I had the opportunity to travel to South Africa and Zimbabwe with my husband Bill and it was amazing. We saw the beauty of Africa, the great expanse of the continent, the incredible people and wildlife, as well as each country's struggles as they move into the 21st century.
One of our hobbies is birding. Bill and I had the wonderful experience of seeing more than 85 new bird species, including many other majestic animals particular to that region of the world. We purchased the trip last year at the Volunteers in Medicine Gala. It was one we have wanted to take for many years, and truly was a trip of a lifetime.
As with most vacations, it is great to be home. We are so fortunate to live in the United States and
particularly in Las Vegas. I am happy to be here, especially with so many exciting medical school developments on the horizon.
Here are some of our projects
Accreditation: We will learn early next week if we achieved "preliminary accreditation" and if the school can begin accepting our charter class. In addition, the curriculum team is completing the detailed planning of years three and four. The last two years of the curriculum includes longitudinal integrated clerkships, doctoring courses, Nevada community service, sub-internships, and electives. I will write about each of these in the coming weeks.
Finance: We are closely monitoring the school's expenses against its state-supported budget. This is an important year for the medical school year as it prepares for its charter class, residency and fellowship programs, and clinical practice. In addition to hiring the majority of the administrative and faculty members, we also are launching the school's faculty practice plan (UNLV Medicine).
Faculty recruitment: The medical school currently has 37 faculty members and staff. Recruitment is underway for the following six positions: (1) department chair of internal medicine, (2) associate dean of faculty affairs, (3) director of human resources, (4) senior associate dean of finance and business, (5) director of bioethics and (6) assistant general counsel. By June 30, 2017 we will have approximately 60 faculty and staff members; and will receive an additional 100 clinical faculty from the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNRSOM) on July 1, 2017.
Clinical affairs and the longitudinal integrated curriculum: UNLV School of Medicine leadership is working with a consultant to develop a sustainable business plan for its clinical outpatient practice where third-year medical students will complete a yearlong multi-specialty clerkship. We plan to open the school's outpatient clinic (UNLV Medicine) in 2019 with full-time faculty physicians and residents dedicated to caring for Medicaid and under-served patients. Students also have the opportunity to follow their patients to the hospital setting.
Student admissions: The Admissions Committee and the faculty and community interviewers are ready to start meeting the school's first class of applicants if the school receives permission to accept students for July 2017. All of the school's admissions' processes and materials are complete at this time.
Medical school interim education facility: Renovations and improvements are nearing completion for the UNLV Shadow Lane Campus Building B that will serve as the interim facility for UNLV School of Medicine students. The space encompasses 20,000 square feet and includes classrooms for microscopy and demonstrations, virtual anatomy laboratory, a medical library, small group study rooms, a student lounge, recreational gym, and student locker space. The facility is outstanding.
Medical education building (permanent site): The medical school's architects Tate, Snyder Kinsey (TSK) of Henderson, the primary and managing partner, and CO Architects from Los Angeles, the specialty firm with expertise in medical education are finalizing the building plan and conceptual design for the school's new academic building and academic health center campus. The plans and architectural renderings are incredibly spectacular. Look for the renderings in a future newsletter.
Graduate medical education: In August, UNLV School of Medicine received institutional accreditation to develop and manage current UNRSOM resident and fellowship programs. Each individual program will be transferred from UNRSOM to UNLV School of Medicine. Miriam Bar-on, MD, is the designated institutional official in charge of these programs for both schools and is leading the planning for the program transfer. Residents and fellows starting in July 2017 will be UNLV School of Medicine's first group.
: Parvesh Kumar, MD, is currently the Principle Investigator of a $20 million
Clinical Translational Research Infrastructure Network
(CTR-IN) grant, which is helping to build the
research enterprise for UNLV along with 13 other Mountain West universities. He is managing the grant and workin
g on plans to renew it, which is now in year three of its five-year cycle. Dr. Kumar also is setting up a clinical research committee to help plan UNLV School of Medicine's research arm.
: One of the five pillars of UNLV's Top Tier effort is to build an
academic health center
(AHC), which includes the schools of allied health sciences, community health sciences, dentistry, nursing and medicine. Maureen Schafer, my chief of staff and I are chairing the AHC work group. One of the short-term successes, was the creation of the UNLV Health Science Dean's Council, currently chaired by the UNLV Dental School Dean Karen West.