RENO – As Nevada addresses the state’s opioid-abuse problem, a group of Reno-area medical professionals have opened Helios Lab, the first locally-owned and operated laboratory specializing in urine drug monitoring with a philanthropic focus.
Dedicated to supporting medical providers prescribing controlled substances, Helios offers compliance-based solutions following federal, state and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Through its giving committee, Helios will identify, partner with, and donate 10 percent of its annual income to local non-profit organizations that support individuals and families affected by opioid abuse.
“We founded Helios with a commitment to help change the face of the opioid epidemic in Nevada while supporting the organizations that are on the front lines through community partnerships,” said Tes Sewell, co-founder of Helios Lab.
Sewell, owner of a Reno-based home care agency, founded Helios Lab with two partners: Dr. Ali Nairizi, a board-certified anesthesiologist and interventional pain specialist with a master’s in cellular and molecular physiology and Dr. Randall Goode, a board-certified anesthesiologist, and a member of the American Board of Pain Medicine. Michelle Goode, an experienced practice manager and compliance officer, will round out the Helios team.
“We want to be a proactive part of the solution to the opioid epidemic and the ripple effects it has,” Dr. Goode said. “We believe we can do that by offering health care providers a specialized lab and tools for continuing to help their patients.”
Helios Lab will provide tools and resources for medical professionals to confidently manage chronic opioid patients and safely prescribe opioids or non-opioid alternatives. Through funding, education and communication, Helios also plans to help align the common goals and efforts of patients, medical professionals, law enforcement, legislators and other community groups.
“Health care providers and legislators are all searching for a solution to this crisis, but it is very complex and can’t be resolved with a single approach,” Dr. Nairizi said. “By working together to address this crisis we can have a profound impact on the health and safety of the community that we all live in.”
The prescription rate for opioids in Nevada is 87.5 per 100 residents, significantly higher than the national average of 66.5 per 100, according to the CDC. In 2017, 388 people died in an opioid-related way in a Nevada hospital, according to a Nevada Opioid Surveillance report by the Department of Health and Human Services, and 7,125 were hospitalized.
“Fighting the opioid epidemic in Nevada has been one of my top priorities for the last few years and continues to be of great concern to me,” said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. ”We have made good strides through policy changes and enhancements as well as collaboration between the public and private partnerships and the medical community. I am pleased to see the opening of Helios Labs as a new resource to medical professionals prescribing pain management.”
For more information about Helios Labs, visit the website at heliosnv.com
Helios is the first locally owned and operated laboratory in Northern Nevada specializing in urine drug monitoring and controlled substances prescription consulting with a philanthropic focus. With a team of pain specialty physicians and experienced medical office managers, Helios has first-hand, long-term, ongoing experience managing pain patients on chronic opioids. Helios is committed to being a community partner and donates 10 percent of its annual income to help those affected by drug abuse and opioid addiction. Find out more at heliosnv.com.
East Public Relations