Friday, May 31, 2013


On the 7thth day of June I will appear at the meeting of the Health Science System Committee of the Board of Regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education.  I have already sent the Regents what I believe to be a reasonable plan to take advantage of the strengths of the Nevada System of Higher Education while dealing with the deficiencies of that system.  I will keep you informed.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

First-Class Medical Education

On May 20th I wrote an eight-page memorandum about the future of medical education in this state, especially that provided by the Nevada System of Higher Education.  I don’t normally tout my own product, but I think this document is at least worth reading, if not worth following.  It should at least give you ideas about what I believe is a sound approach to raising the funds from the private sector to build a first-class medical education and training program in the Nevada System of Higher Education.

To:                   Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents
From:               James E. Rogers, Chancellor Emeritus
Date:               May 22, 2013
Subject:           Recommendations for Coordinated Health Sciences Program Funding Solicitation
In 2006, the HEALTH SCIENCES SYSTEM of the Nevada System of Higher Education was created to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the over 200 health sciences degree and certificate programs and related research activities throughout the system’s eight higher education colleges and universities.  These programs include the following disciplines:
1.      Medicine: The University of Nevada Medical School (UNSOM) based at the University of Nevada Reno, which educates and trains students, residents and fellows and provides patient care in Northern, Southern and rural Nevada.
2.      Dental:  The UNLV School of Dental Medicine, which operates dental clinics and educates dentists who practice throughout the state of Nevada.
3.      Nursing:  The seven nursing programs throughout NSHE, which include the nursing programs at the two universities, Nevada State College, and programs at each of the four NSHE community colleges. These programs provide a full range of nursing certificate and degree programs, including a joint doctor of nursing practice program run by the UNLV and UNR nursing programs.
4.      Public Health:  The two Schools of Community Health housed at UNR and UNLV, which offer a variety of degree programs, including a joint doctoral program in public health.
5.      Mental Health:  A variety of mental-health related academic programs which can be found throughout the NSHE institutions, including psychiatry at the UNSOM and psychology programs at UNLV and UNR.
6.      Social Work:  Two social work programs housed at UNR and UNLV which have bachelors and master’s degree programs in social work.  UNLV even has a dual degree in which students can earn a Juris Doctor and master in social work.
7.      Allied Health:  The seven degree-granting NSHE institutions offer allied health programs which provide education in areas such as:
a.       Physics and Diagnostic Sciences
b.      Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences
c.       Physical Therapy
d.      Speech Pathology
f.       Dental Assisting Program
j.        Phlebotomy Program
n.      Emergency Medical Services Program/Paramedic 
r.        Surgical Technology Program
t.        Nutrition/Dietetic Technician
8.      Basic Sciences: The basic sciences programs throughout NSHE offer both core prerequisite education and provide a rich resource for health sciences research opportunities.
The HEALTH SCIENCES SYSTEM’S seven-year existence means that it started late, but with support from the ENTIRE STATE and individuals with great wealth, this system can grow to be among the best.
I have long thought that the structure of NSHE, with its combination of all eight public institutions in the state that is governed by one entity, that is the NEVADA BOARD OF REGENTS, had the ability as one unit to seek the support from Nevada’s richest people and assure those people that their investment would be wisely made and carefully guarded.
I have suggested in prior tweets that at least five individuals in Nevada alone have the financial capacity to build a statewide world-class medical education system.  Whatever the North/South problems have been in the past, the healthcare challenges and opportunities in Nevada transcend these artificial boundaries, and the missions of the HEALTH SCIENCES SYSTEM and the diverse array of NSHE health sciences programs offered throughout Nevada, should likewise provide a platform on which to rise above those problems for the good of our students and our state. 
I know that often in talking to potential donors their first reaction was that “I don’t want to put money into UNLV or UNR, because I don’t know where the money will eventually go and how it will be used.” Very few donors give unrestricted gifts. They want to donate to a specific program or initiative to which they have some personal connection.  And who among us doesn’t have some connection to or interest in a healthcare-related issue or cause? But without a consolidated list of specific health sciences program funding needs, it’s no wonder donors are reluctant to contribute.
Because the healthcare education programs at the eight institutions are now coordinated, and rather than compete, they have joined together to form a health education system that should and could be superior to that of any other state. What is now needed, is a coordinated, system-wide effort to solicit financial support for the Health Sciences System and health sciences programs and initiatives throughout NSHE. I would encourage the Regents to embrace this concept, and work with the Chancellor and Presidents of the eight institutions in adopting the following recommendations:
       I.            Pursue Naming of the Nevada System of Higher Education Health Sciences System:
I would urge the Board of Regents to consider calling on the presidents of the eight institutions to act together with the 13 members of the Board of Regents to solicit ONE-HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS from an individual in return for which the Nevada HEALTH SCIENCES SYSTEM would be named for that individual.  It seems to me that if one individual could look from on high at the eight institutions working together, that individual would feel secure and confident of the future of Nevada’s Higher Education medical/health programs.
    II.            Pursue Naming Opportunities and other Funding Support for Individual Health Sciences Divisions, Schools and Departments within the Eight NSHE Institutions:
