Tag Archives: UA College of Medicine

health.education

Rural Health Program offers another side of medicine

Jordan Roberts was reminded of his calling to be a physician nearly 200 miles from the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

Roberts, a fourth-year student, spent five weeks earlier this year at the Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center in Show Low. Having grown up not far away in Snowflake, Roberts had a pretty good idea of life in the White Mountains but was reminded of a case he initially encountered as a first-year student.

Roberts has participated in the university’s Rural Health Professions Program since enrolling in the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. That program began at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson since 1997 but was expanded to include a Phoenix office this year. The first students from the downtown Phoenix medical school spent part of their summer in far off places, including one just outside of Arizona.

In describing his return to his White Mountain roots to complete the Rural Health program commitment, Roberts talked about a patient he first met three years ago with diabetes and how he manages his condition after not seeing a doctor for many years.

“I learned that one of the special things about these folks is their resilience – to the elements, to change, and even to disease,” Roberts said. “But I was also reminded that medicine is my medium to meaningful living.”

The program was created to help address the shortage of physicians faced by Arizona that is even more critical outside its urban centers. While the state ranks near the bottom in numbers of physicians per capita, the statistics for rural physicians are even more stark and problematic.

For every 100,000 Arizonans there were 124 doctors in rural areas compared with 231 in urban areas, according to a 2005 study. This places Arizona far below the national average.

The program also allows students a concentrated clinical experience after their first year of medical school. It also exposes them to procedures outside the urban clinical setting and work with different populations.

“Rural doctors are in short supply and the clinic faculty, staff and patients will want to convince you to return one day as a board-certified physician,” said Jonathan Cartsonis, MD, who is overseeing the program. “You will surely feel the difference your first day in a rural clinical site.”

For the first year of the Phoenix-based program, students spent time this summer at clinics in Page, Prescott Valley, Yuma and Silver City, N.M.

“The summer was part freedom and part ideal mentorship,” said second-year student Brock Bennett, who served in the Silver City clinic. “The freedom came as I was liberated from the walls of the library that are so familiar the first year of med school and able to finally see patients. Despite no required ‘homework’ I found myself studying more in the evenings, on cases I had seen that day, than I did during most block curriculum days.”

The Phoenix program also will recognize students who demonstrate a strong commitment to future rural medical practice with a “Distinction Track in Rural Health” recognition on their transcript.

“The physicians I worked with were willing to provide as much practical teaching as I would embrace,” Bennett said. “The more I put into the experience the more I continued to receive. I learned incredible lessons I will not forget.”

health

UA-Phoenix Graduates 37 Doctors

A new group of 37 University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix medical students were officially conferred with their medical degrees at ceremonies Monday in the fourth graduation for the downtown Phoenix medical school.

Led by a bagpipe and drum corps, commencement exercises began with a procession from the college to the ceremony at Phoenix Symphony Hall. The UA College of Medicine – Phoenix has graduated 151 physicians in four years. The school opened in 2007 in what was the largest city in the nation without an allopathic (MD-granting) medical school.

UA College of Medicine – Phoenix Dean Stuart D. Flynn, MD, began Monday’s ceremony with a short description of the fourth class to complete four years of study on the downtown Phoenix campus.

“You arrived with a wonderful mix of confidence and humility, fun interpersonal skills and leadership characteristics,” Dr. Flynn said. “You have valued being trailblazers on our campus and adjectives you have used to describe your class include that you have a community feel, you are family-centered and you are all in together.”

A special hooding ceremony and the recitation of the oath were part of the ceremony, which included an address from renowned researcher Eric Reiman, MD, executive director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and a faculty member of the UA College of Medicine.

“I am here to tell you that you are entering our profession at the most exciting time in history, the most important moment to become a doctor,” said Dr. Reiman, who is also director of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium. “You will have opportunities to make a difference far greater than you think, far greater than the rest of us could have imagined when we began our own careers. You will be on the frontline of a new frontier, you will transform the way health is promoted and care is provided and you will blaze the trail for generations to follow.”

Graduating senior Christian Dameff, who will be a resident in the emergency medicine department of Maricopa Integrated Health System, gave the student address.

“I am awestruck at the accomplishments of every single person in this class,” Dameff said. “The thousands of hours of volunteer work, the passion and dedication to scholarly research, the diligence they show during their study of medicine and most important, the passion and superior care they give when they treat every single one of their patients. It is truly inspiring.”

The ceremony capped a day of celebration that included a senior luncheon with graduates cited for awards by specialty and achievement in the community, for humanism and scholarship.

At the lunch, graduate Jacob Gold singled out the administration for its leadership, thank them specifically.

“For taking this school from this tiny, three high school buildings to this big building, very well respected organization that we have here,” Gold said.

