Noteworthy News

Noteworthy News

May 2014

Honors and Awards

Scholars in Health Literacy and Aging receive recognition from Nevada senators

Judith A. Sugar, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Community Health Sciences, Jennifer Bennett, MPH, manager of AIDS Education and Training, School of Medicine and Michelle Rachal, MLIS, Knowledge Center received recognition from Senator Heller and Senator Reid's district representatives for their participation and completion of the Nevada Geriatric Education Consortium's interprofessional faculty development program, Scholars in Health Literacy and Aging. They were honored and recognized at Sanford Center for Aging's Scholars in Aging celebration held April 29, 2014.

Resident wins national poster competition

Faisal Siddiqui (PGY-3) received top honors in the research category of the national poster competition of the American College of Physicians national meeting for his abstract "Implementation of sepsis protocol and effect on mortality in patients admitted with severe sepsis in ICU". Resident Bjorn Flora (PGY2) also presented a clinical poster and Faisal Siddiqui, Sunayana Reddy, Raheel Islam competed in the doctors Dilemma competition representing Nevada in the semi-finals.

School of Community Health Sciences students debut documentary about work and studies in Kenya

An on-campus film screening was held in April of a documentary, Inspire Hope, that highlights the work of the School of Community Health Sciences students from their recent trip to Kenya. The students worked with the Samburu Girls Foundation on interventions related to female genital mutilation, child marriage, and beading practices as part of an international engagement course offered during the winter break.

This documentary will now be entered into film festivals throughout the nation. On this trip, the students had the opportunity to work with executive director Josephine Kulea, who was named United Nations Person of the Year 2013 in Kenya. To join an international engagement course offered through the School of Community Health Sciences or to learn more about the Samburu Girls Foundation, please contact Gerold Dermid Gray at

Department of Psychiatry receives approval for new fellowship program

The Psychiatry Residency Review Committee has approved the application for a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship for the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine in Las Vegas. The official start date is July 1, 2014, when the first entering class begins. The fellowship is two years long, and is approved for two fellows in each year of training. Lisa Durette, M.D., will serve as Fellowship Training Director.

Ezeanolue re-appointed to national PCORI Advisory Board

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 re-appointed to the Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) Advisory Board for 2014-2016.

Hogan and Wilson named to China-USA Collaborative Allergy/Immunology Education and Research Network faculty

Mary Beth Hogan, M.D., professor of pediatrics and chief of allergy/immunology and Nevin W. Wilson, M.D., chair, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus along with Dr. Zhao at Virginia Commonwealth University have become the founding United States faculty in the China-USA Collaborative Allergy/Immunology Educational and Research Network. The goal of this network is to establish a didactic curriculum for Chinese clinicians wishing to further their allergy exposure while accessing advanced education through programs at both Wenzhou Medical University and the Yuying and Shanghai Children's Hospitals. Dr. Hogan has also been named director of allergy curriculum-USA with the goal of establishing a complete China based didactic allergy education. In addition the collaborative has a long-term goal of supporting observational allergy studies the School of Medicine in conjunction with an established ongoing allergy observation program at Virginia Commonwealth University to broaden Chinese candidates allergy education.

Resident Research Days winners announced

Congratulations to our 2014 winners in the annual Resident Research Days competition, held March 26 in Reno and April 3 in Las Vegas as the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

In the clinical research category in Las Vegas, Shawna Morrissey took first place for her presentation "Effectiveness of Once a Day Enoxaparin for VTE Prophylaxis in the Critically Ill Trauma Patient A Pilot Study;" Jennifer Mitchell took second place for "A New Technique of Virtual Modeling of Individual Patient Airways in Obstructive Sleep Apnea;" Andrew Silver placed third for "Acute Pavement Burns: A Unique Subset of Burn Injuries - A Five-Year Review of Resource Utilization and Cost Impact" and Neetu Singh Cheema, came in fourth place for "Falx flash is a new marker for obtaining the true mid-sagittal plane during nuchal translucency assessment."

For the Las Vegas clinical case category, Tina Desai, placed first for "Primary Renal Myoepithelial Carcinoma and Crizotinib Therapy" while Lama Matni took second for "Hypercalcemia-induced by silicone injections in an HIV patient with chronic kidney disease."

