Posts Tagged ‘St. Rose Dominican’

Ready to enjoy sweet slumber again?

Verna holds her remote control while Dr. Goll shows in Inspire implant.

Verna holds her remote control while Dr. Goll shows in Inspire implant.

Verna Akina lived with obstructive sleep apnea for more than 20 years. She had tried everything, including the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine—a mask you wear while you sleep that forces air through the nose or mouth.

“I used to dread going to bed,” says Verna. “I got so sick of trying to make the CPAP work for me that I finally decided to stop using it and let ‘whatever happens happen.’”

So why does Verna now look forward to going to bed? She was one of the first recipients in southern Nevada to receive the Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation implant.

Like night and day

“Inspire therapy is designed specifically for those who can’t tolerate CPAPs,” says Frederick Goll, III, MD, board-certified otolaryngologist, who implanted Verna’s device. “It addresses the root of the problem by delivering mild stimulation to the muscles and soft tissues that relax and block the airway.”

The system is placed under the skin of the neck and chest through three small incisions during an outpatient procedure. It then syncs with breathing patterns. If needed, it delivers mild stimulation throughout the night to keep breathing passages open.

Verna’s thrilled with the results, saying that since her implant was activated in early October 2016, it’s been like night and day. “I use a remote control to turn the implant on when I go to bed, then turn it off when I wake up.” Now, she doesn’t nod off while reading, and she can drive without fear of falling asleep.

A danger zone

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects 15 million Americans and causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start while you sleep. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can result in:

  • Poor memory and concentration
  • High risk for work or traffic accidents
  • Higher risk for stroke or heart attack.

Know the signs of sleep apnea—and find relief

  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up.
  • Headaches in the morning.
  • Sleepiness or fatigue during the day.
  • Snoring and restlessness during sleep.
  • Waking up suddenly and feeling like you’re gasping or choking.
  • Trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, depression, or irritability.

Benefits of Inspire Stimulation Therapy:

  • Significant reduction in snoring and apnea episodes.
  • Improvement in quality of life.

Find a St. Rose physician who can tell you if the Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation implant is right for you. Call 702.616.4900.


St. Rose Dominican Celebrates Siena Expansion with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

November 11, 2015 Leave a comment

A variety of dignitaries attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Dominican Tower at the 06 Blog SmallSiena Campus Monday, November 9, including

  • Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske
  • Senator Joyce Woodhouse
  • Assemblyman Lynn Stewart
  • Assemblyman Stephen Silberkraus
  • Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen
  • Councilwoman Gerri Schroder
  • Councilwoman Debra March, and
  • Henderson Chamber of Commerce CEO, Scott Muelrath.

The dignitaries, along with many Henderson Chamber of Commerce board members and staff, joined Siena Campus CEO, Brian Brannman, COO, Teressa Conley, and nearly 100 employees for the ceremony.

The new five-story, 220,000 square foot tower features 96 more private rooms, new expanded adult and children’s emergency rooms (56 private rooms), six new operating suites, and expanded services for orthopedics, cardiology, admitting, nutrition services, radiology, lab, pharmacy, endoscopy suites, and other support services.

St. Rose Dominican Wins Consumer Choice Award for Third Year in A Row

November 3, 2015 Leave a comment

Siena intraDignity Health-St. Rose Dominican’s Siena Campus was named a 2015/2016 Consumer Choice Award recipient by National Research Corporation. The annual award identifies hospitals across the United States that healthcare consumers choose as having the highest quality and image.

“We applaud the efforts of our medical staff and employees,” said Brian Brannman, senior vice president of operations, Dignity Health Nevada. “They work in partnership with our patients, visitors, and community to consistently and constantly improve the safety and quality of the care we provide.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Consumer Choice Award celebrating the power of a strong brand image in healthcare.

“For each of the past 20 years, winning hospitals have provided outstanding experiences that have transcended their four walls to build consumer preference, loyalty, and trust in their markets. We are honored to congratulate this year’s winners on a job well done,” said Brian Wynne, Vice President of Business Development at National Research.

Winners are determined by consumer perceptions on multiple quality and image ratings collected in the company’s Market Insights survey, the largest online consumer healthcare survey in the country. National Research surveys more than 300,000 households in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia. Hospitals named by consumers are analyzed and ranked based on Core Based Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, with winning facilities being ranked the highest.

A complete list of winners can be found at

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

Meet the Unstoppable Greg Sutter

Gregory Sutter Blog

Greg today – climbing ladders was part of his “Prosthetic Boot Camp” therapy at the Rehabilitation Institute of Nevada at Rose de Lima.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Greg Sutter moved to Las Vegas in early 2002. A firefighter from 1989 to 1995, he took a deferred retirement to run a landscaping and lawn service business he had started while still fighting fires. Then in 1996, Greg joined FedEx Express® (FedEx). He worked mornings six days a week at his landscaping business then afternoons five days a week at FedEx. He ultimately transferred to Las Vegas with FedEx.

