Issuu on Google+

A U G U S T 2 01 1

page 20

Dissed herbing

Is alternative medicine dead in Las Vegas?


page 40

After the Curtain

Behind the scenes of a renowned AIDS activist's life

of the valley's

TOPDoctors in

51specialties Innovators in health and medicine

sabroso: the torta with a Whole country inside ALSO: quĂŠ Bill who? The quiet storm who modernized gaming

Page 35 Page 24

Cardiac Patient St. Rose Dominican Hospitals

Expect only the highest level of care for your heart when you need it most. Commercial airline pilot Cleve was flying through his exercise routine when he started feeling ill. He was taken to St. Rose Dominican Hospitals where he underwent emergency open heart surgery. Thanks to the compassionate, quality care he received at St. Rose, Cleve is now feeling as strong as ever and is back to the flying career he is deeply passionate about. St. Rose offers comprehensive cardiovascular services with state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, including catheterization labs to repair blocked arteries, open heart and minimally-invasive heart surgery, and rehabilitation. These services are provided by a team of caring professionals all trained and credentialed to evaluate and treat cardiac diseases. At St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, we offer the highest level of cardiac technology and care. When you expect the best in care, make sure you turn to St. Rose. To learn more about Cleve’s story and our Cardiology Centers:

Do you have a St. Rose doctor? Call 616-4508.

W I T H G R E AT P O W E R C O M E S G R E AT R E S P O N S E . Range Rover Sport doesn’t just promise a high-performance experience, it delivers. Whether the LR-V8 engine under the hood is the Supercharged or Naturally Aspirated version, you can look forward to enhanced power and improved performance, plus a feature that’s sure to satisfy the most demanding driver: a reassuring sense of complete control. To experience it for yourself, visit Land Rover Las Vegas for a test drive today.

Land Rover Las Vegas

5255 West Sahara Avenue

579 .040 0

Dr. Goesel Anson Dr. Terry Higgins Dr. Alison Tam Anson & Higgins Plastic Surgery Associates Las Vegas, Nevada

Names you can trust Dr. Goesel Anson hung her shingle in Las Vegas in 1997. She joined forces with Dr. Terry Higgins almost a decade ago. The pair has been dedicated to creating a center of excellence for aesthetic surgery, where artistry, integrity and excellence prevail. When asked for their key to success, Dr. Higgins replies “it’s simple: we deliver the very best care we can for our patients.“ They each have been recognized on both the local and national levels in Top Doctors lists and have been featured on Discovery and The Learning Channel. Drs. Anson and Higgins are well known in the community for their natural looking results in a city where over-exaggerated enhancements are commonplace. “I want my patients to look lucky, not, done. Most of my patients want to look as good as they can for their age, not look like they’re trying to be 20 again,” says Dr. Anson whose expertise is in aesthetic surgery of the face. Dr. Higgins, who specialty is breast and body surgery, says “we both share the same aesthetic philosophy. Most of my patients are sophisticated and want to have a natural appearance.” Skin care and non-surgical options are as important to the doctors as the surgical techniques themselves. “It’s not, either, or” says Anson, “but rather, which and when.” Towards that end, they offer Botox and a variety of fillers. In fact, Allergan, the maker of Botox and Juvederm, has awarded them ‘Black Diamond’ status, reserved for the top 1% of practices in the US for their volume of injections.

Leftt to right: Dr. Alisson Tam m, Dr. Terrry Higgin ns, Dr. Goesel Anson n


To further their vision, Drs. Anson and Higgins have welcomed a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr. Alison Tam. Dr. Tam brings the latest in laser techniques and hair transplant to the practice. On staff at Anson & Higgins are three full time medical aestheticians who guide their patients through the myriad of skin care products. Anti-aging cosmeceuticals and new research in topical therapies make skin care more effective than ever, but also more confusing for the patient. Drs. Anson and Higgins have an elegant, boutique practice that reflects their aesthetic sense and attention to detail. “We are fortunate to be able to blend all the tools available today, the latest in skin care, lasers, Botox, fillers AND surgery. Having all this available in one practice allows us to provide a coordinated, comprehensive aesthetic plan for each patient “says Anson. Adds Dr. Higgins, “We have something for every age group. We want our patients to stay with us for life!

MEDICAL DEGREE DR. ANSON: University of Illinois, Chicago DR. HIGGINS: University of Texas at Houston DR. TAM: Western University of Health Sciences

LOCATION Las Vegas, Nevada

CONTACT 702.822.2100

To learn more about the practice visit


The doctors have developed their own skin care line, aptly named Anson + Higgins®, out of frustration with costs and lack of information in available product lines. Anson + Higgins® focuses on affordable, PABA free ingredients, active peptides and phytonutrients.

editor’s note

Brain trust

M Next Month in Desert Companion

Entertain yourself — in style — with our fall culture and fashion issue

Maybe Frank Gehry is to blame. Surely you’ve driven by the architect’s stately, imposing meringue of stainless steel that houses the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Surely you’ve gazed upon it with vague admiration for those hardworking whitecoats inside, ensconced in their labs, researching brain disease in what seems like an island of titanium. Or maybe an ivory tower. You’re not alone in thinking this. An informal poll of my colleagues and friends reveals that many still see the Ruvo Center as some self-contained bastion of academic medicine. It seems that grand reputations — that of a renowned architect and that of a renowned medical institution — have aligned to eclipse a perhaps more important, but less glamorous, story about the Ruvo Center. Certainly, the center’s world-class brain experts are leading the way in understanding how neurodegenerative diseases do their dark work, whether it’s how Alzheimer’s eats away memories — essentially, our very identities — or how multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease rob us of control of our own bodies. This is the institution that may just unlock a cure, especially with the recent addition of programs in MS and Parkinson’s. However, banish from your mind any impression that the Ruvo Center is some isolated garret of pure research. The story beneath the story is how the Ruvo Center is also a thoroughly service-minded community asset that is meant to be used. Its prestige, though well-deserved, obscures

4 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

what the Ruvo Center can do — and is doing for us now. “We’re meant to be a resource for the community,” says Dr. Ryan Walsh, director of center’s new Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Program. “I want people to know that if it comes down to nothing else, our first priority is top-notch clinical care.” Walsh’s own research has been instrumental in furthering a new understanding of what different brain diseases have in common rather than what sets them apart, fueling a collaborative approach to conquering these diseases. And it helps when leading authorities on Alzheimer’s and MS are just a videoconference away — or just down the hall. Meanwhile, Dr. Timothy West, director of Ruvo Center’s MS program, also new, is an authority in his field as well. “Our motto is that every life deserves world-class care, and that permeates from the top down,” says West. “To be sure, research is important, and it’s especially important when it improves the therapies we can offer.” West’s mother suffers from multiple sclerosis, so for him, clinical care has a personal dimension. I recently did the grand Ruvo Center tour. I found not only a hive humming with exciting research initiatives, but also a service center for anyone suffering from a neurodegenerative disease. In most cases without a referral, sufferers can go in for physical evaluations, memory testing, brain MRIs, medication, cognitive rehab, physical exercise and psychiatric

care. Caregivers and family members with loved ones suffering from a degenerative brain disease can get support, counseling and advice, or bone up at the center’s growing lending library that brings together a wealth of books, films and other media that represent the latest information on brain disease. Perhaps best of all, those suffering from a neurodegenerative disease can not only get help for themselves; they can contribute to finding a cure by volunteering for a clinical trial. For example, the center is currently inviting those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease to participate in clinical trials that examine whether exercise can slow or even reverse Parkinson’s symptoms. Alzheimer’s patients can help by joining a study of an experimental vaccine. The Ruvo Center may look like a shining island of medical wisdom — and it is. But look closer, and you’ll see a lot of bridges to that island. Andrew Kiraly, Editor

Re: Reinvent Transfusion Medicine From: Inventory To: Innovation

Innovative ideas abound at United Blood Services. With the vital task of saving lives at stake, United Blood Services is an industry leader that has transformed the role of the community blood center to collaborate with hospitals as they advance innovation in patient care. Teamed with the legal services offered by Lewis and Roca, United Blood Services has grown from one blood center to 15 regional blood centers across the country and provides more than 1 million units of blood to hospital patients in need every year. LAS VEGAS RENO PHOENIX TUCSON ALBUQUERQUE SILICON VALLEy LRLAW.COM


desert companion magazine //



All Things to All People

A government report that’s making a splash



Will a new law kill the alternative health biz? By Heidi Kyser






40 features 40


Behind the inspiring — and intense — life of AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent

Some of the valley’s best doctors, as chosen by their peers

After the curtain


Top Doctors

A dose of wisdom from Dr. Life By Max Plenke



Meet (and eat) the biggest torta ever By Sarah Kokernot




From rock to theater to dance, your guide to culture


Last word

When it came to saving this rooster, I wasn’t chicken By David McKee

The human mechanic

UMC trauma surgeon Dr. Jay Coates on saving lives — and keeping a sense of humor

on the cover Photography: Christopher Smith Scrubs courtesy of La Isla Uniforms

6 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

C o u r t e s y o f H Y D E I A B RO A D B E N T; H e r b s : © iS to c k p h oto . c o m / E l e nat h e w i s e ; C A RS C O u r t e s y o f u n lv s p e cia l c o l l e c t i o n s

The quiet storm who changed gaming, Bill Harrah By Steve Friess

the legend lives on the legend lives on

Written and directed by Jamie King Written and directed by Jamie King

las vegas lascenter vegas mandalay bay events • december 3 – 27, 2011 mandalay bay events center • december 3 – 27, 2011 tickets on sale now at tickets on sale now at venue

OFFicial sPOnsOr


OFFicial sPOnsOr

exPerience the First-ever michael JacKsOn Fan Fest exPerience the First-ever michael Fan Fest discover the legacy of the King of Pop inJacKsOn a whole new way discover the legacy of the King in a whole new way December 3 –of 14,Pop 2011 December 3 – 14, 2011



p u blishe D B y nevada p u blic radio

Mission statement

Desert Companion is the premier city magazine that celebrates the pursuits, passions and aspirations of Southern Nevadans. With award-winning lifestyle journalism and design, Desert Companion does more than inform and entertain. We spark dialogue, engage people and define the spirit of the Las Vegas Valley. Editorial & Art Andrew Kiraly Editor CHRISTOPHER SMITH Art Director Advertising CHRISTINE KIELY Corporate Support Manager laura alcaraz National Account Manager Sharon Clifton Senior Account Executive allen grant Senior Account Executive elizabeth guernsey Account Executive Markus Van’t Hul Senior Account Executive Marketing Catherine Kim Marketing Manager Subscriptions Chris Bitonti Subscription Manager

SENIOR STAFF Florence M.E. Rogers President / General Manager Melanie Cannon Director of Development Cynthia M. Dobek Director of Business, Finance & Human Resources Phil Burger Director of Broadcast Operations Contributing WRiters Maureen Adamo, John Curtas, Cybele, Steve Friess, Jarret Keene, Sarah Kokernot, Heidi Kyser, Joseph Langdon, David McKee, Max Plenke, Timothy Pratt, Gregan Wingert, J.J. Wylie

Contributing Artists Jana Cruder, Aaron McKinney, Sabin Orr, Hernan Valencia, Ryan Weber

OnLine Danielle Branton Web Administrator To submit your organization’s event listings for the Desert Companion events guide, send complete information to Feedback and story ideas are always welcome, too. editorial: Andrew Kiraly, (702) 259-7856; Fax: (702) 258-5646 Advertising: Christine Kiely, (702) 259-7813; Subscriptions: Chris Bitonti, (702) 259-7810; KNPR’s “State of Nevada” call-in line: (702) 258-3552 Pledge: (702) 258-0505 (toll free 1-866-895-5677) Websites:,, Desert Companion is published 12 times a year by Nevada Public Radio, 1289 S. Torrey Pines Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89146. It is available by subscription at, or as part of Nevada Public Radio membership. It is also distributed free of charge at select locations in the Las Vegas Valley. All photographs, artwork and ad designs printed are the sole property of Desert Companion and may not be duplicated or reproduced without the express written permission of the publisher. The views of Desert Companion contributing writers are not necessarily the views of Desert Companion or Nevada Public Radio.

ISSN 2157-8389 (print) ISSN 2157-8397 (online)

8 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

SEASON TICKETS ON SALE STARTING JULY 26. Be at the center of it all, as the curtain rises on the Broadway Las Vegas series at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Finally, Las Vegas gets Broadway the way it was meant to be seen—at a world-class center of imagination and inspiration. Tickets start at only $99 for all four shows. Order early to get the best seats, best prices and priority access to WICKED TICKETS. THE COLOR PURPLE April 3 – 8, 2012

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s

MARY POPPINS May 22 – 27, 2012


MEMPHIS July 18 – 22, 2012

For season tickets, visit or call 702.982.7805. • Find us on Original Broadway Cast member Eddie Clendening as Elvis Presley in Million Dollar Quartet. Montego Glover and Chad Kimball from the Original Broadway Cast of Memphis. Mary Poppins© Disney / CML. Photos by Joan Marcus.



p u blishe D B y nevada p u blic radio

nevada public radio BOARD OF DIRECTORS Officers Elizabeth FRETWELL, Chair City of Las Vegas

Nobody does it like us!

Susan Brennan, vice chair NV Energy REED RADOSEVICH, Treasurer Northern Trust Bank Florence M.E. Rogers, Secretary Nevada Public Radio DIRECTORS shamoon ahmad, m.d., mba, facp Cynthia Alexander, Esq. Snell & Wilmer

Schilling Horticulture approaches the design, installation and maintenance of landscape as a combination of art, science and craftsmanship. We create outdoor living space that fulfills YOUR desires, while simultaneously achieving sustainability and incredible beauty throughout the year. We do the best landscape work in Southern Nevada!

Richard I. Dreitzer Fox Rothschild LLP Al Gibes Al Gibes Enterprises Carolyn G. Goodman Meadows School Marilyn Gubler The Las Vegas Archive Kurtis Wade Johnson Absolute Auto Care

Patrick N. Chapin, Esq., Director Emeritus

edmÉe s. marcek College of Southern Nevada

sherri gilligan MGM Resorts International jan L. jones Caesars Entertainment Corporation John R. Klai II Klai Juba Architects Lamar Marchese, President Emeritus

Chris Murray Director Emeritus Avissa Corporation Curtis L. Myles III Las Vegas Monorail Jerry Nadal Cirque du Soleil Peter O’Neill R&R Partners

license 0057280

DENNIS COBB President, DCC Group

Megan Jones Friends for Harry Reid

William mason Taylor International Corporation

Design | Installation | Renovation | Consultation | Maintenance | Tree Care Hardscapes | Small Jobs | Irrigation | Lighting

David Cabral American Commonwealth Mortgage

Louis Castle, Director Emeritus


“The thing is, desert landscapes can be incredibly beautiful AND low maintenance, when they’re done well. And you get to feel good about it!” — Norm Schilling, of KNPR’s Desert Bloom

nevada public radio COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD Mark ricciardi, esq. Chairman Fisher & Phillips, LLP

William J. “Bill” Noonan, Director Emeritus Boyd Gaming Corporation MARK RICCiARDI, Esq., director emeritus Fisher & Phillips, LLP

Susan K. Moore Lieutenant Governor’s Office JENNA MORTON Steve Parker UNLV Richard Plaster Signature Homes Chris Roman Entravision Kim Russell Smith Center for the Performing Arts CANDY SCHNEIDER Smith Center for the Performing Arts Stephanie Smith Bob Stoldal Sunbelt Communications Co. kate turner whiteley Kirvin Doak Communications Brent Wright Wright Engineers bob gerst Boyd Gaming Corporation

Mickey Roemer, Director Emeritus Roemer Gaming TIM WONG Arcata Associates

(702) 452-5272

3433 Losee Road, Suite 4 North Las Vegas, NV 89030 10 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

Follow us online:


AUG 31


... n i a g a r a e ye h t f o e m i It’s that t

s! er saving m m u s l cia ge of spe a t n a v d a ake room to t w o h s y b ar visit a ne r o s u ll a C

Call us or stop by our Las Vegas showroom to discuss your needs and explore endless possibilities. 6825 W. Russell Rd. #100 T 702.202.4185 CHICAGO HOUSTON IRVINE LOS ANGELES LAS VEGAS MIAMI


The signature choice for today’s interiors.




The original ouchie cure: toys!

Please write a caption here so the photo can be explained


P H OTO : I S TO C K P H OTO . co m / sko d o n n e l l

Wet work

You don’t imagine a 4,000-page doorstop of a government report making a splash, but this one is: The Bureau of Land Management’s June draft report on the possible environmental effects of the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s proposed pipeline plan. In case you’ve been living under a mesquite tree: As drought insurance, the authority wants to build a more than 300-mile network of pipes into central-eastern Nevada to send water to the Las Vegas Valley. For the water, it needs a nod from the state engineer. But for rights of way, it needs approval from the BLM — which, among many enviros and conservationists, is often seen as, well, a bunch of pushovers. Which is why opponents of the pipeline plan are pleasantly surprised at the report’s sometimes strong language. In a nutshell, the BLM concludes that the pipeline, which aims to withdraw as much as 176,000 acre-feet of groundwater a year, could drop water tables, dry up sensitive land, kill off native vegetation and hurt federally protected animals.



Hear More

“It’s a pretty damning report,” says Rob Mrowka of the Center for Biological Diversity. “I’m pleasantly surprised by what the BLM put into the report.” Mrowka encapsulates the report like this: “If you thought your future generations of grandkids and great grandkids were going to enjoy the same Nevada you enjoy as far as hunting, fishing, hiking and rural community, you’re wrong, because the landscape will be dramatically changed for the worse if this pipeline goes through.” Zane Marshall, director of the environmental resources department at the authority, says this report is hardly the last word. He’s got a few technical objections, and notes that the BLM’s scenarios about environmental impacts over the next 200 years are just that — scenarios — that don’t account for unknowns such as where the authority will actually sink its wells. “This is a long-term project and long-term process,” says Marshall, who will respond to the report as part of the comment period. “We’re not planning this for tomorrow. This is a project for decades.” Read the report and learn how to comment on it at — Andrew Kiraly

When my 3-year-old burned his fingers on the stove, we took him to the UMC Burn Center. After bandaging, he received from the doctor a simple toy wooden car — with really fast wheels. His decidedly low-tech Toys 4 Smiles car is one of those small things that can completely change how a child thinks of doctors and hospital visits. “I hear wonderful stories like yours all the time,” says Rex Doty, who started making toys out of scrap wood in 2006. In 2010, he founded the Toys 4 Smiles Foundation, distributing more than 90,000 cars to date at places like Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation and Safe Nest. “The response from the community has been incredible.” Doty needs volunteers. He says the nonprofit could make more toys if a few people could give 15 hours a month, woodworking experience not needed. “It’s all about bringing smiles to children’s faces,” he says. — Jarret Keene More info:

Pipeline critics and proponents discuss a key court case on “KNPR’s State of Nevada” at d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 13


English broken here


As Hispanic student population grows, funding for English education dwindles. ¡Que loco! by timothy pratt

State Sen. Moises Denis is nearing 50, but he remembers what it was like to sit in an elementary school classroom, years behind his fellow students in reading. Denis was born in the United States but his parents are Cuban. He didn’t speak English when he started first grade in Las Vegas and didn’t read at grade level for another five years. There were no English Language Learner specialists at the time. “I remember being frustrated,” he says. That he persevered is a testimony to the support of his parents. “A lot of Latino students never make it that far,” he notes. A recent Brookings Institution report makes clear that Denis was a fortunate exception to the rule. It points out that more than 5 million students across the nation struggle with schoolwork because they’re still learning English. For many of those who don’t catch up by third grade, the report notes, the gap between them and other students will persist throughout their educational careers. The same report recommends expanding funding for English-language programs that have proven effective as a policy for closing future achievement gaps.

14 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

Nonetheless, faced with overwhelming threats to the education budget from kindergarten through college, the 2011 Legislature could barely consider the issue. Nevada emerged from the session as still being one of less than 10 states in the nation without a weighted, set-aside funding formula for its students who speak English as a second language. (One bill, SB 11, was supposed to tackle the way the state funds education. But instead, a version passed that merely proposes to study the method used for setting budgets.) This despite the fact that, come September, 47,000 students, or almost 1 of every 6 students in the Clark County School District, will be in an ELL program. Nearly 9 of every 10 of them speak Spanish as a first language, and Hispanic students, now more than 40 percent of the total student population, have been driving growth in the district for at least a decade. Not having addressed the need to create the sort of funding formula that states with growing Hispanic populations like Florida and Texas have successfully applied “is sort of like if we had ignored the need to build the I-215,” says Joyce

Haldeman, the associate superintendent who represented the district in Carson City. “ELL has been invisible for 20 years or longer,” says Andres Ramírez, of Ramírez Group, a political and communications consulting firm. “Under a different set of circumstances, this would be the issue that the Hispanic caucus fights for,” he adds. “But here … the whole system is under attack.” Before this session, state Sen. Ruben Kihuen was one of only three Hispanic legislators in a state where more than 1 in 4 residents is Hispanic. Kihuen says that a newly formed Hispanic caucus of eight legislators not only felt it necessary to defend education on all fronts during the session, but also was consumed with other issues of importance to the state’s Hispanic population, including immigration and redistricting. “A lot of these students are bright,” he says. “If you give them the appropriate tools, they can become productive citizens.” Those tools cost money, however. Craig Stevens, director of government relations for the Nevada State Education Association, says states like Florida multiply the amount being spent on each student by 1.5 (or another figure) in order to fund ELL students. “Not every student is funded the same because they are not the same,” he says. Denis has heard constituents say that funding such programs is expensive. “But it is a lot less expensive than leaving a student on their own,” he says, which can result in high dropout rates and other social costs down the road. Sylvia Lazos, a UNLV Boyd School of Law professor, spoke at a May 5 conference on ELL policies and programs at the university. “I think the state is still dodging a bullet,” she says, referring to federal law that requires school districts to adequately fund underserved populations. She cites the case of Arizona, where a lawsuit resulted in the federal government forcing Tucson’s school district to invest in ELL. Lazos says the issue is also important to Nevada’s economy. “Our labor force is increasingly going to be first-generation U.S.-born children of immigrant, working-class families,” she says. Norberta Anderson, director of the ELL program at CCSD, is facing a 20 percent cut in the $20 million from her annual budget that comes from the district’s general fund. She will lose all but 10 of her 160 ELL specialists. She will also gain 51 teachers whose responsibilities will include assisting with teaching English. “Without appropriate funding,” she says, “we’re slowly going to deplete the workforce of the state.”

P H OTO : I S TO C K P H OTO . co m / n u n o

N ews


Dr. Rutu Ezhuthachan keeps kids healthy with an ounce of prevention — and information.

‘Schools offer a great opportunity to educate our children about nutrition.’ Meet Doctor Nose: Last year Dr. Rutu Ezhuthachan and her pediatric staff earned a Public Health Hero Award from the Southern Nevada Health District for getting inside kids’ heads — their noses, that is. It was a project in which her patients’ little noses were swabbed every week at her office to give real-time information to providers across the valley. “It helps us determine when H1N1 is starting, so other doctors in the community know what’s walking through their doors.” All over the world: Born 37 years ago in Bombay, India, Ezhuthachan and her family immigrated to New York then settled in Troy, Michigan. After med school in St. Maarten (in the Caribbean), she did her residency in Detroit before establishing her Vegas practice in ’03. No pain, no gain: Ezhuthachan received two Silver Syringe awards (from the Southern Nevada Immunization Coalition and Nevada Covering Kids and Families) in recent years for her efforts in childhood immunization. “Immunizing kids also protects the health of our community, especially those who for medical reasons can’t be vaccinated,” she says. Bulge battler: She created a summer camp program with the YMCA that teaches pre-teens about nutrition and activity; camp kids showed measured health improvements after just six weeks. She’s often invited to speak at conferences on pediatric obesity, a disorder she says qualifies as an epidemic. “Our society has created an instant-gratification culture. With two working parents, it’s harder to sit down together. And let’s face it: The economy makes it challenging for parents to eat healthy.” Still, Ezhuthachan insists we can do even more in schools to educate and incorporate nutrition into the curriculum. No Mac attacks? A single working mom, she packs her two kids’ junk-free lunches every morning. She enjoys Big Macs as much as anyone, but there’s a catch. “My kids and I walk three miles to the nearest McDonald’s,” she laughs. —Jarret Keene

16 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

PHOTOGRAPHY By Christopher Smith


n 1993, I started Ear, Nose and Throat Consultants in Las Vegas. Now we are a nine-partner practice. We bank with City National because they always look for ways to help, just like a community bank would do. But they are large enough to provide all the resources we need to keep growing. City National is a very unique bank. They work with you and help you grow, but they are conservative in their approach, which has been extremely helpful over the last few years. I have City National handle my personal wealth management, too. The fact that they are very safe and sound is especially comforting. City National is The way up® for me and my business.

