Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

April 2009

A Message from Vice President John A. McDonald, M.D., Ph.D.

John A. McDonald, M.D., Ph.D.

Is the glass half empty or half full? While some might argue and feel that these tough economic times create a sense of discouragement, I am amazed each week of the many “half full” experiences that are happening within the Division of Health Sciences. I had the opportunity to attend and participate in a meeting of the newly formed university Veteran’s Coalition, a grass roots group effort, led by associate professor Susan Chandler of Social Work. Membership, interest and participation in this group was generated at our recent division assembly. Their goal to help and support our returning veterans demonstrates our ability to take action and advocate for social responsibility as a part of our job.

Continuing to fill the glass is the focus of our efforts to increase research productivity at this university. I am encouraged and supportive of those in our division who are busily collaborating, preparing and responding to the recent funding proposals that are available through the National Institutes of Health through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Toward this goal of “external entrepreneurship” Provost Marc Johnson recently outlined a plan to strengthen research infrastructure and services to better facilitate faculty research efforts.

I hope that each of us examine how we can play a part and accept our respective responsibility in building the research capacity of this institution.

Whether it be mentoring and including junior faculty with our own projects, sharing experience and expertise in grant writing or reaching across our disciplines to form competitive interdisciplinary teams, there is much to contribute.

We must remain alert to all opportunities that are available to us to grow and continue the work that we do. By responding to a recent request for technology enhancements, units in the division were recently granted almost $30,000 to enhance student computer labs and equipment. It may be more difficult in some instances to do more with less. However, as we reengineer our processes to create new efficiencies, knowledge and practices that just might overflow our glass at the rim.

News from Division of Health Sciences Units

Speech Pathology and Audiology Department Earns Eight Year Reaccreditation

The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology earned an eight-year reaccreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation, an arm of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, for the second consecutive period.

Thanks are due across the spectrum including the School of Medicine, the University of Nevada, Reno Division of Health Sciences and the community for their contributions to this successful process.

Nevada Nursing Leadership Delegates Meet With Senator Reid

At the fall and spring business meetings of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Deans/Directors, a Nevada delegation of nursing leadership met Nevada Senator Harry Reid, senate majority leader, to discuss the organizations’ position on federal funding/support for nursing research, nursing education and other issues.

During the spring meeting, Patsy Ruchala, Ph.D., R.N. director of the Orvis School of Nursing, presented him a plaque on behalf of the on behalf of AACN and the Nevada Nursing Deans/Directors. Accompanying Ruchala was Shirlee Snyder, interim dean of nursing, Nevada State College and Carolyn Yucha, dean of nursing, UNLV.

Division Receives Student Technology Funds

The Division of Health Sciences was granted funds for three proposals that were submitted to the campus Student Technology Fund committee. The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology will receive $5,827 to fund video equipment. The Division of Health Sciences Student Center was granted to $10,669 to replace computers and printers in the computer laboratory located in Room 204 of the Sarah Fleischmann Building.

The School of Social Work was funded $13,484 to replace computers and software in the Social Work Student Lab. Special thanks to all of the DHS team that worked on the successful proposals: Jessica Younger, executive assistant to the DHS vice president, Laurie Beck, DHS advisement, recruitment and retention coordinator, Jennifer Laslo, DHS advising assistant, Denise Montcalm, director, School of Social Work, Robert Boyd, SOM manager, user services, Vern Usher, School of Medicine IT technician, user services, Eileen Aragon, SOM administration and finance manager, and John Goetz, statewide director of information technology, University of Nevada School of Medicine.

“Relay for Life Team": Members Still Needed

All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to join the DHS “Health Sciences Hoofers” for the American Cancer Society “Relay For Life®” event held on campus on April 24-25. Members of the team will be walking on the track at Mackay Stadium beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 24, throughout the evening until 6 a.m. Saturday morning.

We are hoping to have enough volunteers to complete one hour increments of the 12 hour event. Join the team or make a donation and help us support the fight against cancer! You don’t need to walk if you are unavailable.

