City’s Public Works Department hard at work creating a more walkable and beautiful medical district.

The city of Las Vegas Public Works Department currently is working on projects that will greatly improve pedestrian mobility, vehicle and bike connectivity; freeway access and streetscape/landscape amenities (beautification) within the Las Vegas Medical District (LVMD). According to Shani Coleman, the city’s redevelopment manager and chairman of the LVMD Planning Committee, these are important projects for the city of Las Vegas.

“The accessibility and beautification projects are the backbone of the changes you will see in the Las Vegas Medical District. These will be a key factor in bringing in new complementary business to the area,” said Coleman. “The Las Vegas Medical District Advisory Council is preparing the Las Vegas Medical District to become the premier one-stop healthcare hub for Las Vegas. Once the aesthetics change and the navigation changes and the new UNLV School of Medicine joins our amazing hospitals and medical centers, other healthcare centers will want to join! We are seeing this excitement build already.”

Some of the area improvement projects that are in the works include:

The Shadow Lane Improvement project (Alta Drive to Charleston Boulevard) includes widened sidewalks, shade trees, street lights, preservation of existing bike lanes and improvements to pedestrian crossings. Meetings have been held with the LVMD Advisory Council, Valley Hospital, UMC, UNLV and UNR Schools of Medicine regarding the ongoing design. LVMD monuments will be constructed at Charleston Boulevard, Bearden Lane and Alta Drive.

The LVMD Sidewalk Infill project currently is under design to construct missing sidewalk on public rights of way within the LVMD. In addition to constructing new sidewalks, improvements are being made to bring existing sidewalk ramps up to current ADA standards. The city has just started outreach efforts with property owners to coordinate project improvements.

The Bearden Lane and Goldring Realignment projects are close to being fully designed. Proposed roadway improvements are being coordinated with Bearden Lane improvements, to be constructed with Nevada Department of Transportation’s Project Neon to the east, which will connect to Martin L. King Boulevard (MLK). This project includes widened sidewalks, shade trees, street lights, bike lanes, a traffic signal and a monument sign to coordinate with those placed at Charleston Boulevard and Alta Drive.

Other projects in the neighborhood include:

Project Neon also is currently under construction. Freeway access into the LVMD will be improved at Alta Drive, Charleston Boulevard, Bearden Lane and the NEON Gateway. Reconstruction of MLK along the LVMD’s eastern border will bring with it widened sidewalks, street landscaping, bike lanes, and enhanced connectivity via Hastings, Pinto, and Bearden. A linear park along the north side of Bearden just west of MLK will include a shade structure, seating area and adult exercise equipment with bike racks.

The University Medical Center Sanitary Sewer Replacement & Charleston Median Enhancements project recently was completed. The project replaced about 500 feet of sewer within the University Medical Center Campus at Charleston Boulevard and Shadow Lane and beautified two median islands with rock and metal sculptures on Charleston near Tonopah Drive.

More projects are also in the planning and early design stages.

Photo:  Conceptual rendering of the new LVMD entrance at Bearden and Martin L. King Boulevard.


High-Tech approach to anatomy at the School of Medicine.

UNLV’s new School of Medicine takes an innovative approach to teaching human anatomy with interactive imaging technology.

For generations, dissecting cadavers has been a seminal moment for medical students. It’s the way that human anatomy was brought to life, so to speak.

“I can still vividly see and smell the cadaver I worked on 46 years ago,” says Barbara Atkinson, founding dean of the UNLV School of Medicine. But she also found it limiting as a teaching tool. “I wanted to see so much more of the body than one small section. I wanted to see how the whole body fit together.”

UNLV School of Medicine students will learn anatomy using virtual anatomy tables, large interactive touchscreens. Primed with a library of clinical images — X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, pathology slides and all the other diagnostic tools at a physician’s disposal — the virtual anatomy table can display body images in a wide variety of perspectives. It can show a specific organ and rotate it in three dimensions. It can offer a cross-sectional of the right half of a brain, explore a branch of the circulatory system or zoom-in to a tumor cell.

And unlike those cadavers, the table is fully interactive. Faculty and students control the image by simply touching or dragging one or more fingers across the screen. A student can view successive horizontal sections of the body cavity and its internal structures by dragging three fingers down the table. In a similar way, students can virtually slice through an anatomical structure ‒ in essence, dissecting it.

Supplementing the images are lessons that guide the students through the anatomy, basic anatomical concepts, and descriptions of specific features. So when students display an anatomical structure, they can immediately identify what it is and what it does.

