L to R: Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Regent Mark Doubrava, UNLV President Len Jessup, UNLV School of Medicine Planning Dean Barbara Atkinson, NSHE Regent James Dean Leavitt, NSHE Vice Chancellor Marcia Turner, and NSHE Chancellor Dan Klaich at our founding celebration
Issue 14 - Sept. 29, 2015
Making the Rounds with Planning Dean Barbara Atkinson
Friends and Colleagues,

I'm often asked what it takes to build a medical school? To give you an example, I thought I would share my typical workweek. Currently it consists of five major components: (1) building our blue print for educating our students; (2) building the school from the ground up, which means evaluating and making critical decisions about our organizational structure, admissions, clinical programs, and faculty; (3) ensuring our accreditation process goes without a hitch; (4) working with consultants to determine the best practice plan and practice sites; and (5) building support for the school by sharing our vision and progress with the community. I enjoy it all but meeting the community tops the list.
Here are a few of my highlights from last week with the community (Sept. 19-25):
  • Southern Nevada Women's History Project: I spoke at the Southern Nevada
    Women's History Project luncheon where I met an incredible group of women. They record and write profiles of Nevada's most notable women. They have written two books, and are now working on their third. I received a copy of their second book, "Steadfast Sisters of the Silver State," which is beautiful.
  • American Asian Group: My husband, Bill and I attended the American Asian Group banquet for the second year as guests of Drs. Russell and Dipti Shah. Fourteen people were honored for their contributions and service to the community. One of those honored serves on our Community Advisory Board, Rajesh Shrotriya,
    Dr. Shrotriya accepting his community achievement award
    MD, chairman and CEO of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. Rita and Mike Vaswani did a fantastic job of organizing the event. Rita and Mike also are known for their savvy advocacy when it comes to getting candidates elected into office.
  • Faculty recruitment: Parvesh Kumar, MD, an internationally renowned radiation oncologist spent two days in Las Vegas learning about our medical school and community. We are recruiting Dr. Kumar as our department chair of radiation oncology and acting chair of oncology. Under his leadership, I know we can build stellar programs in clinical and translational research and build an outstanding cancer program. Stay tuned.
  • UNLV School of Medicine Founding Celebration: Last Monday, we celebrated the school's founding and honored our generous scholarship donors. It was a wonderful celebration.
  • Congregation P'Nai Tikvah: Rabbi Yocheved Mintz and Nevada System of Higher Education Regent Sam Lieberman invited me to discuss the medical school's mission and program with their congregation. While there, I was able to make a connection with an old friend. The father of one of the women there had been my teacher and friend while in medical school at Thomas Jefferson University. He is a retired professor of internal medicine and endocrinologist. I can't wait to meet and catch up with him since we both now live in Las Vegas.
  • Medical School Colleagues dinner: Once a month, I get together with my
    Doug Geinzer, Vance Farrow and Shelly Berkley
    colleagues from Roseman University College of Medicine, and Touro University Nevada to exchange ideas. Doug Geinzer, CEO of Las Vegas HEALS organizes the event. Mark Penn, MD, dean of the Roseman University College of Medicine; Shelley Berkley, CEO and senior provost of Touro University Nevada and the Western Division of Touro, which includes California; Vance Farrow, industry specialist for health care in the governor's office of economic development; Larry Lehrner, MD, Shelley's husband; and Doug Geinzer all had a wonderful dinner and conversation. We discussed the positive impact a bill passed last session will have for us as we recruit new faculty from out of state. The legislation allows a physician who holds a license in another state to become licensed more quickly in Nevada. We also discussed creating new graduate medical education (residency) programs for our students. The Governor's budget provides $10 million dollars for such programs. Working together to plan and build these new residency programs is essential for ensuring young doctors from our schools stay in Nevada to practice medicine. 
I am truly honored to work and live in such as a wonderful, generous and supportive community.
Best wishes,
Dr. Warren Volker
Warren Volker, MD
Community Advisory Board Video Spotlight

Meet Warren Volker, MD, chairman and CEO, WellHealth Quality Care and vice chair of our Community Advisory Board. Dr. Volker explains why the UNLV School of Medicine is important to southern Nevada residents in this video. We ran the video in our second issue of Rounds and wanted to share it with you again.

Last Week to Pre-Register: Partners' Conference on Medicaid 
Portrait of smiling little school kids in school corridor
Register today for our October 8, half-day conference on Medicaid. The goal of the conference is to bring major stakeholders together to discuss ways to improve the state's Medicaid program. Check out our informative  program For more information   call  (702) 895-0325.

You received our newsletter because you expressed an interest in the UNLV School of Medicine. Please share our news with your friends and colleagues. 
Follow our progress. Sign up for our newsletter. If you missed an issue you can find it  here.