Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

November 2008

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

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

As someone who spent the first 18 years of his life in a totally segregated setting in St. Petersburg, Florida, I simply cannot let last week’s historic event pass without comment. People, who did not grow up in the South in the 1940s, ‘50s and early ‘60s, sometimes regard me with skepticism or disbelief when I describe the pervasive and corrosive impact of this unjust society on all—black and white alike. On election night, I was proud to be an American. Regardless of one’s political beliefs and values, I believe we can all celebrate the extraordinary progress signaled by the election of Barack Obama as our next president.

The election also calls attention to our roles as educators and care providers as the U.S. population changes. We are rapidly becoming a diverse country. Consider the following information:

“The U.S. population is set to reach 400 million by 2039, four years earlier than previously projected, according to new population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. Whites are projected to drop below 50 percent of the U.S. population by 2042, according to the new data.

The United States reached 300 million people in 2006. At the time, non-Hispanic whites made up about two-thirds of the population… However, over the next several decades, there will be a sharp—and unprecedented—increase in racial and ethnic minorities, especially in the Latino population.

By the time the country reaches 400 million:

  • The white, non-Hispanic share of the population is expected to drop to 51 percent.
  • Over one in four U.S. residents is expected to be Hispanic—up from one in seven in 2006.
  • The Census Bureau projects that the number of Asians and Pacific Islanders will approach 28.3 million—more than twice their 2006 population. The African-American population is expected to make up 12 percent of the U.S. population—the same percentage it was when the country reached the 300 million mark.”

Clearly our students, the educators, health care workers and leaders of the future, will serve a much more diverse population. In the health sciences, more than in any other area of public education, a student and faculty body reflecting the populations they will serve is critical to improved individual and population health. While we face tough budget times, we cannot lose sight of this future. I hope every member of the division of health sciences will continue to embrace this cause. The country passed a historic milestone on November 4th. Let us use this extraordinary event to recommit to becoming a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming Division of Health Sciences.

News from Division of Health Sciences Units

School of Public Health Changes Names

The School of Public Health has changed its name to the School of Community Health Sciences. The reason for the name change was prompted by the schools’ effort to seek accreditation for the Master in Public Health (MPH) degree program. “The landscape for accreditation of public health academic programs is changing, and it is pretty clear to all of us now that we need to obtain accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH),” said Mel Minarik, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.H.E., graduate director of the School of Community Health Sciences. “As we embark on this journey, through CEPH consultation, self-study, and then an on-site review, we are choosing at this time to accredit only our MPH degree program rather than the entire school, and therefore cannot be called a School of Public Health, which is why we are now the School of Community Health Sciences.”

Accreditation will enhance the current MPH program and also serve the needs of students. In some professional job opportunities around the U.S. if a student does not have his/her MPH from an accredited program (or School of Public Health), they might be ineligible to apply for the job. In addition, students coming from an accredited program can take the CEPH exam in order to be a certified public health professional. CEPH accreditation is becoming the standard of academic and professional excellence for the public health workforce.

“Accrediting programs is usually the first step towards accrediting a school, so we all feel like we are on the proper path and timeline in our growth. We expect to be complete with this process by fall of 2010,” Minarik said. “We look forward to the vast array of opportunities that exist here on campus in our new Division and with our collaborators at UNLV, to grow the programs, serve our students in better ways and enhance the health of the people of Nevada.”

Nevada Prevention Resource Center/CASAT Launch New Website

The Nevada Prevention Resource Center (NPRC), a program in the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) launched a new redesigned website on October 1, 2008. The NPRC houses a library and clearinghouse filled with information on substance abuse prevention and treatment, as well as related topics such as mental health and problem gambling.

The website includes links to resources and programs across Nevada, as well as the nation, and a calendar of local, state and national events and learning opportunities. With innovations such as the online ordering system and a new, user-friendly website, the NPRC will provide even more successful service to patrons in all parts, rural and urban, of Nevada, as well as assist community organizations in their quest to reduce substance abuse.

