Tag Archives: university of arizona

online

University of Arizona launches new UA online campus

The University of Arizona is now registering students for 21 undergraduate degree programs offered under the newly launched UA Online campus.

The undergraduate degree programs join a robust slate of over 40 online graduate school degrees and certificates the university has offered for several years. Scheduled to begin in August 2015, the new online degree programs reflect the university’s vision and commitment to meet the evolving needs of today’s students and working professionals of all ages.

“Online learning is an integral part of Never Settle, the UA academic and business plan which calls for rapidly expanding access to our award-winning faculty, research and educational programs,” said Melissa Vito, senior vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and senior vice provost for Academic Initiatives and Student Success.

“We are thrilled that prospective students – from busy professionals advancing their careers and parents returning to the workforce to active military and veterans, community-college transfer students and others – can now earn their undergraduate degree from one of the top 100 universities in the world,” Vito said.

According to the 2015 Global Employability Survey, the UA is also ranked among the top public universities in the United States for producing the most-employable graduates. Prospective students now have access to numerous UA online degrees equally as rigorous as the traditional on-campus learning experience, leading to rewarding jobs of the future, such as:

  • Digital information and data science with a Bachelor of Arts in eSociety.
  • Data management and software development with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Informatics.
  • New green economy with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments.
  • Healthcare and Health Related Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Care, Health and Society.
  • Social services for all populations with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Services and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education.

“As the land-grant University for the state of Arizona, it is our responsibility to expand educational access for all Arizona citizens. The new UA Online undergraduate programs achieve this goal, and so much more, with innovations that enhance engagement for online students,” said Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., vice provost of Digital Learning and Student Engagement.

“We are thrilled that students everywhere now have access to a life-changing University of Arizona education. Enrolling in a UA Online degree program not only positions future graduates for a rewarding career, it also provides an engaging student experience that fosters a sense of community and Wildcat pride for life,” Del Casino said.

To learn more about the new UA Online programs, visit uaonline.arizona.edu.

Sam_Fox_Portriat_2012

Sam Fox is UA Eller’s Executive of the Year

Sam Fox, CEO and Founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts, will be recognized as the 2015 University of Arizona Executive of the Year on Friday, April 17. The luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Westin La Paloma Resort, 3800 East Sunrise, in Tucson.

“Sam studied real estate finance at the University of Arizona, but food was always his passion,” said UA Eller College Dean Jeffrey Schatzberg. “Since opening his first restaurant, Gilligan’s Bar & Grill, in Tucson at age 20, he has earned an outstanding reputation as a creative visionary, savvy entrepreneur and philanthropist – values we share here at the Eller College. It is only fitting that we honor him as Executive of the Year.”

Fox’s restaurant group currently boasts 44 locations and 15 unique concepts spanning seven states. Tucson’s Wildflower American Cuisine was the company’s first concept. Now based in Phoenix, Fox Restaurant Concepts includes Blanco Tacos & Tequila, True Food Kitchen, The Henry, Flower Child, North Italia, Culinary Dropout and several other popular restaurants. Together, his restaurant group employs nearly 4,000 people.

A Sabino High School graduate, Fox is an eight-time James Beard Award nominee for Restaurateur of the Year and a New York Times best-selling cookbook author. He was recently named one of the 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry by Nation’s Restaurant News for the second consecutive year and he was the 2014 recipient of the Richard Melman Innovator of the Year Award by Restaurant Hospitality magazine.

A Paradise Valley resident, he nourishes and grows talent through his “un-corporate” culture and shares his success by giving back to the communities his restaurants serve. He has been an avid supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs since his company’s inception in 1998 and recently held the position of honorary chair for the American Heart Association’s 2013 Heart Ball. In addition, Fox Restaurant Concepts supports several non-profit organizations including notMYkid and UMOM New Day Centers.

The University of Arizona Executive of the Year program was established by the Eller College National Board of Advisors in 1983 to honor individuals who exemplify executive qualities in private enterprise and public service. Recent honorees include Janet Napolitano, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former Arizona Governor (2014); Larry Baer, president and CEO of the San Francisco Giants (2013); former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (2012); and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (2011).

Tickets are $85 per person. Registration is at www.eller.arizona.edu/eoy. For more information, call (520) 621-0053.

97995886

UA hosts Native American Law Students event

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law will host the 2015 National Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) moot court competition, to be held March 6-7, in Tucson, Arizona. The annual event features law students representing 70 law schools from across the country. More than 120 lawyers and academic experts in American Indian Law, along with sitting judges from tribal, state, and federal courts throughout the Southwest, have volunteered to judge the two-day competition. The event is being organized by the College of Law’s NALSA chapter students and The University of Arizona Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program.

Every year, NALSA chapters from law schools around the country submit bidding packages, with the chapter receiving the most NALSA member votes winning the opportunity to host the annual event. Students in Arizona’s NALSA chapter produced their own YouTube video that helped secure their successful bid to host this year’s competition. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd-LO1E0838)

“We are excited to not only participate but also have the opportunity to host this year’s event,” said Chase Velasquez, a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and NALSA’s President this year at the College of Law. “With a record number of teams attending from law schools across the nation, we hope to make this the best competition yet.”

Moot court competitions are an important part of the law school educational experience, providing students with the opportunity to prepare legal briefs and engage in appellate advocacy in simulated oral arguments in front of a panel of judges. This year’s National NALSA moot court competition will focus on an issue that has received extensive press coverage in the international art world—control and provenance of American Indian sacred ceremonial objects. Students will be arguing over the right of an American Indian tribe to exercise jurisdiction over non-Indians trafficking in ceremonial artwork regarded as being among the most sacred pieces of cultural property belonging to the tribe.

The competition is open to the public. For more information about the moot court event or topic visit, http://www.law.arizona.edu/iplp/moot_court/.

Heart Health, WEB

7 tips to maintain a healthy heart

Every year 1.5 million men and women will have a heart attack or stroke.  Heart disease will kill as many Americans each year as all cancers, pneumonias and accidents combined. What can you do to prevent heart disease or minimize its impact on your life?

Charles Katzenberg, MD, a cardiologist with the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, emphasizes a healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise, community engagement and stress management, as the best prevention against heart disease in his program called the Heart Series.

