Nevada Medicine Weekly

Nevada Medicine Weekly | December 4, 2018

News for A Healthy Nevada

Timothy Baker, M.D., UNR Med; Zach Hausauer, Nicole Bishop, R.N., and Candee Candler, Donor Network West; Nikole Neidlinger, M.D., California Pacific Medical Center/Sutter Health; John Lilley, Donor Network West; Starla Cassani, the Colby Foundation; Kimiko Ishibashi, M.D., UNR Med; and Karissa Stempeck, R.N., Donor Network West at the 2018 Colby Cassani Endowed Lecture Series.

Colby Cassani Endowed Lecture Series helps medical students understand importance of organ donation

The 2018 Coby Cassani Endowed Lectureship was presented to first-year medical students at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Thursday, Nov. 29 with speakers Starla Cassani, founder and trustee of the Colby Foundation, Nikole Neidlinger, M.D., FACS, medical director, Donor Network West, and Nicole Bishop, R.N., regional donation manager, Donor Network West, offering their different perspectives on organ donation.

On June 3, 1993, Starla Cassani and her husband, John Cassani, D.O., suffered the loss of their 14-month-old son, Colby, who drowned after a babysitter left him unattended in the tub. Despite the heroic efforts of medical personnel, Colby died at the hospital. A physician asked if they would like to donate their son's organs; they agreed amid indescribable despair and found that the decision to donate gave them a profound sense of hope and added new meaning to Colby's brief life.

The effect of their decision was far-reaching. A 27-year-old man received Colby's transplanted kidneys. A 2-year-old girl was the recipient of his liver. And, a 5-month-old boy received the donation of his heart. All transplants were successful. 

The Cassanis established the Colby Foundation in 1995 as a way to honor Colby's memory and to inspire and educate others about organ and tissue donation. The foundation offers the Colby Cassani Endowed Lectureship Series to qualifying medical schools and has established the endowment at UNR Med to support organ and tissue donation curricula.

Learn more about the Colby Cassani Endowed Lecture Series.


Mark your calendars! Strategic Planning & Organizational Development Town Hall – Jan. 16

UNR Med is preparing to launch a new strategic plan on July 1, 2019! Join us for the results of the strategic planning survey and review and provide your input to the school's strategic priorities for the next three years. Plus - hear more about organizational development - a new initiative that supports the school's strategic planning and culture. Help shape UNR Med's future. See you Jan. 16th.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

  • 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Pennington Medical Education Building, Lower Level, Room 12

Advance registration is appreciated. Parking is available in the Silver 10 lot. For questions, please contact Carolyn Brayko at

Register for the Culture and Strategic Planning Town Hall

Gen silent: Caring for LGBTQ+ populations

The Diversity Health Series is screening the film "Gen Silent" with a panel discussion including leaders in the LGBTQ community and geriatric medical specialists Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 12-1 p.m. at the William N. Pennington Health Sciences Building, room 102. The event is free and open to the public, and approved for 1.0 CME credit.

The film addresses the growing LGBT population and the challenges they face in hospital care and long-term care because of lack of education among caregivers. The panel discussion will involve questions and concerns about what can be done in health care to address this problem and what we can learn as individuals to address this and similar injustices. 

Speakers include Taylor Howard, MS-IV, UNR Med; Trudy Italiano, Ph.D., Northern Nevada HOPES; Brooke Maylath, MBA, Transgender Allies Group; Jonathan McCaleb, M.D., VA Sierra Nevada Health Care; and Kelley McMillen, RN BSN, Sanford Center for Aging.

Learn more about the Diversity Health Series.


Abbie Olszewski Ph.D., CCC-SLP, an assistant professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, recently published a book/therapy manual with Plural Publishing Company. Her book, titled Here's How to Teach Voice and Communication Skills to Transgender Women, is a project that stemmed out of a graduate thesis and a collaboration with a colleague in the Theatre and Dance Department.

More information on Abbie's book

Did you know?

50th anniversary logo

While caring for her aging mother, Carson City pioneer Jean Cameron Sanford began to envision a future for older adults that offered vibrant health, cultural and social opportunities and the dignity of independence. In 1985, Sanford made a $100,000 gift to the University to establish the Geriatric and Gerontology Center. She later designated 80 percent of her estate to become an endowment to support a statewide collaboration to shape the future of geriatrics and gerontology in Nevada. In honor of her generosity, the existing university program was renamed the Graham and Jean Sanford Center for Aging. Today, the endowment supports the Sanford Center for Aging, as well as state and federal grants and other philanthropic donations.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Holiday: Christmas Day

December 25, 2018

Upcoming Holiday: New Year's Day

January 1, 2019

Events for December 4 – 11, 2018

Diversity Health Series

December 4, 2018 • 12–1 p.m.
Gen Silent: Caring for LGBTQ+ Populations

ECHO Clinics: Pain Management

December 5, 2018 • 8–9 a.m.
What Can We Do?: MAT, PMP, and the Good Samaritan Law

ECHO Clinics: Diabetes and General Endocrine

December 6, 2018 • 8–9 a.m.
Dietary Considerations

Northern Nevada Craniofacial Clinic

December 7, 2018 • 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
Northern Nevada Cleft Palate Clinic

ECHO Clinics: Complex Pediatrics

December 7, 2018 • 12–1 p.m.
Bleeding Disorders and Hemophilia

Aphasia Communication Clinic

December 7, 2018 • 2:30–3:30 p.m.
The aphasia communication clinic supports a Life Participation Approach to Aphasia for stroke and brain injury survivors.

More events

Submit an event

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Nevada Medicine Weekly is a publication of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and the office of Advancement and Engagement. Please see the Content Submissions page for instructions on how to submit items for inclusion. Copyright © 2018 University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.