Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

Summer 2014

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

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

The Division of Health Sciences was created in 2008 to facilitate a collaborative approach to interprofessional training, education and research, with the goal of expanding the future healthcare workforce and discovering new medical and healthcare knowledge. While it takes time to develop trust and a shared mission, vision and culture, I am encouraged every day by the enhanced communication and collaboration that has evolved within our Division and externally with our community stakeholders and constituents.

Partnerships and collaborations arise directly from the interprofessional and multi-disciplinary nature of the health sciences. We have so many educational, research and service opportunities across the healthcare and health professional spectrum. Whether it is a private-public partnership that brings research discoveries to market and much needed services to our state, as with the Newborn Screening Program, or our nursing students developing new approaches to serving the health needs in our community, the opportunities for these partnerships to improve health and healthcare are unlimited.

Of the approximately 3400 new freshman entering the university next week, 500 of them have already chosen the Division of Health Sciences as their academic home. We are delighted that so many students have recognized the need for a broad range of health care professionals and we hope they will explore the many career and training opportunities available.

I hope that summer has provided you with the opportunity to reflect, rejuvenate and prepare for the arrival of new students this month, excited to begin their academic journey. Your spirit and passion to teach and inspire our future health care professionals plays an important role in improving the health of Nevadans and their communities.


News from Division of Health Sciences Units

School of Community Health Sciences adds specializations to major

The School of Community Health Sciences, with over 800 undergraduate majors, is pleased to announce new specializations within the major: CHS, Public Health and CHS, Kinesiology. Both specializations are designed to prepare students for various health professions and graduate school programs according to student interests and career goals.

The new Public Health specialization will require Technical Writing, Biostatistics, upper division courses in the public health subfields, and will allow more choices of coursework in natural science and social science. The new Kinesiology specialization will require four public health courses and additional specialized courses in physical movement, motor development, conditioning and training. Courses that fit a Physical Education teaching track and a pre-professional (e.g. Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy) track will be offered.

School of Medicine start three new specialty training fellowships in Las Vegas

The University of Nevada School of Medicine made further steps in its commitment to improving health care for Nevadans by growing its graduate medical education portfolio in Las Vegas with the addition of three new accredited fellowship training programs this year. Two fellowships, in cardiology and gastroenterology, are the first-of-their-kind training programs for Nevada. The third is in child and adolescent psychiatry.

The cardiology fellowship began this summer with three fellows in the first year of the three-year training program under the direction of Chowdhury Ahsan, M.D., Ph.D. The new gastroenterology fellows began the three-year fellowship program this July with monthly rotations at the VA and University Medical Center and is directed by Christian Stone, M.D., MPH, associate professor and chief of the section of gastroenterology

Lisa Durette, M.D., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, is program director for southern Nevada's first child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship training program that also began in July. According to Durette, the fellowship was established to help alleviate the severe shortage of child psychiatrists in southern Nevada. Read more about the new fellowships

Bill Thomas
Bill Thomas, M.D., author, geriatrician, 2014 Distinguished Speaker

2014 Distinguished Speaker Series set for November

Bill Thomas, M.D., geriatrician and visionary with an international reputation as one of the leading authorities on the future of aging and longevity will be presenting, "The Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to Slower, Deeper and More Connected Life" on November 4 in Reno and November 5 in Las Vegas as part of the 2014 Distinguished Speaker Series sponsored by the Division of Health Sciences and School of Medicine. The Sanford Center for Aging and the Cleveland Clinic, Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health will also be co-sponsors for this event.

Best known for his health care system innovations, he is the founder of a global non-profit, The Eden Alternative, which works to improve the care provided to older people. He is the creator of The Green House(R), a radically new approach to long term care where nursing homes are torn down and replaced with small, home-like environments where people can live a full and interactive life. Dr. Thomas also developed the Senior ER model of care and is now working to transform the acute care services provided to elders. He is the author of "Second Wind" (2014), a book to help boomers navigate the passage to retirement. His other books include: "In the Arms of elders: A Parable of Wise Leadership and Community Building" (2006); "The Eden Alternative: Nature, Hope and Nursing Homes" (2006); "What Are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World" (2004); "Life Worth Living: How Someone You Love Can Still Enjoy Life in a Nursing Home: The Eden Alternative in Action" (1996). Registration information and more about the Bill Thomas event.

