’s success is graduate 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.
Additionally, in the past four years Roseman has built a robust medical research program focusing on cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, adult stem cell and regenerative medicine and cardiovascular disease. Utilizing highly specialized instrumentation, the university’s researchers are committed to developing new therapies to treat these diseases.
Roseman University has campuses in Henderson and Summerlin as well as 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 current academic programs is accredited by its respective accrediting body.