Noteworthy News

Noteworthy News

January 2014

Honors and Awards

Suzi Stempeck, Dean Thomas L. Schwenk
(Suzi Stempeck (left) is presented an award plaque from Dean Thomas L. Schwenk after being selected as Employee of the Year for the School of Medicine)

Employees of the Year named

Outstanding staff from the Division of Health Sciences, School of Medicine and School of Medicine practice plan were recognized and honored at the annual holiday socials held in Reno and Las Vegas. Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., vice president of health sciences and dean, University of Nevada School of Medicine, presented plaques to the following nominees and named the winners of “Employee of the Year” in each category. Congratulations to all of these outstanding and dedicated employees.

Division of Health Sciences:

  • Employee of the Year: Sharon Muldoon, Orvis School of Nursing
  • Jennifer Laslo, DHS Advising, Recruitment and Retention
  • Rebecca Rumbaugh, Development and Alumni Relations

University of Nevada School of Medicine – South:

  • Employee of the Year: Kristen Stout, Graduate Medical Education
  • Dianne Paniagua, Human Resources
  • Stephanie Mathews, Recruitment and Student Affairs

University of Nevada School of Medicine – North:

  • Employee of the Year: Suzi Stempeck, Information Technology
  • Ginger Fenwick, Pediatrics, Reno
  • Ashlyn Ziarnowski, Office of Medical Education
  • Mary Ann Henry, Human Resources
  • Cassandra Potts, Budget and Finance
  • Robin Wittmann, Admissions and Student Affairs
  • Teresa Smith, Office of Statewide Initiatives

School of Medicine Practice Plan – South:

  • Employee of the Year: Kristina Sparks, Surgery
  • Jennifer Edwards: Billing
  • Kimberly Wilson: Pediatrics, Las Vegas
  • Carol Allen: Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Glenda Coppick: Accounting
  • Jennifer Young: Family and Community Medicine, Las Vegas
  • Lorena Zepeda: Internal Medicine, Las Vegas

School of Medicine Practice Plan – North:

  • Employee of the Year: Jennifer Bassi, Billing

Bar-on to serve national AAMC Group on Resident Affairs

Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education and professor of pediatrics, School of Medicine, Las Vegas, was elected as the chair elect for the AAMC Group on Resident Affairs, She will serve as chair for the 2014-15 academic year.

Klass named governor of Nevada Chapter ACP

Evan Klass, M.D.,FACP, associate dean for statewide initiatives, chief of endocrinology, department of internal medicine, School of Medicine, Reno, was recently elected Nevada Chapter Governor for the American College of Physicians (ACP).

Residents and fellows honored for outstanding teaching

Congratulations to the 83 residents and 2 fellows who met the criteria for the Resident Teaching Honor Roll. This is a criterion based selection NOT normative data. Any resident who meets the criteria for selection – overall teaching effectiveness score of >4.8/5 and has a minimum of 5 evaluations or the mean number of his/her peers is included on the honor roll. The evaluations are from the M3 students at the conclusion of their clerkship and are aggregated by semester.

