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    • Fundación de Renown Health
    • Donation
    • Philanthropy

    The Impactful Role of Renown Health Foundation's Board of Directors

    Above: Brian Cushard (left), Renown Health Foundation Board Chair, with his family At Renown Health Foundation, our mission is simple yet powerful – to raise funds that support Renown Health, the largest not-for-profit health system in northern Nevada. We are the driving force behind initiatives that bring state-of-the-art equipment, conduct groundbreaking research, enhance healthcare services, improve patient outcomes and contribute to the overall well-being of our community.  Our Dedicated Board of Directors  Our impactful work would not be possible without our Board of Directors – a fantastic team of 27 local volunteers. They bring diverse skills to the table, working together to create positive changes in healthcare for northern Nevada. Our board is at the core of our Foundation's success by guiding important decisions, sharing valuable insights and actively engaging in community relationships.  Meet Brian Cushard – Renown Health Foundation’s Chair  Brian Cushard took on the role of Foundation Board Chair at the beginning of 2024. Brian, who is the President of LP Insurance Services in Reno, will lead us for the next two years, bringing a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to community well-being. Since joining Renown Health Foundation’s Board in 2018, Brian has been instrumental in shaping our strategic direction.  Brian’s Vision: Advocating for Renown Health’s Mission and Making a Difference  We had the opportunity to sit down with Brian and explore his passion for healthcare philanthropy and the positive changes he envisions. Brian's 'why' is firmly rooted in the belief that a robust health system serves as the backbone of the community. His vision extends beyond fundraising; it's about inspiring the community by sharing remarkable stories of care and championing Renown's impactful contributions.  Q: Why does Renown's mission matter to you, and how do you see your role making a difference?  A: Renown's mission matters deeply to me because, without a highly functioning healthcare system, the economic structure of the community can be impacted. At LP Insurance, where I work, we see ourselves as guardians of our clients' hopes and dreams. This translates to my role on the Board as stewards for the health of others. Advocating for a highly functioning health system is crucial in supporting community members and clients alike. Surrounding ourselves with a solid network is essential. As advocates, our voices are integral in ensuring that everyone's voices are heard.  Q: Can you share a moment that made you want to support healthcare causes?  A: There are those stop-in-your-tracks healthcare moments that make you reassess life's priorities. I've had moments where life comes to a standstill, and what you once thought was important takes a backseat to the basics of life—getting better, one step at a time. In those vulnerable moments, you realize the importance of every person at the hospital. In desperate need, we rely on them. It's eye-opening and gives perspective on what's truly valuable in life.  Q: Tell us about a time when you saw the positive impact of healthcare or philanthropy. How did that influence your decision to get involved?  A: One impactful moment in philanthropy stands out — the Music and Miracles concert featuring the Beach Boys. LP Insurance was a major donor, contributing $100,000 to benefit Sophie’s Place, a music therapy room coming to Renown Children's Hospital. On the day of the event, my wife and I volunteered and saw the remarkable community support for Renown Children’s Hospital. The collective efforts that day raised over $1 million, specifically designated to establish Sophie’s Place. This experience inspired me to want to do more, as I recognized the profound positive impact that philanthropy can have on healthcare and the community.  Note: Sophie’s Place, opening later this year, will offer vital care and healing experiences for young patients at Renown Children’s Hospital.

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    • Fundación de Renown Health
    • Empleados
    • Donation
    • Professionals

