Cannabis: A Clinical Perspective is topic for Town Hall.

The city of Las Vegas and the Clark County Medical Society, in collaboration with the Las Vegas Medical District and Comagine Health, presents a free public town hall and Continuing Medical Education (CME) opportunity for physicians exploring the role of Cannabis in traditional medicine. Event partner Comagine will provide CME accreditation for attending physicians.

Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and Councilman Brian Knudsen (Ward 1) provide introductory remarks along with Daniel Burkhead, M.D., president of the Clark County Medical Society.

The event features two primary speakers:

  • Brian Lawenda, M.D., one of only a handful of physicians in the United States who is a Radiation Oncologist, Integrative Oncologist, and Medical Acupuncturist. He is the Medical Director for the Northwest Cancer Clinic/21st Oncology in Kennewick, WA.
  • Johnathan Rhodes, a health care attorney in the business and finance practice group of Fennemore Craig Attorneys, where his work focuses primarily on regulatory, operations, and health care and reimbursement litigation.

The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion where the speakers, Dr. Lawnda and Johnathan Rhodes, will be joined by Michael S. Laymon, PT, DSc., Chief Research Officer, College of Medicine, Touro University Nevada. Laymon serves on the National Pain Advisory Board for Pfizer, is a frequent presenter at medical conferences on the opioid crisis and long-time researcher of CBD, Hemp and Cannabis.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 4, 2020

  • 5:30 – 6:00 p.m.  – arrival, check-in, networking
  • 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. – program

WHERE: Las Vegas City Hall, Council Chambers, 495 So. Main Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

PARKING: 500 Main Street garage; validation available with ticket


Photo: Aerial of the Las Vegas Medical District, Courtesy of the city of Las Vegas  

GME: Critical Component to the UNLV School of Medicine.

Graduate medical education (GME) is critical in the training to become a physician.  Residencies, for example, are where most new graduates of medical school learn to perform the responsibilities and duties of their chosen specialties.

By the time a residency is completed, a physician should be ready to practice without supervision and lead a team in taking care of patients. It isn’t easy, and 80-hour weeks are often the norm. But for many, a residency will basically be the last step in making a dream come true.

For some, the road doesn’t end there. Because of the complexity of some areas of medicine, additional GME training after residency in the form of fellowships is required.

At the UNLV School of Medicine, Dr. Kate Martin, associate dean of graduate medical education, currently oversees 20 post graduate training programs with 321 residents/fellows. The overall program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Dr. Martin and her staff do everything from helping keep residents/fellows healthy to dealing with funding mechanisms for post-graduate education.

Prior to her current post at the medical school, she served as family medicine residency program director and director of community engagement. A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, where she also completed her family medicine residency, Dr. Martin went on to complete a Teaching and Learning Fellowship with the USC Keck School of Medicine and a National Institute for Program Director Development Fellowship with the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors.

A 2002 UNLV summa cum laude graduate who earned her bachelor’s degree in biology, Dr. Martin was the 2016 Honors College Alumna of the Year.

Today, Dr. Martin says because of her staff’s two-year team effort, two more fellowships were added by the ACGME in 2019 — one in pediatric emergency medicine and another in geriatrics. “This means we can recruit new fellows to start in July 2020,” she says. “We are also currently applying for accreditation to start a fellowship program in forensic psychiatry and adult endocrinology.”

How important are new fellowships to the people of Southern Nevada? According to a recent report by the Nevada Health Workforce, they are critical, given that many physicians stay to practice where they finish their GME training.

A key finding of this report is that 35 of the 43 physicians pursuing additional training (81.4%) are leaving the state for fellowship and subspecialty training that does not exist or is in short supply in Nevada. This finding suggests that the development of fellowship programs in Nevada holds the potential for increasing the number and percent of GME graduates who ultimately remain in Nevada to begin practice.  

At present, about 50 percent of those who complete our residencies/fellowships stay in Southern Nevada. 

Dr. Martin pointed out that during her tenure the ob/gyn, psychiatry, critical care medicine and critical care surgery GME programs have expanded, with funding from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology While the addition of these programs goes a long way in helping to keep physicians in Nevada, even more GME programs and residencies are needed.

Photo: Residents practicing suturing, Courtesy of UNLV School of Medicine

Why Join Clinical Trials.

No drug or medical treatment can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration without rigorous clinical trials that determine if they are safe and effective. And no trial is possible without the people who volunteer to be participants. Their participation in clinical trials has enabled the development of drugs that save lives and discoveries that advance medical science. Participants may benefit from being the first to try a new treatment and undergo comprehensive testing at no charge; others simply enjoy knowing they’re helping scientists understand the mysteries of the brain.

Learn more about being in a Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health clinical trial from these participants:

Callie Fronczak, MS trial

Soon after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in February, Callie Fronczak joined DELIVER-MS, a trial comparing two different approaches to treating early-stage relapsing-remitting MS. “It just felt right to help research that is trying to determine the best approach to treat people when they are first diagnosed,” she says.

Being a participant “fits perfectly with my lifestyle. It gives me a sense of purpose as I deal with the ups and downs of MS. I hope the trial helps all of us to have a better quality of life and future,” says Ms. Fronczak.

Sheila Strusser, Alzheimer’s disease trials

After participating in two Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health clinical trials testing potential Alzheimer’s disease treatments, Sheila Strusser tried to join a third. But she did too well on a memory test to qualify: “I couldn’t believe it! I was thrilled,” says Mrs. Strusser.

Whenever she visited the center during the trials, “I was always very relaxed and felt that I was doing the right thing. I hope more people get involved in trials.”

Patricia Fagan, movement disorder trial

At their first visit to the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Arthur Fagan, who has progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), an uncommon movement disorder related to Parkinson’s disease, and his wife, Patricia, signed up for a major clinical trial evaluating a medication for the disease.

Over the past two years, they have looked forward to their visits to the center:  “It’s a psychological comfort every time we come. The medical and support staff are so supportive and welcoming, you feel like you’re with friends, people who care.

“When you are dealing with a complex, progressive disease like PSP, it makes you feel that you have some control and are doing something worthwhile,” says Mrs. Fagan, Arthur’s study partner.

Consider participation in a clinical research study. View a complete list of trials online at or contact us at 855.LOU.RUVO or

Photo: Patricia and Arthur Fagan with Research Coordinator Milagros Formoso, Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health