November 10, 2020 - Combat Veteran Finds Purpose, Passion In Medical School
Veterans Day, Nov. 11, is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served in the Armed Forces to protect those freedoms we cherish. Unlike Memorial Day, which honors those who died while in service, Veterans Day honors all military veterans, in particular, the living veterans among us. Originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the Nov. 11 signing of the agreement that ended World War I, this federal holiday was changed from “Armistice” to “Veterans Day” in 1954. Although the original holiday honored those who perished in service to their country, that changed in 1954 when Congress passed a law establishing Veterans Day and then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower called on U.S. citizens to honor everyone who had ever donned a uniform. At the UNLV School of Medicine, we have men and women, faculty, students and staff who have sacrificed for the common good. We thank them for their service. In today’s newsletter, we feature Johnathan Scott, a second-year medical student who served as a combat infantryman in Afghanistan. A skilled soldier, Johnathan will tell you he also benefited from luck, divine intervention or both -- he once stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device) that fortunately didn’t go off.
November 3, 2020 - Groundbreaking Ceremony For Medical Education Building
As promised by the NHBC and its donors, groundbreaking for our new 135,000 square foot, five-story Medical Education Building took place last week ahead of schedule. We expect the building, situated on Shadow Lane right across from the Valley Hospital Medical Center, will be ready to occupy by summer 2022. It will be, I am sure, a gift that keeps on giving by training the next generation of physicians to serve the needs of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. In addition to providing a space to train physicians, such a gift is a catalyst for attracting new biomedical and pharmaceutical companies to diversify our economy. Of course, we thank the people of the NHBC again and again for their generosity. But we must thank them for more than funding a building. We must thank them for sharing their never-say-die spirit. The donors at NHBC have shown us that the very real needs of the community can be addressed, even when naysayers consistently put up roadblocks. NHBC has realized that working to better the health of the community is an enduring purpose, a call to arms without bloodshed or violence. That spirit is something we should all adopt if we are to move forward to create a better life for our community.
October 27, 2020 - Celebrating Thanksgiving During The COVID-19 Pandemic
When Dr. Barbara Atkinson set out in 2015 to help make a long unrealized community dream a reality -- a school dedicated to transforming healthcare in Southern Nevada -- she was the only employee of what came, two years later, to be known to the public as the UNLV School of Medicine. Along the way, she met women and men who would be financial catalysts for the school, people who invested, for example, millions in student scholarships -- the kind of gracious donors who will break ground on our new medical school building in the Las Vegas Medical District this Thursday. As most of you know, Dr. Atkinson, our planning as well as founding dean and the only woman to head three medical schools in the U.S., transitioned into an advisory role with the school of medicine in 2019. Now a special adviser for community relations and accreditation, she reaches out today to the community with healthy advice for Thanksgiving in the Age of COVID-19.
October 20, 2020 - Nurse Practitioner With Doctorate Added to Formidable Pediatric Team
Nurse Practitioners are a growing part of our UNLV Medicine healthcare team. In today’s newsletter, we introduce you to Dianne Galgana, who recently received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Now a nurse practitioner and lactation counselor with UNLV Medicine Pediatrics, Dr. Galgana is passionate about the care of the medically underserved and maternal lactation support. In her more than 10 years of nursing practice, she has worked in public health and cared in hospitals and clinics for both children and adults. Why did she join UNLV Medicine? “Being in an academic environment,” she says, “promises that modern, high-quality evidence-based practices are consistently utilized every day for the wellbeing of our local communities.”
October 13, 2020 - Research Component Growing With Addition of Talented Biostatistician
The faculty of the UNLV School of Medicine does more than deliver quality medical education to students and compassionate care to patients -- they also undertake painstaking research that seeks to solve the needs of the Nevada population and beyond. The research of our physician-scientists has appeared in peer-reviewed journals ranging from Nature Reviews and the American Journal of Surgery to Cancer Cytopathology. In addition, they have presented their findings on health disparities in Nevada with a focus on breast, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers at prestigious scientific meetings that have included the American Radium Society and the American Society of Radiation Oncology. In today’s newsletter, we focus on the role of a biostatistician on a research team. While little publicized, biostatisticians play a key role in scientific inquiry, helping researchers design studies and make sense of all the data they collect. We're proud to say that Dr. Kavita Batra is now filling such a role at the UNLV School of Medicine.
October 6, 2020 - On Her Way To Becoming a Doctor, Medical Student Cares for Colleagues
With tens of thousands of our fellow Americans dying of COVID-19 and millions more falling ill and losing jobs because of the novel coronavirus, it is not surprising that despair too often takes root among us, and that we have a difficult time acknowledging that there are those who continue to focus on building a better world. But it is happening every day. At the UNLV School of Medicine, for example, generous donors are going forward with financing our new medical school, which will help ensure that Southern Nevada has the physician-scientists necessary to give our citizens a future that offers the best in medicine. Groundbreaking will take place later this month. Our students, including our first class of graduates in May, remain committed to ensuring that people of all ethnic and economic persuasions can receive the best possible healthcare. In today’s newsletter, we focus on one of those students, Laura Wozniak, who plans on making the people of Southern Nevada healthier by applying her skill set of scientific knowledge, compassion, and support.
September 29, 2020 - Dr. Harry Ching Strengthens UNLV Medicine's Already Outstanding ENT Department
Whenever it’s possible at UNLV Medicine, we want to make appointments more convenient for our patients. With that in mind, in mid-November we’re combining our two ear, nose and throat offices. Currently, as many of you know, one office is in Summerlin and the other in Spring Valley. No longer will you have to go to one place for an ENT generalist and another for an ENT surgeon. Our new suite of offices, a kind of one stop shop, will be at 5320 S. Rainbow Blvd, right next to Spring Valley Hospital. And that’s not all that will be new in ENT. In today’s newsletter, we profile a new specialist, Dr. Harry Ching, who’s not only trained in head & neck surgery, but facial plastic surgery as well. This is just one more way that UNLV Medicine is transforming medical care in Las Vegas.
September 22, 2020 - Birth of Baby Brother Ignites Medical Student's Passion to Heal
You often hear from career coaches some form of this observation: Your career decision should be wed to your ultimate purpose in life, and what you do for a living should be a platform to fulfill your purpose. To quote Hegel, “every occupation has reference to some want.” In today’s newsletter, we focus on one of our medical students, Paris Collier, who says a childhood family experience gave her purpose. We’re happy that she’s at the UNLV School of Medicine, working hard to have the platform she needs to make her aspirations a reality.
September 15, 2020 - Talented & Determined Trauma Surgeon Decides To Stay in Las Vegas After Fellowships
In this newsletter, we focus on trauma surgeon Dr. Carmen Flores, who completed both surgical critical care and trauma/acute care fellowships at the UNLV School of Medicine before becoming an assistant professor of surgery at the school earlier this year. A mother of four children, she and her husband have a 15-year-old daughter, 12-year-old boy and 4-year-old twin girls. Dr. Flores believes being a caring mother makes her both a better physician and better surgeon. Make no mistake: She has to be better than good to join the trauma team at UMC, our school’s main training hospital and one of the national leaders in trauma care. National Trauma Data Bank statistics have shown that of those who arrive at Nevada’s only Level 1 trauma center — many with less than a 1 percent chance to live — 96 percent survive and are discharged.
September 1, 2020 - Third Year Medical Student Justin BauzonLead Author of Important Research Article
UNLV School of Medicine third year student Justin Bauzon was in a high school psychology course at Las Vegas’ Advanced Technologies Academy when he says he became “absolutely infatuated with the brain,” the organ Nobel laureate James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA’s structure, called “the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe.”
August 25, 2020 - Staying Balanced During a Pandemic: UNLV Medicine Psychiatrist Dr. Lisa Durette
UNLV Medicine childhood psychiatrist Dr. Lisa Durette, who the media has called on for her expertise on how to handle children forced to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, remembers…
August 18, 2020 - Breaking The Cycle of Poor Diet To Promote Long Lasting Health
Dr. Anne Weisman, Director of Wellness and Integrative Medicine, is overseeing instruction of the culinary medicine curriculum developed by Dr. Timothy Harlan. Harlan is one of the nation's leading authorities on "food as medicine" and has been successful getting more U.S. medical schools to teach food education.
August 11, 2020 - School of Medicine Expanding Foundational Science Faculty
Undergraduate medical education strives to integrate basic science education with its clinical application. Such integration from the initial stage of learning in medical school improves retention of information and facilitates the transfer of knowledge to the clinical setting. Studies argue this point compellingly. Basic sciences, also called “foundational sciences” — including anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology and pharmacology — are a core component of medical curricula, addressing the biological infrastructure of the human body, illness and related treatments. To appropriately integrate basic science content with clinical application is always a challenge, a reason why accomplished faculty in the basic sciences is so important. In today’s newsletter, we briefly introduce you to two new members of our basic science faculty.
August 4, 2020 - UNLV's Dr. Kate Martin Urges Physicians to Expand Empathy, Compassion For Patients with Disabilities
When you read the opinion piece in the current edition of JAMA Neurology by Dr. Kate Martin, our associate dean of graduate medical education, you are not reading about the structure, function and diseases of the nervous system, you are reading about a call to arms without bloodshed or violence, about how Dr. Martin believes our society must make the decision to afford the same dignity and respect to the intellectually and physically disabled — people like her brother, Michael — as it does to those without disabilities. After several years of privately serving alongside her mother as Michael’s advocate on matters ranging from difficulties with healthcare access to challenges with transportation connections (Michael died suddenly last year after a short illness), Dr. Martin’s public advocacy of a socially disadvantaged group is now being spread through a prestigious medical journal and through a “Healthcare Redesign” class she’s created and will teach to UNLV honor students this fall. To learn more about what Dr. Martin is up to, read on.
July 28, 2020 - UNLV Endocrinologist's Key Role During Pandemic Treating Diabetes, Conducting Research
The endocrine system is a series of glands that produce and secrete hormones that are used to control many different bodily functions, including growth, sexual development, respiration, metabolism, reproduction, sensory perception and movement. One hormone, insulin, which regulates many metabolic processes that provide cells with needed energy, has always received major public attention — largely because too little effective insulin leads to diabetes. Diabetes affects 30 million Americans and increases the risk of end organ damage including cardiovascular disease and kidney and nerve damage. In this Age of COVID-19, we are also learning that people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have a much higher chance of experiencing serious complications, and even death, from the virus. In today’s newsletter, we profile Dr. Kenneth Izuora, our chief of the division of endocrinology. Dr. Izuora anticipates research breakthroughs coming in the management of diabetes that may impact complications seen with COVID-19.
July 21, 2020 - Rare Affliction That Affects Children May Be Related to COVID-19
Physicians know that colleagues are an important source of knowledge, that the give and take between them on cases often makes a meaningful difference. Time-pressed physicians wish they could reach out even more than they do.
With that in mind, our chair of pediatrics, Dr. Evelyn Montalvo Stanton -- she used what she learned from other physician/scientists at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons to become internationally known for her commitment to children with breathing problems -- has begun a UNLV Medicine pediatrics newsletter that will deal with everything from infectious diseases to pulmonology. It will be sent to pediatricians and family physicians in the Las Vegas Valley.
The first edition, with observations by our pediatric infectious disease specialist, Dr. David Di John, deals with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, which is associated with COVID-19. Dr. Di John’s research during the height of the AIDS epidemic in New York was so well respected that his work was published in the Journal of Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal and Clinical Pediatrics. Like Dr. Montalvo Stanton, he hopes that the newsletter will serve as a catalyst for even more impactful dialogue between physicians in Southern Nevada.
In today’s newsletter, we trust you’ll get a good sense of why this new newsletter is important.
July 14, 2020 - New Class of Medical Students Arrives on Campus The Class of 2024
It is that time of year again when we welcome the newest members to our profession. The new first-year medical students, our fourth cohort, began their orientation on Monday July 13th. Part of our welcome is the White Coat Ceremony that has become a rite of passage for first year students. The ceremony will welcome the Class of 2024, largely in front of friends and family, to the healthcare practice, providing a powerful humanistic emphasis on compassion in combination with scientific excellence. The ceremony, where each student will receive their first white medical coat, serves to emphasize that the donning of the coat does not imply privilege, but rather the responsibility to put patients before self. While COVID-19 may change how the White Coat Ceremony is held in September, the ceremony and its meaning will go forward. Additionally, our White Coat Campaign 2020 will kick off as a fundraiser not only for white coats, but for important scholarships. Readers of this newsletter will find out during the week of July 20 by letter or email how they can become donors. To learn more today about this opportunity to make a difference, please call Annette Carter, senior director of development at 702-895-0211 or email her at email@example.com.
July 7, 2020 - UNLV School of Medicine Surgeon In High Demand Performing Life Changing Procedure
In today’s newsletter, we focus on Dr. Annabelle Barber and one of her patients, Joan Anderson. Dr. Barber is a professor of surgery and chief, division of endocrine and gastrointestinal surgery for the UNLV School of Medicine. Dr. Barber’s research interests include therapies for gastroparesis, an uncommon disorder that slows or stops the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. Gastroparesis can be due to several causes with diabetes being the most commonly known. For three decades, Ms. Anderson suffered with the symptoms of gastroparesis that include nausea, vomiting, feeling full after just a few bites, bloating, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and change in blood sugar. Complications of gastroparesis include severe dehydration, malnutrition and blood sugar fluctuations. Less than two years ago, Dr. Barber performed a surgical intervention that allows Ms. Anderson to enjoy life once again.
June 30, 2020 - Local Student Toyokazu "Chris" Endo Helping Lead UNLV School of Medicine Charter Class Toward Historic Graduation
It was in July 2017 that our first class of students -- all of whom received full scholarships from our generous donors -- began their medical school studies. Today, these students, all with ties to Nevada, are less than a year away from their May graduation. Much has happened, including an ongoing global pandemic, during their three years on campus. We’re well on the way to full accreditation of our school and our public-spirited philanthropists, who want to see healthcare transformed in Southern Nevada, have pledged the resources necessary to begin the building of an ultra-modern new facility in 2021 that will not only house the UNLV School of Medicine, but also serve as a galvanizing force for the continued growth of the Las Vegas Medical District. As our students enter the home stretch toward graduation, they are looking ahead to further residency training in their chosen specialties. In today’s newsletter, we focus on the president of the class of 2021, native Las Vegan Toyokazu “Chris” Endo, who soon will undergo at least six more years of training to become a cardiothoracic surgeon that Southern Nevadans can count on for surgical excellence. We congratulate Chris and all of his classmates for their commitment to caring for our community.