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology announce renovation and upgrade of Audiology Suite and Services

The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at the University of Nevada School of Medicine is pleased to announce the renovation of its audiology suite and the addition of new audiological services. Through the generosity of the Minnie B. Leonette Family Foundation and the William N. Pennington Foundation, the department has renovated the clinic with all new furnishings and purchased all new diagnostic equipment including a digital diagnostic audiometer with extended high frequency testing capabilities, a sound field system, a visual reinforcement audiometry system, diagnostic distortion product and transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (OAEs), and a videonystagmography (ENG/VNG) system with air calorics. With the addition of the new equipment, we are proud to offer the following services to patients of all ages:

  • Diagnostic audiological evaluations
  • Diagnostic vestibular/balance evaluations (New)
  • Auditory processing disorder evaluations (New)
  • Cochlear implant candidate evaluations (New)
  • Cochlear implant mapping services (New)
  • Cochlear implant community support group (New)
  • Custom ear molds and hearing protection (New)
  • Hearing aid services (New)
  • Aural rehabilitation community support group (New)

The department is dedicated to providing the highest quality educational, clinical and research experiences to both our undergraduate and graduate students and the new equipment and services will enrich the level of education and training we can provide for our students. Audiology services will be offered on a part time basis to the community through the Claude I. Howard Speech Pathology and Audiology Clinic. If you have any questions regarding the new services, please contact Megan Swank,Au.D. at (775) 784-4887 or via email at mswank@med.unr.edu.

Weight Management Clinic Staff
Dr. Lawrence Stifler, Ph.D., founder of HMR (Health Management Resources) presents the 2013 Gold Standard Award to the staff of The Wellness and Weight Management Center's HMR Program for achieving excellence in weight- loss treatment. Staff members (from left to right) Sharon Mattheisen, Karmella Thomas, Bree Clemmer, and Aimee Brock appear with Dr. Stifler

Weight Loss Center achieves Gold Standard for Excellence

The Wellness and Weight Management Center's HMR Program,a weight-loss program located at the University of Nevada School of Medicine's Reno campus, was recently awarded a 2013 Health Management Resources (HMR) Gold Standard Certificate of Achievement. This award distinguishes the Wellness and Weight Management Center's HMR Program from more than 100 clinics nationwide using the program for weight loss.

The Wellness and Weight Management Center's HMR Program offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss that includes intensive lifestyle education and the option of medical supervision. With both in-clinic and at-home weight-loss options, the clinic has helped more than 500 individuals. For more information on the program, call (775) 682-7969.

CASAT develops Peer Support Specialist in Behavioral Health certificate program

The Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) has developed and is offering a new twelve-credit certificate program, designed for those who are interested in providing direct support and assistance to Nevadans with behavioral health disorders. This program is open to all students and will fill a need in our community and through-out Nevada to have academically-trained Peer Support Specialists providing support, advocacy, navigation, wellness, and community engagement services to individuals with behavioral health conditions.

In addition to providing much needed services from 'a lived-experience' perspective, this proposed certificate program will create an entry point to a behavioral health career (e.g., social worker, addiction counselor, health educator, etc.) Specifically, this certificate program will establish academic courses in behavioral health (one of the ten essential health care benefits as part of the Affordable Healthcare Act) at the undergraduate level and serve as an on-ramp into additional minors, certificates, and majors in the Division of Health Sciences, or as a stand-alone certificate. For more information about the program, contact Jessica Crane at (775) 784-6265.

"Physician Workforce in Nevada-2014 Edition" report released

The University of Nevada School of Medicine released a new report, "Physician Workforce in Nevada - 2014 Edition," containing current, historical and comparative data on the Allopathic (M.D.) and Osteopathic (D.O.) physician workforce in Nevada. The focus of this report is to improve health workforce planning and policy development in Nevada through the preparation and dissemination of the most current information on the physician workforce.

