Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Here for the children


Our dedicated pediatric ER was built with kids in mind.

We understand that kids are not simply mini adults.
Their medical and emotional needs are unique.

That’s why St. Rose Dominican’s Siena Campus has a dedicated children’s emergency room that offers specialized care and a warm touch. It’s one of the only child-specific ERs in southern Nevada.

In case of emergency, you want to know your child is in the best of hands. Features of our children’s emergency room include:

Always open. Day or night, if your child needs our services, we’re here for you. Our staff  includes specially trained pediatric emergency medicine doctors and nurses.

Kid-friendly setting. Our pediatric ER is separate from the main ER. You’ll find toys and other items to help make your child’s experience as reassuring and comfortable as possible.

Level III Trauma Center. We stand ready to provide care for a wide range of pediatric emergencies, including surgery and intensive care.

Collaborative care. Once you leave the hospital, we’ll coordinate with your family’s doctor to ensure that your child receives any needed follow-up care.

Where to find us. The Siena Campus Children’s ER is located at 3001 St. Rose Parkway in Henderson. You can select an arrival time online at


Strong & Steady

Orthopedic surgeon offers new life to injured knees and ankles with advanced technology

Brace yourself. That’s something we might say to ourselves—or someone we care about—to help face a bump in the road with strength and resilience.

When that hard knock is a knee or ankle injury, orthopedic surgeon Roddy McGee, DO, is offering his patients a super-strong internal brace. This innovative technique helps people bounce back quicker—and with less discomfort—from injuries.

Dr. McGee uses this internal bracing technique to repair common sports related mishaps, including ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries in knees, Achilles tendon ruptures in ankles, and elbow injuries.

With this internal bracing technique, surgeons can use smaller incisions, so there’s less pain and swelling. “The faster recovery times mean you can return to an active life quicker,” Dr. McGee says. “The internal brace is a super-strong suture material that repairs the injury, provides temporary stability during healing, and is anchored into the bone. The plastic anchor eventually dissolves.”

From tattered and torn to strong and steady. If you’re a sports fan, you know that many knee injuries involve the ACL, the smallest of the four main ligaments in the knee. It is the main stabilizing ligament in the center of the knee. It keeps your shinbone (tibia) from sliding forward and rotating on your thighbone (femur).

Treatment for ACL injuries is typically reconstruction, often using tendons from other places in the body. By using the internal brace technique, surgeons can offer additional strength and support to the reconstructed ligament. It stabilizes the ligament, helping it heal at an appropriate length. It accelerates recovery—allowing people to walk more naturally and return to their activities sooner.

‘I knew what happened immediately’

Your Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body, connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone. You need it for walking, running, and jumping. It’s strong, but it can still be vulnerable to painful injuries in both professional and recreational athletes.

Just ask Casey Craven. In February 2017, Casey was trying out for a regional level of American Ninja Warrior when his Achilles gave out in a painful and dramatic way.

“I was on the last obstacle, the 18-foot warped wall, when it popped. I knew what happened immediately,” Casey says. “It was an intense pain that felt like someone hit me in the back of the calf with a baseball bat.”

Dr. McGee repaired Casey’s Achilles with the internal brace technique. As with ACL repairs, internal bracing offers added stability—through a single small incision. Several sets of strong sutures tie together the ends of the tendon. This internal infrastructure braces the tendon during healing. Again, the result is less pain and a speedier recovery.

“Previous repair techniques would require the patient to be in a cast for six months,” Dr. McGee says. With the internal brace technique, patients typically recover much more quickly, he says.

Casey wore a boot for four weeks before he went back to his job as an operating room technician—and to his athletic pursuits, as well. He hasn’t had a problem since, even doing strenuous workouts, he says.

One coach’s game plan: Get it done!

A kinder and custom approach to knee replacement

Sam Thomas, baseball coach at Las Vegas High School, knows how important having the right equipment is to sports success. For him, that includes two custom knee implants.

When Sam first considered knee replacement at the age of 52 to relieve the pain of  osteoarthritis, he thought maybe he was too young. He’d heard he should wait until he was at least 55.

But advances in total knee replacement convinced him otherwise, and today he’s really happy with his custom implants. He got his right knee replaced in June 2015—and then his left in August 2017.

A perfect fit

In the past, orthopedic surgeons had to rely on “off-the-shelf” knee implants from a range of standard sizes, says Roddy McGee, DO. That required surgeons to adjust the bones in the joint to fit the implant. Today, Dr. McGee uses implants that are customized specifically for the patient—the ConforMIS customized knee implant.