    Departamento destacado: Fundación de Renown Health

    Kick off 2024 with us as we celebrate the team behind our very own Renown Health Foundation!  When you visit Renown Health, you take a look around and can’t help but notice the robust programs in place. You look left and see our thriving Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at Renown, making a lasting impact on pediatric healthcare in our region. You look right and see the advanced William N. Pennington Cancer Institute, providing leading-edge treatments right here in our community. You look around you and notice an influx of smiling nurses from the Orvis School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) who receive tuition assistance, thanks to generous donations to the Gerald “Jerry” Smith Academic Practice Partnership. Then, you think to yourself: “These programs must need a lot of money and support. So, how on earth is this all possible?”  What you may not know is that these programs are funded by the generosity of our community, all made possible by the work of Renown Health Foundation. As the largest not-for-profit health system in northern Nevada, our mission to make a genuine difference in the health and well-being of everyone we serve flourishes because of the donations, sponsorships, endowments and more that our Foundation brings in from philanthropists all over the region.  Making It Happen  The reach of Renown Health Foundation has proven to be virtually limitless, with a clear focus on supporting and raising funds for programs and initiatives that enhance the lives of our patients and their families, all for the betterment of our community for years to come.  Under their growing umbrella, the dedicated team at the Foundation makes miracles happen through administering a wide range of philanthropic programs, including: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH), a nonprofit organization that supports the health of 10 million children in the U.S. and Canada every year. Renown Children’s Hospital is proudly recognized as a member of CMNH. Gerald "Jerry" Smith Academic Practice Partnership, a partnership between Renown Health and the UNR Orvis School of Nursing to provide 24 nursing students a year with full-ride tuition assistance and a guaranteed career in nursing at Renown. Fianna’s Healing Garden, a healing garden bringing serenity to all at Renown Regional Medical Center, built from the vision of Fianna Dickson Combs. Miracles at Montreux Golf Tournament, an annual golf tournament that takes place at Montreux Golf & Country Club and consistently raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for Renown Children’s Hospital. A full slate of individual giving programs, including Legacy Giving, Employee Giving and Leadership Giving.  But it doesn’t stop there – the Foundation is helping our health system build more ways to care for our community by securing major gifts to fund advanced healthcare facilities and innovative healthcare solutions:  William N. Pennington Cancer Institute, the premier oncology institute in the region providing a large array of personalized cancer care services, including Medical Oncology, Infusion Services, Clinical Research and more. Renown Institute for Robotic Surgery, offering the latest advancements in surgical technology with robotic-assisted surgeries, which ensure precision, faster recovery and improved outcomes. Sophie’s Place, a state-of-the-art music therapy room currently in construction at Renown Children’s Hospital. This new space will be specially designed for children and their loved ones to enjoy the healing power of music and engage in the arts. Conrad Breast Center, the latest addition to the planned Specialty Care Center at Renown South Meadows Medical Center which will include breast imaging, infusion and surgery services along with a wellness center. Jeanne and Raymond Conrad donated a $5 million lead gift to support this important project and the Foundation team is currently working to raise an additional $6 million in 2024. It may go without saying that a day-in-the-life of these spirited team members is never a dull one. Every day brings on a new challenge to face and a goal to meet.  “A day at the Foundation is a day full of emails, calls and visits with friends of Renown,” said Abbey Stephenson, Planned Giving Officer. “Our main goal is to raise funds to support the mission of Renown, and most of our outreach efforts are to encourage philanthropy and donations. We have a very collaborative team, so we can often be found in each other’s offices strategizing about fundraising initiatives, communications and next steps with specific supporters.”  “For me, a typical day involves making sure I have a donor scheduled for coffee or lunch, working on proposals that may need research and preparing presentations,” added Jerry Cail, Major Gifts Officer. “Staying connected, I send thank you notes for any donations-usually once a week and make at least three ‘Grateful Patient’ calls to set appointments. I always make sure I am ready to contribute to any meetings I have for the Foundation."  While the scope of the Foundation’s charitable efforts goes beyond hospital walls, they also thrive right here in our own health system. Through our Grants Program, Renown’s departments and programs can leverage the connections and skills Renown Health Foundation has in order to secure funding from a multitude of grant sources.  "Grant funds from foundations, and local, state and federal governments benefit the patients and communities we serve to further our mission, vision and values,” said Pam Citrynell, Development Officer. “Past grants have supported the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment, facility development, pandemic recovery, research and clinical trials, physician and researcher recruitment, community health programs and educational training for our healthcare professionals.”  Every Foundation team member lives their passion every day while at work, frequently expressing gratitude for the immense impact they have the opportunity to make.  “I love coming to work because I get a very real opportunity to make a genuine difference and meet some fantastic people who believe in and support our mission,” said Leah Nelson, Director of Community Giving. “I have had the honor of meeting donors and the families they support. I couldn't be prouder of what our team has accomplished over the years and am excited for what is to come.”  The impact of the Foundation team’s tireless efforts extends far into the future, securing Renown’s lasting legacy in contributing to the continued health and well-being of our community.  “Philanthropy is not only a financial science but a very specific methodology where connecting resources are paramount; it requires careful intelligent management coupled with lots of hard work, patience, and vision,” said Yvonne Murphy, Development Officer. “The work that the foundation does every day makes resources available to enhance the healthcare experience for all those who seek care at Renown. Our work impacts not only this present moment but in fact is a legacy that will bless this community beyond our lifetime.”

