Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

September 2010

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

Denise Montcalm, Ph.D.

This is my first opportunity to contribute to the division newsletter as the Interim Dean of Health Sciences—a role I am both honored and humbled to undertake. In doing so, I have been struck by the tremendous support I have received from folks throughout the division and beyond. Thank you; it truly matters.

If there is a word that captures what is happening around the division today, it is transition. This time of change is signaled by the ongoing searches for a new Vice President for the Division of Health Sciences /Dean of Medicine, a new Director of the School of Community Health Sciences, a new Director of Campus Recreation and Wellness, and a new Director of the Sanford Center for Aging. The university’s commitment to filling these positions in these difficult economic times is a testament to its continuing strategic efforts to strengthen health sciences education and research.

Fall is always an exciting time at our university and with record breaking enrollment of over 17,500, we certainly can feel the impact of and excitement that a vibrant student body adds to our campus. The undergraduate student population of the Division of Health Sciences is contributing to the increase of students, as we now have our own record breaking enrollment of 1562 students who have declared majors in our division. This is an increase of 158 over this time last year. With high demand professions and today’s national and global focus on health care and wellness, our students are attracted to the many opportunities that our units offer.

In addition, this time of change is signaled by the many new, innovative program initiatives occurring across the division. The School of Community Health Sciences completed their self-study this past summer and are preparing for an initial accreditation site team review of their MPH program by the Council on Education for Public Health in November.

The Orvis School of Nursing continues with a record number (590) of pre-nursing majors and is working towards expanding class sizes in the future. An important step in this process will be the opening of the Health Sciences Building next fall. Another key piece is their ongoing collaborative efforts with the School of Medicine to develop interprofessional simulation curriculum.

The School of Social Work is expanding its capacity to serve as an important resource to community human service programs with new partnerships designed to provide technical assistance (i.e., program evaluation) and training.

In addition, we are also working together, as a division, in planning events for our students and faculty to raise our respective cultural consciousness and competencies.

Upon review of this issue of the Division Dialogue, it is exciting to see the numerous grants that have been awarded to our faculty in recent months, promoting a strong culture of research and publication and most notably, the interdisciplinary collaboration that is also reflected in these projects. Even though we are in a phase of transitional leadership, the Division of Health Sciences is moving forward and proceeding with our mission of “learning and working together to improve health and wellness” with creativity, passion and purpose.

News from Division of Health Sciences Units

Nevada IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence grant renewed for $16 million

A $16 million grant over five years will continue to build Nevada’s biomedical research infrastructure. The National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health has renewed the Nevada IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence project, housed at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, through May 31, 2015.

Known as the NV INBRE, the project began in 2005 with the goals of increasing biomedical research infrastructure in Nevada and establishing a network linking researchers and educators at the University of Nevada, Reno, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Nevada Cancer Institute, Truckee Meadows Community College, Great Basin College, and the College of Southern Nevada.

During the first five years of the project, the NV INBRE supported biomedical researchers and established a series of statewide research service cores in bioinformatics, proteomics cytometry, confocal imaging, histology and live animal imaging. In addition, the INBRE established and developed a Biomedical Students Pipeline program that mentors under‐represented students enrolled in Nevada community colleges. (more information)

Orvis Nursing Clinic and the Orvis School of Nursing celebrate “National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week” October 3 -9

A new national campaign has been launched to recognize the important work of health clinics like the Orvis Nursing Clinic in Reno. The Orvis Nursing Clinic opened in 1999 and is the only nurse-managed, academic affiliated clinic in the state. In recognition of their work, the National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC) along with nurse practitioners and registered nurses from across the nation will converge on the nation’s capitol to celebrate National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week, October 3-9, 2010. An opening ceremony and news conference will take place October 4 in Washington DC.

Located in downtown Reno, the clinic is a safety-net provider, accepting Medicaid and Medicare insurance and offering federal guideline-based sliding scale reduced fees for the un- or under-insured, of Northern Nevada. Since its opening, the clinic staff has provided more than 20,000 immunizations and nearly 15,000 primary care visits.

There are 250 nurse-managed health clinics (NMHCs) in the U.S. which serve as crucial health care access points in areas where primary care physicians are in short supply. These health centers provide primary care, health promotion, and disease prevention services to patients least likely to receive ongoing health care. This population includes clients of all ages who are uninsured, underinsured, living in poverty, or members of racial and ethnic minority groups who lack access to primary care. Nurse-managed health clinics also play an important role in health professions education. The majority are affiliated with schools and colleges of nursing and serve as clinical education and practice sites for health professions students and faculty.