I would suggest that the various colleges throughout the system be open to investment by individuals.  I would therefore suggest that a donation of FIFTY-MILLION DOLLARS be required for the naming of professional schools. A schedule defining the appropriate funding levels ranging from TWO TO TWENTY-FIVE MILLION DOLLARS for the naming of the remaining departments, divisions, programs, etc., should be developed.  I also believe there is an opportunity for raising funds for endowed chairs, and I believe each of these endowed chairs should justify contributions of ONE-MILLION DOLLARS or more. Student scholarship opportunities should also be included for consideration.
The following is a partial list of potential health sciences division, school and department naming opportunities:
1.      University of Nevada, Reno:
a.       University of Nevada School of Medicine
                                                i.      Clinical Departments
1.      Emergency Medicine
2.      Family Medicine (LV and Reno)
3.      Geriatrics
4.      Internal Medicine (LV and Reno)
5.      ObGyn
6.      Pathology
7.      Pediatrics (LV and Reno)
8.      Psychiatry (LV and Reno)
9.      Speech Pathology
10.  Student Health
11.  Surgery
12.  Wellness and Weight Management Clinic
b.      Division of Health Sciences Degrees/Programs
                                                                                      i.      Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
                                                                                    ii.      School of Community Health Sciences
                                                                                  iii.      School of Nursing (already named Orvis School of Nursing)
                                                                                  iv.      School of Social Work
c.       College of Science
d.      Other Health Sciences Departments/Programs
                                                                                      i.      Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
                                                                                    ii.      Counseling and Educational Psychology, College of Education
2.      University of Nevada, Las Vegas:
a.       School of Dental Medicine
b.      School of Nursing
c.       School of Community Health Sciences
                                                                                      i.      Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
                                                                                    ii.      Department of Health Care Administration and Policy
d.      School of Allied Health Sciences
                                                                                      i.      Department of Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences
                                                                                    ii.      Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences
                                                                                  iii.      Department of Physical Therapy
e.       Other Health Sciences Departments/Programs
                                                                                      i.      Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
                                                                                    ii.      Department of Educational Psychology & Higher Education, College of Education
                                                                                  iii.      School of Social Work, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
                                                                                  iv.      Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
f.       College of Science
3.      College of Southern Nevada
a.       Programs within the Ralph & Betty Engelstad School of Health Sciences
                                                                                      i.      Nursing
                                                                                    ii.      Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program
                                                                                  iii.      Dental Assisting Clinical Program
                                                                                  iv.      Dental Hygiene Program
                                                                                    v.      Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program
                                                                                  vi.      Ophthalmic Technology Program
                                                                                vii.      Phlebotomy Program
                                                                              viii.      Physical Therapist Assistant Program
                                                                                  ix.      Radiation Therapy Technology Program
                                                                                    x.      Cardiorespiratory Sciences / Respiratory Therapy Program
                                                                                  xi.      Emergency Medical Services Program 
                                                                                xii.      Health Information Technology Program
                                                                              xiii.      Medical Office Assisting Program
                                                                              xiv.      Pharmacy Technician Program
                                                                                xv.      Surgical Technology Program
                                                                              xvi.      Veterinary Technology Program
4.      Truckee Meadows Community College
a.       Dental Assisting
b.      Dental Hygiene
c.       Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/Paramedics
d.      Massage Therapy Program
e.       Nutrition/Diegetic Technician
f.       Radiologic Technology
g.      Veterinary Technician
5.      Western Nevada College
a.       Nursing
b.      Deaf Studies
c.       American Sign Language
d.      Certified Nursing Assistant
e.       Emergency Medical Services
f.       Laboratory Technician/Phlebotomy
6.      Great Basin College:
a.       Nursing
b.      Radiology Technology
c.       Certified Nursing Assistant
d.      Emergency Medical Services
III.            Pursue Naming Opportunities and General Funding Support for Specific Individual or Collaborative Health Sciences Projects or Initiatives:
There are many worthy individual and collaborative health sciences projects, clinics, centers and initiatives throughout NSHE which merit naming consideration, or general support funding.  These projects could have an academic, training, research, clinical or community-outreach focus, but each has a specific scholarly or health care objective and each strives to contribute to the quality of education, research and patient care provide.
