Tag Archives: Medical Director

health

Arizona Telemedicine Program names advisory board

The award-winning Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) at the Arizona Health Sciences Center of the University of Arizona has announced the appointment of the National Advisory Board of the Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase (SPSSM), to be held Oct. 6-7 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix.

The 24 nationally recognized thought leaders and health-care innovators have made major strides in the telemedicine arena. Members of the board are:

• Joseph S. Alpert, MD, professor of medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson; editor-in-chief, The American Journal of Medicine

• David C. Balch, MA, chief technology officer, White House Medical Group, Washington, D.C.

• Rashid Bashshur, PhD, senior adviser for eHealth, eHealth Center, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor

• Anne E. Burdick, MD, MPH, associate dean for telehealth and clinical outreach, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

• Robert “Bob” Burns, commissioner, Arizona Corporation Commission, Phoenix

• Daniel J. Derksen, MD, director, Center for Rural Health; professor of public health policy; University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Tucson

• Charles R. Doarn, MBA, editor-in-chief, Telemedicine and e-Health Journal, family medicine, University of Cincinnati, Ohio

• Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences; interim dean, UA College of Medicine – Tucson; professor of medicine, Arizona Health Sciences Center, University of Arizona

• Robert A. Greenes, MD, PhD, professor of biomedical informatics, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Phoenix

• Paula Guy, chief executive officer, Global Partnership for Telehealth, Inc., Waycross, Ga.

• Deb LaMarche, associate director, Utah Telehealth Network, Salt Lake City

• James P. Marcin, MD, MPH, professor, pediatric critical care, University of California – Davis Children’s Hospital, Sacramento

• Ronald C. Merrell, MD, editor-in-chief, Telemedicine and e-Health Journal, emeritus professor of surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

• Thomas S. Nesbitt, MD, MPH, associate vice chancellor and professor, family and community medicine, University of California – Davis Health System, Sacramento

• Marta J. Petersen, MD, medical director, Utah Telehealth Network, Salt Lake City

• Joseph Peterson, MD, chief executive officer and director, Specialists On Call, Reston, Va.

• Ronald K. Poropatich, MD, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh

• Lisa A. Robin, MLA, chief advocacy officer, Federation of State Medical Boards, Washington, D.C.

• Brian Rosenfeld, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Philips Telehealth, Baltimore, Md.

• Jay H. Shore, MD, MPH, associate professor, Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health, University of Colorado, Aurora

• Joseph A. Tracy, MS, vice president, telehealth services, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pa.

• Wesley Valdes, DO, medical director, Telehealth Services, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah

• Nancy L. Vorhees, RN, MSN, chief operating officer, Inland Northwest Health Services, Spokane, Wash.

• Jill M. Winters, PhD, RN, FAHA, president and dean, Columbia College of Nursing, Glendale, Wisc.

“This is the first national meeting addressing telemedicine service provider issues. It’s long overdue!” said Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, ATP director and SPS honorary co-chair.

SPS will focus on building partnerships for bringing quality medical specialty services directly into hospitals, clinics, private practices and even patients’ homes. The goals are to improve patient care and outcomes and to increase market share for both health-care providers and telehealth service providers they partner with.

The convention is co-hosted by the ATP, the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center and the Four Corners Telehealth Consortium, which includes the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and the Utah Telehealth Network.

More information about SPS is at www.TTSPSworld.com.

brain

Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona elects 3 to Board

Three new members were elected to the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona (BIAAZ) Board of Directors at the non-profit organization’s annual member meeting last month. Ray Norris, Sharon Phillips and Amanda Wigal-Schlosser will serve their first terms December 2013 through 2016.

“The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona is incredibly excited to include these three experienced and dedicated individuals to our already wonderful board,” said Kim Halloran, executive director of BIAAZ. “We look forward to the strong leadership this board can provide to carry out our mission, and the support they will bring to community members with brain injuries, their families and professionals.”

Ray Norris
Ray Norris is an attorney at Gallagher & Kennedy who specializes in plaintiffs’ catastrophic personal injury, with particular experience in brain and spinal cord injury, along with medical malpractice, product liability, wrongful death and mediation of disputes. He also conducts trial preparation and jury selection focus groups. Throughout his career, Norris has spoken extensively in the areas of traumatic brain injury and trial advocacy.

