UNMC Connect W09 spreads

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UNMC Connect W09 spreads
Reaching alumni & friends of the
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Wi nte r 2009
An architectural masterpiece, China’s Great Wall is a symbol of man’s
ability to achieve. UNMC has its own lofty goal: to be a world leader
among academic health science centers. Building the wall took time and
great care. Diligence and persistence paid off. For the past five years,
UNMC has worked to build strong international relationships, particularly
in China. Beginning on page 18, you can read how UNMC’s Asia Pacific
Rim Development Program has fueled health care collaboration and
research for students and faculty members here and abroad.
Reaching alumni & friends of the
University of Nebraska Medical Center
UNMC Connect is the campus/alumni magazine published twice a
year by the Departments of Public Relations and Alumni Relations
at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Issues of the
magazine can be found at www.unmc.edu, News link. Permission
is granted to reprint any written materials herein, provided proper
credit is given. Direct requests to [email protected]
UNMC enjoys full accreditation (of all its colleges, programs and
sites) by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
UNMC’s mission is to improve the health of Nebraska through
premier educational programs, innovative research, the highest
quality patient care and outreach to underserved populations.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center does not discriminate
in its academic, employment or admissions programs, and
abides by all federal regulations pertaining to same.
UNMC Chancellor: Harold M. Maurer, M.D.
Vice Chancellor for External Affairs: Robert Bartee
Director of Alumni Relations: Roxanna Jokela
Alumni Programs Manager: Lenal Bottoms
Director of Public Relations: Renee Fry, J.D.
Senior Associate Director: Tom O’Connor
Associate Director of Publications: Karen Burbach
Publications Editor: Elizabeth Kumru
Design: Daake Design
Andrew Nelson
Tom O’Connor
Elizabeth Kumru
Scott Dobry
Senior Airman Jeff Andrejcik
in the
South Omaha Community Care Council
10th Anniversary Celebration
Thursday, March 12, 6 p.m., Livestock Exchange Building, Omaha
College of Medicine Match Day
Thursday, March 19, 11 a.m., Sorrell Center, UNMC campus
Sharing the Vision Conference
Friday – Sunday, March 27 – 29, Sorrell Center, UNMC campus
Munroe-Meyer Institute Symposium on Down syndrome
Saturday, April 25, 8:15 a.m., Sorrell Center, UNMC campus
UNMC Commencement
Omaha – Friday, May 1, 10:30 a.m., Omaha Civic Auditorium
Lincoln – Friday, May 8, 2 p.m., Lied Center for Performing Arts
Kearney – Thursday, May 7, 7 p.m., UNK Health and Sports Center
Scottsbluff – Saturday, May 9, 2 p.m., Gering Civic Center
Dedication of Durham Research Center II
Wednesday, May 6, 10 a.m., DRC II
Public Open House for the Durham Research Center II
Saturday, May 9, 1 to 3 p.m., DRC II
11th Annual Cattlemen’s Ball
Friday & Saturday, June 5 - 6, near Doniphan, Neb. Benefit
for UNMC/Eppley Cancer Center
Munroe-Meyer Guild Garden Walk
Sunday, June 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rain or shine. Five Omaha-area
gardens featured in the 41st garden walk
College of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony
Wednesday, Aug. 19, Sorrell Center, UNMC campus
College of Medicine Family Day
Friday, Aug. 21, UNMC campus
College of Medicine White Coat Ceremony
Friday, Aug. 21, UNO Strauss Performing Arts Center
College of Nursing White Coat Ceremony
Friday, Aug. 21, located at respective divisions
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UNMC Alumni Reunion Weekend
Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2 - 3, UNMC campus
University of Nebraska Medical Center
In the coming years, competition for health care
professionals will become more fierce as work shortages
grow. UNMC wants answers to ease the strain.
Cover Story
Who will be left to care for you? UNMC faces the health care workforce shortage
p e r sp e c t i v e
Renovated Bennett Hall
unites allied health SAHP’s 11 programs now under one roof
UNMC seeks solutions
to health care shortage
Classmates proud of alma mater
Alums from the class of ’43 reminisce at reunion
World grows smaller for dreamers
An important piece of the
University of Nebraska Medical
Center’s mission is to educate health
care professionals to serve the state of
Nebraska and beyond. We take this
role very seriously, as evidenced by
our nationally recognized programs
and the high quality of health care
in Nebraska. As this issue of UNMC
Connect illustrates, however, the
demand for health care professionals
nationally outpaces the supply, and
Nebraska is no different.
Shortages of physicians, nurses
and other health care providers are
prevalent, and these shortages will be
even more acute as the workforce gets
older and an aging population requires
more care. More than 36 million
Americans are older than 65. By 2030,
that number will nearly double, with
one in five Americans being over age
65. With the huge number of baby
boomers now in retirement or nearing
retirement, providing quality care to
seniors is perhaps the most significant
health care challenge faced by our
country. The need for specialized
care in geriatric medicine has never
been greater.
At UNMC, we treat every
challenge as an opportunity, and we’re
addressing the shortage of health care
professionals and the aging population
at several levels.
One, we’re constructing the Home
Instead Center for Successful Aging.
Wi nte r 2009
This $10.2 million facility will offer
specialized services aimed at helping
seniors age better and live healthier
lives. It will be the region’s only freestanding center focused on aging that
is tied to an academic medical center.
The lead gift for this center came from
Lori and Paul Hogan, co-founders of
Home Instead Senior Care.
Two, we’ve increased the number of
students that we accept in our College
of Medicine classes. This year, for the
first time in 30 years, we increased
our class size – from 120 students to
130. Within two years, we hope to
increase that number to 140 students.
This change was made possible, in
part, because of the construction of the
Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health
Science Education, which opened this
past fall. More than 1,200 donors, led
by Omahans Ruth and Bill Scott and
including nearly 1,000 alumni, made
that $52.7 million facility possible.
Three, we’re expanding the number
of students whom we educate in the
College of Nursing. Already, we’ve
broken ground on the Center for
College of Nursing Sciences, a $14
million, privately funded nursing
center in Omaha, again with the
support of Ruth and Bill Scott. We’re
also excited about the proposed
College of Nursing Northern Division,
which would be centered in Norfolk.
Citizens in that community have
raised money to construct the facility,
First M.D./Ph.D. student from China
settles in at UNMC
Alumnus takes a 360º
approach to nursing
Scholarship fund completes circle of care
UNMC alum leads Air Force
medical efforts
Lt. Gen. James Roudebush, M.D., at your service
Three cheers for CHIRS
and we’ve asked for state support to
support our operations there. We’re
hopeful that the Legislature will fund
this, as well as the construction of
a new nursing facility in Lincoln.
Combined, these projects will allow us
to educate many more nurses who will
directly serve patients, as well as train
and educate faculty who will teach
those students.
The work is far from done. We
must expand the class size in all of our
professional programs, but we must
have additional resources to add faculty
and educational space. Despite tough
economic times, the state of Nebraska
must act now to ensure that Nebraska
citizens receive the best health care in
the years to come.
Harold M. Maurer, M.D.
Library service is big resource for Nebraskans
Celebrating a century of
pharmacy education
Father of Nebraska pharmacy education
impacted nation
Double the promise
UNMC’s Durham Research Center II opens 15
Beefing up health care
on the reservation
We value your opinion and welcome letters to
the editor. Please send your letter to UNMC Connect
Editor, UNMC, 985230 Nebraska Medical Center,
Omaha, NE 68198-5230, or email [email protected]
Letters will be verified before they are printed.
UNMC partners with Northern Plains tribes
campus clips
Alumni news
Alumni class notes
on the cover:
Jennifer Zehnder, Vince Morris and Jamie Erickson, nurses
working for UNMC’s hospital partner, The Nebraska
Medical Center, are in high demand as shortages in all
health care professions build across the nation.
Who will be left
to care for you?
by Elizabeth Kumru
Keith Mueller, Ph.D., has compiled massive
amounts of data for a comprehensive report
on the looming health care workforce
shortage in Nebraska.
UNMC’s rural health expert has numbers, maps and
projections. He knows how the state will suffer along with the
rest of the country as the economy worsens, job cuts continue
and retiring baby boomers enroll in the already overloaded
Medicare program.
Then it hits him. In about 10 years, he expects to retire – and
so will his physician.
“Who will take care of my health care needs?” Dr. Mueller asks.
That’s the question many will ask in the next 15 years as a
disproportionate number of people seek care from a smaller pool
of health care professionals. People will have to wait longer or go
without care.
As director of the Nebraska Center for Rural Health Research
and interim dean of the UNMC College of Public Health, Dr.
Mueller is tasked with writing “A critical match: Nebraska’s Health
Workforce Planning Project Report.”
The comprehensive report provides a snapshot of the current
supply, composition and geographical distribution of health
professionals in Nebraska. It also compares the state with national
averages. The third of the four-part report – a strategic plan for the
health planning region – is due this spring.
Already, Dr. Mueller knows: in the next 10 to 15 years, 55
percent of all nurses, one-third of all physicians, dentists and
psychiatrists and 20 percent of the pharmacists in Nebraska are
likely to retire.
“The shortage is happening everywhere,” Dr. Mueller said.
“We’ll see the results in the next decade.”
UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., said three major
health care issues face the country.
“The first is the outrageous cost of health care, the second
is health care insurance – these issues have the government’s
attention,” he said. “But, the third, the workforce shortage issue,
The shortage of nurses will be critical in just a few years. On the right, technician
Cynthia Marshall and nurse Pamela Denney, who work for UNMC’s hospital partner, The
Nebraska Medical Center, are part of the health care workforce that will retire in the
next 15 years. From left are nurses Jennifer Zehnder, Vince Morris and Jamie Erickson.
Wi nte r 2009
is not being addressed by the government at all.”
Dr. Mueller’s report will help call attention to this problem, Dr.
Maurer said.
“The population is aging and people are living longer with
chronic diseases. There won’t be enough health care providers
to meet the need. Even today, it’s difficult for a family to secure a
primary care physician. There are not enough providers to give
services,” he said.
Any discussion about the health care workforce shortage is a
discussion of numbers and dire predictions.
The federal government estimates that by the year 2020, the
United States will be short 200,000 doctors, 1 million nurses and
29,000 pharmacists.
Dr. Mueller’s report, a $100,000 project funded by the Larson
Medical Research Fund through the University of Nebraska
Foundation, is expected to be the most comprehensive look yet
at Nebraska’s health care workforce. It will include information
on physicians, non-physician clinicians, dental professionals,
pharmacists, mental health professionals, allied health
professionals, auxiliary health professionals, nurses and public
health professionals.
“This is a looming national crisis,” Dr. Mueller said.
“Nebraska needs a multi-pronged strategy ready in the next two
years to address the workforce shortage and the demand for
care. I expect this report to help bring the stakeholders together
to develop that plan.”
The strategy should include a public health workforce
dedicated to preventive care and solutions to two major problems,
obesity and sedentary lifestyles, Dr. Mueller said.
“If we don’t address the problems and change behaviors now,
we’re going to have a lot of young and elderly people who need
care,” Dr. Mueller said.
An older population with serious conditions requires more
nursing care. Also, there is a need to focus more on public health,
long term care, safety and quality issues.
“We’re in the middle of a maze and there’s no clear path out,”
Dr. Mueller said.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Nebraska Health care
workforce shortage
by the numbers
– 1.77 million 33
PROVIDERS mile – 31
Rural health
Counties without:
Counties with A Shortage of:
Data for these 2007-08 statistics came from a variety of sources, including the Health Professions Tracking Center,
part of the UNMC College of Public Health; the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Licensure and
Regulation Unit; the Nebraska Center for Nursing; Nebraska Nurse Practitioners Association database; Nebraska Center
for Nursing Employer Vacancy Survey, and state and local public health departments.
What you can do
❚❚ Educate
about the available health care
teachers, CARE
and parents more aware76
of the variety of
46+ careers.
care jobs
so they
can help children explore potential
23 of the health
among state,
local and federal officials
❚❚ Raise awareness
care worker shortage.
❚❚ Support the health care professions and encourage people to pursue
such careers.
❚❚ Increase the cultural diversity of the health care workforce and, thereby,
increase community access to care.
❚❚ Practice preventive care to lower your health risk.
❚❚ Mentor a young
person interested
NURSESin health care.
Wi nte r 2009
Competition for quality health care professionals will only become fiercer
as the shortage grows. New graduates seek high paying jobs in order to pay off
school loans that climb into six-figures. The average debt for UNMC medical
students is $120,000; the national average is $139,500.
The bidding war may get too pricey, especially for rural areas where
the workforce shortage is greatest. The federal government and the state
of Nebraska both have student loan and loan forgiveness programs to
encourage students to practice, and hopefully stay, in shortage areas.
