UNR Med 2019 State of the School Address focuses on strategic choices

Annual report on institution, medical education, clinical and research developments

UNR Med Dean Dr. Thomas Schwenk delivers the 2019 State of the School Address.

Dr. Thomas L. Schwenk, dean of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, delivers UNR Med's 2019 State of the School Address, Monday, Sept. 9 at the Basin Street Stadium Club at Mackay Stadium. UNR Med photo by Brin Reynolds.

Strategic growth, transformation as a northern Nevada-based school of medicine engaged with its communities and partners, and expansion of clinical services and research were themes at this year's University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine State of the School Address.

UNR Med Dean, Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., focused on significant steps the school has taken and a strategic plan for the future to improve access to quality care for Nevadans while enhancing medical education and training the next generation of new doctors and health care professionals.  

"UNR Med begins a new phase of development with powerful momentum," said Dr. Schwenk. "Our strategy acknowledges a changing educational and health care environment, including how we develop a local presence with a statewide vision; how we continue rural outreach and cultivating partnerships with health care institutions across the region to achieve our vision of A Healthy Nevada."  

UNR Med is now expanding with new departments, programs, partnerships and investments to continue to serve the region and state.  

The theme for the 2019 address was "We are our choices.". "As a school of medicine, the choices we are making now will impact our school tomorrow," said Dr. Schwenk. "Our choices over the past year have influenced our community, clinical services and campus. On top of a yearlong 50th anniversary, we saw tremendous growth."  

Schwenk reported developments in the past 12 months in the following areas:  

  • A new UNR Med Clinical Research Center opened on campus that will enhance the quality of care in northern Nevada and provide new faculty research opportunities;
  • On July 1st, UNR Med resumed operating responsibility for the Internal Medicine and Multi-Specialty Clinic located on the Renown campus. In order to become more community-based and expand its clinical and educational programs, including geriatric services, the clinic will be relocating to a new facility in Reno at 6130 Plumas Street this fall.
  • An expanded UNR Med clinical footprint in the local community is underway with the purchase of a three-story building at 745 West Moana Lane in Reno that will house a future multi-specialty primary clinical practice and expand clinical education for medical students, residents and physician assistant students;
  • A five-year, $3 million federal grant awarded to UNR Med's Sanford Center for Aging from the federal Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program, to provide primary care professionals training and other resources to assist with addressing the complex needs of older Nevadans.
  • A new Elko Family Medicine Residency Program launched with Nevada Health Centers, providing rural Nevadans with more options and resources for their health care.  

State of the School 2019 facts and figures available online.


  • Since it was founded in 1969, Nevada's first public medical school has educated more than 3,500 students, residents and fellows. .   ·       


  • Research funding generated over the past year: $28 million o   Research funding generated over the last 10 years: $240 million

Closing Nevada's Health Care Gap

  • Nearly a quarter of actively practicing physicians in northern Nevada are UNR Med alumni
  • 144 UNR Med residents and fellows in the community
  • 3,000 endocrinology, clinical nutrition and metabolism patients served
  • 4,500 Sanford Center for Aging community members served
  • 6,000 speech pathology and audiology patients served
  • 850 uninsured patients treated annually at no-cost UNR Med Student Outreach Clinics

Economic contributions to northern Nevada

  • $153.3 million total economic contribution
  • $28.9 million generated economic activity
  • $37.4 million expenditures for education & research  

Dr. Schwenk highlighted UNR Med's four strategic priorities over the next three years, including:

  • Recruit and retain academic faculty to serve the community's needs;
  • Build clinical research to produce evidence-based information that translates to better health care decisions for practitioners and patients;
  • Engage with the community to be seen as the institution of choice for health care education, research and clinical care;
  • Expand clinical platform to improve access to quality care for Nevadans while enhancing medical education.  

More than 175 faculty, staff and community and health care leaders attended the annual event at Basin Street Stadium Club at Mackay Stadium at the University of Nevada, Reno.  

The State of the School Address will be available on-demand on September 10, at med.unr.edu/sosa

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.