    Read More About Department Spotlight: Renown Health Foundation

    • Fundación de Renown Health
    • Renown Health
    • Donation
    • Empleados

    A Token of Appreciation: Renown’s Employee Giving Program

    Pictured above from left to right: Jessica Bajwa, Nancy Bell, Laurie Goodman and Troy Fernandez As we approach the holidays and the season of giving, we reflect on the generosity and kindness that our employees here at Renown embody. Since 2007, Renown employees have donated $2,931,018 through Renown’s Employee Giving Program. This program provides our staff with the opportunity to make a difference by funding advanced equipment, research, community health initiatives, professional training and more. Regardless of the dollar amount, every contribution has a meaningful impact and remains entirely within Renown to support our mission. Employees can participate in the program at any time of the year by signing up for recurring payroll deductions or by making a one-time donation of any dollar amount. They can donate to one of Renown’s top priority areas of support or a different fund of their choice.  Meet Jessica, Nancy, Laurie and Troy  Renown employees Jessica Bajwa, Nancy Bell, Laurie Goodman and Troy Fernandez all have their own reasons for participating in the Employee Giving Program, but they all share the same goal: To give back to their community. Jessica Bajwa has been working at Renown for about seven years. She was at an employee event five years ago and found out about the Employee Giving Program through Renown Health Foundation. They explained the different areas she could donate to and how to get signed up. When Jessica looked back on the comforting care and healing her daughter had received at Renown Children’s Hospital, she felt empowered to give back to other children and families staying at Renown, so she enrolled in recurring payroll deductions to donate to Healing Arts. “It’s so easy and convenient to sign up,” said Jessica. “It means a lot to me to give to this area where they provide a healing environment, especially for patients and families at Renown Children’s Hospital – My daughter still has a blanket they gave her when she was there,” Jessica said she likes that the Employee Giving Program allows employees to choose their area of support to donate to and donation amount.   Nancy Bell said she’s proud to give back to Renown after having received a great amount of support from her coworkers during an incredibly difficult time when a family member of hers was being cared for in Renown’s ICU, just three weeks into her employment at Renown. “I had employees from not just my team but also across the organization reaching out to me and checking in to see how I was doing,” said Nancy. Nancy said she was positively impacted by that kind of support through her work family at Renown and decided to start giving back in 2011 by signing up for recurring payroll deductions to donate to the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute – to this day, she is still making donations to this area of support.   When Laurie Goodman began working at Renown in 2013, Renown’s Human Resources team offered her different ways to give back as an employee. “At the time, I was often caring for foster children and seniors,” said Laurie. “My family and I have always wanted to help others in need.” Laurie had been taking care of an elderly woman who was a patient at the old Renown Skilled Nursing Facility and decided to enroll in payroll deductions to donate to this facility. When that facility closed, she received a letter asking which area she wanted to transfer her donations to, and she decided to begin donating to Renown Children’s Hospital to give back to kids in the community. “I’m fortunate for not only my employment at Renown, but my husband’s and daughter’s employment as well. As employees of Renown, we have such great jobs, benefits and opportunities, and I think we should all strive to give back to express our gratitude and appreciation.”  At his employee orientation in 2012, Troy Fernandez heard about Renown’s Employee Giving Program and learned that funds were needed for individuals who needed financial support to pay for healthcare services at Renown. He knew his donations would go to a good cause and signed up for recurring payroll deductions to donate to the Greatest Need Fund. “It feels good to be able to give back to those who are less fortunate than us,” said Troy. “It was very easy to enroll in this program, and I’ve been donating to the same support area ever since.”

    Read More About A Token of Appreciation: Renown’s Employee Giving Program

    • Fundación de Renown Health
    • Donation
    • Artes curativas

    Why I Give: Dan’s Story

    In the fall of 2020, Dan's world was suddenly shaken when he received a distressing call: his son, Jeremy, was admitted to Renown with complications from spinal meningitis. Without a second thought, Dan rushed from Southern California to be by Jeremy's side. For an agonizing 10 days, Dan remained in the ICU. He was overwhelmed with worry and helplessness as Jeremy fought for his life on a ventilator. During this time, Dan, an esteemed artist and professor, found comfort in the collection of artworks adorning the walls at Renown. With more than 2,000 pieces of original art, Renown has meticulously curated hospital rooms, hallways and various spaces to support those in need. Dan, who talks about art's magic every day as a professor, experienced its power in a new light.