In Reno, Justin Remsing came in first place for "Unusual Presentation of Hepatic Adenomas;" Patrick Phillips took second place for "Monophasic Synovial Sarcoma of the Mediastinum Presenting with Cardiac Tamponade;" and Linh Khuu, placed third for "Effectiveness of Hepatitis C Screening as Recommended by the CDC.

Publications and Presentations

  • Salli Vannucci, M.S.N., RN, G.C.P.H., assistant professor, Orvis School of Nursing, has a poster, "The Nevada Experience; Combating Lateral Violence in the Nursing Profession" accepted for presentation at the Fourth International Conference on Violence in the Health Sector in October.
  • Elissa Palmer, M.D., professor and chair, Aron Rogers, D.O., associate professor and Family Medicine residency director, Thomas Hunt, M.D., associate professor, Laura Shaw, M.D., assistant professor, Wade Gaal, M.D., assistant professor, and Joseph Shea, M.D., OB/GYN fellow, Department of Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus trained 2 acute surgical care fellows and 19 nurses from 6 hospitals in Southern Nevada in Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics, a two day evidence-based multidisciplinary training program that prepares health care providers to safely manage obstetric emergencies held in April 2014.
  • Christine Aramburu Alegría, Ph.D., APRN, FNP-BC, assistant professor and DNP Program Coordinator, Orvis School of Nursing presented "Identity and Relationships Following Disclosure of Transgenderism in Long-Term Close Couple Relationships" at the LGBTQA Wellness Conference in Las Vegas in April.
  • Carmen Luraschi-Monjagatta, M.D., critical care and pulmonology specialist, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, co-authored an article, "Update on the Diagnosis of Pulmonary Coccidioidomycosis" that was published in AnnalsATS, Volume 11, Number 2, February 2014.
  • John Fildes, M.D., professor of surgery, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus was the 2014 Preston A. Wade Visiting Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College Department of Surgery in late April. The lectureship was established in 1974 as a reminder of the importance of surgical expertise in the prevention of trauma and in the treatment of the trauma victim.
  • Gregory P. Brown, M.D., residency training director, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, has a published book chapter: "Psychiatric Urgencies" in the Textbook of Urgent Care Medicine, published by Urgent Care Textbooks in 2014.
  • Mary "Tabor" Griswold, Ph.D., health services research analyst, Office of Statewide Initiatives, School of Medicine, presented "A Panel Discussion: Three States Engaged in Health Workforce Data Collection" and "Ten Years of University of Nevada School of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Exit Survey Retention Results" a break out session on 'Finding the right fit: Distribution of health profession graduates" at the American Association of Medical Colleges - Physicians Workforce Conference.
  • Sandar Win M.D., geriatrics fellow, Jyoti Bharti, M.D., geriatrics fellow and Atif Wager, M.D., internal medicine and geriatric faculty, will be presenting their poster on "Hypersexuality in a Patient with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy" at the May 2014 meeting of the American Geriatrics Society.
  • 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, co-authored with Li Y, Marshall CM, Rees HC2, Nunez A, a paper, "Intimate partner violence and HIV infection among women: a systematic review and meta-analysis" in the Journal of the International AIDS Society 2014, 17:18845.
  • Adam Pasternak, D.O., sports medicine fellow, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, presented "A Rare Occurrence of Concurrent Ipsilateral Mallet Thumb and Thumb MCP Joint UCL Injury" at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine national meeting in April 2014.
  • Chad Cowles, Ph.D., postdoctoral scholar, presented ongoing work from the laboratory of Iain Buxton, M.D., chair, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, which demonstrated that TREK-1 a gestationally regulated, stretch activated ion channel could contribute to myometrial relaxation during pregnancy work at the 61st annual meeting of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation symposium hosted by the Preterm Birth International Collaborative. Craig Ulrich, Ph.D., postdoctoral scholar, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Reno campus, also presented work examining the proteome of pregnant human myometrium in different states of pregnancy to identify signaling networks that are disparate in preterm labor. Identification of these signaling networks will lead to a mechanistic understanding of why preterm labor occurs. And, Christian Copley-Salem, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Heather Burkin's laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Reno campus, also presented data on cell signaling events that occur in response to stretch in pregnant human myometrium. Further defining the signaling pathways that regulate stretch-induced activation of the human myometrium may have implications for the treatment of preterm labor.
  • Sandhya Wahi-Gururaj, M.D., MPH, internal medicine residency director, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, co-authored an article, "Usefulness of the ACGME Resident Survey: A View from Internal Medicine Program Directors" that was published in the American Journal of Medicine 2014:127;4;351.
  • Amy Fitch, MPH, lecturer, School of Community Health Sciences, participated in a presentation at the Air & Waste Management Association, Eastern Sierra Chapter meeting on "Bicycling in the Truckee Meadows". She addressed the university's efforts to become a Bicycle Friendly University including a review of the committee's accomplishments and summary of the future goals for the university to designated as a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists in 2015.
  • Vani Dandolu, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., chair and residency program director, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, has had her poster on "Hysterectomy costs by route and implications", accepted for presentation at the 2014 joint AUGS/IUGA Scientific Meeting in Washington D.C.
  • Jennifer M. Hagen, M.D., associate dean for faculty development and Deborah Kuhls, M.D., associate dean for academic affairs, School of Medicine Las Vegas campus presented a poster on ""Faculty Perspectives on Curricular Change: A Tale of Two Institutions with Multiple Campuses" at the American Associations of Medical College, Group on Regional Medical Campuses meeting in April. The poster was a result of collaboration that included School of Medicine faculty: Jennifer M. Hagen, M.D., Deborah Kuhls, M.D., Gwen Shonkwiler, Ph.D., Robbyn Tolles, M.A.T., Nicole Jacobs, Ph.D., Melissa Piasecki, M.D. and University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Psychology faculty: Ramona Houmanfar, Ph.D., and her grad student: Daniel Reimer, M.A. and faculty from Indiana University School of Medicine: Emily C. Walvoord, M.D., Megan Palmer, Ph.D., Mary Ellen Gusic, M.D.
  • Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., professor of family medicine, vice president of health sciences and dean of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, authored two articles, "The Moment of Truth" (Feb 12, 2014;311:573-4) and "The Patient-Centered Medical Home" (Feb 26,2014;211:802-3) that were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • Hidenobu Shigemitsu, M.D.,professor of medicine and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, co-authored an article, "The WASOG Sarcoidosis Organ Assessment Instrument: An Update of a Previous Clinical Tool" that was published in Sarcoidosis Vasculitis and Diffuse Lung Diseases 2014;31;19-27.H