Walter Schroeder, M.D. Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

©2009 City National Bank

To hear Dr. Schroeder’s complete story visit For a relationship you can trust, call Lee Pullan at (702) 952-4448

Nevada’s Premier Private and Business Bank sm

Member FDIC


shiny new things

An eye for an eye (in a good way)

From left: Gypsy05’s overlay mini-dress, Joplin poncho sweater and poppy lace maxi skirt

n e w a n d n o ta b l e


Art and fashion: tied at the hip bone-corset Concept store BluNoir, opening early September at Tivoli Village in Summerlin, promises to be more European salon than West Coast boutique — although you’ll find plenty of celebrity favorite brands such as Autumn Cashmere, Rory Beca, Adriano Goldschmied and Hollywood-made Gypsy05. Stocking a roster of international brands that might prove intimidating to other retailers should come naturally for Sarbonne-educated and Parisraised founder Anais Leigh, who plans to import what in many cases are the first State-side offerings of well-loved European (mostly French) brands. We’re excited about menswear-inspired ba&sh, trendy and ultra-feminine Axara and Zazazou, makers of ecochic T-shirts, bags and paper goods. Browsing the range of neo-vintage women’s wear,

vintage designer sunglasses, home decor and vintage music items would feel like raiding your fashionable best friend’s closet, if that friend were to offer to bring items closer for your inspection while you rested luxuriously upon a divan and then provided you with an uber-tech-savvy mobile point-of-sale system to purchase your must-haves from the comfort of your seat. It’s part art gallery, part home and all lifestyle. Focused on bridging cultural gaps, BluNoir is also planning to partner with local artists, working with an advisory board of UNLV professors to engage a series of BluNoir-sponsored artists for monthlong, in-store exhibitions. BluNoir’s portion of proceeds from the sales will support charitable facets of their mission and be donated to local non-profits. The group plans four future Las Vegas locations, opening a shop a year starting in 2013. The online store is projected to hit browsers in September at — Maureen Adamo

D o n ’ t MISS ! Vogue’s ambition know no bounds, and, as evidence, its annual Fashion’s Night Out fete is back, now expanding to online shoppers. Beginning 6 p.m. Sept. 8 (some retailers will host earlier events, check with your favorite store), mix with designers and celebrities while taking in mini-catwalks, mini-hors d’oeuvres and some exclusive designer deals. The after-hours shopping spree, in its third year, is also bringing back its special FNO collection at selected retailers in-store and online. The official list of participants will be released mid-August at, where you can also track updates via the Twitter feed. Sadly, it’s just informed us Anna Wintour will be in Tokyo for this year’s event, but we’ll try to carry on without her. — M.A.

18 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

Last month, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie — famous for his One for One mission (for every purchase made, a donation in kind is given to someone in need somewhere else in the world) and bringing espadrilles to the feet of urbanites everywhere — launched a new eyewear line. Giving us a new spin on iconic looks, TOMS offers three classic styles for women and two for men. As you’d expect, every pair of sunglasses you buy dedicates the funds for medical treatment, prescription eyeglasses or sight-saving surgery for someone who needs it. Now that’s retail therapy we can feel good about! — M.A. ($135, Neiman Marcus, Fashion Show Mall)


Dissed herbing Does a new state law protect consumers from quacks, or target health food experts?

N by heidi kyser


foods store, and you ask an employee about curing heartburn or lowering your blood pressure with foods or herbal supplements, pay close attention to the answer. A new state law that goes into effect Oct. 1 is intended to regulate dietitians — but could impact the business of nutritionists and herbalists by limiting the advice they can give. At stake is some $50 billion of alternative medicine expenditures in the U.S., according to a May report by Salon. Health care industry website estimates that, as of December 2008, 38 percent of Americans over the age of 18 and 12 percent of children used some form of complementary or alternative medicine. Ask either dietitians or nutritionists, though, and they’ll say they only want the greater good. “It’s consumer protection,” says Pam Wagner, a registered dietitian and president-elect of the Nevada Dietetic Association, explaining the new law, Assembly Bill 289, which passed in the recent legislative session. According to Wagner, who helped craft the bill, it was aimed only at regulating the dietetics trade by giving the State Board of Health oversight of licensed dietitians. The Nevada group based its bill on a template from the National Dietetic Association, including industry standards and scope of practice. Wagner says those elements “make us different from


Hear More

a nutritionist or a naturopath. … Dietetics is evidence-based.” The new law was necessary, she adds, because the national organization administers tests and grants licenses to dietitians, but doesn’t enforce the rules. That’s each state’s job, just as it is with doctors, nurses and other healthcare practitioners. “We’ll be watching to make sure that people maintain their continuing education like they should, that they haven’t operated out of the scope of practice” by doing things such as giving injections, Wagner says. Once the state board gets up and running, it will create an online resource where consumers can find information about licensed dietitians. Assemblywoman April Mastroluca, who introduced the bill, says it will give people “a

level of comfort that these (dietitians) have a certain level of training and have passed certain tests and, therefore, can properly diagnose and counsel them in relation to food and nutrition.” A longtime sufferer of celiac disease, Mastroluca believes the law will regulate dietitians without limiting consumers’ reliance on “nutritionists or holistic doctors or other people whose advice they’ve trusted for many years. … I’ve given many people advice on things they should and shouldn’t eat for celiac disease,” she says. “Why would I support a law that makes that illegal?”

Healthy skepticism Still, some feel the language of the bill is too broad — even after it was amended

What about growing your own food? Hear how on “KNPR’s State of Nevada” at

20 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

© i S to c k p h oto . c o m / E l e n at h e w i se

Next time you’re at your local natural

Whirl into a water-smart car wash near you. Listings at It’s a desert out there. Be


Uniting Western, eastern and Holistic Medicines

Discover the Difference


meDicine can make in your

health care....


Family Practice Primary Care Urgent care

MicHel M. Joffe, Md Wen i. gUo, Md, PHd and noW Joining oUr staff:

r. PraMod KUMar, Md

22 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

to exclude a variety of professions, including chiropractor, massage therapist and “doctor of Oriental medicine.” “Although (the law) looks to be only controlling dietitians, it is so broad that it may be interpreted in many different ways. If so, the natural/holistic industry is in for major problems in Nevada,” says Pauline Alwes, a naturopathic doctor in Las Vegas. Of particular concern are herbalists and nutritionists, whose job could be construed as including “nutrition services” designated by the bill as the purview of dietitians. Wagner says nutritionists should be wary of offering these services; the problem, she explains, is that the state has no well-defined term for nutritionists. “Anybody could put a sign in the back of their car saying that they’re a nutritionist, and there’d be nothing stopping them.” But, Wagner warns, “If you begin to operate in (dietitians’) scope of practice, there may be something to that. And our scope of practice is outlined in the law.” The next step is for the state board to write the actual regulations, which will govern the practice of dietetics, as defined. Among other things, the board will let the public know what to expect when visiting a dietitian and provide a place for consumers to lodge complaints. It won’t, however, have any say in what happens when you visit, for instance, an Ayurvedic consultant who doesn’t have a license to practice dietetics or claim to be a dietitian. For the average consumer, the distinction is a question of semantics. “A nutritionist cannot prescribe, claim to treat, diagnose, or provide information to cure one’s ailment. There is strict language when working with a client that you have to be mindful of,” says Melissa Blynn, a fitness trainer certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a holistic nutritional consultant certified through the Global College of Natural Medicine. Her example of language not allowed: “If you take aloe vera juice, it will cure you of your heartburn.” Example of language allowed: “I suggest trying aloe vera juice as an alternative option for your heartburn.”

The big takeover? Despite complaints from some holistic practitioners, Wagner says the law is “absolutely not” meant to give dietitians control of the health food and supplements industry by putting a gag on others in the business. “We wanted consumers to be able to access a nutrition professional that was licensed, just

like you can know the difference between a licensed nurse and an unlicensed nurse. It’s not going to shut anything down,” she says. Furthermore, Wagner adds, it may help people get insurance coverage for nutrition services provided by licensed dietitians, since an obstacle to that in the past has been the lack of state standards for preventive therapies. Mastroluca stresses that the state board is only charged with overseeing nationally licensed dietitians in Nevada. From the health care practitioner’s perspective, the new law won’t affect anyone other than the state’s 681 registered dietitians — unless someone calls himself a dietitian or offers services defined under the scope of dietetics. Which circles back to the sticky question of when talking about the health benefits of food crosses the line between nutritional suggestion and dietetic consultation. The solution? Either become a licensed dietitian (which requires a four-year degree, plus 1,200 hours of additional training, plus accreditation exams and fees) or make sure you know the law and abide by it. Despite its success in getting the law amended to exclude many occupations, the alternative medicine side is retrenching. Jim Jenks, owner of Herbs Plus in Washoe Valley and an unpaid lobbyist for the alternative medicine industry, says he’s already pushing for a bill in the next legislative session that defines the scope of practice for his field. “It says that if you want to sell herbs and talk about nutrition to the public, you need to put up on the wall your education, so that the consumer is not overly informed by your enthusiasm, and they know you’re not trying to play doctor,” he says. In addition, Alwes is leading the charge to have a volunteer board qualify holistic practitioners by their training and background, and make that information available to the public. But perhaps the most compelling evidence that the fight isn’t over is the wait-and-see attitude of health food stores. A spokesperson for Whole Foods Market says, “We’re still evaluating how this legislation may affect our company when it comes to selling supplements in our stores.” Whatever the forthcoming regulations of the new dietetics board do say, one thing seems certain to James Cox, co-owner of Rainbow’s End Natural Foods in Las Vegas: It stands to affect his business more than that of large chain stores, which can afford to hire $30-an-hour dietitians. If that turns out to be necessary, he says, “it will hurt mom-and-pops… like us.”

GETTING YOU BACK HOME At HealthSouth providing high-quality inpatient rehabilitation is what we do every day. We are one of the nation’s largest providers and can leverage our network to provide patients with the latest treatments and technologies to get them on the road to recovery. Our team of rehabilitation nurses, physicians, therapists and clinicians work as a team to provide individualized care for each patient based on their desired goals. We are proud to announce our newest addition to HealthSouth Las Vegas network of hospitals – HealthSouth Desert Canyon Rehabilitation Hospital. Located in the southwest corner of Las Vegas, HealthSouth Desert Canyon offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. Designed with the patient in mind, each room is private, and our therapy gyms offer the very latest in rehabilitation technology. What Sets Us Apart? Our Hospitals differ from traditional inpatient facilities, such as nursing homes, in that we track our outcomes, insist on a pristine environment and offer an intensive approach to rehabilitation, supervised by frequent physician visits. It’s this approach that allows us to achieve superior outcomes.

The AutoAmbulator® helps patients learn to walk again, improving balance, coordination and posture.

A Higher Level of Care

For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact our hospital 702 252-7342. HealthSouth Desert Canyon Rehabilitation Hospital 9175 W. Oquendo Road • Las Vegas, NV 89148 • 702 252-7342

©2011:HealthSouth Corporation:476185



3" Super Density LCD Monitor


3" Vari-Angle LCD Monitor

4511 W. Sahara Avenue Las Vegas, NV 89102 702-871-1100 Check for Nikon Instant Savings at

3" LCD Monitor

All Nikon products include Nikon Inc. USA limited warranty. ©2011 Nikon Inc.


The quiet storm Bill Harrah changed the face of gaming — very quietly. Why aren’t we celebrating this unassuming innovator?

E by steve friess

Even in his day, Bill Harrah was an enigma. He was at once omnipresent, innovative and vain — as well as awkward, reserved and milquetoast. He loomed as large over the gaming industry and the state of Nevada as Steve Wynn or Moe Dalitz ever did, and yet he was no one’s idea of a force of nature, nobody’s best friend, no one you would have been all that excited to meet. This conundrum may go a long way to explaining why it is that, despite having his name on more casinos than anybody else in history, there will be little fanfare to commemorate what would have been his 100th birthday on Sept. 2. His original property, now known as Harrah’s Reno, is offering gambling tournaments and a special concert series, displaying some of his classic cars in the casino and gifting commemorative gaming chips to high rollers, but beyond that, you’d have to be a fairly astute student of gambling history to even know an occasion was passing. “It’s a business that’s not as devoted to history as it should be,” says Dave Schwartz, director for the Center For Gaming Research at University of Nevada at Las Vegas and author of “Roll The Bones: The History of Gambling.” “A lot of the casinos don’t really want to remind you they’ve been around a long time, which seems incongruous to me because, hey, you’ve got longevity.” Carpet, keno and eyes in the sky And not just longevity for longevity’s


sake, either. The list of casino-industry innovations implemented by Harrah, who died at 66


Hear More

Bill Harrah, right, with his father, John Harrah, outside Harrah’s Bingo Club, circa 1959

What the heck happened to Atlantic City? Hear the tale on “KNPR’s State of Nevada” at

24 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

Photos Courtesy of UNLV SPECIAL collections


Do you have an

IRS TAX PROBLEM? I CAN SAVE YOU MONEY! Richard A. Perlman, Enrolled Agent Licensed by Department of the Treasury 30-YEAR CAREER WITH THE IRS

Harrah’s car collection — a glimmer of enthusiasm in a staid personality


Are you a financially distressed mortgage borrower who is in need of an exit strategy now? NOGGLE LAW, PLLC has solutions for you that will ease your financial burden. Gain peace of mind by calling for an appointment at 702.450.6300 or visit us at REAL EstAtE sERviCEs • Short Sales • Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program • Foreclosure Defense & Deficiency Judgements

BusiNEss ANd PERsONAL sERviCEs • Corporations & LLCs Formation & Governance • Commercial Lending • Business Acquisition and Sales

1880 E. Warm Springs Rd. # 110 Las Vegas, NV 89119-4679 • (702) 450-6300

26 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

in 1978, is so extensive it’s hard to imagine the casino business as it is today without them. At his first full casino, opened in 1946 as Harrah’s Club but rebranded Harrah’s Reno after he built a property at Lake Tahoe in 1959, he installed the first casino carpeting, hired the first female dealers and offered the first gaming lessons to customers. The concept of the keno runner was invented there after a guest complained she couldn’t play blackjack and keno at the same time, and the industry’s first “eye in the sky” was a passageway built above the gaming floor where security could watch out for cheaters via one-way glass. Harrah was gifted at finding ways to keep the customer coming back, says former Harrah’s Entertainment CEO Phil Satre. At a time when most casino operators had little interest to catering to women, he realized that they preferred slot machines and began loading up the casino to entertain them while the men took to the gaming tables. By the 1960s, he had created the first customer loyalty program, adding meters to slot machines to keep track of play and giving customers credits they redeemed for such prizes as TV sets or golf clubs. It was Harrah, a powerful political influence, who had to be persuaded to support a change in the law that allowed corporate ownership of casinos, the match that ignited the Vegas economy.

The great unknown Yet he did all of this while remaining a respected but unknowable figure, says

Satre, who first worked for Harrah privately as a lawyer attending to his personal tax and estate matters. Harrah almost never spoke to reporters, did not mingle with customers and delegated authority so effectively he rarely interacted in a meaningful way with the managers who carried out his visions. His longtime driver, Hank Wiley, spent countless days and nights with the man and could only say: “He was real nice. He didn’t say much, but he was just groovy.” Another veteran employee, Dwayne Kling, managed 400 employees for Harrah at Lake Tahoe, but says, “I didn’t say 10 words to Bill Harrah in my entire life or him to me.” “He didn’t have that hail-fellow-well-met personality. His handshake was almost like a wet fish,” says Satre, who helmed the company until 2005 and is now chairman of the board of slotmaker IGT. “His style was to pursue his interests and do so in a way that created a lot of loyalty for the people who worked for him. But I don’t think anyone really was all that close to him.” That’s not to say he wasn’t an intriguingly strange man. Harrah was famed as classic car enthusiast and collector, but few knew he made a point of driving each of his more than 1,400 vehicles at least a mile once a year. He flew to Italy once a year to have suits and ties handmade by Brioni, and had them numbered so he could avoid ever wearing the same clothes twice when dining with entertainers who played his hotels.

None of this, however, is a prescription for enduring stardom, Schwartz says, which may explain the lackluster effort being made to commemorate his centennial across the company that last year changed its name from Harrah’s Entertainment to Caesars Entertainment. While his name remains in use on dozens of casinos across the United States, the corporation is a dramatically different, unrecognizable entity than when he died. It was Satre who took the company into Atlantic City, Las Vegas and then beyond when Indian gaming and overseas markets presented opportunities, until Harrah’s was the largest gambling conglomerate in the world.

Bland ambition For their part, Caesars officials insist they are not overlooking the occasion or actively de-emphasizing Harrah, but they note that the Reno and Tahoe properties were the only ones he owned or ran and, thus, Northern Nevada is the natural home for centennialrelated events. The corporate name change was meant to take advantage of Caesars’ name awareness abroad, says Vice President for Advertising Monica Sullivan, but Harrah’s remains a core brand. Sullivan says there will be some internal acknowledgment of Harrah’s birthday in the form of posters and messages bearing famous Harrah slogans and comments in spaces like the employee dining room to remind the workers of the legacy of customer service that the founder prescribed. “It’s not necessarily a consumer-facing experience, but reminders of the culture of what Bill started,” she says. Still, the lack of anything more than that disappoints — but does not surprise — historians. “You don’t really hear a lot said about the innovators of the past from these companies, and you usually don’t hear about that because a lot of them had checkered pasts, and a lot of those who didn’t have checkered pasts in the Mob way weren’t that exciting,” says Schwartz, who is completing a book on Circus Circus and Caesars Palace developer Jay Sarno, another gaming iconoclast whose story is now unfamiliar to most. “Harrah was a businessman, he got married seven times, had his car collection, but if it wasn’t his wives or his cars or his casinos, there wasn’t that much there. Even though his name was very important, he didn’t really have a cult of personality around him that made him missed much personally.” But the unassuming Harrah certainly made a lasting impression on how casinos operate today.



All business when it comes to law. In litigation, success is not measured by the number of lawyers or the amount of the bill. At the Courthouse, quality beats quantity every time. Watson Rounds’ skilled trial attorneys bring relentless passion to your case and do things right the first time. It is our combination of experience and effort that yields our success in intellectual property, tort, business litigation and transactions. When you need lawyers for your business, hire the lawyers whose billable hours really count — Watson Rounds.




Reno • Las Vegas • San Francisco

W A T S O N R O U N D S . C O M

777 N. Rainbow Blvd. Ste. 350 • Las Vegas, NV 89107 [ P ] 702.636.4902 • [ F ] 702.636.4904

“We’re proud of our work . . . our reputation and the company we keep. Thanks for the opportunities.”

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 27


“I’m not against aging,” says Dr. Life. “I’m against getting old.”

Live you long time The secret to longevity? Exercise, diet — and hormone injections? A man named Dr. Life (really!) explains by max plenke



Hear More

Hear a discussion of senior health on “KNPR’s State of Nevada” at

28 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

C o u r t e s y o f D R . L I FE


Dr. Jeffry Life can kick me in the face. He tells me this at 6 in the morning, before the sun and my eyelids are fully up, before the second-to-last set of his morning weightlifting routine at a Las Vegas Athletic Club near Summerlin. I’ve been told this before. But never in such a friendly tone — and never from a man in his 70s. “I never used to be able to kick higher than this,” he says, lifting his foot a few inches above the ground. “But my instructor told me a flexible man is a sexual man. She has a lifelong client now.” The high kick is the product of Life’s blue belt degree in Tae Kwon Do, something he practices three times a week after work. I should be more surprised by the statement — both the threat to my jaw and some old man practicing martial arts half of every week. But I’ve spent the last few minutes watching Life lift more than my body weight in multiple positions and repetitions, and looking at his weekly exercise regimen. He lifts weights with Rod, his ex-military trainer of four years, who looks like he was born when two Sherman tanks collided. “This is what we do every morning,” Rod says. “He’s getting better with age, which is contrary to most people.” The Doc uses pump-up phrases like “Let’s rock ‘n’ roll” when he’s ready for another set. Beautiful women in their 30s stop to watch him push and pull, at which point he starts talking more about his wife of 12 years, who’s almost two decades his junior. Maybe they’re impressed; he is, after all, old enough to be their father or grandfather, and probably in better shape than most of their boyfriends. Or maybe they recognize him as the poster boy from that ad. You know the one: It’s on numerous health websites, LVAC video screens and billboards around town. The one brandishing a ripped, beaming bald guy with the frame of a USC defensive tackle, advertising age management medicine — the 21st century’s next step toward the fountain of youth. “I’m not against aging,” Life says later at his office overlooking the Strip. “Everything ages. I’m against getting old. Age management medicine is about not getting old. It’s about doing

profile all the things you need to do to maintain optimal health and vitality and not lose your sexual function or muscle mass or energy levels.” Life’s full of these reassuring, quippy phrases. He sounds like a self-help smartphone app at times, interspersed with little grandfatherly stories about people recognizing him at the airport — these are the only times he seems his age.

The injection connection At work, Life walks around like the rooster Dr. Life gets his kicks during a recent workout.

and why his schedule, in between personal fitness and celebrity and executive client consultations, is full of interviews and video shoots. In his book, he writes almost obsessively about nutrition, exercise and the benefits of the injections Life swears by and has been taking himself for years. It’s the superlative power-sell, starting with the typical health

book concepts (Eat clean! Get enough sleep! Track your workouts!) and then ending with a bang: A third of the book covers vitamins, disease-prevention and hormones — all of which Life’s medical practice offers. That last one — hormones — is what sets him apart from many longevity docs, and not without controversy.

SMALV.COM 702.877.5199

30 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

P h oto : C h r i s to h p e r S m i t h

of the coop: Strutting, his jacket and tie hung up, multiple buttons of his dress shirt undone, exposing man-cleavage that should belong to a 30-year-old pool boy. Maintenance men call him sir. He calls them by their first names, asks them how they’re doing in the calm, deliberate voice he uses for everything. Studio-quality photos of his torso and arms are plastered on the walls of the office lobby, the ultimate hybrid of hubris and client motivation. Stacks and stacks of his book, The Life Plan, are on most surfaces, housing his two young, astonishingly cute secretaries in self-help castles. The book is the reason he’s showing up everywhere lately,

The building blocks In the middle of the day, Bret FitzGerald, the LVAC vice president, walks in wearing cut-off sweatpants and a T-shirt. It’s a little surreal seeing a man worth more than the city’s foreclosed houses sweating in his slummin’-it wardrobe. He’s coming for the equivalent of a check-up; a workout that tests everything from flexibility to strength to resting heart rate. Like Life, he’s energetic for an older guy. He joined the program a year ago when he found himself getting tired and losing energy, unable to keep up with his kid — what Life calls a decline in his zest for life. After hours with Life’s trainer, FitzGerald and Life sit down to talk about how he’s been over the past few months — not necessarily his mood, but his building blocks: His blood. His muscles. His overall stamina. They’re getting better. But it always takes more effort, especially to hit the goal — Dr. Life. “My big plan of getting older but being younger is working,” FitzGerald says. “This program is my way to live as long as I can and continuing to snowboard, mountain bike and do triathlons until I’m 85 or 90.” It doesn’t come cheap. The reason most of Life’s clients are executive types and celebrities is because they’re the ones who can afford to pay the initial $3,995 evaluation cost and $1,000 a month for tests, medicines and supplements — none of which are covered by any insurance plan. Life’s been on the program for 13 years and takes what he calls a handful of pills daily — what actually comes out to around 30 a day, plus testosterone twice a week. Even before that, Life won the Body for Life contest in 1998 for his age group; he was already a buff old man after a doctor’s visit (and the threat of diabetes) scared him into the gym. But according to Life, even eating well and working out hard can’t sustain you through old age. That’s when he started working with Cenegenics, the big local age-management medicine practitioners, and got himself on a regimen of injections that gave him the testosterone levels of a man half his age — which eventually led to him donning a Cenegenics lab coat. “Dr. Jeff Life has been the quintessential physician — passionate for medicine, dedicated to patient care and consistently striving for medical excellence,” writes Cenegenics COO Kristy Berry in an email. “His longstanding commitment to age management medicine, from his medical practice to his personal health and lifestyle, are nothing short of inspirational.”

Playing God? Heck yeah If “Age Management” sounds like playing God, that’s essentially what’s happening,


That’s not an odd question, coming from a hospital. The answer to that is our reason for being. And we’re here for you in ways that should make you proud.

A s S o u t h e r n N e v a d a’s o n l y p u b l i c h o s p i t a l, we ex i s t b e c a u s e o f yo u . We exist for you. Your neighbors are under our care, and because of you, we can provide some of the best care in Nevada. We have the only Level I Trauma Center in the state. It serves not only Southern Nevada, but also par ts of California, Utah and Arizona. It’s staffed around the clock with highly skilled specialists, all to get a patient to surger y in less than five minutes. Our Trauma Center treats about 30,000 patients every year, and our survival rates are some of the best in the nation. In 19 6 8, we op e ne d the L ion s Bur n Care Center. This, too, is the only one of its k in d in N evada , with the o nl y hyperbaric chamber of its kind west of the Mississippi. This chamber delivers high concentrations of oxygen to the bloodstream, helping stubborn wounds h e a l f a s te r w h i l e c u t t i n g d ow n t h e chance of infection, making it effective for more than just burns. We treated nearly 1,000 people there last year.

