Partners in Medical Education - A Report to the Community - Winter 2021

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Partners in Medical Education A Report to the Community

Winter 2021 | Spokane, WA

Vision to Expand Medical Education Advances with New Building Underway By Ana Mari Cauce and Thayne McCulloh As COVID-19 vaccine roll-outs gain momentum, the pandemic’s strain on rural healthcare is still exacerbated by a long-term shortage of providers for our communities. Across

Building for Healthy, Vibrant Communities NEW CENTER UNDER CONSTRUCTION FOR MEDICAL AND HEALTH EDUCATION Construction is underway on the newest hub for medical and health education, research and innovation in Spokane, with a goal of helping create healthy, vibrant communities throughout eastern Washington. When students attend class at the new medical and health education center in the summer of 2022, the 90,000-square-foot

“This new building means more than a new place to call home,” said Ali Zander, a secondyear UW medical student and GU grad. “...It means commitment to educating generations of healthcare professionals to be compassionate, confident and successful.”

Ana Mari Cauce

eastern Washington, there has never been a greater need for more doctors, nurses,

At a Glance

physician assistants

• Four stories, 90,000 square feet • Teaching classrooms, anatomy and teaching labs, and research and administrative offices • Ultra-efficient energy systems; on-site solar photovoltaics • High-speed wireless and data networks • Topping off : April 2021 • Anticipated occupancy: June 2022

professionals to

and other healthcare provide care to rural

Thayne McCulloh

regions. Against this sobering truth, the recent groundbreaking of a new hub for medical and health education for the UW-GU Health Partnership takes on new significance. Together, we are committed to educating

building will become home to the University of Washington School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Health Partnership. The four-story building will serve 120 first- and second-year medical students, faculty and staff, Gonzaga’s Department of Human Physiology and an estimated 500 health sciences undergraduate students. The top floor will be dedicated for research and development lab space and is available for lease by private companies working in partnership with academia. (continues on page 4)

the region’s next generation of healthcare professionals, graduating more students who will serve patients in our communities. Developed in partnership with McKinstry and McKinstry’s Emerald Initiative, the center will open in 2022 as a place where students and entrepreneurs learn and work together. For the first time, 120 UW medical students and more than 500 Gonzaga undergraduate students will share the same space, bringing new energy and sparking collaborations that lead to better health for eastern Washington residents. The new building goes beyond interdisciplinary health sciences education. As part of Spokane’s burgeoning health sciences

Building Partners: • • • • •

sector, it will provide new space for public-

McKinstry’s Emerald Initiative: Developer and building manager Gonzaga University: Co-developer and anchor tenant with long-term lease University of Washington: Anchor tenant with long-term lease for UW School of Medicine Collins Woerman: Project architect Bouten Construction: General contractor

Advertising supplement to the Journal of Business

and private-sector medical and health (continues on page 3)

Students’ Service is “the Best Part of Medicine” Conor Linehan is no stranger to the needs of vulnerable populations at area homeless shelters. He grew up in Spokane, and prior to starting his medical education at the UW School of Medicine Spokane, he had volunteered at the Union Gospel Mission. Now, the second-year medical student serves as director of the medical school’s Homeless Outreach and Inter-Professional Education

“As a member of this community, I really want to give back,” Linehan said. “It’s great to be able to do that while honing my clinical skills.”

UW medical students volunteering at the Union Gospel Mission

“As a member of this community, I really want

Health education is equally as important as

to give back,” Linehan said. “It’s great to be

clinic hours to HOiPE’s mission. The group

able to do that while honing my clinical skills.”

has hosted blood pressure screenings, and

“We follow stringent COVID-19 protocols,”

staffed information tables on topics like

said Dr. Rocky Kerr, the group’s faculty advi-

hypothermia, hepatitis and skin cancer.

(HOiPE) group. HOiPE student volunteers

sor. “It’s important to let the students do as

UW School of Medicine Spokane student

serve the UGM Saturday Clinic and

much as they can to maximize this opportu-

Chloe Nelson serves as one of two Health

Providence House of Charity Medical Clinic,

nity and take advantage of the learning ex-

Education leads for HOiPE. Nelson had

and volunteer as health educators, presenting

perience, but we must ensure that students,

worked in this field as an AmeriCorps

information on topics like wound care, high

staff and patients all stay as safe as possible.”

volunteer prior to medical school.

blood pressure and hepatitis.

Medical School Students Volunteer for Community Vaccinations A future generation of physicians studying at

in the country. According to data from Johns

UW School of Medicine Spokane are among

Hopkins University, the COVID-19 death rate

the front-line workers receiving the COVID-19

for Native Americans in Washington state

vaccine so that they can help care for others

is twice the expected rate seen in other

and volunteer in vaccine clinics.