Greg Firetruck

While living in Wisconsin, Greg was a firefighter from 1989-1995.

“I fell in love with Las Vegas back in the early ‘80s,” says Greg. “I love its openness, climate, and the nearby mountains.” While living in southern Nevada, he has traveled extensively, accumulating about 85,000 miles touring the western and mid-western parts of the country on his 2000 Harley Davidson Springer Softail. “I’ve visited nearly every national park in the Western U.S.,” says Greg.

But Greg’s days of Harley riding came to an abrupt halt in September 2014 shortly after returning from a nine-day solo ride to Glacier National Park. “I was in relatively good health for a 51-year-old guy,” says Greg. “I took a low dose of blood pressure medicine but had stopped taking it for 6-7 weeks.” After suffering symptoms he thought might indicate heart trouble, he went immediately to his primary care physician who did EKGs and blood tests. The test results indicated an immediate need for him to go to the emergency room because his troponin levels were sky high. (Troponin is a combination of three proteins that are integral to cardiac muscle contraction).

“I had six people surrounding me within three minutes of arriving at the Rose de Lima emergency room,” says Greg. “They did a variety of tests, but everything kept coming back normal.” Even the cardio cath showed that Greg’s coronary arteries did not have any calcification or plaque buildup. Ultimately, a 3D arterial CT scan was done, which showed that his right coronary artery had grown between his pulmonary artery and his aorta. He was diagnosed with a coronary artery anomaly, a condition commonly heard of in elite athletes who die suddenly during games or practices.

Greg Park Blog

Greg’s love of riding has taken him to nearly every national park in the western U.S.

Dr. Robert Wiencek, cardiothoracic surgeon “extraordinaire” (per Greg) with St. Rose|Stanford Clinics, performed coronary bypass surgery on Greg, which was a complete success, and he was up and walking less than 24 hours later.

Five days later, Greg’s condition suddenly changed. His hands and feet became swollen and discolored, so he was placed into an induced coma and ventilated for six days while doctors ran tests. Greg was diagnosed with Disseminating Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), which has an over 50 percent mortality rate. DIC is the body’s response to massive hemorrhage, but Greg’s body was not, in fact, hemorrhaging. Coagulated blood was being pushed into his extremities, so physicians had to draw off that blood and replace it with fresh blood, along with blood thinners, to prevent Greg from dying.

After recuperating at the San Martín Campus’ ICU for 10 days then spending an additional 13 days there, he was transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Henderson at the Rose de Lima Campus where he rebuilt muscle and regained his strength. Greg was discharged with gangrene in two of his fingers and both of his feet, which were necrotic (the tissue had died).

Greg and his doctors decided together that amputation – below the knee on both legs and removal of both fingers – was the best course of action. But surgery could not be scheduled for nearly two months because they had to wait for the gangrene to stabilize (a line of demarcation would form to show the parts of his hands and feet that were alive and those that were not). He recovered at home with daily wound care, physical therapy, and nursing care.

Greg is a licensed falconer and was “the custodian and grateful observer” of Lucidity, a 15-year-old female red-tailed hawk, until she passed away in June 2015.

Greg is a licensed falconer and was “the custodian and grateful observer” of Lucidity, a 15-year-old female red-tailed hawk, until she passed away in June 2015.

Greg’s amputations took place at Rose de Lima. He spent 24 hours in the intermediate care unit followed by 21 days as an amputee patient in the Rehabilitation Institute where therapists helped him get ready to go home in a wheelchair. Greg healed at home for eight weeks then was readmitted to the Rehabilitation Institute for the third time for intensive prosthetic therapy and training – or what he jokingly refers to as Prosthetic Boot Camp.

“The rehab team custom fit a therapy program designed specifically for me,” he says. “Knowing that I’m a FedEx driver, the team had me climbing 8 foot step ladders and doing stairs from the first to the fourth floor and back nonstop. Initially, I had to use my upper body strength, then I learned to shift the emphasis to my lower body by using my new prosthetics.”

Greg’s favorite form of physical therapy was what is now called the “Sutter Hill Challenge” because he challenged his physical therapists to walk the hill with him. During his first stay, Greg had to stop 4-5 times before making it to the top. On his second visit, he conquered the hill while in a wheelchair. At one point, his therapist, Stephanie, said, “let’s go do the hill.” Greg’s response was “If I do it, you do it,” and she said, “You’re on. I accept your challenge.” That wheelchair challenge was closely followed by another with his therapist, Kim, who also succeeded the first time. The therapists still use the Sutter Hill Challenge with their patients.

