How Technology is Advancing Medicine – LVMD Town Hall on Feb. 27

The city of Las Vegas, Valley Hospital Medical Center and the Clark County Medical Society, in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging (SDMI) and UMC, host a free Las Vegas Medical District Town Hall for the general public and stakeholders.

The Town Hall will focus on cutting-edge technology and innovation used by medical facilities within the Las Vegas Medical District to save lives and treat patients. Four key presentations will focus on mammography and digital imaging, clinical trials, advanced heart care, and robotic surgery – and each will include patient success stories.

Introductory remarks from:

  • Jeffrey Roth, MD, president of Clark County Medical Society

Presentations from:

  • Dr. Aaron Ritter, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (brain research)
  • Dr. Aanshu A. Shah, Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging (mammography and digital imaging)
  • Dr. Chowdhury Ahsan, UMC (advanced heart care)
  • Dr. Leslie Browder, Valley Hospital Medical Center (DaVinci Robotic Surgical System)

 Wednesday, February 27, 2019

  • 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. – arrival, networking
  • 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. – program
  • 6:45 – 7:30 p.m. – reception hosted by Valley Hospital Medical Center

WHERE:          Las Vegas City Hall, Council Chambers, 495 So. Main Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

PARKING:        500 Main Street garage; validation available with ticket


Photo: Karen Freed, diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s, who is participating in a clinical trial at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

Desert Radiology Advances on Radiology Business Journal’s 2018 “Radiology 100”

Desert Radiology, a premier diagnostic imaging company that has served Southern Nevada for over 50 years, has been recognized as the No. 24 largest private radiology practice in the United States by Radiology Business Journal. The imaging company has been on the publication’s “Radiology 100” list for 11 years and moved up nine spots from the No. 33 spot in 2017. Recognition by Radiology Business Journal for the “Radiology 100” is based on full and part-time radiologists, the number of imaging centers and hospitals served.

“It is an honor to be recognized year after year on a national scale for our continued growth and expansion,” said Richard Bodager, chief executive officer of Desert Radiology. “Just this year, we opened a new imaging facility in Henderson and have expanded our team. As the demand for radiology services increases, we will continue to meet that demand and be a community partner of choice for numerous organizations and sports teams.”

Desert Radiology has been the area’s chief resource for diagnostic imaging services since 1966. With over 70 board-certified radiologists across nine outpatient facilities, the diagnostic imaging company serves over 30,000 patients monthly. Desert Radiology is the largest radiology provider in Southern Nevada, serving 13 area hospitals, a large cancer center, a group of multispecialty medical centers, and several other facilities throughout Nevada. For more information, visit

Photo: Courtesy of Desert Radiology and You: The Perfect Pair

Half a million people around the world have visited, a website and app developed by Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Of these, 17,600 have joined the site to receive regular strategies and tips for maintaining their brain health, with more than 10,700 indicating an interest in participating in research.

“Many people are afraid of developing dementia, but the good news is that there are well-established lifestyle changes people can make now to help reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other diseases that cause dementia,” says Kat Hartley, Project Manager for “Our app and website are simple, fun and provide personalized feedback about improving brain health.”

A Tool for Better Health
One of the first people to join the site was Bruce Bommarito, Vice President of International Marketing at Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, which provided the funding to start

“It made sense to me that a healthy lifestyle can help prevent dementia. I have seven-year-old twins and plan to live a long life,” he says.

Over the past three years, Bommarito has followed the site’s recommendations and is exercising more, eating a healthier diet, getting more sleep and practicing meditation.

“I feel significantly healthier than when I started,” he says.

Bommarito has done more than focus on his own health – he has been a volunteer, recruiting Caesars employees and family members to join the site. Perhaps most importantly, he joined a clinical trial investigating the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. makes it easy for subscribers to learn about Alzheimer’s disease research studies.

Needed Now: Clinical Trial Participants
With the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease expected to quadruple by the year 2050, the quest to find more effective treatments has become an urgent public health objective. Sadly, many Alzheimer’s disease trials fail to recruit enough participants to complete the study.