Campus Recreation and Wellness Center completes renovation

The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, located at the Lombardi Building, recently completed a 5,000 square foot addition to the fitness center that will increase services to the campus community. The total cost of the project was $250,000 and included demolition, construction and new equipment.

The fitness center doubled its size, allowing for more equipment and ability to serve 120 more people per hour, with new strength and aerobic equipment. The CrossFit program will now be offered in the gym and several new classes will be added, such as CrossFit “Pink”, a ladies only class, taught by Nora Constantino, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Community Health Sciences.

Department of Surgery receives $3 million grant from Office of Naval Research

The University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) Trauma Institute and Rocky Research, an engineering company in Boulder City Nevada, has developed a portable high speed blood and fluid infusion warmer prototype. This portable infusion warmer can administer blood or fluids to critically injured soldiers at about 98.6oF to prevent hypothermia. This device operates with electrical power or a novel high power density thermal battery in locations without access to electrical power. The infusion of blood and blood-related fluids needs to be fast and reliable without dependence on availability of electrical power in the battlefield or during power outages at medical tent facilities. UNSOM has received an Office of Naval Research grant for the amount of $3,088,200 to finish the final revisions to the portable fluid infusion warmer and conduct safety and efficacy testing on the device for obtaining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. John Fildes, M.D., professor, department of surgery, School of Medicine will serve as the principal investigator for the grant.

Office of Human Research Protection offers workshops for faculty and students

The following sessions look at the ethical issues involved in human subjects research. They are required for all graduate students on NIH sponsored traineeships, but they are valuable information for all graduate students:

Topic: “Human subjects portion of RCR training” presented by Logan Hamill

  • October 15 8-8:50 a.m. AB102
  • November 19 8-8:50 a.m. AB102

For further information contact Logan Hamill

The following sessions are in a question and answer format rather than a planned presentation. They are an opportunity to ask specific questions about process, protocols, etc.

Topic: "Ask the IRB" presented by Gwenn Snow

  • October 14 10:00 a.m.-1:00m p.m. MIKC Lobby
  • October 26 10:00 a.m.-1:00m p.m. MIKC Lobby
  • November 15 10:00 a.m.-1:00m p.m. MIKC Lobby

For further information contact Gwenn Snow

Also note that if you are going to submit a protocol for human subjects research, you will be required to complete the CITI online tutorial for required training. For more information on the on-going CITI training refer to the web site for the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) at http://www.unr.edu/ohrp/ click on the training link on the left.

Larson and Charles speak at Pacific AIDS Conference

Trudy Larson, M.D., professor in the department of pediatrics and interim director for the School of Community Health Sciences will deliver two key presentations at the annual Faculty Development Conference sponsored by the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center(AETC) on Sept. 27 and 29. She will discuss HIV Co-management Experience: Challenges and Possibilities and will chair a panel discussion on Longitudinal Capacity Building. Patty Charles, Dr. PH, professor, department of internal medicine and director, Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center, will facilitate a workshop on Trainer Competencies and Best Practices. The AIDS Education and Training Centers provide ongoing clinical education, capacity building, technical assistance, and clinical consultation to assure that practitioners remain up-to-date on the latest science and approaches to quality HIV care. The Nevada AETC is based at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

Public health project receives national award

The Great Basin Public Health Leadership (GBPHLI) group project “A Public Health Collaborative Proposes Implementation of Two School-Based Nutrition Programs in Battle Mountain, Nevada,” has been chosen as a runner-up for the national Balderson Leadership Project Award. Members of the group included Jennifer Bennett, MPH, program specialist, Center for Education and Health Services Outreach, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Teresa Sacks, MPH, health research analyst, Sanford Center for Aging, University of Nevada, Reno, Cherie Jamason, president and CEO, Food Bank of Northern Nevada and Brenda Keller, RN, community health nurse, Nevada State Health Division.

The National Public Health Leadership Development Network (NLN) created this award in memory of its good friend and colleague, Tom Balderson. Tom championed public health leadership development throughout his tenure at CDC/PHPPO, and it is because of his efforts that an extensive network of state, regional, and national leadership institutes exist today. The group will present their project to the members of the Public Health Leadership Society (PHLS) in December. 2010.

