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Nevada Front Page

School of Medicine in the News

People: Dr. Kristina Deeter new Vice Chair of Pediatrics at UNR Med

• Northern Nevada Business Weekly

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) recently named Kristina Deeter, M.D., MBA, FAAP, as Vice Chair of Pediatrics at UNR Med and associate physician-in-chief of Renown Children’s Hospital. In her new role, Deeter will collaborate with School of Medicine leadership and the administration of Renown Children's Hospital to develop and improve pediatric programs and training for UNR Med medical students.

Delta surge, misinformation leave rural Nevada reeling


According to John Packham, associate dean for UNR Med’s Office of Statewide Initiatives, COVID-19 made the chronic shortages of healthcare providers across Nevada worse. He says during the early days of the pandemic, Nevada relied on traveling nurses to fill gaps in hospitals, clinics and ICUs. Almost two years later, those extra resources are stretched thin – and so are the agencies that supply them. “You can only rob Peter to pay Paul so many times before it catches up, and it’s catching up with the agencies. They’re having staffing issues themselves,” he said. Packham explained that’s partially because demand is high in neighboring states like Idaho, Utah and Arizona. In the long term, he’s also concerned about polling that suggests some doctors might retire early due to COVID-19.

Now affiliated, Renown Health-UNR Med leaders lay out next steps

• Northern Nevada Business Weekly

On Oct. 1, a major change took place inside Renown Health and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine — a transformation hardly anyone could see on the surface. Underneath, the entities’ information technology systems were merging, with UNR Med’s clinical practice, University Health, being integrated into Renown’s clinical operations. With that, the state’s oldest medical school and Northern Nevada’s largest healthcare network were now sharing the same electronic medical records and scheduling platform.

COVID-19 on the run for now, but will it throw another ‘curveball’?

• Pahrump Valley Times

The first infection was of the delta variant and the second of a mutant, or sublineage, of the delta variant known as AY.26, the lab’s director, Mark Pandori, told the Review-Journal. More cases of similar reinfections would need to be identified before the implications of this finding become clear. But he predicts that sublineages of the delta variant will play a role in the course of the virus. “And to me, this is going to be how the virus stays in the population until winter, when it’s probably gonna have a lot more of an opportunity to spread,” Pandori said.

Mutant of delta variant blamed for Nevada man’s rapid reinfection

• Las Vegas Review Journal

The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory has identified a rare case of COVID-19 reinfection occurring just 22 days after the patient first tested positive. The patient, an unvaccinated 31-year-old Mineral County man with no underlying health conditions, first tested positive for the delta variant and then, three weeks later, for a different strain that evolved from the delta variant, Mark Pandori, director of the lab at the University of Nevada, Reno’s School of Medicine, told the Review-Journal this week.

Adverum Presents 2-Year OPTIC Data Demonstrating Sustained Durability and Promising Safety Profile from Single Intravitreal Injection of ADVM-022 in Wet AMD Patients Who Previously Required Frequent Anti-VEGF Injections

• “As the highest enroller in OPTIC, I have observed the potential of ADVM-022, a novel intravitreal gene therapy, to significantly reduce the treatment burden for my patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. In the latest data from the OPTIC trial, we have seen a manageable safety profile, robust aflibercept expression and sustained anatomical improvements 21 months after a single 2 x 10^11 dose of ADVM-022,” said Arshad M. Khanani, M.D., M.A., Managing partner and Director of Clinical Research, Sierra Eye Associates; Clinical Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and a member of Adverum’s Scientific Advisory Board. "I look forward to continuing to provide input into the future development plans for ADVM-022 in patients with neovascular AMD.”


Beauty Boss: Dr. Alan Larsen Buckhead Plastic Surgery – Mommy Makeover

• bestself

Dr. Larsen earned his medical degree from the University of Nevada School of Medicine and completed his five-year general surgery residency at the University of Florida. His fellowship at Wake Forest University’s Baptist Hospital was one of the country’s most demanding plastic surgery programs. He finished as chief plastic surgery resident in 1997. After completing his fellowship, Dr. Larsen traveled the country and trained with some of the most renowned cosmetic surgeons in the U.S. Finally, he established Buckhead Plastic Surgery. Today, BPS houses five distinct options in a single complex to serve its growing patient base better: Buckhead Plastic Surgery, LUX Med Spa, Elite Testing & Wellness, Chastain Surgery Center and Slim Studio.

Incline Village physician recognized as Northern Nevada Physician Healthcare Hero

• Sierra Sun

Tahoe Forest Health System is proud to announce that Dr. Laning Andrews, Emergency Physician at the Incline Village Community Hospital, was named the 2021 Northern Nevada Physician Healthcare Hero by the Nevada Business Magazine. Dr. Andrews received his medical training at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, and specializes in emergency medicine. He is Certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Nevada State Public Health Lab plays vital ‘front line’ role throughout pandemic


During a time where quality COVID-19 testing and reputable scientific information is in high demand, the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory (NSPHL), part of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, continues to step up. The lab was the first public health lab in Nevada to run COVID-19 diagnostics tests, and has become a major testing center throughout the pandemic. The NSPHL participates in several research projects and offers guidance to regional and state officials. All the while, the lab’s efforts often involve collaboration with University faculty and students, regional partners and federal organizations.