“The only path to more effective treatment is the clinical trial process. We need to use every means available to find the thousands of people needed to participate in clinical trials,” says Aaron Ritter, MD, Director, Clinical Trials Program, at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “My experience with is that it has been a very effective means of getting people engaged and excited about participating in Alzheimer’s disease research.”

Being part of a trial may benefit participants, said Hartley. “We don’t know when there will be a cure or treatment to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, but we do know that the first person to experience it will be a clinical trial participant.”

Bommarito appreciates the trial’s thorough screening process. “It’s been the most impressive experience I’ve had in the medical system. Everyone is extremely professional, knowledgeable and nice. I’d do another trial in a minute,” he says.

The HealthyBrains team has interacted with more than 500 individuals who showed interest in participating in clinical trials while registering with To find out how you or a loved one can join our group of “citizen scientists” and participate in our research, contact the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at or 855.LOU.RUVO or visit today.

Photo: Caesar’s Jan Jones with Dr. Jeffrey Cummings; Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health


UMC Named One of Nevada’s “Best Companies to Work For”

Nevada Business Magazine has recognized UMC as one of the 10 “Best Companies to Work For” in 2018, highlighting the hospital’s continued efforts to promote satisfaction, loyalty and career advancement among its 4,001 employees in Southern Nevada.

After receiving hundreds of in-depth nominations, the magazine’s editorial staff selected only 10 honorees to be featured in the November issue of Nevada Business Magazine.

“Nevada Business Magazine is pleased to recognize organizations such as UMC in our ‘Best Companies to Work For’ cover article,” said Tarah Richardson, editor-in-chief of Nevada Business Magazine. “UMC earned a spot for the organization’s dedication to employees and long history of caring for their well-being. ‘Best Companies to Work For’ is a semi-annual feature in Nevada Business Magazine that recognizes companies that go above and beyond for employees, and UMC is one of those companies.”

The average UMC employee has worked at the hospital for 10 years, underscoring the remarkable loyalty of the team tasked with delivering Nevada’s highest level of care.

UMC provides its team members with continuing education opportunities and a wide range of community service opportunities. The hospital also offers a tuition reimbursement program to help team members reach their academic and career goals. Committed to promoting employees from within, UMC also offers leadership “boot camp” training sessions for up-and-coming leaders throughout the hospital.

As an organization committed to promoting health and well-being, UMC offers a number of wellness programs for employees, including classes, support groups, counseling and many other benefits – all at no cost.

UMC Administrators frequently meet with hospital employees at all levels to solicit feedback and promote the free exchange of ideas to help shape the future of UMC. UMC CEO Mason VanHouweling hosts frequent town hall meetings with employees, encouraging them to share concerns, ideas and other feedback on a wide range of issues. The feedback gathered during these meetings often plays a key role in UMC’s strategic planning process.

The hospital also recently introduced a shared governance program for nurses, providing these team members with valuable opportunities to contribute their ideas and expertise while further elevating UMC’s position as a trusted leader in nursing care.

In addition, UMC has an entire team of employees dedicated to boosting morale. Known as TeamUMC, this group organizes events for employees throughout the year, including holiday treat carts, employee karaoke, dunk tank events, holiday parties and spring picnics – all of which make UMC not just a place to work, but a second home for team members.

“We are committed to taking care of the UMC team members who have dedicated their careers to caring for others,” said VanHouweling. “In addition to offering a culture focused on teamwork and opportunities for career advancement, we provide employees with the unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others every single day.”

Photo: Courtesy of UMC


Connecting to the Las Vegas Medical District may soon be easier, thanks to a $5.3 million Department of Transportation (DOT) grant recently awarded to the city of Las Vegas and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC).  The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant funding will support Southern Nevada’s advancements in autonomous vehicle utilization and fund the GoMed project, which will connect passengers from Downtown Las Vegas to the Las Vegas Medical District.

According to U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Southern Nevada has demonstrated the potential of innovative technology to positively impact our communities and improve Nevadans’ way of life. “The RTC of Southern Nevada and the city of Las Vegas are advancing the use of automated technology to enhance services, improve public transportation and meet the needs of Southern Nevadans. The GoMed project will take us a step further by making it easier for Nevadans to reach their doctors and health care facilities.”

