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Nevada Business Magazine Healthcare Hero Awards recognize Intermountain Health pediatric neurosurgeon as this year’s “Innovator”

LAS VEGAS –Nevada Business Magazine announces its 2023 Healthcare Hero Award for ”Innovator” is presented to Dr. Taryn Bragg, Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Intermountain Health and Associate Professor at the University of Utah. Dr. Bragg is the only full-time, board-certified pediatric neurosurgeon caring for patients in the entire state of Nevada.

“One of the greatest rewards of being a physician is the ability to make a difference in the lives of patients,” said Dr. Bragg. “I am grateful every day that I get to do what I love and am so incredibly honored to be recognized with such a meaningful award.”

One of Dr. Bragg’s patients, 8-year-old Carter Hayes, became severely ill and paralyzed on the left side of his body. His life and that of his family changed dramatically when they found out that what they thought was a sinus infection was actually a brain abscess. Dr. Bragg saved Carter’s life — and restored his movement after paralysis — by completing a series of three complex surgeries.

Around that same time, in March of 2022, Dr. Bragg noticed that children with sinus infections were developing brain abscesses at an alarming rate following the removal of pandemic mask mandates. After conferring with colleagues, she theorized that the incidences could be linked. Her observations were evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reviewed by the Southern Nevada Health District. The findings may impact the future of how children with illnesses like Carter’s are treated.

Dr. Bragg was interviewed by numerous national and local news outlets, including CNN, Fox News, NBC News, and more, regarding these recent brain infection discoveries.

Carter is one of thousands of patients Dr. Bragg has treated over the course of her career. With more than 13 years in practice, she has performed over 2,600 successful surgeries.

“Dr. Bragg truly is a hero and is so deserving of this prestigious award,” said Dr. Diane Alonso, Region Associate Chief Medical Officer for Specialty Care at Intermountain Health. “Intermountain Health partners with Dr. Bragg in Nevada to expand pediatric healthcare in our state. Before her arrival, the families of children she has cared for very likely may have needed to travel great distances to get care. We are thankful for her dedication in helping patients live the healthiest lives possible.”

Dr. Bragg’s passion is caring for children with disabilities, including for the conditions of hydrocephalus, spina bifida, Chiari malformation, spine abnormalities, tumor, and other neurological congenital abnormalities. She offers a variety of surgical interventions to treat spasticity, dystonia, and other movement disorders.

Dr. Bragg joined Intermountain Primary Children’s Neurosurgery team in 2020 and cares for patients at  Sunrise Children’s Hospital. She is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery. A member of numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, Dr. Bragg continues to participate in academics, attending and speaking at national conferences, and teaching national board review courses.

Created in 2006, the Nevada Business Magazine Healthcare Hero Awards celebrate the work and actions of those that are often overlooked for recognition: Nevada’s healthcare workers. The 2023 Nevada Business Magazine Healthcare Heroes were announced in the September issue of the magazine. Healthcare Hero categories also include Community Partner, Humanitarian, and Lifetime Achievement. Nevada Business Magazine accepted nominations from the public and a panel comprised of healthcare executives and prominent members of the community reviewed and selected the winners.

Dr. Bragg will be recognized at the Southern Nevada Healthcare Heroes event taking place on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Red Rock Resort.

For more information about Intermountain Health and pediatric primary care services offered by Intermountain Health in Nevada, please visit www.intermountainnv.org. Intermountain Health offers primary care at four pediatric clinic locations in the Las Vegas Valley.

About Intermountain Health

With locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit healthcare system comprised of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with 3,800 employed physicians and advanced practice providers, and a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs.

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Paula Freund - Communications Director

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