CASAT web and design faculty designed and implemented the new website with the assistance of Stephanie Asteriadis, director of NPRC and Marie Tully, library assistant. Now in its 10th year, the NPRC is funded through a grant from the State of Nevada Health Division’s Nevada Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Agency (SAPTA) and is located in the Nell J. Redfield Learning and Resource Center in the William J. Raggio Building on the first floor.

Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center Hosts Conference at Lake Tahoe

The Ninth Annual Autumn Update: Networking for HIV Care Conference was held at the Cal Neva at Crystal Bay on the shores of Lake Tahoe, October 11 and 12. Trudy Larson, M.D. and Steven Zell, M.D., clinical directors of the Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center (Nevada AETC), served as the key faculty members and hosts of the annual conference for health care professionals. This interdisciplinary continuing medical education event brought together more than 65 physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and mental health and social work practitioners to learn about the latest scientific findings and standards of care in HIV medicine. The conference was organized by the Office of Continuing Medical Education, SOM.

The Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center (Nevada AETC) has been based at the University of Nevada School of Medicine since 1991. Larsen and Zell have served as founders and faculty for the Nevada AETC using their expertise in HIV and AIDS to conduct an extensive array of educational programs for their clinical colleagues.

For more information about the Nevada AETC please call Jennifer Bennett at (775) 784-3538.

High Sierra AHEC Conducts Smoking Cessation Intervention Trainings Statewide

High Sierra Area Health Education Center (AHEC) successfully trained and certified 61 professional and allied health care personnel in Basic Skills Intervention for Smoking Cessation statewide during October and November. Participants represented staff from the Nevada Tobacco User's Helpline, WIC, the Diabetes Treatment Center, Southern Nevada Health District, Nye County Community Coalition Members, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Registered Nurses, and the Elko Band Health Center.

Sanford Medication Therapy Management Therapy Program Helps Seniors with Medication

The Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program offered by the Sanford Center for Aging (SCA) has demonstrated effectiveness in optimizing therapeutic outcomes and preventing the risks associated with medication use in older adults. Funded by the Nevada Division for Aging Services (DAS) and the Marion G. Thompson Trust, this statewide program provides medication therapy management reviews to Nevada’s seniors age 60 and older taking five prescription drugs or more. The program is oriented toward educating seniors and their providers, improving health by encouraging better management of drug regimens and identifying potential risks associated with medication use among older adults. The program identifies potential medication-related problems and recommends geriatric-specific solutions before these problems result in an emergency or unnecessary hospitalization.

Among the clients served by the program, MTM results revealed that 81% of seniors were at risk of an interaction between 2 or more prescription drugs, 26% of seniors had a potential interaction between a prescription drug and an OTC medication, 23% were prescribed a medication not recommended for use in older adults, and 9% were unknowingly receiving duplicate medications for the same health issue. If you would like more information about this clinical service program, please contact the program coordinator, Teresa M. Sacks, MPH, at (775) 784-1612 / (775) 784-4774 or at sackst@unr.edu.

Packham Honored at Nevada Public Health Association Conference

The Nevada Public Health Association held its annual conference October 2-3 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event, which was coordinated by the School of Medicine’s Office of Continuing Medical Education, was attended by 140 Nevada public health professionals, healthcare providers, researchers and students. This year’s conference theme was “Who Will Keep the Public Healthy in Nevada?” and featured such topics as “Lessons Learned from the Hepatitis C Outbreak”, “Urban Sustainability”, and “Politics, Priorities, and Public Health: Lessons Learned from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.” At the conference, John Packham, Ph.D., director of the Nevada Rural Hospital Flexibility Program at the School of Medicine, was awarded the Public Health Leadership Award for his efforts in leading NPHA and advocating for public health issues through his bimonthly Nevada Health Matters column in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Orvis School of Nursing Graduates Lead State in Licensure Pass Rate

For the first three quarters of this year, 88 out of 96 Orvis School of Nursing graduates took the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX )for the first time, which resulted in a NCLEX pass rate of 91.67%. This is the highest pass rate amongst all Nevada System of Higher Education Bachelor of Science Nursing degree programs.

