State of The School Address | School of Medicine

50 years of learning of growing of
evolving 50 years of game-changing research
passion fueled faculty and industry leading practices in 1969 Governor Paul
Laxalt signed historic legislation to establish Nevada’s first medical school
back then we were known as educators of medicine creating a foundation of caring
and a tradition of excellence we still stand for that we also stand for so much
more today’s University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is a diverse learning
community a training ground for high-tech facilities and hands-on
treatment create dynamic learning experiences here we nurture careers by
engaging our students in groundbreaking research that not only shapes their
education but the world around them a place where we never lose sight of the
privilege that comes with caring for patients while placing value on the tremendous need to care for ourselves what is 50 years brought to our school of medicine
strength momentum opportunity results as we mark 50 years we celebrate the
successes we’ve seen the accomplishments on the horizon and the ideas we haven’t
even begun to imagine the University of Nevada, Reno School of
Medicine unrivaled history unlimited future Wow I get goosebumps every time I
see that video great turnout great venue good evening and welcome to the Basin Street Club I’m very pleased to welcome you all here to celebrate this great
Medical School and to celebrate all of your many successes I am very honored by
this terrific turnout it’s just wonderful to see this amazing group and
to see people arrayed around and the seats are full and friendly and
supportive faces so thank you all faculty and staff members students
campus colleagues community faculty members and our many important community
health partners thank you all for being here let me start with thanks to
athletic director Doug Knuth and the Nevada Athletics for this excellent
venue their staff has been so supportive working with them on this venue has been
great and even more special thanks to our advancement and engagement team the
highlight video the photos that you see all around the achievements that
surround us and the way that that team supports us in so many ways and supports
the tradition of the state of the school address the many successes that we have
experienced in the school are way too numerous to cover tonight so please make
sure that you look at the scrolling video and look at the other supporting
information to celebrate all of your many achievements from the past year as
I said the highlight video is a highlight of the entire year for me and
I hope for you as well it reflects so well on all of you I want to say
personally that the A & E Team is so powerful for this school they represent
all of you so well they represent your achievements they support you they give
you visibility they connect us so much to the the
community which is so critical for a community engaged medical school so
please join me in thanking Julie Ardito and the entire A & E Team I have a long
list of distinguished guests to recognize tonight so please hold your
applause till the end from the Nevada System of Higher Education
Regent Carol del Carlo from the Nevada System of Higher Education
Regent Cathy McAdoo president of the University of Nevada Reno Dr. Marc
Johnson Vice President executive vice president and provost of the University
Dr. Kevin Carmen Vice President of the University for
Research and Innovation Dr. Mridul Gautam representing United States
Senator Catherine Cortes Masto Carrie Dermik representing United States senator
Dean Heller Katie Pace Nevada Assemblywoman Jill Tolls Community Health Sciences Dean Trudy Larsen Orvis School of Nursing Dean Debra Thomas President of the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine Alumni Association Dr. Joe
Hollen executive director of the Washoe County Medical Society Mary Ann McCauley
Renown Health Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Sy Johnson CEO of Northern Nevada Medical Center Allen Olive CEO of Reno
Behavioral Health Care hospital Steve Shell Director of the VA
Hospital and back from an extended assignment away Lisa Howard Chief of
Staff for the VA Dr. Ivan Correa so thank you to this entire distinguished
group of guests thank you very much but really all of you our distinguished
I welcome all of you and thank all of you for coming all of the community
physicians the partners who’ve come together to support this school the
medical societies all the representatives from all parts of this
school thank you so much the theme of this year’s state of the
school address is the same as the theme for our 50th anniversary celebration and
really the theme of the entire 50-year history of the school tonight we
celebrate our unrivaled history and our unlimited future our official
anniversary is March 25th 2019 the entire year is a celebration that
commemorates the signing of legislation Governor Paul Laxalt officially creating
what was then the University of Nevada School of Medicine all year we are
paying tribute to our five decade journey at the same time we are planning
a course for a very exciting future yeah when we came together a year ago we had
emerged as a quote new school albeit a school with a nearly 50-year tradition
and history we had just completed a major transition from our Las Vegas
campus an incredibly complicated change that our school navigated with grace and
with focus and with enthusiasm and I thank everyone who played and continues
to play a major role in that success to support our transformation to a Medical
School fully based in Northern Nevada we completed a rigorous strategic planning
