Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

Fall 2015

Message from Vice President Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

The Division of Health Sciences was created in 2008 to provide an academic base for units that have common interests and goals as healthcare disciplines. We have experienced unprecedented growth as the demand and need for healthcare professions and research continues to rise. There are many reasons to come together that include interprofessional teaching opportunities and expanding clinical and translational research initiatives.

It is exciting to watch DHS grow and thrive. Here are just a few of the recent notable events of which I am most proud:

  • Dramatic growth in undergraduate majors for the School of Community Health Sciences, successful accreditation of the MPH program and early steps toward full accreditation as a School of Public Health.
  • Full accreditation for Orvis School of Nursing with continued to grow in both its undergraduate and graduate programs and active exploration of becoming a fully independent professional school.
  • The expansion and full campus development of the School of Medicine in Reno, with selective collaborations in Las Vegas, new community partnerships statewide and a recommitment to rural outreach.
  • Increasing undergraduate and graduate enrollment in the School of Social Work and development of a new online master's degree program.
  • Expanded programs at CASAT in gambling addiction and fetal alcohol screening education and continued success in securing substantial grant funding.
  • The expansion of services includes a newly formed medical clinic to provide comprehensive medical assessments for the aging population at the Sanford Center for Aging.
  • Breaking ground on a state of the art E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center for Campus Recreation and Wellness, scheduled to open in 2017.

As the DHS schools and centers evolve and grow, we will continue to focus on excellence and quality in research, teaching and patient care, and to serve our learners, patients, and communities well. The future is exciting and we will be continue to be successful and relevant because of your contributions and meaningful work.


News from Division of Health Sciences Units

DHS to hold Faculty Research Poster Colloquium on November 4

Faculty are invited to share and display current research projects with fellow Division of Health Sciences faculty and the community at the upcoming "Faculty Research Poster Colloquium" on November 4, 4 pm, 4th floor Joe Crowley Student Union. At this event, you will be able discuss and share your research interests, meet colleagues from other units and discover possible opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. For details and instructions to submit your poster go to the Research Poster Colloquium web site.

In addition, your research will be showcased and displayed to the community following the poster session, during our Distinguished Speaker event, featuring Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, starting at 5:30 pm. Register for the Distinguished Speaker event online.

What a great way to participate in community outreach and academic collegiality.

Sanford Center offering health education to community

The Sanford Center for Aging will be offering five Community Education programs this fall including Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) for people with any chronic disease; Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) for those with diabetes; and Cancer: Thriving and Surviving (CTS) for those living with cancer; Fit & Strong! for those looking to start an exercise program; and Mindful-Based Stress Reduction for those wanting to learn how to reduce stress in their lives through meditation. The workshops are offered once a week for six consecutive weeks. There is no cost to participants as the program is funded in part by the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division and the Jean Sanford Endowment.

  • Chronic Disease Self-Management Program - Tuesdays, Oct. 6-Nov. 17; 9:30 am -12:00 pm
  • Diabetes Self-Management Program - Tuesdays, Oct. 6-Nov. 17; 1:00 pm-3:30 pm
  • Cancer: Thriving and Surviving - Mondays, Oct. 12-Nov.23; 1:00 pm-3:30 pm

Learn more about these programs at Community Wellness Programs.

Biomedical scientists gather for symposium at Lake Tahoe

Faculty from the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology at the School of Medicine recently sponsored a three-day symposium at Lake Tahoe focusing on newly-identified cells that regulate the function of the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, airways, uterus, lymphatics, blood vessels and the heart. More than 80 scientists representing nine countries from four continents attended. The symposium provided a forum for leaders in the field to exchange ideas and was an opportunity to showcase the talented faculty and cutting-edge technologies available at the School of Medicine.

Kenton M. Sanders, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology since 1988, was honored at this meeting for his scientific contributions and achievements. Sanders was recognized for his seminal contributions to the field of smooth muscle biology resulting in a world class reputation of scientific excellence. Over the course of his career he has attracted more than 70 million dollars of research funding from the NIH and other sources and trained more than 60 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. Under his leadership the department has grown from five to 17 tenure track faculty positions as well as nine additional research track faculty.

The current grant funding available to faculty members in the department is greater than 10.5 million dollars. Sanders has also served on a variety of national committees, including the important National Commission on Digestive Diseases that was established by Congress to address research and treatment of diseases of the GI tract.

NRAP Check PresentationStacie Mathewson, second from left, presented a $50,000 check to NRAP, a CASAT program. From left are Cricket Dundas, executive director, Doors to Recovery; and Daniel Fred, Meri Shadley and Nancy Roget, all with the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) at the University of Nevada, Reno. Photo by Anne McMillin, APR.

NRAP receives $50,000 gift

Nevada Recovery and Prevention (NRAP) kicked off "recovery month" with "50 Shades of Recovery," a late-night talk show style event that featured the many facets of recovery from special guests, recovery advocate and philanthropist Stacie Mathewson, former Miss USA Tara Conner and Bob Forrest of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Transforming Youth Recovery founder, Stacie Mathewson presented a gift of $50,000 to support the Nevada Recovery and Prevention program, which provides an environment of nurturing support and peer connections for students recovering from substance and behavioral addictions and students choosing a substance-free lifestyle.