Dr. Katzenberg shares these seven tips for a healthy heart:

  • Find your own healthful diet.Eat as close to a whole-foods, plant-based diet as possible. Minimize meat and dairy, since these are associated with heart disease. Also, minimize calorie-dense oils, including olive oil, which contains 15 percent saturated fat and 1 percent omega-3, compared to canola oil, which contains 7 percent saturated fat and 11 percent omega-3. The first Mediterranean Diet study, called the Diet Heart Study, used canola oil, not olive oil. Avoid trans fats, added salt and added sugars. Learn to read food labels.
  • Avoid weight gain.While a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) is in the 18.5 – 24.9 range, the 25-30 range is reasonable for heart health, said Dr. Katzenberg. (A link to determine your BMI is on Sarver Heart Center’s “Heart Health” webpage.)
  • Get moving. Exercise aerobically (walk, jog, bike, swim, circuit weights, aerobic exercise classes) three to four hours each week. Include a few minutes of warm-up and cool down in each session.
  • Avoid smoking, including electronic-cigarettes.E-cigarettes are tools to help quit smoking, but long-term effects are unknown; so, use these short term while stopping cigarettes.
  • Know your numbers, especially blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and, if necessary, follow treatment prescribed by your doctor to keep these under control.
  • Manage your stress.Stress is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and is associated with elevated blood pressure and poor lifestyle choices in areas of diet, exercise, smoking and weight management. Learn to recognize unhealthy stress and use tools and mechanisms to modify your response. Some people relax by reading a book or listening to music. Others benefit from tai chi, meditation, yoga or exercise. Find out what works for you and do it 30 to 60 minutes each day to remove destructive stress from your life. Seek help if you need to learn ways to manage your stress.
  • Be involved in a community you enjoy.This could be as simple as sharing a meal with friends or family, volunteering, participating in an education or fitness class, a book club, or a religious group. Find what works for you.

What if you do your best to follow a healthy lifestyle and you still develop heart disease? There are risk factors for heart disease no one can control, such as advanced age and genes. It’s important to know the signs of a heart attack and to seek early heart attack care when symptoms occur to minimize heart muscle loss. For more information, visit the Heart Health webpage.

Know heart attack symptoms. Not all heart attacks look the same. Some people experience extreme chest pain that many consider the classic heart attack. Others experience milder symptoms where damage occurs over a period of hours. In such cases, symptoms may include chest discomfort, such as pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain that lasts a few minutes, goes away and comes back. Discomfort in the upper body – one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or upper stomach are other symptoms to watch for, as are shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, weakness and fatigue. People having heart attacks generally look unwell, so if a friend or loved one comments that you look ill, pay attention to your symptoms.

If you experience these symptoms or signs, call 911. Don’t drive yourself or have anyone else drive you. Time is heart muscle. Emergency transport to a cardiac receiving center gives a heart attack patient the best chance of saving heart muscle.

If the worst happens, a person may suffer a sudden cardiac arrest – suddenly collapses and is not responsive. Know the “3 Cs” of chest-compression-only CPR:

  1. Check for responsiveness- Shake the person and shout, “Are you OK?” Rub the chest bone with your knuckles.
  2. Call - Direct someone to call 9-1-1 and bring an AED.  If you are alone, call 9-1-1 yourself if the person is unresponsive and struggling to breathe.
  3. Compress- Begin forceful chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute. Position the victim backside down on the floor. Place the heel of one hand on top of the other and place the heel of the bottom hand on the center of the victim’s chest. Lock your elbows and compress the chest forcefully; make sure you lift up enough between compressions to let the chest recoil.

If an AED (automated external defibrillator) is available, turn the unit on and follow the voice instructions. If no AED is available, perform chest compressions continuously until help arrives. This is physically tiring so if someone else is available, take turns after each 100 chest compressions.

Chest-compression-only CPR, which was researched and developed at the UA Sarver Heart Center, has been shown to double a person’s chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest, compared to mouth-to-mouth CPR or doing nothing.

To learn more about heart health and chest-compression-only CPR, please visit the UA Sarver Heart Center website: heart.arizona.edu. You also can find us onFacebook (University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center) or follow us on Twitter @SarverHeart.

football

UA branding expert says NFL image will recover

A bad-news NFL season that began with a shocking elevator video and is ending with “Deflategate” might make you wonder if the league is the damage-control center of the universe.

To which Hope Schau says: Don’t worry about the NFL. It has survived scandals in the past, and it’s going to take much more than this season’s high-profile troubles to sink the ship.

“Every brand is a work in progress,” says Schau, an expert on branding and an associate professor of marketing in the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management.

“The NFL hasn’t lost the essence of what it is. There was a time when (its players) might have been more representative of ideal citizenship. But there are generations now where that may not be as important. At the end of the day, people are still going to watch football. There will be fans, and the game will still represent America.”

Schau says the NFL made at least two mistakes in its handling of the Ray Rice affair. It was too slow to act in the wake of the incident, she says, and it hasn’t helped itself by keeping the focus on a negative issue.

“It was hard to see that (elevator video) and not form an opinion,” Schau says. “Getting out in front of the message and taking action early is always the better option.”

A campaign of public-service announcements on domestic violence involving current and former NFL stars isn’t allowing the league to move forward, Schau says, by the way it inadvertently prompts the public to flash back to the Rice incident.

“I would hope that our standard is that we treat people well, not just that we don’t treat them badly,” Schau says of the “No More” TV spots. “That’s a low bar to clear. The NFL could be highlighting the good things it is doing in outreach. It could show support of women’s sports, for example. I know they’re doing some of that, so why aren’t we hearing about it?”

RED-Awards-Logo10

AZRE announces 2015 RED Awards finalists

Every February for the last 10 years, AZRE magazine has shone a spotlight on the commercial real estate industry through its annual Real Estate Development (RED) Awards. This year, a record number of projects and brokerage teams were nominated for a chance to be recognized at this year’s RED Awards.

For tickets to this year’s RED Awards, click here.

After lively debate and a few unanimous decisions among this year’s selection committee, AZRE proudly announces the 2015 RED Award finalists are, in alphabetical order:

Congratulations to this year’s contending projects:
Adelante Healthcare Peoria
Banner Estrella New Tower Addition
Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center Phase II Clinic Expansion
Bottled Blonde/Livewire
Broadstone Lincoln
Chandler Regional Medical Center
CityScape Residences
College Avenue Commons
Coyote Center at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Pecos Campus
CyrusOne, Building 4
General Motors IT Innovation Center
GoDaddy Global Technology Center
Great Hearts Academies, Arete Preparatory Academy
Heritage Marketplace
Lewis Prison Complex Expansion
Liberty Center at Rio Salado
Marketplace at Lincoln & Scottsdale
Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center
MZ
Ocotillo Brine Reduction Facility
Phoenix Sky Train Stage 1A
SkySong, The ASU Innovation Center — SkySong 3
Start @ West-MEC, Innovation Center
Sun Devil Marketplace
Sunset Heights Elementary School
Sussex Properties for TLC Label
The Newton
University of Arizona—McKale Center Renovation
University of Arizona—Old Main renovation

