Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

January 2009

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

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

This week we hold our second division-wide assembly for Health Sciences. I want to thank all who have worked to bring this about and our colleagues from the School of Medicine who will travel from Las Vegas to join us.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to arrange a time to accommodate all those who wish to participate. This is an opportunity to meet your colleagues in other units who share similar interests or whose expertise might benefit your work and we hope to see you there.

One of our division goals is the creation of inter- and trans-disciplinary programs in education, scholarship and research. This requires shared vision and goals. Our desire is to help foster and improve education and scholarship in definable ways that build capacity and make us more competitive. I will be asking every director in the division to propose approaches to capitalize on our new organizational structure.

The annual budget will be constructed to provide an incentive for starting such programs, which should become self-supporting if successful. We are also aligning the division’s administrative support staff to help make us more competitive. Jessica Younger will be taking over human resources responsibilities from Renee Warren, enabling Renee to provide more assistance to faculty for pre- and post-award grant support. Richelle O’Driscoll is already conveying information on funding opportunities, and we hope to expand this effort.

One area ripe for development of new multidisciplinary research is aging. Dealing with the increasing demands of an aging population is a challenge for most developed countries. But for us, it represents an enormous opportunity. The Graham and Jean Sanford Center for Aging, supported by the largest single endowment within the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation, provides seed funding for research, education and outreach primarily in nursing and medicine. Dr. Jane Fisher from the Department of Psychology is chairing a small group to review current aging programs at UNR, and to make recommendations to Provost Johnson and me regarding the role of the Sanford Center in campus-wide programs on aging.

We are fortunate to have this very important asset within the division, and look forward to increasing its already substantial portfolio of programs in cooperation with the many aging programs located across campus.

Finally, let me close with comments on annual evaluations and budget planning. While we will not learn the details of the biennial budget until the legislative session, most pundits agree that merit and cost of living increases are not very likely to be funded. This doesn’t make the annual evaluation system unnecessary.

For deans, directors and chairs, it is an opportunity to set clear goals and achievable goals for their faculty aligned with their units and the division, track progress toward tenure, and provide meaningful feedback on teaching and other performance metrics. For classified staff, annual evaluation is important to ensure that work performance standards are accurate and clear. We will be initiating budget planning for each unit and the division soon. Our goal is to enable each unit to gain primary responsibility and control of their own budgets, while maintaining a central reserve adequate to unanticipated events or opportunities.

This will require each faculty member to project their major expenditures such as travel to meetings and anticipated revenue from extramural funding. Deans, directors and chairs will assemble this information, seek more information if needed and create a budget for the next fiscal year that will be reviewed and used for planning.

News from Division of Health Sciences Units

Washoe County District Board of Health Scholarship Endowment Receives Funding

Through its programs and services, the Washoe County District Health Department pursues the public health mission of health promotion, disease prevention and protection of the public and the environment, to improve the quality of life for all citizens of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County.

In 2006, members of this board realized the shortage of public health workers in the area and came together to form a scholarship endowment to benefit students studying public health at UNR. With the help of a challenge gift and several generous gifts from board members in late 2008, the fund reached over $10,000, which allows for it to be endowed with the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation.

The first scholarship will be distributed in the fall of 2010 to a student pursuing a degree through the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to general scholarship criteria, recipients will be encouraged to pursue their profession in Nevada or Northeastern California.

For more information about this fund or to make a gift, please contact Christina Sarman, assistant director of development, at (775) 784-6009.

Gambling Addiction Online Courses Available Through CASAT

In response to the growing need for addiction workforce training, CASAT has created two online gambling courses: HCS 439/639 – Exploring Gambling Behaviors and HCS 440/640 – Treatment of Compulsive Gambling with funding from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

Both courses have been approved for gambling counselor education and training hours by the National Council on Problem Gambling.

In addition, the combination of those two courses meets the sixty hours of gambling-specific training required towards becoming a Certified Gambling Counselor in the State of Nevada. For additional information regarding certification or workforce development, please contact Terra Hamblin at (877) 978-7346 (877-WST-REGN).

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology Receives $180,000 Gift

The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology received news in Dec. that it had received a bequest from the estate of Bill Richards, a former patient at the clinic. Tom Watterson, Ph.D., of the speech pathology and audiology department, had treated Mr. Richards many years ago and kept in touch with him since, but had no idea that the speech pathology and audiology program would receive this $180,000 unrestricted gift.

The department recently met to decide on the disposition of the new fund, part of which will be used to support operating and research expenses, and part endowed in a scholarship fund in Mr. Richards’ name.

Students Are Invited To Attend Aging in America Conference For Free

The annual Aging in America conference–the largest gathering of professionals in aging, health care and education along with business leaders–is coming up in Las Vegas in March. Students who are studying gerontology or geriatrics can attend for free if you’re willing to volunteer.

