UNLV Medicine Shadow Lane Campus
Issue 4 - July 21, 2015
Making the Rounds with Planning Dean Barbara Atkinson

Friends and Colleagues,                 


This is an important week in UNLV Medicine history. The statewide steering committee will meet Wednesday, July 22 to begin planning the transition and separation of Nevada's two public medical schools in Las Vegas -- UNLV Medicine and the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno (UNSOM). Currently, UNSOM's students spend their third and fourth years in Las Vegas doing clinical work. UNSOM also has several residency programs here.


This committee, chaired by Chancellor Dan Klaich, JD, Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), was formed in 2014 (before I came to UNLV) in response to the TrippUmbach report setting forth the need for a public allopathic medical school in Las Vegas.  Joining  Chancellor Klaich on the committee is an esteemed group of highly qualified higher education and medical experts:

  • University of Nevada Reno (UNR) President, Marc Johnson, PhD; Executive Vice President and Provost, Kevin Carman, PhD, and UNSOM Dean, Tom Schwenk, MD;
  • UNLV President, Len Jessup, PhD; Acting Executive Vice President and Provost, Nancy Rapoport, JD; and myself, UNLV Medicine Planning Dean, Barbara Atkinson, MD;
  • NSHE Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Marcia Turner, PhD; Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Vic Redding; 
  • Community representatives (north and south), Philip Satre, JD, former chair and CEO, Harrah's Entertainment, and Michael Yackira, former CEO, Nevada Energy, and member of UNLV Medicine's Community Advisory Board.   

The committee addressed the report's recommendations to develop an accredited medical school on an accelerated time frame. Since 2014, the committee has met regularly to secure legislative funding and to develop educational materials promoting the importance and need for both public medical schools. The committee is currently helping with the transition as UNSOM moves its new medical student and residency activities to Reno, while at the same time, UNLV Medicine builds new and expanded medical education programs in Las Vegas. UNSOM Dean Schwenk and I have set a target date of July 1, 2017 when current UNSOM faculty based in Las Vegas, as well as current residency programs at University Medical Center (UMC), Sunrise Hospital and the Southern Nevada VA, will transition to UNLV Medicine.


Dean Schwenk and I will present our initial transition plans to the steering committee this week before we present the plans to the NSHE Board of Regents, Health Sciences Committee in September. This involves a major transition of faculty, facilities, residency programs, and clinical practice activities from UNSOM to UNLV Medicine. Be assured we intend to move carefully and thoughtfully so both schools remain on track and true to their individual missions. 


Thanks for your help and support during this transition time.  I'll keep you posted as things progress.   


Best wishes,


Community Advisory Board Spotlight


Amir Bacchus, MD, MBA, is co-founder and chief medical officer of P3 Health Group, a new company formed in 2015 with a mission to transform health care across the U.S. He is the co-founder of Healthcare Partners Nevada, and former chief medical officer of Desert Region DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc. Dr. Bacchus has a passion for creating companies that enhance health outcomes, provide productive and responsive health care delivery systems to lower overall costs, and improve patient and caregiver experience and satisfaction. He joined the community advisory board to help create a medical school in Las Vegas that provides top-notch medical education and physicians who provide the best care achievable.  

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Affairs and Admissions

Samuel Parrish, MD, has spent most of his career helping young doctors get into and through medical school successfully. At UNLV Medicine, Sam will oversee everything related to student affairs and admissions. Read more.

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