How does it work? A CT scan of the patient’s knee is converted to a 3-D model. It’s used to design an implant to match the knee precisely. The custom fit follows the shape and contour of each patient’s knee—so the bone doesn’t have to be altered as much to make it fit. After surgery, these custom knees feel more natural and cause less pain than standard implants.

Sam’s advice? “Don’t wait—get it done,” he says. “Less bone is being removed, so even if I do have to have a knee replacement again sometime in the future, I’d feel very comfortable doing it. In fact, the second replacement actually felt better quicker than the first.”

Move forward with confidence. Find an orthopedic surgeon who does custom knee replacements at St. Rose Dominican by calling 702.616.4900.

Better days ahead – 5 steps to less pain

If you’re coping with a bout of lower back pain—or living with nagging arthritis pain—you need help to ease the hurt.

Easy does it

Here are some strategies when seeking pain relief. It’s often about finding what works best for you.

  1. Try an over-the-counter pain reliever. Acetaminophen and aspirin can help relieve pain. Ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce swelling in the affected area.Check with your doctor about which type of pain reliever is right for you—and only take pain relievers as directed.
  2. Apply cold or heat. Try alternating hot and cold packs. Heat—such as warm baths, hot towels, or heating pads—can help with stiffness and muscle spasms, while cold packs reduce swelling.
  3. Keep moving. Staying active—as long as it doesn’t make the pain worse—may be a plus. For example, with back pain, movement helps keep blood flowing to the affected area, which reduces inflammation and keeps the muscles from tensing up.
  4. Explore your options. Be sure to see your doctor if your pain is severe or worsening. Discuss other ways to help manage your pain, such as with physical therapy, massage, and acupuncture.Also see your doctor if you have symptoms in addition to pain, such as numbness, tingling, trouble urinating, or unexplained weight loss.
  5. Stay in touch. Let your doctor know what’s helping, what’s not, and how pain is affecting your daily life.

Take care of yourself

Pain relief works best when you stay positive and take careof yourself. Make it a priority to:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Take time to relax
  • Count your blessings



Get Heart Healthy – One Day at A Time

The human heart is complex. Keeping yours healthy doesn’t have to be! “Making simple changes each day can help keep your heart healthy and strong,” says Andrew M. Ayers, MD, MBA, a licensed interventional cardiologist who practices at Dignity Health–St. Rose Dominican.

Where should you start? Dr. Ayers suggests focusing on small, everyday choices that can help you improve your diet, pump up your exercise routine, manage your weight, and relieve stress.

Where to begin? Try following this day-by-day plan for a heart-healthy week. These doable steps can inspire you to keep up the momentum and keep your heart healthy!


Go meatless. You’ll reduce your overall saturated fat intake, which can help prevent heart attacks and other problems. Look to beans, lentils, tofu, or unsalted nuts to replace meat in your favorite dishes.


Say “so long” to sugary beverages. They’re high in calories—and often low in nutrients— which add empty calories to your diet. Quench your thirst with water or another sugar-free beverage.


Take 10. A 10-minute walk, that is. Even this small burst of activity can  help your heart. Walk briskly enough to increase your breathing and heart rate. Then build on your success. A good goal: Walking for at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.


Lighten up a little. If you’re a milk drinker, go from whole milk to low-fat—or even nonfat. You’ll get all the benefits of milk, like vitamin D and calcium, without the potentially artery clogging saturated fat.


Try something fishy. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps improve heart health. Aim for two servings of heart-healthy fish each week. (A serving is about 3. ounces.) Salmon, trout, and herring are great choices.


Give yourself permission to relax. Set aside at least 15 minutes to just sit quietly and breathe deeply. Imagine your stress seeping away. Finding healthy ways to manage stress can help keep your blood pressure in check.


Draw up next week’s plan. What new healthy habits can you work into your life?

For more inspiration, visit We’ve got heart-smart articles, recipes, health tools, and more.


Young athletes: Cheer them on to safety

February 3, 2017 Leave a comment

Every kid is a winner when it comes to playing sports. Game time can boost a youngster’s social skills and selfconfidence, while providing plenty of healthy exercise that’s also a lot of fun.

But every sport poses at least some risks. As a parent, you can work with coaches and your young athlete to help reduce these risks.

Stay off the injured list. To help your child score in safety, Emily Peterson, DO, FAAP, a pediatrician at Dignity Health Medical Group’s Henderson location, suggests the following:

ASK QUESTIONS. Learn what your child’s sports program is doing to prevent and respond to injuries, such as ensuring conditioning for players and safety training for coaches.

SCHEDULE A PHYSICAL. A preseason exam from a doctor will help confirm that your youngster is healthy enough to play.

