In the News
Good things are happening at UNLV Medicine, the medical practice where UNLV School of Medicine doctors treat patients.
Here you will find the latest news stories and contact information for media relations. Our media relations team is available to assist with news inquiries involving UNLV clinics, doctors, patients, and programs.
If you are a journalist looking for more information about UNLV Medicine clinics, or the UNLV School of Medicine, our media relations team can help you with:
- Setting up interviews with our expert physicians and other healthcare professionals
- Access to our facilities for reporters/photographers/videographers and news crews.
We look forward to working with you. You can find more information about UNLV Media Policies, or contact our manager of media relations, Mr. Paul Joncich at (702) 895-1696 for stories about our doctors and medical clinics.
Excellent in an Emergency
Dr. John Fildes' youthful interest in medicine turned into a successful lifelong career
While Dr. John Fildes’ interest in medicine began as a youngster, it was what he saw working in a hospital during college that spurred his interest in trauma care.
Working in a variety of hospital jobs in New York state, Fildes said he saw many people die following car wrecks and industrial accidents — people he thought could have been saved if the hospital had had better acute care capabilities.
Today Fildes serves as the inaugural chair of the UNLV School of Medicine surgery department and is know worldwide for his work in trauma medicine.
For children with rare conditions, UNLV Medicine surgeon restores the ability to show happiness. It’s a procedure that leaves both the patient and the surgeon with smiles on their faces. Surgery to correct the effects of Moebius syndrome – a rare congenital condition that can paralyze a person’s entire face and affect muscles that control back and forth eye movement – can make it impossible for a person to show that sign of happiness that most people take for granted.
They sought a carefree weekend out on the town.
Some were from Vegas, many drove in from Southern California, and others journeyed on a plane to escape the worries of their everyday lives.
That’s what set the evening apart from so many others that Dr. Deborah Kuhls has spent in UMC’s trauma center.
The story of how Dr. Michael G. Scheidler, the son of a mailman and the youngest of eight children, became one of the nation’s top pediatric surgeons is one of perseverance.
Though the chief of pediatric surgery at the UNLV School of Medicine couldn’t see himself becoming anything other than a physician, that vision wasn’t always shared by educators.
Read the full story here.
If your child has a cleft lip and/or palate or other craniofacial disorder a good place to start is with the UNLV Medicine Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery team.
Each child is an individual, however, and you should be sure to discuss your child’s unique situation during your first appointment with Dr. Menezes and the UNLV Medicine multi-disciplinary management team.
If you ask Dr. Amber Champion why she’s now a UNLV Medicine endocrinologist with an emphasis in diabetes, she begins by telling you a story that’s set in Australia, a story about an abnormally hungry 27-year-old medical student who ended up in the emergency room with blurry vision and an unquenchable thirst — a young woman whose car broke down, whose bicycle burned up.
As doctors wheeled 75-year-old Mary Kay Duda into surgery for a pancreatic tumor, she turned to her daughter, Katie, and said, “See you on the flip side.”
Katie Duda, 36, rolled her eyes at the memory, humorous now that her mother is nearing two years cancer-free. At the time, though, the thought of losing her mother was unbearably real.
Mary Kay Duda says she’s one of the lucky unlucky ones. Unlucky in that the tumor growing inside her enveloped the head of her pancreas. Unlucky in that one Las Vegas surgeon declined to operate because the tumor was so large.
Dr. Joseph Thornton’s road to becoming a physician makes you realize yet again that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
He grew up in a single parent household on the south side of Chicago, the son of an African American bartender who wanted the best for her son. His two aunts, both maids, also lived in the home.
“Combining incomes made the housing affordable,” says the 72-year-old colorectal surgeon who now is an associate professor in the UNLV School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery. “For good times they loved to go to the racetrack and watch the horses run.”
From her extended family what Dr. Jennifer Baynosa often heard as a child was that one day she would find a nice man, fall in love, get married, and have a family.
Taking care of her children and her husband, preparing their meals and washing their clothes, was the future that would be hers.
Social inequities have long been pointed to as reasons for the shorter life spans of minorities, including less access to healthy food, clean water, health insurance, and good medical care. That differential access, which can lead to chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, makes having a baby more dangerous.
UNLV Medicine Dr. Ovunc Bardakcioglu, successfully performed a breakthrough surgical procedure using a new robotic device that required no incision through the skin, significantly shortened recovery time, and lessened the chances of infection.
Dr. John Ham, professor of surgery at UNLV School of Medicine, leads UMC’s kidney transplantation program – which has one of the best 3-year survival rates in the nation.
Read the full story here.
Moebius syndrome — a rare congenital condition that can paralyze the entire face and affect muscles that control back-and-forth eye movement.
To unlock Moebius paralysis — it affects something we take for granted, the ability to smile — is something that Dr. John Menezes, an associate professor of plastic surgery with the UNLV School of Medicine, has been trained to do.
Ben Mays held his nearly severed thumb, dangling by a ligament, in his right palm as he rode his 17-year-old quarter horse Bubby out of the South Point Arena and across the parking lot to an ambulance.
He swung the doors open, held out his dangling digit to show the stunned paramedic inside, and handed his horse over to another roper. Then he climbed in and held a bag of ice on his thumb — still shoved inside the white glove he had been wearing — as first responders sped him to University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
Dr. Nadia Gomez sits in her UNLV Medicine office off West Charleston Boulevard and recalls how her parents, both physicians who specialized in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) , made house calls — when her family lived in Nicaragua..
It is lunchtime — she eats in her office because of a busy schedule — and the director of the minimally invasive gynecology surgery division at the UNLV School of Medicine says she sometimes accompanied her parents to see patients.
He’s excited to help build the UNLV School of Medicine and UNLV Medicine from the ground up. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity with all of the advantages and disadvantages of a startup. Since we’re new and small, since we’re not held to deals that were made 20, 30, 50 years ago. At some level that’s our weakness, but also our strength. We can do things differently.”
It’s like a flight simulator, but for young doctors who are learning how to perform arthroscopic surgery. Orthopedic residents, training in their specialty, manipulate real surgical instruments inside an artificial knee while feeling the same type of tactile pressure they would if they were passing through tissue or bone. Giving young surgeons the ability to become skilled fairly quickly. An incredibly useful device that few medical schools possess.
For families who have children with autism, finding help can be exhausting and often includes traveling all over the state from one specialist to another. Now there is a promising program diagnosing and treating kids earlier and all in one place at the UNLV Medicine Ackerman Autism Center.
The UNLV School of Medicine Ackerman Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Solutions provides several programs for people with autism, up to age 22. The Early Start Denver Model, the program being used to treat Hannah, is one of the newer ones.
Quick Take: Dr. Mark Doubrava on the School of Medicine
Why UNLV’s school of medicine is so important
Dr. Mark Doubrava, a Las Vegas ophthalmologist, is also a Nevada System of Higher Education regent and a member of the UNLV School of Medicine’s Community Advisory Board, so he has a unique perspective on medical education in Nevada.