School of Medicine makes an impact |

School of Medicine makes an impact

Annie Conway |
Medical student Shawnice Kraeber poses to examine a patient at a Student Outreach Clinic, held monthly by students at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.
Courtesy University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine |

In addition to training future physicians and conducting cutting-edge research, the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) also creates a positive impact to Nevada’s economy.

UNSOM published a report in March 2016 titled The Contribution of the University of Nevada School of Medicine to the Nevada Economy. The report is published annually to provide the most current estimates of the economic impact of the School of Medicine to the State of Nevada. According to the report, UNSOM had a total economic contribution to the Nevada economy for the 2015 fiscal year of $292.8 million.

“That is a respectable economic impact which goes above and beyond our core goal of preparing healthcare physicians,” John Packham, Ph.D, director of health policy research in the School of Medicine’s Office of Statewide Initiatives, said.

This number has increased from a total economic impact of $264.5 million, which was reported in the pervious year’s report. Packham explained that the economic impact number has been steadily increasing for the past few years as the School of Medicine has added more employees, medical students and by expanding their clinical and medical practices.

The latest report showed that in 2015 UNSOM employed 2,126 people who earned a combined total of $118.6 million in payroll and benefits.

“We are a pretty big employer in our own right,” Packham said.

According to Packham, there is continuing to be a growing demand in the Nevada healthcare industry. Some of the factors that are driving the health workforce demand include the economic growth in Nevada, population growth, an aging population and reform-related insurance coverage expansions.

The report breaks down the economic impact by northern Nevada, southern Nevada and statewide. The report revealed that the majority of the School of Medicine’s employees in northern Nevada work in education and research whereas the majority of the employees in southern Nevada work in the clinical aspect of the UNSOM.

The report also shows that the spending by these more than 2,000 employees generated an additional 1,363 jobs to the Nevada economy and $55.9 million in payroll and benefits. Moreover, for every dollar spent by UNSOM in 2015 an additional $0.596 was produced in the Nevada economy.

The UNSOM Office of Statewide Initiatives calculates the economic multiplier effects of the School of Medicine through multipliers developed by the IMPLAN Group, LLC. This company develops software for economic impact analysis and is commonly used by academic institutions throughout the country.

The School of Medicine’s budgeting office provides all of the employment, payroll and operating expenses data and the UNSOM Office of Budget and Finance provide additional financial and employment data so that The UNSOM Office of Statewide Initiatives can create an accurate report.

“We have be conducting this report for ten years and from year to year to year it improves (the) visibility (of the School of Medicine’s economic impact),” Packham said.

This year also marked a significant change for the School of Medicine.

They officially changed their name to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. The Health Sciences Committee of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents accepted the request for the name to be formally changed in June and the new name went into effect as of July 1.

Packham explained that in addition to the new name, the School of Medicine is currently in the process of rebranding the school and creating a new logo. They are working with KPS3, a local marketing, communications and digital agency, for the rebranding campaign.

The name change comes as UNLV is in the process of creating a new School of Medicine. The UNLV School of Medicine is scheduled to open in 2017.

Prior to this, the University of Nevada School of Medicine served as the only public medical school in the State of Nevada.

For more information on the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, visit


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