According to Nevada State Bank President Terry Shirey, quality always should be job one.
“Delivering a quality product in whatever you do is critical,” said Shirey, who also is chairman of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, the largest business organization in Nevada.
And it’s quality he brings up repeatedly when talking about why the chamber supports the expansion of the UNLV School of Medicine and why he and other chamber representatives are discussing with state legislators the importance of the medical school to Southern Nevada.
“Having a quality medical school that is producing doctors who practice world-class medicine not only helps make our residents more healthy but it also allows Las Vegas to compete with other cities that are delivering quality medicine,” Shirey said. “Cities are in constant competition for the best professional and business talent. The perception has been that our health care is not on a par with other communities, that we’re not creating our own pipeline of excellent doctors. The UNLV School of Medicine can change that with top faculty and facilities.”
Shirey said he came away highly impressed after meeting with Dr. Barbara Atkinson, founding dean UNLV School of Medicine, who was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and is the only American woman to head three medical schools. “I hear very consistently that residents of Southern Nevada are very supportive of the school and hopeful it will reach its potential. Ultimately, it will enhance the quality of life here and make Las Vegas a world-class city, one that is a destination for medical tourism.”
Advancing as an Intellectual Hub
When UNLV was designated as a Carnegie R1 research institution in December, Shirey was ecstatic. “UNLV is now among schools such as Harvard, Princeton, and UCLA with R1 status that are driving innovation in their communities,” he said, adding that R1 status will help drive economic development for high-tech companies seeking a top-level university research partner.
“The medical school helps ensure that UNLV is seen as the intellectual hub of the community,” he said. According to studies commissioned by the city of Las Vegas, the medical school also will be an economic engine, with a projected yearly impact of $1.2 billion by 2030. Together, the Las Vegas Medical District and the medical school will have a combined economic impact of $3.6 billion and add nearly 25,000 new jobs.
Former Nevada Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams, now deputy director and chief strategy officer for Workforce Connections, Southern Nevada’s local workforce development board, said the chamber’s decision to make the medical school a priority during its discussions with legislators is critical to Southern Nevada’s well-being.
“It’s both an economic and health care priority,” says Bustamante Adams, who often worked in tandem with the chamber during her eight years in the assembly.
Shirey noted that Paul Moradkhan, the chamber’s vice-president of government affairs, is heading the chamber’s work with legislators. “It is important legislators see what the research shows,” said Moradkhan, ’03 BA English, who once served as UNLV’s student body president.
Healthy Nevadans Equals Healthy Workforce
Shirey said his work with the chamber and as a banker are “a nice fit...Nevada State Bank is set on serving the small business community as is the chamber...it seems seamless.”
Nevada State Bank has been a recent supporter of the medical school. Under the direction of Rita Vaswani, a bank vice president, proceeds from a fashion show put on by the Las Vegas India Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Gala went to UNLV School of Medicine and Touro School of Medicine students.
“Our bank believes in community service,” said Shirey, pointing out that bank employees donated nearly 5,000 hours of community service in the past year, including teaching students, at-risk individuals, and social service providers about the basics of handling money and credit. Dozens of individuals also mobilized at the last minute to pack meals for workers hurt by the government shutdown.
There is no question, he said, that enhancing the quality of life through better health care in Southern Nevada is now one of his top priorities.
“It’s a no brainer,” Shirey said. “People will have better health outcomes and we will attract better talent and more business to Southern Nevada. The UNLV School of Medicine is an important component to that equation.”