UNR Med Dean Schwenk and staff participate in Renown Children’s Hospital Radiothon

News & Events

36 Hours for Kids Radiothon at Renown Children's Hospital

36 Hours for Kids Radiothon at Renown Children's Hospital

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) is proud to partner with Renown Health to provide quality, accessible health care to our community. And, vitally important - to increase the number of physicians who train and practice in Nevada.

Children's hospitals, including Reno's own Renown Health Children's Hospital, rely on donations and community support to provide the best care for kids, as Medicaid and insurance programs do not fully cover the cost of care. Donations not only help fill funding gaps, but ultimately save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

On March 22 and 23, Renown Regional Medical Center became a makeshift radio studio as some of Reno's most popular radio personalities launched a two-day community fundraiser for Renown Children's Hospital, the only Children's Miracle Network Hospital in the region. Renown Health Foundation coordinated the event while hosts Bill, Connie, and RJ from Alice 96.5 FM Reno broadcasted a 36-hour live radiothon. Throughout the radiothon fundraiser, Alice interviewed doctors, patients and their families and UNR Med Dean, Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

Schwenk discussed the impact that the UNR Med partnership with Renown Health has on providing the northern Nevada community and families with quality, accessible health care. "UNR Med's partnership with Renown has achieved extraordinary success through a shared vision to improve children's health," he said during the interview.

"Great things can be accomplished when you combine a School of Medicine like UNR Med with a provider of patient centered health care like Renown Health. What results is synergy that focuses on teaching, healing and discovery which benefits the patient," said Schwenk. 

Key to that effort is Max J. Coppes, M.D. who provides joint leadership as the Nell J. Redfield Chair of Pediatrics at UNR Med and Pediatrician-in-Chief at Renown Children's Hospital. Dr. Coppes is helping to put health of the region's children at the forefront through the work of Renown's Child Health Institute and many community partners.

Dr. Coppes' expertise in pediatrics and academic medicine represents the positive collaboration between UNR Med and Renown Health that will eventually result in a pediatric residency at Renown Health and bring additional pediatricians to the region. Under Dr. Coppes leadership, students learn to care for pediatric patients with faculty at the bedside at Renown Children's Hospital and throughout community clinics. 

Schwenk also expanded on UNR Med's role in educating future physicians who are ensuring that children in our community receive the best care possible, leading innovative research to cure and prevent childhood diseases and community outreach efforts such as Student Outreach Clinics that are offered throughout the year. Many of the clinics are for children, which are free of charge for northern Nevadans who are uninsured or underinsured.

"Our collaborative goal is to transform medical care and education in northern Nevada which we've done by expanding UNR Med to a full four-year academic campus and enlisting local physicians as clinical community faculty at the medical school - many of whom are affiliated with Renown Health," said Schwenk. UNR Med and Renown Health partnered on opening an office at Renown Regional Medical Center to support the community faculty in their teaching roles.

UNR Med's community-based education model gives medical students exposure to the full spectrum of health care settings across Renown's primary care office and acute care hospitals. This exposure gives students the advantage of training in real-world environments where they will ultimately practice as physicians.

While Bill, Connie, and RJ from Alice 96.5 made heartfelt appeals to their listeners to phone in pledges, a bank of volunteers from Reno's local businesses and nonprofit organizations, including Tessa Bowen, from UNR Med's Advancement and Engagement team, staffed the phones in shifts for the annual event. Phone bank volunteers answered live calls for one-time donations and encouraged callers to commit as Miracle Makers, who sign up to donate $18 or more on a monthly basis.

Money raised during the radiothon will benefit Renown Children's Hospital, northern Nevada's only Children's Miracle Network Hospital. Established in 1983, CMNH is a national organization with 170 member hospitals across the country, including Canada.

Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen, MPA
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.