Resident Teaching Honor Roll – January 2014

  • Emergency Medicine: Steve Elsbecker;
  • Family Medicine – Las Vegas: Leon McCook,Chris Mercado,Luis Olivas,Chrissy Quartuccio,Gina Tran;
  • Family Medicine – Reno: Jeremy Bearfield,Brice Blatz,Bayo Curry-Winchell,Benjamin Hansen,Kirsten Mackey,Chris McDonnell,Helena Russell,Satu Salonen,Molly Torvinen;
  • Internal Medicine – Las Vegas: Madhuri Ramanath,Shannon Smith,Ayman Abdalla,Altaf Dawood,Trung Huynh,Suleiman Omar,Abdalla Oun,Ahmed Sagaslli;
  • Internal Medicine – Reno: Alhareth Al Juboori,Bjorn Flora,Samreen Jamshed,Reece Jones,Gagandeep Kaur,Linh Khuu,Marie Meservy,Carly Nystrom,Sunny Rana,Mansi Shah,Sameer Tapryal,Muki Tripathi,Nancy Waiganjo,Yunvei Wang,Aung Zaw,Yi Zheng,Sonila Ziu;
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology: Jyoti Desai,Yusria Malik,Amy McDonald,Neetu Singh-Cheema,Carissa Sparrow,Wilfredo Torres;
  • Otolaryngology: Alycia Spinner; Pediatrics: Reshma Ambaram,Sharon Joo,Sonya Palathumpat,Patricia Wang,Nicole Baca,Alison Ball,Bradley Clark,Maria Martinez,Aditi Mehta,Utsahi Patel,Benjamin Wong,Shabnam Zargar;
  • Plastic Surgery: Joshua Goldman,Nancy Wong;
  • Psychiatry – Las Vegas: Kahlid Abubaker,Jessica Arabski,Ying-Chia Cheng,Brian Elledge,Brian Pierson,Anthony Quinn,Sidharth Sharma,Robert Yates;
  • Psychiatry – Reno: Alex Brooks, Joshua Fitzgerald,Urvashi Goswami, Elisa Park; Surgery: Ethan Benning, Maris Jones, Hasanali Khashwji,Christopher McNicoll,Fikre Mengistu,Jaclyn Munn,Mariangela Rivera,William Scott,Jeffrey Sorensen,Lindsay Wenger;
  • Surgical Critical Care/Acute Care Surgery: Shawna Morrissey, Kimberly Syres

Publications and Presentations

  • Melissa Piasecki, M.D., senior associate dean for academic affairs, School of Medicine, co-presented a continuing legal education program “Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession and the Affordable Care Act: Clinical and Legal Issues” along with Stacey Torvino, J.D., Ph.D., and Chad Cross, Ph.D. at the Boyd School of Law
  • Patricia Swager, M.Ed., project director, Nevada Geriatric Education Consortium and director, Nevada Geriatric Education Center, co-presented “Maximizing Data Management Systems to Capture Educational Program Performance, Three Models of Qualitative and Quantitative Data” at the Gerontological Society of America annual meeting in November.
  • Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education and professor of pediatrics, School of Medicine, Las Vegas was a visiting professor at Dartmouth Medical College in October. She presented her work on Snippets as an effective, efficient methodology for faculty development.

Faculty and Staff Updates

New faculty and staff join UNSOM

Congratulations and welcome to recent new hires: Mary Alley, administrative assistant, office of medical research, Shailesh Agarwal, research professor, department of pharmacology, Motoko Yoshizawa, department of physiology and cell biology; Gayle Halminiak, finance and administration for department of internal medicine, Reno.

Residents compete to participate at Nevada Chapter American College of Physicians Scientific Meeting

Clinical Vignette

  1. Narbeh Tovmassian – Amyloidosis Presenting with Flank Pain: A Rare Manifestations of the Disorder
  2. Shahrukh Hussain Khan – Goodpasture’s Syndrome: A Protagonist Amongst Multiple Contestants
  3. Sarah Shewayish – Upshaw-Schulman syndrome: A Rare Disorder Presenting with an Acute Stroke


  1. Gagandeep Kaur – Strict vs. Loose: Impact of a Less Stringent Subcutaneous Insulin Protocol in Decreasing Incidence of Inpatient Hypoglycemia
  2. Ruihong Luo – Coccidioidomycosis in the United States: Epidemiologic Characters, Hospitalized Burden and Prognosis

Medical students compete to present at national American College of Physicians

Results of research competition:

Clinical Vignette

  1. Joshua Gabel - Abdominal Pain of Unknown Origin in a Patient with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): A Case of HIV/HCV co-infection and Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  2. Joshua Pendl - Not Just a Lump: Rare Cancer Presenting as a Subcutaneous Foot Nodule in a Patient with Anti-RNP Antibodies
  3. Graham Litchman - Palindromic Rheumatism in an Adolescent Female with Generalized Joint Hypermobility


  1. Rees Adomako – Degradation of P62/SQSTM1 in Group B Coxsackievirus Infected Cells
  2. Ziad Chaya - Clinical Outcomes utilizing the Combined Electrochemical Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy: A Retrospective Study from a Western Clinic
  3. Jonathan Quinonez – A mathematical investigation of the innate and adaptive immune surveillance of tumor growth

*Italicized students selected to participate at National American College of Physicians in Orlando, Florida

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