Faculty and Staff Updates

Rebecca Rumbaugh has assumed the newly created role of administrative assistant IV. Rumbaugh will manage the administrative support activities and daily operations of the Office of Institutional Advancement (IA), which includes the Office of Development and the Office of Marketing and Communications. Rumbaugh will assist with project and event coordination for the IA team. "The Development Office has benefited from six years of Rebecca's expert assistance and we look forward to the transfer of her skills to the entire IA group," said Christina Sarman, director of development. "We've seen the level of enthusiasm and expertise Rebecca has brought to her role and are pleased that she will be coordinating projects for all of IA," said Susan Hill, director of marketing and communications.

Alison Netski, M.D., has returned to formal faculty status in her recent hire as both associate program director for the Psychiatry Residency in Las Vegas, and as the director of the medical student clerkship. We welcome Dr. Netski in both of these roles.

Audrey Goodnight has been promoted to director of events for the Division of Health Sciences. In her new capacity, Goodnight will create, manage and implement events of all sizes, including ceremonies, conferences, business meetings, fundraisers, receptions and media events. Large and high-profile events directly related to the VP/Dean will receive her consultation and direction. She will provide protocol guidance for UNSOM and DHS administrators, directors, faculty and staff on the planning and production of events. "Over the past year, Audrey has brought a new level of professionalism and coordination to events across the division," said Sarman. "We look forward to her continued involvement with our success."

Gabel with poster

Gabel places first in national competition

Congratulations to the School of Medicine's Josh Gabel, Class of 2015, who presented his abstract, entitled "Hepatocellular Carcinoma in an HIV/HCV Co-infected Patient: A Call for Increased Surveillance in the Absence of Evident Cirrhosis" took first place in the competition at the national American College of Physicians conference earlier this spring.

His poster exposed gaps in current screening guidelines in the surveillance of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with HIV and HCV co-infections. Within this population of patients, HCC makes up a quarter of all non-AIDs related deaths, and requires co-morbid cirrhosis to recommend screening. A large percentage who develop this malignancy lack co-morbid cirrhosis and thus are prone to worse outcomes due to delayed diagnosis. Josh collaborated with faculty members Ranjit Makar, M.D. and Matthew Schreiber, M.D., both with the internal medicine department in Las Vegas.

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