June 23, 2020 - UNLV Pediatrician Working to Break Down Cultural, Language Barriers
Tuesday -- the day you expect the UNLV School of Medicine Making the Rounds newsletter to hit your inbox. Yet today you’ve obviously noticed a different newsletter, Transforming Healthcare, about our clinical practice, UNLV Medicine. Making the Rounds isn’t going away, it’s just that on the fourth Tuesday of each month we’ve now added content about the people and programs at our 16 clinics that serve Southern Nevada. In today’s UNLV Medicine newsletter, we focus on one of our newest physicians at our pediatric clinic, Dr. Mayra Alejandra Jones-Betancourt. As you will see, this pediatrician’s personal story serves as yet another exclamation point to Nelson Mandela’s observation, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." In addition to seeing patients and teaching students as an assistant professor of pediatrics, Dr. Jones-Betancourt mentors Latino students at UNLV who dream of one day becoming a physician. Given her own ability to overcome challenges, chances are she’ll help make some students’ dreams come true.
June 16, 2020 - Plastic Surgery Resident Committed to Changing Lives
It is commonly perceived and misunderstood that the field of plastic surgery only entails cosmetic enhancements. Yet plastic surgery is a surgical specialty intimately involved with the reconstruction of facial and body tissue due to illness, trauma, or birth disorders. As such, plastic surgeons restore and improve function, appearance, and quality of life. In today’s newsletter, we feature one of our plastic surgery residents, Dr. Mitchell Lyons. He witnessed the way in which a plastic surgeon helped his sister and now he wants to devote his life to improving the quality of life for both children and adults.
June 9, 2020 - Patrick Thomas Rose Endowment Will Have Lasting Impact on Future Medical Students
Patrick Thomas Rose -- for whom an endowed scholarship will be named at the UNLV School of Medicine -- was 20-years-old when a series of massive explosions at Henderson’s Pacific Engineering & Production Company (PEPCON) forever changed his life.
A NASA case study found that the three May 4, 1988 explosions were the largest domestic, non-nuclear detonations in recorded history, with two of the biggest blasts measuring 3.0 and 3.5 on the Richter scale. Researchers even compared the blowout, which could be felt throughout the Las Vegas Valley, to a 1-kiloton air-blast nuclear blast.
June 2, 2020 - $150M New Medical Education Building Proceeding Despite Pandemic
When I recently saw the artistic renderings of the building that will house the UNLV School of Medicine, I couldn’t help thinking about the philanthropy that's making it possible. The funding, most of which will come from the Engelstad Foundation and the Lincy Foundation, with additional gifts from unnamed donors, reminded me of something William James, the philosopher/psychologist who trained as a physician, once said: “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” With that in mind, I want to say thank you to these foundations and other donors who are leaving a lasting legacy of better healthcare to the people of Nevada. They are genuine workers on behalf of humanity. In today’s newsletter, you get a sense of how their philanthropy will play out in the future.
May 26, 2020 - School of Medicine Partnering With State: Helping Healthcare Workers Deal With Stress
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to unfold, strategic partnerships within the medical community are more important than ever. A “do-it-alone” approach in dealing with a virus where there is no data to reference can cost not only time, but precious lives. At the UNLV School of Medicine, we are committed to harnessing the strengths and abilities from different corners of the healthcare ecosystem. That’s why we recently reached out to Vitalant, the blood collection nonprofit, and University Medical Center, to collect blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients so it could be distributed to those who are critically ill with the virus. If someone has a viral infection and gets better, they make neutralizing antibodies to the virus that can help fight infection — the donation of their plasma can strengthen an ill person’s immune system. In today’s newsletter, we talk about another partnership the medical school has entered into — this one with the state of Nevada. It’s a partnership that we believe can make a difference in the lives of healthcare workers who are caring for those stricken with the novel coronavirus.
May 19, 2020 - First Year Student Fadi Azar: Making the Most of His Opportunities
With each passing day during this COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing yet again just how essential the practice of medicine and conduct of scientific research is to the entire world. At the UNLV School of Medicine, we are preparing the next generation of physicians to face the crises of tomorrow. In today’s newsletter, we introduce you to Fadi Azar, a first year medical student who has not let the pandemic, which has forced him and other students to take classes remotely, from pursuing his studies with remarkable energy and passion. Make no mistake: Fadi wants to join the ranks of those selfless healthcare professionals who serve others in times of great need.
May 12, 2020 - ICU Discoveries to Become Part of National Study
Dr. Rajany Dy is a UNLV School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine who’s seen COVID-19 patients die in the UMC intensive care unit that she was sure would live. She’s seen others live she just knew wouldn’t make it. To Dr. Rajany Dy, who’s right far more often than she’s wrong, COVID-19 is a coronavirus so novel that the only thing purely predictable about it is its utter unpredictability.
May 5, 2020 - Medical Student Pulls Double Duty at Curbside Testing She's Also a Lieutenant in Nevada Air National Guard
During her K-12 years, Caleena Longworth wore hand me downs from other families. Her mother made her change into black and white clothing after school so she wouldn’t be mistaken for wearing the colors of a gang. Food stamps put food on her plate. At night, she slept in her grandpa’s small RV. Overcoming the crushing effects of poverty are at the heart of the American Dream. It’s what Caleena, a third year medical school student at the UNLV School of Medicine is doing. Not only did she graduate college and get accepted to medical school, but Caleena is also an officer in the Nevada Air National Guard. Caleena has been in charge of the Guard’s presence at the UNLV Medicine curbside testing program for COVID-19, the leading testing center in the state. In today’s newsletter, we feature Caleena, who’s determined to make the world a better place.
April 28, 2020 - Emergency Medicine Physicians Talk About Lessons Learned During COVID -19 Pandemic
Able to handle almost anything — that’s the way we think about top urban emergency departments. If you’re in dire need, if your primary care doctor can't see you, it’s frequently where you end up. They’re the front doors to hospitals as well as the safety nets. That people suspected of having COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 200 Nevadans and more than 200,000 people around the world, end up in emergency departments is no surprise. Within minutes of the patients’ arrival, emergency physicians and their colleagues go to work on the front lines, treating and testing for a disease no one has seen before. In today’s newsletter, six UNLV School of Medicine emergency medicine physicians, who work in UMC’s Emergency Department, share what they’ve learned about the virus, people, themselves, and their colleagues.
April 14, 2020 - ICU Physician Discusses Daily Efforts To Help Critical COVID-19 Patients
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to grow rapidly in Nevada as testing expands. The Southern Nevada Health District reported the first case on March 11. Now, a month later, there are about 3,000 reported cases and 144 deaths in Nevada, 100 of them in Clark County. In today’s newsletter, we feature Dr. Kush Modi, a UNLV School of Medicine assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine who remains on the front lines in the fight against a virus that has now taken the lives of more than 120,000 people around the world. In a wide-ranging interview, Dr. Modi reveals that healthcare providers in intensive care units — mindful of the fact that hospitalized patients can’t be visited by loved ones because of the virulence of the disease — have made it a top priority to regularly stay in touch with anxious family members.
April 7, 2020 - Medical Students Helping Calm a Nervous Public During Pandemic
As COVID-19 hits Southern Nevada, members of the UNLV School of Medicine/UNLV Medicine healthcare team work on the frontlines to mitigate its effects. They provide curbside testing for the novel coronavirus, treat patients 24-7 in ICUs at hospitals across the Las Vegas Valley, and answer thousands of phone calls in our contact center each day from frightened Las Vegans. In today’s newsletter, we focus on the contact center, where so many of our students not only make curbside testing appointments for individuals who meet CDC guidelines, but they also provide the kind of caring, evidence-based information that thankful callers say has helped them deal with the anxiety spawned by a viral pandemic. The UNLV School of Medicine team is working to help Las Vegas deal with the current crisis. I salute you.
March 31, 2020 - Match Day: New Wave of Residents Signed and Sealed
It is time for me to pass the UNLV School of Medicine leadership torch to Dr. Marc Kahn. He’ll be a fine Dean -- he helped make the Tulane University School of Medicine one of the nation’s top medical schools. It was six months ago when I was appointed by President Meana to lead our school until a new permanent Dean was selected to replace Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson, who stepped down to take an advisory position. The work I have done over the past months is some of the most rewarding of my life. I became even more aware of how committed students, faculty and staff are to ensuring that our school, which first opened its doors in 2017, brings a better healthcare future to the people of Southern Nevada. I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to help shape your talents and energy toward that noble goal. When I learned recently Dr. Elissa Palmer climbed a ladder so a long haul trucker could be examined in his cab for COVID-19 as part of our UNLV Medicine curbside testing program, I wasn’t surprised. We do what is necessary to get the job done. I now go back full time as Chair of the Department of Surgery, where I will work with some of our new residents, the subject of today’s newsletter. It has been a privilege serving as your Dean and will continue to be an honor to work with you.
March 24, 2020 - UNLV Medicine Conducting Curbside COVID-19 Testing
Curbside COVID-19 testing. That’s what the UNLV School of Medicine and its clinical arm, UNLV Medicine, now have underway in the Las Vegas Medical District. It’s a large undertaking, but it’s why we’re here -- to serve the community. Our faculty are involved. So are our students. And our staff. It’s all hands on deck for medical professionals when a crisis like we’re now facing strikes. We don’t run from it, we run toward it. In today’s newsletter, you’ll find out more about testing for a contagion that will never infect the iron will of Southern Nevada.
March 17, 2020 - Dr. Deborah Kuhls: Next President of Clark County Medical Society
Even as the coronavirus poses a temporary threat to public health, there are still positive things happening in our community that make us realize that the future of healthcare in Nevada is far from being negative. We are now just about a year away from graduating our first class of physicians, which surely will be a catalyst for a more robust practice of medicine in Southern Nevada. When I learned recently that the UNLV School of Medicine’s Dr. Deborah Kuhls, an accomplished surgeon/researcher/medical director/professor, had been named Clark County Medical Society President-Elect, I couldn’t have been happier for her — and for the entire Southern Nevada community. As many of you know, Dr. Kuhls and I have worked together at the UMC Trauma Center for a good many years. She’s the consummate professional, one who truly believes Nevada’s citizens and visitors deserve the best healthcare available, who appreciates how committed physicians are to this goal. Make no mistake: Beginning with her new presidency later this year, she’ll use her position to promote the interests of patients, physicians, residents, fellows and future physicians. In today’s newsletter, we profile Dr. Kuhls, whose work ethic proves the proverbial, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”
March 10, 2020 - In the Age of COVID-19: How an Infectious Disease Doc and Family Live Their Lives
Dr. David Di John, who ran an HIV clinic in New York during the height of the AIDS crisis, hopes public awareness about good hygiene will carry on long after the coronavirus scare ends.
March 3, 2020 - From Ethiopian Shepherd to Medical School, Tesfaye Yadete Considers Himself "Luckiest Person Alive"
In today’s newsletter, you’ll meet Tesfaye Yadete, a second year UNLV School of Medicine student who hails from Ethiopia. Now 40 years of age, Tesfaye and his lovely wife, Halee, have three beautiful young children. Tesfaye says he’ll always live his life by a principle — more blessings come from giving than receiving — that was instilled in him by the wisest man he ever met, his father, who didn’t have the chance to go to school. What is so wonderful about Tesfaye’s story is that because other people have felt similarly, his dream of becoming a physician should soon be a reality.
February 25, 2020 - Celebrating Black History Month at UNLV School of Medicine
When President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, he called upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” In today’s newsletter, we are reminded, as a number of our African American students and faculty came together during Black History Month, to talk about African American contributions to medicine, that history is as much about today as it is about the past.
February 18, 2020 - Delivering Compassionate Care to Couples and Families in Crisis: Dr. Brandon Eddy
We have become increasingly aware of the fact that there is a fundamental linkage between mental and physical health. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health this way: “As a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity...there is no health without mental health.” In today’s newsletter we feature Dr. Brandon Eddy, an assistant professor in the UNLV School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, who became a mental health professional after seeing how physical health challenges can lead to a paralyzing emotional breakdown.
February 11, 2020 - Law School Graduate James Lovett Expanding his Knowledge Base By Diving into Medical School
It happens too often — healthcare policy/healthcare reform measures hammered out with too little input from physicians. It’s possible to read a front page story, or see a story leading the evening TV news about possible changes in medical insurance coverage, and find comments from public officials, patients, and business leaders but nothing from physicians, despite their being on the front lines of care. Doctors can provide valuable insight into the day-to-day operations of the nation’s healthcare machine. As one exasperated physician said, “Would you want to fly in a plane with no input from a pilot?” In today’s newsletter, we feature a UNLV School of Medicine student who’s preparing himself to participate convincingly in the public debate on healthcare.
February 4, 2020 - New Procedures at UNLV Medicine ENT Helping Allergy Sufferers Enjoy Spring
Dr. Tina Elkins, an assistant professor in the UNLV School of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, sees virtually every kind of ear, nose and throat (ENT) problem in her general UNLV Medicine ENT clinical practices at 5830 S. Rainbow Blvd and 3150 N. Tenaya Way. That’s good news for our students and residents who are hungry to learn all they can from her about ENT. In today’s newsletter, Dr. Elkins, who ran a private ENT practice in Texas for 14 years, shares some disturbing news on head and neck cancers and some positive observations on a procedure that can now help Southern Nevadans overcome chronic sinusitis.
January 28, 2020 - Cancer Diagnosis Not Stopping: Second Year Medical Student Addison "Addy" Guida
It is, of course, much easier said than done — to not let anything, not even the most serious of illnesses, derail our dreams, our goals. Franklin Roosevelt overcame polio to become one of our most memorable presidents. Stephen Hawking, who lived to age 76 despite being diagnosed at 21 with a rare motor neurone disease that left him wheelchair bound and only able to speak through a speech-generating device, became a renowned theoretical physicist. Thankfully, there are other inspirational examples. One of them, Addison “Addy” Guida, is a student at the UNLV School of Medicine. Since 2016 Addy has twice had to overcome a cancer that nearly killed her, but she refuses to give up on her goal of becoming an emergency medicine physician. In today’s newsletter, we share the story of this remarkable young woman, who says having been on the other side of the stethoscope will help her better empathize with patients during a frightening, vulnerable time of their lives.
January 21, 2020 - School of Medicine's Community Faculty: Volunteer Educators Share Wealth of Experience
They are among the individuals shaping the education of future physicians of Nevada — the community faculty physicians who volunteer their time at the UNLV School of Medicine. Whether it’s providing guidance to residents in the clinical setting, supervising medical student rotations, teaching in our classrooms or performing important scientific research, our community faculty contribute immensely to our mission of delivering high-quality innovative education, research and superb clinical care to meet the health care needs of the growing and diverse population of Nevada. In today’s newsletter, we learn more about this volunteerism and introduce a trio of community faculty physicians who are making a vital contribution both to the medical school and to healthcare in Southern Nevada.
