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Nevada Front Page

School of Medicine in the News


Pediatric cancer patients cared for close to home

• Galena Times

No parent wants to hear that their child has cancer. While it is very fortunate that cancer in children is a rare condition, each year parents of over 16,000 children under 19 years in the U.S. will receive that frightening news. This translates to about 35 kids per year in Northern Nevada.


UNR School of Medicine Students practice public health one patient at a time

• KOLO Channel 8 News

Statistics show this community is falling behind on vaccines, even though many people have lost loved ones to the disease. “COVID gave cases based on zip codes,” says Mirabel Dafinone, a first-year medical school student at UNR School of Medicine. She says what else the data showed her group. “And there was a correlation between Latin X Zip Codes and higher cases of COVID. So that was our initial like thought of hum…” she says. Dafinone is a member of UNR’s Medical Social Justice League. A small group of first year medical school students who wanted to make a difference in the Hispanic community.

COVID-19 vaccine clinic for Latinx community at Reno church this weekend

• KRNV News 4

The University of Nevada, Reno Nevada Public Health Training Center’s #COVIDCrew and the Medical Social Justice League (MSJ) are hosting a vaccination clinic for the Latinx community, El Gran Vacunatón, this weekend. The Medical Social Justice League (MSJ), part of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, is made up of a group of first-year students whose goal is to address the equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. This synergistic collaboration began in January with #COVIDCrew and, to date, have assisted with over 850 vaccinations in the Latinx community.


Why class of 2021 medical school graduates are poised to become the change agents our health system needs

• Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

Medical professionals must focus on people, not just science and disease. When their education was interrupted, this class of graduates strengthened their skills in understanding people from diverse backgrounds. In Hawaii, medical students staffed a clinic for those experiencing homelessness and conducted surveys on the impact of COVID-19 on their community. In Reno, Nevada, students spent time talking with patients by phone after discharge from the hospital.


Survey asks Nevada families about willingness to get COVID-19 vaccines for kids

• KVVU-TV FOX 5 News Las Vegas

A UNR Med survey is asking parents and teens across the Silver State and would like their honest answers: Will you fall in line for the vaccine for kids? Why or why not? "We are trying to get as much feedback as possible and share with pediatricians," said Dr. Mark Riddle of UNR Med Internal Medicine.


How bystanders can shut down microaggressions

• American Psychological Association

Responding effectively to microaggressions takes practice, and people often don’t speak up because they’re afraid of causing more harm or aren’t sure what to say, said psychologist Nicole Jacobs, PhD, associate dean of diversity and inclusion at the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine.


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

• Business Wire

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 healthcare services to multicultural, multiracial and socioeconomically diverse populations as well as to medically underserved communities.


Path cleared for clinical partnership between UNR Med and Renown

• This is Reno

“We’ve been working on this now for a year,” Schwenk said. “Literally thousands of person-hours of work have gone into this. A lot of financial, legal, organizational, governance work went into the initial drafts of the agreement up front. And then as we’ve kind of come to a final agreement, a lot of work groups have been stood up. I think we’ve got about 15 work groups that address all of the many parts of this relationship from clinical teaching to clinical research to clinical operations to faculty roles to funds flow to integrative governance positions and everything else.”


Jump in vaccinated Nevadans could land ‘knockout blow’ to coronavirus

• Las Vegas Review Journal

Paradoxically, there’s a silver lining in the dominance of troubling variants when disease numbers are declining, said Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno. “This is good news, because the numbers are actually dropping even when the more biologically infectious variants are circulating,” he said. “It also emphasizes that if vaccinations could go up, we would probably have a knockout blow here; I mean a total victory.” Pandori’s comments came at a state COVID-19 task force meeting following a report that COVID-19 case numbers, the positivity rate and other disease metrics continue to improve across the state.




Nevada Cultural Competency Training Now State Approved

• Policy & Medicine

On April 1, 2021, NRS 449 became law, which established new standards for anti-discrimination in health care in the state of Nevada, requiring implementation, completion, and maintenance of annual cultural competency training for medical facilities, facilities for the dependent, and other facilities. High Sierra Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and Nevada Primary Care Association (NVPCA) worked together to create a comprehensive training for Nevada providers to meet the new standards. This course has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of UNR Med and Nevada Primary Care Association. UNR Med is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education to physicians.


