2019 Highlights

2019 Highlights

2019: What a Year

A lot has happened over the last year for Creighton University School of Medicine. 

Here’s a round-up of the big stories that made 2019 a year to remember.

Match Day, Birthday: Providence, Parenthood Mingle as 163 Creighton Med Students Learn Residencies

At the Match Day ceremonies in both Omaha and Phoenix on March 15, Creighton students were matched with residencies in 19 specialties in 36 states. Of the 163 students who participated, 96% matched into their No. 1 specialty.

Read more on 2019 Match Day.


‘Feels Good to Give Back’: Phoenix Medical Students Volunteer at a Medical Clinic in Mexico Started by a Creighton Alumnus

Once a month, medical students from the Creighton University Health Sciences – Phoenix Campus embark on a four-hour drive to the Mexican seaside town of Puerto Peñasco, better known to U.S. tourists as Rocky Point. They go to be part of a larger all-volunteer group of medical professionals staffing a health clinic that is providing needed medical care to the town’s residents. Those residents are the ones often far from view from the city’s popular tourist sites and sandy beaches on the Sea of Cortez. Learn more.

Creighton Names Inaugural Director for New Translational Hearing Center

Losing his hearing to antibiotic treatment for bacterial meningitis at the age of 14 months set Peter Steyger, PhD, on his life’s course, which has been to prevent other children from suffering a similar fate. In May, Steyger joined Creighton University as the inaugural director of the School of Medicine’s new Translational Hearing Center.

Remembering One of the Greats, Henry Lynch, MD

Founder and director of Creighton’s Hereditary Cancer Center, Henry Lynch, MD, was a legendary international pioneer in cancer genetics.

FitzGerald Named Chair of New Department

The Rev. Kevin T. FitzGerald, SJ, PhD, PhD, was named the inaugural chair of the newly formed Department of Medical Humanities in the School of Medicine. The Department of Medical Humanities will support the mission-driven formation of medical students and other students in the various education and training programs of the school.

Creighton Study Addresses Physician Burnout

Could physician burnout be mitigated by increasing the time a physician spends with patients in bedside care? A Creighton study investigates.

Read the story that appeared in Catholic Health World.

Farias-Eisner named New Director of Hereditary Cancer Center

In July, Robin Farias-Eisner, MD, PhD, formerly the chief of gynecologic oncology and vice chair of administration in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA, joined Creighton as the new director of the Hereditary Cancer Center in the School of Medicine.

‘Fitness Fingerprints’ and Cancer Growth

Scientists have a better understanding of the bully-like behavior of cancer cells that allows them to aggressively grow, overtake neighboring cells and spread in humans. According to Creighton cancer researcher and Associate Dean for Research Laura Hansen, PhD, key findings of a study published in the journal Nature provide new clues for how to intervene for therapy.

Welcome New Medical Students

The fall 2019 class consists of 166 first-year medical students from 30 states and 80 undergraduate universities and colleges. Thirty-five of them graduated from Creighton University. A total of 6,245 students applied to become members of the Creighton School of Medicine’s Class of 2023. All students will complete their first two years on the Omaha campus; 106 students will then continue their clinical training in Omaha, and 60 students will move to our Phoenix Regional Campus at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. In total, we currently have 636 medical students.

First White Coat Ceremony for Physician Assistant Program

Students enrolled in the School of Medicine’s new Physician Assistant (PA) program were formally inducted into the program during an inaugural White Coat Ceremony on Friday, Aug. 2, at the Lied Education Center for the Arts. Graduates of the program, which is only the fifth such program offered at Jesuit institutions in the United States, will receive the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree in just over two years.

Study Finds Superbug’s Secret

The superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a problem pathogen of long-standing clinical concern due to its resistance to methicillin and related antibiotics, such as oxacillin. MRSA variants termed oxacillin susceptible methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (OS-MRSA) are a perplexing problem globally because of the diagnostic dilemma they represent.

But a recent study of the organism by the School of Medicine has identified a way to detect what an important gene “Stealth MRSA” is hiding within – its ability to become fully methicillin/oxacillin-resistant in one simple step.

Creighton Study Details Benefits from Collaborative Care

new study from the School of Medicine and the Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research, shows collaborative care reduces health costs in an especially vulnerable group: high-risk patients.

Changing the Health Care Landscape in Phoenix

Creighton celebrated with the Phoenix community during a ceremonial groundbreaking of its new health sciences campus in midtown Phoenix on Sept. 25. 

Read more about the groundbreaking | Watch a video


Recker receives Grant to Study Osteoporosis in Diabetic Women

From a corner office high atop CHI Health Immanuel, a longtime Creighton researcher is plotting another step along a road he hopes will eventually free diabetic women from osteoporosis, one of many diseases that strike diabetics more forcefully than the general population.

Creighton University Dedicates Heaney Pedestrian Bridge

Creighton dedicated its highway-spanning pedestrian bridge Oct. 1, in the name of two brothers who helped transform the University and the city of Omaha.

The 560-foot-long bridge, completed in 2018, rises 50 feet over the North Freeway, connecting Creighton to The Atlas apartments. The bridge is dedicated to brothers Robert P. “Bob” Heaney, BS’47, MD’51, who passed away in 2016; and his brother C.E. “Carr” Heaney, Jr., BS’50, JD’57.

Reducing Opioid Use

Creighton health care professionals are pioneering new hospital protocols that rely less on addictive opioid drugs.

Supporting the Medical Humanities

Creighton Announces New Deming Endowed Chair in Medical Humanities.

The Richard L. Deming, MD, Endowed Chair in Medical Humanities will support faculty as they form well-rounded and empathetic physicians with an education rooted in the liberal arts and a mission driven by Jesuit values. Those who hold endowed positions influence generations of students — in clinics, classrooms and beyond. A search for the inaugural chairholder is under way.

Research In Brief

Creighton University health sciences research received nearly $16 million in external funding for FY 2018-2019. Hearing loss, hereditary cancer, neuroscience, infectious disease and metabolism/nutrition are some of the most active research areas. 

The School of Medicine Department of Medicine and the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience received a grant of nearly half a million dollars from Dialysis Clinic Inc. to support work on protecting kidneys from damage caused by chemotherapy drug cisplatin.