Fall 2016
Dean's Perspective

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

New Name. Same Outstanding School

By Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

Thomas Schwenk, M.D.The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is becoming a "new" school-with a long and distinguished tradition!

In this issue of Synapse, you will learn about a series of initiatives that are taking the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) in new and exciting directions. We are nearing the end of an exciting strategic planning process that will lead to a clear vision for the School of Medicine as it develops a full clinical, teaching and research campus in Reno. We recently celebrated the launch of a new name, a new logo, new branding "pillars," and new design concepts, all of which will help us best tell our story to both internal and external constituents.

Our new name was approved by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents Health Sciences Committee on June 10, 2016. Adding Reno to our name reflects our increasing presence in northern Nevada, and our strong identification with the University of Nevada, Reno. The development of our new brand was informed by the opinions of more than 2,000 internal and external constituents, gathered by surveys, focus groups and interviews.

The name and logo change and strategic planning processes both lead perfectly into the launch of our routine Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation process scheduled for Fall 2017. We will be undergoing an intense self-study over the next year, resulting in the submission of a comprehensive report due July 2017 followed by a site visit in October 2017.

This self-study process is perfectly timed to give us an opportunity to tell our story and work together to portray all the exciting developments that support our ability to fulfill our academic and clinical missions.

Our partnership with Renown Health continues to grow and thrive as we develop a full academic medical center. We have developed new clerkships in Reno with our community faculty partners in surgery and obstetrics/gynecology; the early evaluation results for both clerkships are incredibly positive. Our new Masters of Physician Assistant Studies program will be visited soon as part of its accreditation process. The interest by potential students has been almost unmanageably strong. We are expanding residency programs in both Reno and Las Vegas with the support of funds from the Governor's Task Force.

All of these exciting developments are just a small part of the energy and excitement that we feel as we become a University of Nevada, Reno based School of Medicine with a statewide vision.

The transformation taking place in public medical education in Nevada is an extraordinary opportunity to build upon the traditions, history and excellence of our "old" medical school with new energy, new vision, a new name and new ways that we are known across the state and beyond. Our new name marks, more than anything, a rededication to our purpose of serving our community and improving the health and healthcare of Nevadans.

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.
Professor, Family and Community Medicine
Dean, University of Nevada School of Medicine
Vice President, Division of Health Sciences