School of Medicine receives two awards from medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha

7/10/2007 7:00:00 AM

Alpha Omega Alpha, the honor society for American medical schools, has awarded two grants to the University of Nevada School of Medicine in recognition of student research efforts and community service.

Second-year medical student Michael Krainock was recently awarded a 2007 Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship. The fellowship will provide Krainock a $4,000 award to support his research conducted through the school's Microsurgery Laboratory in the surgery department in Las Vegas. Under the direction of William Zamboni, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Surgery, Krainock's research will focus on evaluating the effect of hyperbaric oxygen on inflammatory cytokines in ischemic skeletal muscle.

"When a part of the body is deprived of oxygenated blood, certain pathological changes take place in the affected tissue. Collectively, these changes are referred to as ischemia, and they set the stage for further damage when blood flow is re-established to the tissue," says Krainock. "Ischemia is associated with many very important disease processes, including myocardial infarction or heart attack, stroke and traumatic injury. My work is focused on describing the molecular processes underlying ischemia in skeletal muscle, in the context of limb reattachment following traumatic separation."

Krainock says by studying ischemia-reperfusion, he hopes to contribute to better treatments for patients.

"We want to determine how we can interrupt the process of ischemia reperfusion injury in order to increase the window of tissue viability,"says Krainock. "We think this will lead to better surgical outcomes for limb-reattachment patients."

"We are extremely proud of Michael's award from Alpha Omega Alpha,"says Zamboni, who is Alpha Omega Alpha chancellor for the Nevada Chapter and is also a world-renowned pioneer in limb re-attachment surgery. "He is a talented student and is interested in doing his residency training in surgery. We hope he decides to stay in Nevada for that training."

The Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship was founded in 1982 to support and encourage medical student research. The award was named after Kuckein, a long time administrator and honorary member of Alpha Omega Alpha, who passed away in 2004. The award grants up to $4,000 to a student of a school with an active Alpha Omega Alpha chapter. Only one student from each school may receive the award. An award of $500 is given to the faculty supervisor of the student researcher for any related expenses the student's project incurs.

The School of Medicine's Student Outreach Clinic, a free, student-run clinic which, under the direct supervision of licensed medical school faculty physicians, offers monthly clinics to underserved patients, was also awarded a grant from Alpha Omega Alpha. The $1,000 Medical Student Service Project Award grant will help fund women's health services provided by the Clinic. Fourth-year medical student Whitney Waldroup authored the grant proposal and third year medical student Kyle Yamamoto helped present the proposal during the American Medical Student Association national conference. This is the second Alpha Omega Alpha grant award received by the Student Outreach Clinic. Last year the Clinic received a $1,500 grant from the medical honor society to fund women's health services.

The Student Outreach Clinic acts as a point of entry to healthcare services for underserved women by providing exams, preventative health education and referrals to other community services. Monies secured from the grant will ensure the Clinic's ability to continue providing women's health services, particularly PAP smears, to an underserved population. As the sole provider of free women's health services in Washoe County, the Student Outreach Clinic has the unique opportunity to screen all women seen at the clinic for cervical cancer without cost as a deterrent to patients. Providing the service allows the Clinic to help direct women into further treatment, if necessary, and educate patients about the importance of early detection, lifestyle modification and preventative care.

Students will evaluate the grant's success rate by tracking the number of patients seen at the Clinic for whom a PAP test is needed. This number will be compared to the number of samples obtained, the number of normal versus abnormal results, and the percent of patients with abnormal samples who are referred to follow-up care through the Washoe County Health Department, a clinic offering services on a sliding scale basis.

In addition to funding health services, the grant will also help pay for educational pamphlets to distribute to patients.

"We are very proud of our student's efforts with the Student Outreach Clinic," said Daniel Spogen, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine in Reno and Student Outreach Clinic faculty director. "Despite a hectic schedule of labs and exams, they work hard to make sure basic services are provided to the Clinic's patients. The monies from this grant will help keep our women's health services operational for the next year."

As the state's only public medical school, the University of Nevada School of Medicine has been meeting statewide healthcare, educational, and clinical needs since 1969. The School of Medicine encompasses 16 clinical medical education departments, including Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, as well as ten nationally-recognized departments within basic science including microbiology and biomedical engineering. As the largest multi-specialty healthcare focus within the state, the School of Medicine employs more than 185 doctors who both teach and practice medicine throughout Nevada. The school's statewide faculty physician practice group has a combined 25 different medical specialties with seven physician practice offices located in the Reno-Sparks area and five physician offices located in Las Vegas.

The University of Nevada School of Medicine utilizes a best-practice approach to medicine and is committed to addressing the health needs of Nevada now and in the future. For more information, please visit "www.unr.edu/med"


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