Student Health Center renovates and expands

The University of Nevada, Reno's recently renovated and expanded the student health medical clinic due to a donation by the Neil J. Redfield Foundation.

"With our campus growing at the rate it has been, we had simply outgrown our space," Student Health Medical Director Cheryl Hug-English. M.D. said. "We were not able to adequately keep pace with the increased number of patient visits we were seeing. With over 26,000 patient visits last year, we simply did not have enough exam rooms or waiting room space to adequately and efficiently take care of our patients. The renovation has really made this a much more welcoming place for students as well as making it possible for us to continue to provide the highest quality health care services for our students."

Adding 1,900 square feet of space, the renovation has created six new exam rooms, four new offices, a new lab, a second waiting room for appointments, as well as a new conference room and kitchen to accommodate the growing staff necessary to meet the needs of a booming population, The waiting room has doubled in size and previous reception counter has been replaced with a much larger and open counter, providing a more hospitable atmosphere.

School of Medicine's Pediatrics joins Renown Medical Group

The School of Medicine's pediatrics office at 901 E. Second Street, Suite 200 in Reno, previously part of the school's clinical practice group, has joined the Renown Medical Group. The change was effective on Sept. 1, 2015 and follows the 2014 partnership agreement between the School of Medicine and Renown Health as the two organizations collaborate to improve the health and health care of northern Nevadans.

The clinic location and phone number (775) 784-6522 will remain the same, but incoming phone calls now will be answered by Renown's call center. School of Medicine pediatricians will remain employed by the medical school. They will see patients under a professional services agreement with Renown, while Renown assumes responsibility for the administrative staff, mid-level practitioners, office space, equipment, scheduling and billing.

New E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center breaks ground

Officials at the University of Nevada, Reno, along with key donors and a community of supporters that includes the E. L. Wiegand Foundation and the Gabelli Foundation, broke ground on the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center on June 17, in a ceremony showcasing the focus of the facility on student health and wellness.

The 108,000 square-foot facility, envisioned as a hub of campus fitness and recreation, will offer weightlifting, training, a variety of fitness classes and activities, as well as an indoor, ⅛ mile running track and three courts for basketball and other indoor multi-use court sports. Read more about the new center.

Opening date is scheduled for January 2017! The facility will be operated by Campus Recreation and Wellness, under the direction of Jim Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.

Social Work StudentsKarla Navarrete, MSW Student; Stacey Shinn, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Lobbyist; Jolene Dille, BSW Student at the Nevada State Legislature

Social Work students, faculty and professionals participate during legislative session

During this year's legislative session, over 200 students and professionals from throughout Nevada engaged in the first Social Work Legislative Day to raise awareness about bills effecting social workers and client populations. The two-part event which took place in Carson City, encompassed morning legislative trainings by Stacey Shinn, the Legislative Advocate for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) and an alumnus of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Social Work. Stacey facilitated attendees through legislative processes, the significance of policy making on direct social work practice and the importance of becoming civically involved as a social worker. Following her presentation, attendees took part in learning about initiatives from Amber Reid, on behalf of the School Social Workers of America, Barry Gold, from AARP in favor of the C.A.R.E Act and Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson in favor of AB 93.

During the second-half of the day, students had the opportunity to engage in the legislative process by meeting with member of the senate and assembly and attending committee hearings. This unique event allowed students and professionals to actively participate at the Legislature and demonstrated the success attained through collaboration and unity for a common cause. The School of Social Work would like to recognize the individuals who played a pivotal role in the planning and development of this event, including Dr. Mary Hylton, Stacey Shinn, Karen Faehling, Amber Reid, Jolene Dille, Megan Queral and Karla Navarrete. The School would also like to extend a thank you to the students from the UNLV School of Social Work for traveling to attend the event and making this a collaborative event between our states' higher education institutions.

Fall undergraduate enrollment continues to break records

The undergraduate enrollment for the Division of Health Sciences continues to grow in all of our majors. Recent numbers for Fall 2015, just released, indicate total enrollments at 2805 as compared to 2500 in Spring 2015. The breakdown shows:

  • School of Community Health Sciences: 1047
  • Orvis School of Nursing: 241
  • Pre-Nursing: 991
  • Speech Pathology/Audiology: 214
  • School of Social Work: 131
  • Pre-Social Work: 171
  • UNSOM BS-MD: 10
  • TOTAL: 2805

DHS had a total of 608 new freshman, with 591 full time and 17 part time which includes the following breakdown by major:

  • CHS Kinesiology: 125
  • CHS Public Health: 56
  • CHS (no sub plan identified): 6
  • Social Work: 23
  • Speech Pathology: 38
  • Pre Nursing: 343
  • TOTAL: 591

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