Archive for January, 2015

Giving Lives Back – St. Rose Dominican’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility

January 29, 2015 Leave a comment

When Josh woke at his home in Henderson in the middle of the night unable to walk, paramedics rushed him to St. Rose Dominican’s Rose de Lima Campus. After spending two weeks in the hospital getting his health stabilized, the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) staff took over and helped Josh walk out the front doors.

Josh was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre (pronounced Gē-yän Bä Rā) Syndrome, a rare, serious autoimmune disorder that damages the nerves, causing muscle weakness and paralysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the syndrome affects one out of every 100,000 people.

“Doctors think I had a virus that locked on to my nerve endings,” says Josh. “So after fighting off the virus, my body thought the nerve endings were still part of it, and it just kept attacking.” With Josh bedridden, doctors turned to the hospital’s IRF and its new robotic technology for answers.

Fortunately for Josh, the IRF had recently received three new robotic rehabilitation therapy machines made by Hocoma® Products: the Erigo®, Lokomat Pro®, and Armeo®Power and Hand Therapy robot. According to Dr. Tony Chin, Medical Director of the IRF, the hospital is the first in the southwest United States to receive the equipment.

erigo basic 27RT_smErigo® – The Erigo® (shown right) is a robotic mobilization and electrical stimulation support system that helps patients stand again after long periods of lying down. Named Apollo Zen by the IRF (“Apollo” for god of the sky and “Zen” for health), it gradually moves the patient into an upright position, allowing them to gain the strength to stand. Robotic foot pedals help patients improve their blood circulation while doing passive, active or resisted exercise. The system also uses functional electrical stimulation to assist in muscle contraction, which speeds strengthening.

“The whole idea is to get the muscles to contract so we get blood flow back to the heart,” says Dr. Chin. “With good blood flow, the heart starts to pump, and we can slowly tilt the patient upright while maintaining their blood pressure. If they’re able to maintain blood pressure, they’re able to do therapy.”

A few days after Josh was admitted to Rose de Lima, the Erigo® arrived. He was the first patient to test out the new technology. “The Erigo® was amazing,” says Josh. “It got me moving again. I’ve been on my feet ever since.”

Lokomat Pro® – The IRF’s Lokomat Pro®, a customizable robotic gait training system that helps patients walk again, has been nicknamed “Optimus Yung” (Optimus, a robot character in the movie “Transformers” that helps humans, and Yung, the Chinese word for “courageous”). The name is fitting because it takes a lot of courage for a patient to get on the machine and try to walk again after a stroke or traumatic injury.

lokomat pro 7The machine (shown left) hoists patients upright using a harness that moves up and down and side to side to simulate the natural “bob” of a walking person. Robotic legs attach to the patient’s hips, knees, and ankles to guide them as they move forward on a treadmill, and a hip attachment feature allows natural hip movement. A video screen facing the patient offers games that encourage and provide instant feedback.

The Lokomat Pro® has both automatic and manual settings. New patients are typically placed on an automatic setting so they can experience concise and repetitive movements to form new muscle memory. The settings are gradually moved to manual as the patient improves. “The movement has to be precise and accurate,” says Dr. Chin. “If not, they will learn a bad pathway.”

After stabilizing his blood pressure using the Erigo®, Josh used the Lokomat Pro® to regain his ability to walk. “The machine got me started,” says Josh. “I went from not being able to walk to moving my legs to being able to hold my weight to walking all over again. Now, I feel like I can almost jump again.”

“It’s like the old expression, ‘You never forget how to ride a bike,’” says Josh. “Well, you never forget how to walk either. Sometimes it just takes a while to get it down the way you did before, but the amazing staff here at the IRF helps you do it.”

ArmeoBoom home usageArmeo®Power – The Armeo®Power (shown right) is an upper body robot that helps patients regain the use of their arms. Dr. Chin says the machine focuses on repetition to increase strength and improve mobility of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Like the Lokomat Pro®, it uses video games to encourage patients and give them instant feedback.

“Our Armeo®Power is named Rosie Chern,” says Dr. Chin. “’Rosie’ after Rosie the Riveter (an American icon during World War II representing women who worked in factories), and Chern, the Chinese word for being successful.”

Former patient Lana Million experienced the machine’s success after suffering from a debilitating stroke in July 2014 that caused her entire left side to become numb. After spending two weeks recovering at St. Rose Dominican’s Siena Campus, Lana was transferred to the Rose de Lima IRF to rehabilitate using the Armeo®Power. “My fingers and arm would move, but I couldn’t control them,” Lana says. “The Armeo helped me learn how to squeeze things, and it gave me the whole range of movement back in my arm. I can’t imagine having better therapy.”

“Our emergency rooms save lives,” says Teressa Conley, President/CEO of the Rose de Lima Campus, “but life-saving
technology is just part of the picture. After trauma, accident, or stroke, it is only through rehabilitative services that patients really get their lives back. Regaining the ability to do something as simple as combing your hair or brushing your teeth or something incredibly difficult, such as learning to walk and be independent again, is truly life-saving.”

In the past, residents had to travel out of state for care beyond traditional therapy. Now that Rose de Lima has the Hocoma® technology, residents can recover in their own community.

