Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

February 2010

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

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

I hope most of you attended or listened to the Town Hall on the Tuesday, February 9th. If not, I want to share with you what we know about our budget situation, what we don't know, and how the university leadership hopes to respond. We know the state must have a balanced budget. However, alternative sources of monies could be used to offset losses in tax revenues. For example, there is active discussion about utilizing some of the economic recovery act capital improvement money appropriated to local jurisdictions to help balance the state budget. Nonetheless, we still face a very significant cut that will likely transform the way the university operates for several years.

During the first round of cuts, our division cut substantial state funding from centers to avoid damaging academic units. Now, there is little remaining that will allow us to spare academic centers. We don't know how much to cut and will not know until the legislature, governor, regents and university leadership have met and decided.

The next question becomes one of the principles used to decide how cuts are made. To date, our tenure-track, non-tenure faculty, administrative faculty, and classified staff have disproportionately borne the burden of salary cuts or furloughs. Many tenured faculty members are uncomfortable with this situation, and have expressed a sincere desire to also participate in reducing expenses. Our leadership is aware of this and sympathetic to the inequality. We, in particular, desire to avoid further cuts to salaries of the most vulnerable of our colleagues, and this is an area of active discussion. That said, the university does function in different market places. Faculty members come largely from national searches competing nationally, while staff are typically hired from a local or regional job market. This doesn't make the affected individuals feel better, but helps explain why different compensation decisions may be made for different categories of employees.

What about so-called horizontal or across the board reductions versus vertical or unit cuts? Across the board reductions are problematic for several reasons. Certain academic units in the division are near the minimum number of faculty with the expertise required to retain accreditation. Further, quality and teaching capacity will suffer if across the board reductions are made, and we are very likely to lose our best faculty to other institutions. Rather, in preparing for an extended period of declining state support, it would appear to be prudent to focus on two desirable outcomes: Maintaining and improving student recruitment and success, which drives revenue and is our core mission; and building increasingly strong, self-sustaining and academically vibrant programs that diminish our heavy reliance on state funding.

This will require creating a university and divisional infrastructure that is fully supportive of and aligned with these two missions. In the division, this will necessitate continued attention to undergraduate education, and additional investments in successful, seasoned senior or promising junior faculty who can serve as mentors for their colleagues and take maximal advantage of a supportive division and university infrastructure. Fortunately, we have excellent and dedicated faculty and staff, strong demand for our courses, both pre-professional and professional, and an excellent record of recruitment and retention of students. Nonetheless, all units should be prepared to defend their contributions. Those units that serve small numbers of students, do not contribute heavily to teaching, are not aligned with the strategic goals of the university and that do not have strong records of scholarship or research may be reduced.

This process will neither be easy nor rapid for us, but there are many highly successful models of state universities to emulate.

We will keep you abreast of the latest budget developments as the dialogue continues.

As always, if you have suggestions or thoughts to share, please contact me, President Glick or Provost Johnson.

News from Division of Health Sciences Units

Maehara selected as Division of Health Sciences Outstanding Teacher

Ken Maehara and John McDonaldKenneth Maehara, Ph.D., associate professor and course coordinator, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, was selected as the 2009 Division of Health Sciences Teaching Award winner.

With the honor, he was put forth as the nominee from the division to compete for the Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Professor Award Committee at the university level. “Dr. Maehara’s teaching is incomparable. He makes time for his students in the classroom and lab and his door is always open.

He is able to make complicated material understandable for all students. He also serves as a mentor to many of us, and because he take the time to know us professionally and personally; he provides many of us valuable guidance and support that is above and beyond his role as our professor,” said the medical students from the classes of 2010-2013 who nominated Maehara for the award.

Lorraine Bonaldi-Moore, R.N, MBA, M.S.N., assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing was named first runner up for the award. One of her students wrote, “I have had Lorraine for an instructor both in the classroom and in the clinical setting and she is a wonderful teacher full of passion and an abounding source of knowledge and inspiration. I appreciate her because she is one of the few teachers who put as much time into the individual’s education as the individual does. Lorraine makes a point to give input and constructive criticism to help her students better their critical thinking and strengthen their clinical skills. She is always so willing to take extra time and go out of her way to help a student and further explain areas in which they are having problems.”

