3 Ways to Explore
Health and Wellness
Quality Health Services for Southern Nevada Residents
With a population of nearly 2 million, Clark County is home to some of the finest hospitals and specialty health-care facilities staffed by talented, recognized physicians and providers. Residents of all ages, from newborns to older adults, have access to a suite of comprehensive services and treatments. In addition, many facilities have been built, renovated or expanded in recent years, ensuring that the most modern and state-of-the-art equipment is utilized. Learn more in this section about specific hospitals and facilities available in the region along with the current state of Southern Nevada health care.

Health care is one of the leading pillars upon which the region is expanding and diversifying its economy. To support this growth, there are a number of teaching institutions in the area specializing in medical and health care education. The University of Nevada School of Medicine released a report stating that “modest increases in the number of graduates from the University of Nevada School of Medicine in the past five years, and the fact that a majority of physicians completing School of Medicine residency and fellowship programs remain in Nevada to practice medicine, have contributed to the increase in the number of licensed physicians in Nevada over the past decade.” The report credits a large proportion of the increase to the successful ability of communities, existing medical practices and health facilities to recruit and retain physicians from other states and countries. Furthermore, in the past decade, there has been steady growth in the state’s physician workforce. The total physician population in Nevada increased by 2,405 or 75.5 percent between 1997 and 2007, and in 2010, it was up to 5,264, another increase of 45.7 percent in just three years.

Important to every community is the infrastructure that supports its services. One important organization is the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), whose mission is to “protect and promote the health, the environment and the well-being of Clark County residents and visitors.” SNHD offers services and regulatory supervision that impact the public every day, from the food they eat and the water they drink to the public establishments they visit, the businesses they operate and the requirements they must meet to work in certain industries, such as food service and child care.

SNHD is one of the largest local public health organizations in the United States, serving the residents of Clark County and representing 70 percent of Nevada’s total population. Also, the district is responsible for safeguarding the public health of more than 37 million visitors to Las Vegas each year. In recent years, the role of public health has expanded to include oversight and participation in areas, such as bioterrorism, disaster and emergency preparedness.

The community health services division coordinates services and programs including emergency medical services, epidemiology (disease surveillance and control), chronic disease prevention and health promotion, public health preparedness and the Southern Nevada Public Health Laboratory.

The nursing and clinics division provides more than 600,000 public health-related clinical services at an average cost of $35. Services are provided regardless of a client’s ability to pay and include administering around 300,000 childhood and adult immunizations each year, sexually transmitted disease treatment and control, tuberculosis treatment and control, well-baby checkups and HIV/AIDS case management each year.
Another key group is the nonprofit Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition (SNMIC). The coalition is a unique alliance that includes health-care providers, consumers, committed citizens and government representatives who are partnered together and are concerned about the well-being of Southern Nevada residents.

Since its inception in 2002, SNMIC has grown to more than 600 members statewide with 150 of those members serving as professional volunteers who make up the organization’s task forces. The organization has garnered the attention of all facets of the medical industry through the years, including academics and government, civic organizations as well as organizations related to health care in the private sector.

Some recent SNMIC achievements include ongoing recruitment of Southern Nevada’s “Who’s Who” in health care as well as overall enhanced communication efforts, research and development of an RN graduate workplace-transition program and outreach to statewide political candidates who share SNMIC’s values.

MAJOR HEALTH-CARE INITIATIVES
Several major initiatives have taken shape as of late and show encouraging signs to Las Vegas and Clark County residents concerned about health care. In October 2010, a $750,000 grant was awarded to the SNMIC by Workforce Connections that provided inventive workforce-development partnerships that address the shortage of qualified workers in the key sectors of health care and health care IT. Another initiative comes in the form of the “iDo” committee, comprised of a large multidisciplinary group of diabetes-outcome stakeholders that promotes, tracks and continually improves results of diabetes screening, prevention and control interventions for those in Southern Nevada. Lastly, three organizations, Nevada Cancer Institute, Workforce Connections and the College of Southern Nevada (CSN), have teamed up to train nurses and allied health-care professionals on cancer treatments and research. The program is called the Plus One Program and helps transition CSN graduates from nursing, medical laboratory technology, radiation technology and health information technology programs into highly specialized full-time jobs in health care. These major initiatives are facilitated by a large number of people working behind the scenes who are all concerned about bringing the best health care to Southern Nevada.

