Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

November 2010

A Message from Interim Dean of Health Sciences, Denise Montcalm, Ph.D.

Giving Thanks to Those Who Give

Denise Montcalm, Ph.D.

At this time of year, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the faculty and staff for their contributions and recognize the additional efforts that have been asked of all of you this year. Specifically, thank you for…

  • …tackling with grace and élan the backlog of work that often results from the furlough days you have been asked to take during these tough budget times.
  • …the many added hours you have spent on curriculum review and development, program assessment and strategic planning-as you worked to ensure the initial or ongoing accreditation of our respective programs and high quality curricula for our students.
  • …the professional development and additional training that you have participated in regarding effort reporting, online course development, IRB, grants management and the new "PeopleSoft" student and course information system.
  • …the new and renewed grants and funding that you have obtained that allow us to continue our research and service mission with external financial support.
  • …your contributions to and active engagement in department, division and university committees.
  • teaching more and larger courses, which allow our programs to be more responsive to our growing student enrollments.
  • …the work and commitment that you have embraced while we move forward with interprofessional and interdisciplinary efforts and activities.
  • …your patience, support, and active participation in the Division's ongoing searches for a new VP/Dean, SCHS Director, CRW Director, SCA Director, and several key faculty lines.
  • … for your collegiality and civility as we navigate these challenging economic times- while keeping focused on the important difference we make in the lives of our students and our communities through our teaching, research and service.

I hope you and your loved ones have a truly wonderful holiday season.

News from Division of Health Sciences Units

Planning grant received for Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment and Related Disabilities

The Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities (NCED) in the College of Education, in collaboration with faculty from the Division of Health Sciences, was awarded a $150,000, 10-month planning grant to develop an application for a full Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) grant with an anticipated starting date of July 1, 2011.

The goal of LEND programs is to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with autism and other disabilities by preparing practicing professionals, parents, and pre-service graduate level trainees from diverse professional disciplines to assume leadership roles in their respective fields and by insuring high levels of interdisciplinary clinical competence. Dr. Stephen Rock, NCED; Dr. Erika Ryst, Department of Psychiatry; and Dr. Debra Vigil, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology are project co-directors. Kate Green was also a co-author of the proposal.

As part of the proposal, a preliminary curriculum was developed that includes:

  • Leadership within systems
  • Interdisciplinary training
  • Family-centered care
  • Neurodevelopmental and related disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder, and
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice

Plans are underway to convene a pilot group of trainees to participate in 1-credit seminar to begin in December 2010. Trainee involvement in the pilot program will include didactic seminars, clinical experiences, and program evaluation. Trainees will receive a $500 stipend and tuition for the seminars. If you are interested in participating in this project or would like more information, please contact project co-directors, listed above.

Medical school awarded full institutional GME accreditation

The ACGME awarded continued full accreditation to the University of Nevada School of Medicine as an institution to administer graduate medical education programs. The medical school received a four-year accreditation cycle, which is one year longer than the previous visit. Preparation for the visit was extensive. Many thanks goes to the program directors, residents, hospital administrators and Office of Graduate Medical Education staff who worked extremely hard to achieve this accomplishment.

School awarded grant to expand family medicine residency in Las Vegas

The University of Nevada School of Medicine’s Department of Family and Community Medicine in Las Vegas was recently awarded a $960,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to grow its residency program.

"The funds from this grant are directed specifically to support the resident physicians and educational needs of the program. This expansion will allow us to increase patient services at our office in Las Vegas but also to train more family medicine physicians for Nevada, especially for the rural areas," said Elissa Palmer, M.D., family medicine chair in Las Vegas.

Recognition luncheon held to honor more than 400 RSVP volunteers

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Washoe County (RSVP), part of the Sanford Center for Aging, held its annual recognition luncheon at the Atlantis Resort Spa on Friday, Nov. 5.

