Spring 2014

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

New Partnership with Renown Health

Renown press conference.The School of Medicine and Renown Health, the region’s largest integrated healthcare network, have formed a steering committee to discuss a formal strategic partnership between the two organizations.

In addition to Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Donald C. Sibery, Renown Health interim CEO, the committee consists of local and rural physicians, board members and community leaders. The committee also includes Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Daniel Klaich and Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Page.

According to Schwenk: “We have a window of opportunity when there is the political will to seriously explore new collaborations that would benefit each organization and the greater northern Nevada community. We owe it to ourselves and the community to work together to take advantage of the synergies between our individual organizations.”

Bruce James, president and CEO of Nevada New-Tech, Inc., former National Institutes of Health Advisory Board Chairman, former Public Printer of the United States and chief executive officer of the U. S. Government Printing Office, is serving as committee chairman.

“The committee will work diligently to make recommendations about an expanded partnership,” said James. “The steering committee is exploring how to work together on key community needs such as addressing Nevada’s physician shortage and expanding clinical research.”

The group will have its recommendations to their respective governing bodies by this summer.

“Both the School of Medicine and Renown Health are excited about what can happen when we work together to solve the problems that our community faces,” said Sibery.

School of Medicine Relaunches Website

University of Nevada School of Medicine website.With an eye toward making the School of Medicine’s online presence united and user-friendly, the Marketing and Communications Office is overhauling the School of Medicine website this spring, following an ambitious ground-up rebuild of the 10-year-old site.

“We hope that our new website will engage our students, patients, faculty and community and will become the address of choice for all who seek information about medical education, research, patient care and interesting ways to connect with us,” said Susan Hill, APR, the School of Medicine’s marketing and communications director.

According to Kevin Murphy, the school’s web systems coordinator, the rework is necessary to make the school’s online presence better looking, consistent, uniform, accessibility compliant (ADA), compatible across platforms and will promote a better user experience.

Murphy met with representatives of various departments and programs to define their core audiences, to determine their reasons for wanting an online presence and to identify the top three tasks they wanted to accomplish online. He then used a content management system to create page templates for each department or office that can be filled with the content most suitable for them.

Improvements to the new web site include the addition of emergency messaging functions, a more complete directory, better search function within the site, search engine optimization and more integration with social media.

Next steps in the ongoing re-launch process include hiring a web content writer to put a uniform voice to the site and populating the site with videos of faculty discussing clinical and research passions.

Honoring Nevada’s Rural Health Care Champions

Joe Dini and Thomas L. Schwenk The National and Nevada Rural Health Day celebration, presented by the School of Medicine and the State Office for Rural Health, honored 10 pioneers in Nevada rural health care at a ceremony last November at St. Mary’s Art & Retreat Center in Virginia City.

Nevada Rural Health Day was a signature event of Nevada 150, Nevada’s 150th anniversary of statehood celebration, and was attended by more than 100 people who turned out to recognize the contributions of rural health care providers to the citizens of Nevada. Honorees included:

  • G.N. Christensen, M.D., who has been practicing medicine in Ely since 1968
  • Warren Smith, M.D. ’75, a founder of Family Doctors of Boulder City, where he has remained in practice for the past 33 years
  • Galen Reimer, M.D. ’77, who is credited with delivering 4,500 babies in 33 years of family practice in Fallon
  • Robert Daugherty, M.D., professor and dean emeritus of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, under whose leadership the school developed its Las Vegas campus and who visited rural communities on a biennial basis with his faculty
  • Richard Munger, CEO, Mt. Grant General Hospital in Hawthorne, where is has worked for nearly 40 years as an administrator. Under his leadership, the hospital was the first in Nevada to earn Critical Access Hospital designation
  • Marie Carrick, RN, practiced nursing for 52 years for the citizens of Ely and White Pine County
  • Mike Willden, director, Nevada Dept. of Health and Human Services, who as a native rural Nevadan has never forgotten his roots and is acutely aware of the difficulties facing clinics and hospitals in rural Nevada
  • Joe Dini, pictured above with Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., is a former State Assemblyman from Yerington, who is known as an advocate for the viability of the South Lyon Medical Center
  • John Marvel (posthumously), former State Assemblyman from Battle Mountain
  • Glenn Rose, a volunteer EMT/firefighter who has served the community of Lovelock for 45 years

Reno Pediatric and Allergy Clinic Relocates

Reno pediatrician Dr. Anju Riar.The School of Medicine moved its pediatrics clinic from its former location near Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center to the Renown Regional Medical Center campus in February.

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, said the move is an opportunity for the pediatric faculty physicians to be closer to the Renown Children’s Hospital, so as to facilitate close working relationships with pediatric subspecialists and hospital pediatricians.

The clinic, including pediatricians James Winder, M.D., Vincent Loffredo, M.D., Anju Riar, M.D., pictured, and allergist and immunologist Amanjit Dhatt, M.D., has been seeing patients at the new location, 901 East Second Street, Suite 201, in Reno since Feb. 25.

Clinic office hours remain Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The pediatric and allergy clinic phone number remains (775) 784-6522 and is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.