The problems surrounding the health care workforce shortage are
complex and require multi-faceted solutions. UNMC recognized the need for
an increased number of health care professionals more than a decade ago
and initiated new programs to boost general enrollment and recruitment and
subsequent retention in rural communities.
Keith Mueller, Ph.D.
Nebraska Counties – 93
UNMC’s response
UNMC administrators developed several programs in the early 1990s to recruit and
educate rural health practitioners with the idea that they ultimately will practice in shortage
areas. These programs have paid large dividends:
❚❚ The Rural Health Education Network, a partnership between UNMC and Nebraska
communities to meet the health profession needs of greater Nebraska;
❚❚ Rural Health Opportunities Program, a partnership between Chadron State College and
Wayne State College that allows early acceptance into medical and dental school when
qualified students begin undergraduate studies. To date, 333 RHOP students have
graduated from UNMC and 203 are attending Chadron State, Wayne State or UNMC.
Of the UNMC graduates who have completed residencies and are practicing health
professionals, 61 percent are practicing in rural communities with 52 percent practicing
in rural Nebraska, and 71 percent of all practicing graduates have worked in a rural
community at some point in their career; and
❚❚ UNMC students are required to do rural rotations, during which health profession
training is provided under the supervision of volunteer preceptors in communities.
“What’s impressive is that these programs permeate throughout all of what UNMC offers
and develops a pipeline for future rural health care professionals,” Dr. Mueller said.
UNMC turned away more than 1,000 qualified nursing school applicants in the past five
years due to a lack of space in its facilities and a shortage of those who teach students.
To meet future needs, the College of Nursing has:
❚❚ Increased enrollment by 30 percent since 2002 — without new resources;
❚❚ Initiated accelerated programs for students and faculty - one-year Bachelor of Science
in Nursing (BSN), Fast-Track BSN to PhD, Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN to advance
current nurses, and added education tracks to prepare more teachers in the Master of
Science in Nursing (MSN) and PhD programs;
❚❚ Invested $600,000 in classrooms, skills labs and educational technology in Scottsbluff;
❚❚ Broke ground on a $14 million additional building in 2008, thanks to a large gift from
Ruth and Bill Scott. The building will enable the college to annually enroll 265 additional
students in Omaha by the year 2020 – an increase of nearly 70 percent over the current
385 students. The college also will dramatically increase graduates in its master’s and
doctoral programs – programs that prepare nurses to become faculty members;
❚❚ Planned a new $17.5 million home for the Lincoln Division. By 2020, with the new
facility, the division is projected to increase by 40 undergraduate students, 16
master’s degree students, eight doctoral students and seven professors.
❚❚ Supported a dynamic regional effort to establish a College of Nursing Division in
Northeast Nebraska.
❚❚ Investigated student capacity expansion and learning support upgrades at the
Kearney division.
All these measures combined will prepare 1,000 new nurses by 2020 and impact
the anticipated state shortage by 25 percent.
“We’re forming benefit-laden educational partnerships throughout Nebraska
to help communities attract, retain and upgrade nurses,” said Virginia Tilden,
D.N.Sc., dean of UNMC’s College of Nursing. “We work with community leaders,
med centers, hospitals, community clinics, physician groups, nursing homes,
community colleges, school systems and other stakeholders. About 95 percent of
our graduates get jobs in Nebraska.”
Mental Health
In one-third of Nebraska’s 93 counties, residents have no one to turn to when
in distress.
In fact, the entire state – outside the Omaha-Lincoln area – is considered a
shortage area for mental health professionals.
There are 1,796 mental health practitioners in the state, but only 475 practice in
greater Nebraska. Of those, 23 are psychiatrists and 51 are psychologists.
Patients are known to drive 300 miles round trip for an appointment, said Joe
Evans, Ph.D., director of psychology at the Munroe-Meyer Institute and professor in the
department of pediatrics.
“The main problem is a lack of access for individuals and families to mental health
services,” Dr. Evans said. “We operate 14 clinics across the state and because people
drive long distances to get care they don’t return on a regular basis.”
UNMC’s clinics serve as a mental health pipeline to rural Nebraska. Each year,
eight interns spend a year at these clinics. Some stay another year as a post-doc. If they
settle in the community, they become faculty and help train new interns.
“Our goal is to recruit, train and retain,” Dr. Evans said. “We’d like to get a pediatric
psychologist in every one of the 16 pediatric practices outside Omaha and Lincoln.
“But, it’s hard to recruit and retain interns because Medicaid rules changed last
year and now they aren’t paid for their services,” he said. “New resources are needed to
help the interns.
“Rural families turn to their family practice physician for treatment of anxiety,
depression, drug and alcohol abuse, ADHD and other stress-inducing mental health
issues,” he said. “Physicians are becoming burned out because they have no mental
health professionals nearby that they can refer their patients.”
Allied Health
Allied health professionals work alongside physicians, nurses, pharmacists and
public health specialists to provide critical diagnostic, intervention or technology
support services. Increased awareness of allied health opportunities is vitally
important in the midst of an extensive workforce shortage.
The demand for the allied health professionals will only increase in the years
ahead. Based on estimates of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for many
of the allied health professionals educated at UNMC will vary from 15 percent to 27
percent over the next eight years.
Last year, UNMC’s School of Allied Health Professions received nearly four times
the number of applications needed to fill the 170 slots in its 11 programs, said Kyle
Meyer, Ph.D., associate dean of SAHP.
In response to the demand, SAHP has:
❚❚ Increased student enrollment in its physical therapy program by 25 percent
beginning with the fall of 2009 entering class. The physician assistant program
also is investigating a possible increase in class size.
❚❚ Offered clinical laboratory science courses through distance education to
students in rural areas since 1992. Participants – about 10 per year – go
through clinical training at affiliated hospitals in Norfolk, Kearney, Hastings,
Grand Island and North Platte. A similar program exists for radiography in Grand
Island and Columbus.
More on shortage areas and student
loan/repayment programs www.dhhs.ne.gov/orh/
Workforce Shortage Report
University of Nebraska Medical Center
UNMC a leader in serving rural Nebraska
UNMC has been a national leader in innovative primary care and rural
education programs. Most notably, the Primary Care Program was the first
collaborative family medicine and internal medicine training program and
the Rural Training Tracks was one of the first programs in the country to allow
university-based residents to train in rural communities.
According to the Health Professions Tracking Service at UNMC, approximately
64 percent of the practicing primary care physicians in Nebraska – and 74 percent
of those in rural counties – received their medical education from UNMC.
Lack of primary care doctors presents
a major challenge
by Lisa Spellman
Matt Johnson, M.D., looked forward to building a career and
raising his family in rural Nebraska.
But, being one of only a few physicians in a small primary
care practice in North Platte proved to be overwhelming for the
UNMC graduate.
Dr. Johnson’s enthusiasm was high when he joined the practice
in 2005, but that soon was replaced with exhaustion. He worked
long hours and moonlit at Omaha hospitals on the weekends to
provide for his family and meet his student loan obligations.
Now, he has returned to UNMC to specialize in cardiology.
Dr. Johnson’s story is not unique. In the past decade alone, the
number of U.S. medical school graduates entering family practice
residencies has dropped by 50 percent.
“The dwindling number of primary care physicians and
decreasing number of medical students choosing primary care as
a career is becoming critical,” said Thomas Tape, M.D., chief of
general internal medicine at UNMC and governor of the Nebraska
chapter of the American College of Physicians.
A study published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association last fall sounded
an alarm. Of 1,200 fourth-year medical
students, only 2 percent planned to go into
primary care internal medicine, compared with
9 percent in a 1990 survey.
The demands on a primary care physician
– which includes those who specialize in family
medicine, general pediatrics or general internal
medicine – are often overwhelming.
“Today’s primary care physicians struggle
Thomas Tape, M.D.
to keep up with the swelling tide of patients
and paperwork,” Dr. Tape said. “They face
inadequate reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, which
impacts how well they can meet the costs of running a clinic,
support their families and pay their student loans.”
The American College of Physicians (ACP) worked with
Congress on the Preserving Patient Access to Primary Care Act
(H.R. 7192), designed to help reverse the growing shortage of
primary care physicians.
The bill, which will be reintroduced this session, proposes
easing the financial burden on primary care physicians by having
Wi nte r 2009
their medical education expenses paid for, or reduced, through
scholarships or repayment of debt. In return, the physician would
have a primary care service obligation care to fulfill.
While Nebraska does offer scholarships and loan repayment
programs, these are targeted toward rural areas and require local
matching funds. More support for primary care will be needed to
meet the demand for patient care across the state.
Nebraska is facing a terrible shortage of primary care physicians
and it will just get worse as the population ages, said Michael Sitorius,
M.D., professor and chairman of family medicine. Dr. Sitorius has
served on the Rural Health Advisory Commission for 12 years.
“UNMC has taken the lead on this issue, but we need more
incentives for students to practice in rural areas. The programs in
place now are underfunded,” he said.
In Nebraska, only 39 percent of physicians are primary care
doctors. That translates to 1,441 doctors. Not nearly enough to meet
the demand.
“We need to redesign the primary care practice so it is
something that people want to do and will be financially feasible for
them,” Dr. Tape said.
The Patient Centered Medical Home concept, which also is
promoted by the bill being submitted to Congress, would do just
that. A physician practicing in a “medical home” can practice
medicine as it should be practiced, Dr. Tape said.
In this concept, each patient would have a personal physician who
works with a health care team to provide comprehensive care. The
concept also involves the patient as a partner in working with the team
to enhance wellness. Medical homes would monitor the progress of
their patients and remind them when recommended care is due.
“The medical home approach is expected to improve health
as well as save money,” he said. “It’s the best hope for saving
primary care.”
Students who came to UNMC through the Rural Health Opportunities Program
(RHOP) meet monthly to encourage other students to consider rural practice.
Andrew Pohlmeier, a second-year medical student from Lawrence, Neb., is
president of the Student Association for Rural Health.
“We host speakers and forums to stimulate interest in rural practice and it
works. I’ve heard from several students that they’ve decided to locate in a rural
community after they graduate,” he said. The group also helps with high school
career day and RHOP student visits.
Renovated Bennett Hall
Unites Allied Health
by Karen Burbach
UNMC’s School of Allied Health Professions
(SAHP) was formed 37 years ago, but it has never
been under the same roof. Last year, all that changed.
The $8.9 million renovation of Bennett Hall turned a building
built during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency into a modernized
home for SAHP’s 11 educational programs, as well as its distance
education department.
“The consolidation of our faculty and administrative functions
has generated great enthusiasm among our faculty, staff and
students,” said Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., associate dean of the SAHP.
“I am confident it will lead to greater collaboration and innovation
among our faculty in both research and teaching.”
The third-oldest building on the UNMC campus (after Poynter
Hall and University Tower reopened last fall to rave reviews as
natural light spilled through oversized windows and into corridors
with dark crown moldings and granite floors. High ceilings, wall
sconces, opaque glass on office doors, a restored stairway and
Earth tones further compliment the building’s early history.
The dramatic renovation is the result of a 2006 legislative bill
(LB605) that provided state funds to upgrade buildings on all four
University of Nebraska campuses.
The renovation compliments the SAHP’s vision to increase
its clinical research funding, as well as its scholarly activity. “We
are focused on research that advances rural health and promotes
quality aging – two issues vital to Nebraskans,” Dr. Meyer said.
The SAHP already plays a critical role in the state’s health care
system through its educational mission. The school graduates
approximately 175 allied health practitioners annually; many of
whom stay in Nebraska.
Nationally, 60 percent of the health care workforce is made
up of allied health care professionals, who work with colleagues in
medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health to provide
critical diagnostic, intervention or technology support services,
Dr. Meyer said.
The demand for allied health professionals continues to grow.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that, between 2006
and 2016, increased demand for physician assistants, physical
therapists, radiation therapists, clinical laboratory scientists,
radiographers, sonographers and nuclear medicine technologists
– all of which UNMC educates – will range from 15 percent to 27
Educational space – integrated throughout the
building – includes:
❚❚ A tiered amphitheater that accommodates up to 40 students
with technology for distance education;
❚❚ A 2,000-plus square foot classroom and laboratory for physical
therapy and physician assistant students;
❚❚ The Karen Allen Linder Microscopy Suite for cytotechnology
❚❚ A multi-purpose microscopy and learning resource room for
clinical laboratory science students;
❚❚ Classroom and resource room equipped for distance education
for clinical perfusion students; and
❚❚ A reading room designed to create a comfortable space for
faculty and faculty-student interaction.
The proximity of the building, which sits on the northwest
corner of 42nd and Emile Streets and is directly west of the new
Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education, greatly
benefits the school’s 350 students, 53 faculty and 16 staff
The consolidation also provides a much-needed physical
identity for the SAHP, Dr. Meyer said.
“The SAHP is delighted to physically join the ‘educational
corridor’ with our colleagues from medicine, pharmacy and
nursing,” he said. “We appreciate all who have worked to make
Bennett Hall not only the new, but the first home, of the School of
Allied Health Professions.”