And then there’s the Children’s Hospital of Nevada, offering the highest level of care for our kids with Nevada’s only Level II Pediatric Trauma Unit, a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and

the only burn and transplant services for children. Our Pediatric Emergency Room and our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit are staffed around the clock with board-cer tified pediatric specialists w h o k n ow t h a t l i t t l e p a t i e n t s n e e d specific treatment. We also provide the only organ transplant program in Nevada. We offer awardwinning cardiac care. We’re the state’s center for HIV/AIDS research. We have one of the only board-certified stroke specialists in Las Vegas. Since 1931, we’ve made it our mission t o g i v e y o u t h e c a r e y o u c a n’ t g e t anywhere else in Nevada. Every day we give all we can, and then find ways to give more. This is what we’ve built—this is what we’ve all built. Together, we’ve built a place for healing and research and discovery.


d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 31

Ca N No re S e wb w pe or Av ci n ai al la ist bl s e

Luxurious Care for Family and Home CALL US FOR CHI L D R E N ’ S S U M M E R TUTORING SPECI A L S NANNIES • HOUSEK E E P E R S • B A B Y S I T T E R S ELDERCARE • PERS O N A L C O O K S & C H E F S HOUSEHOLD PROFES S I O N A L S Representing several college-educated nannies and teachers. Full Time, Part Time & On Call. Licensed. Bonded. Insured.



(702) 451-0021

The colors shown on this page are not accurate representations of PANTONE, MADEIRA, FUFU, JUNHUEI or PARIS color standards. Whatever process or materials you use, please match your colors to the PANTONE, MADEIRA, FUFU, JUNHUEI or PARIS numbers indicated on this page.

profile whether or not the doctors who practice want to admit it: Life and doctors like him promote the idea of healthy aging by injecting testosterone and, in some cases, Human Growth Hormone (HGH), raising the levels of testosterone that diminish as we age. Not all medical professionals think it’s such a great idea. For example, a 2010 New England Journal of Medicine study found adverse side effects — high rates of cardiac, respiratory and dermatologic events, the former of which Life’s working to reverse in himself — that made their own test come to a halt. “I think (human growth hormone) is dangerous, expensive, and inappropriately used all across the board,” says another skeptic, Walter M. Bortz II at the Stanford University School of Medicine, who focuses his practice on longevity and healthy aging. “I’m categorically opposed to the use of growth hormone except for dwarf kids, that’s the only reason for it.” And he says any benefits of additional testosterone are outweighed by the increased risk of prostate cancer it introduces. But Dr. Life says it’s a no-brainer for him. “I don’t feel the least bit bad knowing what I have to do to keep this quality of life and this level of energy and fitness,” he says. “As people get older, their quality of life declines until they’re put in a personal care home, then a nursing home, and then they die. My whole goal is to sustain that quality of life that people have at age 40 and keep that going as long as possible, and not have your death dragged out over years.”

High on kicks Weeks later, Life isn’t dragging any-


32 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

thing, especially his feet. It’s Tae Kwon Do day, and his instructor’s making him high-kick his way through the office’s empty lobby area. His marketing manager, his trainer, his astonishingly cute secretaries: all gone for the day. In a thick European accent, the instructor commands him through a regimen of kicks and stretches, making him visibly exhausted for the first time since I met him. “At the end of the day, look at all these women telling me what to do,” he says, half-grinning, half-grimacing after delivering a particularly high kick to the pad, one I can practically feel in my molars, legitimizing his lighthearted threat from weeks ago. As his instructor puts the pads away, Life cleans up and, for the first time that day, pats himself on the back. “If someone told me, when I won the Body for Life contest in 1998, that 13 years later I’d look better, feel better, be healthier and be doing all this stuff, I wouldn’t have believed it. People tell me they’re amazed at how I look. But no one’s more amazed by it than I am.”

Tell us whaT’s on your mind We’ll fill your stomach

To keep bringing you the best in lifestyle journalism, we want to learn a little bit about you. Go to to take our reader survey (it’s brief, we promise!). Five lucky winners will be randomly selected to win dining certificates of $100, $50 or $25. Take the survey at

your stomach Will thank you.

published by nevada public radio


Ferraro’s italian Restaurant


At your Service Catering

experience fine Italian dining at its best! Celebrate this summer with the Locals Advantage and receive 50% off dinner menu from June 1st through September 30th, 4pm – 11pm. Locals Advantage is available only to nevada residents; beverages, tax, and gratuity not included. maximum party size of 8. mangi, Bevi, Divertiti – eat, Drink, enjoy Yourself!

Award-winning Smashburger serves 100-percent Certified Angus Beef cooked-to-order Smashburgers, as well as Smashchicken sandwiches, Smashdogs, Smashsalads, Häagen-Dazs shakes, and sides like veggie frites and rosemary and garlic-seasoned Smashfries, daily from 10am-10pm.

At Your Service Catering has been serving the Las vegas area with the best in culinary creations and high profile event planning and design since 1991. Our expertise allows us to handle events of all sizes, from simple to extravagant. Fully licensed for both food and liquor service, we are more than caterers we are full-service event planners.

4480 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas, nV (702) 364-5300

7541 W. Lake Mead Blvd. 9101 W. Sahara Ave. 5655 Centennial Center Blvd. 4725 S. Maryland Pkwy.

(702) 982-0009 (702) 462-5500 (702) 462-5503 (702) 385-0043

Dominic and Joseph De Patta 633 n. Decatur Blvd. Suite D Las Vegas, nV 89107 (702) 870-1502

Dine in StyLe.

Urban Grill

table 34

egg Works and egg & i

Urban Grill showcases American classics with Asian twists. It’s great food with a keen eye for quality, value and exceptional taste. the bar provides great atmosphere enjoying our 7 days a week happy hour. the restaurant itself offers a large booth seating area providing intimate spaces for conversation. there is also a private dining room with an access to the patio.

Featuring Chef Wes Kendricks’ contemporary American cuisine including safe harbor certified fresh fish, wild game, duck, lamb, angus beef, and comfort food classics. Conveniently located off the 215 near the Airport. Dinner tuesday - Saturday 5pm until closing (around 10pm)

A favorite for locals and tourists alike for breakfast and lunch. these award winning restaurants are Zagat rated and have been featured on the Food network’s rachael’s vacation. their menu is huge, featuring an amazing array of egg creations, home soups, salads, burgers and Cincinnati style chili. the famous homemade banana nut muffin is a must try!!!

9510 S. eastern Ave. Las Vegas, nV 89123 (702) 432-3200

600 east Warm Springs Road Las Vegas, nV 89119 (702) 263-0034

4533 W. Sahara Ave. 9355 W. Flamingo Rd. 2490 e. Sunset Rd.

(702) 364-9686 (702) 368-3447 (702) 873-3447



Reviews In t e rv i e w s



The Dish

The torta with a country inside


Eat This Now

Must-have meals we love PHOTOGRAPHY By Christopher Smith

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 35


Albert’s Tarantella IV Death Valley Luau

Goldwell Open Air Museum presents Albert’s Tarantella IV An eclectic evening of music, art, and theatre in a historic ghost town setting! Saturday, October 1, 2011 7p.m. - 11p.m. $25 per person in advance $30 at the door RED BARN ART CENTER RHYOLITE, NEVADA featuring

Gary Haleamau and

Killian’s Angels Limited Seating! Buy tickets now @ or call

(702) 870-9946

36 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

¡Tortaland! The invisible man behind the legendary, eight-pound torta — and other wonders — at Las Famosas de Jose by sarah kokernot

If you want to find the famous Jose from Las Famosas de Jose, you’re going to have a hard time. For one, the famous Jose is actually a restaurateur named Fernando Rojas. Second, he’s so busy with running and managing his two 24-hour restaurants that his level of industriousness makes him almost invisible — he seems to be everywhere and nowhere. He works the kind of ungodly hours (5 a.m. to 8 p.m.) that would make most people hallucinate pink elephants. However, when you do find him, you’ll discover that Fernando is completely lucid — even chipper — and incredibly focused. Being a successful restaurant owner in this economic climate is akin to being a kung fu master; it requires a near-superhuman amount of discipline and dedication. (Being

Torta overboard! Las Famosas offers tortas “drowned” in sauce.

divorced also helps, he says.) Even Fernando’s so-called days off are spent running errands and maintaining his restaurants. “Descansar es mas alcanzar,” he says. Translation: Days off mean more time to catch up. But all that hard work pays off: Las Famosas de Jose serves up some of the most authentic — and flat-out biggest and boldest — Mexican food in the valley. Today, Fernando’s truck is parked in front of the Tropicana location and filled with boxes of fresh, whole pineapples. The restaurant’s sign advertising “Tortas Grandes!” is in a rainbow of colors and nearly impossible to miss as you drive east. Also hard to miss: an advertisement for lengua (tongue). Generally speaking, the likelihood of getting good Mex-

ican food increases whenever there are internal organs on the menu. No enchiladas hardened in a layer of yellow American “cheese.” Las Famosas has the good stuff: carne al pastor rotating on a spit, corn tortillas and homemade salsa that leaves a satisfying ring of fire around your mouth.

Idle creations Then there are the famous tortas. A torta is like a sandwich, but arguably more awesome, although Fernando shakes his head and claims that the torta is a “creation of idleness.” Much of the torta’s awesomeness has to do with the bolillo, a kind of white bread that looks like a smaller baguette, with a crunchy outside and soft, chewy center. It often has a generous spread of mayonnaise on it and also some kind of delicious meat — such as chorizo (spicy Mexican sausage), pollo milanesa (breaded, flattened chicken) or carne asada (marinated steak). At Las Famosas, they come in gigante size (translation: super huge) or mini-torta size (translation: still substantial).

His tortas are anything but idle creations. He’s got an eight-pound, $16 monster called La Paquita, which can feed a very hungry person for about two days or about six moderately hungry people for one meal. It includes five kinds of meat (ham, carne milanesa, chorizo, sausage, pork leg) and — just in case you’re really starved for protein —  egg. The effect is pretty marvelous: savory, well-marinated and just a tad spicy. If you don’t mind eating a sandwich with a knife and fork, I recommend the torta agohada, or

“drowned torta,” which means that your torta will be fully doused with salsa. (Just don’t drown your torta if you want to eat in the car.)

Torta country Where’d he get such a literally big idea? Fernando pulls out a napkin and borrows my pen to create a an impromptu culinary map of Mexico. He circles the interior of the country, the heart of Mexico — and the heartland of tortas. Fernando himself

Image is Everything. The Right One Can Save Your Life. We are Nevada’s most trusted provider for quality medical imagiNg. Our expert team of over 45 board certified radiologists is the largest group of physicians providing quality diagnostic imaging in Nevada. We operate five ACR accredited outpatient locations throughout Las Vegas and Henderson and are the trusted exclusive radiology providers for ten Nevada hospitals.

Torta man: Fernando Rojas

FROM THE ARCHIVES Read these related stories at February 2011: “Best of the City.” What’s the best Thai food? The best salsa? The best tea? We have the answers

With highly specialized radiologists, skilled and compassionate staff, we provide excellence in care and peace of mind when you need it most.


January 2011: “Sweetness and light.” Time for dessert. Choose one that won’t weigh you down

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 37

Las Famosas’ fish and shrimp tacos

comes from Mexico City, a place where people from all over the country come to work, and where the regional diversity of Mexico comes together in a confluence of tastes. Las Famosas is similarly cosmopolitan. Fernando is open to taking the requests from customers who, much like the denizens in Mexico City, come from all over. “Dicen rana y yo salto,” he says. That is, “They say ‘frog’ and I jump.” But the former Fitzgerald’s hotel-casino chef has plenty of recipes in the can already. At home, he has a handwritten cookbook that took about eight months to put together, and it contains all the recipes used at Las Famosas. (The latest addition to his cookbook is a pink habanero salsa served at the new location on Nellis Boulevard. I tried it on a breakfast taco, and it was spicy enough to act like a caffeine jolt.) Fernando says that he doesn’t want to sound presumido (like a show-off ), but he insists on using the best ingredients he can find: Alaskan tilapia for the fish tacos, Italian bread for the tortas, the best cuts for the carne milanesa. He could buy cheaper ingredients and make a bigger profit, and more than likely, Fernando would be one of the few people to even notice the difference. But you can tell that the marginal difference would bother him. There’s such a well-earned pride about the food that his policy is for people to pay only after they’ve eaten. “It’s not a McDonald’s,” he says. Fernando’s tortas handily beat the Big Mac — by much more than sheer size.

Las Famosas de Jose 2635 E. Tropicana Ave., 450-2444; 400 N. Nellis Blvd. #115, 531-2444.


Our favorite recent dishes that have us coming back for seconds Hamburger at P.J. Clarke’s This might be the perfect burger. It is neither too big nor too small, not too thick nor too thin. What arrives is a small, round plate, with a thick-cut Bermuda onion sitting under a perfectly plain, perfectly fresh bun that is perfectly content to let the beef do the talking. That beef is all a perfect hamburger needs to be: clean, rich, Meyer Ranch beef, correctly ground (not too fine), packed (not too tight), seasoned right and proportional to the bread. In other words: perfect. — John Curtas

inside the Forum Shops at Caesars, 434-7900 Spaghetti al’aglio e olio e pepperocino at Bratalian Neapolitan Cantina There is a delicious, deceptive simplicity to good Italian-American food that is lost at all the faux franchises and cookie-cutter noodle parlors. Spaghetti al’aglio e olio e pepperocino is a case in point. It’s simple spaghetti with oil and garlic, with a touch of hot peppers — one of the most basic of all recipes in the Ital-American canon — but one most often fouled up by cooks not taking the time to cook the garlic and peppers properly. It must be prepared slowly until the garlic slivers attain an almost caramelized, nutty sweetness. When made correctly, it is the consummate peasant pasta dish that gives almost magisterial pleasure. Bratalian’s version is fit for a king. — J.C.

10740 S. Eastern Ave., 454-0104

38 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

Is your veIn Doctor truly boarD - certIfIeD In veIns (phlebology) ? It is an important question — one of trust, safety, quality and competence. And of course the answer should be “yes.” Dr. Rick Bernstein, Medical Director at The Advanced Vein Treatment Center, is one of only a handful of rigorously trained, tested and board-certified vein specialists in the country. With his 20+ years of surgical experience and accreditation from the most trusted and prestigious boards in the field of cardiovascular surgery and phlebology, Dr. Bernstein promises and delivers the highest level of professional, compassionate care. And our unique approach combines state-of-the-art equipment with leading-edge techniques found nowhere else in Nevada, making your choice of a vein specialist a simple one. What about cost? You will find our services are surprisingly affordable, and that our treatments are covered by most health insurances. Call today and we will even arrange a no-cost, no-obligation examination and consultation. So whom should you trust with your vein treatment? The answer is clear: A specialist who is board-certified in veins.

1510 West Horizon Ridge, Suite 150

(702) 878-veIn 8 3 4 6

Rick Bernstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., Medical Director Diplomate of both The American Board of Phlebology and The American Board of Aesthetic Medicine

Specializing in the treatment of: Varicose Veins

spider Veins

Leg pain & sweLLing

Venous Leg uLcers

Also offering Aesthetic/Wellness Services

Leg wounds

after Hydeia Broadbent found that being the face of AIDS awareness is inspiring — and intense.

the Then there’s her life behind the scenes. story by Steve Friess

curtain 40

illustration by Hernan Valencia

mattered little that the boisterous audience could hardly see the tiny girl in the black overall skirt as she stood behind the gigantic podium on that vast stage. Her on-stage companion, a beautiful blonde with a huge, sequined red ribbon pinned to her dress, offered a few words before ceding the microphone, but history would barely remember them. Instead, it was the soft but insistent voice of petite Hydeia Broadbent, then 12 and weighing less than 50 pounds, that brought the 1996 Republican National Convention to a tearful standstill. With a preternatural composure, Hydeia read the 106-word message she dictated to her mother the day before on the flight from Las Vegas to San Diego. “I am the future, and I have AIDS,” began Hydeia, a startling declaration aimed at asking the GOP to pause their culture war long enough to recognize that HIV was wreaking havoc

42 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

on more than just gay men and drug addicts. Continuing on with her tight-knotted braids pinned away from her cherubic face sporting a daring clip-on nose ring, she told them: “I am Hydeia L. Broadbent. I can do anything I put my mind to. I am the next doctor. I am the next lawyer. I am the next Maya Angelou. I might even be the first woman president. I am the future, and I have AIDS. … You can’t crush my dream. I am the future, and I have AIDS.” With that, a star was born. Oprah called. So did “20/20” and People. Hydeia appeared on

the covers of countless magazines, received honors in the next decade from a litany of AIDS and African-American organizations for her awareness activism, became pals with Janet Jackson and was offered modeling contracts and speaking gigs across the country and overseas, too. Conrad Bullard, who ran a foundation named for the child, crowed to Poz Magazine in 1997 that she was “the most popular little AIDS activist in the country.” Given that the only two others anyone had ever heard of — Ryan White and Pedro Zamora — had died, there weren’t many to choose from anyway. Heady times, indeed. Regaled for her ability to take a stage to explain HIV/AIDS to her peers in an informative and entertaining way, Hydeia was likened by one journalist as Shirley Temple in Rudy Huxtable’s body. But now, 15 years after her watershed moment in San Diego transfixed the nation, a different, less flattering comparison comes to mind. Hydeia, now 27 and rebooting her activism career, says she was just a sickly child thrust into the spotlight against her will. “Everything that happened to me is something like what happened to Gary Coleman and the child actors, you see their parents push them,” says Broadbent, who lives alone with her Chihuahua named Itsa in a North Las Vegas apartment and who is so estranged from her mother she doesn’t even have her telephone number. “It started out good. I love my mom; I respect her very much. And she did what she probably thought was best at the time. She just lost her way.” Her mother, 65-year-old Patricia Broadbent, rejects this, but she doesn’t dispute that there was a price for all that fame, all that attention, all the accolades. The end result: a tremendous amount of good done for the cause of raising AIDS awareness — and a fractured family with versions of their history so incongruous as to be irreconcilable.

‘When my mission is over, it’ll be my time to go’

Here’s another fact nobody disputes: Hydeia Broadbent wasn’t supposed to be alive today. In fact, as Hydeia mentions in every speech she gives, the doctors told her parents she’d likely be dead by age 5. Pat Broadbent, a social worker, and her then-husband, contractor Loren Broadbent, took in 6-week-old Hydeia shortly after her drug-addicted mother gave her up in 1984. The couple, who had already raised four children, wouldn’t learn Hydeia had AIDS until the same woman gave birth to a boy in 1987, by which time it had become mandatory to test drug addicts and their newborns for HIV. Hydeia’s half-brother tested positive,

“You can’t crush my dream,” Hydeia told the Republican National Convention. “I am the future, and I have AIDS.”

and social workers contacted the Broadbents to have their daughter tested as well. While it devastated the family to learn Hydeia was HIV-positive, it also made sense of her ongoing health struggles. She barely ate, she was constantly fighting colds, she cried frequently. Her pediatrician stamped her as having a “failure to thrive.” “When the test came back that I was positive, my whole family had to get tested, because I had been in the home since I was a baby,” Hydeia tells an audience at a health fair at the Las Vegas Library in June, using her story to demonstrate just how difficult it is to transmit HIV. “I’d puked on my mom, I’d peed on my mom. I’d bit my sisters. When I was going through potty training, I’d take my diaper off

and paint the walls with my poop, so who was ever babysitting me at the time … they had to clean up the poop. I had to take baths with my sister, so of course, babies what? They pee in the baths. So, let my family be the example: If you fear being around someone who has AIDS, none of them were affected. I was the only one. Everyone was negative.” Her diagnosis began a life of constant hospital visits, needles, home schooling and meds. Las Vegas, then a region of fewer than 800,000 people, had no immunologists, so once a month Hydeia headed to Los Angeles for injections aimed at boosting her immune system. Around the time when she outlived her brief life expectancy, she had been accepted into a protocol program at the National Institutes

of Health in Bethesda, Md., necessitating constant travel to the East Coast and long stays there. By age 9, Hydeia would suffer seven rounds of chicken pox and three bouts of PCP, a pneumonia common to people with AIDS, among other recurring troubles. Well into the 1990s, she continued to fly to the NIH for regular check-ups and medication refills, and she survived long enough to have her condition stabilized by a medication regimen that would come to be known as “the drug cocktail.” The success of those combination therapies has kept thousands of people with HIV alive and healthy, turning the disease into a mostly chronic condition rather than a certain demise. Hydeia, improbably and heroically, outlasted her death sentence. Of all her close calls, none traumatized her parents more than the night at the NIH when doctors called a “code blue” on the 6-year-old after her fever soared past 107 and her blood pressure slowed to a dribble. “I wasn’t really all that concerned until I saw the doctor dancing and shoving tubes in her all over and constantly racing to the telephone to call other people,” Pat Broadbent recalls. “Then they turned on like every microphone in the whole hospital and repeated ‘code blue’ over and over. I’m hearing it, but it’s not registering that they meant our room.” By the next evening, when her father flew to Bethesda to be with her, Hydeia was jumping exuberantly on her bed. Hydeia’s parents may have been shellshocked, but the child’s gleeful spirit was barely dampened by such experiences. “Daddy,” she once told Loren, “I have a purpose, and my purpose is to let people

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 43

know what AIDS does to people. When my mission is over, it’ll be my time to go.” Such unusual eloquence might not have made it out of her own family had she not been naturally drawn to displaying it for others, too. On an early NIH visit, Hydeia grabbed a toy microphone to impersonate the reporter sidekick of the cartoon “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” in a play-acting interrogation of Lori Wiener, then coordinator of the Pediatric HIV Psychosocial Support program. “I would like to know how you would feel if you had the AIDS virus?” Hydeia asked, then turned to her mother: “How would you feel if you had a daughter with HIV?” Wiener grabbed a camcorder, filmed Hydeia’s cinematic debut and used it to secure funding for a 15-minute video called “I Need a Friend,” in which Hydeia and two other children discussed the disease. In an endearing performance, Hydeia sang a song she wrote about AIDS and friendship. It was distributed to dozens of AIDS organizations across the nation and shown to countless children with HIV and adults working with them. From there, she began appearing in a variety of venues, from a Magic Johnson video to, eventually, the Republican National Convention. Along the way, the Hydeia L. Broadbent Foundation was set up to raise money for her travel expenses to the NIH and

44 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

to manage speaking requests and fees. It came as a shock to her mother that she was even paid; she recalls in her 2002 memoir, “You Get Past The Tears,” her surprise when she opened up a thank-you note from an AIDS awareness group that Hydeia had visited in Florida to find a check: “It was the first time Hydeia had received money for speaking. I remember thinking that this proved what I’d always believed to be true: God watches over babies and fools.” Perhaps that was a turning point. Hydeia and her unique story and charm became sought-after commodities by organizations aiming to destigmatize HIV and help young people understand it better. Her upbeat approach and radiant smile helped; she didn’t become the poster child for cruel discrimination the way Ryan White did because she never really encountered particularly shocking or mean-spirited bias in Las Vegas. Instead, she was a precocious symbol of diversity and survival. “The goal was to put a face to AIDS other than gays and IV drug users and prostitutes,” says Patricia Broadbent in her home earlier this summer. “My biggest concern was Hydeia, was to get her accepted. That was my main goal.” Today, however, a warning appears on in bright red letters: “I currently do not have nor am I affiliated with the Hydeia L. Broadbent Foundation 501 (c) (3) as

advertised on various websites. Please DO NOT give to this website on my behalf.” In addition, Hydeia says she’s also disassociated herself from the Pediatric AIDS Foundation as well as Camp Heartland, a retreat for children with HIV/ AIDS that she attended several times as a kid. “Everything that my mom had something to do with, I shut off,” Hydeia says. The last time the mother and daughter had contact was in February, when Hydeia invited her to her baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She’d been turned on to the faith after casting about for a church for years before a Mormon neighbor who was evicted came to stay with her. Pat Broadbent did not attend.

‘A lot of it was about money’

The anger is never far from the surface, even as the 27-year-old in the frilly low-cut black shirt insists she’s “over all that now.” Hydeia, who has built her reputation and career on being sunny and cheerful, who appeared on the cover of Poz Magazine at 13 with a million-dollar grin to match the yellow smiley-faced backpack she toted, now can quite suddenly begin to brood. One moment she’s carefully dipping some noodles into some sauce as she lunches at a nondescript Chinese restaurant in a strip mall, the next moment she’s struggling to keep her composure.

C o u r t e s y o f R e v i e w - J o u r n a l / p h oto s b y C h r i s t i n e W e t z e l

Hydeia Broadbent, left, with television producer Karen Tangorra, between tapings for cable network Women’s Entertainment in February 2001.

