Las Vegas Medical District Advisory Council adds three new members.

Just as the Las Vegas Medical District is growing and evolving, so is its Advisory Council, an important group of stakeholders charged with the responsibility of reviewing and making recommendations that advance the District and its impact on the community. This includes planning of the area, land use, new medical businesses, expansions and safety. The committee also sets the vision for the District and provides a guide for membership.

Just last month, this 26-member group grew by three new members that each bring a unique perspective to the ongoing evolution and development of the area. New members include Angela Quinn, CEO and President, FirstMed Health and Wellness Center; Jon Bilstein, Executive Director, Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada; and Dr. Robert McBeath, CEO, Southwest Medical Associates.

Quinn, a 20-year veteran community developer with expertise in community and economic development and highly experienced in nonprofit “turnarounds,” has developed, along with her team, more than $100 million in capital projects over the past two decades. In February 2016, she took over a failing but committed federally qualified health center (FQHC), FirstMed Health and Wellness Center. Today, FirstMed boasts three locations throughout the valley and a multi-lingual staff that includes more than 20 licensed therapists, five medical doctors, seven case managers and a psychiatrist. FirstMed provides comprehensive primary care and preventive care, including health, oral and mental health services to persons of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status. FirstMed annually serves more than 9,000 patients via 18,000-plus visits.

Bilstein, who serves as the executive director of Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada (CCCN), previously oversaw all operations of the organization as its practice director from 2007 through 2014. Today, under Bilstein’s leadership, CCCN has grown to 14 treatment centers and offices throughout Southern Nevada with more than 500 employees. Among Bilstein’s proudest accomplishments at CCCN is the breast surgery division he on-boarded in 2010 to elevate the quality of oncology care and build upon CCCN’s dedication to research and the introduction of breakthrough treatments. Prior to rejoining CCCN as executive director in 2017, Bilstein served as chief executive officer of Nevada Orthopedic and Spine Center. Bilstein is a member of CEOs Against Cancer, Nevada Chapter for the American Cancer Society and serves on the Advisory Council for the Las Vegas Medical District. He formerly served as secretary of the Board of Directors for HealtHIE Nevada.

Dr. McBeath, who serves as President, Optum Health Collaborative Care Nevada and CEO of Southwest Medical Associates, oversees all of Optum’s Nevada clinical operations, including the state’s largest multispecialty medical group practice – Southwest Medical Associates that employs more than 300 physicians and mid-level providers throughout its affiliated companies. Prior to joining Optum Health, Dr. McBeath founded Urology Specialists of Nevada in 1996 and created a vertically integrated urologic cancer treatment center which includes state of the art robotically assisted cancer surgery program combined with a full service radiation oncology division. Dr. McBeath has served in multiple leadership positions including Chief of Urology for both Mountain View and Summerlin Hospitals and Chief of Surgery for Summerlin Hospital. He is a member of American Urologic Association’s Legislative Affairs Committee and is a past member of UHC National Physician Advisory Committee. Currently, he holds a teaching appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery & Gynecology, University of Nevada School of Medicine and is a member of the Community Advisory Board for the new UNLV School of Medicine.

Established by the Las Vegas City Council in 1997 to physically bring together a variety of medical services and providers near and around UMC (University Medical Center), the Las Vegas Medical District (LVMD) was created with the goal to expand and improve medical care in Southern Nevada. But due to market conditions and economic challenges, the District sat stagnant for years. In 2015, the city completed a Las Vegas Medical District master plan to guide its development, and today, the area is rapidly evolving and on track to become the true center of medicine in our valley.

It will help attract new, high-paying employers to the region as well as advance a higher quality of life. And further development of the LVMD will provide jobs, bolster the health of Southern Nevadans and stimulate development near the city of Las Vegas’ vital assets downtown like Fremont East, Symphony Park and the 18B Arts District.

Rendering: LVMD rendering showing planned entry into the district.

Enhancing dental education through high-end simulation

Practice does, indeed, make perfect. And when University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Dental Medicine couples practice with advanced dental simulation technology, the level of perfection fosters not only competent dentists, but also leaders in the field.

The school has incorporated dental simulation technology in its curriculum since it opened during 2002. The technology’s immediate benefit is offering a safe environment to practice and fine-tune dental procedures necessary for becoming licensed practitioners.

“The school’s simulation laboratory is only one of many hands-on opportunities available to the students during their education,” said Dr. Karen West, professor and dean of UNLV School of Dental Medicine. “The sophisticated technology helps students master their skills and become more confident performing a multitude of procedures, particularly when they enter actual patient care.”