University of Nebraska Medical Center
classmates proud of alma mater
by Lisa Spellman
Much at UNMC has changed since Muriel Frank, M.D.,
Austin Mutz, M.D., and Harry McFadden Jr., M.D., graduated in 1943.
one is the vast front lawn and magnificent staircase that
greeted medical students as they entered University
Hospital. Gone, too, is the accelerated curriculum put in
place during World War II to graduate more doctors.
What hasn’t changed, the trio said during their 65-year reunion,
is the role UNMC plays in Nebraska.
As the state’s only public academic health science center,
UNMC is even more critical to the state’s health care workforce and
the region’s vibrancy. That is evident with each graduate, faculty
recruit, research discovery and new building.
“UNMC was vital to the region in 1943 just as it is today because
of the doctors and nurses trained there,” Dr. McFadden said. “Today
that importance has increased as new disciplines have come into
being, such as those in the School of Allied Health Professions. But
the goals and responsibilities remain the same and that is to provide
well-educated physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and allied
health professionals.”
The three friends graduated from the University of Nebraska
College of Medicine the same year 7 million Americans, nearly 10
percent of the population, were involved in World War II in Europe
and the South Pacific.
People on the home front did everything they could to
contribute to the war effort. Nearly every student enrolled in the
medical school had either enlisted in the Army or Navy medical
corps, they said.
“Almost everyone was drafted into the army,” Dr. Mutz said.
“All of the young instructors, those in their 30s and 40s, signed
up for the war. Some of our good teachers left. After our junior
and senior year, the faculty was made up entirely of volunteer
physicians who also practiced in the city.”
During the students’ clinical rotations, they said, it was the
interns and residents who became their teachers. “The interns and
residents had more clinical responsibility for the patients, but they
helped us a great deal,” Dr. McFadden said.
In an effort to graduate more doctors quickly, the medical
college curriculum was accelerated and the three-month summer
vacation was cut.
Everyone did what was needed for the war effort, Dr. Frank said.
Two classes graduated in 1943. Drs. Frank and Mutz received
their degrees in March; Dr. McFadden received his in December.
After graduation, Dr. Frank began her career in anesthesiology
at Methodist Hospital in Omaha after a short stint in the
pharmacology lab at UNMC.
Drs. Mutz and McFadden finished their internships and
residencies and then were sent into service.
Wi nte r 2009
Nebraska’s Area Health Education Centers
Connecting Students to Careers,
Professionals to Communities,
and Communities to Better Health
Muriel Frank, M.D.
Harry McFadden Jr., M.D.
Austin Mutz, M.D.
Dr. Mutz went to the South Pacific, then settled in Spalding when
he returned to Nebraska in 1946. Today, he lives in Denver.
Dr. McFadden eventually landed in Berlin where he was chief
of laboratory services. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps
for two years before returning to Omaha.
Dr. McFadden taught at UNMC from 1948 to 1987 and
practiced in an independent lab. He retired in 1996.
In spite of the war, those were happy times, the trio said.
“We were happy to be in school,” Dr. Frank said. “Every one of
us felt fortunate.”
“Our daughter was a senior in high school and had decided on a career path in health care, but wasn’t
really sure. She attended a health careers camp put on by the Northern Nebraska AHEC and let me tell
you, she couldn’t stop talking about it! She came away knowing that health care is where her future is.”
Brian Kreikemeier
West Point, Neb.
“The AHECs are vitally important for
the support of health care employers and
the recruitment of our future work force,
especially within rural communities.”
Jane McConkey, R.N.
Box Butte General Hospital
Alliance, Neb.
“With the shortage of doctors in primary care,
we have to approach the shortage with as many
different efforts as we can. AHEC does that.”
Pete Johnson, M.D.
Family Medicine Preceptor
Scottsbluff, Neb.
The Nebraska AHEC Program Office
(402) 559-9509
Funded in part through the Health Resources & Services Administraton, Bureau of Health Professions Federal Grant U76HP00592
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Celebrating a century
of pharmacy education
by Elizabeth Kumru
Double the Promise
by Nicole Lindquist
Father of Nebraska pharmacy
education impacted nation
Rufus A. Lyman, M.D., wasn’t a pharmacist by training, but he
was one of the most outspoken champions of increasing standards
in American pharmacy education.
In 1908, he also was the founding director of the University
of Nebraska School of Pharmacy, which was elevated to a college
in 1915.
Last year, the UNMC College of Pharmacy celebrated 100 years
of pharmacy education, in part, by remembering Dr. Lyman – the
first dean of the College of Pharmacy – and his influence both in
Nebraska and across the United States.
“We’ve been at the forefront of pharmacy education for a long
time,” said Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., dean of UNMC’s College of
UNMC’s College of Pharmacy – ranked in the top 25 percent of
pharmacy schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report – was
only the third college of pharmacy in the nation to offer a doctorate of
pharmacy degree in the early 1900s.
Dr. Lyman was first to recommend that all pharmacy colleges
require students to have a high school diploma, as well as minimum
college requirements. He also was an advocate for students and an
early champion for women in pharmacy – his three daughters all
became pharmacists.
“He was an influential figure in pharmacy education,” said
Dennis B. Worthen, Ph.D., Lloyd Scholar at the Lloyd Library and
Museum in Cincinnati, who has studied Dr. Lyman extensively.
In 1946, at age 72, Dr. Lyman retired from the University of
Nebraska as dean emeritus.
Still, his unwavering support for high standards continues at
Today, the college prepares students for future changes in the
practice environment.
“Pharmacy education is moving from a product focus to a patient
focus,” Dr. Fletcher said. “This is driven by an increasing need and
demand on the part of patients for drug-related information, and the
public’s access to the pharmacist.”
Because of this shift, College of Pharmacy faculty members are
changing educational programs so students can partake in patient
care experiences in their first year of pharmacy school. In the past,
students were required to have three years of classroom experience
before their first patient interaction.
Wi nte r 2009
UNMC’s Durham Research Center II opens
For some Omahans,
Third-year pharmacy student, Derek Deyle consults with a patient about a prescription.
Faculty members also plan to increase the prerequisite
requirements to enter the college’s professional doctoral program and
expand the curriculum to offer more elective courses for pharmacy
students in courses such as pediatric and geriatric drug therapy.
“It is a unique plan, but I believe all schools will follow this
direction; we are simply out in front,” said Dr. Fletcher, who hopes
to incorporate more cross-discipline collaboration among physicians
and nurses within the education program.
“Solving all the health care problems for society is best done
by a team, not one type of health care professional. This is true for
research as well as direct patient care. Our research doesn’t just
stay on the bench,” Dr. Fletcher said, citing the studies of Alexander
“Sasha” Kabanov, Ph.D., on nanomedicine drug delivery, Jonathan
Vennerstrom, Ph.D., on a malaria vaccine and Dong Wang, Ph.D.,
on drug delivery to the bones and joints of patients with arthritis and
“College of Pharmacy scientists work with clinicians in order to
understand the drug therapy problems of patients and to help move
their basic discoveries into clinical use,” he said.
In addition to their responsibilities in education and research,
faculty members have continued Dr. Lyman’s legacy of service and
leadership. Jeff Baldwin, Pharm.D., associate professor, is now
president-elect of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
“We’re at the beginning of our next 100 years of pharmacy
education and research,” Dr. Fletcher said. “This anniversary is
an opportunity to look back, but also to think about the 200-year
anniversary and what people will remember us for.”
History, is on UNMC’s side, Dr. Worthen told UNMC pharmacy
alumni this past fall. “You had a phenomenal leader who set the
tone, not only for you, but for the rest of pharmacy education,” he
said. “You are each a legacy of the light of Rufus Lyman.”
UNMC’s new Durham
Research Center II is a midtown landmark that they pass on
their daily commute to work. Others see only the glistening wall
of windows and the shadows cast onto Saddle Creek Road.
But, to UNMC researcher Steven Hinrichs, M.D., the
glass and brick tower is a beacon – and a promise of a better
“This building allows us to meet the challenge of big science,”
Dr. Hinrichs said. “It’s a place where multiple people with
different expertise come together to work on complex problems.
It’s through that type of collaborative approach that science is
best advanced and the quality of people’s lives improved.”
That collaboration, although not unusual at UNMC, only
will increase as the first of 47 researchers begin to move into
the 10-level building – almost a mirror image of the Durham
Research Center I.
The scientists come from different disciplines, but have one
thing in common – each has at least $1 million in research
funding. That minimum threshold helps determine who gets
assigned space in the coveted tower.
Once inside, a myriad of research – ranging from
regenerating organs and curing lung disease to developing
vaccines for Alzheimer’s and emerging diseases – and training
will take place in the 98 laboratories.
Although each level has a primary research focus, scientists
will collaborate on ideas with colleagues throughout the
building and across campus. The following outlines the areas of
research being done on each level:
❚❚ First floor – Pulmonology research with faculty from internal
medicine and the College of Public Health. The first floor also will
house four core laboratories – microarray, mouse genome and
DNA sequencing (both moving from UNMC’s Munroe-Meyer
Institute) and tissue banking and histology. These core facilities
– sometimes called shared resources – provide sophisticated,
expensive technology and expertise that no single lab would have
the financial resources to purchase and learn.
❚❚ Third floor – Neurodevelopment
❚❚ Fourth & fifth floors – Cancer
❚❚ Sixth floor – Regenerative Medicine/Gastroenterology/Hepatology
❚❚ Seventh floor – Infectious diseases
❚❚ Eighth floor – Nebraska Public Health Laboratory and the
Air Force Research Laboratory
The opening of UNMC’s newest research tower is evidence
of the vital role academic medical centers play in boosting
today’s economy and workforce. It demonstrates that UNMC is
an active developer of new health care concepts and therapies.
The Durham Research Center II is named – as is the twin
facility that opened in 2003 – for the late Chuck Durham, who
died in April 2008 at age 90. Durham provided the lead gift
to the University of Nebraska Foundation and was an ardent
supporter of UNMC. Funding for the $74 million facility came
largely through private support.
Grand opening festivities for the second tower are set for
May 5 and 6, during which a commemorative sculpture of
Durham by Omaha artist John Labja will be unveiled.
Long after the festivities end, however, Dr. Hinrichs and his
research colleagues will continue to ask, study and advance the
health science questions that signify the promise of a better
tomorrow for all.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Beefing up
Health Care on
the Reservation
by Lisa Spellman
UNMC partners with
Northern Plains tribes
Charles Grim, D.D.S., was blunt when he spoke to
researchers gathered for a 2006 advisory council meeting on
native health research.
“Past abuses, real and perceived, have contributed to a
general distrust of research in the Indian community,” said the
former director of the Indian Health Service (IHS). The old model
– known as helicopter research – only made matters worse.
“This was where some faculty member from some university
descended upon the reservation to do research on Indians that
might or might not address the needs of the tribal community.
The person then left just as quickly as they had come, never to
be heard from again,” Dr. Grim said.
The result: skepticism and a poor track record between
researchers and American Indians.
UNMC’s 10-year relationship with tribes in Nebraska and
South Dakota, however, has built a new model that’s allowed
hundreds of tribal members to participate in studies involving
diabetes, asthma and cancer. Here are a few of their stories:
Getting diabetes under control
Linae Big Fire is the project coordinator and director of HoChunk Hope, a diabetes prevention program on the Winnebago
Indian Reservation funded by a $2 million grant from the IHS.
Peg Bottjen, an assistant professor in the UNMC School
of Allied Health Professions, obtained the five-year grant to
screen people for pre-diabetes and provide preventive measures
through diet and exercise.
During the past 12 years, Bottjen has taught the people of
the Winnebago Tribe about the importance of a healthy diet and
exercise, trained students at the tribal college so they in turn
could provide diabetes education and wrote numerous grants,
one of which was used to fund a summer feeding program for
the tribe’s children.
“UNMC’s projects benefit the tribe,” Big Fire said. “The
university has a good reputation here. They’ve tried to solve
some of our health care issues.”
The diabetes prevention program – one of 34 such programs
in the United States – has been so successful the IHS extended
it for a sixth year.
Wi nte r 2009
“With this study, we hope to gain a more accurate representation of why Native
American youths are at higher risk for diabetes than youths in other groups.”
Dr. Jennifer Larson
Since the Ho-Chunk Hope program began in 2004, 1,800
people have been screened for diabetes using a simple finger prick
test. Of those, 181 people agreed to take the oral glucose test,
which resulted in 68 people testing normal, 13 testing positive for
diabetes and 100 who were found to have pre-diabetes.
Of those in the pre-diabetic group, 74 enrolled in the program
and lost an average of 8 pounds; 56 decreased their fasting blood
sugar to a normal range.
“The results prove we can prevent diabetes,” Bottjen said.
In another study, Jennifer Larsen, M.D., wants to better
predict who will develop diabetes.