“When you’re born with HIV/AIDS ... you have to be careful about not letting it define who you are as a person.”

Hydeia Broadbent, right, hugs her sister Patricia after seeing their new “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” home in November 2004.

“Without the right structure and without the right guidance, because America had a perception of me, and they wanted a show, I almost died trying to please everyone, because I didn’t know,” she explains, pausing to gasp back a sob that surfaces from nowhere. Then she apologizes and continues. “I didn’t know who Hydeia was, and I didn’t know who Hydeia stood for. And when you’re born with HIV/AIDS, or living with this disease, you have to be careful about not letting it define who you are as a person.” It’s unclear to Hydeia, who remains under 5 feet tall and could easily be confused for a teenager, where her childhood went wrong because so much of it is a haze. As she recounts her life, it’s as if she’s seeing a gap-filled slideshow that bounces from hospital stays to celebrity encounters to the intense security

backstage at the Republican convention. “I think I blocked a lot of my childhood out because it wasn’t a very happy time, but it could also be because HIV crossed my brain so I have a memory problem,” she says. Still, she recalls that at 15 she started drinking alcohol, running with “the wrong kids” and getting into fights with other girls. To hear her tell it, she was raking in large sums of money but never received any of it, she was being signed up for speaking engagements regardless of whether she wanted to do them, and she was kept out of public school not because of her health but so that she’d be available to make appearances. She missed out on being a cheerleader, going to homecoming, “doing what kids do.” “A lot of it was about money,” she says. “I felt like, here I am speaking and doing these things, and I don’t even get an allowance! There was

no trust fund set up for me until I was probably about to be 16 or 17, and I had been speaking since I was 6. So yeah, I had issues. I didn’t ever want for anything, but at the same time, here I am, speaking and traveling and doing these things, and I can’t even get an allowance. That didn’t sit right with me.” Hydeia’s younger sister Patricia backs up some of this. Patricia, now 19, was an abandoned 6-week-old AIDS baby whom Hydeia insisted her parents adopt, and she says she is grateful she never was pressed into service the way her big sister was. “I’ve seen all that Hydeia had to go through,” says Patricia, also estranged from her mother after being thrown out of the house last year for failing to graduate high school on time. “She missed a lot of social opportunities, missed a lot of that experience of school. It was always about business for her. She couldn’t really be herself because people looked up to her. She couldn’t be freespirited, she always had to be so serious.” It was, as Hydeia herself referenced, a story not dissimilar to the coming-of-age woes of child actors from Leif Garrett to Gary Coleman to Lindsay Lohan. Feeling manipulated and out of control, she says, she lashed out until, at age 18, she was kicked out by her mother for hoarding her disability checks instead of giving them to her mother for household expenses. She says she was allowed to return a year or so later, right as her mother was applying to ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” for a new house. By that point, Pat Broadbent was also undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer. After Hydeia, she had adopted two more | continued on page 84

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 45

after the curtain | continued from page 45

girls with HIV and divorced Loren Broadbent, and the show’s producers could hardly resist wanting to help an ailing single mother raising three AIDS-stricken orphans in a decrepit, low-slung house infested with mold and crowded with soiled furniture. When that episode aired in December 2004, America watched the old house be bulldozed and the CEO of KB Homes personally send in his crew to build a gorgeous two-story spread complete with an elegant stone façade and a Jacuzzi grotto. KB Homes also paid off the mortgage and ABC gave the family a new Ford minivan. Patricia Broadbent appears repeatedly throughout the episode, tearfully repeating the mantra that the new home would give her the peace of mind that, “If I don’t beat this cancer, my kids will still be able to stay together.” Behind the scenes, the family was imploding. Everything that TV viewers learned about Patricia Broadbent and all her years of devotion and hard work amid a riot of constant health drama was absolutely true, but Hydeia said her mother still seemed to yearn for even more recognition. “I think the sad day for me was, after her house was paid and she had a new car, she said to my sisters and me, ‘You should now write Oprah, and tell her what a wonderful mother I am,’” Hydeia says. “At that point, I knew nothing would make her happy. There was nothing that I could achieve, nothing I can do that would satisfy her, that she had an emptiness inside of her, and she had a void that none of us could fill for her.” Her sister, Patricia, echoed this notion: “We had to pretend to be the perfect family on TV and in public.” While Hydeia Broadbent details her deteriorated relationship with her mother, she also insists, “I never want to come across as if I’m being disrespectful towards her, or trying to damage her character. I’m just telling the truth. I’m just telling what happened to me.” She describes her bouts with depression and how, around age 25, she resolved to put ugliness behind her so she could return to making a living as an AIDS awareness advocate, this time on her own terms. Two weeks later, she seemed to have thought better of it. In an email, she demanded that the difficult family history she so extensively described not be reported and that her mother not be interviewed because “she is sick and old and should be left alone.” She may have been looking out for the woman who raised her. Or, perhaps, she knew that her mother would tell a dramatically different version of the story.

84 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

‘I have no remorse’

Even without an address, it’s easy to guess which is the Broadbent home in the culde-sac off Cheyenne Avenue. The neighbors all reside in low-slung and rotting boxes, whereas the Broadbent abode — thanks to that ABC show — would fit in neatly in Southern Highlands. And if it weren’t clear from that contrast, there’s also the trail of bricks engraved with the names of each Broadbent in a garden next to the front walk. Once a ramshackle wreck strewn with pill bottles, intravenous tubing and other accoutrements of perpetual health problems, it’s now an immaculate space with a 27-foot ceiling, a baby grand piano signed by Elton John and a yard of fruit trees as well-kept as it was the day it appeared on TV. Patricia Broadbent is soaking her feet in the backyard pool in the warmth of a Saturday in June. Her hair never returned after her chemotherapy, so she remains as proudly bald as she was on “Extreme Makeover.” While her daughter said she’s unwell, she insists she’s been cancer-free for years and her biggest issue is her damaged lung capacity. To avoid feeling short of breath, she often uses an oxygen line, and it is that trail of tubing that leads to her from the back door. She remains a formidable, fierce woman willing to explain most anything exactly once and given to raising her voice not when she’s angry but when she’s exasperated by a remark she views as foolish or ignorant. “I truly don’t have any remorse about dedicating my life to the kids,” Broadbent says at one such moment. “I have no remorse about taking care of the kids. I adopted them, I made a commitment that I would see them through to 18, minimum. After 18, I’m not kissing no more ass. I don’t feel guilty about any of the things I’ve done and I’m not going to explain myself.” She did so anyway, and in the process she illustrated just how impossibly far apart she and Hydeia are. In her recollection, Hydeia was given the opportunity to turn down each and every speaking engagement, including the time Hydeia decided to go to Nashville to appear with Billy Ray Cyrus rather than visit President Clinton at the White House. Hydeia most certainly had a trust, her mother says, and she received a $75 allowance weekly from her older brother, the administrator. She stayed home from school only because her health kept causing absences that made it hard to keep up. It is true Hydeia was kicked out for cashing her disability checks, but that’s because that money was provided to defray household expenses, not to live large. What irritates her the most is her daughter’s suggestion that money may have been misappropriated. At the height of her

“A lot of it was about money,” says Hydeia. “I felt like, here I am speaking and doing these things, and I don’t even get an allowance! ... That didn’t sit right with me.” speaking activity, Hydeia did an average of two gigs a month and, at most, was paid $5,000, Broadbent says. Usually it was far less. “I think Hydeia thought we were getting paid for all the things, but back then half of those AIDS organizations didn’t even have money,” says Broadbent, pulling the oxygen tube from her nose and leaning forward for emphasis. “Hydeia thought we were being paid to go on Jerry Springer and Oprah. People have told her this stuff, ‘Your mom’s making all this money.’ Anyone that met her would say that, ‘Oh, your mom probably made lots of money.’ And she believed it, I guess.” She says she’s genuinely puzzled by Hydeia’s struggles — “She had a privileged life. What is there to be depressed about?” — and suspects it stems from the constant praise she once received. “Hydeia would say to me, ‘I won’t die.’ And I’d say, ‘Why?’ And she’d say, ‘Because everybody says I’m an angel and I’m special.’ ‘No, you are not special. Yes, you can die.’ She just looked at me. ‘You’re here because Mommy worked her ass off trying to make sure you stay healthy. You don’t take care of yourself, you’ll see just how special you are.’” Even as strained as the relationship is, Patricia still smiles when asked to think of all they accomplished. Hydeia, her mother says, was gifted and clever and surprisingly cognizant of the stagecraft elements of the endeavor. After going on Maury Povich’s talk show, for instance, the duo agreed that it had been a good appearance but a devilish Hydeia grinned, “Yeah,

but I couldn’t make him cry. I couldn’t get him.” She says she doesn’t mind being her daughter’s bogeyman — “I’m the Wicked Witch of the West and that’s all good, I own it” — but she’s most disappointed that Hydeia didn’t go to college. University presidents used to promise her fullride scholarships when the then-teen would speak on campuses, and her mother would get those pledges in writing for later collection. None of those chits were cashed out. “That’s what gets ya,” she says with a sneer, “when you get opportunities for ’em and then they piss ’em away.”

‘There needs to be some type of reform’

Hydeia did put in two years at the College of Southern Nevada, but it wasn’t her thing. She also spent part of her 20s working as an office secretary and a Gap cashier, both of which she found unfulfilling. Even in the years when she wasn’t giving talks, people would reach out to her on the Internet or on chance encounters and remind her how powerful her story had been. She also grew more concerned that she needed to set a positive example for her younger sisters and cousins. Her goals, too, have changed. She dubs herself an “international AIDS activist” atop, but she’s become far more concerned with raising awareness and creating support organizations in Las Vegas than she ever was in her high-flying years. She wants to reverse the Clark County School District’s ban on allowing speakers like her to visit classes during school time to discuss HIV prevention, and hopes to open a community health center in African-American neighborhoods to make health services more accessible. The main priority, however, is advocating to protect Obama’s health insurance reforms and push for further changes. Earlier this year, she was dropped from Medicaid because she’s so healthy she can no longer be considered disabled. In the process, the government stopped paying for her AIDS medication, priced at about $2,000 a month. Last month, she was approved for free meds through the Nevada arm of the federal AIDS Drug Assistance Program, but that’s a short-term fix that doesn’t cover any other health needs. Hearkening back to her big moment in San Diego 15 years ago, she dreams of a highly unlikely repeat engagement: “I would love to go back and deal with the Republican Party, to show them how important some type of health care is. They’re just so against it. They don’t have to agree with it all the way, but

there needs to be some type of reform. What I went through this year, nobody should have to worry about that.” Her speeches remain intensely personal affairs peppered with private revelations, and they reflect the fact that she’s no longer a preteen with a technical but hardly emotional comprehension of sex. At 27, she’s had both good and bad romantic relationships, including a boyfriend who insulted her by suggesting that nobody else would put up with her HIV status. And nowadays, she tells her audiences she’s abstinent and works hard to encourage other young people that it’s a valid and wise choice. But even in that message, there’s some indication she’s not quite at peace with her complicated upbringing. “I’m not defined by a man,” she tells the library audience in a sequence that would never have been a part of her earlier repertoire. “If anything, he will add light to me, not dim my light, okay? So, if you hear me preaching to the young girls, I’m ( just) talking to you. Because, when I was growing up, I didn’t always have that positive figure. I didn’t know that a young man was supposed to open my door. You know, I didn’t know that it was okay not to be called a bitch. So, that’s not love. I just want you guys to know that you’re beautiful. That’s all.”

80% of Las Vegas Homeowners are Underwater. Do You Have a Fool-Proof STRATEGY to Keep You & Your Assets from Sinking, Too? Among the topics to be covered are:

Loan Modification —Solution or Myth? Short Sale Strategies that Lead to a Deficiency Release How to Walk Away from Debt But Still Protect Your Assets Your Credit After A Short Sale, Foreclosure or Bankruptcy We have partnered with a leading short sale and asset protection attorneys to offer our seminar attendees FREE consultation.

Get the facts straight from the experts who can help! What does the future hold for Las Vegas’s Real Estate market? Is you property underwater? Are you thinking of walking away? Don’t just walk away until you know all your options! The Dulcie Crawford Group is holding a FREE Educational Seminar on Saturday, August 27, 1:30 PM at Realty One Seminar Room located at 9089 S. Pecos Rd Suite 3400. Sign-up at

Dulcie Crawford, Realty One  (702) 285-1990

Dulcie Crawford—Realtor, 13 years professional experience, Las Vegas native, Short Sale/Foreclosure Resource Specialist, Top Producer in Short Sale & Distressed Properties One of NV’s Highly Experienced Real Estate Short Sale Attorneys One of NV’s Foremost Attorneys for Asset Protection & Trust Law One of NV’s Top Bankruptcy Attorneys

When it comes to short sales, EXPERIENCE is Everything. We’re the No. 1 Brokerage in NV, and one of the Top Producing Teams . Our seasoned Realtors® can help you navigate the distressed real estate market whether you’re buying or selling. d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 85

With poise, calm expertise — and a strong dose of humor — renowned UMC trauma surgeon Dr. Coates puts people back together

story by J.J. Wylie portrait by Ryan weber

46 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 47

Dr. Jay Coates isn’t the kind of doctor that people seek out. ¶ He’s fine with that. ¶ “If you wake up to find out I’ve been working on you,” he says, “then you know something has gone terribly wrong.”


ake the case of Andrew Linn — you know, the man with the pole in his face. On Nov. 29, Linn fell asleep while driving late at night, running his car into a chain-link fence. The accident drove a metal pole through Linn’s face. Shockingly, the impalement did not kill him, and rescuers were forced to saw through the pole in front and behind Linn’s head in order to extract him from the wreckage of his car. At the University Medical Center Trauma Unit, Dr. Coates and his team were on duty when paramedics wheeled Linn in, with a section of the two-inch diameter pole still embedded in the Las Vegas native’s face. “The funny thing is, he seemed totally conscious and was sitting up when he came in,” Dr. Coates says. “He was even trying to text his wife, even though he could barely turn his head without knocking stuff over.” Further examination found that the pole shattered Linn’s jaw but missed vital blood vessels in his neck. It had also missed Linn’s spine and windpipe. “As catastrophic as his injury looked, it’s really amazing that it didn’t do more damage,” Coates says. Dr. Coates and his team, which included oral surgeon Dr. Jeff Moxley and cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Nancy Donahoe, rolled their patient into the operating room, where they improvised a way to remove the pole from Linn’s face without compromising his breathing or blood flow. “Because the pole wasn’t smooth and the ends of it were jagged, we couldn’t just pull it out from one end or the other,” Dr. Coates says. “Basically, we had to open an incision from behind his ear down to his collar bone.” The story quickly went viral. Dr. Coates went on a whirlwind tour of the national morning news shows, and he still gets requests for interviews about the incident. Even so, Dr. Coates is relatively dismissive of the media attention. “It’s nowhere near as gratifying as being able to catch up with one of our patients six months after my team treated them,” he says.

48 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

The X-ray of Andrew Linn, whose unusual accident gave Dr. Coates some big viral buzz


s Vice-Chairman of the Trauma Department, Dr. Coates is naturally proud of his institution. He points out that UMC is a public hospital serving the medical needs of the entire region. “I don’t think the general public realizes what a resource they have here,” he says. “Level 1 is the highest designation that any

trauma center can have. It means we have capabilities here that most hospitals don’t. It’s expensive, sure, but it’s worth it. It saves lives.” Dr. John Fildes, chairman of the Trauma Department, puts it a different way. “Las Vegas doesn’t get to say it’s number one in many categories that we can be proud of,” Dr. Fildes says. “But this is one: we have the best kind of trauma center you can build.” Dr. Coates adds a more practical context. “Think about it,” he says. “Up to the age of 45, the leading cause of death for everyone


Jay Coates is examining a man who’s been stabbed several times with a small knife. The man’s wounds are numerous, but they’re mostly in his extremities. None of them are bleeding much, which means there’s little chance any of them are serious. ¶ Still, the man is anxious. He asks in a trembling voice, “Doc, am I going to die?” ¶ Dr. Coates stops his examination and looks right into the man’s eyes. ¶ “Yes,” Dr. Coates says. ¶ The man gasps. ¶ “But not tonight,” Dr. Coates says, breaking into a smile. is injury. And, while cancer and heart disease affect large portions of the population, almost all of us get treated in an emergency room at some point in our lives. Some of us may need emergency medical care several times during our lifespans.” Dr. Coates leans in to emphasize his next point. “And when the time comes when you or your loved one needs critical emergency care, whether it’s from a car accident or they’re a victim of a crime, or they’re having some kind of seizure,” he asks. “Wouldn’t you want the best, most comprehensive care available?”


s a trauma surgeon working in Nevada’s only Level 1 Trauma Center, Dr. Coates is used to dealing with dramatic injuries. He has even treated his share of celebrities, including Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy, whose injuries from the fangs of Montecore the white tiger effectively ended an era of Las Vegas entertainment. “But I don’t get to develop the kind

“Dr. Coates knows when to use his rather sharp wit to defuse the tension of a situation,” says Dr. Fildes, Chairman of the Department of Trauma and Coates’ boss. “When the pressure is high, a little humor can go a long way.”

Dr. Coates’ youthful passion: rocking in a marching band

of patient-doctor relationships that, say, a general practitioner does,” Dr. Coates says. “I see my patients once, when they’re brought into the Trauma Unit. Maybe I do some follow-up while they recuperate. Then they’re gone, sometimes without regaining enough consciousness for me to get to talk to them while they were my patient.” Still, the challenge and excitement of emergency medicine attracted Dr. Coates long before he ever dreamed of attending medical school, let alone becoming Vice Chairman of the Trauma Department at UMC. “I was a Chaparral High School graduate attending UNLV on a marching band scholarship when I got a job as an E.M.T. for a local ambulance company,” Dr. Coates says. “A fraternity brother got me the gig so I could pay my bills.” At the time, Dr. Coates’s aspirations were to play drums in a rock band. He chuckles now at the memory of who he was 20 years ago. “I never intended to become a doctor,” he says. “And I had the grades to prove it.” But his first visit to UMC as a paramedic changed all that. “That first night I took a patient into that emergency room, I thought it was the coolest place on the planet,” he says. “I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to work there.” It was then that the erstwhile drummer began applying himself to his studies. After graduating from UNLV, Coates got accepted into medical school in Iowa only after the University of Nevada Reno turned him away. “That really stung,” he admits. “Though

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 49


middle-aged man falls while rock-climbing at Red Rock and is airlifted to UMC. Paramedics roll him into a trauma bay, and soon the air is filled with medical jargon as they relay information to a team of specialists — nurses, a pharmacist, an orthopedic surgeon, an X-ray technician, and several residents and medical students, all looking at Dr. Coates for direction. ¶ “Assembling a team like this is expensive,” Dr. Coates explains. “But it saves lives. With all these people here, we can handle just about anything.” ¶ An intricate choreography ensues, prompted by Dr. Coates, who often just says yes or no as a particular team-member performs a task on the patient. ¶ “This team is well-trained and very experienced,” Dr. Coates says. “They’ve seen it all, and they generally know what to do as soon as they see it. I’m just here to oversee it all and step in when something particularly difficult or novel occurs.” ¶ The X-ray technician goes to work, imaging the man from head to toe, searching for signs of broken bones and other internal injuries. Once the team determines that the man’s head and spine are uninjured, the neck brace is removed. ¶ Meanwhile, nurses cut away the man’s clothing, searching for contusions or other signs that the paramedics might have missed. Another nurse stands just above the patient’s head, cradling it while speaking in a soothing monotone as she monitors his respiration and level of consciousness. ¶ The fallen man’s injuries seem largely minor, except for his right foot, which is splinted and wrapped in thick layers of bandages. As an orthopedic resident removes the splint and the bandages, the extent of the damage becomes clear. The man’s right foot is sitting next to his leg, seemingly held on only by the skin, as if someone had snapped the man’s ankle and rolled the foot up against the side of his shin. ¶ Dr. Coates turns to the resident next to him. ¶ “That’s what we call B.T.H.O.,” Dr. Coates mutters. “Broke The Hell Off.” ¶ The assembled team emits a collective chuckle. ¶ The orthopedic resident offers to roll the foot back into place manually. Dr. Coates agrees to the attempt, but is skeptical. ¶ “The tendon keeping that foot up against the leg is thick as my pinkie,” Dr. Coates says. “I bet we won’t be able to stretch it enough to get the foot back onto the end of the tibia.” ¶ The patient is given a sedative, and the team waits until the nurse at the man’s head indicates he is unconscious. Then, as another resident holds the patient’s leg immobile at the knee, the orthopedic resident takes the man’s foot and pulls with both hands, trying to roll it back onto the end of his leg. With each pull, blood pours from the man’s open wounds. ¶ “The technical term for this is Brute Force Medicine,” says Dr. Coates. “It looks medieval, but since it was a clean break and the tissue surfaces look relatively pristine, it’s worth a try to avoid going into the operating room.” ¶ After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, Dr. Coates’ team eventually resorts to surgery. ¶ “That ankle is probably going to bother him for the rest of his life,” Dr. Coates explains. “But I think we managed to save it.”

The UMC Trauma team in action. As Dr. Coates often tells them, their decisions have to be both quick and right.

Dr. Coates originally wanted to be a drummer. “I never intended to become a doctor. And I had the grades to prove it.”

50 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A u g u s t 2 0 1 1

now I can say that I sit on the admissions committee of the medical school that wouldn’t take me.” After medical school, and after further training in Detroit, Coates found himself back at UMC, as a surgical fellow under the tutelage of Dr. Fildes, the man who helped the Trauma Unit at UMC earn its Level 1 designation — and who offered Dr. Coates a permanent position. “Without a doubt, Dr. Fildes is the man who has had the most profound impact on my career,” Dr. Coates says. “Before I met him, I gave serious thought to joining the Navy after my residency, if only to get my medical school loans paid off.”

“What makes him a great teacher is that he’s not afraid to hold others to the same high standards he holds himself,” Crews explains. Adding to his responsibilities is Dr. Coates’ new appointment as Medical Director for UMC’s Burn Unit, where he plans to help it earn national accreditation the same way the Trauma Center earned its Level 1 designation. “All he needs is another reason to be at UMC,” Crews adds. “He’s like one of those guys who’d rather work than spend time at home.” She should know. She and Dr. Coates are engaged to be married in September.


“You have to remember that trauma care, at its highest level, is a team effort,” Dr. Fildes explains. “And what I saw in Dr. Coates was that, not only was he a fine surgeon, he was also a leader. When the stakes are at their highest, Dr. Coates keeps a keen eye and a cool head.”


is whole life is tied to UMC,” says Ginny Crews, a nurse who has worked with Dr. Coates for years. “Between his on-call shifts, his clinic hours, his administrative duties, his lectures, and the constant meetings and consultations, there are weeks where he barely gets more than a half-day away from the hospital.” Despite this workload, Dr. Coates insists that he leads a fulfilling life. “I think it was Albert Schweitzer who said the only truly happy people are those who have found a way to serve others,” he says. “I’m fortunate to fit that description.” Dr. Coates’ dedication becomes especially apparent as he conducts rounds with a group



Hear More

of residents. As they move from patient to patient, Coates peppers the group with questions, admonishing them when their answers don’t come quickly enough. “Come on, guys,” he says. “This is an environment where your decisions have to be quick as well as right. You can’t be both if you don’t have a firm grasp of all available information.”

t’s nearly midnight as Dr. Coates quickly finishes a burrito in the lounge just off the Trauma Unit. He is 16 hours into a 24hour shift, but he does not look tired. “Busy shifts don’t exhaust me as much as the slow ones,” he says. “Of course, wishing for a busy shift means wishing for someone to get hurt, so I don’t know how that works karmically.” He balls up the burrito wrapper and takes a long sip of soda before throwing it all into a trash can just as his beeper goes off. It’s another patient — a motorcycle accident. “When I was a resident, I learned the three basic rules of surgery,” he says as he heads back into his unit. “Eat when you can, sleep when you can, and don’t screw with the pancreas.” Not that he minds the long hours. “Maybe in another specialty I could make more money working less hours,” he says. “But when what you love also saves lives, why fight it?”


all of Dr. Coates’ cases end well. ¶ “As experienced as I am with mortality,” he says, “it still gets to me when I have to deliver the bad news to a family. The confidence that we did everything possible to save a life is small consolation to a family that’s facing such a profound loss.” ¶ How do you tell a family about the death of a loved one? ¶ “You have to be forthright and genuine and sympathetic,” he says. “And you have to make yourself completely available for their reaction, whatever it is. Some families are very dramatic while others take the news stoically. But you have to be there for all of them.” ¶ At such times, Dr. Coates takes comfort in the purpose his work gives him. ¶ “I know if there’s a complete breakdown of human society, I’ll still have a job,” he explains. “After all, I’m a human mechanic.”

