Reno-based Renown Health and the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine on Wednesday announced plans to develop a partnership that will focus on medical education and clinical research.
The two organizations signed a letter of intent and expect to finalize an agreement by the end of the year.
“We share a common vision and recognize how expanding our collaboration will benefit the community through increased access to care and expanded clinical training and research programs. We know we can do more together than we would be able to do separately,” Dr. Thomas Schwenk, dean of the UNR School of Medicine, vice president of health sciences and a professor of family and community medicine, said in a prepared statement.
The medical school and Nevada’s largest health system have collaborated for 50 years on research, education, public health grant funding, clinical trials and integrated clinical practices. More recently, they have teamed up to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. Anthony Slonim, President and CEO of Renown Health and a professor of clinical medicine and pediatrics at UNR Med.
But the stronger affiliation will bring more benefits, he said.
“We both serve communities with significant health needs and socioeconomic challenges that have worsened through this pandemic,” he said in a statement.
Schwenk will give the letter of intent to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents on Sept. 11. After receiving the board’s approval, there will be a period of review and due diligence before a final deal is made, according to a release.
The proposed partnership will follow the lead of other collaborations like Washington University and Barnes Jewish Health System in St. Louis and RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University in New Jersey that expand medical education training, retain more physician graduates in the community, recruit physicians and researchers and build a larger healthcare workforce, the release said.
Renown Health is a locally owned and governed, not-for-profit healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. The system employees more than 7,000 people and operates a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network and a not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health.
UNR Med is a community-based medical school that has trained more than 3,900 students, residents and fellows.