January 14, 2020 - Annette Carter : Philanthropy Could Take UNLV School of Medicine to New Heights
What can make the difference between a good and great medical school is the availability of resources to attract the best students, recruit and retain the best faculty and support innovative research. While the State of Nevada and government at every level has worked deliberately to ensure that the UNLV School of Medicine has a stable foundation to build on, we have already seen how important caring and generous donors are to our future -- they have contributed scholarship support to our students and have committed to providing a new building for our medical school. In today’s newsletter, we feature our new fundraising professional, Annette Carter, whose career has already shown she has the ability to forge partnerships with foundations and donors that allow medical institutions to move in important new directions rapidly and seamlessly.
January 7, 2020 - Information Technology Supports Innovation at UNLV School of Medicine
At the UNLV School of Medicine and our clinical arm, UNLV Medicine, we know we can count on our information technology professionals to contribute to the delivery of leading edge patient care, education, and research by providing a strong foundation of technology across all of the school’s systems. One reason for our confidence in our IT department is the subject of today’s feature, Cam Johnson, our director of IT operations. He sets his expectations high. Every person who interviews for an IT position is told by Cam the three things it takes to be a valuable member of the IT team..1. Be on time. 2. Be prepared. 3. Do what it takes to get the job done. That, my friends, is a prescription for success -- and not just for IT professionals.
December 10, 2019 - The Vaccination Debate: UNLV School of Medicine Director of Bioethics Dr. Johan Bester has some thoughts
In the year 2000, the World Health Organization declared measles eliminated in the United States. That meant widespread use of the two-shot measles vaccine had prevented continuous circulation of the virus here. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the U.S. has already recorded more than 1,200 cases of the disease this year -- more than any year since 1992 -- as measles cases continue to rise worldwide. A National Institutes of Health report found that anti-vaccination sentiment has grown fast in the U.S. as parents shun immunization for their children for religious or philosophical reasons, or fears -- debunked by medical studies -- that such vaccines cause autism. In today’s Making the Rounds, we examine this public health threat with the help of Dr. Johan Bester, the UNLV School of Medicine Director of Bioethics who is regularly called on for his expertise on this subject by nationwide media outlets that include Newsweek magazine, National Public Radio and the Washington Post.
December 3, 2019 - Graduate Medical Education - A Critical Component to the UNLV School of Medicine
It won’t be long until the young men and women who comprise our 2017 charter class — they’re scheduled to graduate in 2021 — take the next step in their medical careers with graduate medical education (GME). Yes, as my fellow physicians well know, on the day our students graduate from the UNLV School of Medicine, they can’t throw their graduation caps in the air, walk into a hospital, and start practicing medicine. Years of specialized training are ahead of them. In today’s issue of Making the Rounds, Dr. Kate Martin, our associate dean for GME, provides valuable insight into post graduate training, an exciting and challenging time when graduates of medical schools develop their clinical skills and define their identities as physicians.
November 19, 2019 - The Military Connection - 3rd Year Medical Student Caleena Longworth Has the Right Stuff
Feel good stories — the positive slices of life which fuel the belief that a combination of talent, commitment, attitude, passion and just plain hard work can overcome the crippling effects of crushing poverty and intolerance — are at the heart of the American Dream. Today’s feature on UNLV School of Medicine third-year student Caleena Longworth — her enlistment in the military helped pay for undergraduate school and she’s gone on to become a First Lieutenant in the Nevada Air National Guard — is such a story. While a successful outcome to a medical crisis as a youngster spawned her dream of becoming a physician, it is her grit, her doggedness of pushing forward when times get tough, that is turning the dream of this military officer/veteran into a reality.
November 12, 2019 - The Right Man for the Job: UNLV School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Surgery Dr. Douglas Fraser Named Chief of Trauma at UMC
When Dr. Douglas Fraser was named UMC Trauma Center Chief & Medical Director earlier this month, I couldn’t help but recall when he first came to Las Vegas about six years ago. He had recently completed a general surgery residency through Rutgers New Jersey Medical School with flying colors and was interviewing to become a fellow in the Acute Care Surgery Fellowship program in Las Vegas. I was then the UMC Trauma Center Chief & Medical Director. When I asked Doug what he saw in his future, he said he wanted my job, to be the head of trauma. I appreciated his confidence. It wasn’t long before I saw his talent in the operating room. In 2016 I told the Las Vegas Review Journal he was hired for our trauma team because he had the ability to handle the most difficult cases with “great calm and clarity...his technical skills are really refined.” In the last three years, his technical skills have become even more refined, as have his leadership and teaching skills. I hope you enjoy learning more about Dr. Douglas Fraser in today's "Making the Rounds.
November 5, 2019 - From Centennial High to Johns Hopkins and Georgetown, All-American Athlete William Gravley Excelling in Medical School
Medicine has a noble tradition of self-sacrifice, of putting the needs of patients first, of genuinely working on behalf of humanity. That, of course, is something to be cherished both inside and outside the medical profession. Yet if carried too far, if physicians fail to care for themselves, they become unable to provide excellent care for others. To help combat the problem of “physician burnout,” the school’s wellness program, which includes counseling and psychological services, is aimed at providing students with the skills to manage stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle while in school and as a physician. Activities such as yoga, tai chi, meditation and nutrition and exercise guidance are offered. In today’s feature, we highlight a member of our 2017 charter class, William “Billy” Gravley, an All-American swimmer as an undergrad at Johns Hopkins University, a young man who appreciates the wisdom of the Greek philosopher Thales, who observed, “A sound mind in a sound body.
October 29, 2019 - UNLV School of Medicine Generating Impactful Research on Treatment, Patient Care in Southern Nevada and Beyond
In academic medicine, the very essence of the UNLV School of Medicine, education, research and clinical care are combined to provide the best possible medical experience — where cutting edge technologies and the latest resources and therapies are incorporated into compassionate quality care. When it comes to medical advancements through research in laboratories, at the bedside, and in the community, academic physicians in the U.S. lead the way. In today’s feature, we discuss some of our research accomplishments and highlight our recent Second Annual UNLV School of Medicine Research Forum as well as a workshop on the conduct of clinical trials — both directed by our vice dean of research, Dr. Parvesh Kumar.
October 22, 2019 - Young Doctor Inspired by his Parents Now helping Save Lives at UNLV School of Medicine
We’re understandably proud of the community outreach our students do in the community. You can find our students volunteering to help veterans, serving with service organizations such as Catholic Charities, learning how medical care is carried out in clinics for our most vulnerable populations. Yes, connecting with the community, which is actually part of the school’s curriculum, is in the DNA of the UNLV School of Medicine. Our connection doesn’t stop with our students. For example, just recently Dr. Kush Modi, an assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine, made a presentation to the local chapter of the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) support group. His explanations for managing an incurable condition suffered by 100,000 Americans — IPF can cause permanent scarring in the lungs, making it progressively more difficult to breathe -- was so well received by both University Medical Center respiratory therapists and Southern Nevadans with the condition, that the group has already asked him back for future presentations. In today’s feature, we profile Dr. Modi, who also serves as associate program director of our pulmonary and critical care fellowships, which give physicians the training to specialize in two highly technical areas of medicine.
October 15, 2019 - Medical Student Committed to Helping the Underserved
Gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, culture, socioeconomic background -- diversity comes in many forms. The UNLV School of Medicine understands that bringing people of various backgrounds and experiences together can generate perspectives and ideas that others may not have ever considered or been aware of -- ideas that can help lead to better healthcare in the 21st century. In today’s feature on first year student Sami Mesgun, whose parents came to the U.S. from Africa after their lives were upended when the Eritrean war of independence intensified, we get a better sense of why this Las Vegas native wants to ensure that underserved immigrant and minority communities have equitable access to healthcare.
October 8, 2019 - Financial Advisor Randy Garcia Adds Value to UNLV School of Medicine Community
In working to help meet the healthcare needs of Southern Nevada, the school of medicine continues to build strong partnerships. The collaborations with entities such as the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, area hospitals, civic and government leaders and donors help ensure our students receive the necessary training to apply best practices to enhance health equity and quality of life. They also have the opportunity to join in cutting-edge clinical and translational research. Fortunately, partnerships have a way of serving as a catalyst for even more relationships. So it was with Randy Garcia, an independent financial advisor, who stepped up to provide a medical student with a full scholarship, and introduced the medical school to Dr. Helga Pizio, a leading ophthalmologist in Las Vegas. A friend of Mr. Garcia’s, she mentioned to him how a department at the medical school focused on training practitioners in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders could help the community. He facilitated a meeting for her with former Dean Barbara Atkinson -- I have subsequently met with Helga as well -- and we continue to talk about how her dynamic vision can become a reality within our academic framework. As you’ll learn in today’s newsletter, Mr. Garcia works to enhance the entire UNLV and Las Vegas community.
October 1, 2019 - First Year Student Jabre Millon Reflects on his Journey to Medical School
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." That quotation has been attributed to three different philosophers -- Socrates, Plato and Philo -- as well as the Scottish writer, Ian Maclaren, the pen name for Rev. Dr. John Watson, a minister of the Free Church of Scotland. While there may well be a debate over who first delivered the aphorism, there is little dispute about what it means: Given that in medicine, or in life, for that matter, we often don’t have a good sense of what people are really going through, what they’re trying to cope with or what life experiences weigh upon them, it is best to respond to someone’s questionable behavior -- anger, evasion, and coldness immediately come to mind -- with kindness. You just never know how big of an impact a small gesture of kindness can have. In today’s feature, first year UNLV School of Medicine student Jabre Millon makes that important point as he shares a personal struggle that, for a time, turned his life upside down.
September 24, 2019 - UNLV School of Medicine’s Multi-Specialty Resident Cadaver Lab & Product Training Session Provides Valuable Surgical Experience
With our virtual anatomy lab, UNLV School of Medicine students have 24 hour access to vibrant technology on large touch screens that allows them to examine every part of the human body, all the way down to the cellular level. With this multi-dimensional imagery, they can strip away the skin to examine tissue, bones and organs from every angle imaginable. For the medical student, this is an extraordinary way to learn advanced anatomy. Each year, we supplement the education of our medical residents by offering a multi-specialty cadaver lab that allows them to sharpen their surgical skills. I was pleased to see the enthusiasm of our faculty physicians as they demonstrated various surgical procedures and allowed the residents to get valuable hands on experience. Their passion to heal, teach and learn was on display all around the room. I hope you enjoy reading about some of the important work being done, all part of the effort to make the UNLV School of Medicine a world class center for medical education.
September 17, 2019 - UNLV Medicine Ackerman Autism Center Hosts Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Event
The UNLV Ackerman Autism Center, and its multidisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists, speech and behavioral therapists, provides a standard of care that draws well-deserved plaudits from patients/families, medical professionals and public officials. What we should never forget is that autism spectrum disorder is only one of many conditions seen at the Center -- remember, its full name is the UNLV Medicine Ackerman Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Solutions -- where everything is done to provide a comprehensive diagnosis, treatment plan, follow-up care and necessary support services. Today’s feature was inspired by the Center’s recent public outreach program on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, a group of conditions caused by the effects of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Center officials note FASD affects more than 10,000 children under the age of 18 in Clark County, making it more prevalent than autism.
September 10, 2019 - UNLV School of Medicine Hosts 1st Annual Research Forum
Student medical research -- what an important topic to be the focus of my first newsletter as dean of the medical school. Today, there is a growing understanding that researchers make better clinicians. As Dr. Dale Netski, the UNLV School of Medicine Director of Student Research will tell you, research facilitates critical thinking and critical appraisal, keys to the reading and interpreting of scientific literature that keep physicians up to date with the latest advances in their fields -- information at the very core of academic medicine. I trust today's feature on Anita Albanese, one of the students presenting at our recent 1st Annual Research Forum, will show you that our students appreciate that research is the lifeline of medical advancement.
September 3, 2019 - UNLV School of Medicine Class of 2023 White Coat Ceremony
As you read this, I’m just getting started in my new role as special advisor for community relations and accreditation for the UNLV School of Medicine. I’ll be narrowing my focus on specific issues that I’m particularly interested in and reaching out to supporters and stakeholders, getting their feedback and using it to help shape our path forward. I’m just a few doors down from Dean John Fildes, who has moved into the Dean’s office, and who I’m certain will do an outstanding job overseeing the day to day operations of the school. You’ll be hearing from both Dean Fildes and myself in future editions of the “Making the Rounds” newsletter. Today, we’re taking a look back at a very joyous event, our most recent white coat ceremony for our third class of medical students. The white coat ceremony is an important rite of passage, welcoming students into the medical profession. The coats symbolize professionalism, caring and trust, characteristics that are part of the bedrock of the practice of medicine. As you’re about to see, that symbolism was not lost on our students, who did a wonderful job representing the UNLV School of Medicine with their thoughtfulness and poise.
August 27, 2019 - UNLV School of Medicine Lands Talented Trauma Fellow
For regular readers of this newsletter, you know that a recent interview of U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto dealt in part with what is being done to create more residencies and fellowships in Nevada, which often have much to do with keeping young doctors in the state. As you know, the Silver State currently suffers from one of the worst healthcare workforce shortages in the country. How can we correct this problem? Studies have repeatedly shown that where young doctors do postgraduate specialty work is likely where they’ll end up practicing. The senator said she is aggressively exploring ways to create more postgraduate slots. Today’s newsletter, which features Dr. Joseph Carroll, shows yet again why her work in this area is so worth pursuing. A graduate of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Dr. Carroll recently completed a two year fellowship in acute care surgery through UMC and the UNLV School of Medicine and now he and his young family have decided to call Las Vegas home. How accomplished is Dr. Carroll? Well, our educators think so much of him that in addition to his work as a trauma surgeon, he’ll also take on the responsibility of associate director for our general surgery residency program. No doubt about it: If we want better healthcare for the people of Southern Nevada, more postgraduate speciality slots are worth fighting for.
August 20, 2019 - U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto: Friend of UNLV School of Medicine
It never hurts to have friends in high places. Fortunately for the UNLV School of Medicine, U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is a true believer in the UNLV brand of academic medicine, where education, research and clinical care are combined to provide the best possible medical experience. In July, the senator helped shine a spotlight on the importance of the medical school in the community by hosting a round table discussion with medical experts at our Shadow Lane Campus. The subject? The high cost of prescription drugs. Last year, Sen. Cortez Masto toured the UNLV Medicine Ackerman Center and its fundraising arm, the Grant a Gift Autism Foundation. She was impressed with what she saw: "I will continue to fight in Congress to support the critical work that happens here and to make sure we're doing everything we can for individuals with autism and their families." Today, in interview fashion, we feature some of the senator's thoughts on important healthcare issues, thinking that may well help us transform medical care in Southern Nevada.
