Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

Spring 2013

Message from Vice President Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

New faculty bring new opportunities

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

Perhaps the most important decision we make in higher education is the selection and recruitment of new faculty members. New faculty members add new energy, skills and experiences to our programs and contribute best practices to accomplishing our core missions.

The academic units of the Division of Health Sciences have been very active recently in the search for exceptional scholars and teachers from across the country, indeed around the world, to join DHS and contribute their teaching and research expertise to our success. The School of Social Work will welcome a new director and three new teaching and research faculty members. Two new faculty members have been selected to fill positions in the School of Community Health Sciences with specialties in health administration and policy and environmental health. The Orvis School of Nursing is in the process of recruiting three new junior faculty members to support its expanded class size in 2014. Meanwhile, the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology is on the hunt for two assistant professors and a clinical director. And the School of Medicine is actively recruiting to fill several academic physician faculty positions to teach and practice in Las Vegas and Reno, with six new faculty members joining us in July.

The process of recruiting and selecting new faculty member is not easy. Search committees are charged with identifying, vetting and putting forth the best candidates who will share our vision and contribute to our success in fulfilling our many missions. The best candidates are scrutinized for their educational background, technical skills, previous job experience and particular expertise required for the position, and also how well they will "fit" with our academic community.

We all have an obligation to assist with the recruitment and selection of new colleagues. Perhaps more importantly, we need to all feel an obligation to welcome and assist them with information to ensure a smooth induction to the university. I thank all of you who have served on the search committees to help identify and select the best new colleagues with whom we will all work, and to those of you who will help these new colleagues make a successful transition to their important new roles as we all work for the success of the Division of Health Sciences and the University of Nevada, Reno.


News from Division of Health Sciences Units

Honors, Convocation and Hooding Ceremonies

  • Orvis School of Nursing: Hooding and Pinning Convocation
    May 16, 12 Noon @ Joe Crowley Student Union Ballroom
  • CASAT: Advanced Certificates, Master's Specializations, Minors
    May 16, 2 p.m. @ Joe Crowley Student Union Theatre
  • School of Social Work: Hooding and Pinning Ceremony
    May 16, 3 p.m. @ Nightingale Hall, Church Fine Arts
  • Division of Health Sciences: Spring 2013 Commencement
    May 17 Undergraduate Ceremony @ 8:15 am
    Advanced Degree Ceremony @ 5 pm More information
  • School of Medicine: Hooding Ceremony
    May 17, 1 p.m. @ Lawlor Event Center
  • School of Community Health Sciences: MPH Hooding Ceremony
    May 17, 3 p.m.@ Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center- Room 124

Graduation by the numbers

  • The Division of Health Sciences will be graduating 227 students with the following undergraduate degrees:
  • Bachelor of Science in Community Health Sciences (Health Ecology): 89
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 46
  • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 10
  • Bachelor of Social Work: 60
  • Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology: 22

Schwenk, Kline, Clements-Nolle, Carman, Larson
From left to right: Thomas L. Schwenk, Vice President, Health Sciences, Joe Kline, Vice Provost, Kristen Clements-Nolle, Associate Professor and Tibbitts Awardee, Kevin Karman, Provost, Trudy Larson, Director, School of Community Health Sciences. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

Kristen Clements-Nolle of CHS wins Tibbitts Teaching Award

Kristen Clements-Nolle, Ph.D., MPH, associate professor, School of Community Health Sciences, was named winner of 2013 F. Donald Tibbitts Excellence in Teaching Award, the University of Nevada, Reno's most prestigious teaching award. She was surprised when she was present the award by Provost Kevin Carman while teaching a MPH course. This is the second year in a row that a faculty member from the Division of Health Sciences has received the Tibbitts award. She will be recognized at the Honor the Best Ceremony on May 14 at 3 pm in the JCSU Ballroom.

"Kristen is very in touch with her students as learners." said Paul Devereux, Ph.D., MPH, associate professor, School of Community Health Sciences and colleague of Clements-Nolle since 2000, "She knows how to communicate to where their learning skills are at. She's a very smart, a very caring, and a very compassionate person." See full story.

Faces of Health: Cultural Considerations in Health Care student event encourages dialogue and awareness

Division of Health Sciences students and faculty participated in the "Faces of Health: Cultural Considerations in Health Care" interdisciplinary event created by students for students last month. The goal of the two-day forum held Feb.25 & 26 was to provide students in the health sciences an educational experience in cultural awareness and its applications to health services, research and policy. A record enrollment of 715 attended the 17 sessions that were offered over two days and included such topics as medical interpretation, eating disorders, reproductive health, sobriety, teen suicide and aging. A volunteer and internship opportunities mixer and keynote address by author Dr. Victoria Sweet speaking about her book "God's Hotel" were also a part of the event. The forum was sponsored by the Division of Health Sciences and High Sierra AHEC with participation from DHS student organizations.

