Category Archives: Press

Affordable housing crisis strikes Las Vegas Valley

Jacenta Harris brought her two youngest children to Las Vegas to start a new life.

Then came the eviction notice.

Harris, 38, said she moved from Detroit in August to escape an abusive relationship. She spent almost all her savings to move into an apartment but faced homelessness a month later after an expected janitorial job didn’t materialize.

“I thought we were going to be out on the street,” Harris said. “I felt lost. I had no peace.”

Things have gotten better. Harris has a part-time housekeeping job, a cheaper apartment and help paying rent from the nonprofit HopeLink of Southern Nevada.

Tens of thousands of households across Southern Nevada aren’t so lucky.

Experts say this desert valley of shimmering lights and more than 2.1 million residents — its workforce dominated by casino, hotel and restaurant employees — has a growing affordable-housing crisis.





Review-Journal investigation spurs call for mental health reform

Nevada health officials are examining how the state could license consultants who transfer mentally ill people to unregulated group homes, a step prompted by a Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation that highlighted the death of a suicidal woman after she was placed in an unsupervised residence.

“This story has been really motivating for people,” said Julie Kotchevar, deputy director at the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. “It’s certainly been motivating for me to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

At a legislative meeting Monday, Kotchevar presented lawmakers with an idea: Broaden the state statute that governs “referral agencies” to require anyone doing that type of work to obtain a license. Currently, state law requires a license only for businesses that refer patients to “residential facilities for groups.”

To


Federally Qualified Health Centers must grow to cover the uninsured and underinsured

Monday, November 6, 2017 – 2 a.m.

Money should never be the reason people don’t get the health care they need, but it often is. That’s why in the 1960s, during the anti-poverty movement, the roots of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) were created as a response to the struggles of poor communities to cover medical and mental health needs.

“They have quite literally become the backbone for health care for underinsured and low-income communities,” said Angela Quinn, CEO of FirstMed Health and Wellness Center.

In Nevada, six entities have the federal designation. While their 33 outlets for subsidized care crisscross the state, Quinn says needs still aren’t met.

“In Nevada, we should have about 100 FQHCs,” she said. “You look at our demographics: For every 7,000 people who are at or below median income, there is one doctor to provide primary care. It should be 2,000 to 1.”

To read more click here.

Horizon Health

For all of us in healthcare, there comes a moment in time when we transition from provider to patient or family advocate.  This past week was my turn.  One of my parents (like many in my generation, I’m blessed with more than two) was hospitalized with a myriad of difficulties that boil down to, elderly and likely unable to return home.

For anyone who has faced the challenge of supporting a loved one through the consideration of this transition, the roller coaster of emotions, perspectives and relationship roles is completely overwhelming.  But rather than focus on the challenges implicit in this situation, I want to focus here on the value of the optics.

I have had the pleasure and misfortune to work with facilities who are obsessed with “patient experience” and those who seem to think it’s a bridge too far, from the hospital whose staff openly described themselves as “Studor-ized,” to the chaos and apparent disdain of the safety net.  Over the past weeks of being with my parent hour after hour in a hospital room, the learning from this unique perspective became readily apparent.  Consider the following:

  • When you need a bed pan or urinal, how long feels like a “long-time” before anyone comes to bring you one?
  •  When you have profound tremors and weakness in your extremities, how big (and sensitive) should the buttons on your call system and bed control panel be?
  • If you drop your call button onto the floor, how do you get it back?
  •  Is there a “5-Second Rule” for a nasal cannula dropped on the floor?
  • When your IV Pump begins to alarm loudly, how long before someone comes to silence it?
  • When you’re wearing a hospital gown, what parts of you are “in the breeze” when you’re lifted between chair and bed?
  • Should anything “dirty” be placed on your over-bed table?  Your lunch will go there, too.
  • And . . . Have you ever tried to eat from an over-bed table?  It’s not easy!
  • Is “honey, sweetie, sweetheart, darling, my-love, etc.” condescending or friendly?
  • When you tell someone, “Okay, I’ll be right back,” how long do they think you’ll be gone before you’re “right back”?

In the age of constant monitoring and metrics, the patient’s actual “experience” can get lost in the chatter about patient experience scores.  Those who have made millions selling all of us the same common sense the average waiter or waitress depends upon to pay their bills have taught us that it really is the “little things” that make all the difference in the world.  My loved one is in a small rural hospital and, I have to say, the staff have all been thoughtful, kind and attentive.  But is that enough, for your loved one?  Is attending to patient experience a matter of teaching to the test or is it really about a shift in focus?  I admit, I’ve often found myself completely frustrated with the variability and, in some cases, single-minded obsession with patient experience scores.  But beyond the scores, there are people who count on us at their most vulnerable moments.

I wish I’d never had to be with my loved one in the hospital for the past weeks and I wish that situation was resolved.  It’s not.  But, the learning this unwelcome shift in perspective has provided has been invaluable.  I don’t wish it on you, but I can assure you, that when you can’t just walk out of the room and get back to work . . . you will learn something truly valuable.

Miles D. Kramer, LCSW, CCHP

Vice President – Development

Horizon Health

Repeal and Replace 2.0: Sandoval expresses concern, Heller promises review

LAS VEGAS (KSNV NEWS3LV) — Senate Republicans unveiled their revised Obamacare replacement on Thursday, and while it contains some changes to the original proposal, it contains a key element Nevada’s top two Republicans oppose: cuts to Medicaid, which is the program that helps low-income and needy Americans.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, in Rhode Island for the National Governor’s Association meeting, told the Nevada Independent not much has changed from the first bill, which gives him “great concern.”

To read the rest of the article and to watch the video click here.


Nevada’s legislature just passed a radical plan to let anybody sign up for Medicaid

Nevada, with little fanfare or notice, is inching toward a massive health insurance expansion – one that would give the state’s 2.8 million residents access to a public health insurance.

Make-A-Wish gets its wish granted — new office space

Alexa Garin, 6, attends the Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada headquarters opening ceremony event on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Erik_Verduzco

Make-A-Wish of Southern Nevada opened a new office space Friday in Summerlin called the Wishing Place.

Allegiant Airlines, a national sponsor of Make-A-Wish for nearly five years, donated $1.5 million to the nonprofit organization to help fund its new headquarters on Allegiant’s Summerlin campus.

“They wanted to do something that could connect their emloyees here in the office more deeply with the mission, so it was a perfect fit,” said Caroline Ciocca, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish of Southern Nevada.

At the unveiling ceremony, Tom Burns, chairman of the board for Make-A-Wish, pulled out three $1 bills and handed them to Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher, a gesture that signified three years’ rent for the nonprofit organization.

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New program in Southern Nevada extends health-care lifeline to newly released inmates

Newly released inmates face many pressures that can lead them to return to jail or prison, but a new program in Southern Nevada aims to remove access to health care from that list.

The program works like this:

Inmates preparing for freedom and newly released offenders participating in the Hope for Prisoners program can meet with a FirstMed representative at the nonprofit’s offices.

That person can then help them connect with FirstMed services – including setting up doctor appointments and filling prescriptions — and sign them up for Medicaid coverage and more.

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The Auspiciousness of Angela Quinn

Careers in the nonprofit sector aren’t exactly known for their glamour or grandeur. They’re synonymous with long hours and financial constraints. The work is often stymied by policies as organizations are continuously cut and programs downsized. Staying committed to the cause poses plenty of challenges, but Angela Quinn shows no distress about the nature of her industry.

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