Sharon Phillips
Sharon Phillips is the owner and president of Freedom Manor, Inc. Freedom Manor specializes in the care of brain injury survivors in an assisted living home setting. Phillips has owned and managed Freedom Manor for 19 years. She has experience in many volunteer boards, including the Assisted Living Federation of Arizona, Assisted Living Federation of America and Arizona Governor’s Council on Spinal and Head Injuries. Phillips also previously served on the board of Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona.

Amanda Wigal-Schlosser
Amanda Wigal-Schlosser is the owner of Brandables, a promotional products company. Wigal-Schlosser suffered a traumatic brain injury in June 2007. Since her rehabilitation, she has made it her personal mission to teach people about brain injury.

In addition to these three new board members, the BIAAZ board has elected new officers. These officers will serve one-year terms on the Executive Committee:

> President: Becky Armendariz, public relations director, Banner Health Arizona East Region
> Vice President: Dr. Robert Djergaian, medical director, Banner Good Samaritan Rehabilitation Institute
> Treasurer: Sean Badding, partner and owner, Everlasting Services
> Secretary: Tom Nielsen, father of brain injury survivor

breast.cancer

John C. Lincoln offers state’s 1st Low Dose 3D mammograms

John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center in North Phoenix is now Arizona’s first site to offer low dose 3-D mammography, the latest innovation in breast cancer screening.

The new low dose 3-D system from Hologic requires less compression time and reduces radiation exposure. It does this by creating 2-D images from the 3-D data set, thus eliminating the separate digital X-ray that was part of the original 3-D imaging process.

“Even though groundbreaking 3-D mammograms met FDA safety standards while providing never-before seen image clarity, some patients worried about the level of exposure,” said breast radiologist Linda Greer, MD, medical director of the John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center. “This new low dose technology completely eliminates that concern.”

Hologic’s new ‘C-View’ imaging software was approved May 16 by the FDA. The new, low dose 3-D mammograms are now available at the same cost as conventional 2-D mammography at John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center, 19646 N. 27th Ave., #205. Also, the new technology is clinically proven to significantly reduce unnecessary patient recalls while simultaneously improving cancer detection.

“Lower dose 3-D mammography is an important evolution in breast cancer screening,” Dr. Greer says. “Large-scale clinical studies in the U.S. and Europe have shown that screening with 3-D mammography allows radiologists to visualize the breast in greater detail than with 2-D mammography alone. That results in earlier detection of cancers, while at the same time reducing the false positives associated with conventional 2-D mammography.”

False positives are unclear results that require patients to return for additional medical imaging to rule out cancer and can cause unnecessary anxiety and cost. “No matter how you look at it,” Dr. Greer said, “lower dose 3-D breast cancer screening provides a better patient experience.”

Being first to offer low dose 3-D mammography is typical for John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health Center, which has a history of being at the forefront of breast cancer screening. It was first in the Valley to offer breast imaging in a spa-like setting; first in Arizona to offer 3-D screening that is rapidly becoming the worldwide standard of care; and one of the first in the nation designated a Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

For more information, visit JCL.com/breasthealth.

breast.cancer

John C. Lincoln offers state's 1st Low Dose 3D mammograms

John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center in North Phoenix is now Arizona’s first site to offer low dose 3-D mammography, the latest innovation in breast cancer screening.

The new low dose 3-D system from Hologic requires less compression time and reduces radiation exposure. It does this by creating 2-D images from the 3-D data set, thus eliminating the separate digital X-ray that was part of the original 3-D imaging process.

“Even though groundbreaking 3-D mammograms met FDA safety standards while providing never-before seen image clarity, some patients worried about the level of exposure,” said breast radiologist Linda Greer, MD, medical director of the John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center. “This new low dose technology completely eliminates that concern.”

Hologic’s new ‘C-View’ imaging software was approved May 16 by the FDA. The new, low dose 3-D mammograms are now available at the same cost as conventional 2-D mammography at John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center, 19646 N. 27th Ave., #205. Also, the new technology is clinically proven to significantly reduce unnecessary patient recalls while simultaneously improving cancer detection.