Families react to vaccine endorsement for children ages 12-15

• KOLO Channel 8 News

Dr. Mark Riddle said kids are still at risk of getting COVID. The symptoms are less severe, but they can still be carriers of the virus. “By disrupting transmission in everybody you are lessening the opportunity for that virus to have a mutation,” said Dr. Riddle. Dr. Riddle said children in this group will also face fever-like side effects and soreness in the arm. They may also get hit harder after the second dose, but overall the response is good. “The immune responses were very good and sometimes even better than the adult population,” Dr. Riddle explained.


UNR Med graduates 64 new doctors in first-ever hybrid hooding ceremony

• KRNV Channel 4 News

Nevada now has 64 new physicians. UNR Med says it was the first-ever hybrid commencement, meaning it was both in-person and virtual. The ceremony was held at the Atlantis. UNR Med says out of the 64 graduates, many will be relocating to communities throughout the state and nation.


UNR Med Hooding ceremony

• KTVN Channel 2 News

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine medical students had their Hooding ceremony, today. The School of Medicine put together a video message for the graduates who had a small viewing party at the Atlantis with most families watching online. The video had a special message from the Dean of the School of Medicine and a montage of medical students being hooded.


Clínica médica y dental recibe gran demanda en Yerington

• KUNR

Para proveer atención médica a las zonas rurales, los estudiantes de medicina de la Universidad de Nevada en Reno organizan estas clínicas gratuitas en coordinación con la Coalición de Comunidades Saludables, o Healthy Communities Coalition en inglés. Esta organización sin fines de lucro tiene su sede en la zona rural de Dayton, y ayuda a las personas que tienen dificultades para atender su salud.


Officials Add Vegas to Nevada Areas With India Virus Variant

• US News & World Report

Eight other cases of the Indian variant have been identified in northern Nevada, including four confirmed last week in the Reno area, officials have said. Dr. Mark Pandori, head of the state Public Health Laboratory at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Nevada cases also were identified among people in Carson City and Churchill and Lyon counties.


Sandoval indicates support for land grant bill with caveats, after vetoing similar measure in 2017; says health care experts should decide on mandated vaccinations

• Nevada Independent

As UNR navigates an uncertain budget situation, state lawmakers and Sandoval lauded one bright spot on the horizon — the unanimous passage of SB342 out of the Assembly on Monday, giving regents the green light to approve a partnership between UNR’s medical school and Renown Health. “SB342 addresses an immediate opportunity for UNR Med and Renown Health to respond to rapid changes in medical care delivery and medical education, leading to widespread benefits for the health and well being of all Nevadans,” Assemblywoman Jill Tolles (R-Reno) said during floor remarks in support of the bill. Sandoval said that if the regents approve the partnership, it would be a “game changer” for the School of Medicine and for health care in Northern Nevada. Not only would the partnership increase clinical and research opportunities for students and health care access in the region, he said, it would also eventually expand enrollment.


UNR Med holding outreach clinic

• KTVN Channel 2 News

Northern Nevadans who are uninsured, underinsured or without a social security number can receive free medical care at upcoming UNR Med Student Outreach Clinics and Rural Outreach Clinics.


More-contagious Indian coronavirus variant detected in Clark County

• Las Vegas Review Journal

There have been eight other reported cases of Indian variants in the state: four in Washoe County, two in Carson City, one in Churchill County; and one in Lyon County, said Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory at University of Nevada, Reno’s School of Medicine. Within the state, the lab conducts the majority of sequencing of the virus that causes COVID-19.


Officials add Vegas to Nevada areas with India virus variant

• AP News

Dr. Mark Pandori, head of the state Public Health Laboratory at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Nevada cases also were identified among people in Carson City and Churchill and Lyon counties.


Dental And Medical Outreach Clinic Sees High Demand In Yerington

• KUNR

To bring care to rural communities, UNR medical students organize free, pop-up clinics in coordination with the Healthy Communities Coalition. The nonprofit is based in the rural Dayton area and helps people struggling with access to health care and food insecurities.


Nevada Makes Progress on Doctor Shortage

• Public News Service

John Packham, associate dean for the office of statewide initiatives at the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine, said the lifestyle and the unmet demand for medical care make Nevada an attractive place to start a new practice. "We have a really high retention rate," Packham observed. "Typically, between 50% and 60% of physicians every year who complete their residencies and fellowships in Nevada, stay in Nevada to practice." Packham added he's keeping an eye on budget negotiations, and hopes to see full funding for higher education, for the Governor's Task Force on Graduate Medical Education, and for the Nevada Health Service Corps, which pays off student loans for doctors who agree to practice in medically underserved areas.