The city of Las Vegas announces the Las Vegas Medical District Infrastructure Construction Phasing Plan. The map shows both the locations and timing for the various infrastructure construction projects taking place in the LVMD.

  • Shadow Lane & Phase 1 of Pinto Lane Projects: 1st Quarter 2021 – 1st Quarter 2022
  • Pinto Lane Phase 2 & Charleston Projects: 4th Quarter 2021 – 4th Quarter 2022 (Building Demolitions and Environmental Remediation Contract for Charleston Project will start April 2021)
  • Rancho Project: 3rd Quarter 2022 – 4th Quarter 2023
  • Maryland BRT Project: 2024 (Managed by RTC)

Nevada Health & Bioscience Corporation Breaks Ground on UNLV School of Medicine Building

On Oct. 29, Nevada Health & Bioscience Corporation (NHBC), a nonprofit organization with the mission of developing healthcare research, education, clinical assets and programming in Nevada, broke ground on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Medicine’s new medical education building at 625 Shadow Lane within the Las Vegas Medical District.

Upon completion, the new medical education building will span approximately 135,000 square feet and accommodate a class size of up to 120, doubling its current capacity. The medical school building is currently slated to be completed in 2022.

The majority of the project has been funded by more than $150 million in private donations, including contributions from the Engelstad Foundation and Lincy Foundation, among others.

“Today marked another important accomplishment for this project, our future medical professionals and, ultimately, the sustained vitality of all Southern Nevadans,” said NHBC CEO Maureen Schafer. “From our donors to our partners throughout Nevada, consistent collaboration has resulted in today’s event. The work will now continue to ensure the building will soon be ready for the UNLV School of Medicine and our community.”

“The new medical education building being constructed with the generous support of our donors will allow the school of medicine to better realize its mission, to ‘care for the community’ while providing for economic development and diversification of the Las Vegas economy,” added Dr. Marc J. Kahn, Dean of the UNLV School of Medicine

The design of the building, created by TSK Architects, reflects UNLV’s forward-thinking curriculum with training spaces for clinical skills, simulation and anatomy – both virtual and cadaveric dissection. The classrooms will also be various sizes to support problem- based learning, administrative offices and a learning resources center.

A Brookings Mountain West / Tripp Umbach study found that a new medical school in Las Vegas would make residents less likely to leave for medical care, and it would be a boon to the economy, equating to an infusion of $1.2 billion per year locally after its first 15 years of startup.

Image: Rendering of the UNLV School of Medicine’s medical education building, courtesy of NHBC

$3.3 Million Grant to Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

The National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant expected to total $3.3 million to Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to establish the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (NVeADRC). The new center is part of the first cohort of centers nationally to receive this new NIH funding and is the first and only in Nevada.

The three-year award, which is the first of its kind to be presented as part of the NIH’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers Program, will help build the infrastructure and initiate state-wide collaborative activities needed to establish an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center focused on reducing disparities faced by individuals with dementia in rural settings.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers Program is a national network of researchers and clinicians at major medical institutions. Researchers at these centers are working to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, as well as finding a way to treat and possibly prevent the diseases.

Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., FAAN, director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas and Elko, will serve as director of the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, which is among the first cohort of centers nationally to receive this new award, and marks the first and only exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Nevada.

“As a state with historically low federal funding, the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center marks an important milestone for Nevada, allowing us to elevate the science we contribute to the NIH and effectively expand our research footprint,” Dr. Sabbagh said. “Alzheimer’s disease is a looming public health crisis and this grant will play an important role in advancing the science of this disease by contributing critical data from a massively understudied, underserved and under-supported rural population.”

The grant establishing the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center builds upon a successful collaboration since 2015 between the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which share a five-year NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant – the first to be awarded in southern Nevada. The Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is the next step in establishing an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and is the latest collaborative effort between the two institutions that will specifically address rural disparities in dementia populations throughout Nevada.

Health disparities in rural areas have long been recognized; Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias offer no exception. Those living with dementia in rural communities often go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed due to lack of access to dementia specialists. In addition, data in rural areas is scarce and usually confined to a small number of individuals with limited sets of biomedical data.

The Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center will leverage its status as a Frontier State to develop novel methodologies and technology to enroll research volunteers into a rural Nevada cohort. Data collected will provide resources that can be used by the broader scientific community and will contribute to the overall mission of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers network to improve diagnosis and care for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is funded by NIH Grant P20AG068053.

For more information about the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, call 702-701-7944.

Photo: Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., FAAN, director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas and Elko and director of the Nevada exploratory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Valley Hospital’s special thank-you to veterans

As a U.S. Navy veteran and the son of a veteran, Valley Hospital Nurse Manager Paul Kazel understands that receiving an American flag in recognition of guarding and protecting the United States is a special honor. “[At my father’s funeral], I felt a great sense of pride that my father was recognized with the symbol of what he fought for, and it hangs in my house to this day,” said Kazel.

“No one can truly know what it is that our veterans have gone through without walking a mile in their shoes, seeing what they saw, and doing what they had to do, to protect those they loved and those  they had never met,” he said. “As a civilian, my thoughts turned to how we could thank our veterans who protected our country and way of life. In their final hours, our veterans are honored by our hospital staff for their service and their sacrifices. And, when our veterans are also organ donors, they demonstrate their continued selflessness and desire to help others live and spend precious time with their loved ones.”

The Final Honor Call to Duty
Thus was born the Final Honor Call to Duty. Simple, elegant and respectful, a small star flag is placed over the veteran with the canton lying over the left shoulder, before the family comes to the bedside to say their goodbyes. This smaller flag is used at the hospital because a veteran is allotted only one large star flag, which is given to the family at the time of the funeral, per the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. After loved ones leave the bedside, the flag is removed, folded according to specifications, placed in a display box and presented to the family with a letter thanking them for their loved one’s service to the country, along with the care team’s condolences.

For veterans who are also organ donors, the flag remains in place while they are wheeled to the operating room with hospital personnel lining the hallways to show their thanks and respect for the organ donor.

Claude Wise III, CEO of Valley Hospital and son of a U.S. Army veteran, is gratified to offer this thanks to patients. “I’m very proud of my dad’s service,” he said. “Our southern Nevada community is home to many active duty personnel and veterans, and it’s a privilege to care for them. We understand that our armed forces are more than the men or women who served. They’re also their families who served with them.”

Heartfelt Support From a Fellow Veteran
The Final Honor Call to Duty received its first five flags and shadow boxes with the assistance of William “Bill” Dolan of Pahrump, Nevada, a U.S. Army veteran and Disabled American Veteran (DAV) advocate. “We believe in one another, we put our lives in each other’s hands,” Dolan said. “There is an unwritten pledge that ‘No one is left behind on the field of battle.’ The flag presentation is a final tribute to our brother or sister as they leave the field of battle. I have made it my duty to help my fellow brothers and sisters through whatever it is they are going through.”

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Photo: Courtesy of Valley Hospital, Final Honor Call to Duty