Each year, RSVP recognizes their volunteers. More than 400 volunteers and site supervisors attended the luncheon whose theme was Mardi Gras. Attendees were greeted at the door with colorful beads and were entertained by the Glenn Little. The event was emceed by Channel 2 News Anchor, Kristen Remington and Punam Mather, vice president of people resources at NV Energy delivered the keynote address that included the crowd waving napkins in celebration of the 104,000 hours donated by RSVP volunteers in this past year. Steve Ladnier, a volunteer at the U.S. District Court, Pre-trials Office was given the Amos Tinkey Volunteer of the Year award and NV Energy was awarded the Elsie Connor Award for Senior Community support.

The event was coordinated by Carole Anderson, director of volunteer services and project director for RSVP and team members Sina Ward, SOS coordinator, Mindy Debroge, volunteer coordinator, Greta Engelbrecht, administrative assistant, and Rori Lee, graduate assistant.

Third Annual Nevada Cancer Control Summit 2010 to be held December 10

The Office of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development and the Nevada Cancer Coalition will be jointly sponsoring the Third Annual Nevada Cancer Control Summit, scheduled for December 10, 2010 at the Joe Crowley Student Union. A welcome reception is scheduled for Thursday December 9, 2010 at the Nevada Museum of Art.

The Centers for Disease Control has funded the Nevada State Health Division to work collaboratively with the Nevada Cancer Coalition (NVCC) and community partners statewide to facilitate Comprehensive Cancer Control in Nevada. Comprehensive cancer control is an integrated and coordinated approach to reducing cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality through prevention, early detection, clinical trial enrollment, treatment and quality of life palliative care. The one, annual statewide opportunity for Nevada’s Cancer Community to come together is the Annual Nevada Cancer Control Summit. The Summit provides attendees a unique opportunity for information sharing, networking, and skill building.

A discounted registration fee of $15 is available for students. For additional information or to register please visit med.unr.edu or call (775) 784-4782. For a complete list of future educational activities please visit the Office of Continuing Medical and Professional Development’s web site.

Nevada Geriatric Education Center to offer courses on aging in December

The University of Nevada School of Medicine's Nevada Geriatric Education Center is offering a class on positive approaches to care for the aging in December. The class will address sexuality in older adults, including tips to manage inappropriate sexual behaviors, creating a positive environment for sexual expression and risks and alternatives of using restraints in persons with dementia.

The class will be held on:

  • Friday, December 3 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Truckee Meadows Community College, 475 Edison Way, Room 221 in Reno
  • Friday, December 10 from 12:45 to 4:15 p.m. at the School of Medicine’s Pennington Medical Education Building, Room 16 on the University of Nevada, Reno campus
  • Tuesday, December 14 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at the Fernley Branch Library, 575 Silver Lace Boulevard in Fernley

The Nevada Geriatric Education Consortium, a partnership of the School of Medicine, Touro University Nevada and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is offering a geriatric lecture on “Frailty: Implications for the Older Adult” on Thursday, December 9 from noon to 1 p.m. at the following locations:

  • UNLV Shadow Lane campus Clinical Simulation Center, Room B-121 in Las Vegas
  • Touro University in Las Vegas
  • School of Medicine’s Pennington Medical Building, Room 16 on the UNR campus

With the exception of the December 14 class in Fernley, all of these opportunities may be available via interactive video at rural sites around the state including Elko, Lovelock, Hawthorne, Gardnerville, Eureka, Tonopah, Ely, Caliente, Yerington and Winnemucca. Please contact the Northeastern Area Health Education Center at (775) 738-3828 for confirmation on any program at any of these rural sites.

Continuing education units are available for these classes for a nominal fee. Contact Diann Jones at (775) 682-8470 or download the registration form submit at least three days prior to the class you wish to take.

Our People

Daniel Spogen, M.D., chair of family and community medicine in Reno and Terrence McGaw, M.D.’82 were honored as Consultant of the Year and Northern Family Physician of the year, respectively, by the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians at its October meeting.