August 13, 2019 - Dr. John Fildes Named Interim Dean
Back in February, when I announced my intention to step down from the day-to-day operations and assume a new leadership role with the school of medicine, my greatest hope was that we find the perfect person to take us to the next level. I couldn’t be happier with the selection of Dr. John Fildes as interim dean of the UNLV School of Medicine. John will take over Sept 1, and I am very excited to work with him, providing any help or guidance he may desire as he settles into his new role. As an internationally known surgeon, Dr. Fildes has traveled the world telling medical professionals about the medical response to the Oct 1 shooting. One of his messages: how preparation and teamwork was absolutely critical to the process. I expect John to deliver a similar message to all of you. Success in building a medical school requires thoughtful planning, attention to detail and constant collaboration. I hope you’ll join me in making John feel welcome as we continue to push forward, building the UNLV School of Medicine into a world-class center for academic medicine.
August 6, 2019 - First Year Medical Student Moves From Pageants to Patients
Times, they do change. In 1949, only 5.5 percent of entering medical school students were women, with 6 percent of the physician workforce comprised of women. By 1974, 22.4 percent of medical school entrants were women, and by 1990, 17 percent of working physicians were women. In 2017, when the Association of American Medical Colleges reported that the number of women enrolled in medical schools exceeded the number of men for the first time, it turned out that the UNLV School of Medicine had followed the pattern with 31 women and 29 men its inaugural class. When you consider all three of our classes, it’s an even split between men and women. Nearly 40 percent of working physicians are now women, with that number expected to increase quickly as physicians retire. Over the years, many women, including myself, have worked to ensure that the number of women and minorities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) increase. One member of our new class of students, Alexis Hilts, has used her public forum as Miss Nevada 2018 and as a contestant in the 2018 Miss America contest to argue for far more diversity in all fields of STEM. In today’s newsletter, we feature Alexis, who published research work regarding STEM in the journal Science Education.
July 30, 2019 - Second Year Medical Student Eager to Mentor Incoming Class
When the school of medicine welcomed its third class of students recently, one young man on hand to help was the president of our second class, Gregory Schreck. During his presentation, he let our new students know that if he and other Class of 2022 students could be of service to them, answer some of their questions about the day-to-day life of a medical student, they’d be happy to do so. It wasn’t just an empty gesture. What is impressive to see on a regular basis is how our “veteran” students go out of their way to help new students take advantage of our academic and financial advising -- how they can gain access to a variety of services in the community, from housing to transportation. In today’s newsletter, we focus on Greg, who should give you a good sense of the kind of students attending the UNLV School of Medicine. An alum of Teach for America in Las Vegas -- he taught 7th grade science at Sedway Middle School -- Greg says that experience helped him realize that work in the service of others is the work he will do for the rest of his life. “I hope to do this work as a physician,” he told us in his medical school application, “because I know that is the role in which I would be able to levy my greatest skills to provide valuable services to others."
July 23, 2019 - Beautiful Music: Former Professional Pianist Among Class of 2023
It’s wonderful when you come across people who show that you’re never too old to dream a new dream and to set new goals. Today, we focus on one of our new students, Robert Sottile, who’s beginning medical school at the age of 45 after a career in the performing arts and retail. Anyone familiar with the Southern Nevada medical scene over the years knows that there’s a good precedent for what Robert is undertaking. Our former chair of the department of emergency medicine, Dr. Dale Carrison, who retired last year, also didn’t begin medical school until his mid-40s. A former FBI agent who went on to become UMC’s head of emergency and chief of staff, Dr. Carrison helped establish the first phase of our school curriculum, which begins with a six week course leading to students becoming certified emergency medical technicians. Like Dr. Carrison, Robert says his life will be more fulfilled if he can help people overcome their medical challenges.
July 16, 2019 - School of Medicine Welcomes Third Class to Campus
It never gets old. Seeing new students enter the UNLV School of Medicine is always a wonderful time. On Monday our third class of 60 students — 31 males and 29 females — arrived on campus and all of them were excitedly getting to know each other and talking about starting their pursuit of becoming a physician. Each time a new class arrives, my mind takes me back to 2015, when I was the only medical school employee, when the medical school was still a dream, not a reality. In today’s newsletter, we look at some of the highlights from day one, a day that ended with a joyful celebration and a surprise appearance by Chance, the mascot from the Golden Knights.
July 9, 2019 - Careful Planning of Curriculum Paying Off: Charter Class Begins Third Year
This month, as we welcome our newest class of students, members of our charter class are beginning their third year of medical school. Already immersed in their clerkships, our 3rd year students are noticing that medical school takes on quite a different form in years three and four. We actually started building our curriculum several years before the school opened -- and all the thoughtful planning is now paying off. In this week’s newsletter, we go back to 2017, when I first introduced our then director of curriculum, and now assistant dean of curriculum, Corrin Sullivan. Corrin has done a wonderful job managing all the different components of our students education. Her skills as an administrator are obvious, but the Las Vegas native also brings a positive energy to the office every day that is contagious. I hope you enjoy reading about the road she has traveled, enabling her to return to Las Vegas, where she is helping us transform healthcare in Southern Nevada.
July 2, 2019 - The Early Days: Imagining the UNLV School of Medicine Student
This week, we’re taking another look back at one of my earliest newsletters, it’s from December 2015. Back then, we spent a lot of time thinking about the type of students we wanted. They needed to be bright and inquisitive with elite GPA’s and strong MCAT scores. But just as importantly, we were looking for students who showed some “fire in their bellies.” In other words, young people who may have faced adversity and battled through it. On top of all that, they needed to have strong ties to Nevada. Now, for a while, we were afraid of not being able to find enough outstanding students who fit the bill. But you know what, so far we’ve done it, and I couldn’t be happier with our 120...and soon to be 180 students. Each one is uniquely talented, and brings something special to the school. When our students work in small groups, which they often do, you can see the magic happen. They’re challenging their classmates, while supporting each other through the sometimes difficult grind that is medical school.
June 25, 2019 - Unlv School of Medicine Welcomes 107 New Resident Physicians
For the UNLV School of Medicine, summer can be a busy time of year. Many of our students are embarking upon research projects or shadowing physicians in the hospitals and clinics. Our graduate medical education staff is busy with the inflow and outflow of resident physicians. The new residents, who come to us from medical schools all over the country, are now moving to town to be indoctrinated on the procedures at our teaching hospitals. Meanwhile, there’s another group of residents, who have just completed their 3 to 6 year residencies with us, and are now graduating to fellowship training or private practice. Saying goodbye to these residents is always a happy/sad moment. They have all worked incredibly hard — and now they are about to spread their wings and fly. To mark their graduation from residency, each department organizes its own ceremony. I hope you enjoy reading about the residents and the important role they play in helping UNLV transform healthcare in Southern Nevada.
June 18, 2019 - Keeping Love Alive: Couple Creates Generous Endowment for Medical Student Scholarships
Thanks to the generosity of Arlene Kageyama-Chikami, the UNLV School of Medicine has received its first bequest, one which ensures that many of our students receive scholarships for years to come. It’s officially known as the Arlene M. Kageyama-Chikami and Richard K. Chikami Scholarship Endowment Fund. The couple discussed what they would do with their savings from their long careers. Mrs. Kageyama-Chikami said an article she read about people donating scholarships to medical students at a new medical school made a strong impression on her. “I thought it was wonderful,” she said. “Without having to deal with horrendous debt, students could pick the medical field they really wanted.” She also said she and her husband wanted to leave a meaningful legacy, and helping to turn out more excellent doctors in a community where there was a shortage would do just that. “We wanted to be remembered for something positive. We never had children, so the students who receive scholarships from our endowment will be our children.” I hope you enjoy reading about Arlene and Richard Chikami, two wonderful people who are helping us transform medicine in Southern Nevada.
June 11, 2019 - Training Our Medical Students to Fight the Opioid Epidemic
I started this newsletter in 2015 when I was the UNLV School of Medicine’s only employee. I believed then, as I do now, that it was a good way to introduce the community to issues and people important to the school. While keeping you up to date this summer on important developments, during this vacation season we are also going to use the newsletter to look back at some of the stories from the past that many people didn’t get a chance to read, including the more than 1000 employees now on staff. This column from August 9, 2016 — a year before our first students even began classes — deals with opioids, which remain a serious national crisis in the U.S. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of opioid overdose and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse alone in the U.S. is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. I know you’ll agree that we made the right decision to educate our students about prescribing medications that can be addictive.
June 4, 2019 - UNLV School of Medicine Students Reflect Upon Organ Donor's Act of Generosity
You may have seen it on TV or read about it in the newspaper -- UMC, our main teaching hospital, recently held its first Honor Walk, which shows respect to patients at the end of life who are donating organs to others. Hundreds of nurses, physicians, staff and medical students stood silently in tribute as 18-year-old Michael Sigler made his final journey from the UMC Trauma Center to the operating room to donate his organs. Mr. Sigler made his decision to become an organ donor about two months before he sustained critical injuries in a tragic May 17 motorcycle crash. The family of Mr. Sigler, who was left brain dead, decided to take him off of life support so his final wish, which was to save the lives of others through organ donation, could be fulfilled. “He saw the precious gift that life is,” Mr. Sigler’s mother, Courtney Kaplan told the media. “He saw that there is a bigger picture.” This year more than 113,000 people in the U.S. are waiting to receive the gift of life. In 2017, more than 6,500 Americans died waiting for a precious organ. Today, I’d like to share some of the thoughts of our medical students who were on hand for the Honor Walk at UMC, a powerful act of community.
May 28, 2019 - School of Medicine Fulbright Scholar Teaching, Conducting Research in Austria
"It seems like only yesterday when we learned that Dr. Katherine Hertlein, our Couple and Family Therapy Program Director, had won a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. But it’s actually been more than a year since she learned that she would be able to study the role of cellphones and technology in couple and family relationships outside the United States. Now in Austria, where she’s also teaching two courses, Dr. Hertlein has been kind enough to stay in touch and let us know what some of the challenges are in doing research miles from home. Today, I trust you’ll enjoy getting a sense of what the life of this visionary thinker is now like."
May 21, 2019 - Improving Access to Healthcare: A Key Part of Sen. Harry Reid's Legacy
"No matter what you might think of his politics, we can all agree that Sen. Harry Reid has had an extraordinary career. From his humble beginnings in Searchlight, to his ascension at the highest levels of power as Senate Majority Leader in Washington D.C., he has remained true to Nevada, a fierce supporter of UNLV and a friend to us all. While you’re probably aware he was one of the chief architects of the Affordable Care Act, what you may not know is that he’s been fighting to improve healthcare for many years. I recently had the privilege of visiting with Sen. Reid in his office at the Bellagio. I’m happy to say he appeared strong and in good spirits and these days is quite active with the MGM Resorts Public Policy Institute at UNLV, continuing his mission of finding ways to create jobs and empower workers."
May 14, 2019 - Members of Charter Class Energized by Early Hospital Experiences
"Our second year medical students have reached a big milestone, moving out of the classroom and into the hospitals and clinics for 15 weeks of Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (LIC). By shadowing physicians, they’re learning firsthand about the daily challenges, as well as the rewards, of treating patients and helping them heal. Ask any physician, and they will tell you about the first time they felt the true satisfaction of putting academic knowledge to use in a clinical setting. Or the profound sadness you feel when you lose a patient that you’ve become close to. In this week’s newsletter, we asked students and faculty to tell us about their most memorable experiences. Some of the stories are humorous, others are quite serious, but together, they form a good representation of the extraordinary profession we have chosen to passionately perform."
May 7, 2019 - Top Attorney Schools Young Physicians About the Legal Pitfalls in Medicine
"At the recent annual gala benefiting the Adelson Educational Campus, an academically invigorating preschool through Grade 12 independent school based on Jewish values and identity, my special assistant, JoAnn Prevetti, struck up a conversation with Crane Pomerantz. He's a Las Vegas attorney who has specialized in healthcare law, both as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and in private practice. The more Joann talked with Mr. Pomerantz, the more she realized that his experience could benefit our students. So she invited him to campus. The other day he graciously came to talk with several residents who are largely concentrating on their internal medicine specialty, young men and women about to embark on their careers. What he had to say accomplished what he set out to do -- helped sensitize them to some of the real world legal, ethical and business issues they could one day face. From today’s newsletter, I trust you’ll get a better sense that not everything a doctor needs to know can be found in medical textbooks."
April 30, 2019 - Aamc President's Speech Has Strong Impact on Medical Students
"Recently, we were honored to have Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, visit the UNLV School of Medicine. Trained as a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, he is the former acting scientific director of the National Institute of Mental Health and former Dean of the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine and the Penn State College of Medicine. I am proud to say that Dr. Kirch, who was awarded the Outstanding Service Medal of the United States Public Health Service, appreciates our diverse cross section of students -- and how our students, as part of the curriculum, go into the community to understand the people who live here, the hardships they face, and their social issues. We want our students to understand that healthcare is not just about the body, it’s also about the social, economic, physical, and cultural environment of the person. Today, we focus on one of our students, Danielle Arceo, who was quick to ask Dr. Kirch questions at one of his presentations."
April 23, 2019 - Don Snyder: From Humble Beginnings to an Extraordinary Career Leading UNLV and Las Vegas
"As many of you know, even a shorthand sketch of what Don Snyder has meant to Southern Nevada reveals that he’s enhanced the community through banking, higher education, K-12, the arts, tourism, gaming and even professional sports. I first met Don when he was UNLV’s acting president in 2014 -- he interviewed me for the position of planning dean, when the UNLV School of Medicine was still largely a dream. While I’ve been dean of the school, he’s been a valuable member of our Community Engagement Board, where I’ve come to rely on his attention to detail. Just recently, Don and his lovely wife, Dee, donated their third full student scholarship. They not only talk the talk when it comes to strengthening Las Vegas, they walk the walk. To get a better sense of who Don is, I trust you’ll enjoy today’s newsletter, which relies in part on his new memoir, “Taking the Lead,” which he wrote with Las Vegas author Jack Sheehan."
April 16, 2019 - Engelstad Scholarships Change Lives of Medical Students
"Scholarships to the UNLV School of Medicine not only help attract the best and the brightest, they also protect students from feeling the crushing weight of student loans. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median medical school student debt is $180,000. After interest, total repayment often reaches around $400,000. Heavy debt frequently causes students to select higher paying specialties, which contributes to the lack of primary care physicians. Fortunately, donors, led by the Engelstad Family Foundation, have largely taken the financial burden off our first two classes of students. In today’s newsletter, we feature Kris Engelstad McGarry, who reveals why the Engelstad Foundation has donated more than $10 million for scholarships and graciously has agreed to match any new scholarships that come in for our upcoming third class, up to 17."
April 9, 2019 - UNLV Saved My Life," Dr. Stephen Lazarus... Went On To Become UNLV's First Graduate To Attend Medical School
"We’re all looking forward to the UNLV School of Medicine’s first graduating class, and 2021 will definitely be a time to celebrate. What many people don’t know is that UNLV’s first student to go to medical school had to go out of state for his medical training. Yes, when Stephen Lazarus graduated from UNLV in 1966, it would still be three more years before the University of Nevada Reno Medical School opened. So he went off to the University of Oregon Medical School, and then to a fine medical career in California. Yet Dr. Lazarus has always stayed in touch with UNLV, calling the school “the place that saved his life.” He also said the new UNLV School of Medicine would transform the way people thought about Las Vegas. The new medical school will "change the face" of Las Vegas, he said, and he is right. To give you a better sense of this fine physician, who passed away in January at the age of 80, I would like to share his story with you, a wonderful profile of the good doctor that appeared in the UNLV News Center in 2015."
