Issue 68 - Oct. 25, 2016
Making the Rounds with Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson
Grand Opening Oct. 11

Friends and colleagues,
On Oct. 13, I had the honor of attending the grand opening of the medical school's first clinical practice -- the UNLV Medicine Ackerman Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Solutions.
UNLV School of Medicine partnered with the Grant a Gift Autism Foundation (GGAF), which raised the funds to renovate and furnish the facility, located at 630 S. Rancho Drive, in Las Vegas. GGAF also pays for the center's diagnosis and treatment of children whose families cannot afford the services on their own. 

The UNLV Medicine Ackerman Autism Center is the first in Nevada - and one of only a handful in the United States - to offer a full complement of autism and neurodevelopmental care, including diagnostics, treatment, behavioral support, and transition planning all in one place.

It was a special milestone for me personally that the medical school's first clinic focuses on autism care. Autism, the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the U.S., affects one in every 68 children, including more than 4,750 young Clark County residents.
The center provides a full gamut of services for children and young adults with autism and other neurologic conditions as well as for their families. This comprehensive approach is the model for how we want our entire clinical enterprise to work.
L to R: Tara, Debbie, Gary, Andrew Ackerman and Evan Ellis
At the event, we celebrated Gary Ackerman and his family for their many years of work to help families in the community with autistic children. We also celebrated the founder and CEO of the Grant A Gift Autism Foundation, Lynda Tache, and her son, Grant. The GGAF board members were also on hand to see the fruits of all their planning and hard work. It was a very special day.
The people from UNLV School of Medicine who have worked hard over the past six months to make this clinic a reality include Tracey Green, MD, vice dean of clinical affairs and a family physician; Julie F. Beasley, PhD, a child neuropsychologist and the center's director; and Mario Gaspar De Alba, MD, FAAP, a developmental pediatrician. We also have a pediatric neurologist, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and two geneticists. In a short time, the center has recruited the complete array of multidisciplinary experts needed to help these children and their families. 
While this was the center's official grand opening, we have actually been seeing children since mid-July. There were so many children on the Medicaid waitlist who needed diagnosis that we wanted to get a jumpstart before the building's ribbon cutting.  The center has concluded nearly 600 patient visits since opening. 

Please help us support GGAF as they have supported us by attending its fundraising event, the 7th Annual Fashion for Autism on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 at the Aria Resort and Casino. For tickets and more information please call 702.564.2453.  Part of the proceeds from this event will benefit the UNLV Medicine Ackerman Autism Center.  We appreciate your support.

Best wishes,

UNLV Medicine Improves Specialty Care for Autism

Gary Ackerman, UNLV Foundation Board of Trustee
With the UNLV Medicine Ackerman Autism Center, families in Las Vegas Valley finally now have one place to turn to for comprehensive autism diagnosis and treatment.

Raising a child with autism is difficult, often requiring hours of daily dedication and the shuttling between doctors, educators and other care providers. Doing it somewhere with no dedicated center for autism diagnosis, treatment and coping services is even harder.
Thanks to the UNLV Medicine  Ackerman Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Solutions families living in the Las Vegas Valley are now able to come to one physical place to address all their specific needs. Read more.
Upcoming events

Nov. 5: Buy tickets today for the  7th Annual Fashion for Autism. Funds benefit the Grant A Gift Autism Foundation and the UNLV Medicine Ackerman Autism Center. The event will be held at the Aria Resort and Casino and starts at 6 pm.

Nov. 14: Reserve your seat at the  Hospitality in Health Care Conference | Stan Fulton Building |
8 am-5 pm.
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