Noteworthy News

Noteworthy News

June 2014

Honors and Awards

Kimberly Baxter and Dean Schwenk
Kimberly Baxter is presented the DHS Teaching Award by Vice President Thomas L. Schwenk.

Baxter awarded Division of Health Sciences teaching honor

Kimberly Baxter, RN, M.S.N., FNP-BC, assistant professor and associate director for undergraduate programs, Orvis School of Nursing, is the recipient of the 2014 Division of Health Sciences (DHS) Teaching Award. The teaching award is given annually to a member of the Division of Health Sciences faculty who has been nominated, peer reviewed and selected to receive the award for excellence in teaching.

In addition to her teaching, she serves as the Simulation Coordinator for the Orvis School of Nursing. She has served as the nurse practitioner coordinator for Project ECHO Nevada, and has served as a co-coordinator and faculty for the Family Nurse Practitioner Program track for the Master of Science in Nursing degree.

Baxter will now be put forth at the nominee from the Division of Health Sciences for the university F. Donald Tibbitts "Excellence in Teaching Award" in the fall. Special thanks to the members of the DHS Teaching Award Committee for the many hours they spent observing teaching and reviewing the portfolios of all of the candidates. They are: Kristen Clements-Nolle, Chair, School of Community Health Sciences, Heather Gough, School of Social Work, Stephanie DeBoor, Orvis School of Nursing, Jamie Anderson, School of Medicine, Susan Ervin, Orvis School of Nursing and Alyssa O'Hair, C.A.S.A.T.

Gaspar named as CDC Act Early Ambassador

Mario J. Gaspar de Alba, M.D. FAAP, assistant professor, Developmental-Behavior Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, has been selected to serve as an Act Early Ambassador for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) "Learn the Signs. Act Early." program. Dr. Gaspar de Alba will play an important role in educating Nevada's parents, healthcare professionals, and early educators about early childhood development, warning signs of autism and other developmental disabilities, and the importance of acting early on concerns about a child's development.

Dr. Gaspar de Alba was selected as an Act Early Ambassador because of his commitment to improving the lives of children and families and increasing access to services for children with developmental disabilities. The Act Early Ambassadors project is designed to develop a network of state-level experts to improve early identification of developmental delay and disability. It is a collaborative project of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

Nevada INBRE sponsors Health Disparities Symposium

Experts and researchers from the University of Nevada School of Medicine, UNLV School of Dental Medicine, UNLV Boyd School of Law, UNLV School of Nursing and the UNLV School of Community Health Sciences, gathered to discuss reasons why health disparities exist among certain population groups, share research and explore solutions at the Health Disparities Symposium in April.

Faculty from the University of Nevada School of Medicine who presented during the symposium were Vani Dandolu M.D., Kate Martin, M.D., and Deborah Kuhls M.D. (presenters). Melissa Piasecki M.D., senior associate dean for medical affairs and Robert Langer, M.D., associate dean for clinical research served as moderators. Peter Reed, Ph.D., director of the Sanford Center for Aging was also a presenter. At the symposium, James Kenyon, Ph.D., senior associate dean for research, and the Nevada INBRE received a Senatorial Commendation. View all of the presentations from the Health Disparities Symposium sponsored by Nevada IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence.

Bar-on selected as Distinguished Visiting Professor

Miriam E. Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education and professor of pediatrics, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, was selected by the faculty of the Center for Learning in Medical Education to be the University of Washington, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Medical Education.

Baldwin honored by Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

DeWitt C. Baldwin, M.D., professor emeritus, School of Medicine, scholar in residence for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and recent Division of Health Sciences distinguished lecturer, was honored by the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science by officially dedicating the DeWitt C. Baldwin Institute for Interprofessional Education in his name.

Ezeanolue named to NIH review panel

Echezona Ezeanolue, M.D.,MPH, FAAP, FIDSA, associate pediatrics professor and vice chairman of pediatrics research, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, has been appointed to NIH review panel for K-awards. This is the third NIH Review panel for which Ezeanolue has served.