“Lower dose 3-D mammography is an important evolution in breast cancer screening,” Dr. Greer says. “Large-scale clinical studies in the U.S. and Europe have shown that screening with 3-D mammography allows radiologists to visualize the breast in greater detail than with 2-D mammography alone. That results in earlier detection of cancers, while at the same time reducing the false positives associated with conventional 2-D mammography.”

False positives are unclear results that require patients to return for additional medical imaging to rule out cancer and can cause unnecessary anxiety and cost. “No matter how you look at it,” Dr. Greer said, “lower dose 3-D breast cancer screening provides a better patient experience.”

Being first to offer low dose 3-D mammography is typical for John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health Center, which has a history of being at the forefront of breast cancer screening. It was first in the Valley to offer breast imaging in a spa-like setting; first in Arizona to offer 3-D screening that is rapidly becoming the worldwide standard of care; and one of the first in the nation designated a Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

For more information, visit JCL.com/breasthealth.

head.injury

$100,000 grant aids rapid cancer detection program

A one-of-a-kind rapid cancer detection program developed through collaboration between local physicians, the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Scottsdale.

The Rapid Detection and Assessment of Response (RADAR) program uses high-tech radiologic imaging and advanced analysis to quickly assess whether a tumor is responding to treatment. RADAR provides physicians with information to make timely decisions about a treatment’s effectiveness and whether an alternate treatment is appropriate, according to Ronald Korn, MD, PhD, medical director of Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center.

“Through RADAR we hope to be able to rapidly detect cancers before they become incurable,” said Dr. Korn. “Once the cancer is detected and treatment has started, we hope to be able to rapidly assess the response rate to the current treatment plan. With this rapid detection, we will be able to change the course of treatment and make sure patients have the right treatment.”

Dr. Korn added that revolutionary methods of advanced imaging and analysis have the potential to detect treatment responses as early as hours after the start of therapy.

“We have entered into a whole new era of treating cancer,” explained Dr. Korn. “Scottsdale Healthcare is one of the few centers in the country, if not the world, that will be developing and using advanced imaging technologies and analysis to deploy its RADAR program. It is just one example of our efforts to lead Arizona in targeted therapies and personalized medicine through the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center.”

“The Industrial Development Authority is honored to provide this critical funding to the RADAR program,” said Marc Grayson, president of the IDA Board of Directors. “The IDA believes that the RADAR program will have a positive impact on cancer services for our community and ultimately many patients will benefit from this.”

“The work being doing today through RADAR is paving the way for a new future where physicians will have a better understanding of effective, personalized cancer treatment and offer hope to many patients and families,” said Dr. Korn.

Patients with cancer should consult with their personal physician to determine eligibility for participation in the RADAR program. Additional information is available by contacting a research patient care coordinator at 480-323-1339; toll free at 1-877-273-3713; or via email at clinicaltrials@shc.org.

The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Scottsdale is committed to expanding economic development and business enterprise for Scottsdale, Arizona by making grants from income raised though the issuance of tax-free bonds for qualified applicants in the fields of education, research, health care, housing, non-profit, manufacturing and others. The primary mission of the IDA is to promote the retention, expansion and attraction of businesses and commercial enterprises in Scottsdale and to expand employment opportunities. The IDA is also committed to supporting projects that impact the social, cultural, environmental and physical needs of the Scottsdale community and therefore improving the quality of life for its citizens.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare offers comprehensive cancer diagnosis, treatment, research, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading scientific researchers and community oncologists. The Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute is committed to accelerating breakthrough therapies for treating devastating and debilitating disorders to improve patients’ health and quality of life through working with leading researchers, physicians and clinical teams.

Scottsdale Healthcare is a community-based, non-profit health system that includes Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Primary Care centers, the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and other entities. A leader in medical innovation, talent and technology, Scottsdale Healthcare was founded in 1962 and based in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit www.shc.org.