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    • Servicios quirúrgicos
    • Fundación de Renown Health
    • Weight Management

    A Journey of Transformation Through Robotic Surgery at Renown Health

    Carrie Hintz is constantly on the move. “I don’t sit well,” she said when discussing her career as an Emergency Room nurse at Renown South Meadows Medical Center. She has also earned a PhD in nursing research, a Nurse Executive DNP and an MSN in nursing and healthcare leadership, all while managing the joyful chaos of raising two toddlers under the age of four. She's always been on the move, but her journey to transformation through bariatric surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System is a testament to her determination and the vital need for cutting-edge robotic surgical tools at Renown Health. Carrie's life is non-stop, but her struggle with weight loss was a persistent challenge, compounded by the complexities of medical conditions like PCOS and a pituitary tumor, both of which made losing weight an uphill battle. It was while reading the news one night, witnessing a mother's disappointment at Disney Land due to weight restrictions, that Carrie decided to take charge of her life. She knew she had to make a change. In 2016, Carrie embarked on her bariatric surgery journey, seeking consultation with a Renown surgeon. However, her dreams of starting a family prompted her and her supportive husband to postpone surgery since one cannot have a baby within 18 months of the procedure. After welcoming two beautiful children into their lives, Carrie returned to Renown in 2022 to discuss her surgical options. Finally, in February 2023, and after six months of mandatory weight loss preparation, Carrie was ready to undergo the life-changing surgery. Dr. Alexander Ayzengart, her dedicated surgeon, had a plan that involved utilizing the da Vinci Surgical System for her bariatric procedure, coupled with repairing a hernia that had developed during her weight loss journey. The stage was finally set for Carrie's transformation. To everyone's surprise, the hernia turned out to be larger than anticipated, but miraculously, Carrie experienced no post-operative pain and minimal scarring. She reminisces about her early post-surgery days, confidently attributing her excellent outcomes to the remarkable da Vinci Surgical System. “I was up and walking around the night after the surgery,” she said. The da Vinci is no ordinary surgical tool; it's a state-of-the-art, minimally invasive robotic system skillfully operated by trained surgeons. Renown's commitment to innovation in healthcare paved the way for Carrie's remarkable journey.

    Read More About A Journey of Transformation Through Robotic Surgery at Renown Health

    • Renown Health
    • Fundación de Renown Health
    • Community Partnerships

    Gratitude and Generosity: The Henson's Journey with Renown Health Foundation

    It doesn’t take long to feel at ease when you sit down with Michael and Lorraine Henson. They are the kind of people you immediately know you can count on and want to be friends with. They have had more than their fair share of hard knocks and yet they still maintain an air of warmth and gratitude. That sense of gratitude towards Renown and connection to this community is what led them to make a generous gift in their family trust to Renown Health Foundation. Home Means Nevada Michael and Lorraine met as students at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and they’ve been together ever since. Lorraine moved from Las Vegas to attend UNR and never left. They have deep roots in Reno and deep roots with Renown going back to its Washoe Medical Center (Washoe Med) days. As Michael put it, he is “Reno born and Reno proud.” Michael’s mother was born at Washoe Med in 1937, but it was his personal experiences with Renown that formed his bond with the organization. When Michael was a teenager, his brother was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was treated over the course of the next six years at Renown before passing away at the tragically young age of 24. The impact on his family was life altering. Michael is an Eagle Scout and turned down a spot at the Air Force Academy to stay close and be with his brother. Renown provided support to Michael and his family during this incredibly difficult time as well as other times such as when his father was in hospice and when Lorraine had a health scare. The Ties That Bind A few years after his brother’s death, Michael joined the Renown team and has now been an employee for 31 years! Lorraine too has many connections to Renown. She was an employee for several years, volunteers for Renown Children’s Hospital and is a grateful patient. Making Their Mark Through Renown’s employee giving program Michael and Lorraine have given over $6,500 to support Renown’s mission to make a genuine difference in the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve. “These two are a wonderful example of how small gifts over time really add up and their decision to include Renown Health Foundation in their estate plans can be an inspiration to us all this month in particular, as August is Make a Will Month,” said Greg Walaitis, Chief Development Officer at Renown Health Foundation. “Michael and Lorraine have supported Renown in every way imaginable over the years, including with their time, their talents and their treasure. It is an honor to have them as part of our Renown family.” We are also incredibly grateful to have Michael and Lorraine as members of the Renown Legacy Society, which recognizes donors who have provided for Renown Health Foundation in their estate plans, and we look forward to celebrating them at the Inaugural Renown Legacy Society Celebration taking place on August 30.

