University of Nevada School of Medicine and Renown Health announce affiliation agreement

Plan to improve access to healthcare by expanding physician supply in Nevada

5/29/2014 - By: Susan Hill, APR

School of Med and Renown Steering Committee

A University of Nevada School of Medicine-Renown Health joint Steering Committee has been exploring a strategic partnership for the past eight months. Today, the two organizations announced approval of an initial five-year plan to benefit northern Nevadans and significantly increase the number of physicians who train and practice in Nevada. The recommendations of the Steering Committee include the creation of a formal affiliation agreement between both organizations and a joint leadership team to guide and oversee the implementation of new medical educational and research programs at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno.

Above Photo:

Members of the School of Medicine-Renown Health Steering Committee include, front row, from left: Don Sibery, Renown Health interim CEO; Bruce James, committee chair; Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. Center row from left: Jessica Younger, Mike Peterson, Evan Klass, M.D., Larry Trilops, Melissa Piasecki, M.D., Jean Regan, Jewel High, Chairman of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents Kevin Page and Greg Boyer. Back row, from left: Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Dan Klaich, Blake Smith, David Line, Les Smith and Tedd McDonald, M.D. Photo by Anne McMillin, APR.

The Renown Health Board of Directors on May 27 adopted the recommendations of the Steering Committee and committed $5 million of funding over the next three years. Renown leadership was authorized to move forward to formalize the affiliation agreement, pending presentation to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents at their quarterly meeting on June 5.

The Steering Committee recommended a strategic partnership and outlined key expectations that include:

  • Creation of a leadership team to jointly guide the affiliation relationship.

  • Expansion of the School of Medicine on the University of Nevada, Reno campus to a full four-year campus for medical student education, including expanded teaching capacity for third and fourth year medical students and new residency (graduate medical education) programs in pediatrics and neurology.

  • Enlistment of the critical support of established private practicing physicians and physicians in the Renown Medical Group to participate as part-time faculty to teach the medical students and expanded residencies contemplated in the five-year plan.

  • Creation of new clerkships (obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, emergency medicine and surgery) and expanded electives (internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics and psychiatry).

  • Creation of a new joint leadership position of Chair of Pediatrics for the School of Medicine and Chief Clinical Officer for Renown Children's Hospital.

  • Establishment of a new Department of Neurology at the School of Medicine, pending approval from the Board of Regents, with its founding chair and faculty members to come from Renown Institute of Neurosciences.

  • Assessment of all current and proposed clinical research at the School of Medicine to determine whether Renown and its medical staff have a potential to participate as investigators.

  • Planning for the construction of a donor-funded Center for Education and Clinical Simulation at Renown Regional Medical Center.

While Renown Health has committed $5 million toward the implementation of the five-year plan and this strategic partnership, success in achieving the goals as outlined ultimately will depend upon funding from the State of Nevada, private donors, grants and other sources of income available through the School of Medicine.

"The Steering Committee has been acutely aware of the extraordinary opportunity provided by this affiliation to transform medical care and medical education in northern Nevada through the creation of a full, four-year medical school campus and expanded student and resident teaching capacity," said Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., University of Nevada School of Medicine dean. "We're committed to moving forward to implement new programs in ways that are ambitious, strategic and responsible."

Donald C. Sibery, Renown Health interim CEO said, "It is exciting to see two of the largest non-profit organizations in northern Nevada come together in a collaboration that benefits our community, the region and the entire state of Nevada. This will change the trajectory of medical education and healthcare delivery in Northern Nevada, helping to ensure increased access to healthcare in the area for generations to come."

In addition to Schwenk and Sibery, the Steering Committee consisted of Renown and School of Medicine leaders, local and rural physicians, and community leaders. The committee also included Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Daniel Klaich, Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Page, Renown Health Board Chairman David Line and Renown Regional Medical Center Chairman of the Board of Governors Blake Smith.  Bruce James, president and CEO of Nevada New-Tech, Inc., former National Institutes of Health Advisory Board Chairman, former Public Printer of the United States and chief executive officer of the U. S. Government Printing Office, served as committee chairman.

While the School of Medicine and Renown have had an affiliation to train internal medicine and family medicine residents for many years, this collaboration magnifies that relationship in several significant ways, particularly in expanding medical student teaching capacity in partnership with community physicians.


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