Dr. Larsen, associate dean for clinical research in the College
of Medicine, is the principal investigator of the diabetes risk
project, which was funded through an IHS Native American
Research Center for Health grant. The Northern Plains Tribal
Epidemiology Center, which is part of the Aberdeen Area Tribal
Chairman’s Health Board (AATCHB), submitted the grant.
“The prevalence of diabetes is increasing across the United
States, but particularly in American Indian communities, where
Type 2 diabetes is more than twice as common,” Dr. Larsen said.
Within the American Indian population, the greatest
increases of Type 2 diabetes are among youths age 15 to 19. The
prevalence of diabetes varies from tribe to tribe, Dr. Larsen said,
but is about 18 percent in adults for the Aberdeen Area Great
Plains tribes, compared to 9 percent for the rest of the population.
Dr. Larsen’s project evaluates the prevalence of insulin
resistance in children of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South
Dakota. With the help of the Rosebud Tribal Diabetes Program,
the goal is to identify the best predictors for diabetes risk in
American Indian youths and identify new strategies that can
prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
“There haven’t been that many studies that identify the
prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in Native American
youths, but information suggests that the incidence is growing
faster in this group than any other segment of the U.S.
population,” Dr. Larsen said.
“With this study, we hope to gain a more accurate
representation of why Native American youths are at higher risk
than youths in other groups.”
Dr. Larsen, a member of the advisory council for the Northern
Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center, also serves as program director
for the Native American Research Center for Health grant, which
addresses health disparities.
Cancer takes a toll
Before one of her goals was realized, Carole Anne Heart, the
former director of AATCHB, died of cancer, the second leading
cause of death among American Indians.
Under Heart’s leadership, the AATCHB hired UNMC
epidemiologist Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Ph.D., to help collect
and analyze data on cancer among the Northern Plains tribes.
The goal: improve access to treatments for members of the 18
Indian tribes served by the AATCHB.
The data will be used to write grants that provide access to
screenings, cancer education and treatments – a big benefit to
the Northern Plains Comprehensive Cancer Control Program at
AATCHB, said Tinka Duran, outreach coordinator.
A member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Duran said the fear
of cancer is monumental among American Indians. “They think
cancer is a death sentence,” she said, noting the perception isn’t
far from the reality.
“Diagnosis of cancer is often made at a late stage, when it’s
harder to treat and often fatal,” Duran said.
The perception is compounded by a common belief that the
rate of cancer among American Indians is low, Dr. WatanabeGalloway said. But, the National Cancer Society reports a higher
incidence of certain types of cancers in different regions of the
UNMC also is involved in two other projects:
Kim Rodehorst-Weber, Ph.D., assistant professor in the
UNMC College of Nursing – Scottsbluff division, works with
families on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota
and the Spirit Lake Tribe in North Dakota, to identify children
between the ages of 6 and 18 at risk for developing asthma. Her
four-year, $250,000 Native American Research Center for Health
grant is ends soon.
Madeline West, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry
in the UNMC College of Medicine, travels from Omaha to
the Winnebago Indian Reservation once a month to provide
psychiatric services to the tribe’s youths. She treats many children
for depression and ADHD and said there is a great need for more
Native American therapists.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Kangmu Ma has a dream.
by Elizabeth Kumru
Since childhood, he’s
wanted to be a scientist
or doctor.
Now, he’s working to accomplish both.
The 24-year-old native of Shanghai wants
to be the best of the best and he believes that
to be the best physician, he also needs to be the
best researcher.
Ma, who goes by the nickname “Ben,” is the first
Chinese student to enter the new Physician Scientist
Graduate Training Program (PSGTP), a joint M.D./
Ph.D. program between UNMC and Shanghai Jiao
Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM).
“This program is a great chance for medical students
to have a more complete education,” Ma said. “When I
started my medical training in China, I found it was
not enough for today’s professional to provide the
best care. The training at UNMC will allow me to
understand the disease more thoroughly and
be able to translate treatments between the
laboratory and clinic.”
Kangmu Ma is the first participant in the joint M.D./
Ph.D. program between UNMC and Shanghai Jiao
Tong University School of Medicine.
Under the program, students spend their first two years in
medical school at SJTUSM and then come to UNMC for four
years to earn their Ph.D., before returning to SJTUSM for two
years to earn their medical degree.
Instrumental in developing UNMC’s relationships with
China is Jialin Zheng, M.D., who earned his medical degree in
his native China. Dr. Zheng began his postdoctoral research
training at UNMC in 1993 and is now associate dean of
graduate studies-international affairs, director of the Asia Pacific
Rim Development Program and a professor in the UNMC
departments of pharmacology/experimental neuroscience and
“With effort, support and hard work from all PSGTP
committee members, we have adapted UNMC’s well-built
M.D./Ph.D. training model and the Biomedical Research
Training Program mechanism to establish this new program
with our collaborators at SJTUSM,” Dr. Zheng said. “The joint
M.D/Ph.D. program allows Chinese medical students to put
two perspectives together and better understand diseases.”
Initiation of the joint M.D./Ph.D. program, one of the first of
its kind between the United States and China, was based on an
agreement Tom Rosenquist, Ph.D., vice chancellor for research,
signed last year with SJTUSM President Zhenggang Zhu when
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman’s delegation visited Shanghai.
The program was officially inaugurated in August when
UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., signed the final
agreement with SJTUSM while in China.
The China Scholarship Council (CSC) program provides
$1,050 a month for Ma’s stipend and UNMC supplements an
additional $750 to total the equivalent of what other graduate
Ph.D. students from China
also attend UNMC
Kangmu Ma joins nine other students from China who are financially supported by the
China Scholarship Council program this year. These students work on their Ph.D. degrees
through the Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area, and UNMC’s colleges of public health,
medicine and pharmacy.
Xiaoning Zou, director of SJTUSM’s Project Hope Office, said UNMC’s collaboration with
SJTUSM outshines programs with other U.S. institutions.
“We cooperate with different medical schools,” he said. “The relationship with your
university I think is the best. You really do something with the faculty and students going
back and forth. The action is real. With other schools, we often see no action.”
Leaders of institutions and government officials in China have recognized that UNMC
keeps its promises, said Jialin Zheng, M.D., director of the Asia Pacific Rim Development
Program. “It’s what sets UNMC apart.”
SJTUSM sends six medical students to Omaha for three months of clinical rotations.
The school has sent four groups of students to UNMC. Starting in August, UNMC will send
four medical students to Shanghai three times a year for one month with a maximum
complement of 12 students participating per year.
In nursing, four UNMC students annually spend a month in Shanghai, and SJTUSM
sends four of its students to UNMC.
“The students really want to come to Omaha,” Dr. Zheng said, noting that 19 percent of
UNMC’s post docs hail from China.
students receive. As with other graduate students, UNMC also
waives Ma’s tuition.
Over the past few years, UNMC has developed a strong
relationship with the CSC under the leadership of Drs. Maurer
and Rosenquist, Don Leuenberger, vice chancellor for business
and finance, Rubens Pamies, M.D., vice chancellor of academic
affairs, and others, Dr. Zheng said.
While in China this past October, UNMC’s delegation,
led by Leuenberger, signed a formal agreement with the CSC
to accept Ph.D. students from other top Chinese universities.
In addition, the new agreement allows UNMC to accept
Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows, who will be partially
supported by the CSC, to all UNMC colleges. Next year,
UNMC plans to accept up to three M.D./Ph.D. students to the
PSGTP and up to 10 CSC-supported students.
“Education is very important for friendship,” Dr. Zheng
said. “Friendships last forever – from generation to generation.
It allows us to build a bridge between China and Omaha.”
Ma, who pulled his American name “Ben” out of a hat
in English class when he was 8 years old, comes from a
family steeped in medicine. His grandfather, an internist,
and grandmother, a pediatrician, were famous physicians
in Shanghai. Before retirement, both of them were chiefs of
physicians at a Shanghai hospital, Ma said.
“They are proud, as am I, that I’ve followed my dream,” he
UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D.,
talks about UNMC’s newest program with China.
Committee members
A UNMC committee was formed to carry out the tasks associated with the newly
established joint UNMC-SJTUSM M.D./Ph.D. program. Along with Dr. Zheng,
committee members are:
Steven Hinrichs, M.D., chairman, Stokes-Shackleford professor and chairman of
the department of pathology/microbiology and senior associate dean for research,
serves as chairman of the PSGTP committee;
David Crouse, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor, academic affairs, executive
associate dean, graduate studies, and professor, genetics
cell biology;
Kai Fu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, pathology/microbiology;
Dan Monaghan, Ph.D., director, Biomedical Research Training Program, and
professor and director, pharmacology/experimental neuroscience;
Gerald Moore, M.D., professor, rheumatology, and senior associate dean for
academic affairs;
Debra Romberger, M.D., co-director, UNMC Ph.D.- M.D. program, and professor,
Shelley Smith, Ph.D., director, UNMC Ph.D.- M.D. program, and professor,
molecular genetics, Munroe-Meyer Institute; and
Mary Cavell, APRDP coordinator.
Wi nte r 2009
University of Nebraska Medical Center
campus clips
Gala raises $1.1 million
for cancer research
Last fall’s Ambassador
of Hope Gala raised
more than $1.1 million to
support research at the
UNMC Eppley Cancer
The Oct. 18 event
Robin Roberts
featured comments from
the 2008 Ambassador of Hope Award recipient, Robin
Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America. Roberts –
who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 – was
honored for raising awareness about the disease.
More than 800 people attended the gala at the Qwest
Center Omaha and several more attended a satellite gala
in Scottsbluff. In addition to Roberts, previous recipients
of the Ambassador of Hope Award include Tom Brokaw,
Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Sam Donaldson and the
late Omaha philanthropist Chuck Durham.
Student enrollment
sets record high
For the fourth straight year, student enrollment at
UNMC reached an all-time high with 3,189 students
enrolled for the 2008-09 school year – an increase of 2
percent over last year’s previous record of 3,128.
Sizable increases occurred in both the graduate
college and in the professional level, which includes the
colleges of dentistry, pharmacy and medicine and such
programs in the School of Allied Health Professions as
physician assistant and physical therapy.
Enrollment in the graduate college climbed by 45
students, or 7 percent, going from 647 to 692. At the
professional level, there was an increase of 37 students,
or 2.2 percent, boosting the total of professional students
from 1,652 to 1,689.
Buffett autographs boots
for auction
The Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska got an unexpected
boost – and some unexpected boots – for its June 5-6
“Famous Boots Auction” thanks to Omaha billionaire
Warren Buffett.
Wi nte r 2009
Dr. Maurer to be inducted
into Omaha Business Hall
of Fame
Buffett, chairman of
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.,
autographed a pair of
cowboy boots donated by
The Boot Rack in Albion,
Neb., and Justin Boots,
a Berkshire Hathaway
company in Fort Worth,
Texas. In addition to his
autographed boots
signature, the well-known
steak lover wrote “I love beef!” on one boot.
The Famous Boots Auction will be among the
scheduled fundraising activities during the 11th annual
Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska event near Doniphan, Neb.
Robb Feed Yard, the Platte River Whooping Crane
Maintenance Trust, the village of Doniphan and surrounding
communities will host this year’s Cattlemen’s Ball. The
event’s theme, “Give Cancer the Boot,” reflects both the
fun-filled spirit the event’s organizers have created and the
seriousness with which they see their cause.
To date, the Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska has raised
more than $3 million for the UNMC Eppley Cancer
Center, while 10 percent of these funds have been
granted to local health care organizations. For ticket
information, visit www.cattlemensball.com.
New center for
humanities, ethics
The new Center for Humanities, Ethics and Society in
UNMC’s College of Public Health will centralize campus
projects that involve issues in humanities, ethics and law.
The center, approved by the University of Nebraska
Board of Regents in January, will work on programs in six
critical areas: clinical ethics and patient care, humanities
and the arts, interprofessionalism, research ethics,
values and the environment and health care reform.
Ethics extend far beyond patient rooms, said Toby
Schonfeld, Ph.D., associate professor of health care ethics
and the center’s director. Climate change, industrial reform
and global consumerism impact our physical world, which
in turn influences the health of society.
The Greater Omaha Chamber of
Commerce will soon induct UNMC
Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D.,
and six others into the Omaha
Business Hall of Fame.
The April 16 gala honors
individuals whose accomplishments
in business are historically significant
to the development of Omaha.
Harold M. Maurer, M.D.
“I’m tremendously honored to
receive this recognition,” said Dr. Maurer, who marked his 10th
anniversary as chancellor this past December.
“My induction into the Hall of Fame is a testament to UNMC’s
progress in becoming a world-class academic health sciences
center and is reflective of our current vitality in the city of Omaha
and beyond. I would not be receiving this recognition without
the tremendous work of UNMC faculty and staff, as well my wife
Beverly’s support and tireless advocacy for UNMC,” he said.