Fighting cancer is a team effort. The impact we can make together is much greater than what any of us could do alone. By supporting our team, you will be a part of a life-changing event that celebrates the lives of those who have battled cancer, remembers loved ones lost, and empowers all of us to fight back against a disease that takes too much.

Vice President John McDonald will serve as captain for the team and Jessica Younger jyounger@unr.edu will be coordinating the logistics. Please select your time frame preference using Doodle.

Sanford Center Creates New Blog

The Sanford Center for Aging has a new blog, Adding Life to Years, that SCA faculty and staff are using to share what they learn out in the field with their colleagues and with the world at large. The center tested the blog at the recent Aging in America conference last month in Las Vegas. Communications and marketing specialist Ed Cohen made nearly a dozen posts about sessions he attended.

The Sanford Center for Aging also recently began distributing an e-newsletter focusing on findings from its Elders Count Nevada research report.

Internal Medicine Residents Receive Research Grants

In collaboration with the Nevada INBRE program, research grants were awarded last month to three Las Vegas internal medicine residentsa first for the School of Medicine and IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence or NBRE.

The goal is to expand research infrastructure into the residency programs to develop individuals who will go on to perform research in their chosen specialty for three months of protected time. The residents all have a research mentor who will provide assistance and guidance during the research process.

They will also have the opportunity to participate in a clinical epidemiology and study design intensive research course offered by the Clinical and Translational Study Center at the University of California Davis in Sacramento.

The three proposals that received funding include: “Physician directed management of hyperglycemia in TPN patients is superior to current ad hoc management” with principal investigator Nischala Nannapaneni, M.D. and mentor Michael Jakoby, M.D., chair of the internal medicine department in Las Vegas; “Ischemia in hibernators” with principal investigator Kartika Shetty, M.D. and mentor Frank van Breukelen, Ph.D.; and “Catch CAD Study” with principal investigator Nirmal Sunkara, M.D. and mentor Chowdhury Ahasan, M.D., Ph.D.

Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book Now Available

A newly released University of Nevada School of Medicine report documents the diverse features of health and health care in rural and frontier counties of Nevada. The Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book 2009 Edition contains a wide range of current information on the demography, population health, and the health care delivery system in rural and frontier regions of Nevada.

It includes important data for public policy makers, health care professionals and administrators, rural health care advocates, and residents of rural and frontier Nevada.

Accentuate the Positive nomination process now open

Truckee Meadows Tomorrow (TMT) has opened the Silver Star Award nomination process for Accentuate the Positive (ATP), a biennial, community-wide celebration scheduled for October 9, 2009 in the Peppermill Tuscany Ballroom. ATP salutes our unparalleled quality of life and the people and organizations that are making a measurable difference in our community. Silver Stars will be awarded for each of the 33 Quality of Life Indicators. Now is your chance to recognize the shining examples in our community, especially in the areas of health and wellness, education and lifelong learning, and public wellbeing. Nominations for this year’s 11th anniversary event will be accepted through April 30.

Get To Know

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, School of Medicine

The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology is located within the School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno. Three degree programs are offered: bachelor of science, master of science, and doctor of philosophy. Presently, there are 85 undergraduate, 21 graduate and 2 doctoral students enrolled in the program. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

There are nine faculty in language, speech and hearing. All of the faculty hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and, unlike many programs, all faculty supervise student clinicians in diagnostic and treatment sessions in the clinic. The department enjoys a high visibility within the medical school due to its active on-campus clinic and the research activity of the faculty. All faculty are engaged in research in their specialty areas and encourage student participation in their projects. The faculty is also active in various professional and scientific interests. These include speaking at conventions and workshops, and being published in important journals and books. Thomas Watterson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, serves as chair and professor for the department.