Dr. Darryl Potyk, associate dean for the

Bergam works at the NATIVE Project, a

UW School of Medicine and chief of medical

Spokane clinic designed to focus on Native

education for the UW School of Medicine-

American health. Having received the vaccine,

Gonzaga University Health Partnership is

she’s able to mitigate some of the vaccine

delighted to see medical students working

hesitancy in the patients she sees. John

alongside community healthcare workers to

McCarthy, MD, UW School of Medicine

stem the spread of the pandemic.

assistant dean for rural programs, also works

“This action by our students underscores

at the NATIVE Project as Chief Medical Officer.

what’s at the core of our Health Partnership

“Sadly, we’ve lost some of the Native

— serving the greater good,” said Potyk. “Our

community’s elders to the COVID-19 virus,” he

entire faculty are actively involved in clinical

said. “Our clinic is reaching out to our patients

care and are getting vaccinated. We’re very

to let them know that the vaccine is safe. It’s

hopeful about the vaccine because it is the

far more dangerous to contract the disease

single most important development that’s happened in our fight against COVID-19. It’s saving lives.” When fourth-year UW School of Medicine Spokane medical student Brittany Bergam arrived at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center to help administer the vaccine, she also received her immunization. “It was quick and relatively painless,” she said. Bergam, who grew up in the Spokane Valley, is part of UW School of Medicine’s Indian Health Pathway, a unique educational experience addressing the health of American Indian and Alaska Native communities. These populations are among the most underserved 2

Partnering to prepare the next generation in medicine

“This action by our students underscores what’s at the core of our Health Partnership — serving the greater good,” said Dr. Potyk. “Our entire faculty are actively involved in clinical care and are getting vaccinated. We’re very hopeful about the vaccine because it is the single most important development that’s happened in our fight against COVID-19. It’s saving lives.”

than to put up with the minimal discomfort from the vaccine.” Potyk expects that more medical school students will become involved with the community vaccination effort. As Washington moves into the next phases of distribution, the plan calls for the state to administer 45,000 COVID-19 vaccinations every day, and UW School of Medicine medical students have reached out to the Spokane Health District to support the effort. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to be a part of the solution to this devastating pandemic,” said Bergam.

The UW School of Medicine – Gonzaga University Health Partnership Community Advisors

Students Adapt to New Medical School Experience Back-to-school looks different for students

mentor had ordered dinner for them.

everywhere this year, and that includes the

“They did a great job of making it special,”

60 first-year UW medical students within the UW-GU Health Partnership who began

The UW-GU Health Partnership would like to thank the members of our Advisory Board for their support and guidance.

their medical education during the COVID-19

Mike Wilson - Chair Former CEO, Providence Sacred Heart

Sayres, Jr., Foundations Assistant Dean

Kristi Blake President, Kristianne Gates Blake, PS Betsy Cowles Chair, Cowles Company Latisha Hill Vice President, Community & Economic Vitality, Avista Corporation Kevin Parker Owner, Dutch Bros. Jeff Phillips President, CEO, Rosauers Supermarkets, Inc. Frank Velazquez, MD, SM Interim Health Officer, Spokane Regional Health District

pandemic. “It’s both a daunting and exciting time to start your medical education,” said Dr. William and Smith Family Chair of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “As a faculty, we’ve been working hard to create a safe environment for our students. Many of our classes are now presented online, and in-person learning occurs in small, appropriately spaced and masked groups.” There are upsides to online classes. For example, the Health Systems class taught by Dr. Sayres features Zoom lectures from presenters in England, Japan, Germany and Canada. Among the 40 female and 20 male students, several of whom are from eastern Washington, one student has traveled farther than most in her quest to become a physician. Atousa Rahbar and her family fled religious persecution in Iran, arriving in the U.S. in 2008.

(continued from front) scientists, further advancing health research and developing solutions that increase access to affordable, high-quality care.

relished the unconventional presentation.

“It’s both a daunting and exciting time to start your medical education. As a faculty, we’ve been working hard to create a safe environment for our students. Many of our classes are now presented online, and inperson learning occurs in small, appropriately-spaced and masked groups,” said Dr. Sayres. Mariah’s route to medical school was unconventional as well. At 13, she read a book about Doctors Without Borders, and it sparked her interest in medicine. As an undergrad, medical research fascinated her and she considered pursuing a doctorate degree in virology or infectious disease. After

She is delighted to study here.

enrolling in the nursing program at Duke

“I feel very blessed that I have all these

University to become a nurse practitioner,

opportunities,” she said. “I hope I’ll be able to

Vision to Expand, continued

echoed classmate Mariah Oakes, who also

impact my patients on a daily basis and I’d like

time spent in a pediatric intensive care unit led her to new a new path — a physician with

to be able to help young people in Iran facing

a focus on pediatric intensive care.

the same discrimination I endured.”