April 2, 2019 - All-American Tennis Player Comes Home to Join UNLV School of Medicine
"Believe it or not, four years ago I was the UNLV School of Medicine’s only employee. Today, the number of individuals employed by the school and its clinical arm, UNLV Medicine, has risen to more than 1,000. Yes, the dream has become a reality. We now have 120 students on campus training to be physicians and more than 300 residents and fellows receiving advanced graduate specialty education. In July, we will be adding another 60 medical students, for a total of 180 medical students. We operate 21 clinics offering 18 specialties. It seems not a month goes by without another talented individual coming aboard to make us stronger. One such woman is Sabrina Eisinga, a nurse practitioner who joined us in February. Formerly a Sunrise Hospital labor and delivery nurse who worked closely with our OB-GYN residents, she’s now seeing patients as part of our OB-GYN unit. Why did we hire her? Dr. Jyoti Desai, one of our OB-GYN specialists, knows why: “Sabrina is passionate about women’s health and education, which makes her a perfect addition to our team. Her patients will definitely love her.” Just another way we’re transforming healthcare in Southern Nevada."
March 26, 2019 - Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian: Passionate About Building Las Vegas Medical District
“Unfortunately, it won’t be long before Las Vegas City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, who now serves as Mayor Pro Tem, has to leave her position. Yes, it’s term limit time for the ardent supporter of the medical school and the Las Vegas Medical District. First sworn into office representing Ward 1 in 2005, she was reelected in 2007, 2011 and 2015. The people in Ward I obviously knew what we know at the UNLV School of Medicine — she gets things done. As you see more and more improvements and branding in the medical district, keep in mind that the councilwoman had much to do with it happening. Fortunately, Councilwoman Tarkanian will stay on the medical school’s community engagement board, where, thankfully, she’s never short of ideas to help the school move forward. ”
March 19, 2019 - Child Neurologist Dr. Rooman Ahad Brings Rare Skillset to Help Children with Developmental Disorders
“I loved learning about people,“ says Dr. Ahad, who also took all the necessary formal and natural science prerequisites to get into medical school at the University of Illinois. “The study of sociology gave me a sense of how people think and function...what their values are…..as doctors, we obviously care for people and their families and I think it’s helped me be culturally sensitive to who they are, what they believe...it’s helped me be a better physician.”
March 12, 2019 - Keeping our Doctors in Nevada: Former Chief Resident Joshua Goldman Returning to UNLV School of Medicine
"Like Dr. Richard Baynosa, the chief of plastic surgery and program director for our plastic surgery residency, I am pleased and excited to welcome back Dr. Joshua Goldman to a full time faculty appointment under the UNLV School of Medicine Department of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Goldman, who completed his plastic surgery residency here last year, will return this summer after completing his current fellowship in integrated craniomaxillofacial and microsurgery fellowship at Michigan’s Beaumont Hospital. As Dr. Baynosa points out, Dr. Goldman’s “demonstrated enthusiasm and work ethic will be critical” as he adds even more value to our plastic surgery department, including the building of a team to establish Nevada’s first and only gender affirmation surgery program for patients with gender dysphoria. Read on to learn more about this talented young surgeon.”
March 5, 2019 - Dr. Constantine George: "Hospitality Should be part of Las Vegas Medicine"
"In today’s newsletter we feature Dr. Constantine George, who’s never short of ideas as a member of the UNLV School of Medicine Community Engagement Board. A Las Vegas native, he wants to ensure that medicine moves boldly into the digital age without losing its humanity. Dr. George made that clear during the stethoscope ceremonies for our first two classes -- he donated these symbols of the medical profession to all 120 students -- when he told our future physicians: 'Uphold five core values throughout your medical careers -- humility, hospitality, respect, integrity and accountability...Always keep patients at the center of what you do.'"
February 26, 2019 - Young Trauma Surgeon Making a Name for Herself
"You’ve heard it now repeatedly — where doctors do their post graduate residencies and fellowships is where they often stay to practice medicine. And so it has been for Dr. Allison McNickle, who joined the UNLV School of Medicine’s Acute Care Surgery Fellowship in 2016. Yes, we’re so fortunate that after Dr. McNickle finished her fellowship last year — she graduated as one of the top fellows ever to have been in the program — she chose to stay on and has become our section chief of trauma surgery. Today, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning more about Dr. McNickle, a young surgeon so skilled that Dr. Douglas Fraser, the program director for the fellowship, says she has “distinguished herself in critical care, trauma surgery, emergency general surgery, research, resident teaching, community outreach and citizenship in both the hospital and throughout the Las Vegas community.”
February 19, 2019 -Building a Geriatrics Program to Serve Southern Nevada's Aging Population
"Thanks to advances in modern medicine, Americans are living longer. By 2030, people 65 and older are expected to account for almost 20 percent of the population. That means many men and women will be able to enjoy their golden years doing whatever makes them happy. But increased age can bring additional health challenges, including heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, dementia and hypertension. Often, the best way to deal with these challenges is through geriatricians, specialists just for seniors. Unfortunately, the American Geriatrics Society says our nation has less than half the geriatricians necessary to properly take care of the elderly. I am pleased to say that the UNLV School of Medicine is now working toward a fellowship program that will turn out more specialists for older Americans. Today, we're introducing two UNLV Medicine geriatricians who are developing what will be Southern Nevada's first ACGME Accredited Geriatrics Fellowship program, which will include a state of the art geriatrics clinic."
February 12, 2019 - Cancer Patients Grateful for UNLV Surgical Oncologist who Saves, Extends Lives
"As the UNLV School of Medicine strives to do its part to make the promise of innovative, compassionate health care available to everyone, Black History Month reinforces the fact that black history is American history. Even the groundbreaking work of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, the first man to successfully complete open heart surgery, was overlooked in the textbooks of most high school students. Black History Month has also helped Americans understand how much stronger America can be if everyone has the opportunity to develop his or her potential. How many would have lost time with loved ones if Dr. Jane C. Wright, a black woman, hadn’t elevated chemotherapy from a last resort for cancer patients to a viable treatment option? Today, I hope you’ll enjoy our feature on UNLV Medicine’s Dr. Charles St. Hill, who’s broken through racial barriers to become a nationally recognized surgeon. He believes that knowing the past opens the door to the future."
February 5, 2019 - Clark County Medical Society Alliance Dedicated to Improving Health of Southern Nevadans
"We’ve all heard, “It takes a village to raise a child” -- an expression emanating from an African proverb which means it takes an entire community interacting meaningfully with children in order for a child to grow up safely and intellectually curious. Well, it also takes an entire community to raise the UNLV School of Medicine. It’s not enough to have only the legislature or large philanthropic organizations backing a new school. You also need individuals and smaller groups -- people who understand what a medical school can mean to Southern Nevada’s quality of life -- doing what they can to ensure a bright future for the school. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to three women who, through the Clark County Medical Society Alliance, are helping to ensure that the best and brightest students attend the UNLV School of Medicine."
January 29, 2019 - Nevada State Bank's Terry Shirey: "Quality is Job #1"
"It has long been said you can learn a lot about people from how they respond to important books that they read.
So it goes with Terry Shirey, the Nevada State Bank President who’s also chairman of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, the largest business organization in Nevada. After Shirey read “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isacson, his biggest takeaway wasn’t that Jobs was a tough guy to work for or even his amazing innovation -- it was his intense focus on ensuring Apple’s products were of the highest quality, an insistence that sometimes irritated his board of directors and other company leaders, whose concentration on profits as soon as possible could have allowed quality to slide."
January 22, 2019: Dr. David Di John - Passionate About Serving the Underserved
The son of a physician who worked at a VA medical center in New York City, David Di John listened carefully to what his father told him about his work, about how through the practice of medicine he was able to help the men and women who, often at great personal sacrifice, had served their country.
January 15, 2019 - Developer Mark Fine: UNLV School of Medicine Adds Value to Las Vegas
"Growth. It’s something we expect the UNLV School of Medicine to have plenty of in the coming years. Yes, when we look at the future, we not only see an increase in the number of talented physicians we turn out, but also an increase in the number of clinics and centers that our clinical arm, UNLV Medicine, has in Southern Nevada. It is critical to the health of our community that our research-based brand of academic medicine be readily available to the people of the Las Vegas Valley. It should come as a surprise to no one that one man we’ll turn to for advice in how best to expand is Mark Fine, one of Southern Nevada’s preeminent real estate developers, the man who took the lead in creating the wonderful master planned communities of Green Valley and Summerlin. Today, I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about Mark, who’s already played a huge role in guiding the growth of UNLV as chairman of the UNLV Foundation and chairman of the UNLV Research Foundation Board of Directors."
January 8, 2019 - Dr. K. Warren Volker: Building Better Healthcare
"Happy New Year, everyone. You know, studies repeatedly show that doctors often set up their practices where they complete their graduate medical education. Fortunately, we have, as vice-chairman of the UNLV School of Medicine Community Engagement Board, Dr. K. Warren Volker, a physician who used his own foundation to create an internationally renowned minimally invasive surgery fellowship that is now affiliated with our new medical school. Because we want to keep our medical school graduates in Nevada, Dr. Volker’s background is especially helpful as we work to produce more residencies and fellowships in Southern Nevada. I trust you’ll enjoy learning more about Dr. Volker, who stayed in Las Vegas after completing a residency in OB-GYN, going on to forge a remarkable career as a clinician, researcher, academician and medical entrepreneur. "
December 18, 2018 - Successful Businesman Brian Lauzon Helps Shape UNLV Medicine
"To start a new medical school, it is important that we draw on the expertise of individuals who have been successful. Their expertise need not always be in medicine. Business acumen, for example, can translate into how efficiently we run our clinics and how well we treat our patients. Fortunately, these people sit on our boards of directors, people who volunteer their time to ensure that UNLV has the best medical school and clinical practice possible to serve our community. So it is with Brian Lauzon, whose business success has been remarkable. I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about Brian, who’s working to make the UNLV School of Medicine a Center of Excellence."
December 11, 2018 - Remembering Sandy Peltyn, a true friend of the UNLV School of Medicine
"In creating and building a medical school in Las Vegas, I have often found that the best advice comes from unexpected sources. While what I had learned heading two other medical schools has helped me immeasurably, one of the great things about being in Southern Nevada is having access to a diverse group of people from all over the world -- men and women from whom you can learn from their unique perspectives. So it was with Sandy Colon Peltyn, a native of Puerto Rico who suddenly passed away recently after an amazing career in marketing, public relations, political affairs and philanthropy. I was introduced to her by UNLV Vice President for Government Affairs, Luis Valera, who thought she could help our medical school better engage with the Latino community. He was correct. This woman celebrated by the Latin Chamber of Commerce as “Hispanic of the Year” and by Temas magazine of New York as one of the “Twelve Most Influential Hispanic Women in the Nation” was a strong supporter of our curriculum -- one which has medical students connecting with communities through community service throughout their training. Today, I hope you get a better sense of the impact this incredible woman had on Nevada."
December 4, 2018 - Former Touro Dean Joins UNLV School of Medicine
"There are many people in Southern Nevada who know Dr. Mitchell Forman as the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine Founding Dean. Music lovers know him and his wife, Pearl, as the founders and supporters of the Allegro Guitar Society in partnership with the UNLV Performing Arts Center -- a collaboration bringing world class classical guitarists to our community. Since November, I’ve been fortunate to know him as a man embarking on a new phase of his academic and clinical life -- he’s now a professor of internal medicine at the UNLV School of Medicine, relocating his rheumatology practice to the UNLV School of Medicine Arthritis Clinic. I hope you enjoy learning more about Dr. Forman, who recently became a Fellow in the Royal College of Physicians-London."
November 27, 2018 - Dr. John Fildes: Builder, Leader, Innovator
"Whether he is chatting with the President of the United States, delivering a keynote speech at an international medical conference, or performing life-saving surgery in the operating room, Dr. John Fildes always seems right at home. As UNLV School of Medicine Professor and Inaugural Chair of the Department of Surgery, Dr. Fildes plays an important role in the growth of programs. His experience and expertise is invaluable to our surgical residents and to everyone who works around him. A born leader in the hospital, Dr. Fildes is also a family man who recently traveled to New York for his daughter’s wedding. We are lucky to have Dr. Fildes in our ranks, and I’m sure his patients will tell you how grateful they are he is here in Las Vegas."
November 20, 2018 - Maran Shaker: Living the Dream
The news we just received about an additional $2.3M in grant funding is extremely encouraging! I’m so thankful for the support we are receiving from the Governor and the legislature, and I’m excited to work with our policy makers during the upcoming legislative session. You’ll be hearing much more about how we will use the new grant funding in the coming weeks. Meanwhile today, I’m happy to bring you the story of one of our students who’s doing remarkable things outside the classroom. He is a tireless advocate for veterans, not only at UNLV but all over the country. He even travels during his breaks from school to help his brothers-in-arms more effectively assimilate back into society. I know you’ll enjoy getting to know this future doctor, a proud member of our charter class.
November 13, 2018 - Medical Students Visit Wynn Las Vegas
"We are very fortunate to live in one of finest restaurant cities in America. Las Vegas is full of fine dining establishments staffed by top professionals who understand the power and effect of food. Recently, Wynn Las Vegas gave our medical students a peak behind the curtain to show how relentless attention to detail is necessary to earn more Forbes 5-star awards than any other independent resort in the world. Where else but the UNLV School of Medicine could curriculum related to feeding the human body be shaped to include exposure to some of the top professionals in the resort/restaurant industry? We are pleased to provide these experiences to our students, and most grateful for the collaboration and friendship shown by good neighbors like Wynn Las Vegas."
November 6, 2018 - Heroic Act Earns UNLV Internal Medicine Resident Above and Beyond Award
"As the UNLV School of Medicine grows, it’s important we continue to build a culture that not only encourages research and innovation, but one that inspires all of us to become the best versions of ourselves. I was extremely pleased to learn about the recent actions of one of our internal medicine residents — she stopped at the scene of an accident, possibly saving the life of the injured driver. Her split second decision to stop and get out of her car embodies what we are trying to do in Southern Nevada —adding doctors to bring additional medical care to the people, physicians who are committed to caring for their neighbors in every corner of the community."