And the companies that have been nominated as finalists with the above projects:
ADM Group
AECOM
Alliance Residential Builders
Alliance Residential Company
Ameris Construction
Architekton
Arizona Board of Regents
Arizona Department of Administration
AV3 Design
Axis Projects Corporation
Balmer Architectural Group
Banner Health
Butler Design Group
BWS Architects
Cam-8, LLC
Carollo Engineers
Cawley Architects, Inc.
Chasse Building Team
City of Phoenix
Corgan Associates, Inc.
CyrusOne Inc.
Dick & Fritsche Design Group
Dignity Health
DLR Group
DPR Construction
Emc2 Architects Planners, PC
Evening Entertainment Group
Fanning Howey
Fimbres Studio
Follett Higher Education Group
Gannett Fleming, Inc.
Gensler
Great Hearts Academies
HKS, Inc.
Hunt Construction, an AECOM Company
Iconic Design Studio

Intel Corporation
JAVCON
JE Dunn Construction
John Douglas Architects
Jones Studio
Kitchell
Layton Construction Co., Inc.
Liberty Property Trust
LGE Design Build
Maricopa Community Colleges
Mark IV Capital
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
McCarthy Kiewit Joint Venture
MD Heritage LLC
Modus Development
Mortenson Construction
Okland Construction
ORB Architecture, LLC
Orcutt | Winslow
Peoria Unified School District
PHArchitecture
Plaza Companies
Poster Frost Mirto
RED Development
RJM Construction
RSP Architects
Ryan Companies US, Inc.
SmithGroupJJR
Sundt Construction, Inc.
Sussex Properties
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Venue Builders
Venue Projects
Wespac Construction Inc.
West-MEC

 

Brokerage Team Finalists

CBRE
Pat Feeney, Dan Calihan and Rusty Kennedy
Todd Fogler, Ryan Eustice and Jami Savage-Gray
Tom Adelson, Jim Fijan, Jerry Robert and Corey Hawley

CPI
Leroy Breinholt
Trent Rustan
Tyson Breinholt

Cushman & Wakefield
Chris Toci and Chad Littell
Jackie Orcutt, John Grady and Mackenzie Ford
Larry Downey

DTZ
Mike Haenel, Andy Markham and Will Strong
Robert Buckely, Tracy Cartledge, Steve Lindley

JLL
Anthony Lydon and Marc Hertzberg
Bill Honsaker, Anthony Lydon and Marc Hertzberg
Dave Seeger, Karsten Peterson and Mark Gustin
John Bonnell and Brett Abramson
Mark Detmer and Bo Mills
Pat Harlan, Steve Sayre and Kyle Westfall
Pat Williams, Steve Corney, Vicki Robinson and Andrew Medley

Lee & Associates
Craig Coppola and Andrew Cheney

Velocity Retail
Andy Kroot
Darren Pitts and Dave Cheatham

The project and brokerage team winners will be announced at the RED Awards reception on Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Arizona Grand Resort between 6 and 8 p.m. At the event, winners of AZRE’s 2015 developer, general contractor, architect and subcontractor of the year awards will also be announced.

Tickets are now available for the RED Awards. here for more information.

technology

Growing tech firms reflect emerging Arizona business sector

Don Hawley is the quintessential product of Silicon Valley. He went to college at the University of California, Berkeley, became a serial entrepreneur and founded and developed many successful technology companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

So why is he doing business in Arizona?

“Arizona is infinitely more business friendly,” said the founder, chairman and CEO of Scottsdale-based Innovative Green Technologies, which creates environmentally friendly products that reduce emissions and save users money. “Favorable tax rates make it less costly to do business in Arizona compared with California, which is attractive to newer companies that have to watch their pennies. Arizona is also blessed with Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, which supply a constant stream of high-quality young talent, which is a great resource.”

Hawley isn’t alone. The recently expansions of Zenefits and Weebly into the Valley and the emergence of Valley-based WebPT and Infusionsoft as technology powerhouses reflect an exploding techn industry in Phoenix that is transforming the state’s economy.

“The technology ecosystem in Arizona has never been more robust and these recent business attractions are going to become more commonplace,” says Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “One of the vital attractions for startups in the Silicon Desert as compared with Silicon Valley is the drastically lower cost of living, especially in the area of housing. The word is getting out about Arizona.”

Valley economic developers are doing more than using lower tax rates and promises of sunshine to convince tech companies to relocate here, the state is building its home-grown success stories. A great example is WebPT, which launched its cloud-based physical therapy software in 2008 and has evolved from startup into one the fastest-growing software company in Arizona, creating more than 200 jobs in Phoenix.

“There are great incentive programs available to businesses looking to grow,” says Brad Jannenga, co-founder, chairman, president and chief technology officer at WebPT. “The Angel Tax Credit program offered by the state is a great opportunity for investors to have peace of mind when backing startups and knowing they can take a tax break when doing so. This was a major win for us when we went out for our Series A round back in 2010. Investors were lining up around the block partly because of the early stage success we had, but also largely because of the Angel Tax Credit.”

It’s the success of emerging companies like WebPT that are driving the robust growth of Arizona’s technology sector, says Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC).

“What we’ve done on the policy side was working with the legislature and governor so they understand that even though the headlines belong to Apple and Intel and companies like that, it’s the hundreds if not thousands of small and medium technologically based enterprises that have the chance to be the next GoDaddy,” Broome says. “Maybe you get lucky and you get a Google or a Microsoft or maybe an Infusionsoft becomes a Microsoft. Having the ability to get those small companies to go to scale and having the economic development programs and policies in place to help them are where we’ve been most helpful.”

Jannenga credits organizations like GPEC for helping the technology sector grow by tirelessly looking at new ways to diversify the economy and working closely with Arizona’s universities to produce the next wave of talent needed to feed the workforce demands of the technology industry.

But Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton put it simply: “WebPT is a game-changer, not only in terms of showing the growth in the tech sector in Phoenix, but growth in the warehouse district in downtown Phoenix.”

Experts say Arizona has actually done a number of things well to build a business environment that fosters innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit.

“The state has emphasized economic development through support of key economic development groups like the Arizona Commerce Authority and GPEC,” says Jacque Westling, partner at Quarles & Brady in Phoenix. “(Arizona) has created and maintained some key tax incentives, such as the Refundable Research and Development Credit and the Angel Investment Tax Credit Program, promoted tech transfer from the universities and supported emerging areas of strength such as biotechnology, data centers, energy and other areas.”

Zylstra says having facilities with ready-to-go infrastructure in desirable hot spots such as downtown Phoenix and downtown Scottsdale has been a major part in attracting technology companies to the Valley.
“Knowledge workers like the type of amenities available in these locations,” he says. “When you add Arizona’s ample workforce, low taxes and low cost of doing business, the foundation is very strong.”

Jannenga says the state’s deep awareness of the emerging technology sector and what it means to our state’s economic future has been helpful to WebPT and other early stage companies.

