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Making the Rounds with Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson
 Issue 160 - August 28, 2018
Building relationships in the community is an important part of growing the medical school. Even though we enjoy tremendous support for our mission, it’s critical that we strengthen that support and create new partnerships on a regular basis - because, as you know, you can never have too many friends. We recently met the President of the Las Vegas India Chamber of Commerce and instantly sensed its sincere desire to help fix the doctor shortage in Southern Nevada. We couldn’t be happier with their vision of holding a unique fundraising fashion show. I hope all of you will consider attending the event in October. By doing so, you will not only be helping the cause by contributing to the event’s success, but you will also help in expanding our network of support and friendship in the community.
Barbara signature, first name only
Rita Vaswani
Rita Vaswani, the president of the Asian American Group in Southern Nevada as well as the founding president of the Las Vegas India Chamber of Commerce, sat in downtown’s Triple George restaurant for lunch last May and said she felt the need to raise money for scholarships for medical students in Southern Nevada.

“We have such a need for doctors in Nevada and it’s one way to help attract the best students,” she told our three person contingent from the UNLV School of Medicine.  

It was, of course, music to our ears. Her India chamber’s 2018 Community Achievement Awards Gala, she said, could be a perfect fundraising vehicle.

Over the next few months we continued to hear from Rita. She said a fashion show, with medical students as models, could be one of the highlights of the event that honors the work of movers and shakers in the community, including Dr. Rupesh Parikh, president of Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada and Dr. Amir Bacchus, founder and chief medical officer of P3 Health Partners.

“What do you think?” asked Rita, who’s also vice-president of Nevada State Bank.

We thought, and we think, that it’s wonderful. And on October 14, the gala, with proceeds going to scholarships at the UNLV School of Medicine and the Touro University School of Medicine, will take place in the Treasure Island Hotel Ballroom. Female and male medical students from both schools they love the idea will model the beautiful clothes of the Taj Boutique for Men and Women as they walk down the runway. You can see more details of the event on the flier below. We’d love to see you at Treasure Island. Please put the event on your calendar.

The more you learn about Rita, the more impressed you are. Just reading about her work in the community makes you want to gulp a Red Bull. In addition to her work at Nevada State Bank and with the India Chamber and Asian Group, her community involvement includes: vice chair of the board of governors for Centennial Hills Hospital; member of the St. Rose Dignity Health Community Board; executive board member of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Nevada; member of the Las Vegas Metro Police Multicultural Advisory Council; member of the Nevada Judicial Ethics & Election Practices Board; member of the Family & Child Treatment Association Board; coordinator for Philippine & India Sister Cities Association; coordinator of annual events for the Unity Council of Nevada; and member of the board of trustees for the FBI Citizens Academy.

Rita has also written and created her own training materials to train women through the American Institute of Banking. If Rita doesn’t prove the dictum, “If you want to get things done, ask a busy person,” no one does. Over the years she’s chaired multiple fundraising events that have provided food and clothing to needy Southern Nevadans. 

“I believe my energy is God sent,” Rita said recently. “I believe God gave me a purpose to help change things for the better."

Married for 49 years to Michael Vaswani he’s one of the governor appointed commissioners on the Nevada Commission on Tourism Rita has two grown children and four grandchildren. “I really believe in what Mahatma Gandhi said, what is now the motto for the India Chamber of Commerce ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’”

“I want to do my part to change the shortage of doctors and nurses we have in Nevada,” Rita said. “ We all need to do our part.”


Please RSVP to: 
Bindi Parikh | LVICC Secretary 
702-492-4920 |
For Sponsorship, please email
IN THE NEWS   Click to see recent stories about UNLV School of Medicine

A diverse group with one thing in common: they're all from Southern Nevada or have close ties to it. "They were selected from over a thousand students and they're the best," said Barbara Atkinson, Founding Dean.

NBC 3 NEWS Las Vegas, August 24, 2018

Members of the UNLV medical school Class of 2022 received their white coats on Friday inside Artemus Ham Concert Hall on the campus of UNLV. The white coat ceremony is a rite of passage welcoming students into the medical profession. 

Las Vegas Review Journal, August 24, 2018
In average annual compensation, plastic surgeons lead the practitioners of medical specialties. They average $501,000 annually Orthopedic surgeons are a close second at $497,000- a year, according to a 2018 survey by Statista, an online statistics, market research and business intelligence portal. 

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