The honor is one of Dr. Maurer’s many commendations that
include an international Lifetime Achievement Award in cancer
research, the region’s Midlander of the Year honor and the King of
Ak-Sar-Ben crown.
Dr. Maurer joined UNMC in 1993 as the dean of the College of
Medicine. He became chancellor in 1998. A pediatric hematologist/
oncologist, Dr. Maurer is internationally known for his expertise
in rhabdomyosarcoma, a fast-growing, highly malignant tumor
that accounts for more than half of the soft tissue cancers
in children. For 26 years, he chaired the national Intergroup
Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group, which has been credited with
raising the cure rate from 20 percent to 75 percent by developing a
repetitive-course, multi-agent chemotherapy treatment.
In 2003, the Children’s Oncology Group awarded Dr. Maurer
with its most prestigious honor – the Lifetime Achievement Award
– recognizing his leadership and contributions in this important
area of cancer research. In 2008, the National Cancer Institute
recognized the work of the IRSG as one of the top 28 milestones
over the past 60 years in pediatric oncology.
His achievements at UNMC include leading the merger of
University Hospital and Clarkson Hospital to form The Nebraska
Medical Center; leading the institution to new heights of excellence
in education, research and clinical care, including construction of
new facilities such as the Durham Research Center and Durham
Research Center II, the Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science
Education, the Hixson-Lied Center for Clinical Excellence and
several facilities that have yet to open.
Science Cafes draw
big crowds
More than 200 young adults interested in science attended
UNMC’s first two “Science Cafes” in February. UNMC has teamed
with the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures and Bio Nebraska
to host these events in local coffeehouses and bars.
UNMC neurosurgeon William Thorrell, M.D., and epileptologist
Sanjay Singh, M.D., discussed how the brain works during two
initial events at the Slowdown in downtown Omaha.
“This format leads to face-to-face discussions in a more
informal, fun environment,” said Bob Bartee, vice chancellor for
external affairs at UNMC. “We’re hopeful that the Science Cafes
will appeal to young adults and help re-introduce them to science.”
The Science Cafes are part of an effort by UNMC and other
groups to increase the population’s science literacy. A more
scientifically literate populace is a goal in UNMC’s strategic plan,
and a 17-member team comprising UNMC faculty and staff, as
well as Omaha area community leaders, is addressing the issue.
For more information, visit www.unmc.edu/sciencecafe.
Highly-trained MS
specialist joins UNMC
UNMC expanded
the care of patients
with multiple sclerosis
(MS) with the hiring of
Rana Zabad, M.D., the
first fellowship-trained
MS neurologist to
practice in the state of
Dr. Zabad will serve
Rana Zabad, M.D.
as assistant professor
and director of the multiple sclerosis program in the UNMC
Department of Neurological Sciences.
Her leadership will build upon UNMC’s already successful MS
clinic. Established in 1997, the clinic has contributed to national
research and advances in MS; however, in the past, many patients
have been referred to other national centers of excellence.
“Though our neurologists are appropriately trained and
qualified to treat patients with MS, the challenging aspects of
diagnosis and complex choices of treatments make Dr. Zabad
critical to providing an advanced standard of care,” said Pierre
Fayad, M.D., Reynolds Centennial Professor and chairman of
neurological sciences.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
donor focus
College of Nursing students surround Dr. Rebecca Keating-Lefler, who serves
UNMC as a professor, alumni association president and scholarship donor
Alumnus takes a
360° approach to nursing
by Adrienne Fasse
A tragedy at a young age paved the way for an
Omaha native to impact nursing in many ways.
Rebecca Keating-Lefler, Ph.D., was only 14 when her mother
died from a tragic fall. It was then she knew that helping people
was the way to honor her mother’s memory.
“My mother’s passing was significant,” she said. “She inspired
me in many ways. She emphasized the importance of making a
difference in the lives of others as the greatest life activity.
“I knew I could honor her by becoming a nurse because
nurses are the most visible health care professionals who are
always at the bedside and who focus on delivering holistic care
to patients and also to their families.” The recent passing of Dr.
Lefler’s father, who also inspired her by his altruistic attitude and
behaviors, renewed her passion for giving back to those in need.
Nursing was the right choice for Dr. Keating-Lefler, who earned
her associate’s degree from the UNMC College of Nursing in 1986,
then her bachelor’s degree the following year. While working on her
BSN, she got a taste of research.
“I had some brilliant mentors in the college who I was able to
assist with a parent-infant research study. It’s here that I discovered
a love of teaching and research,” she said.
After Dr. Keating-Lefler earned her master’s degree in 1992,
she began teaching at the Nebraska Methodist College. In 1995,
she returned to UNMC to pursue a doctorate in nursing and
upon completion she stayed to continue her research and teach.
As an assistant professor in the department of Families and
Health Systems, Dr. Keating-Lefler saw a need to do more.
“I always believed there was something I could give back to
students,” she said. “They inspire me on a daily basis, and I hope I
can do the same for them.”
Wi nte r 2009
Dr. Keating-Lefler decided to expand her sphere of influence
and provide financial support to nursing students. In 2003, she
and her husband established the Dr. Rebecca Keating-Lefler and
Steven Lefler Scholarship Fund. This award is given to students
from disadvantaged backgrounds who want to enter the nursing
program at UNMC.
“I knew it was important to target vulnerable populations with
this scholarship,” she said. “My research team works to improve
outcomes for single, low-income mothers and their children. I
know first hand their immense needs and want to provide choices
to students who have limited opportunities so they can improve
their chances of career success.”
Not only does Dr. Keating-Lefler support the College of Nursing
through her teaching and scholarship support, she also helps
former students stay connected to UNMC through her position as
president of the UNMC College of Nursing Alumni Association.
She hopes to reconnect as many alumni as possible with UNMC
and encourage them to support student activities and the college’s
financial needs.
“The most important thing alumni can do is to give back to
those who helped assure their professional success,” she said.
Through her various efforts, Dr. Keating-Lefler hopes to
continually be a vital member of the UNMC family – dedicated
to the college’s programs and goals of achieving excellence in
academics and clinical performance.
“Health care in our country is at a critical point in time,” she
said. “Nurses are in a pivotal position to lead the interprofessional
health care teams to assure quality and safe patient care is
delivered to every person regardless of cultural, social, physical,
mental and financial status.”
When you see
another health care provider in Nebraska, there’s
almost a fifty-fifty chance they graduated from UNMC.
Nearly half of Nebraska’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health
care providers received their training at the University of Nebraska Medical
Center. That says a lot about the programs at UNMC and how much they
help the people of Nebraska. As an alum of UNMC it also says you’re in great
company. A lot of great company.
These are exciting times at UNMC with exceptional growth and impressive
plans for the future. But to keep the momentum going, we need your help.
Please consider making a contribution to the school that helped you be a
success and to the medical center so important to all Nebraskans. To donate,
contact Amy Volk at the University of Nebraska Foundation, 402-502-4112,
[email protected]
University of Nebraska Medical Center
UNMC alum
leads Air Force
medical efforts
by Chuck Brown
Lt. Gen. James Roudebush, M.D., Air Force surgeon general,
chats with a wounded soldier returning from overseas at
Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
Wi nte r 2009
Growing up in Gering, Neb., Lt. Gen. James
Roudebush, M.D., had three heroes – his
mother, father and his family physician,
Jacob Krieg, M.D.
Dr. Krieg made house calls, many of them to the
Roudebush residence to clean up the numerous cuts,
bumps and bruises the adventurous Dr. Roudebush
incurred because of his youthful exuberance.
“Dr. Krieg was really like a member of our family,” Dr.
Roudebush said, “and he was an excellent example of what a
family physician should be.”
Dr. Krieg’s influence motivated Dr. Roudebush toward a
career in medicine. It’s a career path that began at UNMC
in the 1970s and has led to his current position as Surgeon
General of the Air Force.
Dr. Roudebush entered the UNMC College of Medicine
in 1971 after earning a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at the
NU school of pharmacy, which was then in Lincoln.
During his four years at UNMC, Dr. Roudebush would
receive what he called an incredibly well-rounded education
that left him prepared to handle the military family
medicine career he eventually would undertake.
“The strong didactic training and the hands-on training I
received during clinical rotations, particularly in rural areas,
set me up well for what followed,” Dr. Roudebush said.
He also recalls feeling fortunate to be around amazing
UNMC professors and clinicians including Michael Sorrell,
M.D., Mary Jo Henn, M.D., Edward Holyoke, M.D., Ph.D.,
and LeRoy Meyer, M.D.
“These people were setting the standards as far as
medical education was concerned,” he said.
What followed was a military medicine career that
was necessitated in part by a need to pay off mounting
bills related to medical school. As he was entering his
second-year at UNMC, Dr. Roudebush applied for and was
accepted into one of the first cadres of the military’s Health
Professions Scholarship Program.
He chose to enter the Air Force for two reasons: it
offered one of the best family medicine fellowships around
and he loved flying. He even had a private pilot’s license.
But his vision wasn’t good enough to enter flight
school, so Dr. Roudebush started down the road toward a
distinguished career in military medicine, although it didn’t
seem at first that it would be all that long.
His first station was at F. E. Warren Air Force Base
in Cheyenne, Wyo., which is about 100 miles from Dr.
Roudebush’s native Gering.
“The way it set up, I figured I’d finish my training and
my first tour, then hop on the road, head home and set up a
practice,” Dr. Roudebush said.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the
Panhandle, Dr. Roudebush fell in love with the Air Force and
his role in the service. He loved working with the patients
and their families.
“I found it extremely rewarding,” he said. “I still do.”
So instead of heading home, Dr. Roudebush stuck with
the military which has allowed him to practice all over the
globe, including Europe and the Middle East.
After working in several clinical settings, Dr. Roudebush
moved into administrative posts and served as commander
of various clinics, hospitals, medical centers and command
areas before moving into his current position.
As surgeon general of the Air Force, Dr. Roudebush
advises Air Force and Defense Department senior leaders on
medical aspects of the air expeditionary force and the health
of Air Force personnel.
Dr. Roudebush manages more than 43,100 people
assigned to 75 medical facilities worldwide. Many of these
medics play a critical role in the care of American service
members wounded while fighting the war on terrorism.
“What I really do is make sure every Air Force medic can
do their job,” he said. “I work to ensure they have the right
training, resources, policies and support to carry out our
Last fall, Dr. Roudebush visited UNMC during activities
related to Air Force Week in Omaha. The general was
amazed at the progress that has occurred at his alma mater.
“I was very impressed,” he said. “The tradition of solid, highquality education was certainly very evident and the university
has progressed impressively with technology and research.
“I was delighted to come back and see that kind of
progress. I still consider myself a Nebraskan and seeing
what has happened at UNMC makes me very proud of
my heritage.”
University of Nebraska Medical Center
alumni news
Wi nte r 2009
Four receive awards at UNMC
alumni reunion
Four distinguished alumni were
honored at the UNMC Alumni Reunion
Weekend on Sept. 19-20 in Omaha.
The College of Medicine Alumni
Association awarded the UNMC
College of Medicine Alumni Association
Distinguished Alumnus Award to Paul
Young, M.D., ’58, of Lexington, Ky.
A native of Fairfield, Neb., Dr. Young
has enjoyed a long career in academic
medicine. From 1967-75, he was at
the University of Missouri and started
the first approved family practice
residency program in the state. In 1975,
he returned to Nebraska to serve as
professor and chairman of the UNMC
Department of Family Practice.
From Nebraska, Dr. Young went
Alumni honored with awards during the Alumni Reunion Weekend included: Daren Knoell, Pharm.D., ’89, UNMC
College of Pharmacy Alumni Association Early Career Achievement Award; Patricia Hageman, PT, Ph.D., ’79, UNMC
on to become professor and chairman
Physical Therapy Alumni Chapter Distinguished Alumnus Award; Col. Kimberly Siniscalchi, ’88, UNMC College of
of the department of family medicine at
Nursing Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award; and Paul Young, M.D., ’58, UNMC College of Medicine
the University of Texas Medical Branch in Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Galveston. He then joined the American
In December, Col. Siniscalchi was promoted to major
Board of Family Practice as associate
general – a unique accomplishment as she skipped over the
executive director and eventually was named executive
brigadier general ranking. She and her husband, Col. Joe
director. Today, he is executive director emeritus.
Siniscalchi (Ret.), have moved to Washington, D.C., where
Dr. Young is the founding editor of Family Practice
she is stationed at Bolling Air Force Base.
Recertification and the Journal of the American Board
After earning her bachelor of science degree in nursing
of Family Practice. He has done consulting work with
from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Col. Siniscalchi
the Kellogg Foundation to help develop family medicine
received her commission in 1979 through the Air Force
residencies in Mexico and South America. He and his wife,
Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarship Program at the
Betty, are now retired and live in Lexington, Ky.