“I think when people began to recognize that we couldn’t rely on the traditional engines that had previously fueled our growth — tourism and migration from colder climates chief among them — to provide the type of jobs we need, it caused a basic shift in how progressive leaders thought about the future,” says Don Pierson, CEO of SpotlightSales, which has developed a sales performance optimization tool.

With the foundation for building a successful technology sector in place, Pierson says he has seen tremendous growth in the software industry and expects that growth to continue.

“I think biofuels are really interesting,” he says, “and I’m always amazed by what comes out of the biotech area.”

Greg Head, chief marketing officer at Infusionsoft, agrees with Pierson that Arizona quickly becoming a center for software businesses.

“Right now, there are thousands of entrepreneurs incubating new innovations, hundreds of software business growing and employing more people and several bigger software companies like GoDaddy, LifeLock, Infusionsoft and WebPT that are growing fast,” Head says. “The Arizona software community is growing up quickly.”

Experts agree that diversifying Arizona’s tech sectors will continue to power its growth. Zylstra expects aerospace and defense and semiconductor and electronics to continue to be strong, “but IT, especially software and data centers, healthcare, bioscience and alternative energy will help lead us into the future,” he says.

“We need to have all tech industries thriving in Arizona,” says Mike Auger, CEO and founder of PikFly, a technology-driven same day delivery network for local businesses. “A focus in one area puts us into a corner. Semiconductors have been great for our state, but that is really what we are known for — we need to be known for all types of tech.”

While Arizona’s growth in the technology arena is impressive, the state must tackle one major issue to maintain that positive trajectory.

“I spend more of my time as mayor in economic development recruiting and retention than I do anything else,” Stanton says. “The reality is this: the companies are concerned about workforce development. Do we have the pipeline of employees that they are going to need as their companies grow?”

Jannenga agrees that Arizona needs to invest heavily into all levels of our education system and diversify our skilled workforce.

“The places where we’re falling short is we’re not delivering the engineering talent necessary for the tech sector to really take off,” Broome says. “We need to make a big move on the production of engineers and make a big move on the production of information communication technology people.”
Broome says that big move can come from anywhere from community colleges to higher education to unique specialty certification programs that are putting students through six-month boot camps and producing a qualified workforce. He cites the Maricopa Corporate College as a unique training program that is developing and delivering customized workforces.

“You’re going to see continued movement in creating new educational options and a huge infusion of these intermediate training strategies to build the technology sector,” Broome says.

Creating a viable workforce to feed the needs is of the technology industry is a must to maintain the state’s robust growth and quality of life, experts say.

“We either grow the tech sector of the economy or we will fail,” Broome says. “That’s how important it is. It’s where the wages are. It’s where the high-end people are. It’s the part of the economy that is most sustainable. If you’re not building a tech sector, you’re relying on your current industries to remain relevant and we know from history that just doesn’t happen.”

Broome says the Valley has learned from companies like Motorola and General Motors than mature companies in mature industries contract and fade away, so it forces the business community to continually recycle its economic strategy around new industries.

“From my perspective, you’re looking at a make-it-or-break-it situation,” Broome says. “The reason the economy is so sluggish is because it’s waiting for consumption. It’s waiting for government spending and it’s waiting for retail spending and it’s waiting for construction and home buying. When your economy can only recover on that basis, you’re going to continue to have ebbs and flows and dips and falls. Even a place like San Francisco, which has a very difficult business climate because it’s expensive to the point of being unimaginable, its net year-to-year economic growth is much more robust than Phoenix and the rest of the country because its economy is built around talent, innovation and the high-tech sector. If we do a good job and build that out better, there’s no reason why Phoenix can’t be the most exciting community in the United States.”

Phoenix Children's Hospital

The effect of mergers on healthcare real estate

Healthcare in America is changing and bringing real estate with it. Healthcare networks are growing their market shares, and healthcare mergers and acquisitions have been on the rise in the first half of 2014, according to an August report by Berkery Noyes. Deal volume increased during that time by 18 percent, to the tune of $5.45B, according to the report. This is something Arizona has a front row seat to. In July 2013, Tenant Healthcare bought Vanguard Health Systems, which operates Abrazo Health Care, the second largest health care delivery system in Arizona. Last October, Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln Health Network finalized its system-wide affiliation. In August, Banner Health announced it acquisition of University of Arizona’s medical facilities and programs. Scottsdale-based Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (HTA) acquired six medical office buildings (MOBs), outside of Arizona, from ProMed Properties for $200M, the largest MOB acquisition of the first half of 2014.

“Most medical real estate in the Valley has been built around a hospital trying to draw patients into their beds,” says Ensemble Real Estate CEO Randy McGrane. “They’ve invested capital into them, and that’s how they get a return.” However, that idea, catalyzed by the Affordable Care Act, technological advances and general market conditions, is becoming outdated, says McGrane. It’s more profitable for networks to have out-patient care spread within communities, away from the hospital and closer to patients. This is evidenced by the dozens of ambulatory care facilities Banner Health has constructed throughout regions.

“Health systems and physician groups have been forced to compete for market share in the pursuit of volume and reduced overhead expenses,” says HTA’s Executive Vice President, CFO, Treasurer and Secretary Robert Milligan. “From a medical office perspective, this has resulted in tenants that are better credits, looking for larger blocks of space and focused on key locations that will help their practices generate volume. Locations that can offer these features have and will continue to benefit from this consolidation trend.”

As a result, there are more off-campus development happening. The one exception, McGrane notes, may be one at Banner Estrella, for which the medical network recently placed and RFP. Existing on-campus buildings, therefore, are suffering vacancies higher than 25 percent in some cases. Highest and best use for these buildings over time, McGrane says, includes facilities that support a hospital’s known specialties or encourage post-acute care and rehabs, which are more cost-effective to invest in, given the reimbursement systems established by the ACA.

“It’s a painful change,” McGrane says. “Ultimately, it will end up being a better system…We have so much clinical advancement, but we haven’t developed the underlying system to go with it.”

“The great thing about these larger tenants is that they are focused primarily on driving volume into their practices,” Milligan says. “This means that they are focused on office space that allows the physician to utilize the infrastructure of a hospital or surgery center and also provides for an efficient patient experience. Cost, while important, is becoming a secondary factor. We are actively investing in our buildings to attract these larger tenants who will be the long term providers of healthcare in this country.”

phoenix

UA’s Phoenix campus has nearly $1 billion economic Impact

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton today announced that the economic impact of the UA’s downtown Phoenix academic medical center in 2013 was $961 million, according to a report released by nationally recognized consultants Tripp Umbach.

“Our College of Medicine and the academic medical center have become key generators of economic impact for Phoenix and Arizona,” said President Hart. “It is through the great support of the city, the state and our partners in the medical center that we have been able to achieve this kind of impact.”

The Tripp Umbach report outlines the impact of the health science colleges and the surrounding academic campus as defined by the City of Phoenix master plan that includes education, research and clinical facilities over a designated 28-acre area.