UNR students interested in attending can volunteer and get their registration paid for. Also students can apply for funding for travel expenses from the Graduate Student Association. Here’s how to apply. The Sanford Center for Aging will consider partial sponsorships. Offer is limited to students who are studying gerontology and/or geriatrics. Limited funding – apply as soon as possible. For more information, contact Susan Harris, project director, Nevada Care Connection.

The Aging in America is the annual conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging will be held March 12-19 in Las Vegas and usually draws nearly 4,000 people from around the country and abroad. It’s a showcase for aging-related programs and projects, a forum for policy discussion and advocacy, and a prime source of information on new research findings in aging.

More information on the conference. Larry Weiss, Ph.D., director of the Sanford Center for Aging, is conference co-chair along with Fernando Torres-Gil, Ph.D. of UCLA and Molly Mettler, senior vice president of Healthwise, a provider of consumer health information.

New Book on History of Medicine Now Available

Anton Sohn, Ph.D., professor and chair of the pathology department, served as editor and published another book in the history of medicine series, Frontier Surgeon and Georgetown medical school dean by George Martin Kober, M.D.

The 500-page volume describes in the first person the reminiscences of Kober, who lived from 1850-1931. The book is available by contacting Lynda McLellan at (775) 784-7034.

New Online Course on Aging and Addiction Is Available

The Gerontology Academic Program in conjunction with the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies is offering Aging and Addiction, an innovative online course.

In order to increase awareness of the growing elder community and the issues this population is facing, Aging and Addiction, provides a multidisciplinary overview of factors affecting the identification, intervention, and treatment of substance-related and behavioral addictions among older adults.

Call Independent Learning at (775) 784-4652 for the call number and additional registration information.

Orvis School of Nursing Clinic Receives $16,500 Immunization Grant

Orvis School of Nursing Clinic has been selected to receive grant funding of $16,500 from Catholic Healthcare West and Saint Mary’s Foundation to provide immunization services in 2009.

There have been changes in the state vaccine administration policies that make it challenging for individuals to obtain vaccines. This funding will allow OSN-C to increase access to health care and provide the community with easier access to childhood immunizations.

This is the second year in a row that OSN-C has been funded by this organization to provide immunization services to the community.

CASAT Spring ’09 Training Catalog Available

The Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) is pleased to announce that the Spring ’09 Training Catalog is available for viewing online. CASAT, through a grant from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Agency, provides training, technical assistance, and workforce development continuing education initiatives for professionals in the substance abuse prevention, treatment and related fields.

The Spring catalog offers training opportunities to learn more about hot topics such as Prescription Drug Abuse and Problem Gambling. In addition to in-person trainings and workshops, CASAT offers a variety of multi-media and self-paced courses for check out on topics ranging from Ethics and Confidentiality to Contingency Management. CASAT is a Nevada state and nationally-approved provider for continuing education.

Visit our web site for a downloadable training calendar or call (775) 784-4707 for additional information.

Faculty Members, Program Honored by Southern Nevada Immunization Coalition

Two School of Medicine faculty members from the Las Vegas Department of Pediatrics and one of the department's programs were recognized by the Southern Nevada Immunization Coalition (SNIC) at its first-ever Silver Syringe recognition event last November in Las Vegas.

Echezona Ezeanolue, M.D., MPH received the “outstanding immunization champion” award for his work in leading the organization of first community physician immunization workshop and for his active support for immunizations.

Beverly Neyland, M.D. earned the “promoting physician involvement in immunization” honor for her work to encourage physician involvement in immunizations and for teaching a new generation of pediatricians to be involved not only in patient care but in promoting community responsibility involvement.

On behalf of the Department of Pediatrics, Kami Larson, M.D., accepted an award for the department’s achievement of an 80 percent or higher immunization rate for two-year-olds through the Kids Healthcare program.

The Silver Syringe awards recognize individuals, organizations or businesses that have worked to increase immunization awareness, improve immunization rates, provide in-kind services or perform other activities to help promote immunizations in the southern Nevada community.

Get To Know

Orvis School of Nursing

In the early 1950s, Nevada was the only state in the Union that did not have a nursing education program. In 1955, with the backing and philanthropy of many concerned citizens, including Dr. Arthur and Mrs. Mae Orvis, the UNR President, University Board of Regent, the Nevada State Legislature authorized and established the Orvis School of Nursing on the University of Nevada, Reno Campus.

In 1957, the Orvis School of Nursing opened with twelve students and five faculty members. Over the ensuing decades, the Orvis School of Nursing has been a leader in nursing education in Nevada and was the first nursing program in the state to offer:

  • a four-year bachelors degree nursing program
  • a totally online RN to BSN program
  • a fast-track BSN program for second-degree students
  • a master’s degree program
  • a master of science in nursing/master of public health combined degree program

The OSN has also served as the mentoring program for the BSN programs at both UNLV and Nevada State College.

Today, the Orvis School of Nursing boasts 23 full-time faculty and four full-time staff and has an enrollment of 144 baccalaureate students and 63 full-time and part-time master’s students. It has the first and only clinical nurse leader master’s degree track in the state of Nevada.

