/Hickstein Receives Inaugural TB Nurse Award

Hickstein Receives Inaugural TB Nurse Award

June 30, 2010

LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District today announced that Laurie Hickstein has received the inaugural TB Nurse Award by the National TB Controllers Association at its recent annual meeting.

The TB Nurse Award recognizes an outstanding TB nurse from nominations nationwide. Hickstein, a registered nurse, received recognition for her 10 years of work in the health district’s TB Treatment & Control clinic. She has served as a public health nurse for nearly 20 years. Her nomination was submitted by the Nevada State Health Division.

She serves as the lead liaison between the University School of Medicine/University of Nevada, Reno, the Nevada State Health Division and the Southern Nevada Health District to address pediatric cases in Clark County. In recent years, she has spearheaded a multi-state TB contact investigation and recently worked with a team to complete a seven-year course of treatment for a patient with a multi-drug resistant TB strain.

In addition, Hickstein works with health care providers, hospital administrators and local community agencies to provide customized educational opportunities about TB in the community.

“Laurie was nominated for her extensive work in our TB prevention and control program and her ability to adapt and put ‘best practices’ to work for our patients. She is an excellent TB educator for our public safety and police departments, for health care workers and for patients,” said Dr. Lawrence Sands, the Southern Nevada Health District’s chief health officer. “Her experience here at the health district provides us with a wealth of knowledge of past TB cases and contact investigations that help us help our patients more efficiently and effectively.”

The Southern Nevada Health District’s TB Treatment and Control clinic conducted 82 contact investigations in 2009. At any given time, there are approximately 80 people undergoing treatment for active TB in Clark County under the supervision of the health district. Health district clinicians coordinate care for patients, many of whom voluntarily remain in quarantine until adherence to an effective treatment plan renders them no longer infectious. Treatment can take six to 24 months and requires supervision, which is burdensome on the patient and health care systems.

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The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.