“We are thrilled to be a recipient of this forward-thinking grant that will help accelerate mobility and advanced technology in Southern Nevada,” said RTC General Manager Tina Quigley. “We embrace innovative technologies that enhance safety and the quality of life for our residents. This project will provide us with data to better connect our residents to employment, education, healthcare and other vital services. This is a remarkable opportunity for the RTC and the city of Las Vegas to continue our momentum of building the foundation for a smart community.”

Photo: Courtesy of city of Las Vegas

UNLV School of Medicine students visit Wynn Las Vegas

While many young people exist on hamburgers and pizza during their college years, members of the UNLV School of Medicine charter class are learning why the better option for optimum health is a “superfood” salad of organic quinoa, farro, baby kale, radishes and tomatoes — with a drizzle of herb vinaigrette dressing.

As part of their course, Food as Medicine, the students were granted the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes of Wynn Las Vegas to see how one of the finest culinary operations in the world operates. Students quizzed a few renowned chefs at the property’s award-winning restaurants, observing their exacting standards and learning about vegan menus, allergen awareness and third-party food analysis.

An estimated 12 to 15 million Americans have some type of food allergy, so today, top restaurants are going to great lengths to protect their guests. At Wynn, the students learned about thoughtfully designed special menus and allergy “kits,” which are clearly marked containers of sterilized utensils that are brought out and used to cook an individual meal for guests whenever one makes it known they have a food allergy.

The chefs at Wynn talked about ways to make special menu items healthier, while maintaining, and even enhancing the taste. The chef in charge of the Wynn restaurant, Sinatra, provided examples.

“For the dough in our ravioli, we can use flour and pureed tofu instead of eggs,” Chef Luke Palladino told the students. “Then we do a seasonal vegetable emulsion — right now we’re using tomatoes, squash puree, or asparagus, depending on the season. Then, to bread the ravioli, we use pureed tofu to mimic the breading. And we avoid eggs, and we top it off with a vegan mozzarella cheese made with tapioca starch and coconut oil. When it melts, it’s pretty amazing how the flavor comes out.“

Maintaining rich flavors while cutting calories can be done many different ways, according to Chef Palladino. One such example is using less cream and butter, and adding smoked mushrooms to mimic the taste of bacon.

Second-year medical student Damien Medrano calls the visit to the Wynn one of the highlights of his course. “I really enjoyed learning how the Wynn is incorporating healthier food principles. It is important for the hospitality industry to embrace the growing emphasis of healthy dining habits that many people desire. Great food with fewer calories, less butter and sodium are practical changes that we, as future doctors, can certainly appreciate.”

Medrano is also a member of the UNLV School of Medicine Cooking Club. “It’s a fun way to get us students practicing Hippocrates’ philosophy of “food as thy medicine.” Students take turns hosting dinner and sharing tasty recipes. We just started, and so far, we have 15 members and two great recipes: turkey chili and chicken tikka masala. Our school was fully supportive and even bought us special UNLV School of Medicine aprons.”

Medrano actually brought his apron to the Wynn. Although he didn’t get a chance to cook, he and the other second-year students were invited to sample some of Wynn’s “Vanity Menu” items, including the “superfood” salad.

They also toured Wynn’s Staff Café, where approximately 12,500 Wynn and Encore employees are fed.

It is here that employees are allowed one free meal a day — and it’s not typical cafeteria fare. The food, and even the dining room décor, rivals many fine restaurants. Every entrée is color-coded to help employees make healthy choices, and Wynn chefs go out of their way to know exactly how many calories are in each dish. While most restaurants “estimate” caloric content, Wynn conducts third-party food analysis by periodically scooping up everything on a plate and sending it to a lab for examination and caloric measurement.

The students seemed fascinated by this. Student Emily Guyaux asked Wynn Executive Chef James Benson. “Do you have any data to show your efforts to provide healthier food is paying off with better employee health?” Chef Benson didn’t offer any hard data, but pointed out the company’s health insurance provides incentives for weight loss and lower BMI — and that every calorie saved is a step in the right direction.

Article credit: Paul Joncich/Manager of Media Relations UNLV School of Medicine
Photo: Courtesy of UNLV School of Medicine