Medical Technology - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Arizona Ranks 23rd for Senior Health

Arizona is ranked 23rdfor senior health, according to the inaugural edition of United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings Senior Report: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities.

United Health Foundation commissioned the America’s Health RankingsSenior Report to examine the health challenges affecting today’s seniors and to encourage the nation and local communities to find ways to improve senior health. Americans are living longer but sicker lives and that America’s senior population is poised to grow more than 50 percent between 2015 and 2030, making senior health a timely and critical national issue.

The America’s Health Rankings Senior Report is the most comprehensive rankings to date of senior health on state levels and can be viewed and downloaded at www.americashealthrankings.org. This report builds on the annual America’s Health Rankings report which, for 23 years, has presented the definitive analysis of national health on a state-by-state basis by evaluating a historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental and socioeconomic data to determine national health benchmarks and state rankings.

“United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings Senior Report is a highly valuable tool to help gain a greater understanding of the heath challenges faced by Arizona’s seniors,” said Robert Beauchamp, MD, Medical Director for UnitedHealthcare in Arizona. “Arizona’s growing senior population points to the urgency of identifying key opportunities for improving senior health and pursuing effective solutions at the national, state, community and family levels.”

The America’s Health RankingsSenior Report assesses state-level performance on 34 different elements, including both health determinants and health outcomes.

The America’s Health Rankings Senior Report finds that Arizona has its share of strengths and challenges for senior health.

Arizona’s Strengths:

* Ranks 1st in availability of hospice care
* Ranks 2nd in the rate of hospital deaths
* Low prevalence of physical inactivity (5th in the U.S.)

Arizona’s Challenges

* Ranks 44th for number of seniors who are underweight
* Ranks 48th for highly rated nursing homes
* Low percentage of volunteerism (18.8 percent)
*
Among all 50 States: Minnesota leads the nation for senior health, followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Iowa. Mississippi ranks 50th, preceded by Oklahoma, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Arkansas.

Older Americans are experiencing troubling rates of chronic health conditions, according to the Senior Report. About 80 percent of seniors are living with at least one chronic health condition, while 50 percent of seniors have two or more chronic health conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, the report finds that more than 25 percent of seniors nationwide are obese.

“Chronic illness is unnecessarily high among seniors,” said Rhonda Randall, D.O., senior advisor to United Health Foundation and chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “The coordination of care for seniors, particularly the 50 percent of the population with multiple chronic illnesses, is complex and increases pressure on our country’s caregivers and our health care system.”

Through its portfolio of Medicare plans, UnitedHealthcare supports Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona with clinical solutions that help address health concerns underscored in the America’s Health Rankings Senior Report. These programs include:

* Integrated disease management and care coordination programs, which provide select Medicare Advantage plan members with chronic health conditions – such as diabetes or certain types of heart disease – needed resources and support;
* UnitedHealthcare’s HouseCalls program, offering qualified Medicare Advantage plan members an at-home visit with a health care practitioner to assess health needs and discuss personal health concerns;
* UnitedHealthcare’s PharmAssist service, which provides select Medicare Advantage plan members with one-on-one counseling sessions with specialty-trained plan pharmacists to understand how to take their medications as prescribed.

America’s Health Rankings Senior Report: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities offers a comprehensive analysis of senior population health on a national and state-by-state basis across 34 measures of senior health. In commissioning the report, United Health Foundation seeks to promote discussion around the health of Americans 65 years and older while driving communities, governments, stakeholders, families and individuals to take action to improve senior health.

Researchers drew data from more than 12 government agencies and leading research organizations to create a focused, uniquely rich data set for measuring senior health at the state level, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Labor, The Dartmouth Atlas Project, the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger and the Commonwealth Fund.

In addition to producing the America’s Health Rankings Senior Report, United Health Foundation also produces the annual America’s Health Rankings report. For 23 years, America’s Health Rankings has provided an analysis of national health on a state-by-state basis by evaluating a historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental and socioeconomic data to determine national health benchmarks and state rankings. The Rankings employs a unique methodology, developed and annually reviewed by a Scientific Advisory Committee of leading public health scholars.

For more information on both reports, visit www.americashealthrankings.org.