    Read More About Gratitude and Generosity: The Henson's Journey with Renown Health Foundation

    • Fundación de Renown Health
    • Testimonio de paciente

    Why I Give: The Meinzer Family’s Story

    Losing a loved one is a devastating experience that can leave a permanent mark on one's heart. It is a journey that's difficult to navigate, but with the help of family and friends the process can be eased. For the Meinzer family, the healing process was made a little easier because of the exceptional care their loved one, Susie, received at Renown. In the fall of 2022, Susie Meinzer, a breast cancer survivor, suffered a fatal stroke. The care provided by Renown’s team was a reminder of the important role healthcare workers play in the lives of their patients and families. “We just knew, the doctors, the nurses, everyone… we knew that we didn’t have much time left with Susie,” said Ken Meinzer, Susie’s widower. Humanizing Healthcare The compassion provided by the care team at Renown made a significant impact on the Meinzer family. They ensured that Susie's last moments were as comfortable as possible, and their kindness and empathy have stuck with the family since. Dr. William Graham, pulmonologist with Renown Health, was among the many healthcare workers who provided care to Susie. "It was hard enough to lose her, and we ask ourselves, ‘Why?’ a lot, but the compassion we received from Dr. Graham made it a little bit easier,” said Ken. “One night he sat with us for over an hour, just grieving with us." This act of kindness made a profound impact on the family. “As an ICU doctor, I try not only to care for my patients, but also for their families,” said Dr. Graham. “Ken and his family displayed such sincerity, compassion and love for Susie and one another. They are just wonderful people; the kind of people that inspire me to be the best doctor possible.” A Family Legacy In gratitude for the exceptional care Susie received, the Meinzer family, including Ken and his three daughters, Melissa, Nicole and Kyra, decided to donate to Renown Health Foundation. Their gift is a beautiful reflection of their love and devotion to Susie. “The donation was a way to say thank you, and a way to support the healthcare workers who continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families every day,” said Ken. "The nurses in Renown’s ICU went above and beyond. They were a constant source of comfort and support for our entire family," said Melissa Meinzer-Benson, Ken and Susie’s eldest daughter. This was not the first time the family had experienced exceptional care at Renown. Ken and Susie had both undergone cancer treatment the previous year. Susie was diagnosed with breast cancer and had recently completed her treatment before her stroke, while Ken was treated for neck cancer. Dr. Abhinand Peddada, oncologist with Renown Health, led both their care teams, demonstrating a deep dedication to their well-being throughout their treatments. “I am grateful and humbled by the trust that Mr. and Mrs. Meinzer placed in Renown and me for their care in difficult times,” said Dr. Peddada.” Both Ken and Susie deeply appreciated Dr. Peddada’s care for them throughout their respective battles with cancer. The Meinzer family, who own Pinnacle Heating and Air Conditioning in Reno, are known for their commitment to giving back to the community. Melissa is a Veteran and has spoken about the importance of supporting others in any way possible. Susie instilled in Melissa and her sisters a spirit of compassion from an early age, and they have continued to donate to charitable causes throughout their lives. “She was such a force of inspiration, compassion and love. She was aways caring for others,” said Kyra, Ken and Susie’s youngest daughter. Susie was a beloved member of the Oak Community Church. It was there that she spent many Thanksgivings alongside her daughters, volunteering to serve meals to those in need. Charity work was a passion for Susie, and she always found ways to help those around her. She was a shining example of the importance of supporting your community and making a positive impact on the world.

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    • Fundación de Renown Health
    • Nursing

    Getting to Know Stephanie Kruse

    There are a lot of impressive titles you can use to describe Stephanie Kruse: entrepreneur, marketer, philanthropist, leader, adventurer, nurse. And now with her planned gift to the Renown Health Nursing Excellence Endowment, she can add one more to the list: a member of the Renown Legacy Society – a group of visionary supporters who have chosen to make a lasting commitment to the future health and wellbeing of northern Nevadans. This generous planned gift comes on the heels of a significant cash gift made to the Nursing Education Fund last summer. Stephanie is an inspiring example of someone who has dedicated her life to helping others. The daughter of a nurse and a retired nurse herself, Stephanie knows the hard work, selflessness and dedication it takes to create a successful business and community. As Chair of the Renown Health Foundation Board of Directors, she also understands the importance of attracting and retaining nurses within a healthcare system. As a way to contribute to a cause near and dear to her heart, she decided to include the Renown Nursing Excellence Endowment as a beneficiary of her retirement plans. “I wanted to honor the memory of my mother, who was a registered nurse in a small-town hospital in Iowa.,” said Stephanie. “I was always very conscious of her passion for providing great care to her patients, and I wanted to provide funding for others interested in nursing.” Across the nation, health systems are facing a shortage of nurses and nursing-related professionals. Renown is proactively implementing programs to build our pipeline of potential future nurses and keep those already in the field. Stephanie’s generous gift will help the endowment provide programs such as training, scholarships, loan repayment and professional development to increase retention and recruitment of prospective nurses. “As nurses, we are entrusted with our patients’ lives,” said Melodie Osborn, Chief Nurse Executive at Renown Health. “We have the privilege of caring for people in their most vulnerable time and helping those who cannot help themselves. Stephanie’s generous gift to the Nursing Excellence Endowment Fund will help us develop new nurses for the future so we can continue to provide care to those in need for generations to come.” No Stranger to Healthcare Long before she found herself leading the Renown Health Foundation Board, Stephanie learned the ins and outs of healthcare. She graduated from nursing school and became a part-time nurse in a Sioux Falls, South Dakota nursing home while attending Augustana College to obtain a degree in journalism and a minor in theater. As part of her journalism program, Stephanie completed an internship in the public relations department of a Sioux Falls hospital, and that led to her accepting a position as director of public relations at a sister hospital. She later was recruited by Saint Mary's Hospital and moved to Reno to be the director of marketing in 1981. She stayed at Saint Mary's for almost 10 years before starting her own company in pursuit of her passion for marketing strategy. Since launching her brand, Stephanie has grown KPS3 to a multi-million-dollar firm with more than 60 staff members. Somehow, she is still able to find time to serve on six (!) volunteer boards, most of which are dedicated to improving access to better health and human services. “I have a soft spot in my heart for organizations who strive against all odds to help those with the greatest needs,” said Stephanie.

