Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

Summer 2011

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

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

Welcome back to the beginning of a new academic year! This is always a special time as we welcome new and returning students, and new and returning faculty members, but this year we also have the excitement of new facilities for many of you. I congratulate you on your commitment to pursue education and training in the health and wellness professions, and want you to know of our commitment as teachers and leaders to provide the very best educational experience during your time with us. The Division of Health Sciences reflects an intersection of many disciplines, leading to partnerships and opportunities for teamwork in research, education and service that will improve the health, health care and quality of life for the people of Nevada.

I am interested in learning about all of the great work that happens every day, in every corner of the Division of Health Sciences. My role is to serve you and your work, helping you to achieve your goals and honoring your aspirations to make the Division of Health Sciences a leader in collaborative and integrative teaching, learning, and research.

Welcome and best wishes for the 2011-12 academic year.


News from Division of Health Sciences Units

University celebrates opening of William N. Pennington Health Sciences Building

Pennington Building, RenoThe University community celebrated the William N. Pennington Health Sciences Building grand opening on June 16. Over 100 guests attended, including William N. Pennington Foundation trustees Rick Banis '67 (accounting), Don Carano, John Mackall, and Fred Scarpello, who made the lead and naming gift for the building. Those in attendance celebrated the new facility and its pivotal role in introducing interdisciplinary health care to the University of Nevada by providing cutting-edge technology and an educational platform where medical and nursing students will study and train together. In addition to support from the Pennington Foundation, the Pennington Health Sciences Building was made possible through generous support from the State of Nevada, as well as lead contributions from the Nell J. Redfield Foundation, The Thelma B. and Thomas P. Hart Foundation and Renown Health. The Pennington Health Sciences Building will not only allow for both disciplines to work as a team but over time will allow the Orvis School of Nursing and the School of Medicine to double their respective class sizes, thereby addressing the shortage of nurses and doctors in the state of Nevada.

Master of Public Health Program earns accreditation

The University of Nevada, Reno Master of Public Health (MPH) Program has received notification of accreditation by the Council of Education for Public Health for a five-year term, extending through July 1, 2016. The program, in the University's School of Community Health Sciences, is the only accredited MPH program in the state and is one of only 23 programs west of the Mississippi to hold the accreditation.

The accreditation process required the faculty and school to prepare an extensive self-study, led by Paul Devereux, Ph.D., MPH, associate professor, and included a site visit from accreditation reviewers in November 2010. CEPH accreditation of the MPH program reflects a rigorous process of quality review and improvements from the very best reviewers in the public health field. Successful accreditation of the MPH is a major accomplishment with immediate and long-term benefits for students, faculty, community partners, and alumni. Among other things, MPH graduates of an accredited school (and graduates for the three years prior) are now able to sit for the new national certification examination in public health now that the program has been granted accreditation.

Nevada universities' Doctor of Nursing Practice degree receives federal grant

Last fall, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno joined the ranks of other prominent universities, such as Purdue, Duke and Johns Hopkins, when they began offering a new advanced degree for nurses, the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (DNP). This month, the University of Nevada, Reno was awarded a $269,157 grant to support and augment the collaborative program. Christine Aramburu-Alegria, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing, will serve as project director of the newly awarded grant.

The funds came from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And, as long as the program continues to be successful and funds are available, similar funding support may be awarded in 2012 and 2013, resulting in a total of $685,618 in federal support for the program over three years.

The unique collaboration of the nursing schools at the state's two universities is designed to serve as a model for other states, and the grant was awarded, in part, to continue to strengthen that collaboration. It will also help the schools refine the curriculum, recruit and graduate culturally diverse and well-qualified applicants, and evaluate the program.

Department of Family and Community Medicine-Las Vegas Receives $50,000 Endowment Donation from Anonymous Donor

The University of Nevada School of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine-Las Vegas received an unsolicited anonymous donation of $50,000. According to the letter accompanying the donation to the endowment, the anonymous donor stated, "I am pleased to support the vision of the Department of Family and Community Medicine-Las Vegas to improve patient care in Southern Nevada." Elissa J. Palmer, M.D., professor and chair of the Department was surprised and thrilled with the incredible generosity of the anonymous donor. "True to the wishes of the donor, we will use earnings from the principle to support program development through teaching, training, service and research so that our efforts will create self-sustaining programs that will impact the quality and healthcare delivered to patients," said Palmer.