Nursing Shortage Still Plagues Arizona’s Health Care Industry

Web can be a blessing and a curse for health advice

Admit it. You’ve had an ache or pain or a sniffle or stiffness and Googled your symptoms to figure out what was wrong. We’ve all done it.

While WebMD may be the quickest way to find and answer, it may not be the healthiest.
“The danger is that many different diseases have similar symptoms and it is difficult for a person without medical training to distinguish between possible causes,” says Dr. Jim Dearing, chief medical officer for John C. Lincoln’s Physician Network. “This becomes more dangerous if the patient decides to self-medicate instead of consulting a physician, because they could easily be treating the wrong thing – and their treatment may make the real cause of their symptoms worse.”

According to a 2011 Pew study, 80 percent of Internet users look for health information online, making medical inquiries the third most popular use of the Web, trailing only email and search engine use. And a recent survey of 1,000 people found that almost one-quarter of 1,000 people surveyed have misdiagnosed and treated themselves wrongly thanks to the information they found online.

“With the abundance of information available on the Internet, sorting fact from fiction can be difficult,” says Dr. Mary Ellen Dirlam, medical director of Samaritan Academic Faculty Practices at Banner Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. “Information on the web may be inaccurate, incomplete, outdated or biased by commercial interests. Misinformation or applying accurate information inappropriately may result in needless worry or false reassurance, causing delay of treatment.”

Some of that needless worry has created a condition called “cyberchondria,” which is fear and preoccupation with medical concerns caused by health research online.

Virginia Kwan, a psychologist at Arizona State University, examined how symptoms presented online can influence people’s reactions to possible medical conditions
“The way gamblers say they have a ‘hot hand,’ cyberchondriacs believe they have ‘hot symptoms,’” Kwan says. “If they hit the first two in a list, they believe they must have the third one as well.”

While issues of misdiagnosis and cyberchondria can result from overzealous online medical research, doctors agree that there is a constructive place for Internet research in healthcare.

“The Internet provides a wealth of information for parents interested in their child’s medical care,” says Dr. Robb Muhm Jr. of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “The amount of information can be overwhelming at times. The biggest danger for parents is choosing the incorrect information from among all the available information on the Internet.  This is an area where the pediatrician can be very helpful. We can help the parents make the right decision for their child based on experience, research, and the most current information.”
Dr. Sanford Silverman of Scottsdale’s Center for Attention Deficit and Learning Disorders and Center for Peak Performance points out that the Internet can be a useful tool to create a common ground to start a diagnostic and treatment discussion with a medical professional.

“The more informed the patient is, the easier it is to communicate with them,” he says. “In this respect, prospective patients can learn from pertinent Internet sites and then share their thoughts and findings with the doctor. I have worked with many patients who were diagnosed with anxiety and or depression. By using the Internet to research this diagnosis, they found links to Attention Deficit Disorder, which they then believed was a more accurate diagnosis.  They scheduled an appointment to investigate if they have this disorder.  In the majority of my cases, they were accurate and ADD was a contributing or major part of their difficulties.  The Internet helped steer them to appropriate authorities.”

ADVICE FROM EXPERTS

Valley doctors offer insight for those people who have a medical issue or question and are considering turning to the Internet for answers:

Dr. Mary Ellen Dirlam, Banner Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center: Patients searching the internet need to verify the identity and credentials of the online source. Reputable sources include their healthcare provider as well as the Medical Library Association internet site. This website offers an excellent article, “A user’s guide to finding and evaluating health information on the web” as well as a list of good sources for information.

Dr. Robb Muhm Jr., Phoenix Children’s Hospital: We should all be critical media consumers. We always need to be mindful of where the information is coming from.  The American Academy of Pediatrics website (aap.org) is a good starting point. The AAP has another parent-specific website dedicated to providing accurate, current information on a wide variety of topics: healthychildren.org.  When I have a question, I start with these two websites.

Dr. Penny Krich, EVDI Medical Imaging: A patient should be wary of anecdotal medical information often found on the Internet. Each patient’s medical history is different. It should be taken into account that a similar symptom for one person may have very different implications for someone else with a different underlying medical problem.

