Sen. Johnson impressed by UNMC's statewide footprint

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | January 03, 2014

Image with caption: Ken Bayles, Ph.D., left, and Sen. Jerry Johnson discuss the work being done at the Center for Staphylococcal Research.

Ken Bayles, Ph.D., left, and Sen. Jerry Johnson discuss the work being done at the Center for Staphylococcal Research.

State Sen. Jerry Johnson toured the UNMC Omaha campus in December, and left impressed by "the connectivity of this campus to the entire state," he said.

Sen. Johnson, a Holdrege native who represents Saunders, Butler and portions of Colfax counties, said that coming from and representing a rural area, he could see the value of UNMC as a statewide campus.

During his visit, the senator met with Bob Bartee, vice chancellor for external affairs; Dele Davies, M.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies; Jennifer Larsen, M.D., vice chancellor for research; Bradley Britigan, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine; Jane Meza, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Public Health; Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing; Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Allied Health Professions; Mark Bowen, UNMC's director of government relations; and Ron Withem, associate vice president and director of government relations for the University of Nebraska's central administration.

He also toured the simulation lab, met with Tom Porter, M.D., Theodore F. Hubbard Distinguished Chair of Cardiology, and toured the Center for Staphylococcal Research with Ken Bayles, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for basic science research.

His verdict on the campus?

"It's phenomenal," he said.

State money that goes to the medical center "helps lower the cost of health care," he said. "And I think the state is very proactive in that."

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