FULL-SERVICE HOSPITALS

— BOULDER CITY HOSPITAL
Boulder City Hospital is a nonprofit acute-care Critical Access hospital, providing for the health-care needs of Boulder City and other rural areas of Southern Nevada. The hospital provides 24-hour emergency care, inpatient and outpatient surgery, medical surgical and ICU care, skilled nursing and a full host of ancillary services.

— CENTENNIAL HILLS HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER
With the hospital’s new eight-story facility opened in January 2008, Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center provides a wide range of medical services and procedures, including outpatient cardiology and endoscopy, radiology, respiratory, laboratory and pharmacy. With women’s needs in mind, Centennial Hills Hospital provides services, including digital mammography and gynecologic care and surgery. Expectant and new mothers are offered a range of services, including six labor, delivery and recovery rooms; a 25-bed postpartum unit; a newborn nursery; and a Level II newborn intensive care unit.

— DESERT SPRINGS HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER
Located in southeast Las Vegas, Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center is a 286-bed acute care facility. Since 1971, Desert Springs has been providing quality health care to Southern Nevada residents. On a campus that encompasses more than 451,000 square feet, the hospital provides 24-hour emergency services, including a designated area in the ER to treat less acute patients. The hospital has long been referred to as “The Heart Hospital” by Las Vegas locals for its solid reputation as a leader in cardiac care. The hospital is recognized nationally for its diabetes, cardiac and bariatric surgery programs. Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center is accredited by The Joint Commission, licensed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and affiliated with the Federation of American Hospitals, the Association of Western Hospitals and the Nevada Hospital Association.

— MIKE O’CALLAGHAN FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTER-VA SOUTHERN NV HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System (VASNHS) provides health-care services to more than 35,000 patients yearly, exceeding 300,000 outpatient visits per year. Access to primary care has been expanded to include community-based outpatient clinics in the nearby cities of Henderson and Pahrump. Inpatient services are provided at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Hospital as part of a VA/Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Venture that is a national model for VA/DOD sharing agreements. Other services provided by VASNHS include psychiatric day treatment, readjustment counseling and outreach for homeless veterans. Southern Nevada is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, and services provided by VASNHS continue to expand to meet the demands of the dynamic growth.

— MOUNTAINVIEW HOSPITAL
MountainView Hospital is a state-of-the-art, full-service medical facility located in the heart of northwest Las Vegas. With a dedicated and talented staff of employees and outstanding physicians representing 36 medical specialties, MountainView Hospital often is recognized for high patient satisfaction and for providing quality and compassionate care to the community for the past 16 years. The hospital is also a member of the respected Sunrise Health System, which also includes Sunrise Hospital, Sunrise Children’s Hospital, Southern Hills Hospital and several surgery and diagnostic imaging centers, offering a complete range of specialized and technologically advanced services.

— NORTH VISTA HOSPITAL
Located in North Las Vegas, North Vista Hospital is committed to providing high-quality medical care in a friendly hospital environment. The hospital is five-star rated for maternity and bariatric services by HealthGrades, a ratings service for hospitals nationwide. The medical staff includes skilled, board-certified physicians representing a wide range of medical specialties, including heart care, diagnostic imaging, surgical services, women’s health, weight loss surgery and wound care.

— SPRING VALLEY HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER
Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center offers quality, compassionate health-care services to the Las Vegas community. In the heart of the southwest, Spring Valley Hospital offers medical, surgical, 24-hour emergency, maternity, intermediate and intensive care services. The 210-bed acute care facility was the 2005 and 2006 Trailblazer Recipient of the Nevada Governor’s Award for performance excellence.