    Read More About Getting to Know Stephanie Kruse

    • Atención pediátrica
    • Fundación de Renown Health
    • Salud infantil
    • Testimonio de paciente

    Jakob’s Journey at Renown Children’s Hospital

    In August 2016, six-year-old Jakob was admitted to Renown Children's Hospital with what seemed like a common ear infection. Jakob's condition quickly progressed, and he started experiencing neurological symptoms such as difficulty speaking and a full-body shutdown. Doctors, neurologists and specialists from Renown worked with doctors from Stanford, where he was ultimately diagnosed with Bickerstaff brainstem encephalitis (BBE). BBE is a rare, autoimmune response that attacks the nerves in the body due to an acute illness such as a cold, flu or, in Jakob's case, an ear infection. Jakob could not breathe or eat and experienced paralysis on the side of his face, throat, stomach, bowels, lungs and legs. In addition, he started to rapidly lose weight as well as body function. Jakob lost half his body weight which resulted in the need for a Gastrostomy tube. This device is placed surgically and gives direct access to the stomach to give the child the nutrition needed. He also needed occupational therapy, and after three and a half months of ICU respiratory therapy, surgeries and treatments, he was released home to regain his strength. Forever Grateful Anica, Jakob's mom, said, "If it were not for the quick response and unconditional support and compassion from the team at Renown, Jakob would not be here today." Jakob's family is forever grateful to the staff, community and expertise at Renown for their unwavering commitment to their son and family during their most trying time in life. "When I met Jakob on the first day of his illness, so much was unknown. My team and I were worried, as his symptoms were very unusual. His rapid deterioration, after being a perfectly healthy child, was clearly terrifying for his parents. Handing over a child's care to a team of strangers is one of the scariest things that can happen to parents,” said Dr. Kris Deeter, Physician in Chief at Renown Children’s Hospital. “However, Anica and Jeremiah were also very clear that they did not want Jakob transferred somewhere else. So, we used all our resources to care for him, arrive at a diagnosis, and start aggressive therapies. They listened to every word we said, educated themselves, and became partners in Jakob's care. We all became part of Team Jakob, and soon, he proved to us just how strong he was." Today, Jakob is 13 years old and thriving in every aspect of his life. He is currently on the honor roll in school and finds joy in his newfound passion for the violin. He loves spending his free time learning about mixing music, making new friends and traveling to different parts of the country. This summer, he will travel to Europe to explore his passion for culture. The family says, "We owe it all to the family and staff at Renown."