Synapse magazine wins journalism award

Anne McMillin, APR, public relations manager, School of Medicine and editor for Synapse, earned a 3rd place finish in the explanatory journalism category of the Nevada Press Association’s Better Magazine competition for the fall 2009 cover story of Synapse magazine she wrote entitled, Unscrambling Autism: Diagnosing the Disorder .

Marie Tully, M.Ed., library technician for the Nevada Prevention Resource Center, a program of CASAT, graduated with her master's degree in elementary education.

Grants, Publications and Research Activities

Gregory S. Pari, Ph.D., professor and chair in the department of microbiology and immunology, School of Medicine, has been awarded five-year $1.25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease for his work to characterize the human cytomegalovirus UL84 protein, a key factor in DNA replication of infectious diseases.

David AuCoin, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of microbiology and immunology, School of Medicine was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to develop an immunoassay, or technique for analyzing and measuring the concentration of antibodies, for the diagnosis of melioidosis, a tropical disease caused by a highly pathogenic bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei.

Ken Hunter, Ph.D., professor, department of microbiology and immunology, School of Medicine and two University of Nevada, Reno colleagues Nelson Publicover, Ph.D., professor of electrical and biomedical engineering and Suk-Wah Tam Chang, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, have been awarded a $1.52 million grant from the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Scientific Research to develop two novel biosensor systems for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax.

Michele Pelter, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing, recently received a R21 grant for $350,000 for a two year period from the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR). This grant is for her “Compare Study: Electrocardiographic evaluation of ischemia comparing invasive to pharmacological treatment”.

Elizabeth Fildes, M.D., assistant professor, department of psychiatry-Las Vegas and principal investigator/founder of the Nevada Tobacco Users’ Helpline (NTUH) received $2,031,344 in federal awards. NTUH is known statewide, as the provider of free, unexcelled and accessible nicotine dependence treatment. As the only stand-alone nicotine dependence treatment program in Nevada, the Nevada Tobacco Users’ Helpline provides telephone-based counseling treatment by credentialed counselors who meet ‘Scope of Practice’ and subsequent ‘Scope of Competency’ requirements as set forth by the State of Nevada Board of Examiners for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors.

Melissa Piasecki, M.D., associate dean for faculty affairs and development, Melissa O’Brien, director, Office of CME and professional development, School of Medicine and Richelle O’Driscoll, director of internal/external affairs for the Division of Health Sciences were awarded an interprofessional training grant for $49,600 from the Pfizer Foundation to develop a curriculum for DHS faculty to create, deliver and evaluate simulation trainings with students from multiple DHS schools. Starting in 2011, the training program will create interprofessional teams with faculty from each of the DHS schools (nursing, social work, community science and medicine). The faculty teams will develop clinical scenarios, evaluate student competencies and practice debriefing skills. The training program will take place in the new clinical simulation lab in the new health sciences education building currently under construction on the northern end of the UNR campus.

Lisa Black, Ph.D., RN, CNE, assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing, recently co-authored an article published in Nursing Economics, 28(4), 245-254, entitled “Nurses who do not nurse: Factors that predict non-nursing work in the US registered nurse labor market.”

Bernadette Longo, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor at the Orvis School of Nursing, and Wei Yang, M.D., Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, School of Community Health Sciences, along with other co-researchers, were published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, 73: 20, 1370 — 1381 for their research, “Acute Health Effects Associated with Exposure to Volcanic Air Pollution (vog) from Increased Activity at Kilauea Volcano in 2008.”

Ross Berkely, M.D., FACEP, assistant professor and associate program director, department of emergency medicine, School of Medicine, recently has co-authored and published a manuscript entitled “Clinicopathological Conference: An 11-year-old Female with Altered Mental Status, Speech Changes, and Abnormal Jerking Movements,” in the Academic Emergency Medicine 2010; 17: 723-728. He also co-authored with recent emergency medicine resident graduate, JR Parker, an article entitled, “Toxic epidermal necrolysis from a cigarette burn,” in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine 2010; 11: 205-207

Several faculty from the School of Medicine co-authored a recent article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Setting. Elizabeth Naylor M.D., Gary Johnson, M.D., associate professor, Richard Williams, M.D., associate professor, Catherine McCarthy, M.D., associate professor, Marcia Lu, M.D., assistant professor, David Fiore, M.D., professor, Daniel Spogen, M.D., professor and chair, department of family and community medicine, and David Antonuccio, M.D., professor, department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, published “Bibliotherapy as a treatment for depression in primary care.”