GET EQUIPPED. Depending on the sport, a helmet, body padding, mouthguards or shinguards, eye protection, and proper shoes may be needed.

PLAY BY THE RULES. From football to soccer, many sports have rules designed to prevent injuries. Make sure your child knows—and follows—them.

BEAT THE HEAT. Give your child a water bottle—and encourage frequent drinking.

WARM UP. Encourage warm-up exercises before and cooldown exercises after both practices and games.

TAKE CONCUSSIONS SERIOUSLY. In general, players shouldn’t get back in the game until medically evaluated and cleared to play.

ENCOURAGE REST. Athletes need breaks in between seasons and during practices and games.

SPEAK UP. Teach your child to speak up if he or she is sick or hurt. And remember to check with your child’s doctor if you suspect an injury.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; National Institutes of Health; Safe Kids Worldwide

Caregiving – Making Time for You

October 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. ~ Eleanor Brownn

Caring for a loved one who is ill or frail can be incredibly rewarding. It can also be one of the toughest things you’ll ever do in your life.

Senior man sitting on a wheelchair with caregiver

Caring for someone is incredibly fulfilling, but it can take a toll. Be good to yourself! 

Preparing meals, giving medicines, arranging medical care, paying bills—tasks like these take a lot of time and energy. So it’s no wonder that caregivers often give short shrift to themselves—there’s not much room on that daily must-do list for anything personal.

Sound familiar? If you find yourself nodding yes, then repeat this caregiving mantra: You can’t do a good job of caring for someone else if you don’t take care of yourself.

Show yourself some humankindness

Here are some suggestions on how to carve out some much-needed—and deserved—me time:

Accept and ask for help. Gladly say yes to offers of help so that you can do something for yourself, whether that’s seeing your own doctor or recharging with a walk. And don’t hesitate to be specific about what might help you most. It’s OK to say, for example, “Can you stay with Mom for two hours this Wednesday so I can see my dentist?”

Seek out community services. These services—such as nursing care, adult day care, and home delivered meals—can help lighten your load. To find out what’s available, call the Nevada Aging and Disability Services at 702.486.3545 or visit

Make your own health a priority. Caregivers are often so busy tending to others that they neglect their own health—which helps explain why they’re more likely than other adults to develop serious health problems. So don’t skip checkups, screening tests, or necessary medical care. Learn self-care tools at our Powerful Tools for Caregivers Workshop (call 702.616.4900 for information or to register).

And do your very best to eat well, exercise regularly, and get enough shut-eye. Some days that may be easier than others. Do what you can—and remind yourself why it’s important for you and your loved ones.

Sources: Family Caregiver Alliance; Office on Women’s Health

Protect Your Skin

09917_WOMC_Spring15.inddBeing active outdoors can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle … and with the wonderful climate in southern Nevada, getting regular exercise and fresh air year round is easy. While sun protection is always important, now that we are approaching the warmest time of the year, we all need to be even more aware of the sun’s intensity so we can protect ourselves from UV rays and the damage they cause.

For many southern Nevadans, summer means dashing from air conditioned homes to air-conditioned cars to air-conditioned workplaces, but we are still getting some exposure to the sun and its harmful rays even when we are only in the sun for a few minutes at a time. Those who work outside or participate in outdoor activities such as swimming, golfing, tennis, hiking, etc., often get more sun exposure for extended periods of time. In either case, sun protection is essential to preventing skin cancer — the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells.

Protect Yourself
The warmth and light of the sun are relaxing and can boost our spirits, but the benefits come with a dangerous trade off. More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, and 90 percent of them are caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. In fact, the American Cancer Society says Nevada has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the country. And it’s not just about cancer. Most of the skin damage we associate with aging – wrinkles, discoloration, sagging, and leathering – is UV related, and it is cumulative.

According to Dr. Brandon Reynolds, plastic surgeon and third generation Las Vegan, there is still a great deal of confusion about the sun’s risks and cancer. “Many of my patients who grew up in the ‘slather yourself with baby oil and bake’ generation come to get treated for skin cancer and say ‘this is the last skin cancer I’ll ever get because from now on, I’m staying out of sun.’ Unfortunately, the cancers these patients are experiencing have resulted from damage that has already been done. Stopping sun exposure now will help prevent additional damage, but it won’t prevent cancer that was caused by previous  exposure.”

When you’re in the sun, be smart and enjoy it without risking your health. Follow these simple rules:

Seek the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest. If you’re outside, try to find shade or carry a sun umbrella. If your favorite activities take place outdoors, enjoy them during early mornings and late afternoons.

