LVMD: future home of new UNLV School of Medicine.

On June 21, the Clark County Commission formally transferred more than nine acres to UNLV for its new medical school, taking the final step in a historic move to transform the Las Vegas health care landscape.

The commission unanimously approved a resolution transferring the site at 625 Shadow Lane to the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) and UNLV. The medical education building, which will be located near the university’s Shadow Lane Campus and University Medical Center (UMC), will be the primary academic home for the school and its teaching, research and clinical programs.

“This partnership is indicative of the overwhelming collaboration and commitment in southern Nevada and statewide to make the UNLV School of Medicine truly world class,” said UNLV President Len Jessup. “Its impact stretches beyond the physical development of a medical school and academic health center. It represents a true community benefit.”

The UNLV School of Medicine, on track to welcome its charter class next summer, is creating a center of excellence and innovation for medical education, patient care, and research to serve the health care needs of southern Nevada’s diverse multi-cultural community.

When classes for the UNLV School of Medicine tentatively begin next July, medical students will temporarily occupy newly renovated space at the UNLV Dental School on the Shadow Lane Campus. The 20,000-squre-foot space consists of classrooms and labs, study spaces and a health sciences library. Its location in the Las Vegas Medical District – and just down the street from the future building – will encourage immediate collaboration and provide a seamless transition when the new building is constructed.

Architect Tate, Snyder, Kimsey (TSK) of Henderson will complete a site plan for the new land and work with CO Architects of Los Angeles, a specialty firm specializing in health education, to design the planned 100,000 to 150,000-square-foot medical education building.

“We’re thrilled about the progress made to date — thanks to everyone in this amazing community. It’s wonderful to know our future students and residents will have the opportunity to learn their profession working alongside excellent physicians and health care professionals in the Las Vegas Medical District to improve access to high-quality care for generations,” said Founding Dean Barbara Atkinson, MD.

Photo: A ceremonial deed-signing event was held on the future site of UNLV School of Medicine

Trauma Survivor thankful for UMC’s life-saving care.

Jennifer Schneider shouldn’t have survived the life-threatening injuries she sustained during a car crash, but because of the high level of care she received at the UMC Trauma Center, the 26-year-old woman now has the opportunity to enjoy life and pursue her newfound dream of becoming a physical therapist.

Jennifer said she was a passenger in a small vehicle that crashed into a palm tree at a speed of approximately 100 miles per hour when an unplanned street race went horribly wrong.  Unfortunately, the two other individuals in the vehicle did not survive.

“My friends died on impact, and I was rushed to UMC,” Jennifer said. “If I would have gone to any other hospital, I wouldn’t be here right now.”

At the UMC Trauma Center, the only Level I Trauma Center in Nevada, an entire team of expertly trained surgeons and specialists were standing by to care for Jennifer. UMC trauma surgeons stopped the loss of blood and stabilized Jennifer, but her road to recovery was long and difficult. She suffered a shattered spine, cracked pelvis and shattered bones in her legs, in addition to internal injuries.

Jennifer went to physical therapy three times a week, for five to six hours per day. She began with small steps at first, then actual steps, and finally, she regained the ability to run. After a year and a half of physical therapy and nearly 40 surgeries, she has fully recovered from the near-fatal experience.

“For somebody with a pelvic injury and bilateral lower extremity injuries to recover to the functional level that she has is really amazing,” said Dr. Thomas Vater, an orthopedic spine surgeon at UMC who has followed Jennifer since the night of the crash.

Jennifer worked tirelessly to recover from her injuries, and the situation inspired her to pursue a career in physical therapy, hoping to help others on their paths to recovery.

For more information about the UMC Trauma Center, visit

Photo: Jennifer Schneider

Desert Radiology announces new CEO, Richard E. Bodager.

Desert Radiology, southern Nevada’s chief resource for the highest quality diagnostic care, welcomes new Chief Executive Officer Richard E. Bodager to their team. Mr. Bodager brings with him 20 years of senior level management experience from his roles as chief executive and chief financial officer for large medical practices, as well as from his involvement on several for-profit and not-for-profit boards.

Mr. Bodager received his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from West Virginia State University and his Master’s degree in business administration from Southern Oregon University. He is a certified public accountant licensed in the State of Oregon, a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives and a Certified Medical Practice Executive. In 2012, Mr. Bodager received the national award for being the Medical Practice Executive of the Year from Medical Group Management Association.

As part of the Desert Radiology team, Mr. Bodager is joining the largest group of physicians providing quality diagnostic and interventional imaging in the region. Desert Radiology currently has 70 board certified, USA trained physicians, and over 300 staff members. They operate six outpatient locations throughout Las Vegas and Henderson, and are the exclusive radiology provider for a large cancer center, a group of multi-specialty medical centers and several other facilities throughout Nevada. All of the physicians are members of the American College of Radiology and many have other affiliations with professional organizations such as the Radiological Society of North America, the American College of Nuclear Medicine and the Society for Pediatric Radiology.