Upcoming Events

“Forgiveness” is Topic of first DHS Grand Rounds Speakers Series on April 15

Frederic M. Luskin, Ph.D., associate professor, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects will speak on “The Art and Science of Forgiveness” on April 15 at 4:00 p.m. at the Pennington Medical Building, Room 16 in Reno. Parking permits will be available in Room 16 of the Pennington Bldg. at the time of the Grand Rounds. Designated parking will be in the Green zone at the back of the Pennington Bldg. The Grand Rounds can be seen via Pic-Tel in Las Vegas at the UNSOM Patient Care Center, 1707 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 210B. Call (775) 682-8459 with any questions. All Division of Health Sciences faculty are invited to attend. This speaker and program is co-sponsored by Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Sanford Center for Aging and the Division of Health Sciences.

Parkinson’s Disease Conference Set for April 21

The Nevada Geriatric Education Center, a joint program of the School of Medicine and the Sanford Center for Aging, in partnership with The American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc. will be presenting a one day conference on “Parkinson's Disease: Sharing Wisdom” on April 21,2009, 8:30 am to 4 pm. This conference will provide participants (healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers) with current information on treatment and therapies for Parkinson’s disease.

It will also provide the opportunity to strengthen the alliance between patients, their families and the medical community. The conference will be held at the Joe Crowley Student Union Ballroom (4th Floor) Building CSU 087 on the UNR campus map. CEU’s have been submitted for several professions. For more information and details contact Diann Jones at (775) 682-8470.

Medical Missionaries Serving Ugandan Pygmies To Speak April 22 at Noon

Dr. Scott Kellermann, a family physician and specialist in tropical medicine, and his wife Carol will be speaking on their work with the Batwa pygmies in southern Uganda. Their presentation will be held on April 22 at noon in Room 16, Pennington Medical Building. The session will also be available in Las Vegas via Pic-Tel at the Pediatrics Conference Room in the 2040 Building.

The Kellermann’s are seasoned medical missionaries with experience in Asia, Africa, and Central America and work full time as medical missionaries with the Batwa pygmies in southern Uganda. Dr. Kellermann recently returned to Uganda and kicked off with malaria prevention training at three centers. "Malaria is the biggest killer of patients, the most common diagnosis made, and the largest drug cost at Bwindi Community Health Centre in South West Uganda… prevention is so much better than cure, and the best way that an individual and his or her family can prevent themselves against malaria is by sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net," he said.

Go to Batwa Experience for more information about their work. Dr. Bob Clift, a friend of the DHS and University of Nevada School of Medicine, is facilitating Dr. Kellermann’s visit to the School of Medicine.

All DHS students, faculty and residents are invited and encouraged to attend this presentation.

Hospice Foundation of America Teleconference on April 29

Join more than 120 health care professionals and representatives from four leading hospices for The Hospice Foundation of America's 16th Annual National Bereavement Teleconference at the United Healthcare Marlon Auditorium, 2716 N. Tenaya Way in Las Vegas on Wednesday, April 29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The topic is diversity and end-of-life care and is presented by the University of Nevada School of Medicine and the Nevada Geriatric Education Center.

The objective is to provide practitioners with current information on loss and grief. A discussion on ways of understanding diversity and how cultural histories, traditions and beliefs can affect end-of-life care will be addressed at both the local and national level.

Continuing education units, or CEUs, will be provided for healthcare professionals. Registration fee is $50 for attendees with CEUs and $35 for those not wanting CEUs. Breakfast, lunch, and refreshments will be provided.

Building a Veteran Friendly Campus Webcast on April 29

More than 46,000 veterans have returned from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and are eligible for GI educational benefits. Many of them will start or return to college. In addition to probable emotional needs, veterans will also need special help navigating the campus system and their benefits. A special webcast “Building a Veteran Friendly Campus” will be shown on April 29, 10-11:30 am, Room 230 at the Joe Crowley Student Union. This event is open to all university faculty and staff and is funded by the Provost’s Office.

Health Literacy and Aging Faculty Development Workshop on April 24

Space is still available for the health literacy and aging sessions on April 24. For more information, go to the Nevada Geriatric Education Center’s website.

Our People

Kirsten Clements-NolleClements-Nolle Selected as Runner Up for Tibbitts Teaching Award

Kristen Clements-Nolle, Ph.D., assistant professor, School of Community Health Sciences, who was selected as the 2008-09 Division of Health Sciences Teaching Award winner, was selected as a runner up for the prestigious Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Professor Award.