— ST. ROSE DOMINICAN HOSPITAL, ROSE DE LIMA CAMPUS
The first of the three St. Rose Dominican Hospitals campuses, the Rose de Lima Campus was established in 1947 when the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, purchased Basic Magnesium Hospital from the U.S. government for $1 a year for 25 years. In 1991, a $25 million, four-story expansion was completed. The 137-bed hospital offers key services, including an acute rehabilitation unit, bariatric weight loss surgery program, Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, obstetrics, palliative care and radiology along with other services and features.

— ST. ROSE DOMINICAN HOSPITAL, SAN MARTÍN CAMPUS
San Martín in southwest Las Vegas is St. Rose’s newest hospital, opening in late 2006 with 147 beds. As an acute care facility, San Martin provides has an emergency department, a cardiology and open-heart surgery center, a comprehensive range of surgical and rehabilitative services, obstetrical services that include a Level II neonatal intensive care unit, pediatrics and diagnostic imaging, including MRI and CT scanning.

— ST. ROSE DOMINICAN HOSPITAL, SIENA CAMPUS
The Siena Campus was the second St. Rose facility to open in Southern Nevada, bringing much-needed health-care services to the growing Henderson area in 2000. The 219-bed facility now serves as a hub for many of St. Rose’s tertiary services. Campus highlights include a cardiology and open-heart surgery center, a da Vinci® (robotic) surgical system, emergency department, intensive care unit, Level III neonatal intensive care unit, Level III trauma center, obstetrical services, oncology unit, a pediatric unit consisting of a 24-hour emergency room and intensive care unit and radiology services.

— SOUTHERN HILLS HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CENTER
Utilizing advanced digital technology and a top-notch medical staff, Southern Hills Hospital provides the communities of southwestern Las Vegas with services for emergencies, OB/GYN, diagnostic imaging and surgery. Southern Hills Hospital’s intricate network of digitally advanced systems makes for shorter hospital stays and improved patient safety benefits. Southern Hills Hospital is the first institution in Nevada to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a leading hospital in cardiology through its compliance with the Get with the Guidelines-Heart Failure program. In addition, Southern Hills Hospital is a home to award-winning spine physicians from the Nevada Neurosciences Institute. The hospital is a member of the respected Sunrise Health System, which also includes MountainView Hospital, Sunrise Hospital, Sunrise Children’s Hospital and several surgery and diagnostic-imaging centers, offering a complete range of specialized and technologically advanced services.

— SUMMERLIN HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER
Located in the heart of Summerlin, one of Southern Nevada’s fastest growing communities, Summerlin Hospital Medical Center features 454 licensed beds and is one of the largest acute care facilities in Southern Nevada. Services at the hospital include emergency services and a dedicated pediatric ER, the Heart Institute, the Children’s Medical Center, the Birthplace and robotic surgical services, and it is home to the first Cyberknife® Radiosurgical Center in Southern Nevada. The hospital also has adjoining outpatient services for surgery, laboratory and radiology as well as three medical office buildings.

— SUNRISE HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CENTER
Now celebrating more than 50 years in the community, Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center provides the most sophisticated, quality health care in Southern Nevada. A Consumer Choice award-winning hospital for 15 consecutive years, the 701-bed acute care facility includes comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services, such as the Nevada Neurosciences Institute; the region’s first The Joint Commission–certified Primary Stroke Center; an American College of Surgeons–recognized Comprehensive Cancer Center; an innovative, full-service Breast Center; and specialty services in cardiac, women’s health, pulmonology, critical care, complex surgery and rehabilitation as well as Level II trauma and emergency care. The hospital has invested in new technologies, such as the da Vinci Robotic® surgery system, Intraoperative MRI machines, Gamma Knife incision-free brain surgery and an exclusive Picture Archiving and Communication System designed to assist physicians in retrieving important patient data.

— UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
University Medical Center (UMC) is dedicated to providing the highest level of health care possible by maintaining its ongoing commitment to personal, individualized care for each patient. Through the latest treatment techniques, comfortable surroundings and a dedicated staff, the commitment is expressed every day in every area of the hospital. UMC is the state-designated Level I Trauma Center for Southern Nevada as well as the only advanced facility to offer a specialized team of medical professionals prepared to respond to the needs of the severely injured 24 hours a day. UMC also houses the state’s only burn care facility, the Lions Wound and Burn Care Center, and operates a comprehensive freestanding unit devoted solely to physical medicine and rehabilitation. UMC Quick Care Centers are conveniently located throughout the community and provide urgent and ongoing care for the entire family with no appointment necessary. Quick Care Centers treat everything from minor illnesses or injuries to comprehensive everyday health-care needs as well as serve as primary-care sites for many HMOs and managed-care organizations.

— VALLEY HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER
Located in the heart of Las Vegas, Valley Hospital Medical Center provides advanced medical services in the areas of neurosciences, cardiovascular, women’s health and surgery to Southern Nevada residents and tourists. With special accreditations in the areas of stroke, chest pain and heart failure, Valley Hospital health-care professionals work quickly for the rapid diagnosis, intervention and treatment of these medical emergencies. Patients may be undergoing advanced cardiovascular procedures, such as balloon angioplasty or open-heart surgery, or neurosurgery or endovascular procedures. Women’s health care is a top focus as well. Valley Hospital offers a full spectrum of maternity care, including a post-partum and Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit, along with breast, gynecological and gynecological oncology services. In addition, Valley Hospital services inpatient and outpatient surgical care and a wound healing and hyperbaric medicine center.

SPECIALITY HOSPITALS
To complement the region’s extensive list of full-service hospitals, Las Vegas has addition facilities that specialize in the particular medical needs of those requiring more extensive treatment and recovery.

— THE FERTILITY CENTER OF LAS VEGAS
Under the medical direction of Yale-educated reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Bruce Shapiro, and UCLA-educated reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Said Daneshmand, The Fertility Center of Las Vegas is the city’s largest assisted-reproductive practice and was the first in southern Nevada. For 14 years, Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Daneshmand have provided hope for couples struggling with infertility. The Fertility Center of Las Vegas is known for its global research innovations and outstanding pregnancy and success rates that provide couples with the best chance of parenthood. In addition to facility’s original location in Summerlin, there is also an office in Henderson.

— NEVADA CANCER INSITUTE
As the official cancer institute for Nevada, the Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI) is home to groundbreaking biomedical research, education and technologically advanced, multidisciplinary, subspecialized patient care. The institute is committed to reducing the burden of cancer by pursuing the development of a comprehensive cancer research institute as defined by the National Cancer Institute. Through the knowledge and expertise of the finest scientists, clinicians, educators and caregivers, NVCI provides hope to communities in Nevada, the southwest and beyond through research, education, early detection, prevention and high-quality patient care. NVCI is striving for a future without cancer that is achieved through initiated and collaborative research in basic, clinical and population science.

— SUNRISE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Sunrise Children’s Hospital is a dedicated specialty hospital of 244 beds offering comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services for infants, children, adolescents and expectant mothers. As Nevada’s largest, most comprehensive dedicated children’s hospital, Sunrise Children’s staff of pediatric experts includes top physicians, specialists and subspecialists in pediatric emergency medicine, cardiology and cardiac surgery, oncology, complex surgery, critical care, forensic maltreatment, obstetrics and neonatology. The facility’s services for healing extend through a family-centered care philosophy, in which pediatric and neonatal nurses, pharmacists, respiratory and physical therapists, social workers and child-life specialists treat various aspects of the patients’ lives.

— SILVER HILLS HEALTHCARE CENTER
Silver Hills Healthcare Center is committed to meeting the individual needs of its residents, families and the community. The 118-bed skilled nursing facility is located in a quiet residential area of Northwest Las Vegas where residents enjoy state-of-the-art conveniences in a warm, comfortable, home-like environment.

