2021 News Articles

News & Events

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine 2021 State of the School

 • UNR Med Acting Dean, Melissa Piasecki, M.D., delivers a video message that highlights the School of Medicine achievements, innovations and faculty accomplishments over the past year and a look ahead, which includes a national search for a new dean. She introduces faculty, staff and learners who are among the many people at UNR Med advancing the school’s mission of improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in medical education, research, diversity, equity and inclusion, and clinical care through UNR Med’s affiliation with Renown Health. Additionally, the School of Medicine’s COVID-19 state and community response and outreach are featured.

UNR Med announces free Outreach Clinics for the region’s medically uninsured

 • Northern Nevadans who are uninsured, underinsured or without a social security number can receive free medical care at upcoming University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) Student Outreach Clinics at a new clinical location on Moana Lane in Reno.Two rural Outreach Clinics will be offered in Lovelock and Silver Springs, Nevada in November and December. UNR Med offers the free clinics in a continuing effort to assist the region's medically uninsured with needed health care services.

Melissa Piasecki, M.D., longtime executive associate dean, named as acting dean for University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

 • University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval announced that Melissa Piasecki, M.D., a longtime member of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) senior leadership team and professor of psychiatry, was recruited to the role of acting dean at UNR Med. With this appointment, she will also serve as the Chief Academic Officer for Renown Health under the recently-formalized affiliation agreement between UNR Med and Renown, effective September 1, 2021. As acting dean, Piasecki will provide leadership continuity following the retirement of Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., who served as dean for 10 years before stepping down on August 31.

UNR Med Announces Free Outreach Clinics

 • Northern Nevadans who are uninsured, underinsured or without a social security number can receive free medical care at upcoming University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) Student Outreach Clinics and Rural Outreach Clinics, in Lovelock and Yerington, Nevada. UNR Med offers the free clinics in a continuing effort to assist the region's medically uninsured with needed health care services.

Rural health care perspectives from a graduating PA student

 • The rural town of Winnemucca, Nevada is located 165 miles northeast of Reno, nestled next to the Humboldt River. Known as Nevada's "friendliest town," Winnemucca's primary employers include the mines and the school district. You can't go far without noticing the area's Basque influence or the beauty of the cowboy lifestyle. The main road is full of quaint shops and family-run businesses; it has that quintessential small town charm, where everyone knows everybody else, and they genuinely care about their community and its residents.

Anthem Funds Initiative to Address Nevada’s Physician Shortage, Support Nevada’s Diverse Pre-Med Students and Promote Health Equity

 • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Nevada's Medicaid health plan has committed $75,000 to fund a new University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) initiative called See It To Be It. This initiative will connect aspiring physicians from populations that are underrepresented in medicine and from medically underserved communities with medical students and physicians from similar backgrounds. By supporting pre-med students as they navigate the medical school admissions process, the program will support UNR Med and Anthem's shared commitment to preparing a diverse workforce of physicians. In turn, a more diverse medical workforce will be positioned to deliver more equitable health care services to multicultural and socioeconomically diverse populations, as well as to medically underserved communities.

June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

 • Jennifer Carson, Ph.D., Dementia Engagement, Education and Research (DEER) Program director, School of Community Health Sciences, envisions a world in which people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias can live well and thrive. "A diagnosis of dementia is so stigmatized and so misunderstood, that people living with dementia and their families often withdraw from their social lives, exacerbating isolation and diminishing well-being," said Carson.

Governor Sisolak signs Senate Bill 342, authorizing Board of Regents to consider Renown Health affiliation

 • Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed Senate Bill 342 into law. The bill authorizes the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents to enter into an agreement to affiliate with a publicly or privately owned medical facility or related entity, whether for profit or not for profit, to further promote and enhance a medical education or health education program at a university.

AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, M.D., on what’s to come for graduating medical students and the healing power of the arts and humanities

 • Medicine has long been considered both an art and a science. Albert Einstein said “all religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree” because they all serve the same larger purpose – to uplift the lives of human beings – a principle with roots in the Renaissance. This is a message that is often shared by David J. Skorton, M.D., the president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), who served as the keynote speaker for UNR Med’s Class of 2021 Doctor of Medicine Academic Hooding. The AAMC is a not-for-profit association that represents the nation’s 155 accredited medical schools, 17 accredited medical schools in Canada, as well as more than 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, and more than 70 academic societies.