Raymond Plodkowski, M.D., chief of the endocrinology, nutrition and metabolism division, was a co-author on the Lancet article, "Effect of naltrexone plus bupropion on weight loss in overweight and obese adults (COR-I): a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial". Greenway, FL, Fujioka K, Plodkowski, RA, Mudaliar S, et al. August 21, 2010; Volume 376,Pages 595 - 605. The Pennington Institute at Louisiana State University, The Scripps Institute in San Diego, the University of Nevada School of Medicine and the University of California San Diego were the lead sites for this 34 site pivotal obesity study.

Daniel M. Cook, Ph.D., assistant professor of health policy, School of Community Health Sciences, has co-authored, along with fellow Division of Health Sciences colleagues, Wei-Chen Tung, Ph.D.,RN, assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing and Minggen Lu, Ph.D., assistant professor, School of Community Health Sciences, in the following publications:

  • LA Davidson, CT Pettis, AJ Joiner, DM Cook, CM Klugman (2010), “Religion and Conscientious Objection: A Survey of Pharmacists' Willingness to Dispense Medications.” Social Science & Medicine 71 (1) July: 161-165.
  • CM Klugman, LA Davidson, CT Pettis, AJ Joiner, DM Cook(2010), “Prescription for Professionalism: Pharmacists on Moral Conscience Clauses.” American Journal of Bioethics Primary Research. Vol. 1 No. 2 (April-June): 43-48.
  • WC Tung, M Lu, D Cook (2010), “Cervical Cancer Screening Among Taiwanese Women: A Transtheoretical Approach. Oncology Nursing Forum. Vol. 37, No. 4 July: 288-294.
  • WC Tung, M Lu, D Cook (2010), “Papanicolaou Screening in Taiwan: Perceived Barriers and Self-Efficacy.” Health Care for Women International 31 (5) May: 421-434.

Marin Gillis, LPh, Ph.D., ,director of medical humanities and ethics, School of Medicine, has recently published a progressive disclosure PBL case and short practical writing assignment regarding scientific/research misconduct and applying AAMC Report on Industry Funding of Medical Education (2008) policy recommendations for the AAMC peer-reviewed database of teaching resources, MedEd Portal. She also will serve as a guest editor, along with Dr. Inma de Melo-Martins, for a special edition of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy on the topic of biomedical biotechnologies. Hypatia Volume 25, Issue 3, 503, Summer 2010.

Student News

MPH student receives Registered Environmental Health Specialist designation

Lee Salgado, a graduate student in the MPH Program in the School of Community Health Sciences, recently passed a national exam administered through the National Environmental Health Association and is now a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS). Individuals with the REHS credential show competency in environmental health issues, direct and train personnel to respond to routine or emergency environmental situations, and provide education to their communities on environmental health concerns. Salgado is currently completing her MPH internship in the Washoe County District Health Department in the Solid Waste Management Program under the mentorship of R. Jeanne Rucker, Environmental Health Specialist Supervisor. Salgado “loves garbage” and hopes to have a long career in environmental health after her graduation in May 2011.

Get involved and join a student club

Division of Health Sciences students have a variety of opportunities to join organizations affiliated with their major. Now is the time to join and meet fellow students with similar interests. If you are interested in joining or want more information, contact the person who is listed with each club listed below:

  • Pre-Dental Society: Jesse Mitchem
  • Undergraduate Student Social Work Association: Liane Durgin
  • Public Health Coalition: John Haller
  • Pre-Pharmacy: Robeldo Pierce
  • Gerontology Club: Jamie Worthington
  • Orvis Student Nurse’s Nurse Association: Kristina Yeskie
  • Student Organization for Providers of Addiction Services (SOPAS): Meri L. Shadley, Ph.D.

Know Your Associated Students of the University of Nevada Senators

The ASUN Student Senators representing the division are Reynaldo Veloz and Kim Williams. You are encouraged to contact them with issues or ideas related to student government and campus activities.


Copyright © 2010 Health Sciences.