Raymond Plodkowski, M.D., chief of endocrinology, nutrition and metabolism division in the Reno internal medicine department, accepted an invitation to serve as a reviewer for the Annals of Internal Medicine. He is reviewing articles relating to obesity.

John Packham, Ph.D., director of health policy research at the School of Medicine, helped co-author “Reno 2020”, a report commissioned by the Reno Gazette-Journal addressing the question “What might Reno look like ten years from now?” This report, generated by the Center for Regional Studies in the University of Nevada, Reno's College of Business, looked at development scenarios for Northern Nevada over the next decade and identified “key trends, constraints and paradigm shifts at the international, national, regional, state and local levels."

Also, Packham has agreed to serve on the Continuing Medical Education Advisory Committee for the Office of Continuing Medical Education. Packham has a wealth of knowledge on many subjects that impact the practice of medicine, including public health policy, healthcare reform and policy issues that affect access to and the delivery of medical care. He will bring a unique perspective to the committee that will help the office further its mission of delivering quality medical education to Nevada physicians.

Current CME Advisory Committee members include the following School of Medicine Faculty: Patty Charles, Dr.PH, Director, Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center; Caroline Ford, MPH, Assistant Dean, Director, Center for Health Services Outreach; Terry Henner, M.A., Head, Information Services, Savitt Medical Library; Samar Hifida, M.D., Chief Resident, Department of Internal Medicine; Michael Nasiak, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine; Stan Shane, M.D., Medical Director, Office of Continuing Medical Education and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine.

Robbyn L. Tolles, M.A.T., coordinator for curriculum assessment and development, School of Medicine, was one of sixteen people invited to attend a focus group of representatives from North American Medical Schools on the Curriculum Inventory Portal, a part of the AAMC’s new Continuum of Learning Initiative on October 18 & 19. This meeting prefaces a major redesign of the AAMC’s portals for learning materials, innovations, performance improvement, and curriculum information. The Continuum of Learning Initiative will unite multiple data- and service-driven programs into a single, integrated medical education portal.

Glenn Hagerstrom, MSN, APRN, BC, assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing recently defended his doctoral dissertation, “Personal Factors, Perceptions, Influences and their Relationship with Adherence Behaviors in Patients with Diabetes” and earned his Ph.D. from Georgia State University.

Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education, was appointed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to a six-year term beginning in 2011 as an appeal panel member for pediatrics. This panel hears appeals from pediatric programs who disagree with the review committee’s assessment of their programs and select to appeal the decisions.

Grants, Publications and Research Activities

Jeanne M. Hilton, Ph.D., professor and extension state specialist, and Linda Anngela-Cole, Ph.D., assistant professor, School of Social Work, recently had their article entitled, “A Cross-cultural Comparison of Factors Associated with School Bullying in Japan and the United States,” published in the Family Journal, 8(4) 413-422.

Mel Minarik, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.H.E., graduate program director and lecturer, School of Community Health Sciences co-presented with Steve Kutz, MPH, RN (alumni), supervisor of community health services for Washoe County Health District on “Knowledge Building in the 21st Century” at the annual conference of the Nevada Public Health Association held Sept 30-October 1 at UNLV. Minarik also was the keynote speaker for the Epsilon Sigma Phi National Annual Conference held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on October 15. Her presentation was entitled, “Leading Your Life with Strengths.”

Amy McFarland, MPH, education coordinator, division of interdisciplinary medical education, School of Medicine, presented a poster on “The Value of Reflective Journaling as a Communication Tool in First and Second Year Medical Student Preceptorships” at the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare- Research & Teaching Forum held October 15-17 in Scottsdale, AZ.