The following is a list representing a small sample of the types of programs that would fit into this category:
a.       Centers and Clinics:
                                                                          i.      UNLV School of Dental Medicine Patient Care Clinics
                                                                        ii.      UNSOM Patient Care Clinics
                                                                      iii.      The Center for Autism Disorders, UNLV
                                                                      iv.      The Partnership for Research, Assessment, Counseling, Therapy and Innovative Clinical Education “The Practice” Mental Health Clinic, UNLV
                                                                        v.      Sandford Center for Aging, UNR
                                                                      vi.      Dr. Joel and Carol Bower School-Based Health Center (School-Based Clinic at Basic High School)
                                                                    vii.      Joint UNLV/UMC Physical Therapy Patient Care & Research Clinic
b.      Collaborative Initiatives:
                                                                          i.      Academic Health Center Development with University Medical Center of Southern Nevada
                                                                        ii.      Interprofessional Education and Training Pilot Program, UNLV, UNR
                                                                      iii.      Future of Nursing Campaign Robert Wood Johnson Grant
                                                                      iv.      Hearing Voices Mental Health Sensitivity Training Program, NSC
                                                                        v.      Researcher and Scholarly Activities Searchable Database and Related Collaborative Research Incentive Programs
c.       Research Projects:
                                                                          i.      There are many active and planned research projects under way or envisioned throughout the NSHE health sciences programs. A recent survey of health-related sponsored research projects identified 241 research projects supported by over $90 million in extramural funding. Many opportunities exist for support of startup and/or expansion of research projects, and with many funding options, including matching funding.
IV.            Pursue Naming and General Funding Opportunities for Health Sciences Facilities,  Infrastructure and other Support Services
Throughout the NSHE institutions there is a need for enhanced and expanded facilities and other infrastructure to support health sciences programs.  There are many naming opportunities for existing and new health-sciences related facilities throughout NSHE. There is also an ongoing need to purchase new or replace existing research equipment, and a need for other general support services.
The following is a partial list of facilities, infrastructure and general support services funding opportunities.
a.       Health Sciences Campuses/Facilities
                                                              i.      Existing Facilities
1.      Existing health sciences facilities throughout the eight NSHE campus
2.      Shadow Lane Campus
3.      Defined Health Sciences Precincts on Institution Campuses
                                                            ii.      New Facilities
1.      UNLV Nursing and Physical Therapy Building on the Shadow Lane Campus
2.      UNSOM Southern Nevada Facility on the UMC Campus
b.      Research/Academic Equipment
                                                              i.      New Equipment
                                                            ii.      Updated or Replacement Equipment
c.       General Support Infrastructure
                                                              i.      Grant Writing Support
                                                            ii.      Intellectual Property Support
As the Regents consider these fundraising recommendations, it is important to note that I do not believe in fundraising being left to any higher education employee other than the president.  I do not talk to development officers because I’ve never found one that I thought understood philanthropy.  I’ve also never thought that any development officer has any understanding of the thought process of someone who could afford to invest one hundred million dollars in a higher education institution.  Presidents talk to presidents and for any university president to believe that anyone other than he or she can solicit a donation of one-hundred million dollars indicates to me that the president has little or no understanding of the thought process of such donor.
The product that the Nevada System of Higher Education has to sell is worthy of its chief salespersons, being the presidents, the Board of Regents and the Chancellor.
Over the past several weeks and months I have begun what I believe to be a long-term discussion about the future funding and future success of medical education provided by the Nevada System of Higher Education.  If my thinking is not at least partially sound, I would hope it would lead to discussions among the eight presidents, the Board of Regents, the Governor, and the legislative leaders.
I believe that one central donor at the top of the medical education pyramid would go far in bringing the institution together and in eliciting major donations.  The development of a coordinated list of the many specific academic units and individual programs in need of support, would help donors understand why their support is needed and how their funds will be deployed to improve health education in Nevada.
I am here listing the beginnings of a list of Nevadans who I believe could obligate themselves to fund the “System” with a hundred million dollar donation.  I make no distinction between those wealthy persons in the North and the South because wherever they reside their name and their money will cover all of medical education in Nevada, regardless of its location. 
I have listed the following names in alphabetical order.  I do not pretend to know the relative net worth of any one or more of these people.  I only know they have a lot of money.
Adelson, Sheldon and Miriam
Agassi, Andre
Bennett, Dianna
Boyd, Bill
Day, T. J.
Duffield, David
Engelstad Family Foundation
Fertitta, Frank III
Fertitta, Lorenzo
Gates, Bill
Herbst, Jerry
Hsieh, Tony
Icahn, Carl
Keck Foundation
Mack, Joyce
Mann, Alfred
Murren, Heather and Jim
Omidyar, Pierre
Paulson, John
Ruffin, Phillip
Satre, Phil
Smith, Frederick Wallace
Thomas Sons
Thomas, Parry
Trump, Donald
Walton, Nancy Laurie
Wynn, Elaine
Wynn, Steve
I look forward to discussing these recommendations with you and welcome any questions you may have.
Very truly yours,
James E. Rogers, Chancellor Emeritus