Jelden Arcilla, chief nursing officer, St. Luke’s Medical Center:  The best sites to visit and reference for individual and basic education on health and medical conditions are non-profit, government and academic web sites.  These are sites are generally unbiased with no individual disclosure or conflicts and have the most updated, evidence-based research to support its information and recommendations.  They also are reputable web sites to provide you referrals to nearest health care provider who can further address your concerns.

alzheimers

‘The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook’ signing

Not many people hope to work themselves out of a job. However Dr. Marwan Sabbagh, a board-certified neurologist and Banner Sun Health Research Institute medical director, has spent his entire career seeking to do just that as a leading researcher combating Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Sabbagh’s next step toward his self-stated unemployment goal is “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Boost Brain Health,” a full-color cookbook and health guide he co-authored with Food Network star and Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Executive Chef Beau MacMillan.

To encourage everyone to get this valuable nutritional information in time for the holidays, Dr. Sabbagh will team up with the Sun Health Gift Shops inside Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers and host a pair of book-signing events during December.  Dr. Sabbagh visits Banner Boswell Medical Center Gift Shop from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6 before traveling to the main gift shop at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14.

According to Amazon.com, “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook” outlines “…the latest evidence-based research on Alzheimer’s and nutrition, and presents a dietary plan …to enhance your health.”  More information about the book can be found at: http://www.marwansabbaghmd.com/

“The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook” will be on-sale at both events for $30 each. Dr. Sabbagh will also happily sign any previously purchased books.

2010 Health Card Leadership Awards honors the Valley's professional's in the health industry

2010 HCLA – Physician

Honoree: Brian Tiffany, MD, Ph.D., FACEP

Partner
Premier Emergency Medical Specialists

Brian Tiffany Partner Premier Emergency Medical Specialists, 2010 Health Care Leadership AwardsWith more than 20 years in the health care industry as a student, physician, researcher and educator, Dr. Brian Tiffany considers the emergency department a special place.

Tiffany is a partner at Premier Emergency Medical Specialists, which provides emergency medicine specialists for Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers. He also serves as vice president of medical staff for both hospitals. Tiffany began working in the emergency field in 1990, and has continued to grow his practice and expertise in that area. He joined Chandler Regional in 2003 as an attending physician in its emergency department, and has had a major impact on the way the department is run.

Accomplishments there include revamping existing processes, putting new processes in place, revitalizing the work force, and ensuring quality care and safety for patients, all the while reducing wait times and improving the patient experience. He has recorded similar improvements with the team at Mercy Gilbert. People who work with Tiffany know him as a driven, intelligent and dedicated person who accomplishes everything he sets out to do — and more. His experience and vast knowledge of his primary field, along with his depth of vision as a researcher, come into play as he quietly attends to his patients and confers with his colleagues.

Tiffany works to improve the emergency medicine experience for patients and their loved ones, implementing new processes that improve the quality of care, decrease time spent in the waiting room and eradicate redundancies.

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Finalist: John Shufeldt, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP

Founder and CEO
NextCare Urgent Care

John Shufeldt is the founderand CEO of NextCare Urgent Care, 2010 Health Care Leadership AwardsDr. John Shufeldt certainly qualifies as a jack-of-all-trades. He is founder, CEO and chief medical director of NextCare Urgent Care, is a managing partner of a law firm that bears his name, is an instructor of business law at Arizona State University, and is a certified airline transport pilot.

And he’s also a practicing emergency physician at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Founded in 1993, NextCare has grown in to a health care operation with more than 1,000 employees. Shufeldt promotes the benefits of urgent care as a convenient and affordable solution to the overcrowding of emergency rooms in Arizona. Shufeldt’s core values at NextCare — caring, excellence, integrity, and results — have made it possible for Arizona residents to receive quality, affordable health care.

NextCare is contracted with every major insurance plan. Shufeldt oversees NextCare’s six acting medical directors in Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, and Virginia. He holds active medical licenses in six states.

