Spring 2011
Generous gift promotes pediatric faculty research

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Paul Do, M.D., Gary Maymen, M.D., and William Evans, M.D.,

Paul Do, M.D., a graduate of the school's pediatric residency program, Gary Maymen, M.D., seated, and William Evans, M.D., right, of the Children's Heart Center of Nevada, review a child's echocardiogram in this photo from fall 2008. Photo by Dave Smith

Children's Heart Center Nevada continues its partnership with the School of Medicine.

By Anne McMillin, APR

A long-standing relationship between the University of Nevada School of Medicine and a private medical group further solidified when the school received a generous gift from the Children's Heart Center Nevada to support statewide pediatric faculty research.

The Children's Heart Center Nevada Pediatric Research Fund, in the amount of $100,000 over 10 years, will be used to stimulate new research activities among faculty, according to David Gremse, M.D., chair of pediatrics in Las Vegas.

Children's Heart Center, a statewide institution itself, like the School of Medicine, wanted to make its gift to benefit children across Nevada through the efforts of faculty research in Las Vegas and Reno.

"This gift will allow our faculty to engage in research activity that can improve children's lives in Nevada," said Gremse. "It is fitting that the Children's Heart Center gift is aimed at fostering medical research to benefit children."

Nevin Wilson, M.D., pediatrics chair in Reno, echoes the sentiment. "We are very pleased and grateful that this gift has been made available to us to cultivate research in children's diseases here in Nevada. It will allow us to continue and expand clinical research that we are doing that directly impacts children in this state."

The collaborative relationship between the School of Medicine and the Children's Heart Center Nevada illustrates a successful marriage of public and private entities working together to address Nevada's health care needs.

"This gift recognizes the statewide reach of both institutions and will allow us to continue to support faculty research in pediatrics for bettering patient outcomes in Nevada," said Cheryl Hug-English, M.D., interim dean of the medical school.

Steven Eisen, Children's Heart Center chief executive officer, said the motivation to make the gift stemmed from the 30-year relationship between his organization and the medical school.

"Our physicians make up the division of pediatric cardiology at the School of Medicine and all are adjunct faculty with a strong interest in research," he said.

"We wanted to help foster growth in the school's pediatrics department."

The pediatric cardiologists of Children's Heart Center have a strong belief in the academic principles of research for the advancement of scientific knowledge, the teaching of physicians and service to the Nevada community, all ideals which fit hand-in-glove with the School of Medicine's mission as the only public medical school in the state.

Eisen said the physicians at Children's Heart Center, who also train pediatric residents with an interest in pediatric cardiology, are passionate about research, and felt strongly about establishing the research gift to benefit all Nevada's children.

"This is another way to grow our relationship with the school and help strengthen it," Eisen said.

Established in 1980, Children's Heart Center Nevada is the only pediatric cardiology practice in the state of Nevada. Comprised of 12 physicians and supported by a nursing department and staff of more than 100, the center's aim is to make Nevada a world-class place for the treatment of children with heart disease.

The center has developed full-time programs pediatric cardiac consultation, intervention, electrophysiology, cardiovascular risk factor reduction, fetal echocardiography, cardiovascular surgical services, adults with congenital heart disease, as well as an evaluation program for pulmonary hypertension in children and adults.

Children's Heart Center serves Nevada with five offices and various outreach clinics in Nevada, no child in need of services is turned away for any reason.

Current research in the school's pediatrics department includes studying the effects of staph bacteria on infections, strategies to prevent HIV, prenatal care of women with HIV, the role of ethnicity in children with inflammatory bowel disease, predictions of colon cancer in children with ulcerative colitis and allergy studies.

Children's Heart Center research areas include fetal echocardiography, pulmonary hypertension and adult congenital heart disease.