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Medical Needs

Adequate funding always seems to be the most difficult problem to solve.  The state of Nevada does about as little to provide for the medical needs of its citizens as any other state.  The leadership from the last five governors and the leaders in the state legislature has been shameful.   That is one factor that will not change.  What then do we do to make the education of medical providers in this state, if not world-class, at least adequate?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Medical Education

Medical education continues to haunt me even after five years from my leaving the chancellor’s job at the Nevada System of Higher Education.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of how a plan should and could be developed to make vast improvements in the medical education provided by the eight institutions of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Serious Deficiencies

Medical care, and therefore medical education are Nevada’s most serious deficiencies and must be repaired and developed to be able to provide the education and treatment of patients in Nevada that is comparable to the medical education and medical treatment in adjacent states.  During my five years as Chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, I spent the great majority of my time trying to coordinate the medical education system and the eight institutions of higher education.  I wasn’t very successful.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Tom Schwenk

After forty years, the Nevada System of Higher Education has finally hired a dean, Tom Schwenk, M.D. who is the only person I know that is qualified to develop a plan that, if supported and implemented by the private sector of Nevada, will make the system’s medical education competitive.  Listen to this man and listen carefully.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Until The System Learns

Medical schools must rely on funds from individuals and outside corporate structures.  These individuals and corporate structures exist in Nevada.  However, the system of higher education has failed miserably in bringing those resources to the system.  Until the system learns the fundamental sources for funds and the manner in which those funds can be brought into the system, any other discussions have no relevance.