The recessionary times are not over yet in America, and most certainly not in Nevada. A special session of our state legislature worked out a compromise with the governor to address a nearly $900 million gap between expected revenue and expenditures for the state.
The Nevada System of Higher Education, including the School of Medicine, ended up sustaining lower cuts than many had feared, but substantial funding reductions have to be accommodated nonetheless. For the School of Medicine, which has a budget only partly based on state funds, the recession affects us from a number of directions.
Patients without insurance or without a job often must decide to defer care, and this means less income from our practices. At the time I am writing this, we must anticipate a 21 percent reduction in reimbursement for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Clark County faces a difficult financial situation, putting the squeeze on support from our main teaching hospital for our educational programs at UMC. Our endowments are only beginning to recover from the stock market malaise of 2008-09.
In other words, we face financial contractions on a number of sides.
With this in mind, our development office and I have embarked on an appeal to all our faculty, friends and alumni to give – if you can – to support our scholarship programs for deserving medical students who face the impact of our economic times at a personal level. Common sources of financial support have become less available as it is difficult to find part-time jobs in a state with a 13 percent unemployment rate, and in other cases parents are out of work and unable to pay their children’s living expenses.
Our response to this appeal means to me, once again, that as a community we can weather the adversities of the environment and times we operate in. Throughout it all, our commitment to the education of our students remains unaltered. The growth of our students through the years and their successful transition to fully qualified physicians is the reason we look forward to our work days as faculty members.
I trust that we can maintain our enthusiasm through the hard times, and that many of us can help our students by additional support for our scholarship funds.
Ole J. Thienhaus, M.D., MBA
Remy Lamberts and Caroline Graham-Lamberts, both from the Class of 2011, were first authors on two abstracts that won the prestigious Stowell-Orbison Award from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology.
Only four awards are given out of 500 abstracts. Remy’s abstract is entitled “Multiple Skin Cancers Arising in Bone Marrow Transplant Recipients Can Exhibit a Donor Origin” and Caroline’s abstract was on “Lymphovascular Tumor Emboli Recapitulate an In Vitro Mammosphere Stem Cell Phenotype.”
According to Sanford H. Barsky, M.D., chair of pathology, this is the first time that the University of Nevada and the Nevada Cancer Institute have not only participated in this competition but were selected as winners among abstracts submitted from the leading academic institutions and cancer centers. “This is also the first time that two awards were won by the same institution,” he said.
A fundraiser in support of medical students’ trip to Nicaragua this summer will be held Saturday, April 17 at 7 p.m. at the Pennington foyer in Reno.
Sixteen students from the School of Medicine are traveling to help operate medical clinics, participate in public health operations and learn clinical skills from both Nicaraguan and American doctors. The goal of the trip is to promote global health, cultural competence and understanding.
Food, drinks and music will be provided at this annual event. Everyone is cordially invited. Cost is $25 at the door or $20 for medical students and tickets are available from Alyce Sutko. To donate an auction item contact Dustin Holland.
University of Nevada medical students continued their tradition of placing in some of the nation’s most competitive residency programs when the Class of 2010 learned their match results on March 18. Read more
Endocrinologist Evan Klass, M.D., will take over as interim chair of the internal medicine department in Reno effective April 1. Klass has been with the department for just over a year, coming from North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York where he was co-chief of the endocrinology division.
Christopher von Bartheld, M.D., professor, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, was invited by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Government and Public Affairs Committee to participate as one of five representatives in the 4th Annual SfN Capitol Hill Day on March 25 in Washington, D.C.
During his visit, von Bartheld met with Nevada's congressional delegation to discuss local research and the importance of federal NIH and NSF funding to advancing biomedical and neuroscience research. von Bartheld is currently president of the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.
Elissa Palmer, M.D., chair of family medicine in Las Vegas, recently co-authored several articles for medical publications. The first, for the Journal of Graduate Medical Education is entitled “Impact of Proposed Institute of Medicine Duty Hours: Family Medicine Residency Directors' Perspective.”
She also had three different titles published in recent issues of the Annals of Family Medicine. Palmer has been invited to co-present at two half-day sessions at American Academy of Family Physicians meetings in November 2010 and March 2011.
Kate Martin, M.D.’06, a 2009 graduate of the family medicine residency in Las Vegas and presently an assistant professor in the family medicine department in Las Vegas, successfully achieved board certification by the American Board of Family Physicians.
Nevin Wilson, M.D., chair of pediatrics in Reno co-authored a manuscript entitled “Influence of Cytokine Gene Variations on Immunization to Childhood Vaccines” which won an award as the best paper of 2010 for the Society of Toxicology meeting in Salt Lake City earlier this year. It was also recently published in the journal Vaccine.
Ray Plodkowski, M.D., chief, Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition, and Metabolism and medical students Rebecca Michael and Charles Calvo had their abstract, "The Impact of Metformin on Vitamin B12 Levels in Older People with Type 2 Diabetes" accepted for presentation at the 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society in May.
Other faculty contributors to the abstract were Diane Chau, M.D., chief, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Quang Nguyen, D.O. and Sachiko St. Jeor, Ph.D. of the Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
Plodkowski also had the abstract, "Naltrexone SR/Bupropion SR Combination Therapy Led to Significant and Sustained Weight Loss and Improved HbA1c in Overweight/Obese Subjects with Type 2 Diabetes" accepted for presentation at the American Diabetes Association’s 70th Scientific Sessions national meeting in June. He is second author on the abstract and collaborated with co-authors from Baylor Medical Center and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University.