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Finalist: Julianne Thompson, MD

Medical Director
Desert Mission Community Health Center

Julianne Thompson, Medical Director at Desert Mission Community, 2010 Health Care Leadership Awards
They call her Dr. T. That’s how patients refer to Dr. Julianne Thompson, medical director of Desert Mission Community Health Center in Sunnyslope, which serves families in need.

Thompson supervises two medical assistants and a mid-level provider, works closely with directors and support staff of other Desert Mission programs, and sees patients ranging in age from newborn to elderly. Many of her patients speak only Spanish, but that’s not a problem as Dr. T speaks the language fluently.

Thompson spends much of her time treating acute medical problems such as ear infections and upset stomachs, but she also helps patients manage chronic conditions.

Much of Dr. T’s challenge as a primary care physician working in an underserved community is finding much-needed resources for her patients, including medications, tests and special formula for infants. The immunization rate among her patients is 97 percent, compared to a state benchmark of 82 percent for two-year-olds.

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2010 Health Care Leadership Awards

2010 HCLA – Insurance Executive

Honoree: Richard Boals

Richard Boals
President and CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Richard Boals, President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of ArizonaAs president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) since 2003, Richard Boals is dedicated to ensuring that the health care needs of 1.3 million beneficiaries are met and exceeded.

He leads a team of managers and staff totaling 1,500 in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and Tempe. He joined BCBSAZ in 1971, and has served in a variety of capacities.

Among his initiatives, Boals pioneered a proactive program to provide health and wellness information to plan members, as well as the community. Under his guidance, BCBSAZ introduced a free online resource that provides access to certain HealthyBlue resources, including tools and services that can help individuals make better health decisions.

Boals’ trusted and effective leadership has established BCBSAZ as a health insurance leader in Arizona. He is committed to providing improved quality of life to Arizonans by delivering a variety of health insurance products and services to individuals, families, and small and large businesses.

In 2005, Boals introduced the Walk On! Challenge, a free, annual 28-day exercise challenge in February designed to motivate Arizona fifth-graders to include exercise in their daily routines. Participation in the program has increased each year by an average of 20 percent, with more than 45,000 participants in the 2009 Challenge. Since its inception, BCBSAZ has registered more than 130,000 students from 474 Arizona schools.

Boals regularly supports the fundraising efforts of nonprofits that provide programs and services to the military and their families.

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Finalist: Robert Beauchamp, MD

Senior Medical Director
UnitedHealthcare of Arizona

Dr. Robert Beauchamp, senior medical director for UnitedHealthcare of Arizona, is a member of the health plan’s senior leadership team and is its top clinician in Arizona. A major goal is to improve care while holding down costs. Robert Beauchamp, MD Senior Medical Director UnitedHealthcare of Arizona

His responsibilities include patient care, staff supervision and physician relations. He focuses on ensuring the appropriate use of medical services and improving clinical quality, efforts that promote positive patient outcomes and lower costs. He oversees three local medical directors and a team of nurses who serve patients in Arizona and Utah. Beauchamp makes weekly stops at three hospitals — Banner Good Samaritan, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and John C. Lincoln North Mountain — to review patient cases and meet with nurses and physicians.

Through his efforts, he has helped to improve patient care and limit patient readmissions. This enables patients to return home as soon as they are healthy, reuniting with family and friends.

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Finalist: Robert Flores, MD

Medical Director, Population Health Management
CIGNA HealthCare of Arizona

Robert Flores, MD Medical Director, Population Health Management CIGNA HealthCare of ArizonaAs medical director of population health management for Cigna Medical Group, Dr. Robert Flores has direct oversight of CIGNA HealthCare of Arizona’s Chronic Health Improvement Program (CHIP).

Flores and his team developed CHIP in 2007, after observing that patients with chronic conditions — especially those with certain combinations — often received fragmented care, were more likely to be seen in the emergency room, and were often hospitalized. As a result of Flores’ efforts, approximately 1,000 patients currently are enrolled in CHIP. Outcomes studies show that CHIP members have reduced their hospital admissions and bed days by about 55 percent. Flores has been working in his current position since 2001, and full time in the health care industry since 1999.

At Cigna Medical Group, his department is responsible for quality initiatives across 28 locations and more than 200 practicing doctors, nurses or health care professionals.

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