Reno, Nev. - Nov. 7, 2013 - The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) has announced a new partnership that will formally begin the process of establishing full four-year tracks of medical education in Reno and Las Vegas, which will lead to an independent allopathic medical school campus at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on November 6 by NSHE, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) to develop a full-scale medical school in Southern Nevada.
"Increasing the medical education and health care options for Nevadans has always been a top priority for the Nevada System of Higher Education," said Chancellor Dan Klaich. "I'm proud of the collaboration between our two universities and their efforts to bring these long-discussed plans from the drawing board to reality."
Currently, the University of Nevada, Reno operates the University of Nevada School of Medicine where students complete their core classes in Reno and can complete their clinical training in Reno and Las Vegas.
The collaboration will lead to the development of two medical school campuses, in Las Vegas and Reno, initially operating under UNSOM's accreditation, and which will lead to two full, four-year medical schools, affiliated with UNLV and UNR, respectively.
"This Memorandum of Understanding is in concert with our vision to expand the medical education campus and graduate medical education in Southern Nevada," said UNR President Marc Johnson. "It affirms the shared commitment to collaborate across the institutions of the Nevada System of Higher Education and clarifies the sequential goals to be met. The ultimate goal is to best apply our resources and steward the investment placed in our organizations to result in improved medical care, health care services and quality of life for Nevadans."
The MOU will be presented to the Nevada Board of Regents for approval at their December 5-6 meeting at UNLV where next steps will be discussed.
"We've known for a long time that it is imperative that we build the health care capacity of Southern Nevada," said UNLV President Neal Smatresk. "This collaborative agreement is a substantial step forward and offers a path that effectively utilizes the resources of two great institutions to address our critical needs in health care."
"I am enthused about the potential for this agreement, which could be described as historic, to guide public medical education's contributions to the health and health care of Nevada and its residents," said Thomas L.Schwenk, dean of the University of Nevada School of Medicine. "The quality of life and economic development of the state are dependent on our ability to educate more medical students, train more residents and fellows in more specialties and subspecialties, and improve the quality of care through clinical research. This agreement is a huge step forward in accomplishing those goals."
UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of more than 27,000 students and 2,900 faculty and staff. Founded in 1957, the university offers more than 220 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs. UNLV is located on a 332-acre campus in dynamic Southern Nevada and is classified in the category of Research Universities (high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.