Nevada System of Higher Education
Health Sciences System Newsletter 
July 2014   
The Health Sciences System (HSS) was established by the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents in 2006. Its purpose is to address Nevada's community health issues through a system-wide effort to integrate and expand the education of health professionals and to foster collaborative research in health and health care.  Through collaboration among the NSHE institutions and a broad range of external partners, the HSS intends to be a catalyst for improvement in the health and wellness of Nevada.  Visit us at:
TMCC alumna Janice Peters, R.N., receives Nurse of the Year award at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center


For dedication to her patients and caregiving excellence, Truckee Meadows Community College alumna Janice Peters, R.N., has received the Nurse of the Year award at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center. Peters graduated from TMCC in May 2012. She then entered the competitive Transition to Practice program at Saint Mary's that September. The program provides an additional year of classroom training and simulations to about 12 nurses accepted into each cohort. She now cares for cancer patients at Saint Mary's, and most of her colleagues have between five and 15 years of experience in this specific area.


"Whatever I've accomplished, I also credit the team of nurses who I've learned from and who are the best," Peters said. "They've been an incredible source of support during the start of my career." When Peters attended the award dinner at John Ascuaga's Nugget, she was presented the certificate and stand-up plaque by the Chief of Nursing and the CEO of Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center.


Peters said that she was hired into her dream job right out of school. "TMCC produces very strong nurses," Peters said. "I had the opportunity to do clinicals in the unit I was eventually hired into. I'm learning from the best and most experienced nurses for whom I could ever hope to be mentored." She believes that she was very well prepared in her college training. "My clinicals, the times spent in the hospital, were motivating. I learned so much from my clinical instructors. We did further research on the disease process, learned to understand complex lab work, and really got to know the patients; how they were feeling."


The award is given by the Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement, a committee of nurses from the region who formed the group in 1999. They have honored hundreds of nurses and awarded more than $114,000 in scholarships. More information about The Maxine S. Jacobs Nursing Program can be found on the nursing Web pages.


School of Medicine starts three new specialty training fellowships in Las Vegas

The University of Nevada School of Medicine made further steps in its commitment to improving health care for Nevadans by growing its graduate medical education portfolio in Las Vegas with the addition of three new accredited fellowship training programs this year.

Two fellowships, in cardiology and gastroenterology, are the first-of-their-kind training programs for Nevada. The third is in child and adolescent psychiatry.

The cardiology fellowship began this summer with three fellows in the first year of the three-year training program.

"This fellowship is the first step in bringing subspecialty training to Las Vegas and retaining subspecialists in southern Nevada to address the severe physician shortage here," said Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education, explaining that with the addition of cardiology, internal medicine residents now have the option to stay in Las Vegas for additional cardiology specialty training beyond residency.

According to Chowdhury Ahsan, M.D., Ph.D., professor and cardiology fellowship program director, this training will focus on complicated and routine cardio-vascular patient care in the clinical setting and also provide opportunities for robust scholarly activities including conference hosting, publishing and research. 

Training sites for the cardiology fellowship include UMC, the VA and Nevada Heart and Vascular Imaging.

The new gastroenterology fellows began the three-year fellowship program this July with monthly rotations at the VA and University Medical Center. The first year of the fellowship focuses heavily on gaining clinical expertise in hospitalized patient care and becoming proficient in endoscopic procedures, according to fellowship director Christian Stone, M.D., MPH, associate professor and chief of the section of gastroenterology.

"The second and third years of the fellowship provide specialized rotations in inflammatory bowel disease, motility disorders, nutrition, hepatology, advanced endoscopy, and pancreatic and biliary diseases," said Stone.

Fellows will also participate in a continuity clinic where they follow the same patients in the same location over the three-year program.

"Our hope is to train fellows who will have superior clinical skills and research expertise. After completing the fellowship, as these newly minted gastroenterologists start to practice in the community, we can be confident that they have been well trained and will serve the best interests of patients," Stone said.

Over at the School of Medicine's psychiatry and behavioral sciences department, Lisa Durette, M.D., is program director for southern Nevada's first child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship training program that also began in July.

According to Durette, the fellowship was established to help alleviate the severe shortage of child psychiatrists in southern Nevada.

Two fellows who began the two-year program this month will be spending their time at training sites including UMC, the Clark County Department of Family Services, Clark County Juvenile Justice Services and Desert Willow Treatment Center.

In addition, they will follow the same group of patients in a continuity clinic at Healthy Minds, in partnership with the Department of Family Services. In this setting, fellows work alongside marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, psychologists and child neuropsychologists to gain a strong understanding of the multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment of patients.

Fellows will first be exposed to the fundamentals of what is normal development in children and adolescents, so that they will be able to recognize abnormal behavior, Durette explained.

"They will have wide exposure to all settings and levels of severity of conditions including children in foster care, those who are incarcerated or in public school programs," she added.


For more information and news from the School of Medicine, please click here

Did you know: 
The Nevada System of Higher Education has 150 distinct Health Sciences programs throughout eight institutions with an estimated total of 18,000 enrolled students.
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