Dr. Coates talks about the excitement of the ER on “KNPR’s State of Nevada” at d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 51

Where physicians and hospital staff


to work closely together for the best healthcare possible

FREE Physician Referral Service Direct Doctors Plus 702-388-4888 800-879-0980 SM

Physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of The Valley Health System. The System shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.

The 159 best physicians in Southern Nevada, as chosen by their peers photography by


d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 53

How To use this Guide:

Medical specialties are listed alphabetically. Doctors are listed alphabetically beneath those specialty areas, with hospital appointments and subspecialties below that. (See the Hospital Index for full hospital information.) Private practices are then listed with address and phone number. Note that some physicians may require referrals.

How the Doctors were selected Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. is a healthcare research and information company founded in 1991 by a former medical college-board chairman and president to help guide consumers to America’s top doctors and top hospitals. Castle Connolly’s established survey and research process, under the direction of an MD, involves tens of thousands of top doctors and the medical leadership of leading hospitals. Castle Connolly’s physician-led team of researchers follows a rigorous screening process to select top doctors on both the national and regional levels. Using mail and telephone surveys, and electronic ballots, they ask physicians and the medical leadership of leading hospitals to identify highly skilled, exceptional doctors. Careful screening of doctors’ educational and professional experience is essential before final selection is made among those physicians most highly regarded by their peers. The result - we identify the top doctors in America and provide you, the consumer, with detailed information about their education, training and special expertise in our paperback guides, national and regional magazine “Top Doctors” features and online directories. This year, in conjunction with Desert Companion magazine, Castle Connolly additionally opened up the nomination survey process to ALL licensed physicians in the Clark County, Nevada through a special online site. With the support of the marketing staff at all the area hospitals, and through online promotions with the magazine, the response was excellent. This enabled Castle Connolly to identify new Castle Connolly Top Doctors in the Las Vegas metro area who have been added to this Top Doctors feature. Physicians selected for inclusion in this magazine’s “Top Doctors” feature may also appear as Regional Top Doctors online at, or in one of Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors guides, such as America’s Top Doc$34.95 Available at tors® or America’s Top Doctors® for Cancer. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be selected, 1-800-399-3627 and all national bookstores and profiled as Castle Connolly Top Doctors.

54 d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n | T O P D O C T O R S 2 0 1 1

THE Doctors LIST +++++++++++++++

Adolescent Medicine

Caroline Barangan Substance Abuse, Teen Behavior EvaluationHigh Risk, Behavioral Disorders (UMC) Kids Healthcare 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #315, 992-6868 +++++++++++++++

Allergy & Immunology

Jim Christensen Asthma & Allergy (UMC) Pulmonary Associates 7200 Cathedral Rock #220, 307-7707 Victor Cohen Pediatric Allergy & Immunology, Asthma & Allergy (Sunrise) Victor Cohen, M.D. 4445 S. Eastern Ave. #A, 735-1556 +++++++++++++++

Cardiovascular Disease

Sean Ameli Cholesterol/Lipid Disorders, Echocardiography-Transesophageal (St. Rose San Martin) KE Medical Group 8205 W. Warm Springs Road #110, 735-8734 Berge Dadourian Interventional Cardiology, Peripheral Vascular Disease (Sunrise, MountainView)

Nevada Cardiology Associates 3121 S. Maryland Pkwy. #512, 796-7150 Samuel Green Nuclear Cardiology, EchocardiographyTransesophageal (MountainView) Nevada Cardiology Associates 3150 N. Tenaya Way #460, 233-1000 Paul Heeren Interventional Cardiology, EchocardiographyTransesophageal, Cardiac Catheterization (MountainView) Cardiovascular Consultants of Nevada 3150 N. Tenaya Way #320, 360-7600 Thomas Lambert Interventional Cardiology, Heart Failure (MountainView) Thomas Lambert, M.D. 3150 N. Tenaya Way #135, 598-3999 +++++++++++++++

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Lisa Durette Behavorial Disorders, Addiction/ Substance Abuse Spring Mountain Treatment Center 7000 W. Mountain St. #101, 873-2400 +++++++++++++++

Child Neurology Linda Brown Epilepsy/Seizure Disorders (St. Rose - Siena)

Neurology Center of Nevada 2430 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy. #110, 247-9994 Srinivas Halthore Epilepsy/Seizure Disorders, Neuromuscular Disorders, Cerebrovascular Disease-Pediatric (Valley, Summerlin) Neurology Specialists 2020 E. Desert Inn Road, 796-5505 +++++++++++++++

Clinical Genetics

Colleen Morris Williams Syndrome, Inherited Disorders, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (UMC) University of Nevada School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics/Genetics 2040 W. Charleston Blvd. #401, 671-2200


Colon & Rectal Surgery

Stephanie Wishnev Colon & Rectal Cancer & Surgery, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Incontinence-Fecal, Anorectal Disorders Nevada Surgery & Cancer Care 6020 S. Jones Blvd., 739-6467 +++++++++++++++


Lucius Blanchard Mohs Surgery, Skin Cancer, Dermatologic Surgery (UMC) Las Vegas Skin & Cancer Clinic 630 S. Rancho Drive #E, 933-0225 Jason Michaels Dermatologic Surgery, Cosmetic Dermatology, Mohs Surgery

(St. Rose - San Martin) Las Vegas Skin & Cancer Clinic 630 S. Rancho Drive #E, 933-0225

(Spring Valley) Desert Radiologists 2020 Palomino Lane #100, 759-8606 +++++++++++++++


Diagnostic Radiology

Rajneesh Agrawal Neuroradiology, Interventional Radiology (Valley) Desert Radiologists 2020 Palomino Lane #100, 759-8606 Paul Bandt Interventional Radiology, Nuclear Radiology (Desert Springs) Desert Radiologists 2020 Palomino Lane #100, 759-8606 Dianne Mazzu Body Imaging, Mammography, Ultrasound, CT Scan (Desert Springs) Desert Radiologists 2020 Palomino Lane #100, 759-8606 Alan Weissman Cancer Imaging, Nuclear Imaging, Musculoskeletal Imaging

Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

William Litchfield Diabetes, Thyroid Disorders (St. Rose - Siena) Desert Endocrinology 2415 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy., 434-8400 Freddie Toffel Diabetes, Hormonal Disorders (Sunrise) Bumbaca & Toffel 2700 E. Sunset Road #D34, 736-2021 +++++++++++++++

Family Medicine

Thomas Hunt III Long Term Care, Palliative Care, Developmental Disorders (UMC)  University of Nevada School of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine 2410 Fire Mesa St. #180, 992-6888

Elissa Palmer Women’s Health, Preventive Medicine (UMC) University of Nevada School of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine 2410 Fire Mesa St. #180, 992-6888 +++++++++++++++

Gastroenterology Gregory Kwok Gastrointestinal Functional Disorders, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (St. Rose - San Martin, Southern Hills) Gastroenterology Associates 3820 S. Hualapai Way #200, 228-2663 Frank Nemec Gastrointestinal Functional Disorders, Digestive Disorders (Southern Hills, St. Rose - San Martin) Gastroenterology Associates 3820 S. Hualapai Way #200, 796-0231 Christian Stone Inflammatory

Bowel Disease, Gastrointestinal Functional Disorders (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd., 2nd floor, 671-5060 +++++++++++++++

Gynecologic Oncology

Nicola Spirtos Gynecologic Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Laparoscopic Surgery (Sunrise, UMC)  Women’s Cancer Center 3131 La Canada St. #241, 693-6870 +++++++++++++++

Infectious Disease Jerome Hruska Jr.  Infectious Disease Consultants 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #780, 737-0740

Brian Lipman AIDS/HIV (St. Rose - Siena)  Brian Lipman, M.D. 10001 S. Eastern Ave. #307, 776-8300

hospital index Boulder City Hospital 901 Adams Blvd. (Boulder City) 293-4111 Desert Springs Hospital 2075 E. Flamingo Road 733-8800 Montevista Hospital 5900 W. Rochelle Ave. 364-1111 MountainView 3100 N. Tenaya Way 255-5000 North Vista Hospital 1409 E. Lake Mead Blvd. (North Las Vegas) 649-7711

Southern Hills Hospital 9300 W. Sunset Road 880-2100 Spring Valley Hospital 5400 S. Rainbow Blvd. 853-3000 St. Rose Dominican Hospitals – San Martin Campus 8280 W. Warm Springs Road 492-8000 St. Rose Dominican Hospitals – Siena Campus 3001 Saint Rose Pkwy. 616-5000

St. Rose Dominican Hospitals – Rosa de Lima Campus 102 E. Lake Mead Pkwy. 564-2622 Summerlin Hospital 657 Town Center Drive 233-7000 Sunrise Hospital 3186 S. Maryland Pkwy. 731-8000 University Medical Center 1800 W. Charleston Blvd. 383-2000 Valley Hospital 620 Shadow Lane 388-4000

Index to Specialties Adolescent Medicine ............................... 54 Allergy & Immunology............................. 54 Cardiovascular Disease ............................ 54 Child & Adolescent Psychiatry .................. 54 Child Neurology . .................................... 54 Clinical Genetics ..................................... 54 Colon & Rectal Surgery ............................ 54 Dermatology . ........................................ 54 Diagnostic Radiology .............................. 55 Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism ..... 55 Family Medicine ..................................... 55 Gastroenterology . .................................. 55 Gynecologic Oncology ............................. 55 Infectious Disease . ................................. 55 Internal Medicine . .................................. 57 Interventional Cardiology . ...................... 57 Maternal & Fetal Medicine . ...................... 57 Medical Oncology .................................. 58 Nephrology . ......................................... 58 Neurological Surgery.............................. 58 Neurology . ............................................. 61 Obstetrics & Gynecology . ......................... 61 Ophthalmology ...................................... 62 Orthopedic Surgery . ............................... 62 Otolaryngology ...................................... 62 Pain Medicine . ....................................... 62 Pediatric Allergy & Immunology .............. 65 Pediatric Cardiology ............................... 65 Pediatric Endocrinology ......................... 65 Pediatric Gastroenterology ...................... 65 Pediatric Hematology-Oncology .............. 65 Pediatric Infectious Disease ..................... 65 Pediatric Nephrology .............................. 65 Pediatric Otolaryngology ........................ 65 Pediatric Pulmonology . .......................... 65 Pediatric Surgery . .................................. 66 Pediatrics .............................................. 66 Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation ........... 66 Plastic Surgery ....................................... 66 Psychiatry . ............................................ 66 Pulmonary Disease ................................. 66 Radiation Oncology ................................ 66 Reproductive Endocrinology .................... 66 Rheumatology ....................................... 66 Sports Medicine ...................................... 66 Surgery ................................................. 66 Surgical Critical Care .............................. 67 Thoracic Surgery . ................................... 67 Urology ................................................ 67 Vascular & Interventional Radiology . ....... 67 Vascular Surgery . ................................... 67 d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 55




Dr. Joseph Adashek OB/GYN Desert Perinatal

The pamperer Dr. Adashek understands that small things matter in big events like childbirth

Dr. Joseph Adashek clearly loves his job. He bounds through his offices at Desert Perinatal with enthusiasm and a broad smile, waving excitedly at everything. Even the bathrooms. “Look how beautiful it is,” he says as he shows off the bathrooms, which are nicely tiled and feature custom fixtures more reminiscent of a luxury hotel than a clinic. “I read somewhere that a woman’s reaction to your bathrooms can affect their whole opinion of your practice. So I make sure that any woman who steps into one of my bathrooms is blown away.” As an OB/GYN who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, Dr. Joseph Adashek is keenly aware of the needs of women, especially at such an important time in their lives. On the second floor of his building at Tropicana Avenue and Fort Apache Road, he has even installed a spa, Belly Bliss, which specializes in massages for pregnant women. This attentiveness to his patients comes from a key experience. A few years ago, Dr. Adashek’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Helping his late father go through that experience deeply affected him. “We were dealing with doctors who were very cold and rushed and not very sympathetic to what my father was going through and the questions we had,” Adashek explains. “I swore then that no patient of mine would ever go through that. … I just treat patients the way I would like to be treated.” In fact, Dr. Adashek insists that if anyone should be grateful for his success as a doctor, it’s him. “I get to be a caregiver to a family at a very special time in their lives,” he says. “And I have the intellectual challenge of having these complicated cases that require everything from specialized testing to surgery.” That appetite for challenges led him to become chairman of maternal/child health at Southern Hills Hospital as well as co-director of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Division at Summerlin Medical Center. He built his private practice up from “one exam room, an office, and two employees.” Currently, Desert Perinatal has about 90 employees in three locations across the Las Vegas valley. “Honestly, I believe the secret to my success is that I love my work,” he says. “And who wouldn’t? I take my daughter to school, and I see all these families that I helped bring into the world.” As if on cue, Adashek’s partner Paul Wilkes walks up and begins a hushed, jargon-filled anecdote that boils down to this: It was a difficult delivery, but both mother and newborn are now healthy and resting. Wilkes looks tired but relieved. Adashek beams. “I really have the best job in the world,” he says. — J.J. Wylie

Ronald shockley HIV/AIDS (Sunrise)  Infectious Disease Parnters of Nevada 3121 S. Maryland Pkwy. #412, 309-2311 Eugene Speck HIV/AIDS (Southern Hills)  Infectious Disease Consultants 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #780, 737-0740 +++++++++++++++

Internal Medicine

Chakravarthy Kannan Diabetes, Metabolic Disorders (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd., 2nd floor, 671-5060 Stephen Miller  Internal Medicine Associates 653 N. Town Center Drive #306, 243-7483 Theresa Steckler (Summerlin)  Internal Medicine Associates 653 N. Town Center Drive #306, 243-7483 John Varras Weight Management, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Preventive Medicine (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd. #230, 671-5060 Sandyha Wahi Gururaj Preventive Medicine, Hypertension (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston

Blvd. #230, 671-5060 +++++++++++++++

Interventional Cardiology

Richard Chen Peripheral Vascular Disease (Sunrise, Summerlin)  Nevada Cardiology Associates 3121 S. Maryland Pkwy. #512, 796-7150 Carlos Emanuel Cardiac Catheterization, Nuclear Cardiology (Valley)  Heart Center of Nevada 700 Shadow Lane #240, 384-0022 Ashfaq Khan (Valley)  Heart Center of Nevada 700 Shadow Lane #240, 384-0022 Cres Miranda Coronary Angioplasty/Stents, Preventive Cardiology (Summerlin, Southern Hills)  Nevada Heart & Vascular Center 7455 W. Washington Ave. #300, 240-6482 Foad Moazez Arrhythmias (MountainView, Sunrise)  Nevada Cardiology Associates 3150 N.E. Tenaya Way #460, 233-1000 +++++++++++++++

Maternal & Fetal Medicine

Joseph Adashek Pregnancy-High Risk, Prematurity Prevention, Prenatal Diagnosis (Southern Hills, Summerlin) 

Desert Perinatal Associates 5761 S. Fort Apache, 341-6610 Alan Bolnick Prematurity/Low Birth Weight Infants, Amniocentesis (Summerlin)  Desert Perinatal Associates 5761 S. Fort Apache, 341-6610 Wilson Huang Premature/ Low Birth Weight Infants, Ultrasound (MountainView, St. Rose - San Martin)  Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine 2011 Pinto Lane #200, 382-3200 Brian Iriye Prenatal Diagnosis, Ultrasound, Diabetes in Pregnancy, Hypertension in Pregnancy (Spring Valley, Desert Springs)  Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine 2011 Pinto Lane #200, 382-3200 Damon Masaki Pregnancy-High Risk, Prematurity Prevention (Southern Hills, Sunrise)  Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine 870 Southern Hills Drive #103, 382-3200 Subhash Mitra Pregnancy-High Risk, Obstetric Ultrasound (UMC, Valley)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd. #110, 671-5025 Steven Thomas Pregnancy-High Risk, Prematurity

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 57

Prevention (St. Rose - San Martin)  Steven Thomas, M.D. 2011 Pinto Lane #200, 382-3200 Quynh Vo Pregnancy-High Risk, Prenatal Diagnosis, Obstetric Ultrasound (Southern Hills, Summerlin)  Desert Perinatal Associates 5761 S. Fort Apache Road, 341-6610 Paul Wilkes Pregnancy-High Risk, Prematurity Prevention (Southern Hills, Summerlin)  Desert Perinatal Associates 5761 S. Fort Apache Road, 341-6610

Oscar Goodman Jr. Genitourinary Oncology, Prostate Cancer, Bladder Cancer (St. Rose - San Martin, Summerlin)  Nevada Cancer Institute 1 Breakthrough Way, 822-5433

Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada 9280 W. Sunset Road #100, 952-1251

Clark Jean (MountainView)  Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada 7445 Peak Drive, 952-2140 Paul Michael Complementary Medicine, Leukemia & Lymphoma (Southern Hills) 

Wolfram Samlowski Kidney Cancer, Melanoma, Immunotherapy (St. Rose - San Martin)  Nevada Cancer Institute 1 Breakthrough Way, 822-5433 Nicholas Vogelzang Prostate Cancer, Mesothelioma, Kidney Cancer, Genitourinary Cancer (Sunrise, Desert Springs)  Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada 3730 S. Eastern Ave., 952-3452

Ann Wierman Breast Cancer, Lymphoma, Lung Cancer (MountainView, Summerlin)  Ann Wierman, M.D. 7445 Peak Drive, 952-2140 +++++++++++++++


Adin Boldur Kidney Disease, Hypertension, Kidney Failure (Centennial Hills)  Kidney Specialists of Southern Nevada 8775 Deer Springs Way, 877-1887 Lawrence Lehrner Kidney Disease-Chronic (UMC, Summerlin) 

C A SE STU D Y +++++++++++++++

Medical Oncology

Dr. Mark A. Barry orthopedic surgeon


Mary Ann Allison Breast Cancer (St. Rose - Siena)  Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada 1505 Wigwam Pkwy. #130, 856-1400 Fadi Braiteh Gastrointestinal Cancer, Breast Cancer, Cancer Genetics, Clinical Trials (Sunrise, Desert Springs)  Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada 3730 S. Eastern Ave, 206-952-3400 Khoi Dao Hematologic Malignancies, Colon Cancer (St. Rose - Siena)  Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada 1001 S. Eastern Ave. #108, 952-3444

The innovator Dr. Barry has taken scoliosis treatment to a new dimension — literally

The images on Dr. Mark A. Barry’s website are striking. Before-and-after X-rays show the severely deformed spines of children — some nearly doubled back on themselves in sharp curves — straightened by surgically implanted titanium rods and up to 20 screws. As a pediatric orthopedist, Barry treats hundreds of different conditions in “every part of the body, from the top of the neck to the tip of the toes,” but it is this innovative treatment of spinal deformity that has become a third of his practice — and growing — and has helped revolutionize scoliosis correction. “For the longest time, surgeons have just stretched out a curve of the spine to straighten it,” Barry says. The problem is that deformed spines aren’t just crooked, like the “S” shape you see in an x-ray; the vertebrae are also twisted. So, eight years ago, Barry designed “a system of putting derotator levers on the spine … to get that last dimension of correction that surgeons have been trying to

58 d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n | T O P D O C T O R S 2 0 1 1

Kidney Specialists of Southern Nevada 500 S. Rancho Drive #12, 877-1887 Syed Shah Transplant Medicine-Kidney (UMC)  Kidney Specialists of Southern Nevada 500 S. Rancho Drive #12, 877-1887 Marwan Takieddine Hypertension, Cholesterol/Lipid Disorders (Desert Springs, Sunrise)  Nevada Kidney Disease & Hypertension Center 1750 E. Desert Inn Road #200, 732-2438


Neurological Surgery

John Anson Skull Base Surgery, Vascular Neurosurgery (Southern Hills, Sunrise)  Spine & Brain Institute 8530 W. Sunset Road #250, 948-9088 Derek Duke Brain & Spinal Surgery, Spinal Disorders (St. Rose - Siena)  Spine & Brain Institute 861 Coronado Center Drive #200, 896-0940

get for decades. Now we’re able to do it. That’s been my contribution.” A contribution that has been adopted and emulated by orthopedic surgeons around the world. Before this technique, scoliosis patients could expect many months of painful external bracing after surgery and long-term, often permanent, limitations on their activity. “Now,” Barry says, “we know that by correcting in three dimensions we can get a much better correction, a much better cosmetic result, a much more secure, strong correction which can allow kids to go back after surgery is finished and they’re all healed up to do everything that they wanted to do, no restrictions in the long term.” A member of the Desert Orthopedic Center and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University Of Nevada School Of Medicine, Barry performs about 50 spinal surgeries a year and handles many of the toughest cases from across the Southwest. Six to 12 months after surgery, he asks his patients if their backs hinder their lives or childhoods in any way. “The uniform answer,” he says, “is, ‘My back feels normal for me. It’s like I never had surgery. I can do everything I want to do.’” Barry, 52, grew up and trained in Canada before moving to Las Vegas in 1993. He has volunteered his skills in Cambodia and is planning to volunteer in Mozambique this summer. And he’s still working on new techniques to improve the lives of children. One challenge is that scoliosis surgeries on very young children can prevent the spine from lengthening, so that organs, especially the lungs, don’t have room to fully develop. “Sometimes they don’t make it,” Barry says, “because their lungs aren’t large enough to support adult size. So that’s a particular area of research and development that I’m working on right now. That’s my next challenge.” — Joseph Langdon


Jason Garber Spinal Surgery, Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery, Spinal Surgery-Complex, Peripheral Nerve Disorders (MountainView)  Western Regional Center for Brain & Spine Surgery 3061 S. Maryland Pkwy. #200, 737-1948

Stuart Kaplan Spinal Disorders, Spinal Surgery-Pediatrics (MountainView)  Western Regional Center for Brain & Spine Surgery 3061 S. Maryland Pkwy. #200, 737-1948



Shanker Dixit Clinical Neurophysiology, Stroke, Epilepsy/ Seizure Disorders (Summerlin, Desert Springs)  Neurology Center of Las Vegas 2440 Professional Court #150, 405-3015

C A SE STU D Y Dr. Colleen A. Morris, pediatric clinical geneticist


The code-breaker Colleen Morris hopes to improve the lives of children by studying their genes

It’s obvious that Dr. Colleen Morris is Nevada’s first and only pediatric geneticist: The mountains of files that line her offices attest to the amount of information she and her team must sift through in her quest to identify and treat children with genetic disorders. “Ideally, there would be at least three more of me working in a population the size of Nevada’s,” she says. “But my team and I do our best to keep up.” Keeping up means conducting genetics clinics throughout the state in order to find kids whose learning difficulties or behavioral problems have a genetic basis. At these clinics, Morris and her team review medical and family histories, perform physical examinations and order genetic screenings if needed. Her team includes researchers and genetics counselors across the state, as well as nurses in the Clark County School District, where Dr. Morris helps conduct 10 genetics clinics per academic year. “School nurses refer children to these clinics, with the question being, ‘Do these kids have a genetic condition or syndrome that is impacting their ability to learn?’” Morris says. “And with many genetic conditions, once you identify them, you can tailor a successful long-term curriculum for a particular child.” In her decades as Nevada’s only clinical pediatric geneticist, Dr. Morris has identified and treated

Eric Farbman Parkinson’s Disease/ Movement Disorders, Tourette’s Syndrome, Huntington’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd. #202, 671-5070

David Ginsburg Muscular Dystrophy, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Neuromuscular Disorders (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd. #220, 671-5070

a wide variety of genetic disorders, ranging from mental retardation to growth deficiencies to physical deformities. Since these kids have problems that affect their education and development, an early diagnosis from Dr. Morris, coupled with a focused treatment regimen, can pay huge dividends in terms of a child’s future. “I really love those clinics,” she adds. “And, to our knowledge, the Clark County School District is probably the only school district in the nation conducting them.” Morris also loves research, and her signature achievement to date involves being part of the team that helped identify the genetic components of Williams Syndrome, a disorder that causes a variety of abnormalities including both behavioral problems and physical deformities. The syndrome affects about one in 8,000 births, and the severity of symptoms can vary widely with each patient, which makes treating the syndrome very difficult. “Unfortunately, as with a lot of syndromes, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment that works for every patient,” Morris says. “But developments in the field are coming fast, so I’m hopeful that treatments will become both more effective and more accessible soon.” As a Professor in the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Dr. Morris also runs a genetics laboratory where she educates students from a variety of institutions, including the College of Southern Nevada. Another focus of her research is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which Dr. Morris contends is far more prevalent than many people realize. “My unscientific guess is that 1 percent of children born in Nevada suffer from some degree of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome,” she says. “It’s a huge problem that we’re only beginning to get a handle on.” That’s why Morris established a fund at the University of Nevada, Reno, designed to help research and treat Fetal Alcohol Syndrome throughout the Silver State. “What we really need in this city is a free-standing children’s hospital with an associated clinical research center,” she says. She’s convinced that such a hospital would attract research and cutting-edge treatments to Las Vegas. “It might even get another pediatric geneticist to move here,” she notes with a smile. — J.J. Wylie