    Read More About Jakob’s Journey at Renown Children’s Hospital

    • Atención pediátrica
    • Fundación de Renown Health

    Why I Give: Sarah’s Story

    As an avid soccer player, Sarah saw her fair share of doctors growing up. However, it wasn’t until she was diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease affecting how the body ingests gluten, that she became passionate about healthcare. “I couldn’t figure out what was going on,” Sarah said. “I was getting sick, and my symptoms were getting worse.” Thankfully, after seeing a handful of doctors, she was on the path to recovery.  “I remember being so relieved, and still am! Now I can focus on getting better,” said Sarah. The most important change people make after being diagnosed with celiac disease is the shift to a gluten-free diet. For many, Sarah included, living gluten-free is a lifestyle change. Thankfully, Sarah sees significant improvements in her health after adjusting her diet. “No one should just accept their symptoms as part of life,” said Sarah. Her increased awareness of health and nutrition motivated Sarah to study biology at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). “I want to be a pediatrician so I can help patients, especially kids, figure out treatment plans.” said Sarah who credits her experience living with celiac disease as her inspiration. Dancing for Kids’ Health Currently a senior at UNR, Sarah is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, a co-ed international medical fraternity. Together with her classmates, she is bringing new energy and ideas to philanthropy. Sarah and the members of Phi Delta Epsilon are doing things differently and in many ways redefining what it means to give. This year, they are on a mission to raise funds for kids’ health at Renown Children’s Hospital. And they are doing this by dancing. The UNR Dance Marathon is part of the Miracle Network Dance Marathon, a student-led, year-round philanthropic movement that unites students across the United States and Canada. Collectively, they raise critical funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. And Renown Children’s Hospital is our northern Nevada CMN partner hospital. Since 1991, over 400 college campuses and thousands of students have raised $300 million for kids. Sarah is the executive director of UNR’s chapter. “So far this year we’ve already raised $10,000 for Renown," said Sarah. Most of the fundraising happens on the day of the dance marathon. But throughout the school year, students hold mini fundraisers on campus and in the community. One hundred percent of the funds raised stay local, impacting Renown’s youngest patients. For every dollar donated, 18% helps provide charitable care, 15% goes to life-saving equipment, 12% supports medical research and 55% provides education, patient services and advancement services. “It's inspiring that we banded together to help kids in our community,” said Sarah. Last year they raised over $18,000. They are hoping to exceed that number at this year’s dance marathon in April.

    Read More About Why I Give: Sarah’s Story

    • Atención pediátrica
    • Fundación de Renown Health

    Thank You, Emmalee Sutton!

    Every year, 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) across the country name a champion in each of their local communities who will serve as the face for children treated at their community’s children's hospital. Emmalee Sutton, 16, served as Renown Children’s Hospital Champion Child for the past two years, raising awareness for children’s healthcare in northern Nevada and across the nation. A Fighter from the Start Emmalee was diagnosed at age two with autoimmune hepatitis and Addison’s disease, which means her body underproduces critical hormones. It also means that, from an early age, Emmalee spent a lot of her time within the walls of Renown Children’s Hospital. She has endured a long road of illnesses and hospitalizations since, including her gallbladder being removed at age eight, port surgery at 13 and she has received several liver biopsies over the years. However, this disease does not define who Emmalee is; in fact it empowers her to be a fighter for herself and for other kids just like her who are battling disease and illness from a young age. Despite these challenges, Emmalee is a source of hope and inspiration to everyone she meets, never allowing her medical conditions to hold her back. Emmalee knows her story will inspire other young patients to continue fighting and believing in themselves. “Instead of complaining about all the things I can’t do, I celebrate all the things I can do,” Emmalee said. A Voice for Kids and Families Like Hers In her time as our Champion Child, and even well before the official title, Emmalee was a spokesperson for all the children in our community who need care. Since moving into the role of Champion Child in 2021, Emmalee has accomplished an impressive amount over the past two years. To name a few, here are some accomplishments Emmalee has achieved as Renown's Champion Child: Touring donors around Renown Children’s Hospital Promoting Renown’s Panda Cares Center for Hope Helping at Costco each year during their Miracle Balloon Campaign Making blizzards at Dairy Queen on Miracle Treat Day Standing on stage with The Beach Boys to share her experiences in the hospital and talk about the need for outstanding critical care close to home Attending Reno Health Foundation events announcing donations to Renown Children’s Hospital Working alongside NFL legend Steve Young, championing the importance of music therapy for kids staying in the hospital with the announcement of Sophie’s Place Being featured in a television show pilot with the National Automobile Museum In September 2021, Emmalee was awarded the Reno PBS Spotlight Award for Extraordinary Youth. She was highlighted as an individual who makes a positive impact on her community. For her efforts, Emmalee was honored with a $1,000 award, which she generously donated to Renown Children's Hospital. Emmalee’s commitment to Renown inspires us to continue Fighting the Good Fight for our youngest patients, so we can continue to provide the best care for kids like her. Dream it, Wish it, Do it While Emmalee’s tenure as Champion Child ends this month, her passion for helping members of our community is just getting started. Inspired by her drive to work with young girls, Emmalee is taking a counselor-in-training course with the Girl Scouts. She is excited to shape the future of these girls' lives by being a mentor and leader. She has been a Girl Scout for nine years and gives credit to the organization for making a positive impact on her life and contributing to many of the leadership qualities she possesses today. “The Girl Scouts has helped me understand that I am a strong, independent, compassionate young lady, and I use those thoughts whenever I am having all the health issues I have had to endure,” Emmalee said. What else is next for Emmalee? She hopes that being a Girl Scout and training to be a counselor will help her achieve her long-term goal of becoming a pediatric nurse. “I can’t thank the nurses and doctors at Renown enough for the love and care they have given me and continue to do so. They are my inspiration!” she said. But for us, Emmalee is the inspiration. From all of us at Renown, thank you, Emmalee. You motivate us to be our best. How You Can Help Make a Difference Renown Health is focused on being the destination for all your family’s health and healthcare needs. As a not-for-profit health system, Renown relies heavily on community funding. If you are interested in supporting Renown Children’s Hospital, and kids like Emmalee, please consider giving to Renown Health Foundation. Donations are accepted through the following ways: Make a gift at renown.org/give Call Renown Health Foundation at 775-982-5545 Mail a check to Renown Health Foundation, 1155 Mill St., 02, Reno, NV 89502