University of Pittsburgh. She then was assigned to Offutt
The College of Nursing Alumni Association awarded
Air Force Base from 1982 to 1988. During this time, she
the UNMC College of Nursing Alumni Association
earned her master’s of science degree in nursing from
Distinguished Alumnus Award to Col. Kimberly Siniscalchi,
UNMC and worked as a clinical nurse specialist.
’88, of Dayton, Ohio.
The College of Pharmacy Alumni Association awarded
At the time of the award, Col. Siniscalchi served as
the UNMC College of Pharmacy Alumni Association Early
Deputy Command Surgeon and Command Nurse, Air Force
Career Achievement Award to Daren Knoell, Pharm.D., ’89,
Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in
of Columbus, Ohio.
Dayton, Ohio. She assisted the command surgeon in leading
A native of Chadron, Neb., Dr. Knoell joined The
the command’s eight community-based medical treatment
Ohio State University College of Pharmacy in 1994. He
facilities, which provide combat support for more than 7,000
is director of the Heart and Lung Research Institute and
medical personnel and peacetime health care for more than
associate professor in the departments of pharmacy and
435,000 beneficiaries. Her leadership experience includes
internal medicine. He also serves as a clinical pharmacist/
eight years as the Air Force Nurse assigned to the White
asthma educator and is a member of the OSU Center of
House Medical Unit, serving Presidents George H. W. Bush
and Bill Clinton.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Lung
Association, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and
the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy fund Dr. Knoell’s
research on lung disease.
Dr. Knoell’s research has been published in leading scientific
journals and he is frequently invited to present at national meetings.
His accomplishments have earned him recognition as a fellow in
ACCP and committee appointments with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration and the NIH.
The Physical Therapy Alumni Chapter awarded the UNMC
Physical Therapy Alumni Chapter Distinguished Alumnus Award to
Patricia Hageman, Ph.D., ’79, of Ithaca, Neb.
Dr. Hageman has been director of the physical therapy education
program in UNMC’s School of Allied Health Professions for the past 19
years. In October, she stepped down as program director to begin a
yearlong faculty development fellowship. She will continue as a tenured
professor in the physical therapy education program and focus her
efforts on education and research in rural health and gerontology.
Throughout her career, Dr. Hageman has been a national leader
in advancing physical therapy education. Nearly 70 percent of the
UNMC physical therapy graduates completed their course of study
during her tenure as program director. Also during that time, the PT
program enjoyed continuous accreditation and underwent two major
curriculum changes and degree conversions. Class size has grown
100 percent – from 20 to 40 students.
One of the top accomplishments of the PT program under Dr.
Hageman’s leadership occurred in 2006 when the program was
awarded the prestigious University-Wide Departmental Teaching
Award from the University of Nebraska.
Jokela named new alumni director
Roxanna Jokela has been named the new director of alumni
relations. Jokela, who has served as interim director since October,
will take over on April 13, said Bob Bartee, vice chancellor for
external affairs.
At that time, Jokela also will step away from her duties as director
of the Rural Health Education Network (RHEN) at UNMC.
“As alumni director, I look forward to working closely with UNMC
graduates from all corners of the state and nation,” Jokela said.
She will take over as alumni director 16 years and one day after
she joined UNMC to lead the RHEN program.
During her time as RHEN director, she oversaw the development
of several innovative initiatives and programs that have garnered
national prominence for UNMC.
In 2001, Jokela also took on the position of deputy director for the
AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) Program. Through her work
with Mike Sitorius, M.D., UNMC chairman of family medicine, the
medical center’s AHEC and RHEN programs have become leaders in
meeting the rural workforce needs.
Among other developments Jokela helped initiate were the Rural
Health Opportunities Program (RHOP), eighth grade science meets
and other health career promotion programs.
RHOP was established to draw more students to UNMC from
rural areas. Program participants are granted admission into UNMC
programs right out of high school pending their successful completion
of undergraduate course work at certain state colleges.
Jokela serves on the congress and the board of trustees for the
National Rural Health Association and she is a fellow of the American
College of Healthcare Executives.
As alumni director, Jokela said she looks forward to taking a more
unified approach to dealing with medical center alumni from the
various colleges and schools.
“It will be beneficial to all parties to see how we can bring our
various alumni groups under a more cohesive umbrella,” Jokela said.
“Although we must promote each alumni chapter’s identity, all of our
alumni are UNMC alumni and it’s important that we build and maintain
collaboration among our various alumni organizations and members.”
“Roxanna has performed superbly as interim director and has
demonstrated the vision and passion to take our alumni activities to the
next level,” Bartee said. “She clearly emerged from a national search
as the leading candidate among an outstanding field of candidates.”
University of Nebraska Medical Center
alumni class notes
Record crowd turns out
for alumni weekend
Physical therapy class of 1993 members Cindy Dennis, Jake Wear, Natalie Harms and
Barb Leymaster catch up on the past 15 years.
Pharmacy class of 1968 alumni Arlan Stutheit, Fran Moore, Dan Hughes, and his wife,
Patty Hughes, enjoy the alumni reception.
Doug Brouillette and Rod Markin, both from the College of Medicine class of
1988, present UNMC College of Medicine Dean John Gollan, M.D., Ph.D., with
their class gift of $243,200 to be used for new technology in the Michael F.
Sorrell Center for Health Science Education.
Reminiscing at their 50-year reunion are College of Nursing graduates: Loretta Little,
Marilyn Seidel, Jo Ann Mulligan and Jeanne Greving-Hauserman.
A record 550-plus people attended the UNMC Alumni Weekend
Reunion on Sept. 19-20.
“It was a great turnout,” said Kim Cuda, then director of alumni
relations. “We received lots of calls and e-mails from people who
really enjoyed the reunion.”
For the first time, many of the alumni events took place in the
new Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education. “The
Sorrell Center is a wonderful facility and our alumni were proud to see
it,” Cuda said.
For the second straight year, the reunion brought together alumni
from four different UNMC academic units – the colleges of medicine,
nursing and pharmacy and the School of Allied Health Professions.
Prior to 2007, each unit held its own separate reunion.
This year’s alumni reunion honored the classes of 1943, 1948,
1953, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998,
2003 and those who graduated more than 50 years ago.
During a luncheon in the Sorrell Center’s Truhlsen Campus
Events Center, alumni heard presentations from the four deans of the
academic units involved in the reunion.
Later that day, a reception for all attendees was held in the
Truhlsen Campus Events Center followed by reunion parties and
dinners for the honor classes at a variety of Omaha locations. Several
of the honor classes presented class gifts to their alumni associations
at the reception.
Alumni activities on Sept. 20 included a presentation on
philanthropic tax advantages, campus tours and a trolley tour
of Omaha.
The day culminated with the UNMC Alumni Celebration and
Awards Dinner at the Holiday Inn Central. Festivities included a video
of alumni reminiscences, a tribute to alumni award recipients and a
special recognition of Half Century Club members (those graduating
50 or more years ago).
During the video presentation, 12 UNMC alumni reflected on their
careers and student days at UNMC. Representing their colleges and
class years were, from the College of Medicine – Muriel Frank, ’43,
Dave Goldner, ’98, John Goldner, ’63, Don Skoog, ’58, Ed Smith, ’58,
Denny Strauss, ’68; College of Nursing - Jeanette Ekberg, ’58, Karen
Kresnik, ’98, Sharon Redding, ’68; College of Pharmacy - Paul Athey,
’83, Frances Moore, ’68; and School of Allied Health Profession’s
physical therapy program - Natalie Harms, ’93.
“You could really feel an electric atmosphere in the crowd at
the awards dinner,” Cuda said. “The video reminiscences were well
received. Some of them were quite funny, and it was obvious that the
crowd enjoyed them.”
The 2009 UNMC Alumni Reunion Weekend is slated for Oct. 2–3.
R. William Karrer M’38
Omaha, Neb., and his wife Beverly were
inducted into the Ak-Sar-Ben Court of Honor;
Dr. Karrer for excelling in his profession and
Beverly for her service to youth.
David L. Bolam M’70
Omaha, Neb., is celebrating his 35th year
as a full-time faculty member of UNMC’s
Department of Pediatrics.
Robert B. Kalmansohn M’48
Los Angeles, Calif., is on the Cedars Sinai
Medical Center Board of Governors and is a
visiting professor of cardiology at Cedars Sinai
Medical Center. He also is a member of the
American Medical Tennis Association.
Wi nte r 2009
Lemoyne F. Johnson M’70
Bradenton, Fla., retired eight years ago and
continues with Johnson Photo Imaging.
Teresa Hartman, associate professor, McGoogan Library,
gives a tour of the McGoogan Library to Dennis Strauss,
Craig Urbauer and Dean Thomas, all 1968 graduates of the
College of Medicine.
Donna D. Sack N’51
Livingston, Texas, is retired and is the caretaker
of her youngest daughter.
Robert C. Beckman M’55
Salem, Ore., is retired.
Harold M. Nordlund M’55
York, Neb., retired 15 years ago. He swims
regularly and enjoys keeping track of wildlife as
it moves across his well-forested acreage.
Jerry Graves P’58
Hickman, Neb., was honored at the Nebraska
Pharmacy convention in June 2008 in Lincoln
for 50 years of service to the pharmacy field.
He received the Outstanding Service to
Nebraska Pharmacies Award in 1992. He also
was named an admiral in the Great Navy of the
State of Nebraska.
Paul R. Young M’58
Lexington, Ky., is retired. He is executive
director emeritus for the American Board of
Family Medicine.
Maurice D. Skeith M’60
Seattle, Wash., retired in 2004 from his
rheumatology practice in Seattle. He is
a clinical professor at the University of
Washington. Dr. Skeith and his wife, Shirley,
celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2007.
They enjoy traveling from Florida to California
to visit their grandchildren. Dr. Skeith enjoys fly
fishing and fly tying.
G - Graduate
indicates alumni dues-paying member
Kathryn M. Grams N’70
Carrollton, Ga., has been named the first dean
of the University of West Georgia’s new School
of Nursing.
N - Nursing
John H. Stevens M’70
Bayard, Neb., has retired. He plays lawn tennis
and enjoys his grandchildren.
William W. Burgin M’61
Corpus Christi, Texas, has an active practice
and is the health authority for Corpus Christi
and Nueces County.
James H. Bell M’62
Newport Beach, Calif., retired after 46 years
of practicing obstetrics and gynecology and
spends more time with his six grandchildren.
Donald A. Argo M’64
Marysville, Kan., retired in 2005 and travels
often in his fifth wheel camper.
More than 50 UNMC alumni and friends attended the Deans
in the Desert events in Scottsdale, Ariz., in January. The UNMC
deans spoke about their respective colleges and the changes
on campus. Michael Bates, M.D., ’74; CJ LaBenz, M.D., ’75;
Bonnie Caniglia, Loren Faaborg, M.D., ’75; and Ron Caniglia,
M.D., ’87; enjoy the alumni reception. Dr. and Mrs. Caniglia
hosted the event in their home.
Lynn R. Frary M’64
Berien, Wash., was named Western Section
of the American Urological Association
Distinguished Member for 2008.
Richard F. Brouillette M’65
York, Neb., is retired.
Harold W. Keenan M’65
Big Springs, Neb., is chief of staff at Garden
County Health Services in Oshkosh.
Ramson D. Varney P’65
Broken Bow, Neb., was elected Custer County
supervisor in 2006 for a four-year term.
Paul E. Collicot M’66
Chicago, Ill., received the 2008 Distinguished
Service Award, the highest honor awarded by
the Board of Regents of the American College
of Surgeons.
Rowen Zetterman M’69
Omaha, Neb., has been named the new dean of
Creighton University’s School of Medicine.
M - Medicine
* Life Member in alumni association
P - Pharmacy
Air Force Surgeon General James Roudebush, M.D., of the
College of Medicine class of 1975, and Alan Sooho, M.D.,
chief of staff, Veterans Administration Medical Center,
reacquaint themselves at the 2008 Annual Congress of the
American College of Health Care Executives.
PA - Physician Assistant
PT - Physical Therapy
University of Nebraska Medical Center
alumni class notes (continued)
John J. Cannella M’73
Grand Island, Neb., limits his practice
to aviation medicine and gastrointestinal
Robert M. House M’75
Denver, Colo., served with the 1835th Medical
Detachment in Balad, Iraq, from September
through December 2008.
Tari M. Ernst M’81
Andover, Kan., opened a new office in Wichita,
Kan. She has three sons: Michael Ioerger,
a sophomore at the University of NebraskaLincoln, and Christopher and Patrick, both
Joseph E. F. Shanahan M’75
Burr Ridge, Ill., was honored by Adventist
GlenOaks Hospital in Glendale Heights when the
emergency department was named after him.
Scott P. Liggett M’77
Rochester, Minn., sold his consulting
nephrology practice and has begun work for the
Mayo Clinic’s international practice.
