Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

March 2011

News from Division of Health Sciences Units

University names VP health sciences and medical school dean

Thomas Schwenk, M.D.Thomas Schwenk, M.D., has been named vice president of the University of Nevada, Reno’s Division of Health Sciences and dean of the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Schwenk is currently professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and has had an impressive career highlighted by active clinical practice, an extensive publication record, teaching, visiting professorships and administrative experience. He will join the University in July 2011

He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School.

He completed a family medicine residency through the University of Utah Affiliated Hospitals in Salt Lake City, then remained in Utah for several years where he practiced rural family medicine and served on the faculty of the University of Utah Department of Family and Community Medicine. He returned to the University of Michigan Medical School as an assistant professor in 1984 and was named professor in 1993, interim department chair in 1986 and department chair in 1988.

In addition to being a member of the Institute of Medicine, Schwenk is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He has served in reviewer or editor roles for several medical journals, including his current service as a reviewer with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and deputy editor with Journal Watch.

Much of his research has addressed the diagnosis and management of mental illness in primary care settings, as well as a wide range of medical education and family medicine training issues the United States.

Fitzsimmons named director of Campus Recreation and Wellness Center

James FitzsimmonsJames “Jim” Fitzsimmons, M.S. has been named director of the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. His appointment follows ten years as serving as assistant director for the Center, as well as serving as interim director since July. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the planning and funding of $8.5 million in facility renovation projects and has been involved in the creation and administration of several programs including fitness, aquatics, outdoor recreation, climbing facilities and intramural sports.

“Jim is a very talented administrator and has contributed greatly to the success of the programs and facilities at Lombardi,” said Denise Montcalm, Ph.D., interim dean for the Division of Health Sciences. “We are excited to know that under his leadership the Center will continue to grow and serve our students and faculty with their health and wellness activities.”

Fitzsimmons was selected following a national search. A seven member search committee participated in the process and included representatives from university faculty, staff, students and the community.

Fitzsimmons earned his Master of Science degree in Physical Education and Recreation from the University of Nevada, Reno and is currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership. He is an active member of several professional organizations including the National Intramural Recreational Sport Association, American Association of Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Nevada rural access to emergency devices

Julie Redding, operations manager for Center for Education and Health Services Outreach (CEHSO) and PI of the Nevada Rural Access to Emergency Devices Grant program has distributed another 51 AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) to the Nevada Highway Patrol for Troopers in rural northeastern and southern Nevada in an ongoing effort to increase the survival rate for victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Nevada. The AEDs were distributed during February in recognition of American Heart Month. The partnership with the Highway Patrol began in 2008 and to-date there has been 132 AEDs placed with rural Troopers under this grant program. The Nevada Rural Access to Emergency Devices Grant program has been operating in CEHSO since 2002 and has placed over 600 AEDs in rural and frontier Nevada.

Cultural Considerations in Health Care' encourages dialogue and awareness

Over 300 health sciences students participated and attended last month’s “Cultural Considerations in Health Care” interdisciplinary event created by students for students. Students were asked to ponder questions regarding alternative medicine treatments or how language barriers might impact diagnosis and treatment. In addition, sessions also discussed cultural humility and the impact of prejudice on vulnerable population’s access to health care. The goal of the two-day event held Feb. 15-16 was to provide students in the health sciences an educational experience in cultural awareness and its applications to health services, research and policy.

The forum was sponsored by the American Medical Student Association, ASUN Flipside, the Center for Student Cultural Diversity, the Division of Health Sciences, the School of Medicine’s Diversity Consortium, the Northern Nevada International Center, the Public Health Coalition, the Schools of Medicine, Community Health Sciences and Social Work and University Counseling Services.

Nevada rural and frontier health data book now available

A newly released University of Nevada School of Medicine report documents the diverse features of health and health care in rural and frontier counties of Nevada. The Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book 2011 Edition contains a wide range of current information on the demography, population health, and the health care delivery system in rural and frontier regions of Nevada.