Do not burn. Just one sunburn increases your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. If you have five or more sunburns during your lifetime (not during one summer or one year), your risk doubles.

Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds. Tans are never safe … it doesn’t matter if you get tanned on a beach, by a pool or in a tanning bed. The Skin Cancer Foundation indicates that those who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and 74 percent more likely to get melanoma. Even occasional tanning booth use triples your chance of developing melanoma.

Many tanning salon operators insist their bulbs are safe and that some exposure to UV rays is necessary for vitamin D, but neither statement is true. It’s much safer to get vitamin D through foods such as salmon, fortified milk, orange juice or dietary supplements. And the new sunlamps used in tanning salons actually emit UV doses as much as 12 times that of the sun.

Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Clothes, especially densely woven bright- or dark-colored fabrics, can be your most effective form of sun protection, and the more skin you cover, the better, so when possible, wear long sleeves and long pants in the sun.

Don’t forget your eyes! Serious conditions from cataracts to melanomas of the eye and eyelid can be prevented by wearing wraparound sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of the sun’s UV rays and shield the eyes and surrounding skin. Hats are a great, fashionable way to help protect the face and back of neck. Find one with a brim that is 3” or larger.

Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. A sunscreen’s SPF, or sun protection factor, measures how long skin can be exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays before burning compared to how long it would take to burn without protection.

“SPF 15 is technically a full block of the sun,” says Dr. Reynolds, “but it has to be put on so thick it would be visible to others. An SPF of 30 doubles the protection, providing substantial protection if it is put on and reapplied as directed. How often you need to reapply depends on the product’s ingredients, how often you get wet or if you’re sweating heavily.”

Look for products that offer “broad spectrum” or UVA/UVB protection, and make sure your sunscreen has one or more of these ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, stabilized avobenzone or ecamsule.

Use sunscreen every day and in every kind of weather because:

  • sunlight reflects off snow, ice, sand, and water, all of which intensify UV effects by as much as 80 percent.
  • even on overcast days, 70-80 percent of UV rays travel through clouds
  • at high altitudes, the thinner atmosphere filters out less UV rays.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside, then reapplying every two hours or immediately after swimming or heavy sweating.

Keep infants out of the sun! “Babies are especially susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun because their skin has very little melanin, the pigment that gives color to skin, hair, and eyes and provides some sun protection,” says Dr. Reynolds. “I ask my patients to be aggressive about keeping their kids out of the sun or covered in sunblock.”

If you take your baby out in his or her first six months, make sure he or she is covered with clothes, wears a hat or sunbonnet, and is shielded by a stroller hood or umbrella. One severe burn in childhood will actually double your child’s chance of developing melanoma later in life.

Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. Inspect your skin in a full-length mirror.

  • Start with your head and face – use a blow dryer to check your scalp
  • Check your hands, including nails. Look at your elbows, arms, underarms, torso, and trunk
  • With your back to the mirror, use a hand mirror to check your back, the back of your neck, and other hard-to-see places
  • Sitting down, check your legs and feet including soles, heels, toes, and nails

See your physician every year for a professional skin exam. Regular total-body checkups are the best way to make sure your skin is healthy. Ask your child’s pediatrician to examine skin as part of a yearly checkup.

At-Risk Skin Types
Certain types of skin are at greater risk for developing sun damage and skin cancer. Light-skinned people who always burn and never tan are at highest risk for skin damage and skin cancers. Those with more pigmentation in their skin (darker skin) have more natural protection from sunlight, but they can still get skin cancer. Bottom line is, everyone is at risk and should follow the prevention tips outlined above.

The most common forms of skin cancer linked to UV exposure are

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – The most frequently occurring form of skin cancer often looks like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps or scars.

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) – The second most frequent form of skin cancer often looks like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression or warts that may crust or bleed.

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Melanoma – The most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanomas often resemble moles and some develop from moles. Most are black or brown, but they can be skin colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white. Melanoma can show up at any age and can spread to other parts of the body.





Treatment Options

According to Dr. Reynolds, the method of treatment depends on how invasive the cancer is. “There are treatments as simple as freezing the cancer off with liquid nitrogen, burning it off or using topical drugs such as Aldera® or Effudex®, or cutting out the growth, along with a surrounding border of skin using a scalpel or curette, an instrument with a sharp, ring-shaped tip.” In most cases, these procedures can be done in the doctor’s office or as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. Dr. Reynolds stresses that the method of treatment should be a joint decision between the doctor and patient.

If you have any warning signs, visit your primary care physician. He or she may then refer you to a dermatologist for further examination. For more information or to find a physician, please call 702.616.4900.

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