Among the findings:
• The economic impact of the overall biomedical campus in downtown Phoenix in 2013 was nearly $1.3 billion, of which $961 million is attributed to the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix presence.
• In 2013, the academic medical center accounted for 9,355 direct and indirect jobs. The UA College of Medicine – Phoenix is responsible for 7,185 of those jobs.
• The academic medical center generated more than $56.5 million in state and local government revenues in 2013 as a result of operational, employee and visitor spending. Of that total, $44.5 million is attributable to the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.
• The estimated economic impact of the academic medical center will reach $3.1 billion by fiscal year 2024-25.

The report was commissioned by the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix and the City of Phoenix.

“The activity on the downtown biomedical campus puts top-notch health care and the best-trained health professionals in our backyard, but it also creates high-value jobs in our city,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

The Phoenix Biomedical Campus plays host to four UA health science colleges – the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health as well as the colleges of nursing and pharmacy. Also on campus are three NAU programs – physician assistant, physical therapy and occupational therapy as part of the university’s College of Health and Human Services. Arizona State University’s School of Nutrition and Health Innovation is housed in the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative south of the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen).

The Biosciences Partnership Building is the latest development in the steady expansion of the downtown Phoenix campus and emerging academic medical center. In 2012, the award-winning Health Sciences Education Building opened, housing health education for both the UA and Northern Arizona University. Construction continues on The UA Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s. The cancer center, a 220,000-square foot outpatient and research facility, is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

tax

Will campaign contributions lower your tax rates?

Many politicians will tell you that donating to their campaigns does not affect the way they vote or design laws. However, a new study from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University suggests regular ongoing contributions do help provide access to influential lawmakers and that companies making campaign contributions specifically to tax-writing members of Congress wind up paying lower tax rates over time.

“We found that firms investing in relationships with tax policymakers through campaign contributions do gain greater future tax benefits,” says Assistant Professor Jennifer Brown of the W. P. Carey School of Business, one of the study authors. “We specifically looked at members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee in the research. Overall, we saw that donating companies experienced lower and more consistent effective tax rates in the long run.”

The new research was recently published online by the Journal of the American Taxation Association. The authors are Brown and two recent Ph.D. graduates from the W. P. Carey School at Arizona State University: Assistant Professor Laura Wellman, now of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Assistant Professor Katharine Drake, now of the University of Arizona. In the study, they remark that political action committee (PAC) contributions to members of Congress, in general, rose 60 percent from the years 2000 to 2008, but PAC contributions specifically to tax-writing members of Congress went up even more — 80 percent.

“Proactive firms build relationships with policymakers through continued campaign support, with the expectation of gaining some economic benefit,” says Wellman. “There is an advantage to getting in the game early and maintaining your seat at the table. Our research provides evidence that increasing the number of political ties to tax policymakers produces a stronger effect on future tax rates.”

The paper points out that one member of the Senate Finance Committee raised more than $11 million in his 2008 campaign, even though he was running essentially unopposed. The research isn’t aimed at showing that anything inappropriate is happening, but rather, that contributions to tax policymakers may help supply more access, such as a receptive ear.

The study utilizes PAC data from the Federal Election Commission and lobbying data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The researchers found that when a firm moved from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile of “relational” activity – equal to supporting at least five more candidates — then that firm experienced a lower future cash effective tax rate, which added up to an average of about $33 million in annual savings. The frequency of the donations and the power level of the candidates also play a role in the equation.

The article adds that lobbying and contributions work together in achieving firms’ tax-policy outcomes. The full study is available at http://aaajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.2308/atax-50908.

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UA’s Michele Norin among Premier 100 IT Leaders

IDG’s Computerworld announced Michele Norin, Chief Information Officer at the University of Arizona, as a 2015 Premier 100 IT Leaders honoree. This year’s Premier 100 spotlights 100 leaders from both the technology and business sides of companies for their exceptional technology leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges.

“The Premier 100 awards program showcases the innovative work of a dedicated group of IT leaders who are using technology to solve business problems in their organizations,” said Scot Finnie, editor in chief of Computerworld. “Every day, these tech-savvy professionals are positioning their organizations for success by mapping IT projects to strategic business initiatives. They also ensure that their departments are set up to quickly enable new ideas, and they balance the need for free and open access to information with concerns about security and compliance. These 100 men and women are using their vast experience in managing people and projects to stay a step ahead. We’re pleased to recognize their leadership and honor their achievements.”

“Michele has demonstrated her strategic leadership of the UA’s IT enterprise by implementing many cutting-edge initiatives that place us years ahead of the pack in higher education,” said Andrew Comrie, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost, University of Arizona. “This requires rare foresight and vision as well as a strong team, and I am delighted that her achievements have been recognized through this award.”

Ms. Norinleads and advocates for the development and use of information technology on campus in support of the University’s vision for excellence in research, teaching, outreach, and lifelong learning. She encourages collaboration among central and departmental IT units, champions the use and expansion of IT services to enhance student and academic success, facilitates information sharing within the campus IT community, and has recently developed a new campus IT governance model.

The Premier 100 awards ceremony will be one of the highlights of the AGENDA15 Conference held March 30 – April 1, 2015, at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, Florida. The Conference, to be attended by more than 300 influential business and senior IT executives, will focus on transforming business for the digital world. (More information available at AGENDA15, www.agendaconference.com.)

Biltmore residents Karl and Stevie Eller with University of Arizona Eller College of Management Dean Len Jessup. The Ellers' gift of $1.5 million will name the Professional Development Center, a two-story addition to the business school that will house undergraduate career coaches, recruiter meeting space, and student collaboration space.

UA Eller College receives large gifts from Valley philanthropists

The University of Arizona Eller College of Management announced on Oct. 9 three new gift commitments totaling $6 million from Shamrock Foods and Karl and Stevie Eller of Phoenix and the Diamond family of Tucson.

More than 240 people attended the celebration of Arizona NOW: The Campaign for the University of Arizona, hosted by Eller College and the UA Foundation National Leadership Council at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. The overall goal of Arizona NOW: The Campaign for the University of Arizona is set at $1.5 billion.

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UofA breaks ground on 245KSF Biosciences Partnership Building

With a shovel of dirt, construction began Thursday on the 10-story Biosciences Partnership Building; the latest development in downtown Phoenix.

 

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton tilled the soil ceremoniously marking the beginning of the 2-year design and construction for the 245,000-square foot research building on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

 

“This building will foster collaborations with scientists that will lead to more cures, better treatments and bring more federal and private dollars to the state,” said President Hart. “We will pursue expanded partnerships with industry that we hope will lead to groundbreaking discoveries in the areas of neuroscience, cardiovascular and thoracic science. This building will allow us to further these efforts and, ultimately, improve lives.”

