Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

August 2010

News from Division of Health Sciences Units

Interim appointments named for Division of Health Sciences leadership

Montcalm, Hug-English, Larson, Fitzsimmons
From left to right: Denise Montcalm, Ph.D.; Cheryl Hug-English, M.D.; Trudy Larson, M.D.; and James Fitzsimmons.

Provost Marc Johnson recently appointed Denise Montcalm, Ph.D., director of the School of Social Work, as Interim Dean of Health Sciences until a new Vice President of Health Sciences/Dean of the School of Medicine has been selected and is in place. In this position of interim dean, Denise will maintain continuity of leadership for the departments and centers currently led by the Vice President for Health Sciences. She will continue to serve as Director of the School of Social Work.

Also, Provost Johnson announced the appointment of Cheryl Hug-English, M.D. to serve as the of Interim Dean of the University of Nevada School of Medicine starting Monday, August 30 and continuing until a regular Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the University of Nevada School of Medicine (VPHS/Dean) has been placed. Dr. Hug-English has a great amount of experience in various facets of the School of Medicine. She is a 1982 graduate of the School and a 1985 Master of Public Health graduate of UCLA. She has served as clinical faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine, staff physician and Medical Director of the University’s Student Health Center (1988-Present), Chair of UNSOM Admissions (1992-2007), Assistant and Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs (1994-2008), Integrated Clinical Services Board member for UNSOM (2006-2010), the Student Development Committee (2003-2008), Years 1-2 Basic Science Committee and Years 3-4 Clerkship Coordinators Committee (2003-2008), President of the UNSOM Alumni Association and President of the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners, and recipient of the Alumnus of the Year Award for UNSOM in 2008.

Trudy Larson, M.D., professor in the department of pediatrics, and former chair of pediatrics and associate dean at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, was appointed Interim Director for the School of Community Health Sciences. She will be filling the position previously held by Dana Loomis, Ph.D., who is leaving the university for a position elsewhere. A search is currently being conducted for a new director.

James “Jim” Fitzsimmons, M.S. has been named the Interim Director of the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center until a search for a permanent director has been completed. He replaces Steve Pomi, who recently retired from the position.

New Center for Molecular Medicine building holds community tours

The future of health discovery was unveiled to more than 400 community visitors on Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon as the University of Nevada, Reno, the University of Nevada School of Medicine and the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease invited the public to tour the Center for Molecular Medicine on the University’s campus in Reno.

This new facility represents the first new research building constructed at the medical school in nearly 30 years and will house medical school research programs in preterm birth, muscular dystrophy, breast cancer, male infertility, asthma, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases, tumors, herpesviruses and infectious disease. It will also serve as headquarters for the Whittemore Peterson Institute and its translational research clinic on neuro-immune diseases, as well as the University’s Center for Healthy Aging, part of the Sanford Center for Aging.

The free event was open to the public with tours of laboratory spaces and patient care areas in the building. Researchers were available to discuss their work to discover better patient outcomes for Nevadans and beyond.

The center is an advanced technology resource for northern Nevada in attracting biotech industries while expanding the state’s scientific workforce that is needed for private sector investment and to further diversify and strengthen Nevada's economy.

Division of Health Sciences undergraduate enrollment increases

The Division of Health Sciences has had a fantastic recruiting year receiving application for admission to DHS majors from over 900. Of these 900, approximately 500 are new freshmen and almost 400 new transfer students. The university as a whole is expecting more than 500 more freshmen than last year.

So far over 280 freshmen and 170 transfers have registered for Fall 2010 semester classes. Although the majority is Pre-Nursing students, we also have over 80 new CHS students, over 40 in Pre- Social Work and over 30 in Speech Pathology and Audiology. It has been a challenge to provide classes for these students, but with some creative solutions – larger classrooms, online sections, and astute academic advising, students are ready for the new school year with a full slate of classes. Academic advisors in the DHS Student Center have been working diligently throughout the summer to assist all these new students with whatever needs they may have regarding their classes, books, and general questions about attending UNR.

School of Medicine professor and researcher Dr. Phil Goodman passes away

Philip Goodman, M.D., professor, department of internal medicine, School of Medicine passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack on August 18, 2010 in Reno, NV. He began his long association as a researcher and teacher with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine in 1983 after his residency. In order to enhance his abilities as a researcher, he completed his MS in Statistics from University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1988. As a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow, he served as a health policy advisor in the US Senate in 1989. He was appointed to a full professorship at UNR in 1995. He completed a fellowship in Neuroscience at the Institute for Neuroinformatics at UZ/ETH, Zurich, Switzerland in 1997. His research over the years was primarily concerned with illuminating the neuronal basis for human cognition, a subject on which he collaborates with multiple international colleagues and has numerous publications.