The pass rate for first-time test-takers on the national licensure exam for registered nurses was 92 percent in 2008, the highest pass rate of all BSN programs in Nevada. Our excellent programs have resulted in over 1,200 alumni of the Orvis School of Nursing who are nursing leaders, clinicians, practitioners, researchers, and educators within the state of Nevada and across the country.

In addition to its educational programs, the OSN has the only nurse-managed clinic, serving under- and un-insured citizens of Nevada. Patsy Ruchala, D.NSc., R.N., serves as director for the school.

Upcoming Events

George Bierkamper Student Research Convocation Set For Jan. 20

The 26th Annual George G. Bierkamper Student Research Convocation will take place on Tuesday Jan. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Reno’s Pennington 16 where medical and graduate students will showcase their talents in original scientific research.

Guest speaker Kim Eagle, M.D., chief of cardiology at the University Of Michigan Cardiovascular Center and a School of Medicine alumnus, will present “Acute Aortic Syndromes: Questions that Keep Me Awake At Night” at 4:30 p.m.

Students participating in the convocation will be evaluated by a panel of judges from the School of Medicine faculty and will be judged based on the quality of their research, findings and presentation.

The top student in each category will receive a $250 award as well as recognition for their achievement during School of Medicine commencement ceremonies in May.

Sleep Deprivation is Topic of Upcoming Psychiatry Grand Round on Jan. 20

Aditya Bhargava, M.D., Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, will speak on on “The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Human Performance: Implications for Medical Professionals.”

On Jan. 21 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 Building at the time of the Grand Rounds. Designated parking will be in the green zone at the back of the Pennington Building.

The grand rounds can be seen via pictel in Las Vegas at the Patient Care Center, 1707 West Charleston Boulevard, Suite 210B.

Call (775) 682-8459 with questions. All Division of Health Sciences faculty are invited.

Our People

Charles Bullock, Ph.D., professor, School of Community Health Sciences and former interim dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, was recently named dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts at San Jose State University. He began his new position on Jan. 5, 2009.

Doreen Begley, MS, R.N., director of the Orvis School of Nursing Clinic, was reappointed by the governor to a second-term on the Nevada State Board of Nursing. In addition, Doreen was elected to serve as president of the Nevada State Board of Nursing at the last meeting.

Trudy Larson, M.D., professor of pediatrics, School of Medicine, presented lectures on HIV testing in labor and delivery. An update for OB/GYN departments to the obstetricians and OB nurses at the Northeastern Nevada Regional Medical Center in Elko, and also the Reno Chapter of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses.

In this lecture, Dr. Larson discusses the new CDC recommendations for universal HIV testing and details the need for and process of HIV testing during pregnancy, labor and delivery.

Triza Crittle has joins the School of Medicine as clinical librarian at University Medical Center’s library in Las Vegas.

Luci Young, assistant to David Lupan, Ph.D., senior associate dean of basic science and research, received the 2008 Dean’s Star Award from Ole Thienhaus M.D., M.B.A., dean of the School of Medicine. Award runners up were Alisha Fong, assistant to Jennifer Kimmel M.D., associate dean of medical education and Patricia Romney, Office of Student Affairs.

Kate Sheppard, Ph.D., R.N., A.P.N., assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing, has completed her post-master’s certificate as a psychiatric nurse practitioner from the University of South Alabama and received the Excellence in Practice Award, Advanced Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing from the University of South Alabama.

Grants, Publications and Research Activities

Bernadette M. Longo, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing, was published in the January/February issue of prestigious Nursing Research Journal for her research “The Kilauea Volcano Adult Health Study.”

She also will be a guest on the upcoming "A Few Minutes With Milt" radio program on KUNR-FM about the volcanic health research.

She has also been interviewed about her research by the Discovery Network’s Science Channel and will be featured in the series "Against the Elements."

Noel Tiano, Th.D., director, Nevada Center for Ethics and Health Policy and Rabbi ElizaBeth Beyer, R.N., M.S. J.D., chair, Program in Health Care Ethics will be presenting “Ethical Issues of Donation after Cardiac Death” at the High Sierra Critical Care Conference, March 9-11, offered by the American Lung Association of Nevada.

Ann Hubbert, Ph.D., R.N, C.T.N., associate professor, Orvis School of Nursing, has had her abstract entitled, “A Homeless Tent City: Expansion of Turbulence After Research Recommendations Were Not Applied”, accepted for podium presentation at the Western Institute of Nursing Conference to be held in Salt Lake City in April.

Student News

Students Match at Naval Medical Center

Joseph Brown, MSIV and Colin McCormack, MSIV were successfully matched into residency programs at the US Naval Medical Center in San Diego.

Medical students who are active members of the military learn early in the year where they will be pursuing their graduate medical education.

Brown has matched into a transitional internship and will move on to a residency in diagnostic radiology.

McCormack has matched into a transitional Internal Medicine internship and will move on to a residency in pathology.


Copyright © 2009 Health Sciences.