Dr. Gold, university leaders tour central Nebraska

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | July 07, 2017

Image with caption: Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., left, sits down for a radio interview in Lexington, Neb.

Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., left, sits down for a radio interview in Lexington, Neb.

Standing in front of a crowd of more than 100 people in Gothenburg, Neb., Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., chancellor of UNMC and UNO, recounted the number of times in the past three years he's had the opportunity to visit rural communities across the state.

"At least a dozen, if not more," he said. "And in each community I encounter thoughtful, engaged people who seek only the best for their families, their community and each other as it relates to their local economy and health care."

Representing UNMC, UNO

Joining Dr. Gold on the trip were:

  • Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Nursing;
  • Michael Sitorius, M.D., chairman of family medicine in the UNMC College of Medicine;
  • Howard Liu, M.D., director of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN);
  • Bob Bartee, vice chancellor of external affairs at UNMC; and
  • Erin Owen, executive director of university communications at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Dr. Gold was among a delegation of leaders from UNMC and UNO who spent June 28 and 29 touring five communities in central Nebraska.

Cultivating young minds is one of the greatest things a rural community can do, Nebraska State Sen. Matt Williams told the crowd in Gothenburg.

"And UNMC is doing just that through the health professions opportunities they provide our youth," he said in his closing remarks, thanking the leadership delegation from UNMC and UNO.

Sen. Williams along with his wife Susan hosted the community event in Gothenburg, which was highlighted by a public tour of one of the Simulation-in-Motion Nebraska trucks parked outside the Gothenburg Fire Station. Susan Williams is a member of the UNMC Board of Counselors.

picture disc.
Dr. Gold speaks at a community event in Gothenburg.
Gothenburg was just one stop on the two-day trip. Along with touring Gothenburg Health Hospital, the leadership team also toured Lexington Regional Health Center and Lexington Family Dentistry practice in Lexington, Neb., the new health science building at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, and spoke to members of the Valentine (Neb.) Rotary at their monthly luncheon.

The importance of rural participation in a student's health professions education cannot be overstated, Mike Sitorius, M.D.., chairman of the department of family medicine, told several groups.

"Thank you for what you do in providing our students and yours the clinical learning opportunities they need," Dr. Sitorius said, noting the presence of UNMC alumni, medical students on rural rotation and in one case a resident, present at the hospitals, dental practice and Rotary lunch.

While the visits are always an enjoyable opportunity to reconnect with alumni and meet new friends, Dr. Gold said it also reinforces the mission of UNMC in creating a healthy future for all individuals.

"You hear it in the questions we were asked about the future of health care, new technology, and you hear it in their concerns about having enough providers in their hometown," he said. "It really sets the stage for strengthening our rural strategy."

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