As part of his duties as professor of medicine, Dr. Goodman supervised the clinical training of medical students and residents at Washoe Medical Center, and later Renown. He was an early proponent of the focus on hospitalist care as a specialty and was a Fellow of Hospital Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. The teaching and training of future physicians was as important to him as his research.

A celebration of his life was held on August 25 at the Honor Court on the UNR campus. To honor Dr. Goodman's lifelong dedication to outstanding research and medicine, his family is directing the establishment of the Philip H. Goodman Award in Postgraduate Research. The family respectfully requests that memorial contributions be made to this cause in lieu of flowers.

Interprofessional education, collaboration and initiatives planned

The Division of Health Sciences (DHS) newly formed Interprofessional Education Council (IPC) has been very active with identifying new initiatives and goals for the year. Comprised of representatives from all of the DHS units, the council has completed an inventory of interprofessional education programs and activities that are currently in progress and have identified two major initiatives for this year. The first is the development of an undergraduate introductory course related to health sciences and the respective disciplines. The second is to develop interdisciplinary curriculum for simulation training related to all of the health sciences disciplines. In addition, various groups have been preparing and submitting grants proposals to support these initiatives that will include faculty development and training.

Examples of some of the activities include the Office of Medical Education, Orvis School of Nursing and School of Medicine submitted a $99, 816.00 grant proposal through NIH to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, Small Research Grant Program on June 18th. This proposal describes the design of an interprofessional Nursing and Medicine lesson plan module for teaching the female pelvic examination to first year medical students and 13-week nursing practitioner students during Fall Semester 2011. The proposed Interprofessional Education (IPE) instruction includes use of a high fidelity pelvic simulator, IPE student small group instruction, Gynecological Teaching Associates (GTAs) and collaborative instruction with medicine and nursing faculty at the new HSE Building. In the process of process of developing the proposal a very supportive team of faculty with Reno nursing faculty, and medicine faculty and from Reno and Las Vegas campuses was created.

Also, on July 19th Kirk Bronander, M.D., associate professor for internal medicine, Richard Williams, M.D., associate professor for family and community medicine and William Murphy-Sharp, M.S. Ed.D., coordinator of simulated patient education for the office of medical education, visited the site of the new Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas facility. The CSC staff indicated that they will also be pursuing IPE grant funding. There seems to be much enthusiasm for working across campuses with the medicine and nursing faculty to establish IPE activities in Nevada health care education.

Diane Chau, M.D., chief of the division of geriatric medicine and program director of the geriatrics medicine fellowship, School of Medicine, also received a HRSA grant for $591. 370 for a Geriatric Training Program for physicians, dentists and behavioral and mental health professions that includes faculty from the School of Medicine and UNLV School of Dentistry.

Zell and Larson to speak at annual HIV conference in October

Steven Zell, M.D., professor, department of internal medicine and Trudy Larson, M.D., professor department of pediatrics will host and serve as key presenters at the 11th annual Autumn Update: Networking for HIV Care Conference at Olympic Valley, CA on October 9-10, 2010. This annual conference provides an opportunity for practitioners in northern Nevada and northern California to gather and learn the most up to date scientific advances in HIV clinical care, collaborate with colleagues and access resources for quality care. Dr. Zell and Dr. Larson initiated the conference in 1999 with the intent of bringing resources and education to busy rural practitioners. For more information about the conference visit the CME website.

Operation Health Care Bound to be held October 16

The High Sierra Area Health Education Center and the School of Medicine will be participating in a community wide Operation Health Care Bound event on October 16, 10 am to 2 pm at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. The free event is for middle school and high school students and their parents that will provide them the opportunity to explore available health care careers and participate in hands-on demonstrations and classes. For more information, contact Andrea Gibbins, executive director of High Sierra AHEC.