process that focused intensely on who we were who we are and who we will be what
has resulted is a medical school strongly engaged with the Northern
Nevada community but with a statewide vision and just to make this
transformation even more exciting our regular accreditation cycle hit right in
the middle of the transition undergoing LCME accreditation is among
the most massive intensive and important school-wide initiatives at any medical
school undertakes last September at this time we were just a month away from a
site visit by six distinguished medical educators now a year later we continue
to celebrate the notification received last March that our school was granted
full accreditation through 2026 best applause line ever there was no
better measure of our excellence and our ability to describe that excellence in
full accreditation thank you to all of you and many others who came together in
extraordinary ways to ensure our successful accreditation every one of
you contributed in ways large and small to this success our success is also a
direct reflection of the stellar LCME accreditation team led by dr. Melissa
Piasecki executive associate dean dr. crystal Oates accreditation coordinator
and dr. Amy Smith director of institutional assessment I would like
dr. Piasecki and Smith to please stand so you can thank them and thank you to
dr. crystal Oates whose academic career took her to Nevada State College please through both the transition and the
accreditation we were growing in complex and rich ways important new initiatives
new and expanded partnerships and major research enterprises we were preparing
to welcome the inaugural class of the physician assistant studies program
launched in your departments of OB gen and surgery expanding all of our
clinical clerkships welcoming several new research investigators expanding
several residency programs and creating a new regional campus and elko we’re not
about growing for growth’s sake at our core we are here to fundamentally
improve the health of Northern Nevada the entire silver state and beyond our
School of Medicine is about quality we’re laser focused on excellence in our
missions of teaching research and service and our commitment to inclusion
and equity we are planning carefully for strategic
growth that focuses on success and real results now if you’re looking for
success and results look no farther than our students who have come to us in
search of an unrivaled education and unlimited opportunity we have created a
full four-year campus in Reno in a remarkably short time remarkably short a
campus that supports comprehensive teaching research and community service
programs one example among many truly demonstrates our successful transition
to a northern nevada based medical school our office of medical education
and office for community faculty work together with our clinical partners
physicians clinics and hospitals to fully develop clinical clerkships for
all medical students and they did it all clinical clerkships are now offered in
northern nevada the first time since very early in un our meds history we
have created have created full clerkships in surgery OB gin and
neurology and expanded existing clerkships in family medicine internal
medicine pediatrics and psychiatry dr. Tim Baker associate dean of medical
education it’s quite modest about the deserves for managing this complex
transition in clerkships with our hundreds of clinical community partners
who make this possible I want to ignore his humility for a
moment and ask you to thank him as well creating supporting and enhancing a
culture of diversity equity and inclusion is vital to our success how we
have changed since our early days is a great way to demonstrate that culture
this is the class of 1973 try not to focus too much on the cadaver
this class had only one female member and nearly no diversity not atypical for
medical schools across the country now here’s our class of 2020 – class of 2020
– has 40 women and 30 men 60% women our newest students range in age from 20 to
40 – collectively they speak 21 languages including con Connie a
language native to the Goa region of India they’ve traveled to or lived in 28
countries the 70 new students who are now part of our UN armed ed family an
accomplished group of individuals chosen from over 1,300 applicants and 326
interviews they represent a variety of college majors from across the country
many have worked hard to support themselves in the military as teachers
in casinos and of course in the health healthcare industry I would like to ask
our class officers to please stand and represent the class of 2022 class
president a Brianna Robles vice president Dustin romaine secretary Adria
and Poteet treasurer Alex Seung thank you thank you for being here thank you for
your leadership roles in the class of 2022 we’re not creating supporting and
enhancing a culture of diversity equity and inclusion because it is a trending
topic or a topical statement of the moment the diversity culture is one of
our most defining values because it is who we are and what we do how does a
diverse inclusive culture make us better training and more diverse and culturally
competent workforce will meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient
population we can better address disparities and inequities in health we
can ask research questions that are broader more important and of higher
impact our health care workforce will look more like our patient population
and will provide a higher quality of medical care through our office of
diversity and inclusion under the leadership of dr. Nicole Jacobs
associate dean we promote a diversity culture through a wide range of