NEW HEALTH-CARE FACILITIES
While the list of Southern Nevada health-care hospitals and centers is already impressive, a few newly constructed facilities have been gaining national attention. One of the most talked about is the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (LRCBH) with its architectural design provided by internationally recognized architect Frank Gehry. Managed by the renowned Cleveland Clinic, the 65,000-square-foot facility located in downtown Las Vegas welcomed its first patient July 13, 2009. LRCBH is dedicated to the conquest of Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and all forms of memory disorders. The institute is a medical-scientific affiliate of Keep Memory Alive. Both are devoted to the promotion of healthy, vital aging for all citizens of Nevada and seek to enhance the quality of life for the growing number of people with cognitive impairments or dementia.

A new Veterans Affairs medical center is under construction in North Las Vegas. The expansive center broke ground in 2006 with a blessing from the National American Indian Veterans, Inc. With much of the construction finished, the project will be completed and opened in 2012. The scope of the center covers numerous services, including mental health, rehabilitation clinics and long-term care programs.

On September 15, 2010, the University Medical Center (UMC), with collaboration from the Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI), opened a new 13,000-square-foot state-of-the-art cancer-treatment facility. Services include outpatient medical oncology, malignant-hematology and radiation oncology, inpatient medical oncology and malignant hematology consultation services as well as appropriate inpatient chemotherapy and education and support services.

Crovetti Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, one of the country’s leaders in orthopedic care opened the Coronado Surgical Recovery Suites (CSRS) on September 30, 2010. CSRS was designed and built to provide an “Out of Hospital Experience” in total-knee and total-hip replacement surgery. For patients that meet the criteria of outpatient joint replacement, the CSRS offers a three-day recovery experience that includes an elegant private room, personalized physical therapy, 24-hour nursing, personal nutrition, constant surgeon and internal medicine oversight and extensive education in transitioning to recovery at home.

STAYING HEALTHY IN THE DESERT CLIMATE
The abundance of quality medical care available in the Las Vegas Valley helps residents feel confident that there is a hospital or facility that can handle their family’s needs. With the sunshine providing many ideal days for outdoor activities, some might forget the importance of preventative health care to ensure many more joyful days in Las Vegas. It’s important to be aware of the dangers of excessive sun exposure, which can cause sunburn, premature aging, wrinkled and leathery or rough skin and skin cancer. You and your family members can be at high risk for developing skin cancer, especially young children. Follow these practical steps from the American Cancer Society to help protect you from the effects of the sun. The following advisements complement each other and provide the best protection when used together.

— COVER UP
When you are out in the sun, wear clothing to protect as much skin as possible. Clothes provide different levels of protection, depending on many factors. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants or long skirts cover the most skin and are the most protective. Dark colors generally provide more protection than light colors. A tightly woven fabric protects better than loosely woven clothing. Dry fabric is generally more protective than wet fabric.

If you can see light through a fabric, ultraviolet (UV) rays can get through, too. Be aware that covering up doesn’t block out all UV rays. A typical light t-shirt worn in the summer usually protects you less than sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

The ideal sun-protective fabrics are lightweight, comfortable and protect against exposure even when wet. A few companies in the United States now make sun-protective clothing. They tend to be more tightly woven, and some have special coatings to help absorb UV rays. Some sun-protective clothes have a label listing the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) value—the level of protection the garment provides from the sun’s UV rays (on a scale from 15 to 50+). The higher the UPF, the higher the protection from UV rays.

Children’s swimsuits made from sun-protective fabric and designed to cover the child from the neck to the knees are popular in Australia. They are now available in some areas of the United States.

Newer products are now available to increase the UPF value of clothes you already own. Used like laundry detergents, the products add a layer of UV protection to your clothes without changing their color or texture.

— USE SUNSCREEN
Sunscreen is a product that you apply to your skin for some protection against the sun’s UV rays, but it does not provide total protection. Sunscreens are available in many forms: lotions, creams, ointments, gels, wipes and lip balms among other products.