School of Social Work celebrates All School Day

More than 165 students, faculty and social workers from the community attended the All School Day presented by the School of Social Work on April 12. The morning featured Lynn Cooper, Ph.D., professor of social work emeritus, CSUS Sacramento speaking on "Restoring Justice: The Challenges and Dilemmas of a Social Work Activist" along with a memoriam for social work alumni, Jacqui Dodge and Earl Horton Jr. Participants attended a Field Instructor Appreciation Luncheon and Field Fair and the day concluded with a presentation on "The Future of Caregiving in America" by Ai-Jen Poo, director, National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-chair of Caring Across Generations.

Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center holds conference

The Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center at the School of Medicine partnered with the California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center to provide a full-day program entitled "STD Update: What Primary Care Clinicians Need to Know" in Las Vegas on March 9. Key presenters included Trudy Larson, MD, and Steve Zell, MD, presenting on "HIV Testing in Primary Care" and "Primary Care for the HIV Patient", respectively.

3rd Annual Symposium in Internal Medicine held in Las Vegas

The School of Medicine held the 3rd Annual Symposium in Internal Medicine on April 20 in Las Vegas. This activity served to update physicians and other health care practitioners on the latest developments in internal medicine. Faculty from the School of Medicine presented on the following topics: medical ethics, managing obesity, updates in pulmonology procedures, procedural advances in gastroenterology and controversies in hormonal therapy for men and women.

CASAT awarded grant to coordinate Fetal Alcohol Disorder Conference in May

The Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) has been awarded a grant sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to coordinate and manage the Western Regional Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Conference. The CASAT grant proposal, authored by Michelle Stupfel Berry, MBA, and Julie Tieman, MA, CMP, was chosen to fulfill the Public Health Conference Support for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities funding opportunity. The conference will take place in Reno on May 19-21, 2013, at the Atlantis Convention Center. Attendees will gain in-depth training on the latest research and interventions regarding FASDs. The conference will also provide training by the Frontier Regional FASD Training Center. Medical, behavioral and allied health professionals needing to meet renewal or initial licensing requirements in their field can receive Continuing Education Hours (CEHs), as well as Continuing Medical Education (CMEs), by attending the conference. The conference fee is $125. For more information and to register for the Western Regional Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Conference please visit the conference website.

University of Nevada School of Medicine furthers partnership with Thai medical organizations

Five basic science chairs from Phramongkutkloa Medical School in Bangkok, Thailand, are among the 17-person committee scheduled to visit the School of Medicine's Reno and Las Vegas campuses in May.

The visiting team comes to the School of Medicine with the expectation to expand cooperation beyond the initial foray into clinical practices to the area of basic sciences and continues to build our partnership with medical entities in Thailand through activities centered on learning opportunities in medicine. (more)

Lyons, Kuhls
Left to right: Medical student Katie Lyons and Dr. Deborah Kuhls, associate dean for academic affairs, associate professor of surgery, participate at the Gold Humanism Day at University Medical Center.

Recognizing compassion in medicine

The School of Medicine joined the Gold Humanism Honor Society and nearly 60 medical schools and institutions across North America in taking a stand for humanism in medicine by observing the third Gold Humanism Honor Society Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care on Feb. 14 with its "Hearts of Gold" displays in Reno and Las Vegas. Through the Hearts of Gold displays, examples of compassionate care and caregivers are displayed at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, the School of Medicine's administration building in Las Vegas and the Pennington Health Sciences Building on the Reno campus. (more)

Sanford Center for Aging publishes Elders Count Nevada 2013

The Sanford Center for Aging and their partners, the Nevada State Health Division and the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division are pleased to announce the arrival of Elders Count Nevada (2013) and a two-page Legislative Brief. Elder Count Nevada provides a detailed look at the current health and well-being of Nevada's senior population. Teresa M. Sacks, MPH, health research analyst, Sanford Center for Aging, served as project director for the report along with Angela Broadus, Ph.D., special projects coordinator, Sanford Center for Aging, who is the primary author.

Elders Count Nevada (2013) is the third installment in a series of reports published in 2007 and 2009. The 2013 report utilizes data from authoritative sources and has been expanded considerably to include information by geographic region of residency (i.e., urban and rural/frontier regions); our state's older veteran population; impact and prevalence of substance use, misuse, and abuse; and a new chapter on transportation and infrastructure as it relates to access, safety, and ridership; and a focus on veterans. The report is available for download at Elders Count Nevada 2013.

School of Medicine now offers Saturday appointments for women's health

The School of Medicine has opened up Saturday appointments at its Patient Care Center in Las Vegas for women needing more flexibility to schedule their obstetrics/gynecology appointments.