Greg - shown here in the desert with Lucidity.

Greg – shown here in the desert with Lucidity.

Throughout his treatment, Greg has stayed positive. He feels his journey unfolded because God was preparing him for what was happening. “I had time to prepare emotionally because I was kept fully informed about what was coming by my medical teams,” he says. “I was at peace with everything until the morning before my amputations. I lay in bed very anxious and began to pray, and I was overcome with a calm, peaceful message that everything would be okay. I haven’t had an anxious moment since.”

“Greg has an attitude of empowerment that is contagious,” says Dr. Tony Chin, physiatrist, and Medical Director of the Rehabilitation Institute. “He participated at a level that was encouraging and inspiring to both the patients and the staff … our nurses and therapists would get daily hugs and ‘doses of Greg’ before starting their shifts. God’s light literally seemed to shine through him.”

Greg is determined to keep climbing!

Greg is determined to keep climbing!

Greg now has a customized set of prosthetics that he is becoming more comfortable with. “They reflect my ‘fiery’ personality,” he says. “If I have to wear them, I figure I might as well have some fun with it.” He’s even been to Christian music festivals where the musicians have signed his prosthetics, and “they spur some interesting conversations almost everywhere I go,” he laughs.

And his Harley? Greg met his goal of being back on his bike with the wind in his face in late August. In fact, Greg went on his first overnight ride – he and his cousin rode to the North Rim in mid-September – on the one year anniversary of his experience starting.

If you would like to communicate with Greg, e-mail him at

Siena Campus Opens New, Expanded Emergency Room

September 18, 2015 Leave a comment

The wait is finally over! The new Emergency Room at the Siena Campus – one area for adults and another specifically for children – is now open and accepting patients!

Siena Campus Emergency RoomMore than twice as many treatment rooms – 32 have been added for a total of 56 – will now provide quiet, comfortable, private healing environments for our emergency room patients and their loved ones.

The Children’s Emergency Room has also been expanded and includes 11 kid-friendly treatment rooms. Board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physicians and specialized pediatric emergency nurses will provide the best “kid-sized” care for our smaller patients!

StRoseDominicanSiena-13 Peds Web

The Level III Trauma Unit has also been expanded to four treatment areas.

While the emergency Room has expanded and is much more comfortable, waiting in an Emergency Room is never fun, so our InQuicker online emergency waiting room service continues to be available at

It’s Never Too Late

September 2, 2015 Leave a comment

Sister Mary Kieffer, OP, has a calm, soothing manner that would lead you to believe that she has been a woman religious her entire adult life. But there’s much more to Sr. Mary’s story and life journey.

Sister Mary WEBAs a young adult, Sr. Mary worked as a bartender and bar manager at a variety of restaurants in San Francisco and New York City. Next, she spent nearly a decade working at the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region. There, she and her staff managed a 24/7, 365-day information clearinghouse for vessel operations throughout nine port districts. “I loved the different jobs I’d held, but always felt there was a hole in my life,” she says.

Coming home
Religion had always been an important part of Sr. Mary’s life, so in her early 40s, she began researching different sister congregations on the Internet. “I truly felt I’d missed the boat,” she says, “because age limits ranged from the early 20s to around 40.”

While at church one day, she saw a flyer for the Sisters of San Rafael’s Come & See Day. She considered attending, but it wasn’t until a Sister handed her the same flyer a few days later that she decided to go. “I thought, ‘Just go, find out you’re too old, then get on with your life,’” she says.

She did attend. And toward the end of the day, she sat on the grounds reflecting and looking at the stained glass windows of the church. One of the Sisters approached and asked what she thought. “I told her that I felt as though I had come home,” says Sr. Mary.

In 2000, at the age of 47, Sr. Mary joined the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. The Dominican Order, also known as the Order of Preachers, live their lives supported by four common values. They’re often referred to as the Four Pillars: community life, prayer, study, and ministry. “The congregation drew me to them because they are contemplative and apostolic, meaning they spend time in prayer yet they are also active in ministry,” she says.

As she looks back, Sr. Mary believes the people she met while working at her various jobs in San Francisco, many of whom lost their lives to AIDS, got her headed toward her spiritual vocation. “Visiting these friends in the hospital and assuring them of God’s love began paving my way.”

Sister Mary Kieffer, OP, vice president of mission integration, joined the St. Rose Dominican family in 2013. “The commitment and passion I saw in the staff to furthering the healing mission of Jesus, especially for our brothers and sisters in the community who are underserved, drew me to St. Rose,” says Sr. Mary.

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