The school’s simulation laboratory contains 85 student stations and an instructor console, all equipped with large screen digital monitors, manikin heads and jaws, lamps, and trays to hold dental instruments. Each station simulates a complete treatment environment that a newly graduated dentist will find in a private practice setting.

According to Dr. Stanley Nelson, professor and division chief of the simulation laboratory, the school recently upgraded its technology in time for the start of the fall semester. One of the enhancements enables students to lower the manikin head and jaw to a more ergonomic level.

“The mechanism that simulates the dental chair descends farther than previous models, which helps students who are shorter than 5 feet, 5 inches to assume a more ideal body posture,” Dr. Nelson said. “Ideally, dentists should be able to sit with their thighs parallel to the floor. This technology provides students with a realistic experience in positioning the patient as well as themselves.”

The new head and jaw simulators also reproduce better bite positions that help students perfect the size and placement of appliances such as crowns or bridges. Proper bite positioning eliminates pain that can be caused by uneven surfaces or poor alignment.

The chairs now have a better water management and suction system that is more accurate than currently available in private practice, and the new digital monitors provide more distinct still images and video content.

Within the simulation laboratory, faculty can deliver lessons for performing fillings, root canals, crowns, periodontal, orthodontic, and some surgical procedures.

Students frequent the area continuously throughout the school year and even during school breaks. And when students aren’t using the stations to perfect procedures or prepare for the board exams, dentists from the community can schedule time to use the lab for learning new techniques during continuing education courses.

“All the upgrades provide instructors with the tools they need to teach in a more realistic fashion and better prepare students to excel in their careers,” said Dr. Nelson. “Once our students graduate, they are more than ready to take the licensing board exams and, once passed, begin practicing dentistry.”

Photo: UNLV School of Dental Medicine student practising on the manikin head.

SDMI is home to a real-life hero, a Healthcare Hero.

Ilona Van Boven, technical director for Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging (SDMI), was recently named Healthcare Humanitarian of Southern Nevada by Nevada Business Magazine. She received this prestigious award at the 12th annual Healthcare Heroes Awards Ceremony on August 30th.

Healthcare Heroes was established to recognize excellence and outstanding service in nine categories: Humanitarian, Administrator, Care Provider, Educator, Community Partner, Volunteer, Innovator, Non-Profit, Physician, and Lifetime Achievement.

According to Dr. David Steinberg, CEO and founding partner, SDMI, Van Boven is SDMI’s shining star, a gem who flies under the radar, never seeking praise or recognition for her work or the compassion she shows patients and staff every-single-day. “Lona is the soul of SDMI, providing the extra spark of humanity that makes SDMI stand out amongst healthcare organizations. She always speaks with patients and goes the extra mile to make them feel comfortable, whether picking them up for an appointment, taking them home or comforting them in a time of extreme anxiety or aggravation. She has an exceptional relationship with our staff and has always maintained the highest ethical considerations for everything we do at SDMI. A 30-plus year employee of SDMI Lona is a testimony to the goodness that exists in healthcare, and I am delighted she was recognized with this honor.”

Lona is not only a healthcare hero but the star of SDMI’s Every Patient is a VIP video. View the YouTube video here:

Other Nevada Business Healthcare Heroes from the Las Vegas Medical District were: Educator: Dr. Douglas Fraser, MD, UMC; Community Partner:Mayor Carolyn Goodman, city of Las Vegas; Innovator: Dr. Le Hua, MD, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health; Non-Profit: Dr. Meena Vohra, MD, Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC and Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Carolyn Yucha, PhD, RN, University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Nursing.

Photo: Ilona Van Boven receiving her award from Nevada Business; photo by Chris Tucker; courtesy of Nevada Business.

Valley Hospital begins 12th year of providing graduate medical education.

Since 2006, Valley Hospital has offered physician residencies and fellowships for physicians-in-training after they complete medical school, known as graduate medical education. Valley Hospital has watched its physician graduates open or join private practices, work as hospitalists, continue their medical training with the military, or specialize further with fellowships (specialty training).

Beginning July 1, 2017, 28 residents and fellows will begin programs in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology and Orthopedic Surgery, or Fellowships in Gastroenterology and Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine.

“A residency program not only trains new physicians, it introduces them to their network of referring physicians and future patients,” said Elaine Glaser, CEO of Valley Hospital. “A 2016 report from the American Association of Medical Colleges showed that 53 percent of physicians who completed residency training from 2006 through 2015 are practicing in the state where they completed their residency program.* That’s an important statistic as the local healthcare community works to recruit and retain physicians to meet Southern Nevada’s growing demand for providers.”