Provost Marc Johnson surprised Clements-Nolle during one of her lectures and presented her with the award.

Epter, Bar-on Present Workshop at Emergency Medicine Meeting

Michael Epter, D.O., program director for emergency medicine and Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education, presented a workshop entitled “Starting a New Emergency Medicine Program—The ABCs” at the National Council on Residency Directors in emergency medicine meeting.

Bar-on to Present at Pediatric Combined Meeting in April

Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education, School of Medicine, and Maryellen Gusic from Penn State College of Medicine will be presenting a workshop entitled “Navigating the Successful Mentoring Relationship” at the combined Association of Pediatric Program Directors and Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics annual meeting in Baltimore this month.

Grants, Publications and Research Activities

Biochemistry Department's Work Featured in Textbook

Kunio Misono, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biochemistry, reports that work from his lab, specifically the X-ray structures of the ANP receptor determined by his lab, is featured in the university-level textbook, Biochemistry by Garret and Grisham.

The March 2009 cover of The FEBS Journal shows an illustration of the receptor structures solved by X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy, also from his lab.

Pixley Article Published

John Pixley, M.D., associate professor and director of the rheumatology and immunology division of the Department of Internal Medicine in Reno, working in collaboration with members of the animal biotechnology department at the University of Nevada, Reno, had his article, “Immune ontogeny and engraftment receptivity in the sheep fetus” recently published in Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy.

NIH ARRA Frequently Asked Questions: Useful Tool

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed a useful tool on their website that lists frequently asked questions on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding opportunities. People may find this tool useful in answering many of the questions that they might have..

Several institutions have posted special web pages to inform faculty about research funding opportunities as a result of the recovery legislation. Several medical school deans have also posted Q and As and other statements about the benefits of the legislation to their institutions and communities. Links to statements by Dr. Harold Paz of Penn State Hershey and Dr. Philip Pizzo of Stanford appear below:

Dr. Harold L. Paz - Q&A on Stimulus

Pizzo on NIH funding

Statistical Seminars Offered by Center for Research Design and Analysis on April 24

George Fernandez, Ph.D., director, Center for Research Design and Analysis, will be presenting “Logistic Regression 101- Taking the Survey Data Analysis to the Next Level” on April 24, 2 to 3:15 pm. In addition, “Nevada Health Report Card- A BRFSS Trend Analysis” will be presented by Moses Anabila, stat consultant, Center for Research Design and Analysis, 3:30 to 4:45 pm.

This presentation will report the trend analysis findings of the of Nevada health prevalence and health risk factors such as, access to health care, asthma, diabetes, health status, heavy drinking, hypertension, overweight, obesity, physical activity, and smoking data ( 1995-2007) compared with the national statistics. SAS (version 9.13) software procedures, PROC REG which employs the ordinary least squares (OLS) will be employed to monitor, measure, and compare the trend indicators.

The seminars will take place at the Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Conference Room B in Reno. There will be simultaneous video broadcasting in Carson City at the State Health Division, Room 204, 4150 Technology Way Building and in Las Vegas at Cooperative Extension, 8050 Paradise Road, Suite 105, Hort Room.

Student News

School of Medicine Students Learn Match Results

Fifty students matched with more than 30 different residency institutions across the country and will enter specialties ranging from anesthesiology to otolaryngology.

Nine graduates, or 18 percent, of the Class of 2009 will stay in Nevada to enter into residency programs offered through the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Nearly one quarter of this year’s graduating class matched with residency programs not currently offered in Nevada.

Undergraduate Student Social Work Association Plan Party for Home-Bound Senior Citizens

Members of the Undergraduate Student Social Work Association (USSWA) will treat 40 low-income, home-bound seniors at the Carville Park Apartments to an afternoon of bingo, card games, and root beer floats on Saturday, April 18, 1 -2 pm.

The USSWS participate in various community-service projects throughout the year. For this event, the group is collaborating with the Senior Outreach Services program of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Washoe County and Sanford Center for Aging.


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