 

As announced earlier this year by the university and the City of Phoenix, plans are in place to construct the 10-story, 245,000-square-foot research building just north of the Health Sciences Education Building on the downtown campus.

 

“This building will serve the medical school and beyond with important research and faculty to teach the next generation of health professionals,” Stanton said. “Of course, this just adds to the economic vibrancy of downtown. The research facility initially will bring construction jobs, and then high-paying, research-related jobs, including specialized technicians and other support staff for faculty and scientists.”

 

The 2-year construction on the $136 million building is expected to translate into nearly 500 jobs initially and another 360 permanent jobs at build out.

 

“The Bioscience Partnership Building represents yet another milestone as the city and the university develop a major academic medical center in downtown Phoenix,” said Stuart D. Flynn, MD, dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. “Research in this building, in collaboration with our partners, will advance healthcare for all and expand our role as an economic driver for the city, valley, and state.”

 

The building is the latest development in the steady expansion of the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus and expanding academic medical center. In 2012, the award-winning Health Sciences Education Building opened, housing health education for both the UA and Northern Arizona University. Construction continues on The University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s. The cancer center, a 220,000-square foot outpatient and research facility, is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

 

The Phoenix Biomedical Campus plays host to four UA health science colleges – the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health as well as the colleges of nursing and pharmacy. Also on campus are three NAU programs – physician’s assistant, physical therapy and occupational therapy as part of the university’s College of Health and Human Services. Arizona State University’s School of Nutrition and Health Innovation is housed in the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative 1 building just southwest of the education building and immediately south of the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen).

 

The funding for the Biosciences Partnership Building comes from the Stimulus Plan for Economic and Educational Development bonds approved by the legislature in 2008that paid for construction of the Health Sciences Education Building and related campus improvements. Research focus areas include neurosciences, healthcare outcomes, cancer and precision medicine.

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$1.8M grant supports UA cancer biology program

The National Cancer Institute has awarded the University of Arizona Cancer Center a $1.8 million grant to continue training cancer researchers for the future.

The grant, called a T32 Training Grant, is a five-year award that will draw on the strengths of research faculty at The University of Arizona who direct their efforts toward the understanding of cancer causation, prevention and treatment to train future cancer researchers. The grant will fund six pre-doctoral and two postdoctoral trainees.

The training grant has been continuously competitively renewed by the UA Cancer Center since 1978, when Eugene Gerner, PhD, was the first principal investigator. In 1992, G. Tim Bowden, PhD, the center’s chief science officer and chair of the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, became the principal investigator. Jesse Martinez, PhD, became PI when Dr. Bowden retired in 2010. Dr. Martinez also serves as chair of the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, known as CBIO GIDP.

“The renewal of this training grant, which we have had at the UA Cancer Center for 36 years, means that we can continue to train the next generation of cancer researchers who will contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer,” said UA Cancer Center Director Andrew S. Kraft, MD. There are currently 20 students enrolled in the cancer biology graduate program.

The CBIO GIDP, which grew as part of the training grant, was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents in 1988. The GIDP training leads to a doctorate in cancer biology and offers graduate students the opportunity to interact with both basic scientists and clinical researchers. They can then establish themselves as independent investigators pursuing research into the origins and treatment of cancer. Since 1988, the program has trained and graduated more than 75 cancer researchers, including 7 MD/PhDs, who are working in industry, academia and government.

The UA’s Cancer Biology Program is the only program of its kind in the Southwest, excluding Southern California.

Susa joins DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy

Jim Susa

Jim Susa

Attorney Jim Susa has joined the Tucson office of the law firm of DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, P.C. as a shareholder in the firm’s tax practice group.

Susa is recognized by the State Bar of Arizona as a certified tax specialist, and is a member of the State Bar of Arizona Legal Specialization Board Tax Law Advisory Commission. He is also licensed to practice law in Nevada.

Susa previously worked at Snell & Wilmer Law Offices in Tucson, representing numerous business clients in state and local taxation matters in Arizona and Nevada. Before that, he served as an Assistant Attorney General representing the Arizona Department of Revenue and an administrator at the Department.

Susa is a member of the Pima County Bar Association and the State Bar of Arizona Tax Law Advisory Commission. He is the past Chairman of the Arizona State Board of Accountancy Law Review Committee, State Bar of Arizona Tax Section and the Arizona State Board of Tax Appeals. He is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for Arizona, the State Bar of Arizona and the State Bar of Nevada.

Susa graduated cum laude from both the University of Arizona Colleges of Business and Law and holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Florida, specializing in tax law.

DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, P.C., founded in 1968 and one of Southern Arizona’s largest law firms with offices in Tucson and Phoenix, conducts a full-service, multi-disciplinary practice. Additional information about the firm may be found at www.dmyl.com.

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Reconnecting Tucson

While Phoenix is in the throes of commercial recovery, Tucson is, comparably, about 18 to 24 months behind. The city’s proximity to the border is touted as a draw for investors, but the player with the best hand remains the University of Arizona (UA), which is not only the largest employer in southern Arizona but also the nucleus to an otherwise stagnant city.

As development stands, experts point out Tucson has added 1,900 student housing units in the last year and the retail and office sectors in proximity to UA and Pima Community College show promise. In April, Colliers closed the largest office sale in Tucson since 2008.

“Multifamily has led the recovery in almost all markets,” says Cindy Cooke, who heads the Cooke Multifamily Investment Team at Colliers. “Since so much of Tucson is UA and the medical school, I think you only see that continue to be strong. The growth will be fantastic.” The first sign in recovery, she says, is when vacancy increases. Right now, Tucson’s multifamily vacancy is at 7.9 percent. In 2009, it exceeded 11 percent.

The UA is working to spin its innovation to the private sector and create small firms offering high-paying jobs in many areas of core competency, says President and Managing Shareholder of Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, Mike Hammond. “The UA more than ever drives our community in a positive direction,” he says.

Kurt Wadington, Sundt Construction’s Tucson building group leader agrees. He adds that “apart from downtown and other isolated projects, Tucson’s market continues its softness in the shadow of a very slow economic recovery.”

Tucson’s streetcar project, Sun Link, aims to strengthen those existing assets and ignite future development. “With the recent infusion of student housing and corporate offices, downtown has become a desirable location for restaurants and bars as more people live and work in the area,” says Wadington. “This increased day and nighttime activity, that is expected to increase when Tucson’s new streetcar becomes operational on July 25, has numerous developers considering additional retail, office and housing projects.”

Though pens are to drawing boards, and the Sun Link has generated a “flurry of land sales,” there is some hesitation in development. Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR called Tucson a market in search of demand in its Q1 2014 reports. “One-liners are always a little true and at the same time false,” says Hammond. “Tucson says it wants good jobs but it acts differently when they appear.