"This report provides the most current and comprehensive data on the physician workforce in Nevada utilizing the best available information from the American Medical Association and the American Association of Medical Colleges," said lead author John Packham, Ph.D., director, Health Policy Research at the School of Medicine. "We have attempted to highlight progress made over the past couple of decades, current challenges, and how Nevada compares with other states in the region." Read more about the workforce report.

School of Medicine opens Advanced Surgical Training Laboratory to community

The University of Nevada School of Medicine has opened a new Advanced Surgical Training Laboratory. The lab provides space and equipment for practicing surgeons/physicians to learn how to use and practice new techniques or new equipment offered by medical supply companies. The newly remodeled lab is approximately 1500 sq. ft. and contains 3 permanent OR stations complete with surgical tables, C-arms, laparoscopic towers and LED surgical light. The lab can accommodate groups of up to 50 people with as many as 7 stations if necessary.

The lab can also be used by health care providers who might need to re-visit any specific anatomy of their choosing in a quiet unhurried setting on a "work when you can schedule". Some procedures that have already been performed in the lab include: joint replacement, abdominal wall reconstruction, artificial disc replacement, SI joint fixation and electrode placement for pain management. Procedures are performed on cadavers which are provided as fresh tissue or embalmed as needed. For information on lab rental pricing and availability contact: Patricia Elder (lab manager) at (775) 784-6169 or Carl Sievert, Ph.D. at (775) 784-7538.

Memorial scholarship endowment honors Caroline Graham-Lamberts

Memorial gifts from the family, friends and colleagues of Caroline Graham-Lamberts M.D.'11, have established a scholarship endowment in honor of the late pediatrician, who is remembered as a great asset to the medical community through her kindness, compassion and intuition. Caroline passed away Oct. 28, 2012.

Through the outpouring of memorial gifts, the Caroline Graham-Lamberts, M.D. Memorial Scholarship Endowment was established for medical students at Nevada who demonstrate excellence in pediatrics, community service, outreach and excellence beyond the classroom. Her family also established the Caroline Graham-Lamberts Memorial Classic, an annual golf tournament to bring Caroline's friends and family together to honor her memory and raise funds to continue her legacy through her scholarship fund. This year's memorial classic is scheduled for Oct. 26 at Canyon Gate Country Club in Las Vegas. To learn more about participating in the golf tournament and supporting the University of Nevada School of Medicine, please contact Wendy Nelson, director of development at (702) 671-2240.

Savitt Library adds new document equipment

The Savitt Medical Library recently acquired a new overhead scanner, the "Bookeye" for its Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery Department. The Bookeye provides superb images of bound journals to library patrons and other libraries around the world from the Knowledge Center and Medical Library collections. It features a book cradle so there is less stress on bound volumes while scanning.

The key features of the Bookeye are: easy installation via Scan2Net® Technology; compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Unix; laser-assisted auto-focus and profile detection; print on any network printer; and remote maintenance and analysis. The Bookeye can be used with newspapers, periodicals, tabloids, catalogs and magazines, books and delicate materials and bund and stapled document.

EMR now in clinics

School of Medicine clinics are now in the process of converting patients' paper medical records to electronic medical records (EMR). All Las Vegas clinics have converted to Centricity Business, a practice management system that handles scheduling and billing; the family and internal medicine clinics in Las Vegas and Reno have converted to both Centricity Business and Centricity Practice Solution, which is the EMR management system. These two systems work in tandem—when a patient medical record is created in Centricity Business, a chart is automatically created in Centricity Practice Solution. Other clinics are being converted to the Centricity EMR system including the surgery, obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics clinics in Las Vegas. The long-term goal is to have all School of Medicine clinics converted to electronic medical records.