Among the citations, faculty member Stephanie Briney, MD, who oversees the service learning program on campus noted that the Class of 2014 had collectively served more than 5,000 hours in clinics, teaching and other areas during their four years of medical school.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix opened in 2007 as a way for the state to address the critical shortage of physicians in Arizona. Nearly half of this year’s graduates from the Phoenix campus are staying in Arizona for their residencies and a similar number are pursuing primary care specialties.

education

UA’s Eller College Moving to Phoenix

The University of Arizona Eller College of Management announced today that it will be moving from its satellite location in north Scottsdale to downtown Phoenix.

The Eller College will occupy classroom and office space on the campus of the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, located at 550 E. Van Buren St. The location will be home to two of Eller’s part-time MBA programs for working professionals: the Evening MBA and the Executive MBA, which are designed for managers with 3-plus years of experience and seasoned executives, respectively.

Between the two programs, the campus will serve about 170 MBA students annually.

“We are thrilled that Eller will be a part of the exciting things happening in downtown Phoenix,” said Len Jessup, dean of the Eller College. “The College of Medicine has established beautiful facilities that will give our professional MBAs access to high-tech working classroom space and a true campus experience.”

City of Phoenix’s Mayor Greg Stanton also supports the move.

“It’s incredibly exciting that Eller is opening its doors in downtown Phoenix, where we continue to offer the highest-rated education opportunities in the state within just a few blocks of each other,” Stanton said. “Eller graduates are top-notch, and exactly the kind of professionals we want as a part of our community.”

Access to graduate management education is one of many factors that contribute to greater Phoenix’s long-term competitiveness, added Don Budinger, chairman and founding director of The Rodel Foundations and board member of Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Greater Phoenix Leadership.

“The University of Arizona’s downtown programs offer excellent options for working professionals who are considering an MBA.”

Last week, in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of graduate programs, the Eller Evening MBA rose 21 slots, from No. 46 to No. 25 nationwide. The college is recognized for its leadership in entrepreneurship and management information systems, which consistently rank in the top 10 among undergraduate and graduate programs nationally.

Applications are being accepted now for the Executive MBA program that will begin in August at the downtown campus. A new class of Evening MBA students will begin at the location in January.

“Downtown offers a central location, with easy access for those already working in the area, as well as public transportation options. Our students frequently come together for team meetings, and the medical campus offers great collaboration space,” said Hope Schau, associate dean of MBA programs.

The Eller College began offering its MBA programs in the Phoenix area in 2006, with the launch of the Executive MBA program in Scottsdale. Since 2007, the college has held classes at a satellite campus just east of the Loop 101 in the McDowell Mountain Business Park, at 16425 N. Pima Road.

The college will open its downtown Phoenix location in late August or September. The Executive and Evening MBA students scheduled to complete their programs this year will remain at the Scottsdale campus. The Evening MBA class of 2015 will relocate to the downtown campus on Sept. 1.

Press Conference_Fresh-Express

Discovery Triangle Launches Healthy Initiative

The Discovery Triangle Development Corporation is launching a fresh food initiative that will bring a mobile produce market to underserved neighborhoods located in the Discovery Triangle. The “Fresh Express by Discovery Triangle” will sell fresh, affordable and high-quality fruits and vegetables out of a donated, retrofitted Valley Metro bus.

A launch event was held on February 25 at the Brunson-Lee Elementary School in Phoenix. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell jumped off the bus with bags of apples for the kids. The mayors and community partners spoke at the event. The bus, stocked with fresh produce, was available for tours.

“The Fresh Express is another example of Phoenix finding innovative ways to address problems and improve the quality of life of residents,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

“Tempe children and families in need in this area will be well served by the new service,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “This is a great – and truly fresh – idea to make our community even stronger and healthier.”

The Discovery Triangle, which facilitates redevelopment in Phoenix and Tempe, developed the initiative after examining the lack of accessible grocery stores in the area, considered a “food desert,” and seeing a need to enhance the health of residents. Providing a mobile option is key since many of the residents in the area depend on public transportation.

“As civic entrepreneurs, the Discovery Triangle brings partners together to solve issues impacting the region. We believe increasing the accessibility of affordable, healthy food and health education will boost the region’s economic development opportunities,” said Don Keuth, president of the Discovery Triangle Development Corporation.

Fresh Express by Discovery Triangle will begin selling produce in March with a pilot program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Routes will include schools, senior centers, parks, churches and other gathering places throughout the Discovery Triangle region.

Chase Bank, the founding sponsor, provided seed and operations funding to help launch Fresh Express. “Many people in the Discovery Triangle are dependent on public transportation to get to a grocery store. Now residents will have more options with the Fresh Express bringing affordable fruits and vegetables to convenient, walkable locations,” said Paul Groves, who heads the JPMorgan Private Bank in Arizona.