But perhaps most important, says Dr. Ellen Cosgrove, vice dean for academic affairs and education, the virtual anatomy experiences are built around challenging clinical cases, where understanding human anatomy is key to solving the clinical case.

An Improved Way of Learning Anatomy
Virtual anatomy presents several distinct advantages over the traditional approach to gross anatomy:

Realistic: It prepares students for how they will interact with anatomy as physicians. Cosgrove explains, “Today, physicians use so many different imaging procedures to diagnose their patients. Virtual anatomy gives students a sense of anatomy as they will actually experience it once they are practicing physicians.”

Repetition: Students can virtually dissect the body and repeat the process as many times as needed. By comparison, once tissue is removed from a cadaver, it’s gone.

Visibility: Students can view anatomical structures in a many different perspectives and angles including 2D cross-section and 3D rotation, which make body structures easy to display – even the hard-to-find ones in tightly confined areas of a human cadaver.

A Multi-Station Anatomy Experience
Students will receive two hours a week of intensive anatomy experience during the school’s scientific foundation phase. In addition to working with the virtual anatomy tables, students will use anatomic models and skeletons to further their knowledge. They also will observe cadavers professionally dissected by Emilio Puentadura, associate professor in the UNLV physical therapy department.

In short, UNLV School of Medicine students will experience a state-of-the-art approach to learning that will prepare them for medical practice with a sophisticated, three-dimensional understanding of the structure of the human body.

Republished from UNLV School of Medicine News Center/ CAMPUS NEWS/NOV 18, 2016/BY ED ORT

Editor’s Note:
The UNLV School of Medicine recently opened its enrollment process and in less than 10 days received more than 650 applications — more than half from Nevada residents or students who have ties to Nevada.

Photo: The UNLV School of Medicine will use virtual anatomy tables to enhance its curriculum. (Josh Hawkins/UNLV Photo Services)
















EMERGE drug trial takes aim at early Alzheimer’s Disease.

When Vicki Bukovick was advised that she would be a good candidate for a drug trial that could improve her symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD), she jumped at the opportunity. It had been two years since the 66-year-old from Las Vegas had first sought treatment for memory loss at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

“When a diagnosis like AD happens to you, you’re grasping for anything that can help,” she says.

By participating in the worldwide EMERGE treatment trial at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Bukovick is helping researchers learn whether a promising new drug therapy can slow the progression of symptoms in early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, including declining memory and cognitive skills.

EMERGE is one of several clinical trials being conducted by drug manufacturer Biogen at medical centers around the world — including the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in both Las Vegas and at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus in Cleveland — to test the safety and efficacy of aducanumab (B11B037).

“We would like to find a treatment for AD that can slow its progression, and we are thrilled to be part of this important national study,” says Charles Bernick, MD, MPH, principal investigator on the EMERGE trial for the Las Vegas location.

Participants in the trial are men and women like Mrs. Bukovick who are 50 to 85 years old and experiencing mild cognitive impairment due to early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. To be eligible for the trial, participants must have scored a 0.5 on the Clinical Dementia Rating — a global scale developed to clinically indicate the presence of Alzheimer’s and stage its severity — and they must have a positive amyloid PET scan.

During the 78-week trial, participants receive monthly intravenous infusions of aducanumab. Investigators closely monitor participants’ health through interviews, physical exams and scans, measuring changes in their functional and cognitive impairment in order to evaluate the drug’s ability to slow the progression of AD.

Bukovick was the first patient enrolled in the study in Las Vegas. She has been receiving treatments since March.

“I initially wanted to enroll in the trial because, frankly, I was scared about what was happening to my memory,” she says. “But I’m relieved already. I’m really, really hopeful and anticipating more success with the treatment.”

Seeking Research Participants
The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is accepting enrollment in the EMERGE trial. The study is randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled, meaning some participants will receive the medication and some will not, and neither the participant nor the investigator will know.

For more information about the EMERGE trial, including enrollment, call 855.LOU.RUVO. For more information about the center’s other research studies, visit

Photo: Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Vicki Bukovick with Research Coordinator Monica Guerra at Cleveland Clinic.

PINKEST CAMPUS in LAS VEGAS! SDMI supports ”Real Men Wear Pink.”

Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging (SDMI) is proud to be named the “Pinkest Campus,” awarded by the American Cancer Society (ACS) for their participation in the “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign.

David Steinberg, MD, FACR, FACNM, joined 17 local Las Vegas CEOs to support the ACS and their CEOs Against Cancer Board. The ACS proposed a unique challenge for all of their CEOs in the form of the Real Men Wear Pink campaign. They were tasked with raising awareness – all while having a little fun – with promises of awards at the end.