Six Graduate Medical Education Programs Earn Accreditation

Six School of Medicine graduate medical education programs earned continued full accreditation status from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). "This is a great tribute to time put in by the program directors, the department chairs and the hard work of faculty and residents alike," said Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education and professor of pediatrics.

In Las Vegas, the plastic surgery residency program was reaccredited for the maximum of five years, as was the sports medicine fellowship. Also in Las Vegas, the internal medicine program was reaccredited for four years for the first time and the newly established medical oncology fellowship received accreditation, which will matriculate its first training class in July 2010. In Reno, the child psychiatry fellowship received the maximum five years in reaccreditation, while the geriatrics fellowship was reaccredited for three years.

Several other programs are awaiting decisions from the ACGME.

McNair Scholars Program Seeks Students

The University of Nevada, Reno McNair Scholars Program, a federally funded program designed to prepare underrepresented juniors and seniors for doctoral study, is looking for students of any ethnicity who are low income students whose parents do not have college degrees and students who are African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander. Please recommend eligible students to the program by calling Rita Esher or Marsha Dupree at (775) 784-6044 or by sending them an e-mail.

Get To Know

The Center for Program Evaluation

The Center for Program Evaluation (CPE) within the Division of Health Sciences has been providing high quality, comprehensive professional evaluation services and professional development to faculty, students, and off-campus partners at the local, state, regional and national level since 1999. CPE’s mission is to provide an alternative to traditional evaluation services by working in partnership with those who strive to improve the quality of life in their communities. As an interdisciplinary, 100% grant-funded unit, CPE is committed to working with clients to produce information that can be used to grow organizations, improve programs and services and build capacity for data-driven decision-making.

CPE offers program evaluation in three primary areas of specialization: health and wellness; education and youth development; and community and family services and provides services ranging from technical assistance, pre-post surveys, to full-scale evaluations, as dictated by program and client needs and utilizes an approach known as partnership evaluation. Some of CPE’s current partners include the Nevada State Health Division Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, Nevada Training Partnership (School of Social Work), Washoe County School District State and Federal Programs, Washoe County Family Resource Centers, Worth the Wait of Northern Nevada, Nevada Parent Information & Resource Center, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

CPE recently concluded a large survey project for the Washoe County School District Parent Involvement Council. CPE produced a district-wide report of administrator, staff and parent survey results related to parent involvement in their children’s learning and provided individualized reports to the 95 schools in the district.

When writing your next grant proposal, you may want to contact CPE to provide technical assistance or provide evaluation services. Contact Elizabeth Christiansen-g, Ph.D., interim director at (775) 784-4432. CPE invites you to an Open House on Dec. 3, 1:30-4:30pm, MS 109. Please come meet our staff, enjoy refreshments, and learn more about the services we offer.

Upcoming Events

Publications and Grantwriting Workshop Offered Through Orvis School of Nursing and VA

The Orvis School of Nursing is collaborating with the VA hospital to bring Elizabeth Tornquist to campus for a “Publication/Grantwriting Workshop” on December 10. All DHS faculty are invited. Space is limited. For more information and to reserve a spot, please RSVP to Sharon Muldoon at (775) 682-7166 by December 1.

Nevada Cancer Control Summit to be Held Dec. 4-5 in Reno

The Office of Continuing Medical Education is also jointly-sponsoring the First Annual Nevada Cancer Control Summit with the Nevada Cancer Council. This First Annual Summit is scheduled for December 4-5 in Reno, Nevada and will feature keynote speaker Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The Summit will bring together key stakeholders to discuss the Nevada Comprehensive Cancer Plan including its implementation, progress and challenges. The goals of the Nevada Cancer Control Summit are to increase awareness of national cancer control efforts, to mobilize Nevada stakeholders to better coordinate efforts aimed at reducing new cancer cases and cancer related deaths in the state, and to improve the quality of life for those affected by cancer. For additional information about the Summit or other upcoming CME events please contact Melissa O’Brien at (775) 784-1983.