October 30, 2018 - Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn: Not Content With Simply Practicing Medicine, He Wants to Advance It
"Building a research component is a complicated and important part of growing the school of medicine. Not only must we establish a culture that encourages research, we must also recruit doctors who are already accomplished in that area. We are extremely fortunate to have found several talented people who fit the bill. Today, we are introducing you to one of them — Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn. He has fashioned an outstanding career both treating patients and doing important work in the lab. He’s looking at innovative ways to rebuild damaged tissue in the heart — something many of us can relate to as we all know someone who’s suffered a heart attack. This type of research provides hope for the future — which is part and parcel of our work here at the UNLV School of Medicine."
October 23, 2018 - Kim Case-Nichols: Launching School Of Medicine Space Program
"In order for the UNLV School of Medicine to become a world-class center of excellence and innovation, we need to make smart decisions along the way. Thoughtfully planning our growth is key to the success of our operation. Whether it’s consolidating our clinics or building more space for our students, planning and managing those activities takes energy and expertise. Luckily, we have a director of space and facilities management who loves to conquer challenges — not just on the job, but on weekends, too. I hope you enjoy getting to know Kim Case-Nichols. Reading about her athletic exploits will help you understand how she’s able to accomplish so much — without ever slowing down."
October 16, 2018 - UNLV Medical Students: Modeling Their Way To More Scholarships
"It’s been an eventful week in terms of support for the UNLV School of Medicine. On October 11th, UNLV’s first ever “Rebels Give” online donation campaign was a big success. The school of medicine joined other colleges on campus and we brought in a considerable amount, thanks to some very generous donors. To everyone who participated — your generosity is greatly appreciated! Three days later, our beloved friends at the Las Vegas India Chamber of Commerce, led by its wonderful president, Rita Vaswani, hosted an elegant awards gala that doubled as a fundraiser for the scholarship programs at both the UNLV School of Medicine and Touro. One of the many highlights of the evening was seeing our medical students proudly modeling traditional Indian attire in a spectacular fashion show. I think you’ll enjoy hearing more about their experience on the runway — with each student expressing a desire to learn about a different culture while giving back to their school and community."
October 9, 2018 - UMC Foundation: Honoring the October 1, 2017 Work of Residents and Fellows
"Nearly 300 young physicians currently pursue their specialties in graduate medical education through residencies and fellowships at the UNLV School of Medicine. It’s no secret that the work of residents and fellows is demanding, with long hours of training par for the course. And yet, as our young doctors will tell you, it is also highly rewarding. That was never more true than on the evening of Oct. 1, 2017, when many of them played vital roles in caring for patients brought to University Medical Center after the mass shooting on the Strip that left 58 people dead and 858 wounded. In today’s newsletter, one of our surgical critical care fellows, Dr. Timothy Dickhudt, recalls that night and UMC Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Marcia Turner and Dr. Kate Martin, the UNLV School of Medicine Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education, discuss how the UMC Foundation is showing its appreciation for the contributions of residents and fellows."
October 2, 2018 - Interview: Regent John T. Moran III: Health is our Greatest Wealth
"As I travel around the community speaking to different groups, I’m constantly reminded that we are all in this together. If we are delayed in our mission of increasing the number of doctors and improving healthcare in Southern Nevada, every citizen loses. I say this because everywhere I go, people ask about the progress we are making, the number of doctors we are recruiting and how our medical students are performing. You may not realize this, but outside the school of medicine there are some very important decision makers who feel the same sense of urgency to grow the school and move the needle. They have been a tremendous help along the way. Nevada System of Higher Education Regent John T. Moran III is one of those people. As a devoted husband, father, and lifelong Nevadan, he has a personal stake in improving our quality of life. I hope you enjoy getting to know this fellow Southern Nevadan who appreciates the importance of the UNLV School of Medicine and how we must work together to accomplish our mission."
September 25, 2018 - Kris Engelstad McGarry: Changing the Trajectory of Lives
"One of the ways we’re able to attract the best and the brightest medical students is by offering scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of more than three dozen individuals and organizations, 100 of our 120 medical students are receiving four-year scholarships, and the remainder are receiving partial scholarships. We are extremely thankful for each and every one of our donors — their support means the world to us. It’s absolutely life changing for some of our students. Last week, I attended an event on campus that was an opportunity for one of our most generous donors, Kris Engelstad McGarry, to meet the students the Engelstad Family Foundation is sponsoring. It was wonderful to see the students react so warmly to Kris. They not only expressed how grateful they were for the scholarships, but for her unwavering support of our mission."
September 18, 2018 - Population Health: A Key Part of Medical Education
"Even though many of our students are from Southern Nevada, some of them have never been to the more economically challenged neighborhoods of Las Vegas. One of the first things the UNLV School of Medicine does is send our students out in small groups to all corners of the community. By doing this, they get to know the residents and the challenges they face. Our students learn why so many Las Vegans struggle to find a doctor and then have difficulty getting to appointments. Thousands lack convenient access to healthy food and are afraid to go outside to exercise. These are all factors a thoughtful physician needs to consider when treating an individual. We want our students to understand the medical needs of their community - to have their eyes wide open, so when they graduate and become doctors, they’ll be armed with the proper knowledge, skill, and compassion."
September 11, 2018 - Interview: Dr. James Alexander: Pursuing Evidence-Based Medicine
"There is so much good work being performed throughout UNLV Medicine that it’s hard to choose which project or program to tell you about each week. Our new chair of OB/GYN has really hit the ground running. Dr. James Alexander is doing a terrific job familiarizing himself with our operation while juggling a number of new projects within the department. I think you’ll find the research his team is performing quite interesting. Dr. Alexander is a true believer in the power of education and the impact a good teacher can have on a student. He credits much of his success to the professors who took a special interest in him. Now he is looking to return the favor — using everything he has learned during a life in medicine to help shape the next generation of doctors in Southern Nevada."
September 4, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Nora Doyle, Using Lessons She Learned in Sports
"I love that our faculty physicians have varied backgrounds. It sends a message to our students that people take different paths in life — and that lessons learned along the way help shape a person and develop their character. To help our students become not only talented doctors but thoughtful, compassionate adults, we try to surround them with top medical professionals who also have interests and talents outside of medicine. Dr. Nora Doyle is a perfect example of that. Growing up in New York, her mother and grandparents taught her the value of hard work. Now a leader in the field of Ultrasound Education, she has also been a top long-distance runner and played on a state championship softball team in high school. Sports and teamwork were a big part of her life and we are thrilled to have her as a driving force for the UNLV School of Medicine."
August 28, 2018 - Interview: Interview: Rita Vaswani, Raising Money for Med School Students
"Building the all important research component of the UNLV School of Medicine took a big step forward recently when the National Institutes of Health notified Dr. Parvesh Kumar that it is renewing the 5-year $20 million dollar CTR-IN Grant. As Vice Dean of Research, Dr. Kumar is Principal Investigator of the CTR-IN. Since April of 2016, he and his dedicated staff have worked long and hard fine-tuning it’s strategic direction and preparing the renewal application, all 1,030 pages of it. Getting this fantastic news puts the wheels in motion for more research projects at UNLV as well as the 12 other universities that will share expertise and resources. To me, this is further evidence the UNLV School of Medicine is on the right track to becoming the world-class center of excellence and innovation we want it to be."
August 21, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Parvesh Kumar, Providing Leadership For Research
"Building the all important research component of the UNLV School of Medicine took a big step forward recently when the National Institutes of Health notified Dr. Parvesh Kumar that it is renewing the 5-year $20 million dollar CTR-IN Grant. As Vice Dean of Research, Dr. Kumar is Principal Investigator of the CTR-IN. Since April of 2016, he and his dedicated staff have worked long and hard fine-tuning it’s strategic direction and preparing the renewal application, all 1,030 pages of it. Getting this fantastic news puts the wheels in motion for more research projects at UNLV as well as the 12 other universities that will share expertise and resources. To me, this is further evidence the UNLV School of Medicine is on the right track to becoming the world-class center of excellence and innovation we want it to be."
August 14, 2018 - Making The Rounds With Founding Dean Atkinson
"As you know, each week I send out my newsletter highlighting some of the people and events that help make the UNLV School of Medicine a dynamic addition to health care. This week I’m delivering my news through video, a communications tool I’ll also use from time to time in the future. Today, I’m focusing on the class of 2022. Like our first class, they'll make a difference in Nevada's medical care. Click on the image below to learn about a wonderful event that allowed our new students to thank our scholarship donors."
August 08, 2018 - Ackerman Expands to Fill Need
"Serving the medical needs of Southern Nevada’s burgeoning population is truly a challenge. There is often a crush of patients wanting to see the doctor — which can add an element of stress to the clinic environment. The staff at UNLV Medicine’s 21 clinics are keenly aware of the demand, and they are trained to be as helpful as possible whenever anyone calls for an appointment. Since the day we opened the doors of UNLV Medicine’s Ackerman Autism Center, the response from those seeking care has been overwhelming. The staff has done a tremendous job attempting to meet the need. Thanks to the tireless work of the Grant a Gift Autism Foundation and some generous donors, Ackerman is expanding in size and reach. This will allow them to see more clients… inching closer to the goal of providing treatment to all who need it."
July 31, 2018 - Interview: Arturo Montes, He Plans to Give Back
"This is an exciting time for the UNLV School of Medicine. While the new students are settling into their routine after arriving on campus two weeks ago, some members of our charter class, who aren’t required back until mid-August, are here helping them get acclimated. So far we’ve been impressed with the Class of 2022. Their passion to learn and fully immerse themselves in our curriculum is admirable and will most certainly serve them well. The new students have been going out into the community in teams of 5 performing neighborhood health assessments. They are talking to everyone they run into, learning the medical needs of our city. This week’s newsletter profiles a second-year student who grew up in one such neighborhood. I think you’ll appreciate Arturo Montes’s story, and his desire to one day return to his old stomping grounds to help those...who shaped his life."
July 25, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Laura Shaw, Planning Makes School Less Stressful
"A good doctor can provide a wealth of information about a variety of medical topics. But the way they effectively communicate with the patient is what separates the best doctors from the rest. As physicians we should always think about how we can improve our patient’s overall health, and one way to do that is to counsel them with sound advice at every opportunity. In this week’s newsletter, Dr. Laura Shaw offers excellent common sense advice to parents with children getting ready to head back to school — reminding us all that a little preparation helps make any transition easier."
July 10, 2018 - Interview: Crystal Dickson, Forging a Path to Success
"We should all be proud that the UNLV School of Medicine is developing a reputation for diversity. Both ethnic diversity and diversity when it comes to upward mobility. Unlike most medical schools, many of our students don’t come from privileged backgrounds. We take pride in the fact that 25% of our students are the first in their families to go to college. These extremely bright, passionate students enter medical school with a different perspective. They are keenly aware of the need to bring quality healthcare to underserved populations. It’s in this particular group of students that we find extraordinary stories of perseverance and tenacity. Traits that will continue to help them excel in life. I hope you enjoy reading about one such student who reminds us all, that it’s not about where you come from, but where you’re going."
July 5, 2018 - Interview: Diana Pena, Working to Make a Difference
"In 2017, when the Association of American Medical Colleges reported that the number of women enrolled in medical schools exceeded the number of women for the first time, it turned out that the UNLV School of Medicine had followed the pattern with 31 women and 29 men in its inaugural class. Even as our second class gets underway —it’s evenly split between men and women, 30-30 — it’s still only natural to wonder how students in our charter class have found their first year of medical school, how they got to this time and place..Today, we feature a member of that historic group, Diana Pena, who sees a future for herself “trying to make a difference for people here who are having a hard time accessing affordable healthcare.”
June 26, 2018 - Graduate Medical Education: The Cycle of Life
"This month we are saying farewell to some residents and fellows, who are wrapping up their graduate medical education in Las Vegas. Different departments, including the department of surgery that we’re featuring today, are saying goodbye by holding their own graduation ceremonies. It’s easy to get sentimental after what has been an intense, demanding process. All of the long hours our residents and fellows have put in is about to pay off as they enter practice well-prepared to handle challenges that come their way. Our faculty physicians are understandably proud of the training our residents receive. I also believe training in Las Vegas gives our students a big advantage because this community is such a melting pot of cultures. Some have even called it a “petri dish” due to the 43 million visitors a year from all over the world. To all our recent graduates, I offer my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for a rewarding medical career."
June 19, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Amber Champion, a Champion for Her Patients
"Recruiting medical professionals to Las Vegas is an exciting challenge. Lately we’ve had great success. Each additional physician we hire is an achievement to be celebrated — because it not only helps us build the UNLV School of Medicine, it’s helping a community that is woefully short on doctors. Dr. Amber Champion is a wonderful addition to our staff. As you’re about to learn, she is quite passionate about her chosen specialty of endocrinology in part because she is living with diabetes. Who better to treat newly diagnosed patients, counseling them about diet and exercise than someone facing similar challenges herself? As a faculty physician, she is knowledgeable and extremely relatable to our students. I hope you enjoy getting to know Dr. Champion, and I encourage you to reach out and welcome her to the team."
June 12, 2018 - Interview: Dean Atkinson, the Importance of Perseverance
"Getting out and talking to people in the community is one of the most important things I do. Everywhere I go, people want to know more about the UNLV School of Medicine, and how we’re helping solve the doctor shortage and bringing the best of academic medicine to Southern Nevada. I’m more than happy to tell them about all the progress we’re making. Recently, members of Las Vegas’s Italian American community reached out to learn more. The publishers of La Voce Magazine generously threw a reception at Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant in my honor. As you’ll see in this week’s newsletter, I spoke briefly about my Italian heritage, noting how the strength of my immigrant grandparents helps me persevere when times get tough."
June 5, 2018 - Interview: Faun Botor, an Indomitable Will
"I am immensely proud of our charter class. This week they wrapped up their first year of medical school and did extremely well the entire way — scoring above the national average on 9 out of 12 national board exams. Keep in mind that these exams are typically taken in year two! The positive results are further evidence that the UNLV School of Medicine is on the right track with our instruction and the unique design of our curriculum. Of course, many of our students are excelling in the classroom while juggling very busy lives. One of our students has three young children at home. But that’s only part of Faun Botor’s remarkable story. Her ability to achieve happiness and succeed at life when many others might have given up is something to behold. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Faun, the challenges she has faced, and why we’re so proud she is part of the UNLV School of Medicine."
May 29, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Christopher Mcnicoll, Getting the Most out of a Residency
"Nearly 300 young physicians currently pursue their specialties in graduate medical education through residencies and fellowships at the UNLV School of Medicine. The 11 residency programs are in emergency medicine; family medicine; family medicine-rural; general surgery; internal medicine; obstetrics and gynecology; orthopedic surgery; otolaryngology; pediatrics; plastics surgery; and psychiatry. Advanced fellowships are available in acute-care surgery; cardiovascular medicine; colon and rectal surgery; gastroenterology and hepatology; hand and microsurgery; minimally invasive gynecological surgery; pulmonary and critical care medicine; sports medicine; urgent care; and child and adolescent psychiatry. It’s no secret that graduate medical education is demanding. And yet as we learn from general surgery resident Dr. McNicoll, featured in today’s newsletter, it is training that can be highly rewarding, that can help make a dream come true."
