Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

March 2010

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

The Challenges and Changes Ahead

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

Despite Yogi Berra’s famous admonition, It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future, let me share some of what I have observed over the past 20 months and the likely trends in health sciences for the near-term.

I want to acknowledge the quality of our leadership and administrative team. I believe we have the right individuals to lead and support us as we move forward. Moreover, UNR has, appropriately I believe, made strengthening health sciences education and research one of its strategic goals. This institutional goal, coupled with our large and growing undergraduate and graduate class enrollment have allowed us to survive thus far without additional program cuts. For this, we should all be grateful, while empathetic with our colleagues across the university who may not be so fortunate.

Stepping back from the immediate fray, there are several themes emerging. One is the emphasis on continuing to increase undergraduate student enrollment and class sizes, in order to serve the largest number of students most efficiently. This of course is necessary to sustain formula-based funding to the university, a necessity until the revenue model changes. A second major theme is the ongoing attempt to transform UNR into a more research-intensive university, using existing centers of excellence and programs as well as making educated guesses about societal trends and needs and making judicious investments appropriately.

This creates in my mind an interesting dynamic. How do we reconcile the archetypal research professor, massively extramurally funded, requiring near total protected time to pursue their careers with the image of the engaging and engaged popular professor who receives accolades for their teaching and who ignites a students’ curiosity and imagination? There are indeed some double threats at UNR who accomplish this, but it is tough.

One approach with merit suggested by Dana Loomis our director of the School of Community Health Sciences is to focus on specific areas in which to build critical masses of research faculty who are competitive for extramural funding, but who of course still teach in their disciplines. At the same time, other faculty who are passionate about and excel in teaching can be acknowledged for their contributions and rewarded. This would require careful recruiting, mentoring, measuring outcomes beyond popularity with students, and crafting appropriate role statements, as well as flexibility on the part of the division and university promotion and tenure committees.

Another theme is unity – recognizing the value that each individual discipline brings to health sciences – and communicating and teaching this to our students and learners in shared learning experiences. We all tend to ruminate on our individual accreditation standards that must be met, but I believe there are genuine opportunities for a more integrated curriculum in health sciences. If we accept the responsibility for training our future providers and teachers and researchers, we must also accept the fact that as a nation our health system is lagging behind other developed countries. With all that is going on locally, reversing this situation may seem insurmountable, but as a local hospital CEO shared with me today, it’s a target rich environment.

News from Division of Health Sciences Units

Campus Recreation and Wellness offers weight room course to local educators

Campus Recreation and Wellness (CRW) recently offered a five week course in Weight Room Management and Instruction to Washoe County School District coaches, administrators and physical educators. The class graduated 22 students and is set to run again in April. The class was developed in partnership between CRW and the Washoe County School District. This training is mandatory for coaches and teachers who want to work in the weight room with students. Course topics included: exercise physiology, kinesiology, principles of training, injury prevention, emergency action planning, risk management, facility management and supervision, functional barbell training in the squat series, press series, dead lift, clean and bench press.

Graduate Medical Education programs expands surgery residency training program

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME )has approved an expansion of the Surgery Residency Training Program from 15 to 20 trainees for the School of Medicine. This expansion involves the Nellis Air Force Base clinical site according to Ole Thienhaus, M.D., MBA, dean of the School of Medicine. “My congratulations to the training director in surgery, John Fildes, M.D. and the department chair, William Zamboni, M.D., and everyone else involved in this expansion effort.”

Reno National Gerontology conference held in Reno

More than 300 scholars and professionals in geriatrics and gerontology attended the 36th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), held March 4-7 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno.

Among the Division of Health Sciences presenters were Judith Sugar and Dan Cook of Community Health Sciences, Ann Hubbert (Orvis School of Nursing), Diane Chau (Division of Geriatric Medicine), Patti Swager (Nevada Geriatric Education Center), Tami Brancamp (Speech Pathology and Audiology), Reed Dopf (Geriatric Fellow), and Jeanne Hilton (Social Work). More than 100 students from Dr. Sugar’s class also attended.

The director of the UNR’s Gerontology Academic Program, Betty D. Dodson, was named an AGHE Fellow, and welcoming remarks were provided by John McDonald, vice president of health sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Many Division of Health Sciences faculty and staff were heavily involved in the local planning for the event, including co-chairs Patti Swager and Betty Dodson; Bill Swager (Information Technology, School of Medicine), Judith Sugar (Community Health Sciences), Ed Cohen (Sanford Center for Aging), Dori Ward (graduate student in Human Development and Family Studies), Tami Brancamp, Denise Montcalm (Social Work), Elisha Dillon (Social Work graduate student), Mindy Peltier (Sanford Center for Aging), and Tara McMullen, a former graduate student (Public Health).Many other student and faculty volunteers contributed to making the event a success.