Some cosmetics, such as lipsticks and foundations, also are considered sunscreen products if they contain sunscreen. Some makeup contains sunscreen, but only the label can tell you. Makeup, including lipstick, without sunscreen does not provide sun protection. Check the labels to find out.

When selecting a sunscreen product, read the label before you buy. Experts recommend products with an SPF of at least 15. The SPF number represents the level of protection against UVB rays provided by the sunscreen; a higher number means more protection.

It is important to remember that sunscreen does not give you total protection. When using SPF 15 and applying it correctly, you get the equivalent of one minute of UVB rays for every 15 minutes you spend in the sun. So, one hour in the sun wearing SPF 15 sunscreen is the same as spending four minutes totally unprotected.

The SPF number indicates protection against UVB rays only. Sunscreen products labeled “broad-spectrum” protect against UVA and UVB radiation, but at this time there is no standard system for measuring protection from UVA rays. Products with an SPF of 15 or higher that also contain avobenzone (Parsol 1789), ecamsule, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are likely to be effective against UVB and most UVA rays.

Check for an expiration date on the sunscreen container to be sure it is still effective. Most sunscreen products are no longer as effective after two to three years.

Some sunscreen products can irritate skin. Many products claim to be “hypoallergenic” or “dermatologist tested,” but the only way to know for sure whether a product will irritate your skin is to apply a small amount and wait for three days. If your skin does not turn red or become tender and itchy, the product should be okay for you to use.

Proper Application: Always follow the label directions. Most sunscreens recommend applying the product generously to dry skin 20–30 minutes before going outside so your skin has time to absorb the chemicals. When applying it, pay close attention to your face, ears, hands and arms, generously coating the skin that is not covered by clothing. If you’re going to wear insect repellent or makeup, apply the sunscreen first. For high-glare situations, a higher SPF sunscreen or zinc oxide may be used on your nose and lips.

About one ounce of sunscreen (a “palmful”) should be used to cover the arms, legs, neck and face of the average adult. For best results, most sunscreens must be reapplied at least every two hours and even more often if you are swimming or sweating. Products labeled “waterproof” may provide protection for at least 80 minutes even when you are swimming or sweating. Products that are “water resistant” may provide protection for only 40 minutes. Remember that sunscreen usually rubs off when you towel yourself dry, so you will need to reapply it.

Sunless tanning products, such as bronzers and extenders, give skin a golden color, but unlike sunscreens, these products provide very little protection from UV damage.

— WEAR A HAT
A hat with at least a two- to three-inch brim all around is ideal because it protects areas often exposed to the sun, such as the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp. A shade cap (which looks like a baseball cap with about seven inches of fabric draping down the sides and back) also is good. These often are sold in sports and outdoor supply stores.

A baseball cap can protect the front and top of the head but not the back of the neck or the ears where skin cancers commonly develop. Straw hats are not recommended unless they are tightly woven.

— WEAR UV-BLOCKING SUNGLASSES
Research has shown that long hours in the sun without protecting your eyes increases your chances of developing an eye disease. UV-blocking sunglasses can help protect your eyes from sun damage.

The ideal sunglasses do not have to be expensive, but they should block 99–100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation. Check the label to be sure they do. Some labels may say, “UV absorption up to 400 nm.” This is the same as 100-percent UV absorption. Also, labels that say “Meets ANSI UV Requirements” mean the glasses block at least 99 percent of UV rays. Those labeled “cosmetic” block about 70 percent of the UV rays. If there is no label, don’t assume the sunglasses provide any protection.

Darker glasses are not necessarily better because UV protection comes from an invisible chemical applied to the lenses, not from the color or darkness of the lenses. Look for an ANSI label. Large-framed and wraparound sunglasses are more likely to protect your eyes from light coming in from different angles. Children need smaller versions of real, protective adult sunglasses, not toy sunglasses.