Members of the Division of Health Sciences Teaching Award committee evaluated and reviewed teaching portfolio’s of each nominee and observed their classroom teaching, as well.

TMCC and UNR Senior Outreach Services partner for dental care for seniors

The 2nd year dental hygiene students at TMCC and the UNR Sanford Center for Aging, Senior Outreach Services (SOS) program have created a partnership called Give a Senior a Smile. Thirteen low-income, homebound Washoe County seniors will receive free comprehensive dental hygiene services at TMCC on February 22 and March 1. These services include BWX & panorex, full periodontal assessment, oral cancer screening, prophy or S/RP, fluoride treatment, oral hygiene instructions and an exam and referral for restorative care from one of our supervising dentists, Dr. David Lund or Dr. Greg Eissmann.

Many of these seniors are veterans, and many suffer because of dental problems leading to poor nutrition, social isolation, pain, infection and poor overall health. Because there are no public funds for dental care for the elderly (although Medicaid will pay for dentures and extractions), VA dental benefits are only for service related injuries, the Foster Grandparent Program has 300 on a waiting list for dental care, and low-income seniors are unable to afford the out-of-pocket expenses at HAWC.

Dentists are needed to adopt a senior. Please contact, Julie Stage RDH, MPH at TMCC Dental Hygiene, (775) 673-8279, to be included on a list of volunteer dentists in the community to whom I can refer one of these 13 seniors. They will have duplicate BWX and panorex films, a referral from our dentist, and an SOS volunteer who will provide them with transportation to and from their appointment.

Also, the RSVP Kickers, a 55 and older dance group was featured in the media on KTVN Channel 4 and KRNV Channel 4 at the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program’s (RSVP) Senior Outreach Services Volunteer Educational Talk on February 2.

National Gerontology conference in Reno next month

The 2010 annual conference of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education will be held March 4 through 7 at the Peppermill Hotel in Reno. This event is the premier national forum for discussing ideas and issues in gerontology and geriatric education and is open to educators, clinicians, administrators, researchers, students and anyone interested in the aging field. Registration is now open.

Faculty Scholar in Aging Award applications due March 1

The Sanford Center for Aging’s Faculty Scholar Award honors UNR faculty who have made exceptional contributions to the fields of gerontology or geriatrics through teaching, scholarship, research, public service or practice. Apply online now or call Margene Foster at (775) 784-1803. Deadline is March 1.

Nominate a student for an award

Faculty and staff are encouraged to nominate outstanding students for the following student awards: Outstanding Senior Award ($500) Deadline: February 26; Henry Albert Senior Public Service Award ($250) Deadline: February 26; and the Thornton Peace Prize ($1000) Deadline: March 26.

Upcoming Events

Wahi to speak on sleep and fatigue at Interdisciplinary Grand Round Series on February 16

Sandhya Wahi, M.D., program director, internal residency program- Las Vegas, School of Medicine, will be speaking on “Sleep & Fatigue Jeopardy” on February 16 at 12 noon to 1 p.m. at the Simulation Center*, Shadow Lane Campus, Building B, Classroom 4, Las Vegas, and via Pictel to the following classrooms: Las Vegas: Family Medicine UC; Reno: Nelson 127, Pennington 214, Renown Plaza Office, VA Hospital 312; Battle Mountain: University of Nevada School of Medicine; Ely: University of Nevada School of Medicine WBRH; Winnemucca: University of Nevada School of Medicine HGH Admin.

*The Simulation Center entrance directly into the classroom is on the north side of Building B.

Health care reform is topic of February 17 grand round series

Ole Thienhaus, M.D., M.B.A., dean, School of Medicine, will be speaking on “Understanding Health Care Reform” 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., as part of the Division of Health Sciences and Psychiatry Grand Rounds. The program will be offered live in Reno at the Pennington Building, Room 16, and via interactive video in Las Vegas at the Clinical Simulation Center, Room B121. Parking permits will be available in Room 16 of the Pennington Bldg. at the time of the Grand Rounds. Parking is available in the lot behind the Pennington Bldg. Please call (775) 682-8459 with any questions.