The bus also will offer on-board community health resources including nutrition education and health screenings. Produce will be sold at affordable prices. All forms of payment will be accepted including SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

FRESH EXPRESS PARTNERS AND SPONSORS

Several local organizations are partnering on the initiative:

· Discovery Triangle Development Corporation – Managing the initiative

· Valley Metro – Coordinating bus operations and in-kind donations

· Peddler’s Son – Providing fruits and vegetables

· ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation – Offering health screenings

· UMOM New Day Centers – Providing training and staffing

Sponsors whose donations have made the bus possible:

· Chase (founding sponsor)

· Valley Metro

· Junior League of Phoenix

· Blue Cross Blue Shield

· Arizona Community Foundation

· St. Luke’s Health Initiative

· eeko Studio

· Blue Media

· First Transit

· Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority

· UA College of Medicine

· Southwest Gas

· Creative Bus Sales Arizona

· ThermoGuard

· Custom Made Gas Tanks

· Safeway

· Phoenix I

heart

Sweitzer Named Head of UA Sarver Heart Center

Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, a board-certified advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist and physiologist, will become director of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and chief of the Division of Cardiology in the UA College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, effective March 1, 2014, announced Steve Goldschmid, MD, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

“It is very clear that Dr. Sweitzer has a passion for professional excellence and delivery of high-quality cardiovascular care, combined with a curiosity that drives collaborative scientific discovery,” Dr. Goldschmid said.  “She also displays a deep commitment to seeking ways to improve. She personifies the UA’s ‘Never Settle’ vision – a vision that guides our strategic planning at the College of Medicine.”

Currently, Dr. Sweitzer is an associate professor of medicine and director of numerous programs, including clinical research, quality, and the heart failure and cardiac transplant programs (interim director) at the University of Wisconsin Cardiovascular Medicine Division in Madison. She also directs the cardiovascular medicine and heart failure and cardiac transplant fellowship programs there.

“Dr. Sweitzer is nationally recognized for her strong leadership and experience in clinical research. These unique talents will help her build impactful bridges between the clinical and basic science enterprises, and increase discovery in the areas of translational and personalized cardiovascular medicine,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, senior vice president for health sciences and professor of medicine at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Sweitzer has a clinical research program focused on the interaction of the dysfunctional heart muscle in heart failure with the vasculature and kidneys to better understand how to improve symptoms and organ function in heart failure patients.  She has done extensive work on the physiology of heart failure with preserved systolic function, a disease that disproportionately affects elderly women. She has led and collaborated on numerous studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health as well as studies supported by industry and academic sponsors. She also has served on numerous NIH committees and currently serves as a member of its Clinical and Integrative Cardiovascular Science Study Section and the American Heart Association’s Cardiac Biology and Regulation Committee.

“I believe in the mission of the current leadership of the University of Arizona, the College of Medicine, and The University of Arizona Health Network. Together, we are able to provide the highest level of unique advanced and specialized service to patients with heart disease in Tucson and the Southwest  and to support other cardiovascular and primary care providers in the region. The leadership at UA, combined with the strong faculty already in place, offer tremendous opportunity to grow the division’s regional and national presence and increase its prestige and recognition. I plan to build the cardiovascular division so that we will provide consistently excellent and comprehensive advanced and specialized cardiovascular disease services. As an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist, my focus has always been on providing the best care to the sickest patients with heart disease,” said Dr. Sweitzer.

“Dr. Sweitzer’s expertise will have a huge impact on the future advances that come from the Sarver Heart Center. Her experience as a translational researcher will be extremely valuable in terms of boosting collaboration between Sarver Heart Center members who have a strong basic science focus on cardiovascular diseases and those who understand the clinical advances that are within our grasp. We are grateful for the support we received from both the College of Medicine and The University of Arizona Health Network for making this recruitment possible,” said Carol C. Gregorio, PhD, director of the Molecular Cardiovascular Research Program and head of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the UA College of Medicine, who has served as interim director of the Sarver Heart Center since July 2013, following the retirement of Dr. Gordon A. Ewy, who served as director since 1991. Dr. Gregorio also chaired the director search committee.

“I am looking forward to the unique opportunity to lead both cardiology and cardiovascular research efforts, coupled with a successful center of excellence in the UA Sarver Heart Center. The potential to make a significant impact is far greater than most cardiology opportunities. This is largely due to the tremendous legacy of Dr. Gordon Ewy. His amazing work in both research and public outreach, saving lives and increasing understanding and awareness of cardiovascular disease is an awe-inspiring and motivating legacy. The Sarver Heart Center and the talented and dedicated staff are poised to be a real force in the Tucson community as well as the regional Southwest for improvement of care disparities and cardiovascular disease awareness, and large-scale preventive heart disease efforts,” said Dr. Sweitzer.