The UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees recently honored UNLV School of  Medicine Founding Scholarship donors who had not yet been recognized. L to R: UNLV President  Len Jessup; Lori Mendenhall for the Mendenhall Family; Julie Murphy; Kirk Clausen for Wells Fargo  Bank; Jeri & Rick Crawford; Don Snyder; Florence Jameson, MD; Planning Dean Barbara Atkinson;  MaryKaye Cashman; and Dana Lee.
Issue 16 - Oct. 13, 2015
Making the Rounds with Planning Dean Barbara Atkinson
Friends and Colleagues,

Marci Nielsen, CEO Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative
The UNLV School of Medicine held its first conference last week on an issue central to our medical school, community and state. Speaker's presentations and small group discussions tackled the tough issue of ensuring access to quality health care for Nevadans who qualify for Medicaid - especially the thousands of new Nevadans who have Medicaid coverage for the first time.
Medicaid provides health insurance to Nevadans with very low or no income. The program covers pregnant women; women with children under age 19; the blind; people with disabilities; and people over 65 years of age. In 2014, the program was expanded to cover childless adult men in this income range as part of the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid is funded by state and federal dollars.

Currently, 650,000 people in Nevada qualify for Medicaid; almost a half of these individuals are new to the program. Many have not had access to primary care in the past and many still don't due to Nevada's severe physician shortage. One of the goals of our medical school is to help fill this gap. We are creating community clinics where our students will provide care to these individuals under the supervision of faculty and residents.
The purpose of our half-day event was to bring people together who provide care, support, resources or insurance for Medicaid patients and to discuss how we can work together "as partners" to better organize care and services. We had an amazing turnout with more than 95 participants representing 59 different organizations.  

Our speakers included:
  • Assemblyman James Oscarson, District 36, which includes Pahrump. As chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, he is the highest-ranking individual on health care in the legislature. Assemblyman Oscarson outlined the innovative programs developed for Medicaid services last session and opportunities for future legislation.  
  • Marci Nielsen, MPH, PhD, and CEO, Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, a national organization supporting best practice models for primary care throughout the country, discussed "Transitioning to Patient-Centered Care in the Managed Care Medicaid Model".
  • Joel Dvoskin, PhD, chair of Nevada's Behavioral Health and Wellness
    Dr. Dvoskin, Chair, Nevada's Behavioral Health and Wellness Council
    Council, spoke on Nevada's need for new models of care for behavioral health patients. 
  • Debra Sisco from the Nevada Department of Health Care Financing and Policy provided an overview about the federal grant Nevada was awarded, known as the "State Innovative Models Initiative (SIM)" project. 
  • Allyson Hoover from Amerigroup and Dr. Laurine Tibaldi from Health Plan of Nevada, the two managed care organizations that manage Medicaid in Nevada, discussed innovative new programs their organizations are implementing 
Small group discussions focused on pressing issues that affect Medicaid recipients' ability to access care:  
  • UNLV School of Community Health SciencesDean Shawn Gerstenberger, PhD, facilitated a group discussion on transportation, housing and communication issues impacting access. He was joined by MJ Maynard, deputy general manager, RTC; Bernadette Zamora, chief of operations, LogistiCare; Tim Burch, director Clark County Social Services; and Phyllis Hargrove, senior management analyst, HUD.
  • Dr. Marta Poling-Goldenne, representing Lutheran Social Services of Nevada and Nevadans for a Common Good; and Jerry Reeves, Health Insights led a discussion on the need for community collaborations and the important support role they play in southern Nevada.
  • Dr. Dvoskin led a discussion on managing behavioral health care. He was joined by Dr. Lesley Dickson, executive director and state legislative representative, Nevada Psychiatric Association; Dr. Lisa Durette, program director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship, UNSOM; and Dr. Coni Kalinowski, medical director, Mojave Adult, Child and Family Services. The session attracted the most participants, including myself. Group members discussed what they are currently doing, new ideas they plan to implement, and what obstacles stand in their way. It was amazing to hear how many of us shared the same obstacles and the steps we were taking to improve our success rates.
The enthusiasm permeating the room throughout the day was remarkable. Many of the people at the conference had never been in the same room together, yet many knew each other or knew of each other, and all found common ground as we discussed the social and medical needs of this patient population.
We were pleased to bring many talented and committed people together to work on this difficult and complex issue. We are even more excited to continue working alongside these individuals to improve access to care and the health of our community. We already are talking about a follow-up program.  
Special thanks to Dean Gerstenberger, who co-sponsored the program; Dr. Laura Culley, UNLV School of Medicine associate dean for health policy and community affairs, who planned the conference and program; and Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Regent Trevor Hayes for joining us.

Best wishes,

Community Advisory Board Spotlight

Mee Ray Rawson , UNLV class of '64, who was recognized recently as a  Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Rawson has been a practicing dentist in Nevada since 1968 and served as a Nevada State Senator for 20 years. He also was a member of the NSHE Board of Regents and the Nevada Gaming Commission. He currently serves as vice chair of the Springs Preserve Foundation and on our advisory board. Dr. Rawson has been a steadfast supporter of the medical school. "We can't become a mature community until we have a significant set of professional choices for our children to be able to advance and stay in our community," said Dr. Rawson. He has seven grown children, several of whom pursued medicine and had to leave the state for their graduate medical training. 
UNLV School of Medicine Progress Report

Gary Larson, KUNV 91.5, and I had a delightful exchange about what's happening at the medical school, our progress and what lies ahead. Thanks Gary and the KUNV team.

Here is th e interview .

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