Winter wilderness medicine workshop is February 19-21

The Sixth Annual School of Medicine Winter Wilderness Medicine EME Conference will be hosted at Lost Trail Lodge in the Donner Lake back country from Friday, Feb. 19 through Sunday, Feb. 21. Ten hours of CME/CEU will be devoted to practical topics in winter wilderness medicine with hands-on experiences. Attendance is limited and participants must be able to snowshoe or ski approximately four miles of mostly level terrain to the location site. Cost is $700 or $600 for allied health/nursing and $500 for non-medical guests. Contact David Fiore, M.D. via email or at (775) 784-6180 to register.

Health literacy training offered on February 25 by NGEC

The Nevada Geriatric Education Center’s (NGEC) upcoming Health Literacy Faculty Training Series will present Keys to Successful Communication When Words Fail to various rural sites via Interactive Video on Wednesday, February 25, 2010, 12:00pm-1:00pm. The presenter will be Mary Shapiro, MSG, CMC, MSW, Geriatric Care Manager in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The presentation is free and 1.0 hours of continuing education credit for nurses and physicians has been approved by the University of Nevada School of Medicine. The State of Nevada Board of Examiners for Long Term Care Administrators, the State of Nevada Board of Examiners for Marriage and Family Therapists, and the State of Nevada Board of Examiners for Audiology and Speech Pathology have approved this program for 1.0 hours of continuing education credit. This presentation has been submitted to the State of Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers for 1.0 hours of continuing education credit.

Our People

Evan Klass, M.D., will serve as interim chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine effective April 1, 2010. Immediately, he will serve as co-chair for the financial and operational management of the internal medicine practice. During this interval, current chair Catherine Goring, M.D. will be transitioning Dr. Klass to the intricacies of the non-practice side of the department and will continue to guide the residency through the site RRC visit in February. Dr. Goring will remain on the faculty and continue her contributions to all facets of the department.

William A. Zamboni, M.D., professor and chair of the surgery department completed his term as president of the American Society for Reconstructive Surgery in January 2010 at the society's annual meeting in Florida. John Fildes, M.D., professor and vice chair of the department, gave the invited lecture at the meeting.

Leslie Elliott, MPH, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology, School of Community Health Sciences received a Faculty International Development Award to spend 5 weeks in Puebla, Mexico, this summer studying Spanish. The purpose is to develop international growth within our department and the university through research collaborations, introduction of international issues into the curriculum, and encouragement of our students to study abroad.

Philip J. Gillette, Assistant to the Dean-Emeritus, School of Medicine, and Management-Emeritus, College of Business Administration, University of Nevada, passed away on January 4, 2010. In addition to his long and dedicated service to the university, Gillette was very active in the community as well and served as Chair of Sanford Center Community Advisory Board, Chair of Advisory Board for Angel Kiss Foundation for children with cancer, and President of the American Lung Association of Nevada. Donations can be made to Angel Kiss Foundation or Episcopal Relief and Development, c/o Reno Trinity Episcopal Church, in memory of Philip Gillette.

Jaime Anstee, Ph.D., evaluation coordinator at the Center for Program Evaluation (CPE), completed her doctorate in Social Psychology from the interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Social Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her dissertation, titled “Moral reasoning and judgment about ending life: Influences of age, gender, and social class” examines older adults’ attitudes about decisions to end life.

Christy Thomas, D.NP., nurse practitioner, Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and Critical Care-Las Vegas, recently defended her research and earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Grants, Publications and Research Activities

Melanie Minarik, Ph. D., MPH, F.A.C.H.E., graduate program director and lecturer, School of Community Health Sciences, has had her monograph, Building Knowledge through Sensemaking: Connecting the Dots of New Information published by Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany.

Amy Ellwood, MSW, LCSW, family medicine and psychiatry professor, has had her letter “Safety and Respectful Treatment of Medical Students and Residents” published in the January-February 2010 issue of Academic Psychiatry.