Ideally, all types of eyewear, including prescription glasses and contact lenses, should absorb the entire UV spectrum. Some contact lenses are now made to block most UV rays, but because they don’t cover the whole eye and surrounding areas, they are not recommended for use as the only eye protection.

— LIMIT DIRECT SUN EXPOSURE
Another way to limit exposure to UV light is to avoid being outdoors in sunlight too long. UV rays are most intense during the middle of the day, usually between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you are unsure about the sun’s intensity, take the shadow test: If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are the strongest. Plan activities out of the sun during these times. If you must be outdoors, protect your skin.

UV rays reach the ground throughout the year, even on cloudy days. UV rays can also pass through water, so don’t think you’re safe if you’re in the water and feeling cool. Be especially careful on the beach and in the snow because sand and snow reflect sunlight, increasing the amount of UV radiation you receive.

Some UV rays also can pass through windows. Typical car, home and office windows block most of the UVB rays but a smaller portion of UVA rays, so even if you don’t feel you’re getting burned, your skin may still get some long-term damage. Tinted windows help block more UVA rays, although this depends on the type of tinting. UV radiation that comes through windows probably doesn’t pose a great risk to most people unless they spend extended periods of time close to a window that receives direct sunlight.

If you plan to be outdoors, you may want to check the UV Index for your area. It usually can be found in the local newspaper or on TV and radio news broadcasts. It is also available on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website at www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html.

— PREVENT DEHYDRATION
In the summer, a combination of the heat and low relative humidity rapidly can lead to dehydration. You can lose up to two quarts of water per hour if you are perspiring heavily. As a general rule, and especially when physically active, you should drink plenty of fluids (e.g., water, fruit juice, lemonade, sports drinks) to keep properly hydrated. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, your body needs water all day long. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages (e.g., iced tea, soda) when physically active.

If you are out in the sun too long or exert yourself physically in hot weather, you can suffer from heat stroke. The early signs include faintness, fatigue, headache, nausea and flushed skin on your face and extremities. If untreated, it can lead to rapid pulse, lethargy, confusion and agitation. As soon as the signs appear, you should rest in a cool place, increase your fluids (cold water—not beverages with caffeine, alcohol or carbonation) and eat salty foods (but not salt tablets). As a precaution, wear a porous straw hat to help the heat escape. Make sure your children wear hats when they are playing outdoors in the summer months.

Following are tips for staying hydrated from the Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness:
  • Have a beverage with every meal and snack.
  • Choose beverages that you enjoy.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables tend to have a high water content, which makes them a great option for helping you meet your hydration needs.
  • Don’t exclusively rely on thirst. Sometimes thirst is not a reliable measure of hydration because of medications or other health conditions. Keep a water bottle or beverage at your desk, in your car, in your bag or wherever you will be reminded to drink.
  • Keep beverages at a moderate temperature. Fluids that are served neither hot nor cold tend to be consumed in greater volumes.
  • Follow the American College of Sports Medicine recommendations for fluid intake before, during and after physical activity. Visit www.beverageinstitute.org/en_US/pages/article-hydration-guidelines.html to learn more.

CHILDREN STAYING HEALTHY OUTDOORS
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides the following tips and best practices for children to be healthy and safe while outdoors.

— FOR BABIES UNDER SIX MONTHS
The two main recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn are to avoid sun exposure and dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. When adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the backs of the hands. If an infant gets sunburn, apply cold compresses to the affected area.

— FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before they go outside and use sunscreen even on cloudy days. The SPF should be at least 15 and protect against UVA and UVB rays.

— FOR OLDER CHILDREN
The first and best line of defense against the sun is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (that block 99–100 percent of UV rays) and cotton clothing with a tight weave. Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. Be sure to apply enough sunscreen, about one ounce per sitting for a young adult. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating. Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.

— HEAT STRESS IN EXERCISING CHILDREN
The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat and humidity reach critical levels. At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of exercise should be limited initially and then increased gradually during a period of 10–14 days to accomplish acclimatization to the heat.