The COVID-19 vaccine: one Latino's experience

 • According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, all Americans 16-years or older are now eligible to get vaccinated. However, as COVID-19 vaccines roll out, many marginalized communities, nationally, are falling behind on receiving the vaccine. Nevada's Latino community is no exception.

Scientists analyze efficacy of decontamination technology in eradicating bacteria and viruses such as human coronaviruses in frequently worn items

 • In response to the global need for effective sterilization techniques, researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) collaborated on a study evaluating the efficacy of a dry-sanitizing device. Subhash Verma, Ph.D., associate professor, department of microbiology and immunology at UNR Med, led the study. Verma, Timsy Uppal, Ph.D., research scientist, department of microbiology and immunology, UNR Med; Antoine Snijders, Ph.D., biologist staff scientist, Berkeley Lab; and Amir Khazaieli, Fathhome, Inc., collaborated on the study on inactivation of coronavirus by a dry sanitization device, published in the journal, Pathogens.

UNR Med Announces Free Outreach Clinics

 • Northern Nevadans who are uninsured, underinsured or without a social security number can receive free medical care at upcoming University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) Student Outreach Clinics and Rural Outreach Clinics, in Lovelock and Yerington, Nevada. UNR Med offers the free clinics in a continuing effort to assist the region's medically uninsured with needed health care services.

Meaningful progress on diversity, equity, inclusion as UNR Med opens doors for faculty, staff and learners from all backgrounds

 • At UNR Med, we wholeheartedly understand that our diverse faculty, staff and learners strengthen our teaching, scholarship and clinical care missions. Like most medical schools, our mission is tied to excellence in teaching, research and patient care. One of the things that makes UNR Med so special, however, is our mission’s fourth pillar: excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Statewide survey shows that 73% of Nevadans are likely to get COVID-19 vaccine, once available

 • Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), in partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Community Health Sciences, Immunize Nevada and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, released the latest findings from an ongoing study to learn what Nevadans think about COVID-19 vaccines, and their acceptance toward taking the vaccine - once one is available to them.

RENOWN HEALTH AND UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE PROVIDE UPDATE ON PROPOSED INTENT TO AFFILIATE TO NEVADA SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION BOARD OF REGENTS

 • Renown Health and University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) leadership provided an informational update to the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents at its March 5 meeting on the due diligence process undertaken by both organizations to explore an intent to affiliate that would lead to the first fully integrated health system in northern Nevada.

UNR Med Cardiologist, Associate Professor, Lorrel Toft, M.D., brings awareness to anti-racism in cardiology practices

 • Lorrel Toft, M.D., UNR Med cardiologist, associate professor, along with colleagues, Nina Williams M.D., Warren Clinic Cardiology of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Melanie Sulistio, M.D., University of Texas, Southwestern School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology; David Winchester M.D., M.S., University of Florida Health, Division of Cardiology; and Christine Chen M.D., University of Texas, Southwestern School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, have published "How to Build an Anti-Racist Cardiovascular Culture, Community, and Profession," in the in Journals of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

Published study: unusual SARS-CoV-2 mutation prominent in northern Nevada in early 2020

 • A Nevada-based study of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, indicates all major lineages (variants) of the virus worldwide are present in Nevada. Interestingly, the analysis shows some differences between the northern and southern parts of the state, with Southern Nevada presenting a virus snapshot similar to the rest of the country and Northern Nevada being dominated by one specific variant bearing a unique mutation in the gene needed for making its RNA copies. RNA viruses tend to accumulate mutations while circulating in human populations and SARS-CoV-2 is no exception. The majority of these mutational variations do not alter virulence of the viruses, but certain changes, such as the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7) and South African (B.1.351) variants, seem to have altered the transmission and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2.

UNR Med Announces Free Outreach Clinics

 • Northern Nevadans who are uninsured, underinsured or without a social security number can receive free medical care at upcoming University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) Student Outreach Clinics and Rural Outreach Clinics, in Lovelock, Silver Springs and Yerington, Nevada. UNR Med offers the free clinics in a continuing effort to assist the region's medically uninsured with needed health care services.

Statewide survey shows that 65% of Nevadans and 77% of Nevada health care workers are likely to get COVID-19 vaccine, once available

 • Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), in partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Community Health Sciences, Immunize Nevada and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, released the first findings from an ongoing study to learn what Nevadans think about COVID-19 vaccines, and their acceptance toward taking the vaccine - once one is available to them.