Pharmacology professor Iain Buxton, Pharm.D., is one of six researchers nationwide who recently received word that he will receive a share of $2.6 million in preterm birth research grants from the March of Dimes over the next three years to support his work studying the causes of preterm birth. Read more
New hires, promotions and recognitions
Melissa Elliott, a medical assistant at the Family Medicine Center in Las Vegas successfully passed the national certifying examination to achieve the status of certified medical assistant. She graduated from a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs accredited school which allowed her to sit for national medical assistant certification examination.
Robin Morello just received her Certified Bariatric Nurse certification from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. She is only the second to do so in Las Vegas. It is a very competitive examination and is a big step for the Division of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery.
U.S. Senate defense appropriations bill brings $2.4 million to University of Nevada School of Medicine
The University of Nevada School of Medicine Department of Surgery was awarded $2.4 million as part of a Department of Defense appropriations bill passed by the U.S. Senate this past December.
The research award is part of nearly $90 million for high-tech initiatives in Nevada that support the U.S. military, according to a press release from the office of Sen. Harry Reid. Read more
The emergency medicine residency program recently earned full accreditation for five years, the maximum possible. A special thanks goes out to those who had a role in this success, especially Michael Epter, D.O., training director; Ross Berkeley, M.D., associate director and Dale Carrison, D.O., department chair. Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education, also deserves recognition for her role in this effort.
The University of Nevada School of Medicine’s Student Outreach Clinic is offering a new educational service for those living with diabetes. Read more
Pediatrics faculty will hold an award and resident graduation ceremony at Red Rock Country Club in Las Vegas on June 12 for its 12 graduating pediatric residents. Read more
Pediatric residents Dr.s Juan Collazos, Melissa Cox, and Angie Weiner delivered oral presentations at the annual meeting of the Western Society of Pediatric Research earlier this year in Carmel, Calif. Collazos reported on the reversibility of mildly elevated TSH after weight reduction in obese children. Cox evaluated treatment outcomes of H2RA versus PPI therapy in pediatric GERD. Weiner studied MRSA colonization rates in maternal-infant pairs in Las Vegas. Caroline Graham, a third year medical student, presented findings on characteristics of women undergoing tubal ligation in Clark County in a study co-authored by L. Rosenfeld, C. Mangalindan, and Echezona Ezeanolue, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics.
At the same meeting, faculty members of the Las Vegas pediatrics department and the Children’s Heart Center presented research findings. Beth Creel presented psychosocial findings of children enrolled in CHC’s Healthy Hearts Program for overweight children and adolescents. Drs. Evans, Galindo, Rothman, Acherman, and Kip authored a presentation on treatment outcomes of hybrid management of children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Dr. Rollins’ presentation entitled, “Idiopathic dilation of the ascending aorta in children,” was co-authored by Dr.s Evans and Restrepo while Dr.s Evans, Acherman, Kip and Restrepo studied coronary artery fistulas in infants less than six months old.
Finally, David Gremse, M.D., pediatrics chair in Las Vegas, was chosen as president-elect of the Western Society for Pediatric Research. He is the first Nevadan to be elected to this position.
A weight loss seminar that offers an overview of obesity, its health impact as well as treatment options, including surgery is being offered to prospective patients and the general public on Wednesday, April 1 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Read more
The University of Nevada School of Medicine released a new report, “Physician Supply, Education, and Retention in Nevada and Neighboring States,” which profiles current physician workforce trends in Nevada and other western states. Read more
What is the average cost of medical care for a driver who didn’t buckle up and was in a car crash in Las Vegas? When is one at a higher risk of being in a motor vehicle collision in Reno? What was the overall financial cost of traffic crashes to the state last year in Nevada? These are some examples of the possible questions related to traffic crashes and the subsequent medical costs to those affected that the University of Nevada School of Medicine and the Nevada Department of Public Safety have teamed up to answer. Read more
Nevada Geriatric Education Center in partnership with the American Geriatrics Student Society and the School of Medicine’s Student Outreach Clinic will offer a seminar on “Drug Interactions and Medication Management” on Thursday, April 8 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Pennington Medical Education Building, Room 12. Anyone with an interest in geriatrics and working with older adults is welcome to attend this free event. Please register with Diann Jones at (775)784-8470 so refreshments may be provided.
The School of Medicine and the Orvis School of Nursing present Elizabeth Travis, Ph.D., of MD Anderson Cancer Center lecturing on “Achieving Work-Life Balance” as part of the Women in Medicine lecture series on May 3 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Joe Crowley Student Union, Room 423 on the UNR campus. All are welcome to attend this even which will include workshops, presentation and a box lunch. Please register with the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development at (775)784-6777 so food may be prepared.
Everyone is invited to the school’s annual talent show planned for April 9 at 6 p.m. in the Manville Auditorium. Contact Veronica Janhunen, Class of 2012, to sign up to showcase your creative talent.
Mark your calendars for the Annual School of Medicine Senior Golf Tournament on May 12 at Lakeridge Golf Course in Reno. The day begins at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start and will include the usual amenities like great food, good company and terrific golfing on a beautiful course.
Cost is $90 or$30 for first-, second- and third-year medical students and covers 18 holes of golf, cart, use of driving range, prizes, breakfast and lunch. Following tradition, the graduating Class of 2010 plays for free.
Make checks payable to “Board of Regents” and send to Brandi Taylor, Office of Admissions and Student Affairs, Pennington Medical Education Building, M/S 357, Reno, NV 89557 by April 23.
Visit the University of Nevada, Reno Web site for a current list of state jobs at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
In This Edition
New hires, promotions and recognitions
Inside Nevada Medicine is a service of the Communications Office, University of Nevada School of Medicine and is published monthly. Faculty, staff, residents and students are encouraged to submit items of school-wide interest to Editor Anne McMillin for publication. Deadline is the 20th of the month prior to publication. Copyright 2010 University of Nevada School of Medicine.