As the COVID-19 pandemic took more lives during the summer, an important medical story -- with ramifications for both Southern Nevada and the entire state -- received little attention.
In August, Daniel Mathis, CEO of PureCare Living, a Las Vegas-based healthcare management company, announced that the UNLV School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics will lead medical services and programs for Southern Nevada’s newest pediatric skilled nursing facility, Silver State Pediatrics.
“It is a tremendous honor to have UNLV’s revered pediatric providers leading the healthcare services at Silver State Pediatrics,” Mathis said. “Our team is passionate about elevating pediatric healthcare in Southern Nevada so families do not have to leave the state for their child to receive the specialized care they need.”
Now in the final stretch of state licensing, the 36-bed facility at 2496 W. Charleston Blvd, near the Las Vegas Medical District, is designed for children with post traumatic injuries, ranging from gunshot wounds to car accidents, as well as for children with birth defects and cognitive and physical development needs. It will also offer respite care for parents of children with special needs. Treatment for some pediatric patients can take months.
Dr. Evelyn Montalvo Stanton, chair of UNLV’s pediatric department, notes that Dr. David Parks, a UNLV Associate Professor and Pediatric Pulmonologist, will serve as the facility’s medical director, overseeing patient services as well as student clinical rotations and residencies. Parks is joined by other UNLV pediatric subspecialists, including pediatric gastroenterologists, pediatric neurologists, pediatric endocrinologists, and pediatric infectious disease experts.
“Pediatricians in the community will now be able to refer patients to a specialized facility within Las Vegas,” Montalvo Stanton says.
Parks, a Harvard graduate who attended the University of Florida College of Medicine prior to practicing in the U.S. Navy, points out that members of the Silver State staff will include a pediatric dietician, experienced pediatric nurses, respiratory therapists and child life specialists as well as occupational, physical, and speech therapists.
He also says equipment at the 22,442 square facility is state-of-the-art, including monitors, ventilators, and neurofeedback therapy. Parks said many of the patients who will be treated will have had tracheostomies and need ventilators to help them breathe.
“Nevada families really need this facility,” says Parks, who has been serving the Las Vegas community since 1994 as a pediatric pulmonologist, first in private practice and then in academic medicine, initially with the University of Nevada, Reno Medical School. “When your child is sick, you don’t want to compound a very difficult situation by having to leave home.”
According to UNLV School of Medicine Dean Marc Kahn, the medical services to be provided at Silver State punctuate the medical school’s commitment to the community.