Tucsonans tend to like the environment and object to nearly any attempt to develop on the land. This depresses demand as the process to develop anything is cumbersome and expensive with very little certainty of success, so we grow slower and some would say that is good. The right balance is tough to achieve.

“As government indebtedness drops, it is anticipated Pima County, followed by other jurisdictions, will pursue bonding authorizations for badly needed capital projects. Other needs may be met through public-private partnerships as public infrastructure needs continue to mount.”

UA is closely followed by Raytheon Missile Systems, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the State of Arizona as top employers. Simply, southern Arizona relies on government funding.“I think the big rock the southern Arizona market is waiting for is some resolution at the national level on debt and how government goes forward at the federal spending level,” says Hammond.

“Much of our area is dependent of spending at the federal level and that has been decreasing, whether for infrastructure, military in general — the A10 fighter specifically — and Raytheon. No one expects funding to increase in these areas and these are very good jobs that bring new money into the area. The multiplier effect is real in the creation of jobs or the loss of jobs as the case may be.”

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Nancy K. Sweitzer – Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Nancy K. SweitzerDirector, UA’s Sarver Heart Center
Sweitzer, an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist and physiologist, hopes to build bridges between clinical and science enterprises and increase discovery in the areas of translational and personalized cardiovascular medicine.

Greatest accomplishment: “Becoming director of the Sarver Heart Center and chief of cardiology at the University of Arizona in March 2014.”

Surprising fact: “When visiting a new place, I always seek out local beer and yarn shops.”

Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue, Az Business Magazine celebrates the amazing women who make an impact on Arizona business.

Click here to see all of the 2014 Most Influential Women.

Rebecca Senf. (Photo provided.)

Phoenix Art Museum exhibit shares self-published photobooks

The INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks will be at Phoenix Art Museum from August 23 to September 28, 2014. It explores the ways photographic artists are using newly available commercial technologies to self-publish photobooks. Entries were accepted until the end of July when a jury of seven industry professionals reviewed the 271 photobooks that came from 12 countries to select the 151 that will be on display to the public as part of the exhibition. The selected photobooks represent the diverse examples that were received and will be presented on tables in the gallery for visitors to easily view and enjoy.

DWVibnxiTi0TKguZqkIDs4oOQclBQqSUL1wIoZv7sQ0Phoenix Art Museum’s Norton Family Curator of Photography Rebecca Senf, Ph.D., was inspired to create this exhibition in Phoenix after learning about the DIY: Photographers & Books exhibition that was at Cleveland Museum of Art in 2012. A librarian, retail sales manager, two photography curators, two photography authors, and the founder of a photobook library made up the jury of seven industry professionals. Submissions were accepted until the end of July and the jury was overwhelmed by the nearly 300 submissions received. The photobooks came from 12 countries including Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Ukraine and the U.S. Within the U.S. alone books came from 31 states and Puerto Rico.

Rebecca Senf, Ph.D., said, “This is the first time I’ve done a big juried exhibition and it was such an exciting process.” She added, “Reviewing the books with my colleagues was enjoyable and it was a pleasure to discover so many wonderful books. I cannot wait to share what we discovered with the Phoenix Art Museum audience.”

The INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks was organized by Phoenix Art Museum, INFOCUS,Phoenix Art Museum’s photography support organization, and the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. For additional information about the exhibition please visit phxart.org/exhibition/infocusphotobooks.

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Jewett Named Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year

jewett-sqJack B. Jewett, President & CEO of the Flinn Foundation, will be honored with the Jon W. McGarity Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year Award by the Arizona BioIndustry Association.

“Great leaders embrace possibilities and take the steps to make them reality. Jack B. Jewett has done more than just take steps,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, President & CEO, of the Arizona Bioindustry Association. “Thanks to his leadership and the commitment of the Flinn Foundation, Arizona has a Bioscience Roadmap that charts our statewide bioscience strategies through 2025.”

A longtime Arizona leader in health care, education, and public policy, Mr. Jewett joined the Flinn Foundation in June 2009 as President & CEO. In this role, he is responsible for all grant programs and operations of the Flinn Foundation including Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, which is the longest running bioscience strategic initiative of its kind in the US. Under Jewett’s leadership, Flinn has renewed its commitment and released the next generation of the Roadmap extending out until 2025.

Mr. Jewett previously served in a variety of leadership roles within the private, public, and nonprofit sectors in Arizona for more than 40 years. He held senior public policy and government relations positions with Tucson Medical Center for 13 years and served as president of Territorial Newspapers, a family-owned publishing and printing company in Tucson. He served on the Arizona Board of Regents from 1998-2006, including a term as president; and five terms in the Arizona House of Representatives, from 1983-1992, the final two years as majority whip.

A University of Arizona graduate, Mr. Jewett currently serves on the board of trustees of the Tucson-based Thomas R. Brown Foundations, is a public member of the Arizona Judicial Council, and is a member of the Greater Phoenix Leadership Council. He served on the board of directors for the National Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges from 2004-13, and received its Distinguished Service Award for outstanding trusteeship for his work on “Changing Directions,” an initiative of the Arizona Board of Regents.

The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. Today, the Foundation supports the advancement of the biosciences in Arizona, as well as three other program areas to help build Arizona’s knowledge-driven economy.

A ceremony honoring Jack B. Jewett will take place at the AZBio Awards Sept. 17 at the Phoenix Convention Center. The AZBio Awards ceremony celebrates Arizona’s leading educators, innovators and companies. Each year, AZBio honors bioindustry leaders from across the state of Arizona who are illustrative of the depth, breadth and expertise of our bioscience industry.

Past recipients of the Jon W. McGarity Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year Award include: Linda Hunt (Dignity Health), Harry George (Solstice Capital), Robert Penny, MD, PhD (International Genomics Consortium), Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD (NantHealth), Martin L. Shultz (Pinnacle West Capital Corp.), Michael Cusanovich, Ph.D., (University of Arizona), Jonathan Thatcher (Exeter Life Sciences), John W. Murphy (Flinn Foundation), and George Poste (Arizona State University).

For registration and more information, go to www.azbio.awards.com.

health

Banner Health acquiring all UA medical facilities

In a historic move that will transform the health care landscape in Arizona, the University of Arizona Health Network (UAHN) and the University of Arizona (UA) executed a Principles of Agreement document with Banner Health, to create a statewide health care organization and a comprehensive new model for academic medicine. This ground-breaking agreement will formalize discussions and is intended to lead to final definitive agreements sometime in the fall.

The proposed transaction is anticipated to generate approximately $1 billion in new capital, academic investments, and other consideration and value beneficial to UA and the community.

The anticipated transition of 6,300 employees working at UAHN’s two hospitals, the health plan and the medical group into Banner will create Arizona’s largest private employer with more than 37,000 employees.