Publications and Presentations

  • Amy Ellwood, M.S.W., LCSW, professor of family medicine and David Kuykendall, M.D., PGY-1, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus have written a book review of Living and Dying in Brick City by Sampson Davis, M.D. The review was published in the May 2014 issue of Family Medicine, the official journal of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. Ellwood has also published a book review of Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience by Eileen Cronin in the July-August 2014 issue of Family Medicine.
  • Bernadette M. Longo, Ph.D., RN, CNL, APHN-BC, associate professor and advanced public health nurse, Orvis School of Nursing, was an invited speaker at the Great Basin Climate Forum at the Desert Research Institute. Her presentation was "The Impact of Wildfire Smoke on Public Health."
  • Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., vice president of Health Sciences and dean, Melissa Piasecki, M.D., senior associate dean and Timothy Baker,M.D., associate dean for medical education, School of Medicine presented the BF Skinner lecture titled, "Culture Change in a Medical School: the Role of Behavioral Assessment" at the 2014 annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
  • Several University of Nevada School of Medicine faculty presented in a symposium "Create, Adapt, Adopt: Tools to Inform Decision-Making and Promote Organizational Change in a Medical School" that included Jennifer M. Hagen, M.D., associate dean for faculty development Jennifer Hagen and Melissa Piasecki, M.D., senior associate dean for academic affairs presenting "Create, Adapt, Adopt The Customized Adoption of the Association of American Medical College's Faculty Forward Survey"; Greg Smith, M.D., assistant professor, and Timothy Baker, M.D., associate dean for medical education, presenting "The Adaptation of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) to Guide Curriculum Development" and Daniel Reimer, M.A. Gwen Shonkwiler, Ph.D. presenting "The Creation of a Descriptive Analysis of Collaborative and Emerging Leadership During Curricular Restructuring: A Story of Faculty Engagement" at the 2014 annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Robbyn Tolles, M.A.T., Nicole Jacobs, Ph.D., and Ramona Houmanfar, Ph.D., also collaborated on these presentations.
  • Stephanie Asteriadis, M.A., CPS, principal investigator, Nevada Problem Gambling Prevention Project, and Carina Rivera, M.P.H., CPH, CHES, evaluation research coordinator, from the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) presented "A Social Norms Approach to the Prevention of Problem Gambling Among College Students" at the 8th Annual Nevada State Conference on Problem Gambling in Reno, NV on April 11th.
  • Kenneth Izuora, M.D., MBS, FACE, was elected vice president of the Nevada chapter of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and was also recognized as a fellow of the American College of Endocrinology (FACE) during the 23rd annual scientific and clinical congress of the AACE, held in Las Vegas.
  • Steven C. Zell. M.D., professor, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Reno campus and HIV Statewide Director for Post-Graduate Medical Education, gave several presentations at the Tahoe Forest Health System's Wellness Neighborhood: Rethink Healthy. His presentations included Adult Preventive Health: A Partnership of Wellness Travel Medicine: Basic Advice for the Adventurer Blood Pressure Screening
  • Scott Earley, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology, School of Medicine, Reno campus was featured on a Science Signaling Podcast to discuss a pressure sensitive signaling network that keeps blood flowing to the brain based on his published research article.
  • Miriam E. Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education and professor of pediatrics, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus and co-author, Lyuba Konopasek, were published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, June 2014, for their article, "Snippets: An Innovative Method for Efficient, Effective Faculty Development."
  • Echezona Ezeanolue, M.D., MPH, FAAP, FIDSA, associate pediatrics professor and vice chairman of pediatrics research, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, has three new publications: "Implementation Research: A significant step in the right direction to advance health outcome in Nigeria" in Ann Med Health Sci Res 2014; 4: 291-2; co-author of "Fluconazole Prophylaxis Study Team. Effect of fluconazole prophylaxis on candidiasis and mortality in premature infants: a randomized clinical trial" in JAMA. 2014 May 7; 311(17): 1742-9. PMID: 24794367 and co-author of "Intimate partner violence and HIV infection among women: a systematic review and meta-analysis" published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society 2014, 17:18845. PMID: 24560342.
  • Matthew P. Schreiber, M.D., MHS, FCCP, assistant professor of medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, University of Nevada School of Medicine, co-author of a paper, "Corticosteroids and transition to delirium in patients with acute lung in injury" was featured in several news stories including lead research article in American Thoracic Society Morning Minute, lead in a Critical Care Smart Brief by the Society for Critical Care Medicine, Medscape and featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Schreiber was also an invited lecturer at the Johns Hopkins Delirium Consortium on the topic.
  • Gigi Guizado de Nathan, B.A., coordinator of simulation education, School of Medicine. Las Vegas campus was featured in a news story about a Standardized Patient project that she collaborated with UNLV School of Nursing faculty based on their manuscript, "titled "Simulation Using Standardized Patients as a Learning Strategy for Psychiatric Nursing Students." It has been accepted to be published by the International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship.
  • Vani Dandolu, M.D., MPH, MBA, chair and residency program director, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, received a $50,000 grant from Astellas Scientific and Medical Affairs Inc., to conduct clinical study protocol for research entitled "Gender and BMI-specific Anticholinergic persistence and adherence in Overactive bladder patients."

Faculty and Staff

Jennifer Bennett
Jennifer Bennett, MPH, Nevada AIDS Education and Training Director

Bennett named Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center director

Jennifer Bennett, MPH, has been named the new director of the Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC). In this role, she will oversee all center activities, ensuring that an ongoing series of educational programs, events, conferences, technical assistance and capacity building support regarding clinical care and services for people with HIV/AIDS, are available throughout Nevada. Read more about Jennifer.

Mary Shultz
Mary Shultz, Savitt Medical Library Director

Shultz joins Savitt Medical Library as director

Welcome to new Savitt Medical Library Director, Mary Shultz. She comes to join the School of Medicine Library team from University of Illinois at Chicago, Urbana regional site where she served as Regional Head Librarian & Associate Professor. Schultz will oversee the medical library operations and programs on both the Reno and Las Vegas campuses. She can be reached at

Social Work alum creates non-profit to help youth

Lynette Eddy, M.S.W., graduate of the School of Social Work, was featured on KTVN Channel 2 News in a story about The Eddy House, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping young adult males who have aged-out of the foster care program, make a successful transition to independence. While Lynette was in the MSW program, her husband died. She used the money from the death benefits to start a residential program for young men who have aged out of foster care. Z Pies is the restaurant she developed to support the residence house. Z Pies also provides job-preparation opportunities for the residents: they interview and work at Z Pies to get work experience and build a resume. Z-Pie raised $14,000 for the Eddy House. Read full story.

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