Spring 2017
News and Notes

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Rural Nevada

Rural Nevada. Photo by Suzi Stempeck.

By Anne McMillin, APR

Rural and Frontier Health Data Book Available

A newly-released report from the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine's Office of Statewide Initiatives documents the diverse features of health and health care in rural and frontier counties of Nevada.

The Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book - Eighth Edition contains a wide range of current information on the demography, population health, and the health care delivery system in rural and frontier regions of Nevada. It includes data relevant to public policy makers, health care professionals and administrators, rural health care advocates, and, importantly, the residents of rural and frontier Nevada.

A few of the interesting findings in the report include:

  • In 2014, 17.3 percent of Nevadans under the age of 65 were uninsured, including 16.1 percent rural and frontier residents. Since 2008, the number of uninsured Nevadans under the age of 65 decreased by 112,883 or 21.3 percent - among rural and frontier counties, the number decreased 16,764 or 32.3 percent.
  • Between 2011 and 2016, Nevada Medicaid enrollment has increased by 272,060 or 73.8 percent, including enrollment growth of 17,469 (52.2 percent) in rural and frontier counties.
  • Infant mortality and other birth outcomes are slightly better in urban versus rural areas of the state - these differences may be a product of better access to prenatal and preventive services in urban counties. For example, 61.9 percent of pregnant women in rural and frontier counties received prenatal care in the first trimester, as compared to 69.3 percent in Clark County and 70.4 percent in Washoe County.
  • In 2016, there were 190 licensed psychiatrists in Nevada - 189 reside in urban Nevada and only one psychiatrist resides in a rural or frontier county. Since 2006, the number of psychiatrists in Nevada has increased by 38 or 25 percent, yet the per capita number of psychiatrists has only increased from 6.0 to 6.8 per 100,000 population.

The full report is available at the Office of Statewide Initiatives

Statewide panel discusses opioid epidemic

An overview of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. was presented by drug addiction experts in a free, public panel discussion in Las Vegas last October. The panel discussion, “Drugs in America Today,” was sponsored by The National Judicial College at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Discussion topics at the event included evidence-based treatment options for the courts and communities, efforts to limit the opioid epidemic, community-court relations and important lessons for addicts and their families.

Expert panelists on addiction included: Stacie Mathewson, founder and president of Transforming Youth Recovery; Melissa Piasecki, M.D., UNR Med; Sara Gordon, Esq. from the William S. Boyd School of Law; Bob Forrest, a recovery advocate and activist working in Los Angeles; and Dr. Stephanie Woodard of the Division of Public and Behavioral Health for the State of Nevada.

GME exit survey findings

Selected key findings of the 2016 Graduate Medical Education Survey conducted by UNR Med’s Office of Statewide Initiatives include:

  • In 2016, 40.7 percent of physicians completing residencies and fellowships in Nevada reported that they will remain in Nevada to begin clinical practice or continue their graduate medical education.
  • Since 2007, 51.2 percent of exiting residents and fellows remained in Nevada.
  • The average debt of all exiting residents and fellows in 2016 was $170,127.
  • Average debt carried by physicians from Nevada since 2007 is $188,362, lower than the average debt of $199,964 carried by all physicians.

The Graduate Medical Education (GME) survey assesses the future employment and continuing educational plans of exiting residents and fellows.

Pediatrics structure established for Reno department

Max Coppes, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, professor and Nell J. Redfield Chair of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children’s Hospital, rolled out a formal structure for the UNR Med Department of Pediatrics last fall.

Divisions include general pediatrics, neonatal intensive care, hospital medicine and behavioral health while sections are pediatric anesthesiology and imaging, critical care and emergency medicine, pediatric subspecialties and pediatric surgical subspecialties.

Gift supports endowed program

A generous gift from the estate of the late Lillian Gilbert will create an endowed research program in movement disorders at UNR Med. Her gift will support movement disorder research at the basic science and clinical levels. It will also create an endowed faculty position, the Harry and Lillian Gilbert Movement Disorders Endowed Chair, to focus on translational clinical research.

Gift provides for student scholarship

Joanne Grundman (attended 1967-69) made provisions in her estate plans to establish the Joanne M. Grundman Annual Scholarship. During her 36-year tenure with the State of Nevada, Grundman worked primarily in the field of health care administration, including her last post as the administrator of Nevada Check-up, Nevada’s health insurance program for children. This scholarship will benefit students who hope to pursue a career as a doctor of medicine, a doctor of osteopathic medicine or a physician assistant.

Center for Traffic Safety Research awarded grant

The Nevada Department of Public Safety - Office of Traffic Safety awarded a grant for $229,291 to Deborah A. Kuhls, M.D., FACS, FCCM (principal investigator) and Laura Gryder, MA (co-investigator), both with the Center for Traffic Safety Research at UNR Med, for the 2016-2017 grant year to continue maintaining its previously-established database.

This grant will support adding 2015 data to provide a more comprehensive database to develop statistical modeling that identifies predictive and protective factors for traffic-related injuries.