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    • Fundación de Renown Health
    • Renown Health

    Why I Give: Rebecca's Story

    Giving back to the community is important to Rebecca Dickson. For over 35 years, she’s been unwavering in her support of Renown Health and Reno’s non-profit community. Hearing that she’s made a difference in someone’s life feels good. But for Rebecca, the greater reward is something more personal. “Giving back is a way of life,” Rebecca said, “that’s what you do.” Inspired by her parents, the act of generosity was instilled in her from a young age. Growing up, Rebecca remembers her mother’s thoughtful generosity with others. It was her mother, Fianna Dickson Combs, who inspired and helped plan Fianna’s Healing Garden in the heart of the Renown Regional Medical Center campus. The garden is Fianna’s legacy and gift to those in need of comforting, healing and quiet contemplation. Walking through the garden, Rebecca points out the fountain. She talks about choosing it for its calming sound. Birds chirp on the trees overhead. The space is beautiful; it’s tranquil and comforting. Fianna’s Healing Garden was completed in 2009. In 2020, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the garden, Rebecca and her uncle, Harvey Fennell, led an expansion project to grow the space. Inside the garden, there are pathways, benches, sculptures, fountains and over 2,000 plants and trees. Roses are life “The rose garden is special,” said Rebecca. It was carefully curated in honor of Fianna and her sisters to create a peaceful space for reflection. There are 21 roses of differing sizes and colors. “The roses should be experiential. The fragrance, the colors; they are life with good days and bad. Fianna was a master gardener and felt that gardens tend to the mind, body and soul,” says Rebecca. Honoring Fianna’s Legacy Throughout the hottest days of summer, Rebecca and her partner, David Geddes, visit the garden. They maintain the roses, removing damaged branches and pruning them. “It’s not work,” says Rebecca, “it’s a joyful opportunity that makes us feel good.” Being in the garden reminds Rebecca of her mother and the need for healing gardens in healthcare. When her mother was in the hospital, her doctor encouraged her to get outside and into nature. At the time, Renown didn’t have an outdoor garden space. From then on, it was Fianna’s mission to create a healing garden for patients, caregivers and visitors. Nature reduces stress and anxiety. It also provides comfort and distraction. Healing gardens offer spiritual and healing benefits, and they’ve been proven to improve health outcomes. Before Fianna passed, her plans for at healing garden at Renown were already underway. Making an Impact Rebecca is a lifelong philanthropist. She serves on countless boards, volunteering her time to give back to the community. She currently sits on Renown Health Foundation’s Board. Through her volunteer work, Rebecca not only gets to experience the joy of helping others first-hand, but she also gets an inside view of how non-profits operate and what they need most. That information helps her decide how to direct her support in the most impactful way. Rebecca receives cards and phone calls thanking her for Fianna’s Healing Garden and the comfort it provides. But Rebecca insists that she’s not to thank. Rebecca remembers every person who has supported the garden. Fianna’s Healing Garden is donor-funded, and would not be possible without the support of the community, her uncle, Harvey Fennell, Fianna’s closest friends, Renown physicians and employees, Renown Health Foundation and countless community foundations and local donors. She says, “The garden is a collaborative project. It takes a village to build and maintain, but it’s worth it!” From all of us at Renown, thank you, Rebecca, for your inspiration and dedication to Renown! Fianna’s Healing Garden is located at Renown Regional Medical Center and is open for all to experience the healing power of nature. Click here to take a virtual tour of the garden. Renown Health Foundation’s Why I Give series recognizes donors, volunteers, corporations, foundations and others who provide philanthropic support to Renown. We are fortunate to have generous donors whose funding helps support and expand our efforts to meet the growing needs of the communities we serve. To learn more about how you can support Renown, please email foundation@renown.org or call 775-982-5545.

    Read More About Why I Give: Rebecca's Story

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