On a gray day, UNMC shines for regents' visit
Brady, 6-year-old receiving early intervention services at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, was demonstrating his shoe-tying abilities for UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., and members of the board when Wayne Fisher, Ph.D., entered the room.
"Dr. Fisher!" cried the delighted boy. He first asked politely for tickles, and then requested a "big jump, please."
"I want to go real high," he said, laughing as Dr. Fisher lifted him into the air with a smile.
It was spontaneous and heartwarming -- but only one of the many examples the regents saw last week of how UNMC is changing people's lives for the better.
From gait studies that may improve the safety of older adults to student-run clinics that serve the community to the promise of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, the regents were treated to many examples of UNMC's statewide impact.
Despite the snowy weather, four members of the University of Nebraska's Board of Regents visited UNMC on Thursday to learn about new initiatives, ongoing projects and cutting-edge research at the center.
Regents Timothy Clare, Bob Whitehouse, Bob Phares, Kent Schroeder and UNMC student regent Krupa Savalia, arrived on campus at 9 a.m. to a welcome from University of Nebraska President J.B. Milliken.
Throughout the day, they met with a variety of students, faculty and campus leaders. (See sidebar at right.)
On-campus visits are important, regent Kent Schroeder said.
"It's one thing to sit down at Varner Hall and approve a program or a capital improvement at the med center; it's something else to come here and see it live, to see the viability of it, what it's doing and how it's enhancing health care in the state of Nebraska," he said.
Dr. Gold said the day contained multiple points of pride for him.
"It showcased a number of wonderful programs," he said. "It gave the regents an opportunity to meet with key faculty members, who are not only very good at what they do, but who exemplify great pride in being part of UNMC and the University of Nebraska."
The high point, though was watching the regents interact with the students.
"Their energy and their incredible satisfaction and pride were apparent to everybody," he said. "They literally glowed."
During their visit, the regents:
- attended a presentation by the chancellor titled "A Vital Future for UNMC";
- received an update on the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center from Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D.;
- learned about the promise of artificial cartilage and the work of Andrew Dudley, Ph.D., and Angela Pannier, Ph.D. (of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln);
- attended a presentation on the Nebraska Biobank and Clinical Research Center with Jennifer Larsen, M.D., and Chris Kratochvil, M.D.;
- met with students and faculty, inclung Audrey Paulman, M.D., to discuss the SHARING Clinics;
- heard from Ally Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D., Julie Oestriech, Ph.D., and Donald Klepser, Ph.D., about pharmacy collaboration in rural areas;
- enjoyed lunch with the UNMC leadership team;
- met with Dawn Venema, Ph.D. and Joseph Siu, Ph.D., to discuss their research on multitasking among older adults; and
- visited the Munroe-Meyer Institute to learn about recent developments in the treatment of autism.