initiatives policies and programming we require faculty candidates to describe
how they will contribute to our diverse culture and values we evaluate
prospective medical students holistically including their approach to
a diverse healthcare workforce and patient population we host a difficult
and revealing conversations during monthly diversity dialogues we engage in
ongoing diversity and inclusivity training I hope you had a chance to read
my recent reflections from the Dean column this is an organizational
statement but it’s also a personal one I will support you in our Mets culture of
diversity equity and inclusion with all of my energy for as long as it is my
responsibility and beyond it is in fact the responsibility of all of us for as
long as we are part of you in our med I hope I can count on each of you to
defend this mission you’ve no doubt heard probably several
times that Nevada has historically been at or near the bottom of the list for
health care workforce in the US however there is light ahead the physician
workforce in Nevada 2018 report produced by dr. John Packham and our office of
statewide initiatives shows promise with the number of licensed to physicians per
capita in the state increasing over a decade due in part to our work here we
are committed to increasing the number of physicians in Nevada by educating
more medical students retaining them as residents and ultimately as practicing
physicians by training students in Nevada we’re developing physicians who
recognize the health care needs in our community and are committed to remaining
in or coming back to Nevada this is a major component of our community-based
and community-engaged curriculum model take a look at the
numbers since 1969 UNR med has educated more than 2,000 students residents and
fellows nearly a quarter of the practicing physicians in Northern Nevada
are our alumni more than a third of the graduating class of 2018 as stayin in
Nevada for some part of the residency training and nearly half matched in
primary care specialties they are playing a critical role in addressing
the shortage of physicians in the state among those recent graduates who
committed to Northern Nevada for her residency is dr. Emma Garcia Reiter a
member of the class of 2018 and a first year psychiatry resident at renowned dr.
Garcia writer said I am very happy about my decision to stay at UNR med for my
residency I’ve been exposed to many patient populations in such a short time
and have learned a great deal these initial months have shown me how our
state needs providers to stay especially those who are passionate about improving
mental health landscape in Nevada dr. Garcia Rider is an example of the
many outstanding residents doing exceptional work for you in our Med and
our community partners dr. Garcia Reiter please stand so we can
thank you for your contributions our community engagement is defined by
our connections and partnerships throughout our Northern Nevada
communities through our unrivaled partnerships there is unlimited
potential for education innovation and expanded access to care this year saw a
great expansion and partnerships that contribute to new teaching research and
service programs we launched a Reno based at Department of Surgery to keep
pace with a high level of interest in surgical careers and to provide all
students with foundational skills and knowledge in surgery the department will
ensure medical students receive enhanced Hospital and clinic based education at
renowned health at the VA Sierra Nevada healthcare system and the offices of
outstanding surgeons throughout Northern Nevada this new department and clerkship
provides sound Basic Education and surgical principles to all un our med
medical students our faculty will provide outstanding career advising for
students interested in surgical careers hopefully careers based somewhere in
Nevada in July in partnership with renowned health we launched the state’s
first physician assistant studies program it continues our joint focus on
training the next generation of healthcare providers in addressing the
shortage of providers in the region major support from the Pennington
foundation was critical to launching this important program this kind of
support is vital to a school of medicine and ours is no different thanks to a
long history of outstanding donors support by a very generous Northern
Nevada community we have endowments valued at more than 50 million dollars
the returns on this investment are explicitly designated to support medical
student scholarships and faculty teaching and research we rely on the
state’s commitment to maintaining our base budget which will continue to
support the medical education curriculum programs and research that have
contributed to our state’s health and well-being for the past 50 years this
state support is leveraged several times over with pressure
new sources of revenue to support important new programs our current
investment in our local economy has created skilled knowledge-based jobs UNR
med employs nearly 1200 northern Nevada’s with a total economic
contribution to the northern nevada economy of over 153 million dollars some
of those employees are part of our expanded rural campus in Elko the new
Elko family medicine residency program made possible through a partnership
between un our meds Department of Family and Community Medicine the governor’s
Graduate Medical Education Tax task force the Nevada Health Centers the
northeastern Nevada Regional Medical Center Elko County and the Veterans
Administration the program began in July 2017 with to residents who rotated in
Reno for a year and then started real training in Elko this summer on October