W. Scott Carpenter M’79
Park Falls, Wis., has a daughter, Meredith, who
is in her first-year of medical school at UNMC.
Michael R. German P’79
Lincoln, Neb., is the recipient of the HealthSystem Pharmacist of the Year Award, which
was presented as part of the Nebraska Pharmacy
Association’s Annual Convention in 2008.
Linda S. Bellows N’80
Ocala, Fla., is pursuing a master’s of science
in nursing degree for an Advanced Registered
Nurse Practitioner-Family Nurse Practitioner at
the University of South Florida.
*Dean L. Arneson P’81
Mequon, Wis., has been named academic
dean and associate professor of pharmacy
administration for the new School of Pharmacy
at Concordia University.
Charles C. Barr P’81
Fort Calhoun, Neb., is an associate professor
of pharmacy practice and assistant dean for
alumni relations at Creighton University School
of Pharmacy and Health Professions. Dr. Barr
also is the owner of Barr Pharmacy and Blair
Medical Supply. He has been selected as the
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
honorary president for 2008.
Eric L. Johnson M’89
Grand Forks, N.D., is employed as an assistant
professor of family and community medicine at
the University of North Dakota, Fargo. He and
his wife, Lisa, have four sons.
Marjorie J. Heier M’86
Denton, Neb., joined the medical staff at Crete
Area Medical Center-Physician Clinic in July
David K. Kortje M’89
Benton, Kan., authored “Fighting the Unseen
War,” a book on tools for spiritual warfare.
Kimberly A. Siniscalchi N’88
Bolling A.F.B., was promoted to the rank of
major general in the U.S. Air Force, by-passing
the one-star rank. She also is assistant surgeon
general for medical force development with the
Office of the Surgeon General at Bolling Air
Force Base in Washington, D.C.
Paul V. Shellabarger PA’76
Cambridge, Neb., joined Tri Valley Health
Systems in 1976. He was the Nebraska PA of
the Year in 1994 and 1999, and also received
the Caring Kind Award in 1993.
Ortrude E. Snyder N’76
Fairbury, Neb., lives on an acreage north of
Fairbury and volunteers at Jefferson Community
Health Center and other nursing homes.
*Allison M. Dering-Anderson P’86
Lincoln, Neb., was honored by the Nebraska
Pharmacists Association as its 2008 recipient
of the Cora Mae Briggs Outstanding Service to
Nebraska Pharmacy Award.
Daniel P. Gillen M’82
Jeffery D. Harrison M’88
Papillion, Neb., has been appointed assistant
dean for admissions at UNMC.
Daniel P. Gillen M’82
Belleville, Ill., recently was promoted to the
rank of brigadier general in the Air Force
Nila Novotny M’82
Columbus, Neb., serves Columbus and the
surrounding area. She founded the Columbus
Otolaryngology Clinic connected to the new
Columbus Hospital.
Michael C. Havekost M’88
Beatrice, Neb., is the medical director of
the emergency department at the Beatrice
Community Hospital, where he practices fulltime in the emergency room.
Helen M. Calmes P’83
New Orleans, La., is assistant director of
pharmacy at Children’s Hospital in New
Orleans. She served as chairwoman of the
inpatient care practitioners of the American
Society of Health-System Pharmacists for
2007-2008 and is immediate past-chair
for 2008-2009. She is the treasurer of
the Louisiana Society of Health-System
James H. Sorrell M’88
Omaha, Neb., has been appointed assistant
dean for student affairs at UNMC.
William H. Malchow PA’88
Cambridge, Neb., joined Tri Valley Health
System in 1992. He also specializes as a family
practice physician assistant.
Lennie Deaver M’84
Cambridge, Neb., is celebrating more than 21
years with Tri Valley Health Systems.
*Kristine Story N’85
Omaha, Neb., was awarded the 2009 Nurse
Practitioner State Award for Excellence by the
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Juliana M. Wright P’90
Lees Summit, Mo., has been selected to the
American College of Clinical Pharmacy. She
is a professor at the University of MissouriKansas City School of Medicine in the section
of clinical pharmacology, where she teaches
clinical pharmacology and specializes in HIV/
AIDS clinical research.
Nancy J. Basham N’92
Lincoln, Neb., is an instructor in the adult
health and illness department of the UNMC
College of Nursing Omaha division.
Sheila J. Ellis M’92
Omaha, Neb., is interim chairwoman for the
UNMC Department of Anesthesiology, in addition
to her role as the department’s chief clinical
director and anesthesiology service chief.
*Todd A. Pankratz M’92
Hastings, Neb., is seeing patients at the
Community Hospital’s Medical Specialists
Clinic. He is certified by the American Board
of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a fellow
of the American College of Obstetricians and
Susan B. Hassmiller N’83
East Wind, N.J., was appointed a senior adviser
to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for
Ron P. Morse M’83
Creighton, Neb., is celebrating 25 years as
a physician practicing at Creighton Area
Health Services Veridgre Clinic. He also is the
supervising physician at Bloomfield Medical
Jill S. Reel M’89
Arlington, Neb., is a Nebraska Medical
Association delegate and a board member of
Project Harmony.
Rachelle Kasper-Cope M’93
Cambridge, Neb., became board certified in
family medicine in 1996 and serves Tri Valley
Health Systems as chief of staff.
Rebecca Keating-Lefler, Ph.D., ’86, president of the College
of Nursing Alumni Association (second from the left)
congratulates Aric Thalman, Anita Soto and Kristi Schroeder,
all from the class of 2011, after January’s College of Nursing
Nightingale White Coat Ceremony in Omaha.
Denise R. Bogard M’89
Roseville, Calif., took a trip with the non-profit
Rotaplast to do cleft lip and palate repair on
young children who would otherwise not receive
surgical intervention. She is planning another trip
to Brazil in 2009 and hopes to do this every year.
Laura E. Peter M’93
Eleva, Wis., predominantly does non-surgical
orthopedics in Chippewa Falls. She and her
husband, Don, have three daughters.
Thomas Sachtleben M’93
Windsor, Colo., works with Orthopedic Center
of the Rockies and Colorado State University in
Fort Collins. He and his wife, Camille, are the
proud parents of Carson, 7, and Alana, 5.
G - Graduate
indicates alumni dues-paying member
Wi nte r 2009
N - Nursing
Peter l. Gallagher M’94
Lincoln, Neb., has joined the Nebraska Heart
Corey J. Mayberger M’97
Norfolk, Neb., has joined Faith Regional Health
William J. Ostdiek M’97
Omaha, Neb., was the commencement speaker
at his alma mater, Gretna High School.
Dusty G. Duis N’00
Beatrice, Neb., works for the Dialysis Center of
Beatrice and is the school nurse for the Diller/
Odell Public Schools. She also serves on the
membership committee of the Nebraska School
Nurse Association Board of Directors. She and
her husband, Matt, have a daughter, Ashley.
Toby D. Free M’98
LaVista, Neb., resigned from the Community
Hospital of McCook, Neb., to accept a position
with the family medicine residency program
at UNMC.
Mary C. Snyder M’98
Scottsbluff, Neb., works for Box Butte General
Hospital’s Multi-Specialty Clinic. She previously
served as the assistant professor in plastic
surgery at UNMC.
Jeff Yosten M’98
Norfolk, Neb., is director of emergency
medicine at Faith Regional Health Systems in
Norfolk. He and his wife, Lisa Yosten M’99,
have three children ages 4, 2, and 4 months.
Nick Reiss, D.P.T., ’00, president of the Physical Therapy
Alumni Chapter, welcomes Jeff Foster to the class of 2011
during the recent Physical Therapy White Coat Ceremony,
which was sponsored by the alumni chapter.
Donna F. Canfield N’99
Las Vegas, Nev., graduated in 2008 with a
master’s degree in education in school nursing
from Cambridge College in Ontario, Calif.
She has worked in the Clark County School
District since 2000 and received her National
Certification for School Nurses in 2001.
Christina L. Grosshans PA’99
St. Louis, Mo., was appointed to the Advisory
Commission for Physician Assistants to the
Missouri State Board of Healing Arts. She was
elected madam chairperson in 2007.
Kevin J. Policky M’99
Chesapeake, Va., recently finished board
certification in anesthesiology and became a
pediatric and neonatal anesthesiologist at Naval
Medical Center, Portsmouth, Va. He is deployed
with the Marines 1st Medical Battalion in Al
Taqaddum, Iraq.
Christopher C. Seip M’99
North Platte, Neb., sees patients in McCook,
Neb., as well as North Platte. He is a member
of the American College of Surgeons and the
Christian Medical and Dental Association.
Lisa Yosten M’99
Norfolk, Neb., recently accepted a full-time
emergency room staff position at Faith Regional
Health Systems.
M - Medicine
* Life Member in alumni association
P - Pharmacy
Jeremiah V. Jensen N’00
Grand Island, Neb., has joined Surgery Group of
Grand Island as an advanced practice registered
Jane Meyer N’00
Sutherland, Neb., works for Internal Medicine
Associates in North Platte, Neb.
Becca E. Engelkemier N’01
Memphis, Tenn., graduated in 2006 with a
master’s of science in nursing from Emory
University and is a family nurse practitioner/
certified nurse midwife. She recently traveled to
Lebanon, Syria and Afghanistan. She works at a
Community Health Center in Memphis.
Beau S. Konigsberg M’01
Omaha, Neb., joined the faculty at UNMC as
an assistant professor in the department of
orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation.
Douglas L. Kosmicki M’01
Grand Island, Neb., completed interventional
cardiology at the University of Utah and joined
the Nebraska Heart Institute in Grand Island.
Doug, his wife, Kimberly, and their three sons
enjoy being back in Nebraska.
PA - Physician Assistant
PT - Physical Therapy
University of Nebraska Medical Center
alumni class notes (continued)
Darla E. Spires M’02
Cook, Neb., practices at Gynecology and
Fertility PC in Omaha.
Kimberly L. Franzen M’03
Helotes, Texas, has completed her surgery
residency at Brooke Army Medical Center.
She is assigned to the U.S. Army Institute of
Surgical Research and is completing a burn
surgery fellowship. Dr. Franzen is scheduled to
be deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, in the spring of
2009. Her husband, Julio, serves as an U.S. Air
Force EMS consultant to the surgeon general, as
well as trains residents in emergency medicine.
Josie McCune, Breanne Chambers, Haley Reeves, Megan
Otte, Jacey Klaver, Katie Blacketer, Sarah Janecek, Sarah
Selle and Kate Bailey enjoy the PT “Send Off” Pizza Party
sponsored by the Physical Therapy Alumni Chapter.
Jay C. Anderson M’04
Grand Island, Neb., has joined Internal Medical
Associates in Grand Island.
Jeffery A. Himmelberg M’02
Omaha, Neb., has joined the staff at Fremont
Area Medical Center in Fremont, Neb., where
he specializes in interventional radiology.
Kate E. Boos M’05
Cozad, Neb., completed her residency in
July 2008. She has joined the staff at Cozad
Community Hospital.
Peter J. Lindbloom PA’02
Milaca, Minn., received the Minnesota
Academy of Physician Assistants 2008 PA of
the Year Award. Last spring, the Minnesota
Commissioner of Health appointed him to
serve as the PA representative to the State
Trauma Advisory Council. Lindbloom works at
Mille Lacs Health Systems in Onamia, Minn.
Lisa A. Eisenmenger PT’05
West Point, Neb., works at UNMC.
Amy L. Ford N’05
Council Buffs, Iowa, has joined the UNMC
College of Nursing as an instructor in the
families and health systems department.
Kyleen Klinkebiel PA’07
Cambridge, Neb., joined Tri Valley Health
Elizabeth A. Warman PA’07
Ellinwood, Kan., has joined Ellinwood Hospital
Brandlin L. Dannenberg N’08
Kearney, Neb., has accepted a position at Good
Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.
Angela R. Davis N’08
Gibbon, Neb., recently began work at Good
Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.
Dave Barlow, president of the Minnesota Academy of
Physician Assistants, honors Peter Lindbloom, PA’02,
with the 2008 PA of the Year Award.
Rodney R. Miles M’02
Salt Lake City, Utah, is an assistant professor
in pathology and has a dual role of teaching
hematopathology and developing an
independent research program in basic and
translational hematopathology.
Jerad P. Miller M’02
Columbus, Ohio, has joined Barnes-Jewish St.
Peters Hospital and Benrus Surgical Associates
Inc. in St. Peters, Mo.
Angela K. Dinges N’08
Waterloo, Iowa, has started work at Covenant,
Medical Center in Waterloo.
Melissa L. Feil N’08
Gering, Neb., recently joined Regional West
Medical Center in Scottsbluff.
Vanessa L. Harman N’08
Omaha, Neb., serves in the labor and delivery
unit at Bergan Mercy Medical Center.
Chrystal K. Lovelace N’ 08
Scottsbluff, Neb., is employed by Regional West
Medical Center in the medical oncology unit.