This expanded edition of the data book includes new information on Veterans populations, variation in insurance coverage by age and gender, and population health in rural versus urban areas of the state. It includes important data for public policy makers, health care professionals and administrators, rural health care advocates, and residents of rural and frontier Nevada.

The report was prepared by Tabor Griswold, MS and John Packham, Ph.D. at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. A complete copy of the report can be downloaded. For more information or to request a hard copy of the data book, please contact John Packham at (775) 784-1235.

Submissions being accepted for literature and art journal

The School of Medicine's annual journal of literature and art, The Stethoscope, is now accepting submissions for publication this spring. Original and creative work from the students, faculty and friends of the School of Medicine and the Division of Health Sciences will be accepted: short stories, poems, essays, drawings, photography, jokes and quotes - we want to see it all.

The deadline for submissions is March 20, 2011. Submissions and questions may be emailed to Michael Tanner, Alia Moore or Brittany Dye.

Public Health Coalition to hold spaghetti feed on March 29

The Public Health Coalition, the student organization for the School of Community Health Sciences, will be holding a spaghetti feed at the Little Waldorf Saloon on March 29 from 6 to 9 pm. All proceeds from the event will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. The cost is $10 and tickets can be purchased by contacting Ashley McHugh.

NCEC to offer geriatric lectures on April 7 for health sciences students and faculty

The Nevada Geriatric Education Consortium in partnership with the American Geriatric Student Society and the Student Outreach Clinic will be offering two lectures, “Elder Abuse: Signs and Symptoms, Interviewing Tips and Reporting Process” presented by Heather Korbulic, Aging and Disability Services and “What You Need to Know about Falls and Falls Prevention in Older Adults” by Sandy Wilson, PT, the Continuum, on April 2 at 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm.

The lectures are open to all health sciences students and faculty. Dinner will be provided. The lectures will be held in Room 16 of the Pennington Medical Education Building. The program is free, however, you must confirm your attendance by March 31 by contacting Diann Jones.

CME ethics credit presentation offered March 30

The Office of Faculty Affairs & Development is offering a CME ethics credit lecture on March 30 presented by Kimiko Ishibashi, M.D., assistant professor and course director for medical ethics at the medical school. The lecture is entitled “When Your Patient Says No: The Ethics of Patient Refusals.”

The presentation is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Pennington 16 in Reno with pictel to the Simulation Center, Room B-1231 in Las Vegas. Please call the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development at (775) 784-6777 if you plan to attend.

Medical students plan fundraiser for Nicaragua on April 16

A silent auction benefiting the School of Medicine’s annual student "Nevada To Nicaragua" summer medical mission trip will be held Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The fundraiser will be held in the foyer of the Center for Molecular Medicine on the Reno campus. Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance or $30 at the door; please contact Christina Sarman at (775) 784-6009 for tickets.

Kozel behind new diagnostic test for Cryptococcus

A new, rapid blood test that could lead to early diagnosis and potentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people stricken with fungal meningitis, a leading cause of AIDS-related deaths in developing countries, is getting closer to market with a recent collaboration between the University of Nevada, Reno and Immuno-Mycologics (IMMY) in Oklahoma.

“The ability to quickly identify yeast infection in patients is expected to help in significantly reducing cryptococcal meningitis deaths in resource-limited countries such as those in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Tom Kozel, Ph.D., professor of microbiology at the University of Nevada’s School of Medicine.

Nursing director appointed to Renown board

Patsy L. Ruchala, DNSc, RN, director, Orvis School of Nursing has been appointed to the Renown Health Community Board.

Faculty senate news and updates

The elected senators representing the Division of Health Sciences and School of Medicine on the UNR Faculty Senate would like to encourage you to contact them with any concerns or issues of importance that you would like to be addressed and discussed at the faculty senate. Visit the faculty senate to find copies of the agendas, meeting minutes, contact information for the senators and detailed information on faculty senate meetings.

We will be writing communication updates for the DHS newsletters to keep you posted on faculty senate proceedings. We encourage you to contact any of us if needed or if you have questions.