AGHE is the educational branch of the Gerontological Society of America, the nation’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education and practice in the field of aging.

Following the AGHE conference, Marie Bernard, M.D., deputy director, National Institute on Aging, presented “ Who will Care for Me When I Am 104 and What Will They Know” to faculty and students of the Division of Health Sciences.

Judith Sugar, Marie Bernard and John McDonald
Judith Sugar, SCHS professor, Dr. Marie Bernard, and Vice President John McDonald

Spring issue of Synapse now available online

The spring 2010 issue of Synapse, the magazine of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, featuring stories on the grand opening of the Clinical Simulation Center, pediatric genetics, the new pathology chair, surgery research laboratories and the Center for Bone Health, is currently available online.

Hard copies of this issue will be mailed within the first two weeks of March, distributed to clinical spaces and available from Anne McMillin or Edgar Antonio Nunez in the communications office in Reno and Las Vegas, respectively.

Nevada Geriatric Education Center to present Hospice Foundation of America teleconference

The Nevada Geriatric Education Center (NGEC), part of the School of Medicine, will present the Hospice Foundation of America’s 17th Annual National Bereavement Teleconference: Living with Grief. The program will be held on Wednesday, March 24, 2009; 8:00am-4:00pm at United Healthcare, 2716 N. Tenaya Way, Marlon Auditorium, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The focus for the 2010 year’s program will be Cancer and End of Life Care. Currently there are several hospices, cancer treatment centers and other healthcare organizations that will be participating in the program as well as many social workers, nurses, physicians, psychologists, chaplains, and healthcare professionals from Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. The program is comprised of two parts; a session consisting of local speakers and panelists in the hospice and palliative care field, and a session consisting of National experts speaking from Washington D.C.

7.0 Continuing Education Credits will be available for social workers, nurses, long term care administrators, marriage and family therapists, activity directors, psychologists, audiologists and speech pathologists.

UC Davis expert to speak on occupational health on March 22

The School of Community Health Sciences is having a seminar speaker on Monday, March 22 from 4-5pm in Lombardi Building, room 205. The speakers name is Marc Schenker, M.D. from UC Davis, School of Medicine and the title of his talk is “Migration and Occupational Health: A Global Problem”

Sanford Center volunteer programs celebrate National Volunteer Week

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program will be celebrating their volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 19-23rd. Some events that are planned include:

Senior Outreach Services/RSVP Monthly Education Talk

  • April 6, 2010, 10:00am-11:00am, Laxalt Auditorium, Nelson Building, 401 W. 2nd St.
    “Are Your Medications Making You Sicker?” presented by Chris Shea, Pharm.D., CGP and Teresa Sacks, MPH

If you were unable to attend our March 2 Education Talk, “Smiles are Ageless” by Julie Stage, RDH, MHP from TMCC, the video is now on the Sanford Center for Aging website.

CPR Training, April 21, 9:30am – 11:00am, Sanford Center for Aging

Fundraiser at Texas Roadhouse (one night that week to be determined); bring flyer and 10% of your meal will go towards RSVP

Open House for volunteers at Sanford Center for Aging, Friday, April 23, 2pm-4pm

School of Medicine, Office of Faculty Affairs offers faculty workshops

The Office of Faculty Affairs will be offering a several events and workshops for faculty:

Promotion and Tenure Workshops

  • Reno - March 23rd in Jones Conf. Rm.
  • Las Vegas - April 19th in the Dean’s Conference Rm.

Las Vegas Faculty Development Day

Simulation Center, Shadow Lane Campus, April 20th

  • 7:30-9:30am – “Eight Steps to Great Precepting” (Rm. 3)
  • 11:45-12:45pm – “How do I know I’m teaching effectively?” (Rm. 4 with pictel to Reno: Nelson Bldg. and Penn 214, as part of IDGR)
  • 12:45-1:30pm – “Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Awards” (Rm. 4)
  • 2:00-4:00pm – Encore presentation of “Eight Steps to Great Precepting” (Rm. 3)

Women in Health Sciences Event

  • Joe Crowley Student Union – Rm. 423, May 3rd, 8:00am – 1:00pm
    “Achieving Work-Life Balance” presented by Elizabeth Travis, Ph.D., Univ. of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center

New Faculty Orientations

  • July 12: Reno Penn 214 with pictel to Las Vegas 504
  • Nov 1: Las Vegas 504 with pictel to Reno Penn 214

Our People

Nora Constantino, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Community Health Sciences, won the women’s division of the UNR CrossFit Challenge! Crushing a bevy of 18-22 year olds and demonstrating that not only does she preach fitness—she practices fitness. She sets an impressive example for students to follow.

