Dr. Derek Beenfeldt first joined the Renown family in 2014 as a family medicine physician after graduating from University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine (UNR Med) in 2011. His son Davis was only 10 years old when Dr. Beenfeldt decided to change careers and attend medical school. Ten years later, Davis is following in his dad’s footsteps as a third year student at UNR Med. “I am proud of Davis for taking on the challenges and the commitment that I know goes along with attending medical school,” Dr. Beenfeldt said. “I also feel lucky that we have a medical school with such a great reputation and resources close to home.” The affiliation is a great source of pride for Dr. Beenfeldt. Not just because two important organizations in his life are joining forces, but he also sees it as both entities taking on an immense responsibility – the challenge to be better for incoming students, and subsequently to improve healthcare in Nevada. Davis is currently going through his rotations and spending countless hours a week at Renown Regional. His dad is right there by his side supporting him along the way. “It has been really interesting to have discussions about the UNR medical school with Davis, I recognize the names of many of the professors and courses from when I was a student,” Dr. Beenfeldt said. “I tried to be empathetic, as I can relate to how difficult and stressful this time is for him. Dr. Beenfeldt currently works as chief medical officer for Renown’s insurance arm Hometown Health, and Davis is still browsing specialties. “I don’t know what kind of medicine I want to focus on yet, but I feel lucky that I can attend medical school so close to home and have the option to continue helping my fellow Nevadans after I graduate.” UNR Med at a Glance UNR’s Medical School was established in 1969 Over the last 50 years, UNR Med has educated 3,900+ physicians More than 30% of UNR Med physician graduates continue to practice in Nevada UNR Med is the state’s oldest medical school
Parkinson’s disease – you may have heard of it because Neil Diamond and Ozzy Osbourne were recently diagnosed with it. Or perhaps you know Michael J. Fox is a strong advocate and funds research through his foundation. Neurologist Jonathan Spivack, MD, discusses this disease, while physiatrist Stephanie Jones, DO, explains how physical therapy can help as a supplemental treatment. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation about ten million people worldwide currently have this disease. What is Parkinson’s Disease? “Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that progresses slowly and definitely, though at variable rates,” explains Dr. Spivack. “Symptoms go beyond the classic motor changes. It results from a loss of specific dopamine-producing brain cells. Specifically, this loss is likely due to a mix of genetic and environmental factors,” he adds. Dopamine allows communication between particular nerve cells responsible for movement. If you have Parkinson’s dopamine levels gradually drop, causing a loss of motor skills. Generally, most patients with the disease are over age 65. Early Signs and Symptoms Diagnosing Parkinson’s can be difficult as some of the symptoms happen during the natural aging process. The Parkinson’s Foundation identifies the following 10 early signs of PD: Tremors or shaking of your hand, fingers or chin Small handwriting Loss of smell Sudden movements during sleep Stiffness when walking or moving Constipation Softer or lower voice volume Mad facial expression Feeling dizzy or faint Hunching or stooping posture A single sign may not point to the disease, but if you (or a loved one) has multiple signs, talk to your healthcare provider.