May 22, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Joseph Thornton, Overcome Obstacles
"Very few physicians can give you a better historical perspective of the Las Vegas medical community than Dr. Joseph Thornton. The popular colorectal surgeon has been practicing in the valley for 40 years — he’s seen this area quadruple in population, growing into the international destination it is today. Dr.Thornton speaks with great enthusiasm about the state of medical care in the valley. He will begin by telling you about the excellent surgeons who practice here, doctors whose technical skills measure up favorably to those at the finest academic medical centers in the country. He’s proud of the surgical expertise in Southern Nevada and excited to build upon it, helping train the next generation of surgeons for an area that can definitely use them."
May 15, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Jennifer Baynosa, the Need to Help Others
"Inspiring young people to consider a career in medicine is a wonderful thing... and some of our doctors do it without even realizing it. Children watch our every move when they come in nervous and frightened, but when they leave feeling loved, well that’s something they remember. While every doctor has a story about why they decided to go into medicine, Dr. Jennifer Baynosa’s story is special because it’s an example of someone who’s not afraid to break from the norm - and she’s doing it in a big way. Receiving her medical education from USC and Stanford, she’s now a talented surgeon and associate professor with the UNLV School of Medicine who’s not only committed to her patients - but to her surgeon husband, and their two beautiful children."
May 8, 2018 - Interview: Med Student Colby Shreve, "I like to Be Busy."
"I couldn’t be more proud of our students and how they’ve performed this year. They have adjusted remarkably well to the rigors of medical school, while remaining engaged with their classmates and professors. If you spend any time around them, one of the things you’ll notice is the bond that’s been formed. It’s fantastic to see so many bright, competitive students morph into this tight-knit group that helps and encourages each other to solve problems and grasp complex ideas and concepts. It’s just what we hoped for. Moreover, they’re succeeding at medical school while meeting the challenges of life. One such student is Colby Shreve. Our tallest student is also wearing the biggest smile these days because he’s head over heels in love after the birth of his first child. I hope you enjoy reading about Colby, who’s already a loving father, and well on his way to becoming a first rate physician."
May 1, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Mario J. Gaspar De Alba, a Commitment to Diversity
"Learning your child has autism can be incredibly difficult. It takes a highly skilled physician to make the diagnosis — and then delicately deliver the news, explaining just how important it is to get the child early help. Performing that task day after day with compassion takes a special person. Dr. Mario Gaspar de Alba and the staff at the Ackerman Autism Center are doing a wonderful job dealing with a crush of families coming to them for help."
April 24, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Michael Scheidler, Adversity Paid off for Las Vegas Children
"When your child is sick and needs surgery, it can be a frightening ordeal. In those moments, the calming words of an experienced pediatric surgeon are worth their weight in gold. If the surgeon has the technical skills to match an extraordinary bedside manner, well that’s the goal we all strive for."
April 20, 2018 - Interview: Joann Strobbe, Our New Cfo Is a Builder
"Hiring the right people can be tricky. Sometimes you make the decision and hope for the best — but other times, you just know you got it right. I think we hit the bullseye with one of our latest hires. Joann Strobbe, our new Senior Associate Dean of Finance and Administration, has a sterling reputation on the business side of academic medicine."
April 10, 2018 - Interview: Joann Prevetti, Asking... and Answering the Questions
"We all have important jobs here at the UNLV School of Medicine, and I know each one of you are busy, but one of the busiest people I know is my special assistant JoAnn Prevetti. She is exceptional in multitasking, and juggles priorities with ease. There is no typical day in her office, as she communicates with elected officials, vice deans, physicians, donors, main campus leadership, and everyone in between — and she does it with a smile. That’s one of the qualities I appreciate about JoAnn, she has a lighter touch... but she’s as tough as they come when she needs to be. I hope you enjoy reading about JoAnn Prevetti, how her wonderful mother and father, and the many extraordinary people she’s worked with throughout her career, have fashioned her into the person she is today."
April 3, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, Cleveland Clinic Partners with UNLV School of Med
"We’ve been fortunate to have one of the finest minds in neuroscience on our Community Engagement Board. Dr. Jeffrey Cummings has been an invaluable resource for the School of Medicine. He played an important role in the development of the school and he continues to be a powerful conduit for collaboration between our students and the Cleveland Clinic, which is one of the most respected organizations in health care. Dr. Cummings' enthusiasm for research is contagious, and one need only to look at his long list of accomplishments to see an extraordinary career that our future physicians should all hope to emulate."
March 27, 2018 - Interview: Ron Bates, We Must Do Well in Order to Do Good
"This is budget season, and I thought it would be a good idea for you to get to know the person who’s making sure we continue to operate on a strong financial foundation. We are lucky to have a Director of Finance who not only possesses great expertise with numbers - but with people, too - it’s a rare quality in the world of finance. Ron Bates came to us from the corporate world because he wanted to work for a cause, and he’s just the type of thoughtful person we need as we move forward and grow. I hope you enjoy reading about Ron, and how events in his life have shaped his work ethic. They help explain why he’s often the first one in the office - and among the last to leave."
March 20, 2018 - Interview: Dr. John Menezes, I've Always Wanted to Make a Difference
"The recent decision by the Englestad Family Foundation to offer an additional $1.7 million dollars in a matching gift challenge for additional student scholarships is certainly one of the feel good moments of the past week. It sends a message that the Englestad Family truly believes in the UNLV School of Medicine and our mission to train the next generation of doctors in Nevada. Many of the students who receive these scholarships will come from economically disadvantaged families and a good percentage of them are first generation college students. These are young people who show a resiliency and an ability to overcome setbacks — it’s something we all can admire and appreciate. I like to think the UNLV School of Medicine has a similar tenacity of spirit. It’s a quality that will serve us well on the road to becoming a world class center of medical education - where we are developing physicians of excellence — like Dr. John Menezes, the subject of today’s newsletter. "
March 13, 2018 - Research Through Cross-Campus Collaboration
"As the UNLV School of Medicine grows, one of our top priorities is establishing ourselves in the field of research. Lucky for us, we have experienced people to lead the way, including our Vice Dean for Research Dr. Parvesh Kumar. Parvesh has a very successful track record of leading medical research projects as well as overseeing and expanding entire research departments. Here at the UNLV School of Medicine, he’s begun building the foundation from which multiple important research projects can germinate and grow. And, as he will tell you, it begins by creating the proper environment for intellectual collaboration."
March 6, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Katherine Hertlein, Professor Named Fulbright Scholar
"Everyone at the School of Medicine benefits when one of our colleagues wins an award. And when that award is a Fulbright Scholarship, well that’s even better. Fulbrights are synonymous with success, and Dr. Katherine Hertlein, our Couple and Family Therapy Program Director who recently won the prestigious honor, is certainly no stranger to success."
February 27, 2018 - Interview: Mayor Carolyn Goodman, "We Want to Be Preeminent"
"As Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman sat in her office the other day, she talked about the importance of the UNLV School of Medicine to Southern Nevada. And she also talked about the importance of founding dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson to the UNLV School of Medicine."
February 20, 2018 - UNLV Medicine: Another Grateful Patient
"Whether it’s calming an upset stomach or saving someone’s life, the satisfaction that comes from helping our fellow man is the reason many of us became physicians. Grateful patients can mean the world to even the most experienced doctor. They are the reason we do what we do. I hope you enjoy reading about one such patient who suffered a potentially life-changing accident. Fortunately for him, his faith in UNLV Medicine is helping him get back to doing what he loves."
February 13, 2018 - Interview: Dr. John Ham, Giving the Gift of Life
"Patients who’ve received life saving transplants are some of the most grateful people you’ll ever meet. They’re quick to express deep appreciation, not only for the surgeon, but for the entire transplant team. We’re lucky to have Dr. John Ham as a professor of surgery and as transplant surgery chief for the UNLV School of Medicine. His kidney transplantation program at UMC is one of the nation’s finest. The proof is not only in the survival rates, it’s in the eyes and words of his incredibly grateful patients."
February 6, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Nadia Gomez, Evidence Based Medicine
"The saying, 'the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,' certainly applies to Dr. Nadia Gomez. While watching her parents treat patients when they lived in Nicaragua — not only helped Nadia prepare for a career in medicine, but opened her eyes to the value of effectively communicating with patients. Today, Dr. Gomez, in addition to seeing patients, is conducting research, writing a blog that dispels medical myths, and educating the public about innovations in healthcare. These are a few of many reasons why we are proud to have Dr. Nadia Gomez on our team."
January 30, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Gordon Victor Ohning, Digests New Challenge
"One of the challenges of building a new medical school is recruiting a number of highly skilled physicians, who are also effective teachers. We are fortunate to have inherited some outstanding faculty physicians from the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine, and we’ve added to our talented roster by recruiting some extraordinarily bright doctors from outside Nevada. We’re very lucky to have Dr. Gordon Ohning, who came to us from UCLA. As you are about to learn, he is an experienced and talented physician who can draw on years of experience while teaching the next generation of doctors."
January 23, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Anne Weisman, Reaching out to Help Others
"Have you ever noticed how some people can literally change the energy in a room? Dr. Anne Weisman is one of those people. From the moment I met Anne, I was impressed by her positivity and her forward-thinking approach to education. Her ideas about integrative medicine have helped shape our curriculum, and set the UNLV School of Medicine apart from other schools. I hope you enjoy getting to know Dr. Anne Weisman – once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of why we’re so proud to have her on our team."
January 16, 2018 - Interview: Lauren Hollifield, Class of 2021
"Members of our charter class reached a milestone — the midway point of their first year in medical school. I’m so proud of our students. They’re engaged, passionate, and hardworking. Not only that, but in the midst of their studies, they’re performing volunteer work, where they’re learning about the different medical needs in our community. Each one is building upon their own remarkable story. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about one such student, whose commitment to help and heal, led her to the UNLV School of Medicine."
January 9, 2018 - Interview: Dr. Gardner, Fine Tuning UNLV Medicine
"UNLV Medicine President, CEO, and Vice Dean of Clinical Affairs -- Dr. Michael Gardner will never be at a loss for something to do. He’s excited to help build the UNLV School of Medicine and UNLV Medicine from the ground up. 'It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity with all of the advantages and disadvantages of a startup. Since we’re new and small, since we’re not held to deals that were made 20, 30, 50 years ago. At some level that’s our weakness, but also our strength. We can do things differently.'"
January 2, 2018 - Top Healthcare Trends and Challenges
"There is much conjecture — often supported by studies that seem diametrically opposed — as to what the top healthcare challenges and trends will be in 2018 and beyond. Needless to say, it’s a time of transition, from the uproar over healthcare regulations to potential mega-mergers. There are certainly going to be new ways to keep healthcare providers and health IT pros engaged and excited, and here are some of the top picks."
- October 24 Rounds: "Neil Haycocks, MD, PhD, director of biomedical science integration and associate professor-in-residence of pathology and laboratory medicine, has a passion for solving puzzles. Before coming to the UNLV School of Medicine, Dr. Neil Haycocks played a large role planning and implementing the medical school at Quinnipiac University, helping with the design of its curriculum, accreditation and admissions."
- October 17 Rounds: "Protect yourself, your family and your patients from the flu by becoming vaccinated this season with an annual flu vaccine. While the timing of flu season is unpredictable, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue as late as May. CDC recommends that people 6 months of age and older receive a vaccination by the end of October, if possible."
- May 23 Rounds: "Last week, UNLV hosted a group of nearly 110 research investigators and leaders, biostatisticians, vice presidents of research, and others who came to Las Vegas from 13 major state universities of the Mountain West region who are partners in the Clinical and Translational Research Infrastructure (CTR-IN) Program."
- May 16 Rounds: "This past Saturday I participated in UNLV's commencement ceremonies for the second year. Graduation is a pivotal moment in every student's life. Even though I wrote about the excitement and tradition around graduation ceremonies last year, I decided to write about it again because I find each year to be its own unique experience."
- May 9 Rounds: "I am pleased to share the UNLV School of Medicine has reached another incredible milestone - one that I am very proud and excited about - selection of the students who will make up our charter class."
- May 2 Rounds: "One of our goals is to educate culturally competent physicians who understand their patient's culture and the context of their world. There are two effective approaches to ensure we have physicians who can provide medical care for minority populations."
- April 25 Rounds: "Second Look" is a traditional event in every medical student's impending career. Last Thursday and Friday, April 20 and 21 UNLV Medicine held a "Second Look" for students who have been admitted to our charter class, beginning July 17, 2017.
- April 18 Rounds: "This is an exciting time for UNLV. The university has experienced a surge in student enrollment, as well as a spike in the number of faculty and staff, and programs offered at the graduate level."
- April 11 Rounds: "This is an exciting time for UNLV. The university has experienced a surge in student enrollment, as well as a spike in the number of faculty and staff, and programs offered at the graduate level. All of this is coupled with genuine community excitement associated with the start of the medical school and the potential of a new stadium near campus."
- April 4 Rounds: "Meet Jeffrey Fahl, MD, director of anatomy. He's responsible for developing and teaching the medical school's anatomy curriculum that includes virtual anatomy tables to deliver a multidimensional learning experience for our students."
- March 28 Rounds: "Meet Corrin Sullivan, Ph.D. Corrin is responsible for the management of all curriculum associated with student interactions as they progress through their four years at UNLV School of Medicine."
- March 21 Rounds: "Last Friday, March 17th, also known as "Match Day", was an exciting day for medical student graduates across the country as they learned where they will be placed for their postgraduate residency training."
- March 14 Rounds: "We reached an important milestone for the school and for the citizens of Southern Nevada. Three important items were approved by the Regents. These included the UNLV Medicine bylaws, it’s business plan and a $19 million line of credit to support the clinical practice’s start-up costs."
- March 7 Rounds: "Last week was another pivotal week for medical school milestones, that ranged from having in-depth discussions on the future development of the medical education building, to meeting with members of the Nevada Legislature, to accepting students for our charter class, to securing the future of our clinical practice (UNLV Medicine). It was truly a landmark week."
- Feb. 28 Rounds: "Our curriculum pulls together some of the most-forward thinking, proven approaches being used elsewhere into one integrated curriculum. It also represents the vision of our many faculty members."
- Feb. 21 Rounds: "Amidst the relentless demands of medical school, one of the unique experiences the UNLV School of Medicine has built into the curriculum is the Intersessions program. The Intersessions are eight, weeklong courses that give students a mental and physical break from the rigors of the core medical school curriculum."
- Feb. 14 Rounds: "Meet Mark Guadagnoli, associate dean for faculty affairs who is helping the medical school build an exceptional culture for faculty, students and staff."
- Feb. 7 Rounds: "Meet Edward Simanton, director of educational outcomes and assessment who is an amazing example of how people with specialized skills work behind the scenes to ensure excellent teaching in medical schools."