Judith A. Sugar, Ph.D., associate professor of gerontology, School of Community Health Sciences, has been elected Secretary of the Association in Gerontology for Higher Education (AGHE). AGHE is the international leader in advancing education on aging and is the only professional organization devoted primarily to gerontology and geriatrics education since 1974. Her term begins at the conclusion of AGHE’s 36th Annual Meeting that was held March 4 – 7, 2010 in Reno.

Patsy L. Ruchala, DNSc, RN., director, Orvis School of Nursing was recently elected Secretary of the Nevada Nursing Education and Practice Alliance. The organization is an entity organized in the state of Nevada to promote quality nursing education and healthy practice environments in the state. The membership includes nursing leaders in the state of Nevada who are identified as stakeholders in the pursuit of quality nursing education and practice and who have a vested interest in ensuring a stable, high quality nursing workforce and health working environments throughout Nevada.

Christopher von Bartheld, M.D., professor, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Medicine was invited by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Government and Public Affairs Committee to participate as one of five invited representatives in the 4th Annual SfN Capitol Hill Day on March 25, 2010 in Washington, D.C. The Society for Neuroscience has over 40,000 members world-wide.

During his visit, Dr. von Bartheld will meet with Nevada's Members of Congress and Senators. This visit with lawmakers will provide opportunities to discuss local research and the importance of federal NIH and NSF funding to advancing biomedical and neuroscience research.

Dr. von Bartheld is currently the president of the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience which has numerous local events planned for Brain Awareness Week (March 15-19) that precedes Capitol Hill Day.

Ken Maehara, M.D., associate professor of pathology, School of Medicine, has been named assistant dean of admissions for his long-standing role as the chair of the medical school’s admissions committee.

Annabel Barber, M.D., professor and chief of endocrine and gastrointestinal surgery, School of Medicine, participated as a speaker for the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition in a scientific program for health care professionals.

Grants, Publications and Research Activities

Marin Gillis, LPh, Ph.D., director of medical humanities, School of Medicine and Madeleine Sigman-Grant have co-authored and published and article on “Principles of Health Care Ethics and the WHO/UNICEF 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” in the Journal of Human Lactation 26 (2010): 11-15.

Tami Brancamp, Ph.D., assistant professor in speech pathology and audiology, presented “An Exploration into Health Literacy and Aging for Future Clinicians" at the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education 36th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference in Reno, Nevada, March 4-7.

Reed Dopf, M.D. and May May Khin, M.D., division of geriatric medicine fellows, were selected as the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) annual Osteoporosis Academy Scholarship Awardees for 2010. ISCD provides comprehensive educational courses in bone densitometry and selected our fellows to receive scholarships for training certification in performing and interpreting bone density scans. Fellows who complete this training are now eligible to sit for the ISCD certification exam. Khin was also selected as the American Medical Director Association's Futures Fellow Awardee. Fellows are selected annually through a competitive application process to receive an award and intensive learning experience designed to expose fellows to the administrative aspects of long term care.

Student News

Division of Health Sciences ASUN Senators elected

Three students were elected this month to serve as senators representing the Division of Health. They are Kimberly Anichowski, Marie Rossi and Kim Williams. You are encouraged to contact them with issues or ideas related to student government and campus activities.

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 Competitive Edge career fair preparation event on 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 and 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.

Nevada Women’s Fund 2010-11 Scholarship Applications Now Available

The Nevada Women’s Fund is now accepting scholarship applications from women between the ages 18-65 who are pursuing a higher education degree. Scholarships are awarded for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Scholarship applications are available online. Deadline for applications is March 26, 2010 and decisions are made in June.

Woodward receives leadership award from American Medical Association

Patrick WoodwardPatrick A. Woodward, far left, University of Nevada School of Medicine Class of 2011, has been named one of 20 nationwide recipients of the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation’s 2010 Leadership Award. This award provides medical students, residents, fellows and early career physicians from around the country with special training to develop their skills as future leaders in organized medicine and community affairs.

Woodward is being honored at the AMA’s annual Excellence in Medicine Awards ceremony on March 1 in Washington D.C. Recipients of the award are recognized for demonstrating outstanding non-clinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service and education. He recently completed a year as the government relations advocacy fellow with the American Medical Association.

A graduate of Georgetown University, he has written legislation on behalf of medical students, health care policy for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and lobbied Congress for issues in science, technology, engineering and math education.

Music, like health care, is also an essential part of his life. He plays violin professionally with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and played with the Reno Chamber Orchestra and the Nevada Opera. He is planning to complete a family medicine residency, and he hopes to focus on the unique connection between health care policy and direct patient care.


Copyright © 2010 Health Sciences.