Our People

Aditya Bhargava, M.D., associate professor, department of internal medicine, School of Medicine, will be transitioning to a sub-specialty practice in sleep medicine starting on July 1,2010. He will continue to be full time faculty with the Department of Internal Medicine in Reno. He will keep all his teaching responsibilities. Dr. Bhargava is board certified in sleep medicine by the ABIM and ABSM. He will be practicing sleep medicine at three sites: SpectREM Sleep Medicine Center in Sparks, NeNRH Sleep Medicine Program in Elko and the VA Medical Center in Reno. The Sleep Center was evaluated and received accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Stephanie S. Deboor, RN, Ph.D., assistant professor and coordinator for the nursing graduate program, Orvis School of Nursing, recently earned her Ph.D. in nursing education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Echezona Ezeanolue, M.D., MPH, FAAP, associate professor of pediatrics, School of Medicine, was appointed as one of three editors for PREP Infectious Diseases: A peer-reviewed educational program of the American Academy of Pediatrics used by pediatric infectious disease specialist around the world for maintenance of certification in infectious diseases by American Board of pediatrics.

Lisa Black, Ph.D., RN, CNE, assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing, successfully completed the National League for Nursing exam to become credentialed as a “Certified Nurse Educator”. She is the first at UNR to receive this designation.

Jennifer Laslo, administrative assistant III, for the Advisement, Recruitment and Retention office, Division of Health Sciences was named runner up for the 2010 Classified Employee of the Year.

Grants, Publications and Research Activities

Amy Ellwood, MSW, LCSW, professor of Family Medicine & Psychiatry in Las Vegas and Katie Kolonic, DO, MPH, PGY-2, Family Medicine Residency, Las Vegas have published a review of Woman-Centered Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sara Shields and Lucy Candib in the Spring 2010 issue of “Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education.”

Aron Rogers, D.O., associate professor of Family Medicine & Psychiatry, Amy Ellwood, MSW, LCSW, professor of Family Medicine & Psychiatry, Las Vegas recently collaborated and were featured in a recent article in MD Consult entitled, “Doctors no longer use a horse and buggy, but some still make house calls.”

Julie Smith Gagen, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology, School of Community Health Sciences, was awarded an R03 from the NIH/NCI to investigate "Differential Delivery of Follow-up Care and Survivorship Among Latinos Using Medicare." Co-Investigators include Dr. Drake from UC DAVIS, Dr. Morris from the California Cancer Registry and Dr. Wei Yang also a professor from the School of Community Health Sciences. They will be investigating if observed delayed follow-up specialist or preventative care is associated with the observed shorter survival time in the Latina population diagnosed with breast cancer compared to whites diagnosed with breast cancer. Gagen was hired July 1, as assistant professor of epidemiology. She served as a research assistant professor for the past three year in the school.

Lisa Black, Ph.D., RN, CNE, assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing, presented a series of invited conference sessions in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor, and Selangor, Malaysia in April targeted at enhancing healthcare worker safety in this developing country. The title of the presentation was, “From Registered Nurse to Nurse Advocate: A Journey Through Time.”

Madeleine Sigman-Grant, Ph.D., RD (UNR Cooperative Extension), Marin Gillis, LPh, Ph.D. (UNSOM), and Melinda Hoskins, MS, RN, CNM, IBCLC (Orvis School of Nursing) have had their research accepted for presentation at the International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation 15th Annual Conference: Breastfeeding and the Nutrition Transition to be held in Lima, Peru, Oct 2010. Their research is entitled, “Medical Ethics and Breastfeeding: A Nevada Initiative.” Dr Sigman-Grant will be presenting in Lima.

Shilpa Shahani, M.D. first year pediatric resident, will be presenting on her research entitled, “ 2009 Novel H1N1 Vaccination: Does Intent Equal Action Among Medical Students and Physician Trainees?” at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), October 21 – 24, 2010. Shahani was the first author and Echezona Ezeanolue, M.D., MPH, FAAP, Ineada Jack, M.D. and Sherif Elsadat, M.S. also contributed.

Student News

New public health student organization formed

The Undergraduate Public Health Coalition (PHC) at the University of Nevada, Reno is a new ASUN recognized student group associated with the School of Community Health Sciences. PHC is dedicated to fostering the knowledge of our membership by promoting the profession of public health through educational leadership, service and community action. The goal of our organization is to establish, advance, and maintain a cohesive link with our local, state, and national agencies and public health organizations, which align with our mission of striving to advance the health and wellness of community health. If you would like to join or would like more information, contact June Hunter.

Current issue of 'The Stethoscope' available online

The 2010 issue of The Stethoscope, the medical school’s journal of literature and art, is now available online. It features literary works, photography and artwork by medical students, faculty and others associated with the medical school.

Copyright © 2010 Health Sciences.