Obstetrics & Gynecology

Geoffrey Hsieh Uro-Gynecology (Sunrise)  Women’s Cancer Center of Nevada 3131 La Canada St. #241, 693-6870 Donna Miller Pregnancy-High Risk, Pap Smear Abnormalities, Sexually Transmitted Disease (St. Rose - San Martin)  2821 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy. #130, 862-8862 Patricia Pierce Maternal & Fetal Medicine, Pregnancy-High Risk (Summerlin, Southern Hills)  Desert Perinatal Associates 5761 S. Fort Apache Road, 2nd floor, 597-5158 Aditi Sanatinia Gynecology Only, Women’s Health (Summerlin, Spring Valley)  Women’s Specialty Care 653 N. Town Center Drive #602, 255-3547 Milka Torbarina Pregnancy-High Risk, Infertility, Uro-Gynecology (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd. #120, 671-5140 K. Warren Volker Gynecology Only, Laparoscopic Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery (Summerlin)  Women’s Specialty Care 1 Breakthrough Way, 255-3547

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 61


Richard Wasserman Urogynecology, Pelvic Organ Prolapse Repair, Incontinence-Female  Nevada Surgery & Cancer Care 6020 S. Jones Blvd., 739-6467 +++++++++++++++


Weldon Havins Reconstructive Surgery (Sunrise)  Westfield Eye Center 4475 S. Eastern Ave, 362-3937

Kenneth Houchin Neuro-Ophthalmology (Spring Valley)  Westfield Eye Center 2575 Lindell Road, 362-3937 Andrew Mohammed Cataract Surgery, Glaucoma (St. Rose - Siena, North Vista)  Nevada Eye & Ear 2598 Windmill Pkwy., 896-6043 Marietta Nelson Pediatric Ophthalmology (Sunrise, UMC)  The Eye Clinic of Las Vegas 2800 N. Tenaya Way #102, 384-2020 Rajy Rouweyha Corneal & External Eye Disease, LASIK-Refractive Surgery, Corneal Transplant (Sunrise)  Nevada Eye & Ear 2598 Windmill Pkwy., 896-6043 Leslie Sims Oculoplastic Surgery, Orbital Surgery  Westfield Eye Center 4475 S. Eastern Ave., 362-3937

C. Edward Yee Corneal Disease & Surgery, Refractive Surgery, LASIK-Refractive Surgery  Westfield Eye Center 2575 Lindell Road, 2nd floor, 362-3937

Michael Thomas Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery (Centennial Hills, St. Rose - San Martin)  Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center 2650 N. Tenaya Way #301, 258-3773


Orthopedic Surgery

John Baldauf Sports Injuries, Joint Replacement, Shoulder Surgery, Hip/ Knee Replacement (Southern Hills)  Desert Orthopedics 2800 E. Desert Inn Road #100, 731-1616 Mark Barry Pediatric Orthopedics, Scoliosis, Musculoskeletal Tumors (Summerlin)  Desert Othopedics 2800 E. Desert Inn Road #100, 731-1616 Patrick McNulty Spinal Surgery, Scoliosis, Spinal Disorders (Centennial Hills, St. Rose - San Martin)  Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center 2650 N. Tenaya Way #301, 258-3773 Jason Nielson Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, Pediatric Sports Medicine, Dance Medicine (Sunrise, St. Rose - San Martin)  Children’s Bone & Spine Surgery 1525 E. Windmill Lane #201, 434-6920 David Stewart Jr. Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, Scoliosis, Fractures-Complex & Non-union (St. Rose - San Martin, Sunrise)  Children’s Bone & Spine Surgery 1525 E. Windmill Lane #201, 434-6920




Matthew Ng Neurotology, Skull Base Surgery, Otology, Acoustic Neuroma (UMC)  University Health System 3150 S. Rainbow Blvd. #324, 992-6828

Robert James Troell Cosmetic Surgery-Face, Sleep Disorders/Apnea, Sinus Disorders/Surgery (Summerlin, Southern Hills)  Robert James Troell, M.D. 7975 W. Sahara Ave. #104, 242-6488 Robert Wang Head & Neck Surgery (UMC)  University Health System 3150 N. Tenaya Way #112, 671-6480 +++++++++++++++

Pain Medicine

Sanghamitra Basu (St. Rose - San Martin, Centennial Hills)  Sanghamitra Basu, M.D. 6850 N. Durango #214, 362-7246 Daniel Kim Pain-Back & Neck, Pain-Cancer, PainChronic (North Vista, Sunrise)  Southern Nevada Pain Center 6950 W. Desert Inn Road #110, 259-5550

62 d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n | T O P D O C T O R S 2 0 1 1

Dr. Ann Wierman, medical oncologist

The puzzle-solver Cracking open medical mysteries requires a broad perspective like Dr. Wierman’s

“I like the mystery cases,” Dr. Ann Wierman says, the tough ones that defy easy explanation and require a more comprehensive approach. The narrow view does not suit her nature. She first studied macrobiology and influenza and then went to med school for cardiology before she finally “fell in love” with hematology and oncology because it allows her to work across disciplines. “It really encompasses everything that’s great about internal medicine,” she says. “You need to know neurology, you need to know pulmonary, cardiology, GI (gastrointestinal), renal, GU (reproductive and urinary systems), musculoskeletal — it’s like being a well-rounded puzzle-solver.” And it’s the perfect calling for the daughter of a nurse and a father who was a versatile “puzzle-solver” of his own. An efficiency expert by trade, her father worked in industries as disparate as aerospace in Mississippi and garment manufacturing in New Jersey. Currently, Wierman serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University Of Nevada School Of Medicine and Section Chief of Medical Oncology at Mountain View Hospital but “I’m still a generalist,” she says, “so I see everything that walks in the door.” She likes to treat not just a range of patients, but the whole patient — who often has a range of issues. “It’s unusual that patients don’t have six or eight or nine different major medical things going on,” she says. Her affiliation with Comprehensive Cancer Centers allows her access to cutting-edge research from Phase I & II clinical trials across the country, but she depends as much on oldfashioned clinical observation and patient care. “We have such a unique job in hematology/oncology,” Wierman says. “We treat the entire family and try to create a support system.” Especially in Las Vegas, she says, where many residents are away from their base of friends and relatives, “we become their support.” And she takes pride in some of their remarkable recoveries. Last year, one of her patients ran the Boston Marathon — with leukemia. Another woman who came to Wierman with stage IV colon cancer recently completed an Ironman triathlon. “With the right medicine, right focus, right attitude, you can get back your life,” Wierman says. But you can’t do it alone. “We need to be (our patients’) cheerleaders. We need more people to come out and say, I’m a survivor, I made it, now let me give back. Our patients and previous patients have a lot to share.” Wierman finds her own support in mountain biking and hiking around her little getaway in Duck Creek, Utah. The drive, she says, is especially nice — it gives her a chance to listen to her tapes of Harvard’s Intensive Review of Internal Medicine and just “mellow out a bit.” — Joseph Langdon




Dr. Nicola Spirtos gynecologic oncologist

The achiever How Dr. Spirtos became among the best in his field: Slowly, steadily and thoroughly

Drive, ethics,teamwork, striving for excellence … if it sounds like training for the Olympics, there’s a good reason why. Nicola Spirtos counts 18 doctors in his family, which hails from a town next to the Greek island of Kos, home of Hippocrates, the father of medicine. It’s not that Spirtos had no other choice than to become a doctor; it’s more accurate to say he was never really aware of any other choices. Spirtos will proudly show you a photo of his father, George Spirtos, the only short-pants-clad 14-year-old in the class of young men entering Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1930. “I don’t know if my dad ever said, ‘You have to be a doctor,’” the son now says. “But I’ll tell you what he did say: ‘Whatever you’re going to be, you better damn well be the best.’” This approach translated into a work ethic so intense that, in the 1990s, Spirtos called out fellow medical researchers at Stanford University whom he caught publishing inaccurate data. When he was told his actions would open him to similar scrutiny, Spirtos’ response amounted to, “Bring it on.” In 1992, he began research on laparoscopy, a non-invasive technique, in gynecological surgery. It was a new millennium by the time he and his team had run statistics through the National Cancer Institute, performed feasibility trials, performed randomized trials comparing laparoscopy to traditional surgery, waited for data to mature and published results in 2009. “It takes that long to do it right. I am really proud of the fact that we did it right and took no shortcuts,” says Spirtos, now known as the regional authority in gynecological oncology. Spirtos believes accurate data is that last bastion of patient safety, which helps explain his position as professor and director in the Gynecologic Oncology Division at the University of Nevada School Of Medicine. And since he obviously has spare time, Spirtos also runs the Women’s Cancer Center of Nevada. It made national headlines in 2009 on “60 Minutes," featured as one of the places Las Vegas cancer patients could turn to after University Medical Center closed its oncology clinic. The Women’s Cancer Center started the Cash for Chemotherapy program, which aims to help uninsured and underinsured women get the treatments they need to live. “We take care of everybody here,” Spirtos says, adding, “It’s not just me. There’s a whole team of people who are supportive of those things. The team is on the same page, the same mantra, basically.” That mantra? “The ethical treatment of patients with surgical excellence, and always continuing to learn” he says — just the kind of slogan you’d want from the team that’s competing to save your life. — Heidi Kyser

Michael McKenna Pain-Chronic, PainCancer, Pain-Back, Head & Neck (Southern Hills)  McKenna & Ruggeroli Pain Specialists 6070 S. Fort Apache Road, #100, 307-7700 Anthony Ruggeroli Pain-Musculoskeletal  McKenna & Ruggeroli Pain Specialists 6070 S. Fort Apache Road, #100, 307-7700 +++++++++++++++

Pediatric Allergy & Immunology

David Tottori Asthma & Allergy, Food Allergy, Eczema (UMC)  Allergy & Asthma Associates 4000 E. Charleston Blvd. #100, 432-8250 +++++++++++++++

Pediatric Cardiology

Ruben Acherman Neonatal Cardiology, Arrhythmias-Fetal, Fetal Echocardiography (Sunrise, UMC)  Children’s Heart Center 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #690, 732-1290 William Castillo Fetal Cardiography (Sunrise, UMC)  Children’s Heart Center 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #690, 732-1290 Alvaro Galindo Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Catheterization (Sunrise, UMC)  Children’s Heart Center 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #690, 732-1290 Abraham Rothman Interventional Cardiology (Sunrise, UMC)  Children’s Heart Center 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #690, 732-1290


Pediatric Endocrinology

Rola Saad Diabetes, Metabolic Disorders, Pubertal Disorders (UMC)  Kids Healthcare 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #315, 992-6870 +++++++++++++++

Pediatric Gastroenterology

Carl Dezenberg Nutrition, Gastrointestinal Disorders (Sunrise, St. Rose - Siena)  Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition Associates 3196 S. Maryland Pkwy. #309, 791-0477 David Gremse Nutrition, Gastrointestinal Disorders (UMC)  Kids Healthcare 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #315, 992-6868 +++++++++++++++

Pediatric HematologyOncology

Jonathan Bernstein (UMC, Summerlin)  Children’s Specialty Center 3121 S. Maryland Pkwy. #300, 732-0971 Ronald Kline Bone Marrow Transplant (Summerlin, Sunrise)  Comprehensive Cancer Center of Nevada 3196 S. Maryland Pkwy. #400, 688-6180 +++++++++++++++

Pediatric Infectious Disease

Echezona Ezeanolue Neonatal Infections, Vaccines, Immune Deficiency (UMC) 

Kids Healthcare 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #315, 992-6868 Pisespong Patamasucon Antibiotic Resistance (UMC)  University of Nevada School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #315, 992-6868 +++++++++++++++

Pediatric Nephrology

Michael Aigbe Kidney Disease, Kidney Failure, Hypertension (Sunrise, UMC)  Children’s Nephrology Clinic 7271 W. Sahara Ave. #110, 639-1700 +++++++++++++++

Pediatric Otolaryngology

Tsung O-Lee Airway Disorders, Airway Reconstruction, Sleep Apnea, Hearing Loss (UMC)  Tsung O-Lee, M.D. 5380 S. Rainbow Blvd. #324, 992-6828 +++++++++++++++

Pediatric Pulmonology

Craig Nakamura Asthma, Lung Disease, Sleep Disorders/Apnea (Sunrise)  Children’s Lung Specialist 3820 Meadows Lane, 598-4411 David Parks Lung Disease, Pulmonary Infections (UMC, Sunrise)  David Parks, M.D. 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #315, 992-6868

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 65


Pediatric Surgery

John Gosche (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd. #160, 671-5150 +++++++++++++++


Johanna Fricke Developmental & Behavorial Disorders, Learning Disorders, Autism  Kids Healthcare 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #315, 992-6833 Renu Jain Newborn Care, Child Abuse (UMC)  Kids Healthcare 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #315, 992-6868 Kami Larsen (UMC)  Kids Healthcare 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #315, 992-8686 Beverly Neyland (UMC, Sunrise)  Kids Healthcare 3006 S. Maryland Pkwy. #315, 992-6868 +++++++++++++++

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation


Plastic Surgery

Goesel Anson Cosmetic SurgeryFace & Body, Breast Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery, Liposuction & Body Contouring (Southern Hills)  Anson & Higgins Plastic Surgery 8530 W. Sunset Road #130, 822-2100 Arthur Cambeiro Cosmetic SurgeryFace & Breast, Body Contouring (St. Rose - Siena)  SurgiSpa 2821 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy. #100, 566-8300 Michael Edwards Breast Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery, Liposuction & Body Contouring, Body Contouring after Weight Loss (Summerlin)  Michael Edwards, M.D. 653 N. Town Center Drive, #214, 248-8989 Terrence Higgins Liposuction & Body Contouring, Breast Surgery (Southern Hills)  Anson & Higgins Plastic Surgery 8530 W. Sunset Road #130, 822-2100

Bevins Chue Neuromuscular Disorders (St. Rose - Rosa de Lima)  Rehabilitation Specialists of Henderson 10870 S. Eastern Ave. #103, 386-1041

John Menezes Cranofacial Surgery, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd. #190, 671-5110

Samuel Wise Spinal Cord Injury, Sports Injuries (Sunrise)  Desert Rehabilitation Center 3201 S. Maryland Pkwy. #514, 893-0800

Andres Resto Cosmetic Surgery-Face & Body, Liposuction & Body Contouring, Breast Augmentation (Sunrise)  Andres Resto, M.D. 1485 W. Warm Springs Road #105, 791-3525

Kayvan TaghipourKhiabani Hand Surgery, Hand Reconstruction, Hand & Microvascular Surgery (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd. #190, 671-5110 William Zamboni Mircrosurgery, Limb Surgery/Reconstruction, Hyperbaric Medicine, Wound Healing/Care (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd., 671-5110 +++++++++++++++


Constance Kalinowski Behavorial Disorders, Dual Diagnosis  Mojave Mental Health 4000 E. Charleston Blvd. #B230, 968-5000 James Vilt Addiction/Substance Abuse, Drug Abuse, Alcohol Abuse  Seven Hills Behavorial Institute 3021 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy., 646-5000 +++++++++++++++

Pulmonary Disease

John Collier Airway Disorders, Lung Disease (MountainView, Summerlin)  Lung Center of Nevada 3150 N. Tenaya Way #125, 869-0855 Charles McPherson Sleep Disorders/ Apnea, Airway Disorders (Sunrise) 

66 d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n | T O P D O C T O R S 2 0 1 1

The Lung Center 3121 S. Maryland Pkwy. #502, 851-0200 +++++++++++++++

Radiation Oncology

(Spring Valley, Southern Hills)  Red Rock Fertility Center 6420 Medical Center St. #100, 948-7778

Dan Curtis Prostate Cancer, Brachytherapy (Summerlin, Valley)  Las Vegas Prostate Cancer Center 7150 W. Sunset Road #100, 834-3961

Rachel McConnell Infertility-IVF (Summerlin)   Nevada Fertility C.A.R.E.S. 653 Town Center Drive #206, 341-6616

Farzaneh Farzin Breast Cancer, Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), Stereotactic Radiosurgery (Sunrise, Desert Springs)  Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada 3730 S. Eastern Ave., 952-3366

Bruce Shapiro Infertility-IVF  Fertility Center of Las Vegas 8851 W. Sahara Ave. #100, 254-1777

Raul Meoz Brachytherapy, Stereotactic Radiosurgery (Southern Hills)  Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada 9280 W. Sunset Road #100, 952-1251 Michael Sinopoli Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Stereotactic Radiosurgery  Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada 655 N. Town Center Drive, 233-2200 +++++++++++++++

Reproductive Endocrinology

Said Daneshmand Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Infertility  The Fertility Center of Las Vegas 8851 W. Sahara Ave. #100, 254-1777 Eva Littman Infertility-IVF, Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis



Michael Clifford Musculoskeletal Disorders, Lupus/SLE, Rheumatoid Arthritis  Michael Clifford, M.D. 7151 Cascade Valley Court #103, 944-5444 Christianne Yung Autoimmune Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus/SLE  Christianne Yung, M.D. 2482 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy. #130, 614-6868 +++++++++++++++

Sports Medicine

Timothy Trainor Arthroscopic Surgery-Knee, Shoulder Arthroscopic Surgery, FracturesComplex & Non-union, Joint Replacement (Centennial Hills, Southern Hills)  Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine 8420 W. Warm Springs Road #100, 740-5327



Leslie Browder Colon & Rectal Surgery (UMC)  University Health System 2040 W. Charleston Blvd. #160, 671-5150 Souzan El-Eid Breast Surgery, Breast Cancer (Summerlin)  Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada 8285 W. Arby Ave. #175, 255-1133 Daniel Kirgan Cancer Surgery, Breast Cancer & Surgery (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd. #160, 671-5150 Stephen McBride Minimally Invasive Surgery (Valley, UMC)  General Surgery Associates 700 Shadow Lane #370, 382-8222 Irwin Simon Minimally Invasive Vascular Surgery, Wound Healing/Care, Vein Disorders (St. Rose - San Martin)  Vegas Valley Vein Institute 2655 Box Canyon Drive #110, 509-7282 Francis Teng Obesity/Bariatric Surgery, Minimally Invasive Sugery, Laparoscopic Abdominal Surgery (MountainView, Summerlin)  Advanced Surgical Care 3150 N. Tenaya Way #680, 838-5888


Surgical Critical Care

Deborah Kuhls Trauma (UMC)  University Health System 1707 W. Charleston Blvd., 671-5150 +++++++++++++++

Thoracic Surgery Joseph Feikes Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiovascular Surgery (Summerlin, Desert Springs)  1090 E. Desert Inn Road #202, 735-1454

Quynh Nguyen Cardiothoracic Surgery (Southern Hills, St. Rose - Rosa de Lima)  Cardiovascular Surgery Associates 3905 S. Maryland Pkwy. #202, 614-6550 +++++++++++++++


clare close Pediatric Urology, Genitourinary Congenital Anomalies, Fetal Urology, Genitourinary Disorders (Montevista, St. Rose)  Close Pediatric Urology 2629 W. Horizon Ridge, Building 2629, #100, 877-0814 Andrew Hwang Pediatric Urology, Transplant-KidneyPediatric, Endourology (UMC, Summerlin)  Urology Specialists of Nevada 5701 W. Charleston Blvd. #205, 877-0814 Mark Leo Infertility-Male (St. Rose - Rosa de Lima, St. Rose - Siena)  Urology Specialists of Nevada 5701 W. Charleston Blvd. #201, 877-0814

Jason Zommick Prostate Disease, Vasectomy & Vasectomy Reversal (St. Rose - San Martin, St. Rose - Rosa de Lima)  Urology Specialists of Nevada 5701 W. Charleston Blvd. #201, 877-0814

More doctors trust their patients to us than to all other Nevada cancer treatment facilities combined.

That’s strong medicine.


Vascular & Interventional Radiology

Michael Carducci Interventional Radiology, Vascular Malformations (Desert Springs)  Desert Radiologists 2020 Palomino Lane #100, 759-8606

What does a doctor look for when he’s considering a cancer treatment referral? The same things that matter to you: Treatment on the healing edge of medical technology. Access to a depth of clinical research. And modern facilities where everyone, from the person who greets you to the doctor who treats you, will do everything in their power to help you get well.

Frank Kue-Yung Hsu Interventional Radiology, Abdominal Imaging (Boulder City, Desert Springs)  Desert Radiologists 2020 Palomino Lane #100, 759-8606

As an affiliate of both the world-renowned Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA and of US Oncology, which is one of the largest oncology networks in America, we are now conducting over 150 clinical trials – more than all other Nevada cancer treatment centers combined. On the treatment front, we offer the only physicians in Southern Nevada to conduct breakthrough non-invasive surgery with the revolutionary Las Vegas CyberKnife®. No matter what you face, we’ve faced it before. And we know the most current, effective way to treat you.


Vascular Surgery

Vasana Cheanvechai Wound Healing/Care (St. Rose - San Martin, Southern Hills)  Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine Center 501 S. Rancho Drive, 258-1173

When it comes to cancer treatment, you have a choice. Ask your doctor. Visit us on the web. Get to know us and you’ll see what doctors already know: Comprehensive Cancer Centers is the strongest ally you can have in your fight against cancer.

There are twelve Comprehensive Cancer Center treatment facilities in Southern Nevada. Visit our website for details. Strong Medicine

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 67

Do you have a St. Rose doctor? Don’t wait for an emergency to find a physician – make sure you have a medical home and a physician partner to help you when you need it most. St. Rose Dominican Hospitals makes it easy to find qualified, dedicated physicians for you and your family, and finding a physician is as easy as a phone call! By calling one number, you will have access to more than 1,000 board certified physicians in every major specialty area. St. Rose has dedicated staff to help you find the perfect fit. Call Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Calls placed outside these hours will be returned the next business day.

Make sure to assess your needs and the needs of your family when looking for a physician. Think about office hours and locations, on-call availability and even specialties that may be needed, such as pediatrics, OB/GYN or dermatologists. Try out your physician! See if your preferred physician or the office staff will take the time to meet with you, so you can ask them a few questions of your own. New patients may want to know who the physician’s partners are or if Physician’s Assistants are available when the physician is not.

Can’t wait? Check out our online 24-hour physician referral service by visiting and search by specialties and even by location. Cross check all referrals with your insurance company to make sure they are in your network, are plan-approved or plan-affiliated. Know what your out-of-pocket expenses will be if you prefer a physician that is not in your insurance network. If you are at a new job and are deciding on various health plans, you may want to research preferred physicians before making your decision.

Call our physician referral line today and let us help you find the perfect physician fit. English: (702) 616-4508 Spanish: (702) 616-4999

S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

M e d i c a l P R O F ILE s m1

S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

The Fertility Center of Las Vegas

m2 M e d i c a l P R O F ILES

He completed his fellowship in reproductive endocrinology & infertility at Yale University after his residency at Yale New Haven Hospital. Dr. Said Daneshmand completed his residency and fellowship training at UCLA medical center. His research at UCLA focused on the “effect of female age on ovarian reserve “ and he helped develop a blood test to determine the quality of eggs in the ovaries. After joining The Fertility Center of Las Vegas in 1999, he has collaborated with his partner, Dr. Shapiro, in IVF research to develop protocols to improve pregnancy rates. Their research and publications have been presented at both national and international conferences. As a result of this research, the center was recognized in for its stellar pregnancy rates. Dr. Daneshmand is the recipient of the Eileen Pike Medical School Valedictorian award. He was the President of Alpha Omega Alpha honor society (Iota Chapter ) and the recipient of both the PCRS fellowship and

practicing physician research award, as well as a member of The Decherney Society and ASRM.


The Fertility Center of Las Vegas founder, Dr. Bruce Shapiro, has dedicated two decades of scientific research to improving the safety and success rates of fertility treatments. Dr. Shapiro’s findings have reduced the incidence of side effects following ovarian stimulation, improved embryo transfer techniques, and increased embryo implantation rates allowing the transfer of fewer embryos. This has resulted in better safety and success through good science, ultimately leading to some of the highest reported birth rates in the United States. Dr. Shapiro presents his widely published research regionally, nationally and internationally. Dr. Shapiro holds specialty board certification in obstetrics & gynecology and sub-specialty board certification in reproductive endocrinology & infertility. He established and heads the University of Nevada School of Medicine-Division of Reproductive Endocrinology. Dr. Shapiro also holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam, Holland.

