Pashtana Usufzy

Pashtana Usufzy

Pashtana Usufzy is a freelance general features and health reporter based in Las Vegas. She previously worked as a health care reporter at the Las Vegas Review-Journal and prior to that as a local news reporter at the Las Vegas Sun.


State issues cease and desist to unlicensed lab

By: - April 16, 2020

A Las Vegas urgent care offering blood tests to detect coronavirus has been issued a cease and desist order for operating without a laboratory license, the state said Wednesday. The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported Tuesday that Sahara West Urgent Care  Wellness was one of two known facilities ordered to halt its serological tests by […]


Volunteer recruitment effort confronts state’s longstanding health professional shortage

By: - April 8, 2020

As Nevada’s medical sector braces for the impact of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Steve Sisolak is hoping to attract a network of emergency volunteers to join in the fight. The governor’s emergency directive last week provides lawsuit immunity for medical professionals providing COVID-19 care and temporarily loosens restrictions on certain health care workers who are […]


Southern Nevada hospitals delaying ‘nonessential’ surgeries

By: - March 30, 2020

Southern Nevada hospitals are postponing surgeries deemed nonessential to conserve resources and make room for patients suffering from the novel coronavirus. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada began “winding down” elective procedures March 23 in line with recommendations from organizations including the American College of Surgeons, also known as ACS, public relations manager Scott Kerbs […]


Nevada will seek emergency Medicaid waivers

By: - March 23, 2020

Nevada’s Medicaid program plans to seek waivers from the federal government to streamline and accelerate access to vital services as the Silver State grapples with the widespread impact of the novel coronavirus. A draft of a planned emergency waiver last week included temporary requests for flexibility around in-person assessments typically required for programs like long-term […]

Las Vegas Strip

Economic impacts of COVID-19 likely to hit low-income workers hardest

By: - March 10, 2020

The impacts of COVID-19 and the associated economic fallout are likely to hit Nevada’s low-income population especially hard. “They are often uninsured or underinsured so that’s going to affect their ability to seek healthcare,” said Brian Labus, an assistant professor with the UNLV School of Public Health. “All sorts of chronic conditions are more common […]


Nevadans with medical debt hit with murky collection practices

By: - February 26, 2020

Across the country, a reckoning is taking place over medical debt stemming from hospital visits. From the story of a nonprofit hospital in Tennessee that brought more than 8,000 lawsuits in five years, to countless true tales of patients with five-figure debt after an emergency, the practice of hospitals either directly suing patients or sending […]

sign em up

Nevada ACA enrollment drops amid ‘political headwinds’

By: - December 26, 2019

Enrollment in Nevada’s new state-run health care exchange dropped by just over 6,000 for 2020, news that comes amid a hectic few weeks for the health care discussion nationally. “It’s likely it had to do with the same reasons as in years past — uncertainty,” said Heather Korbulic, executive director of the Silver State Health […]

don't get sick tho

UMC plans growth amid urgent care competition

By: - December 12, 2019

University Medical Center of Southern Nevada has its sights set on expansion. The public hospital that required millions of dollars in loans to make payroll and cut about 400 positions roughly five years ago has been profitable four years in a row, said CEO Mason VanHouweling. Now, as Clark County experiences some of the fastest […]


From housing to skimpy services: Area experts trace systemic health risks

By: - November 19, 2019

Ensuring the health of Nevada’s vulnerable populations will require workforce development, a focus on mental health care and investment in nonmedical areas like housing and transportation, experts said Friday at the Nevada Population Health Conference. Among the ideas proposed by conference panelists to strengthen the state’s health care system were preparation of high school-age and […]

On the hook

Top of a bad list: Nevada leads nation in student loan defaults

By: - November 5, 2019

Though the federal student loan default rate has continued to decline overall, Nevada’s rate climbed to the highest in the country for the 2016 cohort, according to U.S. Department of Education data. The national default numbers, released in September, arrived just before the Silver State began seeking out candidates for a new student loan ombudsman […]

21st century, gah!

Nevada’s Millennials still living with long-term impacts of Great Recession

By: - October 21, 2019

Izzy Thorn’s life course was altered by the Great Recession. Now the campaign manager for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Thorn said she’d harbored the goal of becoming a lawyer. From 2008 to 2012, she worked as a legal assistant during and immediately following college at UNLV. But as the long-term economic impact of the […]

trauma drama

Draft offers insight into proposed trauma center approval process

By: - October 17, 2019

Draft guidelines released this month by the state’s public health department would authorize a new, lower-level form of trauma center and establish guidelines for the state to approve trauma center proposals. The guidelines, developed by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health and dated Oct. 1, are the result of the June passage of AB317. […]