Gregory Brown. M.D., co-chair of the psychiatry department, has had his article “Assessment, Intervention, and Disposition of Patients with Psychiatric Symptoms” published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine

Ross Stutman, M.D., plastic surgery resident, presented "Gene Expression Analysis in Ischemia Reperfusion Injury Treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Reveals Retinol Saturase Involvement" at the 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery in Boca Raton, Florida, Jan 9-12.

A team from the School of Medicine published a chapter in “Ocular Disease: Mechanisms and Management”, a new ocular disease text book. The chapter on strabismus was authored by Christopher von Bartheld, M.D., professor, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Scott Croes, Ph.D., former graduate student of the School of Medicine and professor at Shasta College, and L. Alan Johnson, M.D., ophthalmologist at Sierra Eye Associates, Reno, and instructor for the School of Medicine. Strabismus ("lazy eye") is a condition that afflicts about 5% of the population, some 350 million people world-wide. Dr. von Bartheld's research program on eye movements has been supported by the National Institutes of Health for the last 10 years.

Student News

Graduating in May? Find a job at campus career events

Get a jump on finding a job by attending workshops and events designed to help you find and get a job after graduation. First, attend the Degree + Prep=Hired!!! career fair preparation event on March 4 (HREL 109/110) or March 24 (JCSU 3rd Floor) from 11 am to 2 pm. This event will feature stations that will provide insight, advice and practice on how to be better prepared for the upcoming Career Job Fair. Stations include resume critiques, company research, dress for success, interviewing skills and resources. The “Yes, There ARE Jobs” Career & Internship Fair will be held on March 31 (JCSU Ballroom) from 10 am to 3 pm. There will be over 100 employers that currently have positions for new college graduates as well as internship opportunities.

Three fourth-year University of Nevada medical students learn 'match' results early

Olsen, Mattingly, Gamett
University of Nevada School of Medicine fourth-year students who 'matched' early are, left to right, Erik Olson, Lauren Mattingly and Kevin Gamett.

Every March for the past 58 years, fourth-year medical students across the nation have eagerly awaited the results of the National Residency Matching Program, which tells them where they will spend the next few years of training in their specialty area beyond medical school.

However, for a select few the suspense of learning where one will spend the next several years in residency training ends early. Students who learn the results of their match prior to the traditional March date are part of an elite group who place in either the San Francisco Match or the Military Residency Match.

This year two graduating medical students from the University of Nevada School of Medicine’s Class of 2010 placed in the very competitive Military Residency Match. Lauren Mattingly and Erik Olson successfully entered residency programs at the U.S. Naval Medical Center in San Diego. Mattingly has matched into a pediatrics residency, while Olson will enter a general surgery program.

Another member of the Class of 2010 placed with the San Francisco Match into an opthalmology residency program. Kevin Gamett will do his residency program at the University of Virginia.

Nevada’s medical students traditionally place in some of the nation’s most competitive residency programs. Historically, School of Medicine students have placed in the San Francisco Match while others who placed in the traditional matching program were selected to continue study at prestigious institutions like Dartmouth, the Mayo Clinic, Tufts, and UCLA.

Results from the National Residency Matching Program will be announced to the Class of 2010 on Thursday, March 18. Celebrations will be held at University of Nevada School of Medicine campuses in Reno and Las Vegas.

Phillips named student chair for American Society of Anesthesiologists

James Phillips, a third-year medical student, has been promoted to chair of the American Society of Anesthesiology, Medical Student Component. He had previously served as chair-elect. As chair, he will oversee 90 delegates from around the country, a $20,000 budget and a governing council of seven cabinet members. James will represent the ASA for two board meetings in Chicago and the ASA's annual meeting in San Diego this fall. He will also meet with the Nevada congressional delegation to discuss both medical student and anesthesiology difficulties within the state at the ASA legislative conference in Washington D.C. this summer.

Med student has book published

Brittany Dye, Class of 2013, has had her book entitled Paging Student Doctor Dye published and made available through online retailers. It chronicles her experiences at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas.


Copyright © 2010 Health Sciences.