ICYMI: Gov. Sisolak Addresses Health Disparities in Nevada with ‘Healthcare Week’
This week, Gov. Steve Sisolak visited health care centers across the state and pledged to increase mental health supports and fund health care providers serving vulnerable populations as part of his ‘Healthcare Week.’
In his visits to various businesses and organizations, Gov. Sisolak discussed health care jobs, and how federal pandemic relief funding can be used to increase access to affordable health care. Gov. Sisolak also took the opportunity during Healthcare Week to recognize health care workers for the challenges they’ve faced throughout the pandemic and propose solutions to those challenges.
The governor said “Strengthening supports and expanding access to healthcare options has always been a priority for me. The COVID-19 pandemic has only added to the sense of urgency. This week, I am eager to express my gratitude to frontline health care workers and to discuss ways Nevada can build upon existing supports and resources to continue down our path of success.”
“Gov. Sisolak has been dedicated to serving Nevadans from Day One,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “In order to address the biggest challenges facing the community, he’s sitting down and talking with individuals to understand exactly what their needs are. In working to expand access to health care coverage, Gov. Sisolak is making sure no one gets left behind, and his efforts will have an impact on countless Nevadans.”
See below for coverage from Gov. Sisolak’s Healthcare Week:
Reno Gazette-Journal: Sisolak pledges help for Reno mental health workers ahead of West Hills hospital closure
Gov. Steve Sisolak says he will look to federal COVID-19 relief funds to help Reno-area mental health providers already struggling with the upcoming closure of the region’s lone acute care facility for children.
Sisolak, speaking during a Thursday stop at Quest Counseling in Reno, said he didn’t know the particulars surrounding the decision to abruptly shutter West Hills Behavioral Health Hospital on Dec. 20. But he said his roughly hour-long conversation with Quest therapists made it clear they needed some help.
“When another place closes, it just expands the gap (in mental health services),” Sisolak told reporters after the roundtable. “We need to continue and increase the work we’re doing with local partners to see how we can make sure these facilities are getting the funding and resources they need.”
Sisolak said two weeks is too long for someone in crisis to wait for help, and promised to do his best to free up some of the state’s roughly $9 billion share of congressionally approved coronavirus dollars.
Sisolak, speaking during the fourth and final stop of a statewide “health care week” tour, noted that Nevada has chronically underfunded facilities serving patients in mental crisis.
An aggressive push is underway to provide better health care to under-served communities throughout Nevada.
As part of “Healthcare Week,” Gov. Steve Sisolak took a tour of two health centers in the Las Vegas area.
Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada and the Martin Luther King Family Health Center are focusing on serving minorities and low-income families who struggle to get care.
The governor says he hopes to assist these organizations with the money received from the cares act.
“We need to get into the community more, into these types of centers, and doctors’ offices to make sure they are available for people because we continue to see it on a daily basis we are getting hundreds of cases just in Clark County alone, and 600 statewide, and another dozen deaths, and these are preventable,” Sisolak said.
Tyree Davis, medical officer at Ancillary Services says as the population of Las Vegas continues to increase significantly and they need more financial support to meet the demand.
“We want them to have a healthy home they can go to whether it is behavioral health, dental services, as well as medical services,” says Davis.
Sisolak says these centers have been critical in providing care to thousands during this pandemic.
With the new strain of COVID-19 already in our country, Sisolak is encouraging people to use these facilities to get vaccinated and help put an end to the spread.
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Gov. Sisolak proclaims a week to honor Nevada health care workers
Late Tuesday morning, Gov. Steve Sisolak delivered a bouquet of flowers to Las Vegas nurse practitioner Geoconda Hughes. The two then sat down on her sofa to chat about topics ranging from the nursing shortage to the emotional toll of working in an ICU during the pandemic.
“We saw six people die a day” from COVID-19 in her ICU early in the pandemic, Hughes told the governor. “It was horrible. … But it’s better right now. I think vaccinations have been key for us.”
The governor said, “I just can’t begin to thank you enough for everything you’re doing.”
In this manner, the governor launched a slate of events during what he called “Health Care Week in Nevada” aimed at recognizing Nevadans who work in medicine and raising community awareness of their efforts. The events also provide an opportunity, he said, to learn more about the problems facing health care workers and possible solutions to their workplace challenges.
Meeting with nurses
Sisolak’s next stop was a round-table discussion with board members of the Philippine Nurses Association of Nevada, a nonprofit professional organization.
The members spoke of how, among other volunteer efforts, they had sewn masks and made plastic face shields during the pandemic to preserve medical masks for personnel working with COVID-19 patients.
The nurses, several of whom had contracted COVID-19 themselves, also stressed the importance of vaccination. Sisolak asked what more the state could do to encourage people to get inoculated.
Some members also complained about lax enforcement of mask-wearing at some major events. Sisolak acknowledged that enforcing an indoor mask mandate has been a problem for front-line workers.
Sisolak thanked the group. “This pandemic has brought out the worst in people and the best people at the same time,” the governor said. “But let me close with this: You are part of what’s the best.”