"We want help meet the demands of today's woman by offering extended hours through Saturday appointments for those patients needing additional times to see their physician," said Vani Dandolu, M.D., chair of the School of Medicine's obstetrics and gynecology department.

Appointments for routine annual visits or specialty services like incontinence, prenatal care, or pelvic pain may now be made for Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon by calling (702) 671-5140. The Patient Care Center is located at 1707 West Charleston Boulevard, Suite 120 in Las Vegas.

2013 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 2013 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.

"The primary purpose of the data book is to provide the health care community with the most comprehensive and accurate county-level data on population health trends and the health care system in Nevada," said co-author John Packham, Ph.D., director of health policy research at the School of Medicine. "The data book should also be valuable to anyone interested in learning more about health and health care in 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.

Palmer elected to national board

Elissa J Palmer, M.D., FAAFP, professor and chair, Department of Family and Community Medicine in Las Vegas, was elected to the board of the National Association of Departments of Family Medicine, an organization devoted to transforming care, education and research to promote health equity and improve the health of the nation.

Anderson invited to editorial board

Jamie Anderson has been invited to participate as a rural specialist on the editorial board of the Rural and Remote Health Journal for a three-year term.

Goodman winners named

The Second Annual Philip H. Goodman Resident Competition was held March 8 and included presentations representing 12 School of Medicine residency programs, nine from Las Vegas and three from Reno. Winners of the competition were Matthew Golle, M.D., obstetrics and gynecology, first place; Nolan Jaeger, M.D., plastic surgery, second place and Faisal Siddiqui, M.D., internal medicine (Reno), third place.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the medical school and to resident training, the Philip H. Goodman Award in Resident Excellence in Critical Appraisal was established in his memory through the Philip H. Goodman Endowment in 2010.

Ezeanolue named to national PCORI Advisory Panel

Echezona Ezeanolue, MD, MPH, FAAP, FIDSA, associate pediatrics, pediatrics and director, Maternal-Child HIV Program-Las Vegas, School of Medicine was recently selected to serve on the Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) Advisory Panel on Addressing Disparities. The panelists were selected from among 1,021 individuals who applied for the 84 positions available. The national panels will help PCORI identify and prioritize research questions in their respective areas and provide ongoing feedback on evaluating and disseminating the resulting research.

Hogan leads panel discussion at national meeting

Mary Beth Hogan, M.D., pediatrics professor in Reno, served as a discussion leader on the panel “Mechanisms of Anaphylaxis” at the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in San Antonio last February.

Sports medicine program announces 2013-14 Fellow

The primary care sports medicine fellowship program in Reno is pleased to announce the match of its 2013-2014 Sports Medicine fellow, Bradlee Sako, M.D., a current family medicine resident in the Peace Health Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash.

The sports medicine fellowship program encompasses prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions specific to athletes and exercising individuals. The fellow practices at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Student Health Center, the School of Medicine’s Family Medicine Center and rotates with community physicians involved in the care of athletes and exercising individuals. In addition, the fellow also spends time working with the Nevada Intercollegiate Athletic teams, Advanced Orthopedics, Orthopedic Surgical Associates, Sierra Orthopedics, Sierra Dive Center Scuba, the Reno Rodeo, Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs and at Squaw Valley USA.

Nevada Geriatric Education Consortium members

From left to right Nevada Geriatric Education Consortium members: Lisa Rosenberg, M.D. (Touro University Nevada), Connie Mobley, Ph.D., RD (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Patricia Swager, M.Ed. (UNR), Georgia Dounis, DDS, MS, Susan VanBeuge, DNP, APN (UNLV), Patricia Charles, DrPH. (UNR).

Nevada Geriatric Education Consortium present at national meeting

Members of the Nevada Geriatric Education Consortium, including Patricia Swager, M.Ed., director of the Nevada Geriatric Education Center, and Patricia Charles, Dr.PH, Office of Statewide Initiatives, School of Medicine, co-presented a 90-minute workshop at the American Society on Aging’s annual meeting in Chicago. The workshop topic was “Building, Benefits, and Outcomes of a Partnership.”

New Faculty

Goodnight joins DHS as events coordinator

Congratulations to Audrey Goodnight, who has accepted the position of events coordinator for DHS and the School of Medicine. She holds a master's degree in communication from UNR and has several years' experience in events management with the University Foundation and the Davidson Institute. She brings a strong level of leadership, energy and consistency to the events that represent the division. She may be reached via email at audreyg@unr.edu.


Peggy Dupey, Ph.D., associate dean for admissions and student affairs, School of Medicine; Grant Miller, M.D., professor emeritus of psychiatry and Markus Kemmelmeier, associate professor of sociology are authors of a manuscript entitled "Gender Differences in Worry During Medical School" that has been accepted for publication in Medical Education.