Respiratory viruses effect babies differently

• Galena Times, p. 13

Winter is around the corner and children’s hospitals across the country, including ours, are preparing for an influx of babies and toddlers who will be fighting respiratory viruses. Most of these viruses also infect adults, but due to our built-up immunity and big noses, we can boot out those viruses with a good sneeze and fight the infections. Small babies, on the other hand, have tiny nasal passages, so any virus that causes swelling of the airways tends to completely block their ability to breathe.

UNR appoints new acting dean, acting executive associate dean for School of Medicine

• Reno Gazette Journal

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is temporarily under new leadership, following the retirement of former dean Dr. Thomas L. Schwenk. University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval announced Thursday that Melissa Piasecki, M.D., a longtime member of the UNR Med senior leadership team and professor of psychiatry, has taken over the role of acting dean at UNR Med.

What is Cancer?

• Galena Times, p. 9

For most of us, the word cancer elicits fear: fear for prolonged pain and suffering, fear maybe for death. While it is true that having cancer is far more serious than many other diseases or medical conditions,tremendous progress has been made over the past few decades that has translated in prolonged survival and even cure. In 2021, there are good reasons to be cautiously optimistic when dealing with cancer, although a group of cancers remains that have a bleak outcome.

Want to See What COVID Strain You Have? The Government Says No

• WebMD

There is a loophole that allows labs to release variant information: They can develop their own tests. But they then must go through a lengthy validation process that proves their tests are as effective as the gold standard, says Mark Pandori, PhD, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory.

Staffing shortages, covid cases impacting ability of local hospitals to provide care

• This Is Reno

John Packham, associate dean at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, said the supply of nurses was a problem prior to the pandemic. “I work with rural hospitals, and their ability to transfer to places like Reno and Las Vegas are now challenging, because that next level of care is just not as available right now,” he said. “You’ll be lucky if you can find another bed in Reno or Salt Lake.

Ask the Doctor: Did We Miscalculate the Risk of COVID for Kids?


Young people do represent a larger share of infections nationwide now than they did at the outset of the pandemic. But that’s likely because far fewer minors than adults are vaccinated, and many remain ineligible for shots, said Kristina Deeter, professor of pediatric medicine at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

About 40 cases of ‘mu’ coronavirus variant detected in Nevada

• Las Vegas Review Journal

In designating mu a “variant of interest” on Aug. 30, WHO said it possesses a constellation of mutations that could make it resistant to the protection against disease afforded by vaccination or past COVID-19 infection. Despite the designation, the head of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory thinks it’s unlikely that mu (pronounced “mew”) will overtake the highly contagious delta mutant as the state’s dominant strain. “It got seeded here. It wasn’t a flash in the pan,” lab director Mark Pandori said about mu, first spotted in the state in late April and consistently present until early August. However, his lab at University of Nevada, Reno, now hasn’t detected the newer mu variant in more than 30 days.

Nevada Business Magazine Healthcare Heroes 2021

• Nevada Business Magazine

Nevada Business Magazine honored UNR Med faculty as part of the 2021 Healthcare Heroes Awards. Caroline Cobine, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, was selected as Northern Nevada Educator Hero of the Year. And Max Coppes, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, physician-in-chief, Renown Children’s Hospital; cancer center director, Renown Health; professor of clinical internal medicine and pediatrics, UNR Med, was selected as Northern Nevada Community Partner Hero.

OBGYN excited to be providing expanded quality care in new San Manuel Maternity Pavilion

• Loma Linda University Health

The San Manuel Maternity Pavilion in the new hospital facility is now open, bringing expanded care to the region’s most vulnerable mothers and babies through state-of-the-art technology and private patient rooms. Tiare Evans, MD, an attending OBGYN at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, is one of the incredible physicians dedicated to quality care in the new space. After receiving her medical degree at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and finishing her residency at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Evans says she was inspired to pursue a career as an OBGYN because she is passionate about the care of her patients.

People: Tami Brancamp named interim chair at UNR Med Speech Pathology and AudiologyDr. Kerac Falk hired as urogynecologist with University Health

• Northern Nevada Business Weekly

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine on Aug. 11 named Tami Brancamp, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, as interim chair for the department of speech pathology and audiology. UNR Med also announced Aug. 11 the hiring of Kerac Falk, M.D., FACOG, as a urogynecologist with University Health. In the role, Dr. Falk will bring expertise in the treatment of many common, but infrequently discussed female pelvic floor conditions that significantly impact women’s quality of life.

Rosen Holds Roundtable Discussion at UNR Focused on Medical Residency Programs in Nevada


U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), held a roundtable discussion with representatives from state medical schools and hospitals focused on physician provider shortages and how to better support Nevada’s graduate medical education (GME) programs and medical schools, and identify ways to improve the system to reduce provider shortages in the state and across the country. The roundtable discussion follows the recent issuance of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report requested by Senator Rosen, which examined GME programs and medical provider shortages in the U.S.

I-Team: Is it here? What we know about the Lambda variant in Nevada

• KLAS 8 News Now Las Vegas

Most coronavirus cases in Nevada, about 94% over the past week, are from the Delta variant, he said. “Lambda may in fact be biologically significant, but because Delta is screaming through the population right now, there’s no room for Lambda,” he said.