Statistics from Valley Hospital’s most recent (June 2017) graduating class include:

Three of four graduating Fellows (75%) are entering private practice in Las Vegas with specialties in gastroenterology or pulmonary/critical care.

Overall, 13 of 26 graduating residents and fellows (50%, including those mentioned above) will remain in Las Vegas  to work in private practice as hospitalists, in outpatient clinics, and with  local Fellowship opportunities at Valley Hospital (Gastroenterology or Pulmonary/Critical Care); Nathan Adelson Hospice (Palliative Care), and Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry).

Valley Hospital GME Graduates Accepted to Out-of-State Fellowships

The inaugural orthopedic surgery residency class features two physicians who were accepted to prominent fellowships at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina for Total Joint Adult Reconstruction and to the San Diego Spine Foundation for Spine, associated with Scripps clinics and hospitals.

Other Valley Hospital residents have been accepted to out-of-state fellowship programs* in:

  • Neuro Ophthalmology at Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX;
  • Air Force Nephrology Fellowship with University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX;
  • Nephrology with Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles, CA (two physicians);
  • Cardiology at Medical City in Fort Worth, TX.

“I’m proud that our program has developed outstanding physicians who have been accepted to well-known fellowships,” said Glaser. “It speaks to the quality of our physician leadership, faculty and program.”


Updated information about The Valley Health System can be found on:

Photo: Courtesy of Valley Hospital – GME.

Community benefit provided by Cleveland Clinic up by 17 percent. 

In 2016, Cleveland Clinic provided $809 million in community benefit in Ohio, Nevada and Florida, a 17 percent increase over 2015. Figure includes outreach programs, medical education, research and subsidized care.

Community benefit is a measure of a hospital’s investment in its community through outreach programs, medical education, research, financial assistance, coverage of Medicaid shortfalls, and subsidized care.

“As a non-profit academic medical center, we are a community asset with no owners, investors or stockholders,” said Toby Cosgrove, M.D., President and CEO of Cleveland Clinic. “Any and all operating surplus is invested back into the health system to support new research and education initiatives and to cultivate a healthier population by promoting access to healthcare and encouraging healthy behaviors and lifestyles in our communities.”

Cleveland Clinic calculates community benefit conforming to the IRS Form 990 guidelines and includes activities or programs that improve access to health services, enhance public health, advance generalizable knowledge and relieve government burden. Cleveland Clinic’s 2016 totals marked the highest level of community benefit in its reporting history.

“Cleveland Clinic is committed to meeting the health and wellness needs of the populations we serve,” said Steve Glass, Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Financial Officer. “Our community benefit efforts support our founding principles: better care of the sick, educating the next generation of healthcare professionals, and funding medical research that leads to advanced treatments and cures.”

The primary categories for assessing community benefit include financial assistance, Medicaid shortfall, subsidized health services, outreach programs, education and research.

Financial assistance — $86.2 million
Financial assistance is the amount of free or discounted medically necessary care provided to those patients unable to pay some or all of their bills. Cleveland Clinic’s financial assistance policy provides free or discounted care to patients with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level and covers both hospital care and our employed physician services.

Medicaid shortfall — $328.5 million
The Medicaid program, which provides healthcare coverage for low-income families and individuals, is funded by state and federal governments.

Subsidized health services — $19.6 million
Subsidized health services are clinical services provided to meet the needs of the community despite creating a financial loss. Subsidized health services within Cleveland Clinic include pediatric programs, psychiatric/behavioral health programs, obstetrics services, chronic disease management and outpatient clinics.

Outreach programs — $38.1 million
Cleveland Clinic’s outreach programs are designed to serve the most vulnerable and at-risk populations as identified in its comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessments.

Programs range from free wellness initiatives, health screenings, clinical services and education to enrollment assistance for government-funded health programs.

Education — $272.3 million
Cleveland Clinic takes pride in a wide range of high-quality medical education that includes accredited training programs for residents, physicians, nurses and allied health professionals. By educating medical professionals, we ensure that the public is receiving the highest standard of medical care and will have highly trained health professionals to care for them in the future.

Research — $64.0 million
Research into diseases and their cures is an investment in people’s long-term health. From a community benefit standpoint, research includes basic, clinical and community health research, as well as studies on healthcare delivery. Over 1,900 scientists and support personnel, including 179 principal investigators, are providing research at Cleveland Clinic.

Photo: Dr. Charles Bernick and patient, Rudy Morales, Professional Fighters Brain Health Study at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.