Student News

MPH grads pass national CPH exam

Carina Rivera, MPH,'12, Stephanie Tashiro,'13, and Mitchell Fong '13 recently passed the national exam to earn the Certified Public Health (CPH) designation. The National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) offers the CPH credential as the only voluntary core credential for public health professionals. The CPH designation demonstrates that an individual graduate from a CEPH-accredited school or program of public health has mastered foundational competencies in public health. CPH professionals raise the bar and enhance the public health profession through their exemplary academic and leadership skills.

Students participate in Betty Ford Center program

First-year medical students Gerrit Dunford, Sarah McDaniels, Diane Mar, Stephanie Martinez, Mark Taylor, Shavon Moore, Christopher Goodwill, Jared Griffard, Daniel Ignatiuk, Brittany Galusha, Joseph Neiman and Anna Delgadillo and second-year student Joann Gbenjo were selected to participate in the spring break experience at the Betty Ford Center. Brian Passalacqua, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine in Reno, participated as the sole faculty member.

The program, supported by a grant from the E.L. Wiegand Foundation, offers students the opportunity to learn about treating addiction via a complete immersion program whereby the students live and experience life as a "patient."

Deepa Dadge
Deepa Dadge is excited to learn her residency in family medicine will be at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas. Photo by Matt Lush.

Class of 2013 learns match results

The University of Nevada's medical students continued their tradition of placing in some of the nation's most competitive residency programs today when the Class of 2013 learned the results of the National Resident Matching Program in March.

The 59 students matched with residency institutions across the nation and will enter specialties ranging from anesthesiology to otolaryngology. Thirteen graduates, or 22 percent, will stay in the state to enter into residency programs offered through the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

Of note, 25 graduates, or 42 percent, will enter primary care specialties including internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine. Nationwide, and in especially in Nevada, there is a shortage of primary care physicians. Residency training location is a strong indication of where physicians will likely set up their practice following completion of residency and has strong implications for the future availability of health care professionals in a given area.

School of Medicine students' art featured at Sierra Arts Gallery

Class of2013 School of Medicine students, Reece Jones, Yusria Malik, Marie Duan Meservy, Carly Nystrom and Alia Moore will have their artwork on display at the Sierra Arts Gallery, 17 South Virginia Street, Suite 120 in Reno starting April 2 and running through May 16 as part of the "Artists in Residence" exhibit. An artist's reception will be held on May 16 from 4 - 7 pm.

Tschernia selected for NIH program

Nicholas Tschernia, MS III, has been selected to participate in the Medical Research Scholars Program at the National Institute of Health for the 2013-14 academic year.

MPH students get published

Two students recently published journal articles based on research they conducted for their MPH professional project. Anneka Hooft, an MD-MPH student who will graduate this Spring published an article titled "Identification of physical abuse cases in hospitalized children: accuracy of International Classification of Diseases" codes in the Journal of Pediatrics. Leilani Schwarcz a recent graduate from the MPH program published an article titled "Declining incidence of AIDS-defining opportunistic illnesses: results from 16 years of population-based AIDS surveillance" in AIDS.

Students, residents earn honors at ACP competition

Several School of Medicine students fared well with first place finishes in their respective categories at the American College of Physicians' Nevada Chapter abstract competition:

  • Faisal Siddiqui, M.D., Reno internal medicine resident in the resident clinical vignette category for "Osteonecrosis of Bilateral Femoral Heads after Short Term Steroid Use"
  • Kasaiah Makam, M.D., Las Vegas internal medicine resident in the resident research category for "Diagnostic Utility of CTA Chest in 'PE Unlikely' Patients"
  • Fourth-year student Dalia Hawwass in the student clinical vignette category for "Diabetes Mellitus Type 1.5: Flatbush Diabetes"
  • Third-year student Krystle Tuano in the student research for " State Health Department's Handling of Sickle Cell Trait Results Identified Through the Newborn Screening Programs"

Tuano earns award David Lupan Award

Krystle Tuano, MS III, was awarded the David Lupan award by the Western Student Medical Research Forum committee based on her oral presentation at the organization's meeting in January. The award was established in Lupan's memory by Claude Lardinois, M.D., professor of endocrinology emeritus.

Vera presents poster at national meeting

Angelina Vera, MSII, working with Shawn Tsuda, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, had a poster accepted to the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons meeting in April in Baltimore, Maryland. The poster is entitled "Augmented Reality Telementoring (ART) Platform: A Randomized Controlled Trial to Assess the Efficacy of a New Surgical Education Technology."

Moore selected for summer fellowship award

Shavon Moore, MS I, has been selected as a 2013 recipient of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Jeanne Spurlock Minority Medical Student Research Fellowship in Substance Abuse and Addition, which is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Copyright © 2013 Health Sciences.