Psychiatry Grand Rounds Feature Speaker on Dialectical Behavior Therapy on Nov. 19

All DHS faculty are invited to attend a presentation on “Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Multi-Problem Incarcerated Adolescents” by Henry Schmidt, III, Ph.D., president of Behavioral Affiliates Inc. and Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, Olympia, Washington on Nov. 19, 4 to 5:30 pm. The presentation will be held in Room 16, Pennington Building and can be seen via Pic-Tel in Las Vegas at the Patient Care Center, 1707 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 210B. Please call (775) 682-8459 with any questions of for more information

Nutrition and Aging Workshops to be Held on Nov. 13-14

The Nevada Geriatric Education Center would like to invite faculty of the Division of Health Sciences to attend a two-day series of free workshops on “Nutrition and Aging” at the University of Nevada, Reno on Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon. They will also be available via interactive video at UNLV.

The workshops include interactive video training on nutrition, health literacy and aging, a discussion on research opportunities in nutrition and aging, a nutrition fair and a presentation on nutrition, obesity and longevity. You can register for one or all. The workshops are held in partnership with the following Division of Health Sciences units: Division of Medical Nutrition/Center for Nutrition and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, UNSOM, Gerontology Academic Program and Sanford Center for Aging. Call (775) 682-8470 for locations and registration.

Our People

Peggy Dupey, Ph.D., has been appointed Interim Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, School of Medicine. She will replace Cheryl Hug-English, M.D., who stepped down from this position but still serves as Director of the Student Health Center.

Marin Gillis, LPh, Ph.D., School of Medicine, director of Medical Humanities and Ethics,has been invited to join the UNR Department of Philosophy as Adjunct Faculty.

John Packham, Ph.D., director of the Nevada Rural Hospital Flexibility Program at the Center for Education and Health Services Outreach at the School of Medicine, was given the Nevada Public Health Leader of the Year Award at the annual meeting of Nevada Public Health Association (NPHA) in Las Vegas last month. The award was given in recognition of effective, motivational and uncommon leadership on public health issues in Nevada. Packham is president of the NPHA.

Peggy Dupey, Ph.D., interim associate dean for admissions and student affairs, Rich Baynosa, M.D.,chief resident of plastic surgery, Julian Almeyda-Perez, M.D., chief resident of internal medicine and Kamin Van Guilder, fourth year medical student, SOM attended the t third professional meeting of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) in Chicago. The GHHS was established in 2002 to provide a means for recognizing students, residents and faculty who exemplify the highest values of humanistic care and professionalism in their relations with patients and peers. The UNSOM chapter was established in 2005. GHHS has 72 chapters and more than 6,000 members.

Grants, Publications and Research Activities

Dana Loomis, Ph.D., director, School of Community Health Sciences and professor of environmental and occupational health, has been awarded a 5-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study the role of environmental exposure to arsenic in the development of diabetes. He shares this award with other members of an international team of investigators. The major element of the research will be an epidemiologic study of arsenic and diabetes to be conducted in an area in northern Mexico with naturally-occurring high levels of arsenic in drinking water. The research is relevant to Nevada, which also has areas of high arsenic concentration, as well as high prevalence of diabetes.

The Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) received an award this fall from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be a Regional Training Center for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The Frontier Regional FASD Training Center is committed to working with seven universities throughout the frontier states of Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota to provide education and training activities designed to increase both the nursing and social work workforce capacity for prevention, identification, and intervention of FASD. Nancy Roget, M.S., director, CASAT, is the principle investigator of the project that will cover a three year period.

Thomas J. Hunt, MD, Department of Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas, was recently awarded an additional three years of funding ($200,000/year) through the US Dept. of Health and Human Services to continue with the Nevada Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program (RESEP). The project offers free cancer screenings to Nevada residents who were living in a downwind county (Eureka, Lander, Lincoln, Nye White Pine and the northeast portion of Clark) between 1951 and 1962. Nevada Test Site workers that participated in atmospheric nuclear testing between 1945 and 1962 and Uranium Miners are also eligible. The Nevada RESEP Project also provides outreach, education, and assistance in filing RECA claims for those Nevada residents that are eligible for compensation.

