Issue 51 - June 28, 2016
Making the Rounds with Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson

L to R: UMC Governing Board members Harry Hagerty, Chairman John O' Reilly, and Eileen Raney
Friends and Colleagues,    

Last week we celebrated the transfer of land from Clark County to UNLV School of Medicine to build our first academic building. Part of the agreement to secure the land was to negotiate a preliminary agreement with University Medical Center (UMC). The agreement provides a framework from which we can begin building an academic health center (AHC) for Southern Nevada.  

What is an academic health center? 
During the UMC Governing Board meeting last week, I shared my vision on how UMC and the UNLV School of Medicine could create an AHC. When discussing AHC's I always describe what happened in Kansas when I was dean of the medical school. Kansas City Medical Center (KU) hospital went from near bankruptcy to becoming one of the top 50 grossing not-for-profit hospitals in the United States. It also ranked within the top 50 in all 12 major specialties on America's Best Hospitals in 2014.

This remarkable turnaround took time (roughly 15 years) but was driven by a master academic affiliation agreement between the university and the hospital. The two entities worked together to build strong education, research, and patient care programs in needed specialties and subspecialties. KU Hospital became a separate entity with its own board of directors while remaining affiliated with the university and its schools of medicine, nursing and allied health. The university employed the physicians, while the hospital provided space, infrastructure, and management support. Today it is a vibrant medical center.
I believe the same thing can happen in Las Vegas. UNLV Medicine is partnering with UMC and other hospitals, such as VA Southern Nevada, Sunrise Hospital, and the Dignity system, so medical students and residents can learn patient care across a variety of settings. We also want to work with our partners to develop clinical programs in specialties and subspecialties that don't exist in Southern Nevada today, such as liver and bone transplants.
To create an AHC you need more than a school of medicine - you need all health-related schools. UNLV has all of these -- nursing, dental medicine, allied health, and community health sciences (public health). As part of UNLV's Top Tier initiative, the deans of each of these schools are working together to build an AHC culture and operations within UNLV.
When the AHC is fully developed, patients will be able to receive comprehensive medical care -- from primary care to the highest-level specialty care. In addition, we will be able to train students in health care teams and implement research programs in several important areas to compliment our knowledge of treatment, prevention and causes of diseases. It's a big vision for Las Vegas but through partnership - and support from this amazing community - I know it can happen.

Best wishes,
Community Advisory Board Spotlight
Meet Andy Kuniyuki, PhD, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Nevada State College (NSC).  Dr. Kuniyuki worked closely with Dr. Laura Culley of the UNLV School of Medicine to develop the "Health Improves Together" externship program that was initiated this past summer for NSC and UNLV students. "This is the type of impact I had expected with the development of UNLV Medicine and it has been a privilege to be a part of this since its inception. I look forward to NSC serving as a pipeline for exceptional students," said Dr. Kuniyuki.

List of UNLV School of Medicine Community Advisory Board members.
New Look for UNLV School of Medicine 

UNLV recently redesigned its entire website. The new design also included UNLV School of Medicine. Check out our new webpages. 
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