  • Division of Health Sciences Senators
    Alice Running, Julie Hogan
  • School of Medicine Senators
    Catherine Goring, Kami Larsen, Amy McFarland, Elissa Palmer, Gerald Ackerman

Student News

Health science division students honored by Residential Life for achieving 4.0 GPA

Students with Perfect GPAs
From left to right, Michele LaPorte, Lauren Andrew and Kaitlin Reggiardo were among several students recognized for achieving perfect GPAs.

The Department of Residential Life, Housing, and Food Service honored 88 students living in the residence halls who achieved a 4.0 during the Fall 2010 semester with an Academic Recognition Luncheon on February 25, 2011. This is the first time for this event.

The following students were honored at the luncheon: Lauren Andrew, community health sciences; Michele LaPorte, pre-nursing; Cassandra Parr, pre-nursing; Kirsten Shay, pre-nursing; Katelin Provost, social work; and Kaitlin Reggiardo, speech pathology.

Graduate student's work published

Peter Bayguinov, a graduate student in the Department of Physiology & Cell Biology, had his work recently published in the Journal of Physiology. The article titles were “Calcium activity in different classes of myenteric neurons underlying the migrating motor complex in the murine colon” and “Ca2+ imaging of activity in ICC-MY during local mucosal reflexes and the colonic migrating motor complex in the murine large intestine"

Lindstedt poster places at ACP meeting

Sean Lindstedt, a fourth-year student going into internal medicine, placed third in the combined clinical/research poster competition at the recent regional American College of Physicians meeting in Las Vegas. His poster was entitled “Lemierre's Syndrome: an unforgettable case of the forgotten disease.”

Match Day 2011 is March 17

Fourth-year medical students learn where they will receive their residency training at the traditional Match Day celebrations in Las Vegas and Reno on March 17 at 9 a.m. The event will be in sixth floor conference rooms of the 2040 Building in Las Vegas and in the Pennington foyer in Reno. All faculty and staff are invited to attend.

Public Health Coalition elect officers and plans events

The Public Health Coalition (PHC) elected a new executive board: Dana Pardee, president; Bonnie Elliott, vice president; and Chris Dugan, treasurer. The PHC is organizing several exciting events in the upcoming months and invite Division of Health Sciences faculty, staff and students to participate and support these activities.

On April 6, in conjunction with National Public Health week, cosponsored by the Nevada Public Health Association, the PHC, along with Guarded by the Pack, will be hosting “Protect the Pack” in which UNR Police Services will be doing self-defense demonstrations and safety seminars. The theme for the event is “Safety is No Accident."

The PHC has formed a Relay for Life team to support the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer. We are conducting continuous fund-raising efforts by selling one-dollar memorial stars and moons at the CHS department office to hang in our “Hallway of Hope." On April 15 and 16, the PHC, along with 57 other relay teams, will walk through the night to raise cancer awareness.

Finally, the PHC is working on is “Exercise is Medicine” week. This will take place the week of April 25th-29. We will host an entire week’s worth of activities such as capture the flag, ultimate frisbee, and “No Shuttle No Problem." Our goal is for the students and staff to burn a combined 1 million calories. Volunteers are need to help with the planning, marketing, fund-raising and help with the actual event.

UNR graduate participates in Military Extension Internship Program

Tiffany Sells, a recent Human Development and Family Studies and School of Community Health Sciences graduate, was accepted and is participating in the Purdue University’s “Military Extension Internship” Program. She is currently overseas for the United States Navy in Naples, Italy as a Child and Youth Program Intern. The purpose of this internship is to gain practical work experience in child development, school-age care, and youth programs; which are among the military child and youth services that are offered. In this particular program, interns are placed in various locations on military installations where they become apart of the military community.

The program enables students the opportunity to live in Europe for 6 months and gain abroad range of experiences from working with children and youth, to implementing program and learning about the management of child and youth centers.

Copyright © 2011 Health Sciences.