UMC and University of Nevada School of Medicine Family Medicine, Las Vegas collaborate on patient safety in maternity care pilot program

The Department of Family Medicine of the University of Nevada School of Medicine in collaboration with University Medical Center (UMC) and a small anonymous donation, is bringing the new national program Care Team OB from the American Academy of Family Physicians (with the support of the American College of OB/GYN) to UMC as a pilot to enhance quality and patient safety in maternity care delivery. The program is aimed at all providers of maternity care on a particular unit and creates training together-nurses, physicians, etc. The program is a combination of the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Program (ALSO) and the Department of Defense patient safety course, TeamSTEPPS. It involves workshops with mannequins and team training. The program began in May and is one of the first of two pilots involving team training for institutions.

School of Social Work professors publish new book on casino women

Chandler, JonesSusan Chandler, Ph.D., associate professor and Jill B. Jones, associate professor emeritus, School of Social Work at the University of Nevada, Reno have written and published,"Casino Women: Courage in Unexpected Places." The book has been published by Cornell University Press and is available on Amazon and will soon be in bookstores. The book is a pioneering look at the female face of corporate gaming. Based on extended interviews with maids, cocktail waitresses, cooks, laundry workers, dealers, pit bosses, and vice presidents, the book describes in compelling detail a world whose enormous profitability is dependent on the labor of women assigned stereotypically female occupations-making beds and serving food on the one hand and providing sexual allure on the other. But behind the neon lies another world, peopled by thousands of remarkable women who assert their humanity in the face of gaming empires' relentless quest for profits.

Upcoming Event: NGEC offers lecture on Medicaid Basics On Sept. 22

The Nevada Geriatric Education Consortium is offering a lecture on "Medicaid Basics" by Gina Byrge, RN, Health Care Coordinator for the Division of Health Care Financing and Policy, on September 22, 2011 at 12 noon to 1 pm. The lectures are open to all health sciences students and faculty. Dinner will be provided. The lectures will be broadcast over interactive video in Battle Mountain, Elko, Ely, Eureka, Gardnerville, Hawthorne, Henderson, Las Vegas, Lovelock, Pahrump, Reno, Winnemucca, and Yerington. CME's are available. The program is free, however, you must register by contacting Diann Jones (775) 682-8470.

Our People

  • Ole Thienhaus, M.D., MBA, chair and professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, is being awarded the National American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Cancro Award for merit in advancing the cause of child psychiatry in the US. Also, Dr. Thienhaus gave an update on recent advances ion adult psychiatry at the Annual Meeting of the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians.
  • Greg Brown, M.D., associate professor, residency training director and clerkship director, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Las Vegas, obtained the community funding from Clark County, Mojave and the private sector to lay the foundations for a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program in Las Vegas.
  • Elissa J. Palmer, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine-Las Vegas, has been named one of two Bishop fellows by the American Council on Education. The ACE Fellows Program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.
  • Kelly Buchanan, M.D. a recent graduate of the Emergency Medicine Residency at Las Vegas will serve as a the first fellow for EMS (Emergency Medical Services). She will be very involved in the Clark County EMS system working with the Southern Nevada Health District and all the transporting agencies in Clark County, under the direction of Bryan Bledsoe, M.D., professor of Emergency Medicine and internationally recognized EMS expert.
  • Mike Epter, DO, FAAEM, emergency medicine residency director has been appointed vice chairman of education for the Department of Emergency Medicine, UNSOM
  • J.D. McCourt. M.D., has been appointed vice chairman of clinical affairs for the Department of Emergency Medicine UNSOM
  • The Department of Emergency Medicine is currently in the submission process to establish a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship, under the direction of Jay Fisher, M.D., Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at UMC.
  • Mary Ann Lambert, MSN, RN, assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing, has been appointed to the Nevada State Board of Nursing Education Advisory Committee.
  • Lynn Carver, LCSW, adult day treatment coordinator, Mohave Mental Health, School of Medicine, will speak at the annual conference of the Nevada Chapter of National Association of Social Workers held in Reno this September on "Making Client Interactions More Effective."
  • Also, Rebecca Hamlin, MSW, will be conducting a workshop entitled, "All You Need is Love: Using the Recovery Approach as Best Practice." at the same conference.
  • Sharon Willans, LCSW, MFT, and site administrator for Mojave Mental Health has been selected to present "An Ethics Check-up on Practice and Risk" at the 23rd Annual Conference on Attachment and Bonding in Omaha, Nebraska in September.
  • David AuCoin, Ph.D., research assistant professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, was an invited speaker at two conferences this past month. The first was a Burkholderia workshop hosted by Northern Arizona University and the Department of Homeland Security. Next, Dr. AuCoin presented at the NIH/NIAID sponsored Pacific Southwest Regional Center of Excellence for Emerging Infectious Diseases conference in Hawaii.
  • Neva Donovan, M.D., staff physician, Student Health Center, UNR, recently was re-certified for the Adolescent Medicine CAQ.