“I’m passionate about the ethics involved in

For Atousa, a shining moment occurred when

death, dying and end-of-life care, and the

she received her white coat in a non-traditional setting — with her mentor group of five at Duncan Gardens in Manito Park where their

Our Health Partnership reached this

responsibilities that a physician has,” Oakes said. “UW was my first choice. I’m so excited to be here and to start working toward this goal,” she said. “There’s so much to learn.”

milestone thanks to the hard work and backing of countless business and community leaders, local elected officials and state legislators, stellar educators, clinical partners and healthcare providers who recognized the public benefit of investing in healthcare research and education in eastern Washington. With continued community and legislative support, we will produce more graduates with the skills necessary to help our region thrive. Together, we can improve health and well-being for everyone, every day, making us better-equipped to confront the public-health challenges of tomorrow. Ana Mari Cauce is president of the University of

Medical students from the 2020 UW School of Medicine Spokane entering class celebrate the white coat ceremony at Manito Park. Please note: The masked students came together for a few seconds for this photo and were otherwise appropriately distancing.

Gonzaga University. Their universities formed a Health Partnership in 2016 to expand and enhance medical education throughout eastern Washington.

UWSOM At a Glance

Washington; Thayne McCulloh is president of

500+ 19 120 850+

UW School of Medicine graduates are currently practicing in communities throughout eastern Washington the number of counties where UW medical students train in central and eastern Washington first- and second-year UW medical students train in Spokane before moving on to clinical rotations throughout the region clinical faculty teach UW medical students at more than 48 clerkship sites in Spokane and at 84 in total throughout eastern and central Washington


Spokane Student Earns Award from Washington State Medical Association Vera Schulte’s twin passions, advocacy and medicine, are closely intertwined and evolved simultaneously, but she hadn’t planned on becoming a physician. While pursuing her undergrad degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Schulte lived in an area known as the socioeconomic and racial dividing line in the city. She discovered the area had high teen pregnancy and maternal morbidity rates. “It was my first exposure to such a disparity between healthcare access and outcomes,” Schulte recalled.

“My 18 months in Spokane was more than I ever thought it could be,” Schulte said. “The faculty is incredibly supportive academically, but also helps you realize your aspirations outside the classroom.” She applied to medical schools and was accepted by several, and the University of Washington was her first choice. In addition to being closer to family, the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Arizona, Montana, Idaho) regional medical education program attracted her. Her time on Gonzaga’s campus in Spokane has proven transformative.

“My 18 months in Spokane was more than I ever thought it could be,” Schulte said. “The faculty is incredibly supportive academically, but also helps you realize your aspirations outside the classroom.”


NextGen Medicine Webinar Series Coronavirus Anxiety: Coping with Stress, Fear and Worry We are currently setting a date for our Spring Next Generation Medicine webinar.

For Schulte that meant becoming a student liaison for the American Medical Association, as well as serving as the chair of the Medical Student Section of the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA).

If you would like to receive details when

In September, her fervency, work and dedication were recognized by the WSMA when Schulte received the “Early Career Member of the Year” award.

open to everyone.

they are available, please send an email with Spring Webinar in the subject line to Next Generation Medicine webinars are always free and

“She’s an example of the type of outstanding students we attract in Spokane,” said her mentor, Clint Hauxwell, MD, co-director, Foundations of Clinical Medicine, UW School of Medicine Spokane. “We give them opportunities to grow and thrive in their unique interests, as well as in their medical education.” Part of Schulte’s involvement with the WSMA included attending the annual meeting of the House of Delegates, where resolutions are submitted and voted on by members. She saw how welcome and supported medical students were in the organization, and encouraged more student involvement.

Building For Healthy, Vibrant Communities (continued from front) UW and GU are anchor tenants in the building, which is being privately funded by McKinstry. Construction is progressing on schedule for

Second Year Students Transition to Clerkship, Receive Honors UW medical school students reached a

Virkamal Dhaliwal:

milestone in their education in December

Student Leadership

when they transitioned from classroom

Award for exemplary

studies to clerkships, where they spend time

leadership and

in clinical settings.

dedication to the safety,

While each student was honored, the follow-

wellness and success of

ing received awards:

fellow students.

a summer 2022 opening, according to Bill Bouten, president of Bouten Construction, the general contractor. “Concrete foundation work is nearing completion and the steel topping-out is expected for this spring, then most of the building will be enclosed by early summer. Off-site prefabrication of several building components is occurring now, which will accelerate construction in the coming months.” McKinstry’s adjacent historic SIERR Building is included in the developing campus and will

Brittney Carmen:

Grayson Baden:

Shikany Inspirational

Faculty Academic

Award for outstanding

Citizenship Award

character and for

for academic leadership

inspiring classmates

and dedication and suc-

For leasing information, contact Patrick Farley,

and faculty through

cess of fellow students.


house additional teaching and support space, including the UW School of Medicine’s MEDEX Northwest physician assistant program.

leadership or academic achievement. The following students were also recognized Ali Hakkani: Shikany

for their dedication in Service Learning:

Service Award for

Dana Arenz, Indy Baines, Brittney Carmen,

outstanding service to the class, to the school and to the local community.


Trinell Carpenter, Chloe Nelson, Justin Cillay, Virkamal Dhaliwal, Ali Hakkani, Johnson Huang, Kendall Pegan, Conor Linehan, Kirsten Meyers, Yelena Mishkov.