Diane Chau, M.D., geriatrician and assistant professor of internal medicine, and Patricia May, M.D., with the surgery department, School of Medicine are recipients of the Geriatrics Education for Specialty Residents Program grant with support from the John A. Hartford Foundation. The program provides funding for specialty-specific initiatives from academic training centers to develop, initiate and evaluate programs designed to increase education for residents in geriatrics. Drs. May and Chau will begin a Web-based curriculum for new surgery residents, conduct weekly bedside co-management rounds and begin didactics and case discussions as part of the educational program designed to improve the amount and quality of geriatric education received by surgical residents.

Mahasin Saleh, Ph.D., MSW, assistant professor, School of Social Work, has been funded with a UNR Junior Faculty Research Grant for her research project “Engaging Fathers in Child Protective Services: Washoe County, Nevada.”

Alice Boateng, Ph.D., MSW, assistant professor, School of Social Work, has been funded with a UNR Junior Faculty Research Grant for her research project “The Role and Impact of Social Capital in Refugee Women’s Adaptation.” The proposed project examines the role and impact of social capital upon the well-being of African refugee women residing in Las Vegas.

Lisa Black, Ph.D. RN, assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing was recently published in the journal Policy, Politics & Nursing for her work entitled “Nurses working outside of nursing: Societal trend or workplace crisis.”…see attached

Mahasin Saleh, Ph.D., MSW, assistant professor, School of Social Work was recently published in Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work for her work entitled “Sattareh Farman Farmaian: Iranian Social Work Pioneer.”

Student News

Student Ambassadors Assist DHS Student Center with Recruitment

The Division of Health Sciences Student Ambassador program is in full force assisting with various recruiting events on campus and at local high schools and college fairs this fall. Students from each of the DHS majors serve as representatives of the university, the division and their major at several events. The ambassadors must complete a rigorous application process before being selected for this program. Already they have been instrumental in connecting with high school students to provide information about specific majors and share information about life at college.

The 2008-09 DHS Ambassadors are: Caleb Harris (Social Work), Casie Paulsen (Gerontology), Cindy Tejada (Pre-Nursing), Joleen Yates (Health Ecology & Pre-Nursing), Kimberley Melling ( Pre-Nursing), Kinslee Scamaldo ( Health Ecology), Krystal Hulleman (Speech Pathology & Audiology ), Marquez Eagles ( Pre-Social Work), Mel Rienau ( Health Ecology), Mica Grantham ( Pre-Nursing ) and Stephanie Brzezick (Health Care Ethics).

School of Social Work Student Named "Outstanding Undergraduate" by Nevada Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

Chris Beucherie, an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work degree was the recipient of the 2008 NASW undergraduate student scholarship by the Nevada Chapter of NASW at their annual conference in Las Vegas September 26-28.

Chris was nominated by the School of Social Work, due in part to the passion he conveys for social justice issues, as well as his desire to constantly learn more about social work policy. Denise Montcalm, Ph.D., director of the School of Social Work said, “Chris Beucherie is actively involved in our Undergraduate Student Social Work Association and is passionate about social work. He is interested in international social work and is getting a minor in political science so he will be able to better integrate his love of policy with his passion for social work when he enters his professional life. He completed an internship with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) this summer for political science and loved it so much he is staying on this year as a volunteer. Given NASW’s commitment to social justice, he emerges, in our view, as the ideal candidate.”

Chris has applied for an internship with the Nevada State Legislature for Spring semester 2009. He feels this would prove an excellent learning opportunity in policy formation and subsequent issues.

Orvis School of Nursing Students and Faculty Participate in Community Mass Immunization

Twenty six student nurse volunteers and four Orvis School of Nursing faculty, Lorraine Bonaldi-Moore, M.S.N., M.B.A., R.N., Jeanne Meacham Houk, M.S.N., R.N., Cathy Butler, M.S.N., R. N., A.H.N.C. and clinical faculty member Bev Dummit, B.A., R.N. participated in a Homeland Security/Washoe County/State of Nevada mass immunization event held at Bishop Manogue High School. Over 2500 were immunized in record time. This effort saved the community $87K in product, not to mention healthcare costs and volunteer time.


Copyright © 2008 Health Sciences.