Say "cheese" and smile, portrait sessions scheduled

The Marketing & Communications Office will offer two portrait sessions this fall to UNSOM and DHS faculty, staff, LOAs and emeritus faculty on the Reno campus. Mark your calendar for either Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon or Oct. 15 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. to have a professionally photographed head-and-shoulders image of you against a gray backdrop. Photos will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis in the Pennington Medical Education Building foyer. Unedited photos will be emailed to you within a week of being taken and are for your professional or personal use.

Portrait sessions are also scheduled for the UNSOM Las Vegas campus on Sept. 9, Oct. 8, Nov. 6 and Dec. 5 from noon to 2 pm in Room 506 in the 2040 building.

DHS launches new master event calendar on website

Take a look at the newly created home page for the Division of Health Sciences. Now you will be able to access the new DHS master calendar to see what events are taking place and also publicize and post your next upcoming event. Just submit the easy to fill out DHS Events Submission form.

In addition, if you would like to submit news for the Division Dialogue or Noteworthy News, we have added submission forms for each publication. Division Dialogue is for news items about your units. (interprofessional activities, accreditation, curriculum changes, new programs etc.) Please use the Division Dialogue Submission form. Noteworthy News is for news items about you or other individuals. (honors, awards, grants, presentations, publications, new faculty and staff) Please use the Noteworthy News Submission form.

Physicians provide medical care Reno Rodeo

Cowboys and cowgirls accept injuries as part of their sport. When possible, they "cowboy up" and work through their aches and pains, but sometimes, it takes more specialized medical attention. Fortunately for competitors at the 2014 Reno Rodeo, a team of medical professionals were on-hand to see to their injuries if they got hurt during competition.

Trainers from Justin Sports Medicine provided the bulk of services for competitors while REMSA provided emergency transport for both competitors and fans. University of Nevada School of Medicine sports medicine physicians, along with medical volunteers from the Reno Rodeo Association, offered medical assistance and expertise to both competitors and spectators as needed at the June 19-28 event. Carol Scott, M.D., director of the sports medicine fellowship program at the University of Nevada School of Medicine's Reno campus and Bradlee Sako, M.D., sports medicine fellow with the medical school in Reno, volunteered their time to provide medical care at this annual event.

Student News

"Get Your Health On" student health fair set for Sept. 9

The UNR Student Health Center and School of Medicine's Student Wellness Program is hosting the "Get Your Health On!" student health fair on September 9th from 11am to 1pm outside of the Joe Crowley Student Union. "Get Your Health On!" student health fair targets all UNR undergraduate and graduate students and aims to raise awareness and educate the UNR student population regarding preventative health services and measures. Additionally, "Get Your Health On" aims to give current UNR students studying a health-related field the opportunity to gain professional experience by allowing them to provide health services and education to fellow peers.

"Get Your Health On" student health fair will provide UNR students with basic health services, resources, and information. Please encourage all students that you know to come and check it out!

CCMC Alliances continues scholarships for medical students

Congratulations to the three School of Medicine Clark County Medical Society Alliance Scholarship Endowment recipients: Krystle Tuano, M.D.'14, and incoming fourth-year students Angela Villamagna and Sean Comeau. These current scholarship recipients and representatives from the School of Medicine attended the CCMSA Annual Scholarship Luncheon this spring to express appreciation for the Alliance's long-standing commitment to the School of Medicine and to accept a contribution to provide additional scholarships for the upcoming academic year. Originally established in 1977, the CCMS Alliance Scholarship Endowment provides scholarship support to Clark County high school graduates in their third or fourth year of medical school.

Clinician's Ceremony marks transition to clinical year

The University of Nevada School of Medicine held its 15th Annual Clinician's Ceremony on June 30 in the Council Chambers of Las Vegas City Hall. This transitional ceremony for the 66 students in the Class of 2016 marked their progression from basic sciences classroom instruction to the clinical years of medical education. Nearly two-thirds of the class will be in Las Vegas completing clinical training in the academic year beginning this fall. Keynote speaker was Michael Daubs, M.D.'89, chief of orthopaedic surgery at the School of Medicine.

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