L to R: Regent Kevin Melcher, NSHE Vice Chancellor Marcia Turner, Regent Mark Doubrava, UNLV School of Medicine Planning Dean Dr. Atkinson, NSHE Health Sciences System Committee Chair Regent James Dean Leavitt, UNLV President Len Jessup, NSHE Chancellor Dan Klaich, Regent Allison Stephens, UNLV School of Medicine Chief of Staff, Maureen Schafer, and NSHE Health Sciences Manager Lee Quick
Issue 12 - Sept. 15, 2015
Making the Rounds with Planning Dean Barbara Atkinson
Friends and Colleagues,                 

We accomplished another major milestone this week in the development of the UNLV School of Medicine. The  Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents approved our organizational structure establishing our departments.

We will have 24 teaching departments focused on these specialties: anesthesiology, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiovascular diseases, emergency medicine, genetics and genomics, geriatrics and gerontology, family medicine, internal medicine, mental health and addiction and psychiatry, neuroscience and neurology, neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynecology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology and head and neck surgery, pathology and laboratory medicine, pediatrics, plastic surgery, radiation oncology, radiology, rehabilitation medicine, surgery, and urology.

You might have noticed the list doesn't include "traditional basic science" departments, common at most medical schools. We are recruiting basic scientists and will be housing them in the departments related to their research and teaching expertise. For instance, students will learn the cardiovascular system by working with and learning from our cardiologists as well as the cardiac physiologists and molecular biologists in the department. Students also will learn basic sciences through problem-based learning as they work in small groups to diagnose a patient's disease or illness, a more holistic approach to integrating basic science, clinical and socio-cultural issues involved in working with patients as a physician. These small groups will have facilitators who could be a PhD or MD faculty member.

I also divided internal medicine into three separate departments. Traditionally, oncology (cancer) and cardiovascular diseases fall into the department of internal medicine. I separated these two out so that I can build strong research programs in them, each with a separate department chair.
With our organizational structure now in place, we can start recruiting and hiring chairs to head up each department, which is extremely exciting. I want to thank the NSHE Board of Regents and Chancellor Dan Klaich for their support. For those of you who don't know how higher education is governed in Nevada let me provide a brief explanation.
Health Sciences System Committee Regents James Dean Leavitt chair, Mark Doubrava vice chair, and Kevin Page at Sept. 11 meeting in Reno.
NSHE manages Nevada's public system of higher education - four community colleges, one state college, two universities (UNLV and the University of Nevada, Reno), and one research institute. The Board of Regents is composed of 13 individuals who are elected from their respective districts. NSHE Regents are: Chair, Rick Trachok; Vice Chair, Michael Wixom; and Andrea Anderson, Cedric Crear, Robert Davidson, Mark Doubrava, Jason Geddes, Trevor Hayes, James Dean Leavitt, Sam Lieberman, Kevin Melcher, Kevin Page and Allison Stephens. Each regent serves on one or more committees to set policies and approve budgets. The 
Health Sciences System Committee is chaired by James Dean Leavitt. Last Friday, as part of the Board of Regents meeting I met with this committee and  reported on more than 10 items. Topics covered  the following:  a three-month progress report, budget update, faculty and staff hires, communications and fundraising efforts, a consultants' report, and space planning for students a nd faculty. UNLV President Len Jessup and the Unive rsity  of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) Dean Thomas Schwenk provided reports as well.  Dean Schwenk and I presented our plan to transition UNSOM students, faculty and graduate medical education from Las Vegas to Reno. It  was an intense and information-packed meeting. Our next Health Sciences System Committee meeting is December 4 at UNL V.
Best wishes,
Community Advisory Board

Video Spotlight

Watch several of the UNLV School of Medicine Community Advisory Board members  discuss why the medical school is important to southern Nevada's health care infrastructure.

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Partners' Conference on Nevada's Expanded Medicaid Program

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Our Partners' Conference on Nevada's Expanded Medicaid Program is receiving a great response. Look over our program and register today. Topics for the half-day event on October 8 include:  Transitioning to patient-centered care; discussion and stakeholder input on the State Innovative Model grant Nevada received to design Medicaid payment and health care delivery programs; and how to better serve homeless Medicaid patients.  For more information   call  (702) 895-0325.

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