Patti Swager, M.Ed., director of the School of Medicine’s Nevada Geriatric Education Center, was awarded a $2.1 million grant to develop interdisciplinary geriatrics training in falls, type 2 diabetes and co-morbidities, health literacy and general geriatrics care. Swager serves as the principal investigator for this five-year grant which is a partnership between the University of Nevada, Reno, Touro University of Nevada and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Metabolism had several presentations at the Obesity Society 28th Annual Scientific meeting on October 8-11th, 2010. These included:

  • Raymond Plodkowski, M.D., chief of the endocrinology, nutrition and metabolism division, Sachiko St. Jeor, Ph.D., R.D., Quang Nguyen,M.D., George Fernandez, Ph.D. and Veronica Dahir, Ph.D. research presentation, "A Low Carbohydrate Diet Enhances Early Weight Loss in People with Insulin Resistance."
  • Raymond Plodkowski, M.D., Sunder Mudaliar's (UCSD collaborator), et al. research presentation, "Naltrexone SR/Bupropion SR Combination Therapy Reduced Weight and Improved Quality of Life in a Phase 3, 56-week, Double-Blind, Placebo-controlled Study."
  • Maureen Molini, R.D., Karmella Thomas R.D.,Raymond Plodkowski, M.D., Quang Nguyen,M.D., Anapalaki Rajavan, M.D., Jessica Krenkel, Ph.D. and Sachiko St. Jeor, Ph.D., R.D., presented research on "Change in Vitamin D Status With and Without Supplementation in Subjects Following an Energy Restricted Diet".
  • St. Jeor co-chaired the symposium, "Behavioral Approaches to Treatment Resistance".
  • Plodkowski had an invited symposium lecture at the meeting regarding reimbursement models for obesity clinic services.

Meri L. Shadley, Ph.D., MFT, LACD, associate professor and academic coordinator, Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies, presented “Increasing the odds: Helping families address Problem Gambling” at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) annual conference in Atlanta, GA. She also spoke at the Utah Fall Substance Abuse Conference, St. George, Utah on “Addicted Women and Trauma” and spoke to undergraduate students at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco on “Addiction: Challenges and Changes.”

Student News

Marymar Cabales receives Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award from social work association

Marymar Cabales, an undergraduate social work student, received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award from the National Association of Social Workers, Nevada Chapter at their annual conference. The School of Social Work nominated Cabales for the award stating that she “exemplifies the mission and values of our profession. She is a passionate advocate for social justice and embodies the role of social worker as change agent.”

As a pre-major student, Cabales initiated a number of projects to help improve the well-being of others in her community. In particular, during the 2009-2010 academic year, she and another student organized a hat, scarf, and mittens drive for people living in “tent city,” (an encampment in Reno for people who are homeless); coordinated the participation of one low-income high school in the shoe drive “Soles 4 Souls”; and united several distinct groups at the same low-income high school, including the students in the ESL program and students in the Key Club, to engage in a joint outreach project with a local nursing home. She also continued volunteering as a mentor and tutor at the local high school for an entire semester after her required 45 hours of volunteer experience came to an end because she had developed close working relationships with the students. The teacher for the program stated, “Ms. Cabales was responsible for keeping at least one of my students in school and instrumental in getting two others into college.”

Currently, Cabales is the vice-president of the Undergraduate Student Social Work Association at UNR. In this role she has been active during freshman and transfer orientation sessions, often encouraging students to become passionate about social work. She serves as a mentor to several of the social work pre-majors and is a valuable spokesperson for social work within the Reno community.

Graduate students present at Nevada Public Health Association meeting

Two graduate students from the School of Community Health Sciences recently presented at the Nevada Public Health Association meeting held September 30 and October 1 at UNLV. Melissa Fellman, MPH graduate student presented, “Dental Hygiene Services for HIV/AIDS patients: Needs assessment and service prevention through coalition building. ” Also, Urmila Mainali, graduate research assistant, presented, “Newborn care malpractices among mothers residing in slum areas of a developing country: Nepal.”


Copyright © 2010 Health Sciences.