Desert Radiology welcomes Mr. Bodager to their team during an exciting time as they celebrate 50 years of serving the southern Nevada community. They look forward to continuing to provide the highest level of care possible in the future.

For more information on Desert Radiology or to make an appointment, call 702-759-8600 or visit

Photo: Richard E. Bodager, Chief Executive Officer of Desert Radiology




UNLV School of Dental Medicine serves Las Vegas residents.

The UNLV School of Dental Medicine, located within the Las Vegas Medical District, continues its 12-year history of providing oral health care to the city’s residents through reduced-cost services as well as low-cost and no-cost community clinics.

Each year, the school – the only undergraduate dental school in Nevada – provides oral health care to thousands of Nevadans, and schedules nearly 64,000 patient visits. Two of the school’s three clinics are located in the district:

  • The 1700 West Charleston Boulevard, Shadow Lane Campus, which serves as the school’s primary teaching and clinical facility, houses 215 dental treatment chairs for emergency care, oral medicine/oral pathology, oral surgery, endodontics, screening clinics, advanced pediatrics, advanced orthodontics, and a Faculty Practice.
  • The 1707 West Charleston Boulevard clinic, where the general practice residency is located, provides post-graduate general dentistry education, clinical treatment, laboratory and support services, and interfaces with hospital and surgical centers, including the Veterans Administration

The school delivers dental services at roughly one-third to half the cost of most private practices, which saves patients more than $1.6 million annually.

The UNLV School of Dental Medicine also coordinates multiple community clinics dedicated to meeting the oral healthcare needs of under-served populations in Nevada including:

  • Named for the brother of alumnus John Ferrin, the Clint Ferrin Dental Clinic serves the dental needs of local veterans. The clinic takes place eight to nine times per year and has provided no-cost treatments to more than 1,500 veterans since 2007.
  • The Women’s Clinic provides free dental care each year to domestic and family violence victims within the Las Vegas area, serving approximately 75 patients annually.
  • The Saturday Children’s Clinic treats underserved children ages 5 to 12 who are referred from community services and schools to attend the annual “Give Kids a Smile,” event and have no other access to dental services. The clinics are held nine times each year and have provided more than $180,000 worth of no-cost dental care annually.
  • The Huntridge Homeless & Teen Clinic provides medical and dental care to uninsured and at-risk adolescents as well as homeless adults who are unable to obtain state services. The school’s faculty and students have provided dental treatment to more than 1,000 at-risk youth and approximately 200 homeless adults since 2012.

For additional information, visit, or call 702-774-2400.

Photo: Courtesy of UNLV School of Dental Medicine

Neuroimaging: penetrating the mysteries of brain disease.

This is a promising era for scientists probing the diseases that can ravage aging and traumatized brains.  Advances in neuroimaging have opened a new window on living brains, allowing physicians to pinpoint degenerative disorders when the information can be useful to patients and their families. Until recently, the amyloid plaques and tau tangles that denote the likely presence of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders did not appear on brain scans, and were visible only at autopsy.

“This is a huge breakthrough in imaging,” says Sarah Banks, PhD, ABPP/CN, Head of Neuropsychology at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. An explosion of information gained from scanning living patients is impacting both clinical care and research.

Unmasking Amyloid PlaquesA
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the clinical use of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to screen for amyloid plaques – a significant step because, uniquely, a PET scan can reveal very early cellular-level metabolic changes occurring in organs or tissues.

The main hurdle to clinical use is cost: Medicare does not yet cover amyloid PET scans, which can run up to $5,000. The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is participating in the national, multicenter IDEAS study to assess the impact of brain amyloid PET imaging. Results of this study could be pivotal in securing future insurance reimbursement.

Some people with amyloid plaques never develop the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease, so a positive scan is not definitive proof that dementia will occur. But the test can serve as an early warning, prompting patients to plan ahead and to enroll in clinical trials that may benefit them. Conversely, a negative scan can bring relief to those who feared their memory problems were caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Tau Tangles and Impaired Memory
PET screening for the tau protein is experimental, so it can be deployed in research studies but not in clinical care. Tau tangles have been found not only in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, but in athletes who have experienced memory loss and behavioral problems. This syndrome, widely publicized in professional football players, is known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

At the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, active and retired boxers and mixed martial arts fighters in the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study are receiving tau PET scans in an effort to detect early signs of brain injury and to identify those most likely to develop chronic neurological disorders.

“CTE remains a controversial diagnosis,” says Dr. Banks. “Studying the brains of athletes here, we will be on the front lines in better understanding the relationship between injury and disease. If we can scan reliably for a range of brain pathologies – from sports-related injury to Alzheimer’s to frontotemporal dementia – we can learn so much more about them even as we improve the accuracy of our diagnoses.”

For more information about neuroimaging and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health visit

 Photo: Sarah Banks, PhD, ABPP/CN, Head of Neuropsychology at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health