4th we will celebrate the opening of a newly renovated Elko family medicine
residency clinic supported in part by the Nevada Health Centers the program
will expand to include a total of six residents who will focus on increasing
healthcare access to our communities I’m pleased to recognize one of those rural
residents in Elko dr. new to sing although somewhat ironically doctor
saying is unable to join us this evening because of her clinical commitments in
Elko dr. Singh says the UNR family medicine residency in Elko truly enables
you in our med to improve healthcare access in rural settings and to serve
those in need of a primary care physician after Singh said I come from a
small town myself in central California so I personally know how difficult it
can be for patients and their families to travel to get good healthcare when
you see her please thank dr. same excellence in clinical clinical care of
the highest quality safety and innovation is the cornerstone of our
commitment to unrivaled care and unlimited hope our vision of a healthy
nevada requires patient care programs that enhance health and well-being and
provide a critical source of community-based care we made major
investments in increasing healthcare access to rural Nevada this year with
the continued growth an expansion of project echo with clinics and cardiology
pediatric endocrinology medication-assisted therapy for
substance abuse disorders and a unique school-based behavioral health program
in June we opened the UNR Med Women’s Health Center an on-campus outpatient
clinic offering obstetric ‘el gynecological and midwifery care to
women in reno and northern nevada this dedicated team of women’s health experts
focuses on expanding access to outstanding evidence-based preventive
care that helps women stay healthy and improves their overall well-being
clinical practice aims to address women’s health disparities in nevada and
to train future health care providers about the importance of women’s health
across all medical specialties we also intend to become a much more influential
force in health care in Reno in response to a unique convergence of forces I am
proposing to our department chairs leaders and practice plan board members
that we create an integrated multi-specialty group practice this
integrated practice will provide patient centered clinical services to the
community provide expanded support for our teaching mission create a potential
source of revenue for academic investment and generate greater
community institutional and political stability located in the heart of Reno
at 745 West Melania Lane this practice will have as its defining value the
creation of an ideal patient centered experience well there’s much work to be
done before we open our doors in late 2019 we are excited to be moving in this
new direction creating a UNR med health care system that will be top of
mind in our community for providing high quality health care another shining
example of our community engagement is the on-campus student outreach clinic a
clinic run by medical students and staffed by community and university
faculty physicians that provide clinical care to patients in the greatest need I
consider myself volunteering at the soc to be a great privilege it is so
gratifying to see our students working together and collaborating and mentoring
each other it’s the people the students and physicians behind the SOC that make
it an exceptional health care service for our community meet dr. Erin
derringer class of 2015 the SOC has been an integral part of every phase of his
education starting as a first year medical student and now as a preceptor
in his last year of residency dr. derringer told me that through the
SOC he has been able to provide care to those who would otherwise have nowhere
to turn at the same time he’s able to watch nervous first-year students become
confident and compassionate physicians after danger please stand thank you for
all you do mr. diringer is a reminder that great education cannot occur
without exceptional teachers our faculty is unrivaled and their ambition is
unlimited we recognize and fully appreciate the central role our faculty
members play in producing the next generation of health care professionals
we created the office of faculty led by UNR med alumna and senior associate dean
for faculty dr. Jennifer Hagen to support faculty members in their
teaching roles encouraged faculty engagement and promote faculty
excellence dr. Hagan is just one of many UNR med faculty members being recognized
nationally for their work they are enhancing the reputation and visibility
of UNR med through leadership positions and fellowships with the Association of
American Medical Colleges Alpha Omega Alpha honorary
Medical Group the National Institutes of Health the LCME and other major
organizations and medical journals I think it is important for all of you to
know how much our national visibility was increased over the past few years as
our leaders have become involved in these high-profile organizations more
than a thousand clinical community faculty members are among the most
important assets of the School of Medicine they volunteer to share their
knowledge and expertise with our students in a wide variety of practice
environments over the years students have come to depend on community faculty
members for that real-world perspective that makes for great physicians they
provide mentorship career advising personal support and wisdom that they
have accumulated in their own careers the office of community faculty had a
goal of recruiting 775 community members by 2019 next year today they already
have over 1100 and many of those are our alumni as well dr. divan Desai is an outstanding