The Fertility Center of Las Vegas SUMMERLIN OFFICE 8851 W. Sahara Ave., Ste. 100 Las Vegas, NV 89117 702.254.1777 800.509.7174 GREEN VALLEY OFFICE 2769 Sunridge Heights Pkwy., Ste. 100 Henderson, NV 89052 702.254.1777 800.509.7174


S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

ASM Orthopedics The ASM ortho motto is: Keep Moving‌Life’s Waiting. ASM Orthopedics offers a comprehensive program providing diagnosis and treatment options for life-long relief from both acute and chronic orthopedic problems. Their procedures range from partial joint replacement, to minimally invasive surgical techniques, to computer assisted total joint replacement. ASM Orthopedics is the first Las Vegas physician group consistently using Computer Navigation in total joint replacement of the hip and knee. This procedure provides more accurate positioning of the hip and knee implant which results in longer lasting pros

thesis and improved outcomes. ASM Orthopedics has extensive training in the treatment of sports related injuries. Using the recent advances in the minimally invasive techniques for diagnosis and treatment, Dr. Martin can often restore pain-free function to elite and student athletes, weekend warriors and people who maintain active lifestyles. Andrew Scott Martin MD is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon. His practice, ASM Orthopedics, is committed to excellence by pledging to provide the highest quality of orthopedic care possible. Along with the treatment of immediate or chronic problems, Dr. Martin strives to inte-

Asm orthopedics 5546 S. Ft. Apache Rd., Las Vegas, 89148 4275 Burnham Ave., ste. 230, Las Vegas, 89119 702.898.BONE (2663)

grate the doctrine of prevention in all treatment plans as a way to alleviate possible future difficulties. Dr. A. Scott Martin specializes in general orthopedics, sports medicine, minimally invasive shoulder reconstruction, shoulder joint replacement, arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and joint reconstruction. In addition, ASM Ortho performs total knee replacement and total hip replacement, minimally invasive surgery hip and knee replacement, computer assisted surgery (CAS) and adult and pediatric orthopedic trauma. Dr. A. Scott Martin is Chief of Orthopedics at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas. He served as Naval Chief of Orthopedics during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has been a part of the Orthopedic Sports Medicine Team at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Currently Dr. A. Scott Martin is affiliated with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Medical Assoc., National Medical Assoc., Clark Co. Medical Assoc. and the Academy of Sports Medicine. M e d i c a l P R O F ILE s m3

S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

Cancer Therapy Institute

Informed decisions Despite medical science’s best efforts, some cancers remain incurable, acknowledges this gifted and caring doctor: “In such cases, quality of life may become more important to a patient than anything else. I work with my patient and his or her family to make good decisions that offer the highest quality of life possible.” To help guide his patients to the most informed choices, Dr. Ahmad maintains an extensive collection of literature about cancer, its causes, treatments, and prevention. Detailed information about nutrition and its effect on cancer and cancer risks is available. Dr. Ahmad’s patients also have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials that offer them the latest advances in cancer research. “I’m a registered investigator for the National Cancer Institute,” he informs, “and I have patients enrolled in studies being conducted by research centers all over the country.” “These studies involve new cancer-fighting drugs as well as biological therapies. By joining these studies, my patients become partners with powerful allies who have dedicated their lives to achieving victory over cancer.” As a president of the Nevada Oncology Society, Dr. Ahmad is intimately involved in helping to guide state and federal policies m4 M e d i c a l P R O F ILES

regarding the delivery of cancer care in the United States. Dr. Ahmad is also a President Circle Member of Nevada Public Radio and is a proud sponsor of Southern Nevada Community Foundation’s “Community Care Clinic” providing gratuitous care to the uninsured and destitute. The clinic is accepting new patients. For more information call 702-485-3603 or visit


Dr. Shamoon Ahmad believes cancer must be treated with a comprehensive approach and an open mind, leaving no possible option for cure unexplored. He works with proven drug therapies, the safest complementary techniques, and clinical trials that are on the leading edge of research. One important goal he strives to achieve for every patient is quality of life. “I call it personalized cancer care,” says Dr. Ahmad, Director of the Cancer Therapy & Integrative Medicine Institute. “Each patient’s life experience, medical history, and cancer are unique, and I tailor my treatments to those unique characteristics, one patient at a time.” A full-service lab is on site at Dr. Ahmad’s practice, and he offers his patients chemotherapy in the comfort of his office. When traditional medicine isn’t achieving desired results, Dr. Ahmad supports a patient’s interest in exploring alternative therapies.

Cancer Therapy Institute 3340 Topaz St., STE. 100 Las Vegas, NV 89121 702.363.2020

S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

Celebrating 10 years of the highest quality care for women struggling with highrisk pregnancies. Ten years ago, Desert Perinatal Associates founders Dr. Joseph Adashek and Dr. Paul Wilkes began the practice when they recognized the need for unparalleled perinatal care. “It’s not enough to have advanced equipment,” says Dr. Wilkes, “you have to provide the woman and her family old-fashioned comfort during what can be a stressful time. That’s where healing really begins.” Over the years, the doctors of Desert Perinatal Associates have had the privilege of delivering babies for over 3,000 women and their families. They have helped many women throughout their high-risk pregnancies. Women like Candice Valenzuela, who delivered a healthy baby girl after being diagnosed with breast cancer in the 14th week of her pregnancy, thanks in large part to Dr. Van Bohman. Women like Karen Manuel, who just celebrated her daughter’s 10 month birthday, after Dr.

Wilkes had to deliver her little girl, Sadie Ann, at only 23 weeks and less than 1 pound. Or someone like Kristine Bruning who, after eight years of infertility, became pregnant with twins only to find out four months into her pregnancy that she had developed Placenta Previa. This serious condition caused her to have several episodes of bleeding, one of which almost cost Kristine her life. Shortly after the delivery of her children she suffered a near-fatal hemorrhage. According to Kristine, “even though it took most of the night to stabilize me and [Dr. Adashek] had a full schedule the next day, he never left my side until I was stabilized and settled into the ICU.” Such heroics are, unfortunately, frequent in the life of a Maternal-Fetal specialist but their advanced training provides expertise when it’s most critical. Desert Perinatal Associates physicians hail from the world’s most respected institutions: Northwestern University, University of Colorado, University of British Columbia, University of California Irvine, and Baylor.

However, credentials and capabilities aside, each patient and her family is treated with dignity and respect. Often times Desert Perinatal Associates patients will thank our doctors and staff for the time and effort they have put into each interaction, but each member of the Desert Perinatal Associates team understands that we are the fortunate ones to be placed in such a position of trust. We understand that it is a privilege to care for our patients and not a right.


Desert Perinatal Associates

Desert Perinatal Associates & Belly Bliss 5761 S. Fort Apache Road Las Vegas, NV 89148 702.341.6610 3 convenient locations throughout the Las Vegas Valley

M e d i c a l P R O F ILE s m5

S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

Dr. Chandra Narala


Neurosurgeon Aury Nagy, MD, FAANS, is a partner in Las Vegas Neurosurgery & Spine Care. A Las Vegas native, Dr. Nagy graduated from Bishop Gorman High School, Yale University and Baylor College of Medicine. He is board certified through the American Board of Neurological Surgery and received his fellowship training through Louisiana State University. Dr. Nagy serves as Spine Committee Chair and Neurosurgery Section Chief for Spring Valley Hospital as well as an adjunct clinical faculty member for Touro University. He is a product development consultant and Speakers Bureau clinical lecturer and educator for Integra Neurosciences. Dr. Nagy is a frequent author on the subject of back pain and has participated Las Vegas in research programs about spine and Neurosurgery & brain injuries. He was the first Spine Care neurosurgeon in Nevada to place an 8285 W. Arby Ave., Ste. 220 artificial cervical disc in a patient and his Las Vegas, NV 89113 deep brain stimulation procedures for 10001 S. Eastern Ave., STe. 408 Parkinson’s patients is well-regarded. Henderson, NV 89052 Dr. Nagy’s positive outcomes from his 9010 W. Cheyenne Ave. spine surgeries have made him one of Las Vegas, NV 89128 702.737.7753 the most sought-after neurosurgeons in Nevada. His philosophy of conservative treatment and conservative management has translated into many happy and healthy patients.

m6 M e d i c a l P R O F ILES


Aury Nagy, MD, FAANS

Lead cardiologist and operator of Desert Cardiology and Vascular Center, Dr. Chandra Narala is one of the area’s foremost experts in heart disease prevention. He also specializes in Interventional Cardiology Peripheral Vascular Diseases and sleep-related breathing disorders. He is also Medical Director of Cardiology at St. Rose Dominican Hospitals. Dr. Narala attended the Government Medical College at Karnatak University Bellary in India. He completed his residency and fellowship in Detroit in the 1990s and has practiced medicine in the Las Vegas Valley since 2000. Dr. Narala continues to reach out to the community and build relationships, completing continuing education and professional programs, including Leadership Henderson (2008) and the UNLV MBA program (2009). With excellent reputations in patient satisfaction, Dr. Narala and his courteous staff are dedicated to patient service and minimal waiting times.

Desert Cardiology & Vascular CENTER / ST. ROSE SLEEP DISORDER CENTER 2847 St. Rose Pkwy., Ste. 100 Henderson, NV 89052 702.947.5700

S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

“No one should end the journey of life alone, afraid or in pain.” This is the philosophy of care at Nathan Adelson Hospice. Hospice is not a place, but rather a philosophy of care that focuses on the patients and their loved ones. As the largest non-profit hospice in Southern Nevada, Nathan Adelson Hospice was one of the first three inpatient hospice facilities to open in the United States more than 30 years ago. It has evolved into a model for other hospices throughout the nation to follow and has taken a vast array of steps to make sure its innovative programs, centers and staff maintain the utmost in quality care for patients and their loved ones. Nathan Adelson Hospice employs full-time hospice physicians, registered nurses, social workers, spiritual care professionals, certified nursing assistants, volunteers and bereavement counselors to deliver an integrated, holistic approach to healthcare.

Nathan Adelson Hospice cares for more than 400 patients daily. Dedicated physicians are board certified in hospice and palliative care. It has two on-site pharmacies and a full range of Complementary Therapies. Care is provided in the comfort of the home or in one of two inpatient facilities. Nathan Adelson Hospice has the valley’s only comprehensive pediatric program. The mission of the hospice is to be the hospice of choice, the employer of preference, training center of excellence and the community’s trusted partner for comprehensive end of life care.  The hospice never turns anyone away from care, regardless of their ability to pay. Each year, it provides $1 million in uncompensated care. Nathan Adelson Hospice employs 375 employees and 200 volunteers. In 2010, it was named one of the “100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare” in the nation by Modern Health magazine.

Nathan Adelson Hospice is also home to the Center for Compassionate Care, a counseling program that meets the emotional and spiritual needs of its patients and family members.  An additional program offered specifically to children who are dealing with grief and loss is Camp Mariposa.  The free, three-day camp allows children an opportunity to meet others their age who have also experienced significant losses in their lives.  As the community’s trusted partner, Nathan Adelson Hospice brings dignity, peace and comfort to its patients and their loved ones.


Nathan Adelson Hospice

Nathan Adelson Hospice 4141 Swenson ST. Las Vegas, NV 89119 702.733.0320 Additional locations throughout the Las Vegas Valley

M e d i c a l P R O F ILE s m7

S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

Seniors Helping Seniors


Leading the medical team at Solari Hospice Care in Las Vegas, Medical Director Mike Jeong, D.O., and Alternate Medical Director Syed F. Rahman, M.D., share a passion for improving their patients’ quality of life. It’s this desire to make a quantifiable difference for the most vulnerable patients and their families that drew the doctors — both of whom are board-certified in hospice and palliative, geriatric and internal medicine — to this field. “No other feeling compares to the moment when we meet our goal of relieving the physical and spiritual suffering of the patient and family,” says Dr. Jeong, founder of Geriatric Medicine Associates of Nevada. Solari’s top-notch medical team stays abreast of advances in pain management and takes an aggressive, individualized approach to controlling symptoms, adds Dr. Rahman, who is committed to the continuum of care for his patients at Solari and at Oasis Medical Associates. Focused on enhancing the quality of life for patients and their loved ones, Solari’s interdisciplinary team of physicians, pharmacists, RNs, CNAs, social workers and counselors are specially trained to offer the most compassionate and comforting whole-person care for each patient’s unique needs. Solari also offers Las Vegas’ newest inpatient center for short-term acute care— a state-of-theSolari hospice Care art facility that combines the latest medical 5530 S. Jones Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89118 technology with the comforts of home. 702.685.0264 Medicare/Medicare HMO, Medicaid and most private insurances provide cent coverage for hospice care. “Solari’s medical team provides care that I can only describe as ‘awesome,’” concludes Dr. Jeong. “We must do our best — it is our last opportunity to make a difference.” m8 M e d i c a l P R O F ILES


Dr. Mike Jeong & Dr. Syed F. Rahman

A heartfelt mission provides new hope for Las Vegas seniors who want to stay in their homes but need in-home help to remain living independently. Doug and Natalie Ahlstrom have established a new Seniors Helping Seniors® inhome services franchise location in the Las Vegas area to offer non-medical services with clients matched to senior caregivers, providing companionship, transportation, meal preparation, personal care, overnight stays and handyman services. Doug and Natalie Ahlstrom also offer programs and presentations to educate the community on issues related to seniors and caregiving. “We plan to provide seniors with the dignity and ability to remain living independently in their own home for as long as they desire,” Doug Ahlstrom said. “And we want to provide educational and emotional support for the many adult children involved in the caregiving balancing act,” Natalie Ahlstrom said. — Debbie Hall

seniors helping seniors

4406 clear brook place Las vegas, nv 89103 702.367.7743 SWLasVegas/


S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

Dr. Jaleh Pourhamidi Orthodontics is the perfect blend of the art and science of dentistry to change people’s lives by creating a more functional and aesthetic smile. Good oral health, including straight teeth, increases self-esteem and leads to better overall health. It is this idea that inspires Dr. Jaleh Pourhamidi as an orthodontist and educator. Dean of Roseman University of Health Sciences’ (formerly University of Southern Nevada) College of Dental Medicine and Di

rector of the college’s Advanced Education in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics/ MBA (AEODO/MBA) residency program, Dr. Pourhamidi shares her passion for orthodontics to her 30 residents who excel in achieving academic success while also providing high-quality, affordable orthodontic care to thousands of children, teens and adults throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Opened in 2008 near the university’s Henderson campus, the Orthodontic Clinic

The Orthodontic CLinic at Roseman University of health Services 4 Sunset Way, Bldg C Henderson, NV 89014 702-968-5222

at Roseman University features the latest in patient management and imaging technology, including a Cone Beam CT Scan that creates a 3D image of a patient’s head and neck in just 17 seconds, allowing residents and faculty to better diagnose functional issues and develop a more precise, individual treatment plan. Orthodontic treatment today is much more varied than the braces of the past and include such options as traditional and clear braces as well as Invisalign. A variety of colored bands also give kids opportunities to customize their braces, giving them the ability to express their unique personalities. A resident who is also a fully licensed dentist and an orthodontic faculty cares for each patient, with an extra emphasis on quality of care to achieve beautiful and functional smiles. According to Dr. Pourhamidi, it is this level of care, along with enthusiasm for the college’s residents, that continues to attract patients, many of whom are referred by other patients. Another advantage to patients is the cost. As part of an educational program, treatment at the Orthodontic Clinic is very affordable, with fees as low as half of typical fees at private practices. Additionally, the clinic accepts most insurance and affordable payment plans are available, making orthodontic treatment accessible to many families who would otherwise be unable to afford it. Dr. Pourhamidi also emphasizes that since Roseman is a private, non-profit university, the clinic has no patient income restrictions and, because of the number of residents in the program, there are no wait lists to become a patient. M e d i c a l P R O F ILE s m9

S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

Dr. Bernie Hanna


DESERT RADIOLOGISTS - Nevada’s most trusted provider for quality medical imaging. For 45 years, Desert Radiologists has been dedicated to advanced diagnostic procedures and quality healthcare, making us Nevada’s foremost diagnostic imaging group. Our growth, our success and our many innovations are all driven by our fundamental commitment to satisfy the healthcare needs of the people and community we serve. Our expert team of 45 board-certified radiologists is the largest group of physicians providing quality diagnostic imaging in Nevada. Our radiologists are fellowship and subspecialty trained in many areas including Breast, Cardiac, Thoracic and Oncology Imaging, Pediatrics, Musculoskeletal, Nuclear Medicine, Interventional and Neuroradiology. They carefully supervise and conduct examinations to obtain the maximum diagnostic information with the lowest amount of radiation exposure to the patient. Desert Radiologists operates five ACR accredited outpatient locations throughout Las Vegas and Henderson. We are proud to be the exclusive trusted radiology providers for nine Southern Nevada hospitals and one Northern Nevada hospital. Additionally, we provide radiology services for a large Cancer Center, a group of multi-specialty medical centers and several smaller facilities throughout Southern Nevada. At Desert Radiologists we offer the most comprehensive diagnostic procedures available including Angiography, Computed Tomography, Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional & Cardiovascular Radiology, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MammogDESERT RADIOLOGISTS raphy, Nuclear Medicine, Positron Emis2020 Palomino Lane sion Tomography, Stereotactic Breast Las Vegas, NV Biopsy and Ultrasound. Additionally, 702.382.XRAY (9729) we perform a complete array of interventional and vascular services at our Desert Vascular Institute. For more information about Desert Radiologists and our expert team of physicians, visit us at

m10 M e d i c a l P R O F ILES



Operating out of two ASMBS accredited Bariatric Centers of Excellence, Dr. Bernie Hanna, Director of Las Vegas Bariatrics, is a well-respected Las Vegas bariatric surgeon. Having practiced in the Las Vegas Valley since 2000, Dr. Hanna and Las Vegas Bariatrics strive to create a service-oriented environment focused on quality and commitment. Dr. Hanna completed his undergraduate work at Barry University in Miami, Florida and graduated from Howard University Medical School and General Surgery residency program. Dr. Hanna received “Top Surgeon” honors in 2002, 2003, 2011 and achieved the “Top Doctor” award for 2006 and 2007. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgeons, a member of The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, National Medical Association, Nevada State Medical Association and the Clark County Medical Society.

Las Vegas Bariatrics 6140 S. Fort Apache Rd. Ste. 100 Las Vegas, NV 89148 702.384.1160


S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

DR. EVA LITTMAN Red Rock Fertility Center’s Dr. Eva Littman is one of the Las Vegas Valley’s most trusted and honored fertility experts. Dr. Littman uses a highly refined protocol she developed over years of research and study. It’s called “Ultra IVF” and, looking at all the infertility issues it targets, can improve the chances of conceiving. IVF involves retrieving eggs from a female and placing them in a laboratory Petri dish (a shallow, round glass dish). There, the eggs are fertilized with sperm. The resulting embryo is then implanted in the mother’s uterus where it grows into a baby. Ultra IVF optimizes several key factors critically important to the

development of an embryo outside the body. But, it is not only technology that makes the difference between Ultra IVF and traditional procedures. Red Rock Fertility’s staff includes two embryologists with Executive Laboratory Director Qualifications and a third embryologist, who has an advanced certification and is a certified Laboratory Technical Supervisor. For the patient, this means the people most skilled in the technology are on-site. Dr. Littman has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals, and received several recognition awards for excellence in research. On a regular basis, she presents at

The Red Rock Fertility Center 6420 Medical Center St., STE. 100 Las Vegas, NV 89148 702-262-0079

international meetings and local conferences and serves as an assistant clinical professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Her research interests focus on the effect of culture environments on embryo quality. Having completed her medical training at some of the best medical centers and universities in the world including Stanford University and Duke University, Dr. Littman has been a Las Vegas resident for nearly six years. Dr. Littman has been recognized and honored by her peers and organizations with various awards including the PCRS-Organon Prize Paper Award, “Igf2 imprinting in preimplantation mouse embryos,” the NMA Travel Award (OB/GYN Section NMA) and the Academic Medicine Fellowship Award by the National Medical Foundation. Red Rock Fertility Center accepts most insurance and offers options for financing treatment when necessary. The center also provides free fertility seminars hosted by Dr. Littman and Noushi Mortazavi, the staff’s Advanced Nurse Practitioner, who specializes in less intensive fertility therapies including timed intercourse, pill-based fertility, holistic therapy, dietary strategies and intra-uterine insemination. Great Doctor. Great Therapy. Great Success. M e d i c a l P R O F ILE s m11

S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

Donna Miller

m12 M e d i c a l P R O F ILES

and emergency medicine backgrounds. Specialty teams and Board Certified Physicians are also available. Miller credits her staff for the success of her company.  “Life Guard is successful because of our people. They are amazing individuals chosen because of their professionalism, personality, passion and compassion for the medical and aviation profession and without them Life Guard would not be where we are today. Words can’t describe how proud I am of our team.”  Miller continues to fly as well as operate the company. “This can be quite challenging,” Miller admits. “But I fly because I care about the quality of care we give our patients and I want to participate in their care first hand.  I think that’s what makes Life Guard so different. We have a caregiver’s heart which takes part in every decision we make. Life Guard

International helps people, and we are at our best when we are able to care for people feeling their worst.” For more information, visit us online at — Debbie Hall


Donna Miller is the personification of the American dream. Born and raised in a working-class family in Romania, Miller immigrated to America in 1991 at the age of 22. Miller did not speak English, was newly married and pregnant with her daughter when she came to the United States. With hard work and determination, Miller became a citizen and earned her nursing degree, later becoming a critical care registered nurse. “But I always dreamed of flying,” Miller said. It was while working at Valley Hospital that Miller discovered nurses could fly and became a flight nurse with a local air ambulance company, eventually becoming base manager. In 2002, together with another nurse, Miller began her own air ambulance company, Life Guard International. In 2007 Miller reorganized Life Guard International and bought her first airplane. Today the company continues to grow with bases in Las Vegas, Tonopah, and Reno.  In the male dominated air ambulance business, Miller is only one of two female presidents of a nationally accredited air ambulance company. Life Guard International’s two engine, pressurized airplanes are basically Flying Intensive Care Units - performing around the clock emergency and non-emergency air medical transport services to all acuities of patients, from the very basic to the very critical (including those on IABP, ventilators, etc).  Although Life Guard specializes in regional medical transports, their area of operation is world-wide. Their standard air medical crew consists of a Flight Nurse and a Flight Paramedic. The flight nurses are EMS/ RNs (Emergency Medical Service certified Registered Nurse) with extensive critical care

Life Guard International, INc. 1410 Jet Stream Dr., Ste. 150 Henderson, NV 89052 702.740.5952 888.359.6428


S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

Blossom Bariatrics Blossom Bariatrics practice is about helping patients achieve better health by losing excess weight using Lap Band and gastric bypass surgery, both advanced and traditional. Two of the most important aspects is the caring and accessibility of the office staff, including Dr. Tom Umbach. Each patient is given the doctor’s cell phone number and it is Dr. Umbach who sees the patient on each visit. Blossom Bariatrics has been serving Las Vegas for more than 10 years, performing thousands of cases of complex bariatric surgeries. Morbid obesity can lead to a shorter life and health problems. Clinical studies have shown that gastric bypass surgery improves life expectancy in patients by 89 percent.

Patients can qualify for weight loss surgery when they are 75 pounds or more overweight or have a body mass index of 30 percent. Blossom Bariatrirics surgical weight loss program includes the gastric sleeve resection, performed as an outpatient procedure offering weight loss similar to bypass but without rerouting to the intestine. Other procedures offered include Lap Band, Rouxen-Y gastric bypass, Stomaphyx / ROSE, nutrition class and follow-up, psychological evaluation, sleep apnea screening and support groups both before and after surgery.  Dr. Umbach is a fellowship-trained Las Vegas bariatric surgery specialist and his practice is devoted 100 percent to bariatric surgery with over seven years training in

Blossom Bariatrics 600 Whitney Ranch Dr. Ste. E26 Henderson, NV 89014 702.463.3300

laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery and laparoscopic bariatric surgery. His memberships include Fellow of American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Fellow of American College of Surgeons and American Board of Surgery.  Dr. Umbach attended the Medical College of Virginia with a residency at Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles and a Fellowship at University of Southern California, Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery.  He started the laproscopic surgical weight loss program at Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco, which services all of Northern California. He then created a Center of Excellence program in Eugene, Ore. His other achievements include being named America’s Top Surgeon 2008 and being an Eagle Scout.  Personally, Dr. Umbach and his wife, Holly, are the parents of two children, Alex and Taylor. The family enjoys traveling, camping, reading, and skiing/snowboarding. They are also “dog and cat parents” to a German Shepherd named Cadia, who thinks she’s a lap dog, and a cat named Bella who is taking over the household. Dr. Umbach is a private pilot who loves to fly.  For more information, visit www. — Debbie Hall M e d i c a l P R O F ILE s m13

S p e c i a l A D V E R T I S I N G S EC T I O N

Kindred Healthcare

Recovery doesn’t always happen overnight.

changed, and she was less anxious and happier. The day that Debra went home, her mother was nothing but smiles. Thanks to the coordinated team effort of the dedicated staff, Debra exceeded her goals, making a huge difference in her life and that of her family. Everyone became a part of Debra’s continued care, recovery and return home. Debra’s story is just one example of the care provided by Kindred. Our hospitals deliver aggressive, specialized care to medically complex patients who need extended recovery time. Our patients have serious medical conditions – often many at the same time – requiring a Healthcare understands that when coordinated, specializedKindred approach. Kindred people are discharged from a traditional hospital, Healthcare Las Vegas’ continuum of carecare in-in order to recover they often need continued That’s where we come in. cludes three long-term completely. acute care hospitals and Kindredoffering offers services including aggressive, two skilled nursing centers, rehabilitamedically complex care, intensive care and shorttion, transitional and subacute care. term rehabilitation. Kindred Healthcare, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company and has been ranked as one of Fortune magazine’s Most Admired Healthcare Dedicated Hope, Healing and Recovery Companies for three years in a torow. For more information, visit us online at or call 702.866.2070.