- Jan. 31 Rounds: "Last week, the Clark County Medical Society sponsored an outstanding Town Hall at City Hall with the City of Las Vegas and UNLV School of Medicine. The purpose of the event was to educate physicians, health care providers, business and community members about the visions of the Las Vegas Medical District (LVMD) and the UNLV School of Medicine, and the progress made over the past two years on both projects. More than 150 people attended the event."
- Jan. 24 Rounds: "Last Tuesday, Governor Brian Sandoval gave a very positive State of the State address to the Nevada legislators who are preparing for the 2017 legislative session, which starts next month and runs through June."
- Jan. 17 Rounds: "This weekend I had the great pleasure of calling the first group of students accepted to the UNLV School of Medicine's inaugural class."
- Jan. 10 Rounds: 2016 Accomplishments and more...
- Dec. 13 Rounds: "Super Saturday. That is what we called last Saturday when 32 applicants spent their day on the UNLV School of Medicine Shadow Lane campus interviewing. To date, we have interviewed 128 applicants - all Nevada residents or with strong ties to Nevada. We are meeting some exceptional and very qualified students."
- Dec. 6 Rounds: "Our clinical practice, to be called UNLV Medicine, will begin July 2017, when the Las Vegas-based clinical faculty employed by the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNRSOM) become employees of the UNLV School of Medicine."
- Nov. 29 Rounds: "Along with launching our educational program in July 2017, UNLV School of Medicine will launch its clinical operation (UNLV Medicine). We have been working on these plans for more than a year. It's exciting to see it become a reality in southern Nevada."
- Nov. 22 Rounds: "Happy Thanksgiving from UNLV School of Medicine."
- Nov. 15 Rounds: "Leaders must see the possibilities in the future, work through adversities and their own mistakes, and bounce back to lead effectively through difficulty."
- Nov. 8 Rounds: "The UNLV School of Medicine started its admissions process Oct. 29, and in less than 2 weeks we have received more than 650 applications - and nearly 50 percent are from Nevada students. We are just thrilled."
- Nov. 1 Rounds: "Great news. UNLV School of Medicine started accepting student applications through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)."
- Oct. 25 Rounds: "It was a special milestone for me personally that the medical school's first clinic focuses on autism care. Autism, the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the U.S., affects one in every 68 children, including more than 4,750 young Clark County residents."
- Oct. 18 Rounds:"Today, the UNLV School of Medicine achieved preliminary accreditation. The entire medical school team and UNLV leadership have worked for more than two and half years to reach this momentous day. We feel a great sense of accomplishment and the renewed freedom to continue development of an outstanding medical school in Southern Nevada."
- Oct. 11 Rounds:"We will learn early next week if we achieved "preliminary accreditation" and if the school can begin accepting our charter class. In the meantime here are 10 big projects we are working on at UNLV School of Medicine."
- Oct. 4 Rounds: Guest Column by Ellen Cosgrove, MD, vice dean of academic affairs & education, UNLV School of Medicine -- We are in the final countdown to receiving the accreditation decision from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) - the national accreditation authority for medical schools. The LCME will meet October 18 and 19 - only two weeks from now.
- Sept. 27 Rounds: Guest column by Ellen Cosgrove, MD, vice dean of academic affairs & education, UNLV School of Medicine discussing innovations in medical education.
- Sept. 20 Rounds: Guest Column by Maureen Schafer, UNLV School of Medicine Chief of Staff.
- Sept. 13 Rounds: "I believe UNLV School of Medicine must aspire for excellence in all of its endeavors that enable us to provide the best and most innovative education, patient care, research and community service available."
- Sept. 6 Rounds: "I traveled to Philadelphia last week for the last in person meeting of President Barack Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission). The commission’s purpose is to discuss current ethical issues in science and medicine and provides guidance to the president, as needed."
- Aug. 30 Rounds: "Medical students must know how to use EHRs today so they can help to improve the continuity of care for patients as they seek care from one provider to the next and in different settings."
- Aug. 23 Rounds: "We were granted accreditation from ACGME as an institutional sponsor of graduate medical education (GME). This means that as of July 1, 2017, UNLV School of Medicine will be able to accept sponsorship of the current residency and fellowship programs at University Medical Center (UMC), Sunrise Hospital, Southern Nevada Veterans Administration Hospital, and the Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services."
- Aug. 16 Rounds: "I have seen real progress for women in medicine across my long career. When I started medical school in 1970, there was a quota of 10 percent women in my class; the year before the quota was just 5 percent. Now, and for the past 15 years, women have made up nearly half of all entering medical students."
- Aug. 9 Rounds: "We designed our four-year curriculum to ensure our students recognize addiction, prescribe the right amount of pain medication for their patients, and manage their patients' pain treatment."
- Aug. 2 Rounds: "Pipeline programs are important for encouraging students to consider a career in a medical field, such as medicine, nursing, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, laboratory technician, speech and hearing, physician's assistant, crime scene investigator, etc. All are great careers."
- Jul. 26 Rounds: "The survey site team's mission was to assess the UNLV School of Medicine's readiness to accept its first class. There are 12 standards that have been developed by the LCME to review each medical school. The standards address leadership and planning, finances, faculty, facilities, student support, and of course curriculum."
- Jul. 19 Rounds: "Hospitality in health care is a focus in two key areas of the medical school: (1) Planning and design of the medical school's first academic building; and (2) design of our first clinical practice."
- Jul. 12 Rounds: "I used the following questions as my guidepost in thinking about the school: 'What does a doctor need to know if she/he is going to be practicing medicine for the next 50 years?'"
- Jul. 5 Rounds: "The fiscal year at UNLV came to a close Jun. 30, marking the end of our second year as a School of Medicine. I thought it fitting to look at our achievements and what lies ahead."
- Jun. 28 Rounds: "During the UMC Governing Board meeting last week, I shared my vision on how UMC and the UNLV School of Medicine could create an academic health center."
- Jun. 21 Rounds: "The past week has been incredible on many fronts - from preparing for our accreditation site visit, to securing the land for our first academic building, to meeting with our architects to design it. It has been a week of milestones."
- Jun. 14 Rounds: "We're working hard to ensure UNLV School of Medicine exudes excellence and innovation — two of our six core values — for guiding our curriculum, clinical programs and practices, and research."
- Jun. 7 Rounds: "A part of our mission is to recruit a diverse student body that reflects the demographics of this region and who will stay in Nevada to practice medicine. We're going to accomplish this by taking these steps ..."
- May 31 Rounds: "UNLV currently is renovating 20,000 sq. ft. on the second floor of the UNLV Dental School at its Shadow Lane campus for the medical school. It's a perfect space for our medical students until our medical education building is completed."
- May 24 Rounds: "A few weeks ago, I discussed my service on the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethics Issues (the Bioethics Commission). Today, I want tell you about one topic we examined that was perhaps my favorite - synthetic biology."
- May 17 Rounds: "Over the span of my career I have graduated and hooded 2,775 medical students — almost the same number as the UNLV graduates I watched with pride on Saturday."
- May 10 Rounds: "A public medical school such as UNLV School of Medicine needs to demonstrate its value to the Governor, Nevada legislators, Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents, and the public to secure the funding vital to its success."
- May 3 Rounds: "For the last six years I have had the honor and privilege of serving on the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (the Bioethics Commission) and work on nine issues surrounding bioethics."
- Apr. 27 Rounds: "One of my most rewarding achievements over the past year has been recruiting a stellar team to build a first-rate medical school at UNLV."
- Apr. 19 Rounds: "Last week, the UNLV School of Medicine education team had the opportunity to see a demonstration of a new virtual anatomy learning system, technology that will replace traditional anatomy education as part of our innovative curriculum."
- Apr. 12 Rounds: "Dr. Parvesh Kumar was appointed Principal Investigator of the Mountain West Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Clinical and Translational Research — Infrastructure Network (CTR-IN) grant held by UNLV."
- Apr. 5 Rounds: "United Health Foundation presented the UNLV School of Medicine with a $3 million grant to support innovative new programs and help us plan UNLV community health clinics."
- Mar. 29 Rounds: "Each month we meet with community leaders to discuss social issues impacting Las Vegas. The topics are wide-ranging and include nutrition and obesity, addiction, mental and behavioral health, homelessness and human trafficking. The UNLV School of Medicine will address these issues in our curriculum so we can effectively educate medical students about the importance of community leadership and advocacy."
- Mar. 22 Rounds: "Department chair appointments are the next important recruitments for the medical school. Each department chair is responsible for developing specific goals for their department and leading their faculty toward achieving these clinical, teaching and research goals. We already have a few chairs and will be recruiting more over the next year."
- Mar. 15 Rounds: "Our fourth-year students will spend an entire month in a nonprofit agency such as Opportunity Village, Nathan Adelson Hospice, or Three Square, where they will learn about the organization, attend a board meeting if possible, and most importantly, complete a project to help those served by the agency."
- Mar. 8 Rounds: "The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents approved the structure for the medical school's faculty practice plan last week. This is great news because it allows us to take the steps needed to set up the legal framework."
- Mar. 1 Rounds: "Welcome Parvesh Kumar, MD., the newest member of our team. Dr. Kumar will be in charge of the medical school's research efforts and cancer program. He's an outstanding radiation oncologist with a strong national reputation for building academic radiation oncology departments and cancer research programs."
- Feb. 23 Rounds: "I am thrilled to introduce you to the newest member of the UNLV School of Medicine leadership team — Tracey Green, MD. As vice dean for clinical affairs and professor of family medicine Dr. Green will set up the medical school's clinical practices."
- Feb. 16 Rounds: "Accreditation documents submitted on Dec. 1, 2015 qualified the school for a site visit. We are now one step closer to accepting our first class of students."
- Feb. 9 Rounds: "Our first class of students will be pioneers as they work with us to streamline, modify and improve our curriculum. The charter class will always have a special place in the history of the UNLV School of Medicine."
- Feb. 2 Rounds: "It's essential our students learn how to advocate on behalf of their patients and their community."
- Jan. 28 Rounds: "I'm so very grateful to the Governor and the Nevada legislature for making GME a priority and for taking steps to improve Nevada's physician shortage. It's going to make a real difference."
- Jan 19 Rounds: "Public medical schools depend on a wide array of funding to remain viable and successful. A few of these include state/government funding, clinical practice, research grants, and philanthropic support."
- Jan 12 Rounds: "Strong residency and fellowships programs are the key to building our physician workforce in Nevada".
- Jan. 5 Rounds: "The LVMD will be an incredible accomplishment for Southern Nevada and important for our medical school".
- Dec. 15 Rounds: "UNLV School of Medicine leadership and UNLV planning and construction staff met with our architects, Tate Snyder and Kimsey, to make decisions on a set of final plans for our interim teaching space and administrative and faculty offices. We're making tremendous progress."
- Dec. 8 Rounds: "We want outstanding students, from diverse backgrounds and experiences, who demonstrate personal qualities of community activism, leadership, perseverance, resiliency, optimism, and dedication to exemplary patient care; and who will stay in Nevada to take care of Nevadans."
- Dec. 1 Rounds: "After nine months of working on our accreditation documents, we had the great satisfaction of submitting them to the Liaison Committee for Medical Education."
- Nov. 24 Rounds: "We have made a lot of progress toward making UNLV School of Medicine a reality by 2017. I couldn't be more excited."
- Nov. 17 Rounds: "One project consuming a lot of my time is what we internally refer to as "the transition".
- Nov. 10 Rounds: "The "official" announcement of my appointment as the Founding Dean of UNLV School of Medicine was made today. I couldn't be more thrilled. I'm truly committed to this community and to seeing our new medical school through to completion."
- Nov. 3 Rounds: "The fundamental pillars for a medical school are accreditation, a compelling curriculum, a viable faculty practice plan with an outstanding practice facility and program, and a research operation to complement the clinical and educational activity."
- Oct. 27 Rounds: "A heartfelt thanks to Gov. Brian Sandoval, the Nevada Legislature, and especially the members of the Interim Finance Committee for their continued support of the medical school".
- Oct. 20 Rounds: "When creating our curriculum we examined the challenges facing physicians in the future. We wanted to ensure our students learned how to treat the whole patient. The best way to accomplish this is to follow patients over time."
- Oct. 13 Rounds:"The purpose of our half-day conference was to bring people together who provide care, support, resources or insurance for Medicaid patients and to discuss how we can work together "as partners" to better organize care and services."
- Oct. 6 Rounds: "Since we are a brand new medical school, we have the wonderful opportunity to use established, researched and well-regarded teaching models from other medical schools - then put these together in a way that's never been done before."
- Sept. 29 Rounds: "I'm often asked what it takes to build a medical school? To give you an example, I thought I would share my typical workweek."
- Sept. 22 Rounds: "There's nothing like having a strong foundation when you're building a new medical school. I'm looking forward to many more celebrations as we achieve more milestones together."
- Sept. 15 Rounds: "With our organizational structure now in place, we can start recruiting and hiring chairs to head up each department, which is extremely exciting."
- Sept. 8 Rounds: "What's exciting about the COBRE grant is the partnership it creates between the LRCBH and UNLV. It brings together expert researchers, a robust patient population, and powerful computing analyses to better understand two common diseases."
- Sept. 1 Rounds: "Dr. Anthony Marlon's generous gift underscores the importance of philanthropy. Private philanthropic support enables us to hire new faculty, create new departments, residency programs, clinical care and research - all of which will help to improve access to exemplary medical care for southern Nevadans."
- Aug. 25 Rounds: "We wholeheartedly believe if our students develop relationships throughout our community it will influence their decision to stay in Nevada."
- Aug. 18 Rounds: "New knowledge is generated by medical school faculty grants supporting scientific research, and grants from foundations supporting new programs."
- Aug. 11 Rounds: "When starting a new medical school, you must have the obvious: students, a curriculum and teaching faculty. An equally important aspect of a medical school, which makes it different from other university programs, is known as the 'clinical practice'."
- Aug. 4 Rounds: "Building a medical school in less than three years takes motivated and passionate people who are doggedly committed to our goal."
- Jul. 28 Rounds: "Read our report from three former medical school dean consultants in nine concrete recommendations for a path forward.”
- Jul. 21 Rounds: “This is an important week in UNLV Medicine history. The statewide steering committee will meet Wednesday, Jul. 22 to begin planning the transition and separation of Nevada's two public medical schools in Las Vegas -- UNLV Medicine and the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno.”
- Jul. 14 Rounds: “When people ask me how I'm planning for a new medical school, I tell them it's easy: make the school responsive to the needs of the community.”
- Jul. 7 Rounds: "Watch our video of UNLV School of Medicine's Community Advisory Board Vice Chair, Warren Volker, MD. He’s also chairman and CEO of WellHealth Quality Care.
- First issue, Jul. 1, 2015: “Welcome to "Rounds" the first issue of my weekly e-newsletter.”