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March 18, 2009
By Anne McMillin
The University of Nevada School of Medicine observes its 40th anniversary on March 25, 2009 celebrating four decades of providing excellence and leadership in health care education, research and clinical care to Nevadans.
Established in 1969 by the Nevada State Legislature as a community-based medical school with a mission of educating primary care physicians for rural Nevada, the School of Medicine has since doubled its class size to 62 per year, established renowned research facilities, recruited some of the top minds to its faculty and student ranks and provided clinical care throughout the rural and urban areas of the state.
“I consider it an honor to serve as dean of this institution. As we celebrate 40 years of serving the health care needs of the state, the School has expanded into a state-wide educational and scholarly enterprise,” said Ole J. Thienhaus, M.D., MBA. “The School of Medicine continues to be committed to maintaining and growing an academic center in which we educate and train tomorrow’s physicians for Nevada and the Nation.”
A few highlights of the School’s 40-year history include:
To honor its anniversary, the medical school relaunched Synapse, the magazine of the University of Nevada School of Medicine on a bi-annual basis. This magazine, which has the purpose of carrying the message of the School’s work to a broad audience, was last published 10 years ago.
In addition, the School of Medicine’s 40th anniversary will be celebrated in Reno at the University of Nevada’s annual foundation banquet in September. Atul Gawande, M.D., associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, acclaimed author, McArthur “genius” award winner and leader of an international effort sponsored by the World Health Organization to improve surgical outcomes, is the scheduled guest speaker for that event.
As the School looks ahead to its fifth decade, plans are well underway to continue to grow and meet the health care needs of Nevadans.
Construction is currently underway in Reno on the Center for Molecular Medicine, a state-of-the-art purpose built facility to house portions of several basic science departments and serve as the headquarters for the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease. The health science building, a collaboration between the School of Medicine and the Orvis School of Nursing, will form a new hub of medical and nursing student training in Reno. Two construction projects are moving the School toward dedicated health sciences space in Las Vegas with the creation of the advanced clinical training and research center and the repurposing of existing space for a modern simulation center.