At 37, Debra had already been through a number of medical issues including a seizure disorder, mental retardation and childhood meningitis. She was unable to care for herself, so her mother and sister provided her with home care. Debra had been on a ventilator for approximately two years, and her physician and family felt that she could be weaned. A Kindred clinical liaison went to assess Debra, who was then admitted to a Kindred Hospital. She was very anxious upon her arrival and initially had a difficult time. The primary goal of the respiratory team was to wean her off the ventilator and send her home on a trach collar. However, as she proceeded through treatment, it was clear that Debra could reach higher goals. As the respiratory team made progress on her airway, the speech therapist worked on her feeding, which was very important to both Debra and her mother. In just a couple of weeks, the Kindred team was able to cap Debra’s trach. After several days she no longer needed oxygen. By the time she was discharged home, her demeanor had

Doctors, case managers, social workers and family members don’t stop caring simply because their loved one or patient has changed location. Neither do we.

Kindred Healthcare To see how we care or to learn about 702.866.2070 a career with Kindred, please visit us at


m14 M e d i c a l P R O F ILES

Recovery doesn’t always happen overnight.

CONTINUE THE CARE Kindred Healthcare understands that when people are discharged from a traditional hospital, they often need continued care in order to recover completely. That’s where we come in.

Doctors, case managers, social workers and family members don’t stop caring simply because their loved one or patient has changed location. Neither do we.

Kindred offers services including aggressive, medically complex care, intensive care and shortterm rehabilitation.

To see how we care or to learn about a career with Kindred, please visit us at

Dedicated to Hope, Healing and Recovery



A rt Music

a r t s + e n t e r ta i n m e n t

T h e at e r Dance FA M I LY



Watching Eric Lewis tickle the ivories answers the question of what it’d look like if a piano said something unflattering about a linebacker’s mom. Eric Lewis — aka ELEW — doesn’t merely play the piano. He attacks it as he hammers out what he calls “rockjazz,” piano renditions of beloved rock songs such as The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” He opens for Josh Groban 8 p.m. Aug. 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Tickets $85-$99. Info:


Aid for AIDS of Nevada has been fighting AIDS in Southern Nevada for decades, but that doesn’t mean this organization has forgotten how to party. In fact, they do it every year — in style — at the Black and White party, the annual AFAN benefit. This year, it happens 9 p.m. Aug. 27 at The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan. Tickets $35-$40. Info:

AFAN’s Black and White party




The recent discovery that the American economy is, in fact, built on a flimsy substrate of errant speculation fueled by dreams of yachts has forced us to reconsider our national sport, shopping. Lolita Develay certainly looks at the practice with a wary eye. Her exhibit “Window Shopping” explores our consumer culture through her vivid, highly charged paintings through Oct. 14 at Winchester Center Cultural Gallery, with a reception 5:30 p.m. Sept. 9. Info: 455-7340 88 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

Joshua Kryah is a poet whose work has been praised as graceful, electric and galvanizing. And we all know what that means: Dude must have some kick-ass Tweets! He reads from his latest book, “We Are Starved,” 7 p.m. Sept. 15 at UNLV’s Greenspun Hall Auditorium. Lolita Develay’s “Window Shopping”

B l a c k a n d w h i t e pa r t y : E r i k K a b i k


Handmade in Vegas is like a plush mafia wielding knitting needles and stuffed animals and bath salts, dedicated to supporting all things locally crafted. The group is putting on its Mount Charleston Arts and Crafts Fair 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Resort on Mount Charleston, where you can sample their jewelry, clothes, pottery, home décor and more. Free. Info:

BMW Motorrad USA

ART Motorcycles since 1923

How I See It Aug. 2-Nov. 1. Mark Ross is not a trained photographer, nor is he exactly selftaught: Rather, he comes from a family tree with generations of painters, photographers and artists. In “How I See It,” he exhibits a photographic combination of abstract and real images that have an almost ghostly, painterly quality. West Charleston Library

Important Conversations in Midwestern Brown Aug. 4-Oct. 2. Darren Johnson fuses realist figurative images with cartoon speech bubbles in his series of oil paintings. His work depicts the people he knows, each with their own stories and shared struggles. One such struggle is the desperation to communicate with others in order to relieve our own feelings of alienation, emptiness and lack of significance in the world. Windmill Library

First Friday Aug. 5, Sept. 2, 6-10 p.m. The Arts District’s monthly cultural event features artists, music and more. While the “official” First Friday has been canceled due to rising security costs, most galleries plan to be open for the monthly arts event. 384-0092,

CountyCenter by Justin Favela Through Aug. 5. Known for his pieces that blend humor, history and social commentary, conceptual artist Justin Favela incorporates those elements into this site-specific installation of mixed-media cardboard sculptures that create a commentary on CityCenter. Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery

Figurative Works in Raku Aug. 9-Oct. 23. Ceramic artist Shari Bray showcases works in Raku that feature line-drawn figures and hands into the clay, similar to Japanese woodblock prints. Raku typically gives ceramic art a shiny glaze; Bray uses the process to create surprisingly painterly effects. Enterprise Library

Abraham Abebe: “The Other Side of Las Vegas” Through Aug. 11. Local  artist Abraham Abebe finds beauty off the Strip, and creates a series of oil paintings that offer a different take on Las Vegas.

ENTER TO WIN AN IPAD! Go to BMW Motorcycles Of Las Vegas and enter for your chance to win an iPad 2! See store for details.

6675 South Tenaya Way •





$ 00 *no coupon needed

Koi Clearance from



2 piece scrubs set



*no coupon needed

10% off Top Brands with this coupon





Worlds Famou




*no coupon needed

Does not include sale items



LOGO dIGItIzING eMbROIdeRy• pAtcheS ALteRAtIONS Facto ry ou Waretlet house

The largesT uniform sTore in nevada! ATM

967 east sahara avenue • las vegas, nv 89104 Open 7 Days Monday – Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 89

Vacant lots, deserted houses and downtown hotels are seen in a new light and vivid color. Winchester Cultural Center Gallery

In and Out of Whack Through Aug. 13. Artists Deborah Karpman and Kimberly Hennessy find balance among separate extremes of protection and invasion, strength and weakness, chaos and order. Karpman repurposes old manuals and guidebooks into wallpaper, while Hennessy’s work entails a lot of drawing, pouring and dripping. Contemporary Arts Center

Desert Spaces Art Exhibition

Springs Preserve Photo Contest

Through Sept. 11, by appointment. Our immediate Southwest environent is the star of this invitational exhibit. Featured artists focus on the beauty, detail and color of the awe-inspiring expanse of our desert. Free. Historic Fifth Street School Gallery

Through October 2. Everyone’s a photographer these days — and some of us are quite good. View award winners of the Springs Preserve’s annual photo contest, which features work from a range of professional, youth and amateur photographers. $4-$8. Springs Preserve, Big Springs Gallery

Great Basin Exteriors: A Photographic Survey

Lolita Develay: “Window Shopping”

Through Sept. 14. Photographers Adam Jahiel, Daniel Cheek and Nolan Preece examine themes of loss, change and abandonment in the American West in this exhibit of 30 photographs. UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum

Aug. 20-Oct. 14; reception Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m. Develay’s paintings take readers window shopping through the luxury of the Strip. The art examines consumer culture through the incorporation of futuristic mannequins drenched in high

Hot Glass Through Aug. 18. Artist Stacey Neff’s exhibit explores the possibilities of glass as a sculptural medium, whether it’s traditional glass or fiberglass. Other artists in the exhibit also experiment with the medium, among them Sam Scott, Dana Newmann and Martin Horowitz. Charleston Heights Arts Center

Melinda Jackson and Michael Kessler are the brains — and legs — behind “Love 2 Dance.”

Celebrating Life! 2011 Winners Circle Exhibition Through Aug. 25. View the award-winning entries from this year’s fine arts competition sponsored by the city of Las Vegas Arts Commission and the city of Las Vegas to recognize local artists. Free. Bridge Gallery

Summer Selections Through Sept. 4  A celebration of contemporary prints, editions and multiples by some of the world’s leading artists and designers. This exhibit features works by several artists from the acclaimed “Locals Only” series. CENTERpiece Gallery

Through Sept. 10. Inspired by the desert landscape and the Las Vegas skylines, Lincoln Maynard takes advantage of the museum’s large walls to not just exhibit paintings, but create an encompassing expression of thought about people, cities and society. Also on display is a smaller version of Urbis Octaptych, eight paintings that will be auctioned off to benefit UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum.

90 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

U’ll love 2 dance 2 Between “America’s Got Talent” and “Dancing with the Stars” and “Krumping Kids on Kamera” and “Look! Anybody Can Dance! Even These Animals!,” you’d think dance was simply a matter of slapping on some clogs and getting your Lord of the Dance on. Not true. It takes passion, dedication — even obsession — to become a professional dancer. The husbandand-wife team Michael Kessler and Melinda Jackson should know — and they know a lot of people who should know, too. That’s why they gathered 18 of the valley’s top dancers — veterans of Strip mainstays such as “Jersey Boys,” “Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular” and “O” — for their show “Love 2 Dance.” In these footloose vignettes, dancers reveal their struggles and celebrate their triumphs — and revel in their enduring love of dance. It happens 8 p.m. Aug. 19 and 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at the South Point hotel-casino. Tickets $20-$30. Info: PHOTOGRAPHY BY SABIN ORR


Urbis Octaptych: The City ...the Times, the Promise

fashion, using vibrant color and an almost otherworldly sensibility. Winchester Cultural Center Gallery

Recent Works by Laraine Kaiser Aug. 23-Nov. 8 Laraine Kaiser has a secret life: The Las Vegas Philharmonic musician also paints. Her recent work of oil on canvas ranges from classical reproductions to abstract originals and surreal styles. Spring Valley Library

Zak Ostrowski: New Work Aug. 29-Oct. 14, Reception Sept. 1, 6 p.m. Using both traditional techniques and modern technology, Zak Ostrowski’s sculptures are created from metal, wood and concrete. Ostrowski shapes human forms in a mix of media to achieve his signature style. Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery

MUSIC Classical Guitar with Michael Nigro Aug. 20, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Acclaimed for his expressive playing and well-developed technique, Michael Nigro performs his songs, and promises to offer engaging commentary with his current program, “A Journey through Latin America.” Clark County Library

Ronnie Rose and Frank Potenza Aug. 20, 4 p.m. Singer Ronnie Rose is a singer and entertainer known for everything from soul classics to famous ballads. He performs with Los Angelesbased guitarist Frank Potenza, a protégé of the late Joe Pass and a former member of the Gene Harris Quartet. $12-$15. Winchester Cultural Center

Josh Groban Aug. 20, 8 p.m. Josh Groban, the American singer-songwriter, musician, actor and record producer is joined with special guest and “rockjazz” pianist ELEW for a live concert. ELEW is known for his moving and sometimes tempestuous renditions of acclaimed rock songs, including The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” $85-$99. MGM Grand Garden Arena

Encore Show Choir August 25, 6 p.m. Under the direction of Jessica Kincaid, Winchester’s own choir performs a selection of pop hits. $5. Winchester Cultural Center

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 91


Tony Scodwell & Friends

Aug. 27, 8 p.m. Country sensation Sugarland makes another stop on The Incredible Machine Tour, performing hits such as “Want To,” “Settlin’” and “Stay.” $56-$96 Mandalay Bay Events Center       

Sept. 3, 2 p.m. Tony Scodwell, a veteran of some of America’s greatest big bands, leads this concert that also features vocalist Lena Prima, daughter of the legendary Louis. $10-$15. Charleston Heights Arts Center Theatre

Performing Arts Society of Nevada

Kings of Leon

Aug. 28, 2 p.m. The Performing Arts Society of Nevada puts on a to-beannounced show as part of the Brown Bag Concert Series. $15. Clark County Library

Sept. 3. The Southern rockers perform songs from their renowned catalog of songs, including “Sex on Fire,” “Use Somebody” and “Notion.” $59.55$87.65. Mandalay Bay Events Center        

Maryland Parkway Music Festival Sept. 2-4. The Maryland Parkway Music Festival will feature art, poetry, performances, food and more than 75 local and touring bands, including Michigan’s Americana folk-rockers Frontier Ruckus and New Zealand’s Neo Kalashniknovs. The event is designed to support and celebrate the culture and history of the University District neighborhood. Tickets TBA. Various Maryland Parkway venues

The B-52s and Human League Sept. 4. Two mainstays from the ’80s — representing both the decade’s silliness and seriousness — perform in a latesummer concert. $45. Mandalay Beach

DANCE Love 2 Dance Aug. 19, 8 p.m. Created by the husbandand-wife song-and-dance team Michael Kessler and Melinda Jackson,

this show features 18 top dancers and choreographers from Strip mainstays such as “Jersey Boys,” “Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular” and “O.” In these vignettes, dancers reveal their struggles, triumphs and their enduring love of dance. $20-$30. South Point hotel-casino, 797-8055,   

Star Catchers Summer Recital Sept. 2, 6 p.m. The Winchester Star Catchers Hip Hop Crew reprise their energetic, intricately choreographed performance on the Winchester stage. $5. Winchester Cultural Center

THEATER House of Comedy Presents Adam Carolla Aug. 6, 7 p.m. Comedian, radio personality and show host Adam Carolla reaches into his repertoire of edgy jokes and humor-fueled commentary. $32-$45 The House of Blues

Meetings…with high expectations Hotel College Catering University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The next time you’re looking for the perfect space to host your special event, look no further than the experts at the Harrah Hotel College. With a range of services and room styles available, there is certain to be one that fits your needs perfectly. Proceed with high expectations!

For information please contact: Christy Paciolla, Director of Sales & Marketing 801 E. Flamingo • Las Vegas, NV 89154 Main (702) 895-3903

92 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

Take a peek at what we can do for your event:

Expect the best.

Fiddler on the Roof Aug. 10-Aug. 27, 8 p.m. (dark Sun.-Tue.) This classic musical is about the dairyman Tevya’s quest to find happiness for his daughters and a better life for his people. Part of the Super Summer Theatre series. $12-$15. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park,

Aladdin Sept. 7, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Dedicated to providing entertainment “with an inherent British accent,” The British National Theatre of America (BTNA) also known as Cockroach, Inc., offers their take on this classic

story of magic lamps, flying carpets and sand. 595-4789, Summerlin Library

FESTIVALS AND FAMILY EVENTS Summer Camps for Kids Through Aug. 22, For 11 weeks, five daylong camps for ages 6-12 will let kids get up close and personal with Gila Monsters and other desert animals and take part in archaeology digs. $210$230. Springs Preserve, 822-7700.

Final Musical Productions Aug. 2, 10 p.m.; Aug. 4, 1 p.m.; Aug. 6, 2 p.m. The Performing & Visual Arts

Thank YOU!

Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria would like to thank all of our valued customers who were a part of our family throughout the years. We enjoyed the laughter and conversation over fine food and great wine. Thank you to the entertainers and staff who worked diligently to provide service above and beyond, and to everyone who has included Nora’s as part of their memories including important personal, professional and family occasions and to Las Vegas for being one of the best cities in the world.

Frontier Ruckus

Rock the Parkway Michigan-based Frontier Ruckus is all banjos and trucker hats worn unironically and sun-kissed shoulders and voice-crackingly earnest crooning. They even play a saw — you know, the musical saw that makes that eerie sound of a ghost singing. And they’re just one of the headliners at the three-day Maryland Parkway Musical Festival Sept. 2-4, which is slated to feature 75 (!) local and touring bands performing on, in and around the University District. Tickets TBA. Info:

702.940.6672 1031 S. rampart blvd. at CharleSton

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 93

Summer Camp for Kids presents its final musical production. This program provides an opportunity for local youth to develop life skills through art programs focused on cultivating communities. Free. Various locations, 229-4800 or

clothing, toys, bath and body products, pottery, home decor and more. Free. Resort on Mount Charleston, 2275 Kyle Canyon Road. www. mtcharlestonartsandcraftsfair.webs. com

Exploring Trees Inside and Out Through September 5, 10-6 p.m. Walk through an enlarged tree trunk and through the veins of leaves and leave the exhibit with a new respect for trees. $4-$8. Springs Preserve, Origen Museum

BUGS! Handmade in Vegas Arts and Crafts Fair Aug. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The local arts and crafts group with more than 300 members is dedicated to promoting locally handmade arts and crafts to both celebrate creativity and support the local economy. Vendors and exhibits will feature jewelry,

Aug. 15- Sept. 5, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Peek at the creepy crawlies in the Springs Preserve’s new show BUGS! Tarantulas, bark scorpions, centipedes and other Mojave crawlers are all revealed in the live animal show. Free for members or included with general admission. Springs Preserve

VENOM Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. throughout Aug. You might say this exhibit really stings. Take a bite out of your weekend and witness a venomous cast of characters on stage in the Big Springs Theater and learn how and why they use venom. $4.95-$9.95. Springs Preserve

VENUE GUIDE The Cosmopolitan 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 6987000,

West, Summerlin, Sunrise, West Charleston and Whitney libraries, 734-READ,

CENTERpiece Gallery In CityCenter 3720 Las Vegas Blvd. S. 736-8790,

MGM Grand Garden Arena In the MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,

Charleston Heights Arts Center 800 S. Brush St., 229-6383

The Orleans Showroom Inside The Orleans 4500 W. Tropicana Ave.,

Clark County Government Center 500 Grand Central Parkway, 455-8239 College of Southern Nevada BackStage Theater, Nicholas J. Horn Theater, Recital Hall, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., North Las Vegas, 651-5483, Historic Fifth Street School 401 S. Fourth St., 229-6469 House of Blues Inside Mandalay Bay 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Insurgo’s Bastard Theater 900 E. Karen Ave. D114,

Reed Whipple Cultural Center 821 Las Vegas Blvd. N., 2291012 The Springs Preserve 333 S. Valley View Blvd., 8227700, www.springspreserve. org UNLV Artemus Ham Hall, Judy Bayley Theater, Beam Music Center Recital Hall, Barrick Museum Auditorium, Black Box Theater, Greenspun Hall Auditorium, Paul Harris Theater, Student Union Theatre. 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, 895-2787, Winchester Cultural Center 3130 S. McLeod Dr. 455-7340

Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Centennial Hills, Clark County, Enterprise, Rainbow, Sahara 94 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1 2 0 1 1

Poet Joshua Kryah reads 7 p.m. Sept. 15 at UNLV’s Greenspun Hall Auditorium.


Question Reality August 6, 2 p.m. This performance by magician Dixie Dooley, a Harry Houdini enthusiast and escape artist, is suitable for all ages. $10. Winchester Cultural Center

LECTURES, READINGS AND PANELS Fifth Annual Women of Color Conference Aug. 1-3. Open to all women and men, this three-day conference offers career development seminars, networking opportunities and speakers including Janet Murguia of the National Council of La Raza motivational speaker Dr. Robin Smith and self-improvement expert Linda Clemons. Proceeds go to benefit organizations serving women and girls. $150. Mandalay Bay,

Extreme Couponing 101 Aug. 6, 2 p.m. In this economy, clipping coupons is for everybody. In this class, you’ll learn how to save money, use multiple discount offers and where to hunt for deals before you shop. Free. Centennial Hills Library

Joshua Kryah Sept, 15, 7 p.m. With poems praised for their grace and impact, award-winning poet Joshua Kryah reads from his latest book of work, “We Are Starved.” UNLV’s Greenspun Hall Auditorium

FUNDRAISERS Back 2 School Celebration Aug. 20, 9 a.m.-noon. Led by HopeLink of Southern Nevada, Back 2 School will distribute clothes, classroom supplies and other school essentials to students in need. To register, visit Free. Valley View Recreation Center, 500 Harris St., 267-4060

Black and White Party Aug. 27, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Celebrating its 25th anniversary with live entertainment and drink specials, this benefit supports the work of AFAN and the fight against HIV/AIDS in Southern Nevada $35-$40. The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas,

Desert CompAnion on tour Have coffee and conversation with Desert Companion Editor Andrew Kiraly and a special guest from the latest issue at a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf — every month.

August 10 & 23

For time and location, visit us online at

d e s e r t c o m pa n i o n . c o m 95

last word

Gives you wings


Why did I rescue a beat-up, decrepit, hopeless rooster? He’s Plucky by david mckee

Thank God I’m not a country boy. I couldn’t have hacked it, being a lazy brute who likes to sleep late and shirks heavy manual labor whenever possible. Besides, if I ever got attached to a chicken, pig, cow or horse, the poor critter would eventually be decapitated, sent to a slaughterhouse or maybe a glue factory, leaving me devastated. Farms are places for visiting and indulging bucolic fantasies. Like my wife, I’m perfectly content in quasi-suburban existence, in a 1962 neighborhood developed by Wilbur Clark near UNLV. So guess who was sought out by a distressed rooster last Easter Sunday? “He’s coming up the driveway,” my wife ex-

96 D e s e r t C o m pa n i o n A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

claimed, as he strutted toward our house like a proud almoner. Probably the victim of a cockfighting ring, he’d lost his coxcomb and the crown of his head was laid open to the scalp. Both of his wings had either been mauled or deliberately mutilated. Now, the only thing stronger than my dread of farm life is susceptibility to a hard-luck story and “Plucky” (as Jennifer soon named him) was obviously down on his fortunes. Some instinct told him to make a beeline for us. Not even the presence of three cats deterred Plucky from his conviction he’d landed in the lap of luxury. He even rapped on front door, demanding admittance.

Birdseed and water were quickly provided, as we tried to make sense of our homeless visitor. Our improvised, live-and-let-cluck idyll came to an abrupt end a few days later when Plucky went postal on our postman for daring to infringe upon his turf. It was clear that Plucky would have to be domiciled in our backyard while we found a permanent home. Neither objective was easily accomplished. The Lied Animal Shelter, we were told, would euthanize Plucky on sight. So would the Nevada SPCA — and it’d charge us for the privilege of murdering our new friend. It would have been the simplest thing to call Animal Control. But, after all he’d suffered, why reward him with a death sentence? We admired his scrappy survivor’s spirit — like a feathered hobo — and became firmly resolved to give him a better life than he’d seen so far. Phase One: Corral Plucky. How do you capture a rooster singlehandedly? With great difficulty. A rooster can accelerate and turn faster than an Alfa Romeo. Meanwhile, you’re left feeling like a damn fool, pursuing a scrawny, elusive chicken with a quilt. So we were playing two waiting games. One, for Plucky to let his guard down sufficiently to nab him, the other to hear good news from any of the many farms and refuges Jennifer had contacted. The unlikely solution to finding him a home: Pigs. Plucky’s luck turned when Jennifer’s cold calling led her to R.C. Farms, in North Las Vegas. Its owner, Bob Combs, scours the Strip, relieving casinos of leftover food, thus ensuring his thousands of hogs a high-protein diet fit for a VIP player. He also keeps roosters as pets and agreed to give Plucky a home on the free range. After locating the huge (but inconspicuous) pig farm, we drove through acres of livestock before being directed to a wooded aerie where Mr. Combs and his family live. A peacock and turkey paraded about in the breeze. Concealed in a bamboo thicket was a large and shady pond, stocked with fish, geese and ducks. Coaxed from his carrier, Plucky quickly began exploring the underbrush and chatting up the handsome red rooster who appeared to, well, rule the roost. As we left, we passed a chicken and a brood of fuzzy little offspring. Hmmmm … female companionship. Might there soon be a bunch of little Pluckys scuttling around R.C. Farms? If so, their DNA will be encoded with bravery, trust and a survival instinct that would put many a human to shame. David McKee is a local freelance writer. And still not a country boy.


Healing with Care

Quality care you and your family deserve. The Health Center at Touro University Nevada brings together the convenience of multiple specialties and the experience of board-certified, university-affiliated healthcare providers. That means you benefit from a wealth of knowledge, resources, and the latest technology and practices. Our goal is to be your partner in healthcare – providing compassionate care backed by the latest academic expertise.

Call today for an appointment.

702.777.4809 Most health insurance plans are accepted.

874 American Pacific Drive Henderson NV 89014 P 702.777.4809 / F 702.777.4822

The Childrens Heart Center Client Since 2010

MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR CHILDREN’S HEART CENTER Children’s Heart Center has provided quality medical care to children with heart disease since 1980. But more than that, they go the extra mile for patients who need help paying for medical expenses. When they needed a banking partner, they chose Nevada State Bank because we share their dedication to helping Nevadans. We found innovative solutions to help their practice lower its operating costs - so they could pass on the savings to the children who depend on them. As Nevada’s largest state-chartered community bank, we’ve been making a difference in the lives of Nevadans for over 50 years. | 1.866.618.3574

Desert Companion - August 2011