Grants, Publications and Research Activities

  • Lisa Black, Ph.D., RN, CNE, assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing, wrote an article entitled "Tragedy into Policy-A Quantitative Study" that was published as a feature CE/research article in the June 2011 American Journal of Nursing. There is also a Podcast with the editor.
  • Diane Chau M.D., wrote an article entitled "Palliative Care of Patients with Dementia" which was recently published in the journal Clinics in Geriatric Medicine.
  • Nae-Hwa Kim, M.D., a Reno-based internal medicine resident, had her article entitled "Long term care of the aging population with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities" published in the journal Clinics in Geriatric Medicine.
  • Chris Bishop, M.D., geriatrics fellow, has received notification that her letter, entitled "Ethics and Price - Cost Dissociation in Physical Therapy" will be published in an upcoming issue of ADVANCE for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine.
  • Melissa Piasecki. M.D., professor and associate dean of faculty affairs and development, and Ole Thienhaus, M.D., MBA, chair and professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, are co-editors of the second volume of their Textbook of Correctional Psychiatry, with several Nevada faculty as contributors (Drs. Jeremy Matuszak, Nathan Mason, Maya Strange, Shaily Jain).
  • Kirk Bronander, M.D. ,associate professor, clerkship director, medical director of simulation, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Reno, had an article entitled, "SIMPLE Integration Strategies: What Works, What Doesn't - Sharing Tips and Solutions" in the June 2011 issue of Academic Internal Medicine Insight, a newsletter for the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine.
  • Amy Ellwood, MSN, LCSW ,professor of family medicine and psychiatry in Las Vegas, has published an article entitled "The Academic Curriculum Vitae: The Story of One's Professional Life" in the July 2011 issue of the Association of American Medical College's GWIMSWatch newsletter.
  • David Antonuccio, M.D. professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences emeritus, School of Medicine has has co-authored several publications, with other UNR colleagues:
  • Duncan, B., & Antonuccio, D.O. (in press). A Patient Bill of Rights for Psychotropic Prescription: A Call for a Higher Standard of Care. International Journal of Clinical Medicine.
  • Antonuccio, D.O. (in press). Patient bill of rights for psychotropic Medication. In Cummings, N.A. & O'Donohue, W.T. (Eds.) (2011). Restoring Psychotherapy as the First Line Intervention in Behavioral Care. Albany, NY: Ithaca Press.
  • Drews, A., Antonuccio, D.O., & Kirsch, I. (2011). A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Placebo Controlled Trials of Antidepressant Medications in Depressed Children: Do the Benefits Justify the Risks. The Journal of Mind-Body Regulation, 1(2), 31-41.
  • Gifford, E.V., Kohlenberg, B., Hayes, S.C., Pierson, H., Piasecki, M., Antonuccio, D.O., & Palm, K. (2011). Does Acceptance and Relationship Focused Behavior Therapy Contribute to Bupropion Outcomes? A Randomized Controlled Trial of FAP and ACT for Smoking Cessation. Behavior Therapy, 10.1016/j.beth.2011.03.002.

Grant Opportunities: Gates Foundation grant proposals announced

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now accepting grant proposals for Round 8 of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage innovative and unconventional global health and development solutions. Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from >any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for profit companies.

Grant proposals are being accepted online until November 17, 2011 on the following topics:

  • NEW - Protect Crop Plants from Biotic Stresses From Field to Market
  • NEW - Design new approaches to optimize immunization systems
  • NEW - Explore New Solutions in Global Health Priority Areas
  • Explore Nutrition for Healthy Growth of Infants and Children
  • Apply Synthetic Biology to Global Health Challenges

Initial grants will be US $100,000 each, and projects showing promise will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to US $1 million.

Student News

National competitive fellowships and scholarships announced

Competitions for the 2011-2012 nationally competitive fellowships have officially been announced. If you are interested in applying for a Fulbright Award, Rhodes Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Truman Scholarship or other national fellowships this fall 2011, contact tvalenti@unr.edu for information regarding information sessions, criteria and deadlines.

Pancake breakfast, White Coat Ceremony welcome Class of 2015 to School of Medicine

Class of 2015 medical school students and their families were welcomed by faculty and staff at the ceremonial kick-off for the 2011-12 academic year. The annual pancake breakfast was held. on the lawn in front of the Center for Molecular Medicine where faculty will served breakfast to incoming students and their families. Later that day, the traditional White Coat Ceremony was held at the Joe Crowley Student Union. These two events concluded orientation week activities for the incoming class.

Copyright © 2011 Health Sciences.