Before prolonged physical activity, the child should be well hydrated. During the activity, periodic drinking should be enforced (e.g., every 20 minutes there should be five ounces of cold tap water or a flavored sports drink for a child weighing 90 pounds, and nine ounces for an adolescent weighing 130 pounds, even if the child does not feel thirsty). Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing. Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened, and more frequent water and hydration breaks should be instituted.

— HYDRATION TIPS FOR CHILDREN
Be on alert for the hydration needs of young children playing outdoors, especially in hot weather since children likely will not want to stop playing to hydrate. Before heading to the playground, have the children consume liquids and ask them to come in frequently for beverage breaks. Serving beverages children enjoy at moderate temperatures will promote greater fluid intake. Many foods have high water content and contribute to total fluid intake, such as fruit, vegetables, soups and popsicles, so use these as snacks instead of salty foods. Lastly, pack water bottles in the child’s backpack and lunchbox.

Source: Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness

SELECTING A PHYSICIAN
Once you are settled into your new community, it is important that you select a doctor for you and your family. Often, finding a doctor is put on the bottom of the “to-do” lists of newcomers because there may not seem like an immediate need. However, when the time to see a physician arises, it is helpful to have screened already the doctor, health center and hospital where you will receive medical attention.

Consult your company’s health plan and its list of preferred providers that will accept the company’s insurance. Ask family, friends, neighbors, coworkers or professionals with whom you are in contact to find out what they like best and least about their doctors. Nearly all Las Vegas hospitals provide a physician referral website, but keep in mind that the services refer you to any of the doctors on staff but do not offer information on the quality of care these doctors provide.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has a DoctorFinder service at www.ama-assn.org/aps/amahg.htm that provides you with basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States and includes more than 814,000 doctors. You can search by doctor name, location or specialty.

Be sure to verify that the doctor is Board certified. All U.S. Board-certified specialists are listed with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). ABMS is a not-for-profit organization that assists 24 approved medical specialty boards in the development and use of standards in the ongoing evaluation and certification of physicians. ABMS, recognized as the “gold standard” in physician certification, believes higher standards for physicians means better care for patients. Visit www.abms.org for more information. Other online resources, including www.healthgrades.com or www.doctordirectory.com provide searches by name, specialty and location.

DENTAL CARE
Recent studies have pointed out the importance of proper oral hygiene in preventing serious illnesses. Visiting a dentist on a regular basis, at least once a year, is an essential part of maintaining a healthy body. It is also recommended to keep your teeth clean by visiting a dental hygienist at least twice a year to maintain oral health and prevent tooth decay.

— FINDING A DENTIST IN LAS VEGAS
There are few referral websites to help you find a dentist in the Las Vegas area. Visit the Nevada Dental Association at www.nvda.org, or visit the Southern Nevada Dental Society online at www.sndsonline.org and click on the Southern Nevada Dental Search button.

— WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A DENTIST?
You may wish to consider several dentists before making your decision. During your research and first visit, you should be able to determine if this is the right dentist for you. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends evaluating several components before committing to services. For example, inquire about how emergencies are handled outside of office hours and whether the dentist is a member of the ADA. All ADA-member dentists voluntarily agree to abide by the high ethical standards reflected in the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct as a condition of their membership. Convenience is also an important factor so the location of the office and available appointments times should work with your schedule. In addition, it is helpful if information about fees and payment plans are provided before treatment is scheduled. Once you have made an appointment and arrive at the office, evaluate the cleanness and orderliness of the waiting room and front office; this is usually an indicator of how the dentist values his patients.

You and your dentist are partners in maintaining your oral health. Take time to ask questions and take notes if that will help you remember your dentist’s advice. You may want to call or visit more than one dentist before making your decision. Dental care is a very personalized service that requires a good relationship between the dentist and the patient.

Source: American Dental Association (www.ada.org)

With its fine hospitals and specialty health-care facilities, the Las Vegas area clearly provides ample options for you and your family’s health and wellness needs.
 
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