example of our excellent community faculty members dr. Desai is a member of
st. Mary’s cardiology group and a clinical assistant professor at UNR med
Spencer Johnson of the class of 2018 says dr. decides ability to teach both
patients and students at the same time is impressive and noting that dr. Desai
is able to build rapport with patients and medical students simultaneously
leading to both outstanding patient care and teaching better decide please thank
you please stand so we can thank you for your commitment to our medical students
oh that was way too fast sand up again among our faculty are some of the most
heavily funded and successful scientists in the world
UNR med is a unique medical school we are one at the same time community
engaged and research intensive a combination you do not find elsewhere we
are ever striving toward a culture of unrivaled research and unlimited
breakthroughs UNR med is the leading biomedical research institution in
nevada our researchers have generated nearly 240 million dollars in research
funding over the past decade supporting research that is changing science
enhancing the quality of life in Northern Nevada and fueling the local
economy this research has attracted private investment spun off to Reno
startup companies our biomedical scientists are internationally
recognized in the fields of infectious diseases Reproductive Endocrinology
muscular dystrophy neuroscience cardiovascular physiology and
gastrointestinal diseases to name just some of our major programs and many
other programs coming online we have now secured new space in the Center for
molecular medicine that will allow us to develop and staff a clinical research
center many of these basic science research programs will now be able to
move into translational and clinical phases extraordinary research is being
done locally at UNR med to address disease that has worldwide impact and
affects all of us in our families meet research assistant professor dr. Carissa
Maeda who works in the lab of dr. Charcot and Peter Jones to study FSHD
one of the most prevalent muscular dystrophy diseases affecting patients of
all ages she has identified novel therapeutic
agents and demonstrated proof of principle that CRISPR casts nine
gene-editing can be used to correct the defect in this disease dr. who made it
please stand thank you for your contribution one of our continuing and enduring
sources of research investment and development is the idea network of
biomedical research excellence program what we refer to as the Nevada in Bray
Nevada in Bray is a seventeen million dollar program of research
infrastructure support throughout the state of Nevada here just a couple
examples of the support that in Bray has provided four hundred seventy six
thousand dollars to early-stage University of Nevada Reno investigators
sixty six thousand two University undergraduate research students and
their research mentors $37,000 in scientific core service and equipment
awards our undergraduate graduate and medical students all benefit from this
research intensive culture and learning environment our investments in the
office of medical research are reaping tremendous results we funded 39
first-year medical students and summer research projects this year up from 25
first year students of the year before 36 of those students are engaged in
clinical research projects with both community and full-time faculty members
these students will have the opportunity to present their work at medical student
research day on November 5th I hope you will join them so we return to our
unrivaled history and our unlimited future my goal tonight was to honor our
past by recognizing our tremendous successes and describing a few of the
opportunities and challenges that lie ahead these challenges will be met only
if we fully understand embrace and enhance our culture it is not that hard
to be successful in the short term but it is hard to do it in the right way to
do it elegantly and intentionally and to build a culture that will sustain us for
the long term that is why we are investing heavily in strategic planning
and organizational development initiatives that will lead to specific
action plans designed to enhance our work culture and build on the momentum
created over the past year I strongly believe and hope that you agree that
our schools strategic plan is most effective when we have a culture of
trust respect compassion learning and continuous improvement our cultural
culture assessment included a major survey that many of you completed
follow-up data dialogues and the development of action plans that effort
is being led by several school leaders and culture champions I would like those
leaders and culture champions with us tonight to please stand so we can thank
you for your time and commitment you will be hearing much more about this
initiative next month we will conduct a school-wide survey seeking your input
not on culture but on the school’s new strategic plan
and I thank you in advance for responding to the survey your input is
incredibly important for our future this year we celebrate 50 years of
medical education and academic excellence take our missions and our
responsibilities seriously and personally we are a great medical school
a school with strong roots in Northern Nevada there was a commitment to serving
the entire state as well as influencing medical education and biomedical science
globally we are committed engaged aspirational institution with an
unrivaled history and great traditions thank you all for being part of our last
50 years and for helping shape our next 50 our future is truly unlimited you

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