As I near my third anniversary as dean of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV, I can’t help but think about how much we have done – and how much more we want to accomplish. Needless to say, the opening last fall of the Kirk Kerkorian Medical Education Building, courtesy of a public-private partnership spearheaded by the nonprofit Nevada Health and Bioscience Corporation, was a huge achievement, a gift that will keep on giving as it supports the advancement of medical education and medical care in Southern Nevada. Our school now has its first permanent building, one that anchors the ever-growing Las Vegas Medical District.

Our mission in 2023 is what it has always been – to care for our community. That is accomplished through excellence in education, research, clinical care, and community engagement. What turns a mission statement into a reality is what you will continue to see in the next year: the continued development of strategic partnerships; the building of necessary facilities; the engagement with the community; the development of research that addresses the needs of the community; and the increasing access to care through our clinics and beyond.

Our mission, of course, is a challenge that will never grow old, one that must be addressed every second, every minute, every day, every year. It is an enduring purpose – to be a genuine worker on behalf of humanity. That we’re looking forward, even as we address the immediate challenges of compassionate care and evidence-based medical education, can be seen in why we’re working so aggressively this year to augment, through donors, grants, and partnerships, the $40 million for an ambulatory care clinic and $30 million for a pathology lab that the state and city have provided.

An ambulatory care clinic will help change the paradigm of care in Southern Nevada. It will provide coordinated care to patients, including mental and behavioral health, all in one place. The pathology lab will accelerate the delivery of critical test results from the medical school campus to our main teaching hospital, University Medical Center (UMC), strengthening our relationship and providing valuable training opportunities for young doctors performing original research.

Today, with the other health science schools and faculty, we are developing the region’s only academic health center, where our community can get coordinated evidence-based care, and where, using technology, including telehealth and mobile clinics, we will bring care to the community rather than have patients come to us.

We’re fortunate. The Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV, what we’re part of, is all about making a difference. We have the opportunity to play a large role in building a better healthcare world in Southern Nevada. It is an honor that we can never take lightly.

May your new year be a healthy one,

Marc J. Kahn, MD, MBA
Dean, Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV
Vice President for Health Affairs, UNLV