Competition quickly sparked between all of the “Real Men.” The movement kicked off Oct. 1, 2016, and wrapped up with the awards ceremony Nov. 17 at MGM Grand and Topgolf Las Vegas. Total donations raised by all participants exceeded $100,000.

SDMI committed to fully supporting this cause and rallied their team with aspirations of being named the “Pinkest Campus.” Each of the SDMI facilities were challenged to turn the entire office PINK and were given free rein to be as creative as possible.

Each of the 400+ team members (ranging from Maintenance to Scheduling Call Center to Technical staff) participated in this campaign; they drew from personal experiences to show their support and care for each and every patient.

“We underestimated how much love and effort our employees would put behind this cause,” says Denielle Lucas, senior marketing and sales manager. “It was truly touching to experience each pinked-out facility’s enthusiasm and commitment.”

SDMI displayed impressive resourcefulness and creativity.  One facility was transformed into a “medieval castle” relaying messages of courage and bravery, while other facilities displayed heartfelt symbolism. “Walls of Support” were present at several locations, giving SDMI team members and their patients the opportunity to write personal notes. These walls and doors covered in pink displayed encouragement to friends and family that have been affected by all forms of cancer. Notes written to loved ones in memoriam were a powerful reminder of the purpose for the campaign.

When Lauren Rasmussen, northwest location office manager, was asked about patient reactions, she said, “Patients were moved by the overwhelming show of support. One patient insisted I walk her around and show her every decoration. With tears of appreciation, she took photos of and thanked SDMI for their compassion.”

Tammy Rambo and Julia Defehr from The American Cancer Society visited each of the SDMI locations as part of the judging process. They ended their day overwhelmed and had this to say: “We were inspired by the passion, creativity and deep engagement of each and every member of the Steinberg family.”

This award is particularly special to SDMI as an organization, given the opportunity to show patients how much the SDMI family truly cares. Dr. AanshuShah, SDMI’s director of Women’s Imaging, sums it up best when she says, “It is wonderful to see how Steinberg Diagnostic can make such a difference.”

To hear from SDMI employees about what this campaign meant to them and to see how the “Pinked Out Campus” came together click here to watch a short compilation video.

Photo: Courtesy of Steinberg Diagnostic

Research at UNLV School of Dental Medicine impacts So. NV children.

UNLV School of Dental Medicine has earned a reputation for offering an intense education curriculum coupled with extensive clinical experiences. But there is one offering, not as well known, that continues to elevate a graduate’s resume and benefit the community at large—research.

The state’s only four-year accredited dental school mirrors the university’s drive to support and promote research as well as engage in creative and scholarly pursuits that enable students and faculty to recognize their full intellectual potential.

Students engaged in research activities participate in the discovery and development of what could become new treatment options, advanced techniques, and diagnostic procedures.

Faculty and students at the School of Dental Medicine lead multiple bench-research studies within more than 4,000 square feet of laboratory space, and multiple socio-economic, oral hygiene habits, and education studies within the community.

According to the school’s faculty who lead the various projects, students who participate in community health-focused studies within underserved communities often migrate to those areas after they graduate and deliver more comprehensive care to residents.

Two of the studies that impacted children within Southern Nevada and the state include:

  • Crackdown on Cancer (CDOC) – The statewide oral health initiative was funded by Master Settlement Agreement for providing tobacco education and oral cancer screenings to middle- and high-school students throughout Nevada. A team of faculty, staff, and students from the School of Dental Medicine completed nearly 80,000 oral cancer screenings and spoke with more than 170,000 students about the risks associated with tobacco use and reasons to avoid or quit using tobacco products. The team studied the correlation between tobacco and marijuana use and untreated tooth decay, and then conducted a second study focused on the correlation between second-hand smoke and untreated tooth decay.
  • Seal Nevada South—The school-based sealant program is funded through Oral Health America, which has a mission to support partners that can collectively apply sealants to 2 million teeth by the year 2020. A team of faculty and students provided preventive services, such as oral hygiene instructions, screenings, sealants, and fluoride varnish, to elementary-school children enrolled in Title I schools. The team then studied if the sealants reduced the prevalence of untreated tooth decay among the participating children. During spring 2017, the team will begin a longitudinal study to assess the prevalence of untreated tooth decay among newborn to 5-year-olds who participate in an educational program offered in Early Head Start and Head Start Centers statewide.

Research also encourages students to seek new solutions and stay abreast of the latest developments in diagnostics and treatments, which helps them become well respected leaders in their field and within the communities they serve.