NSHE Medical Schools Addressing Nevada’s Health Care Needs

LAS VEGAS – The Board of Regents heard from Nevada’s two public medical schools as they continue to address the growing needs of southern Nevada and its rural counties in the north.

The UNLV School of Medicine is thriving on all levels with 118 students representing the first two cohorts of the school, with 100 of the students receiving fully funded scholarships.

An accreditation site visit is set for February.

UNLV is also pursuing fundraising opportunities to build a Medical Education Building, which will include a $25 million capital project commitment made by the state.

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, has 280 students and has recently launched new programs, including a new rural-based Elko Family Medicine Residency Program that started this summer. The program aims to increase the primary care physician workforce in Elko and the surrounding areas, through the training of resident physicians under the supervision of experienced UNR Med faculty physicians.

UNR Med, in partnership with Renown Health, also started a Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program to meet the growing need for more health care professionals locally and statewide. The first class of 24 PA students began instruction in July at the University of Nevada, Reno Redfield Campus. The 25-month long full-time master’s degree program is the first such program in the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Chancellor Thom Reilly recognized the leadership of UNLV School of Medicine Dean Barbara Atkinson and UNR School of Medicine Dean Thomas L. Schwenk.

“It cannot be underestimated the importance of well-functioning medical schools in northern and southern Nevada,” Reilly said. “In the south with its growing populations, more and better health care services are in high demand and the plan in place to grow UNLV’s School of Medicine will serve this community’s needs. While in the north, there is desperate need for healthcare in Nevada’s rural counties, a mission which UNR’s School of Medicine is taking head on.”

Regents Chair Kevin J. Page said he was proud of all the hard work of the staffs of the two schools as they transitioned over the past few years.

“The staffs of the two schools have done incredible work to get to the point we are at today. But there’s a lot more to do. The stakes are high in terms of educating the medical professionals needed to address the healthcare needs of Nevada,” Page said. “I believe we are on the path to success thanks to the hard work being done at both UNR and UNLV.”

About NSHE
The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.

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