Jessica M. Miller N’08
Omaha, Neb., accepted a position in the
pediatric ICU at Children’s Hospital and
Medical Center.
Connie R. Morrill N’08
Mitchell, Neb., works at Regional West Medical
Center in Scottsbluff.
Shanna M. Olney N’08
Omaha, Neb., works for UNMC in the pediatric
intensive care unit.
Joely T. Peterson N’08
Juniata, Neb., works at Saint Elizabeth
Regional Medical Center in Lincoln.
Kristina M. Peterson N’08
Scottsbluff, Neb., works at Regional West
Medical Center in Scottsbluff.
Lori J. Rasmussen N’08
Rochester, Minn., is employed by the Mayo
Clinic in Rochester.
Maria L. Ritter N’08
Axtell, Neb., works at Christian Homes in
Jamie L. Rooks N’08
Omaha, Neb., accepted a position with UNMC.
Kimberly A. Schlautman N’08
Columbus, Neb., recently was hired at
Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in
Stesha L. Schneider N’08
Kearney, Neb., has accepted a position with
Saint Elizabeth Hospital in orthopedics.
Proud medical alumni are pictured with their Class of 2012 sons and daughters at the College of Medicine White Coat Ceremony.
Kelly L. Ellis, M.D.
Norfolk, Neb., completed her family medicine
residency at UNMC and now sees patients with
the Faith Regional Medical Services in Norfolk.
Shouping Li, M.D.
Winnemucca, Nev., completed his family
practice residency at UNMC and now practices
in Winnemucca.
Paula J. Malin, M.D.
Bellevue, Neb., completed her residency
program at UNMC. She received the Golden
Apple Award from the Creighton University
School of Medicine students during her first
year on the faculty.
Blanca L. Marky, M.D.
Omaha, Neb., completed her neurology
residency at UNMC and sees patients at
Alegent Health Mercy Hospital in Council
Bluffs, Iowa.
Matt Schwager, PT’08
Lincoln, Neb., joined Milford Physical Therapy
after completing his doctorate.
Arnaldo F. Trabucco, M.D.
Sparks, Nev., completed his urological
residency training at UNMC and now practices
at the Northern Nevada Medical Center.
Kathleen M. Thacker N’08
Omaha, Neb., is employed by Alegent Health
Systems at Bergan Mercy Hospital in the
oncology department.
Wendy L. Vetter, M.D.
Ralston, Neb., is doing an internal medicine/
pediatrics residency at UNMC.
Medical Residents
Erin L. Cooper, M.D.
Bellevue, Neb., is serving her residency
at UNMC.
Jeff J. Cooper, M.D.
Bellevue, Neb., is serving his residency
at UNMC.
David Dean, M.D.
Springfield, Ill., is serving his residency
at UNMC.
Josh J. Vetter, M.D.
Omaha, Neb., is doing his internal medicine
residency at UNMC.
Kimberly L. Carlson Olsufka N’07
Omaha, Neb., married Michael Olsufka on May
10, 2008.
Patrick J. Duey M’90
Billings, Mont., and his wife, Janell, welcomed
their first child, a son, Wyatt James, on Sept.
12, 2008.
Christina L. Grosshans PA’99
St. Louis, Mo., and husband, David, welcomed
their first child, a son, Wesley Aiden, on March
31, 2008.
Maria A. Michaelis M’01
Omaha, Neb., and husband, Clayton, welcomed
their second child, Alaina.
Angela M. Obermiller P’01
Grand Island, Neb., and her husband welcomed
their second baby, Michael John, on March 1,
Keith E. Baynes M’02
Milwaukee, Wis., and his wife, Tanya, welcomed
Ivan Randall on July 30, 2008.
Amber D. Herrington PT’07
Bennet, Neb., welcomed a new addition to the
family, Carter Roscoe, on July 13, 2008.
M - Medicine
* Life Member in alumni association
Elvera E. Boggs N’28
Cozad, Neb., May 2, 2008
Gwyneth P. Hulbert N’39
Omaha, Neb., July 19, 2008
Margaret E. Stuart N’39
Rushville, Neb., March 11, 2008
Kayla M. Kapels PA’07
Creston, Iowa, and Waylan Dicke were married
Dec. 29, 2007.
N - Nursing
William J. Resnick M’37
Long Beach, Calif., Aug. 20, 2008
Megan (Fusselman) Thornton P’03
Ankeny, Iowa, and her husband, “Brock,”
welcomed twin sons, Ethan Jonathan and Jacob
Joe, on June 4, 2008.
indicates alumni dues-paying member
Wi nte r 2009
Lisa A. Bergt Eisenmenger PT’05
West Point, Neb., married Chad Eisenmenger
on May 23, 2008.
Nicholle S. Endsley N’06
Omaha, Neb., married Adam Bruhn on June
21, 2008.
G - Graduate
Chelsie Lammers PA’07
Wood River, Neb., and Tyler Doane were married
March 8, 2008.
P - Pharmacy
Eva Speier P’42
Ames, Iowa, May 26, 2008
Melvin R. Gibson P’42
Spokane, Wash., May 15, 2008
Lucille I. Stanley N’43
Chillicothe, Ohio, Oct. 22, 2007
Paul C. Griffith M’43
Seattle, Wash., April 26, 2007
Richard H. Linn M’43
Littleton, Colo., August 2008
Kenneth P. Wittstruck M’43
Portland, Ore., June 1, 2007
Grace E. Devnich M’45
Livermore, Calif., Sept. 23, 2008
Kermit Leonard M’46
Garrison, N.D., April 19, 2008
Jean M. Crellin N’46
Billings, Mont., Dec. 16, 2008
Donald C. Kent M’47
Stonington, Conn., April 27, 2007
Frederick G. Collins M’47
Ingram, Texas, May 29, 2007
PA - Physician Assistant
PT - Physical Therapy
University of Nebraska Medical Center
one last thing
alumni class notes (continued)
Donald D. Haase M’47
Blue Springs, Mo., Feb. 9, 2007
Donald E. Parkison M’56
Springfield, Mo., July 30, 2008
Mark Christensen M’73
Omaha, Neb., July 16, 2008
Elizabeth A. Kentopp N’48
Omaha, Neb., Dec. 11, 2008
Leonard E. Wallace M’56
Lexington, Ky., July 26, 2008
David C. Rada M’80
Lake Quivira, Kan., Dec. 6, 2008
Irwin B. Braverman M’49
Tulsa, Okla., Aug. 8, 2008
Donald F. Price M’57
Minden, Neb., Aug. 24, 2007
Kimberly L. Hacker N’93
Omaha, Neb., Aug. 2, 2007
David W. Davis M’53
Cottage Grove, Wis., Dec. 8, 2008
Dean C. Sloan M’59
Seattle, Wash., Sept. 11, 2007
Clyde Yencer, PA’00
Hershey, Mich., July 28, 2008
William J. Russum M’53
Dallas, Texas, April 4, 2008
Robert S. Sette M’60
Rio Vista, Calif., Feb. 2, 2008
Gary A. Feinberg PA’02
Sag Harbor, N.Y., March 26, 2006
Jerold F. Steinhour M’53
Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 29, 2008
William „Bill“ Jensen M‘61
Leawood, Kan., Aug. 23, 2008
Marlene Tully, former faculty
Omaha, Neb., May 2008
Clifford J. Haskin M’54
Escalon, Calif., Feb. 16, 2007
Marjorie J. Richison N’63
Norman, Okla., April 6, 2008
John F. Connolly M.D., former faculty
Orlando, Fla., August 2007
Howard A. Dinsdale M’54
Lincoln, Neb., Sept. 30, 2008
R. Benner Albee M’63
Novato, Calif., Jan. 28, 2007
F. Miles Skultety, former faculty
Omaha, Neb., Oct. 4, 2008
Richard Barmore P’55
Lexington, Neb., Sept. 3, 2007
Helen J. Duncan N’63
Greeley, Colo., June 25, 2008
Paul G. Isaak M’56
Soldonta, Alaska, April 24, 2007
John B. Byrd M’69
Sargent, Neb., Oct. 27, 2008
Margaret “PEGGY” Wheelock, Ph.D.
professor in the College of Dentistry‘s
department of oral biology and one of the
medical center‘s leading cell biologists,
died Feb. 14, 2009, from complications related
to cancer.
William R. Basler M’56
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, May 1, 2008
Do you know UNMC alumni deserving of recognition
for their personal and professional achievements?
Then nominate them for one of many prestigious awards given by the UNMC
alumni associations.
The Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy Alumni Associations present awards
in the following categories:
◗◗ Distinguished Alumnus Award
◗◗ Early Career Achievement Award
◗◗ Honorary Alumnus Award
The Physical Therapy alumni Chapter presents an award in the following category:
◗◗ Distinguished Alumnus Award
For more information, visit www.unmc.edu/alumni or call
(402)559-4385 or toll free (888)725-8664.
Deadline for nominations is April 1.
Wi nte r 2009
We love hearing from you!
Please send your professional and personal
news for Class Notes to:
UNMC Alumni Relations
985200 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5200
Phone: (402)559-4385
Toll free:(888)725-8664
Email: [email protected]
Three Cheers
by Nicole Lindquist
When plagued by a health problem or distraught by a diagnosis,
patients and their loved ones often turn to the Internet and “Google”
medical terminology or search for answers on Web MD.
But, results regularly return an overload of information in which
advertisements are indistinguishable from reliable sources and
accuracy is questionable.
That’s what Donna Mahlendorf of Blair, Neb., found when she
searched for information about her husband Mike’s tongue cancer
Then Mahlendorf, a member of the UNMC Board of Counselors,
discovered one of UNMC’s best-kept secrets: the CHIRS program.
CHIRS (Consumer Health Information Resource Service) is a
medical resource that has been offered by UNMC’s McGoogan
Library since 1985. The free service is available to Nebraska
residents, UNMC students and employees, and health care
professionals and patients of The Nebraska Medical Center.
Mahlendorf sought peer-reviewed journal articles on how to
treat a dying jaw bone after an infection caused severe swelling in
Mike’s face. Doctors treated it with hyperbaric oxygen treatments to
increase the blood supply that had diminished since chemotherapy
and radiation treatments, but the Mahlendorfs were concerned that
the cancer cells could get enough oxygen to return.
Research provided by the CHIRS program quashed those fears.
“They sent us a two-inch thick packet of information on
treatments and what to expect. For me, a lay person who doesn’t
have a medical background, it was extremely helpful,” Mahlendorf
said. “There’s a lot of junk on the Internet and you have to leaf
through so much before you find what you’re looking for. The
McGoogan Library gave us exactly what we needed.”
Mahlendorf shared what she learned about antibiotic treatments
with the treatment team at UNMC, a practice encouraged by the
CHIRS staff.
“We hope patients share what they learn with their health care
providers. Our main goal is a more knowledgeable patient,” said
Roxanne Cox, head of the reference department at the McGoogan
Library. “When patients use the Internet as a source for information,
they don’t always know its quality. Our information is strictly factual,
peer-reviewed material.”
As one of the top medical libraries in the nation, the McGoogan
Library fills an average of 500 CHIRS requests a year, ranging from
breast cancer to West Nile virus.
“Other places charge between $150 to $300 for such
resources, but we provide people with quality health information
free of charge whether they live in Omaha or Valentine, Neb.,” Cox
Typically, librarians respond to a CHIRS request with detailed
information via e-mail within 24 to 48 hours. If patients request
printed material, it may take five to seven days to mail. Cox
encourages more people to take advantage of the service, just as
the Mahlendorfs did.
“I wish there were billboards to promote CHIRS because it’s
an invaluable service,” Mahlendorf said. “When a family member
or friend is diagnosed with a disease or condition, everybody
scrambles for information because they feel powerless. Knowledge
gives you power.”
*Editor’s note: As for Mike Mahlendorf, he’s doing well. He
celebrated his fifth year in remission this last July.
Donna Mahlendorf reads
through the information
gathered by CHIRS.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
19492004 196
1954 1954 1999
1959 1969 1999 194
1974 1979 1979
1974 1989 1984 200
1984 1964 1949
1944 1999 1989 199
1944 1969 1959
October 2-3, 2009
For alumni, faculty and friends of the University of Nebraska
Medical Center Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy
and the School of Allied Health Professions.
Honor years include 1944, 1949, 1954, 1959,
1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004
and those who graduated more than 50 years ago.
Embassy Suites Downtown/Old Market
555 S. 10th St., Omaha
UNMC rate of $129/night is available until Sept. 1.
UNMC Alumni Relations
985200 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, Nebraska 68198-5200
(402)559-4385, (888)725-8664
[email protected]
Visit www.unmc/alumni for more details.
Non-Profit Org.
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Omaha, NE
Permit No.454
University of Nebraska Medical Center
985230 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, Nebraska 68198-5230
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