The robotic technology offered at the IRF now allows patients to have the best of both worlds: the most current technology
and the support of friends and family. For Josh, staying close to home was important because it allowed him to visit with his two small children every other day. “If I was out of state, that wouldn’t have been an option,” Josh says. “It was hard not being able to hold my kids when they were sitting right next to me, but having them visit was motivation. It kept me pushing, and it kept me moving forward. I did it for them.”

At a recent unveiling of the new equipment, Conley agreed. “We are proud to be the leader in rehabilitative services for our region,” she says. “Residents of southern Nevada should not need to leave the community to get the best medical care available.” To learn more, visit


St. Rose Dominican is Taking the Great Kindness Challenge

January 26, 2015 Leave a comment

At St. Rose Dominican, we strive to ensure that humankindness drives every interaction we have with the people we serve. During the week of January 26-30, St. Rose is encouraging employees to take part in The Great Kindness Challenge, which includes a suggested 50-item Acts of Kindness checklist to complete by January 30.

Great Kindness Photo SmallSt. Rose is working in partnership with the Josh Stevens Foundation, a local nonprofit organization that helps schools, businesses, and youth organizations across the nation recognize and celebrate heartfelt acts of kindness. With their help, more than 100 Nevada schools are participating in this year’s Great Kindness Challenge. Participating schools are giving their students the 50-item checklist and encouraging them to complete that checklist by January 30. Students who complete the checklist will receive a gift from the Josh Stevens Foundation.

Globally, the Great Kindness Challenge is currently on target to have more than two million students enrolled for 2015, which will amount to 100 million acts of kindness in schools nationwide. In addition to serving as a presenting sponsor of the Great Kindness Challenge, many of Dignity Health’s more than 65,000 executives, employees, and physicians are taking the Great Kindness Challenge alongside the students, effectively “matching” their good deeds in hospital, clinic, and office settings.

“St. Rose is committed to practicing humankindness every day in our hospitals and care centers,” said Brian Brannman, senior vice president of operations for Dignity Health Nevada. “We are focused on putting policies in place that strengthen the human connection with our doctors, nurses, and caregivers so every guest feels welcome, safe, comfortable, listened to, and respected. Our mission calls us to collaborate with organizations that share the same goals and help spread the word about the power of kindness, especially within schools.”

For more information on The Great Kindness Challenge and Kids For Peace, go to For more information on the Josh Stevens Foundation, please visit

Helping Southern Nevadans Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

January 20, 2015 Leave a comment

Diabetes SignsThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in three U.S. adults has prediabetes. That’s 79 million Americans over 20 years old, and the majority of these people who have prediabetes don’t know it.

If you have prediabetes, it means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Prediabetes is a serious health risk that increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Without lifestyle changes, 15-30 percent of the people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five

You may be at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes if you:
• are 45 years of age or older
• are overweight
• have a parent with diabetes
• have a brother or sister with diabetes
• have a family background that is African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander
• had diabetes when you were pregnant of gave birth to a baby weight 9 pounds or more
• are physically active less than three times a week.

The good news? You can prevent type 2 diabetes by making healthy lifestyle changes, and Dignity Health – St. Rose Dominican has a new program that can help.

The new CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based lifestyle change program offered by St. Rose Dominican that is aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes.

In this program, you will work in a group with a trained lifestyle coach to learn the skills you need to make lasting changes. You will learn about healthy eating, adding physical activity to your life, staying motivated, and solving problems that can get in the way of healthy changes.

“If you have prediabetes,” says Aidee Flores Fernandez, Community Education Program Specialist at St. Rose Dominican, “this National Diabetes Prevention Program offers a real chance to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by helping you adopt a healthier lifestyle.”

What is diabetes?
In type 2 diabetes, the most common form, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin allows the body to use glucose (sugar) for energy.

According to the American Diabetes Association, when there isn’t enough insulin or it doesn’t get used as it should be, glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the body’s cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of fueling the cells, the body becomes starved for energy and, over time, may hurt the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

Common Symptoms of Diabetes
• Urinating often
• Feeling very thirsty
• Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating normally
• Extreme fatigue
• Blurry vision
• Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
• Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
• Tinging, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Learn about the many diabetes-related programs offered through St. Rose by calling 702.616.4914

The San Martin Campus Has A New President/CEO

January 15, 2015 Leave a comment

LawrenceBarnardDignity Health – St. Rose Dominican welcomes Larry Barnard as president and CEO of our San Martín Campus. Opened in 2006, San Martín is one of our three hospitals in southern Nevada. Barnard started in early December and reports to Brian Brannman, senior vice president of operations for Dignity Health Nevada.

Barnard brings an extensive and impressive range of health care administrative experience to his new role, including his most-recent position as chief executive officer of University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. Before he was appointed its CEO, he served as UMC’s chief operating officer for two years. Barnard was also Valley Hospital Medical Center’s associate administrator and acting chief operating officer, and the associate administrator at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center before joining UMC. He also worked in hospital administration at facilities in southern California and North Carolina.

“I am impressed with the diversity and complexity of Barnard’s past accomplishments, and his health care management acumen,” says Brian Brannman. “Larry is known for combining a focus on top-notch performance with compassionate, patient-centered care. He is also regarded for his skills as a team builder with physicians, community leaders, employees and peers. I am extremely pleased to welcome him to Dignity Health.”

Barnard graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served as a U.S. Army captain for five years. He received an MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

Categories: Siena
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