The action follows votes from the UAHN and Banner boards of directors in support of proceeding with negotiations, as well as a vote by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) to authorize UA to also move forward with UAHN and Banner. The parties will now work together towards final definitive agreements, anticipated to be completed and signed in September of this year. The definitive agreements must also be approved by ABOR and the boards of directors of UAHN and Banner. The proposed transaction is expected to close a few months following the signing of the definitive agreements.

“We are impressed by the thoughtfulness and thoroughness that has driven the UAHN board process in determining how best to meet the future needs of those they serve. In addition, this agreement strengthens and can accelerate the discovery efforts of our Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix, leading to medical advances,” said ABOR Chair Rick Myers.

Proposed transition key elements:

• Create an Arizona-based, statewide health system that improves care for all the state’s citizens • Create a nationally leading health system that provides better care and improved patient and member experiences at lower costs through valued-based or accountable care organizations that utilize population health management models that emphasize wellness;
• Expand University of Arizona Medical Center capabilities for complex academic/clinical programs such as transplantations, neurosciences, genomics-driven precision health, geriatrics, and pediatrics while providing for investment opportunities in other areas;
• Bolster fiscal sustainability, eliminating persistent shortfalls and low operating margins currently experienced by UAHN.

In addition to solving the immediate financial needs, the proposed agreement will:

• Eliminate the debt burdening UAHN (currently projected to be $146 million)
• Provide resources for improved hospital infrastructure, including the $21 million purchase of land currently leased to UAMC and $500 million within five years to expand and renovate the medical center, and build new facilities as appropriate, such as a major, multi-specialty outpatient center to be constructed in Tucson
• Create a $300 million endowment which will provide a $20 million per year revenue stream to advance the UA’s clinical and translational research mission
• Preserve historic funding levels between the clinical and academic partners in addition to a $20 million per year enhancement.
• Allow additional funding support based on growth in revenues generated by the clinical and academic partnership.
• Improve operational efficiencies
• Secure and sustain a lasting relationship with, and commitment to, the University of Arizona, anchored by an Academic Division within Banner. The Academic Medical Centers: The University of Arizona Medical Center – University and South Campuses and Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center and the faculty practice plan, will support the growing needs of the Colleges of Medicine in Phoenix and Tucson and create a value-based delivery system;
• The Phoenix and Tucson academic medical centers will be infused with operational strength through the proposed transition and rapidly evolve into major economic drivers that will attract highly skilled, trained and paid professionals, elevating Arizona as a bioscience destination;
• Train more physician specialists and allied health professionals, including pharmacists and advanced practice nurses for Arizona;
• Provide a comprehensive platform for the development of physician-scientists who will drive discovery across basic science studies, patient-oriented clinical research, health services research, and population health;
• Enhance and elevate academic medical excellence across Arizona to national leadership levels; and
• Secure and sustain an operational foundation for the Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix that will maximize the value of the ongoing state funding received annually through legislative appropriations.

“When these respected organizations unite, the potential for delivering top-tier academic medicine throughout the state, recognized nationally, becomes a reality,” said Steve Lynn, UAHN Chairman of the Board.

Added Michael Waldrum, M.D., UAHN President and CEO, “I’m especially pleased that this proposed transition will infuse stability and energy into our organization. This will benefit our patients, faculty, staff and students as we pursue excellence. Ultimately, we’re moving from a situation in which we can only maintain status quo, to a situation in which we can create a premier Academic Medical Center.”

This proposed transition is occurring amidst a period of profound transformation in health care that is driving organizations to adopt innovative ways to not only improve health care with a strong emphasis on wellness, but to do it at a lower cost.

“With health care here in Arizona and across the nation facing new challenges and opportunities every day, this agreement will allow the Arizona Health Sciences Center and the entire UA to advance our mission to provide education, conduct research and enhance patient care that will transform health care at the state and national level,” said Ann Weaver Hart, President of the University of Arizona. “Combining the world-class care at UAHN and Banner will better meet the needs of patients in Arizona and throughout the region, while also providing tremendous learning experiences for students at the University of Arizona. By forming this collaboration we will accomplish more for Arizona’s residents and for the advancement of medical knowledge and practice than we could do in isolation.”

The University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine and Banner Health have a long history of successful affiliation through the Graduate Medical Education program at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix. Each year, Banner and the UA Colleges of Medicine collaborate in the training of nearly 260 physicians in five residency programs and in numerous fellowships.

Added Peter S. Fine, President and CEO of Banner, “We’re honored that the UAHN Board of Directors strategically sought Banner to create Arizona’s first statewide health system to help strengthen medical education. Banner’s vision is to sustain a position of national leadership. This opportunity to join with a premier academic organization significantly advances Banner towards this vision. In addition, we’re especially mindful of UAHN’s legacy of excellence in Tucson and throughout the state, which must be maintained, nourished and strengthened.”

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UA College of Public Health adds Halpern

image003The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health welcomes new faculty member Michael Halpern, MD, PhD, MPH, an associate professor and chair of the public health policy and management section.

Dr. Halpern has more than 20 years of experience in health services research and policy analysis, including evaluating patterns of medical care, quality of care, comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, access to care, and disparities. His research includes analyses of patient outcomes, medical treatment patterns and costs, using Medicare, Medicaid and other claims databases and national health-care surveys; assessments of patient symptoms, satisfaction and quality of life; examinations of health-care provider shortages and policies to facilitate team-based care; and program evaluations for interventions to improve preventive services, access to care and quality of care.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Halpern to our college. His academic portfolio will certainly strengthen our health services research program and develop the health outcomes research program. His leadership will guide the expansion of both the health outcomes and public health policy curricula to better meet the needs of both our undergraduate and graduate students,” said Iman Hakim, MD, PhD, MPH, dean of the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Dr. Halpern said, “This exciting position will provide opportunities to collaborate with other researchers at the University of Arizona, work more closely with underserved populations, have greater involvement in teaching and student mentoring and assist in developing health policies for Arizona.”

Dr. Halpern received his MD and PhD in the Medical Scientist Training Program and his MPH in epidemiology at the University of Michigan. He previously worked at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Battelle Memorial Institute, American Cancer Society, and Research Triangle Institute. Dr. Halpern serves on the Cancer Survivorship Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Scientific Review Committee of the American College of Preventive Medicine. He has more than 130 publications and is section editor for disparities for the journal Cancer.

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.

Medical Technology - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

NIH awards BAI, Mayo $8.3 million

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) renewed funding for the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI) and Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, longitudinal study of the earliest changes associated with the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at older ages. The award, an estimated $8.3 million over the next five years, continues NIH’s long-term support of the investigation.

The study, which began two decades ago, has been examining the subtle brain imaging, memory and thinking changes that occur in healthy late-middle-aged and older adults who have inherited from their parents either one, two or no copies of the apolipoprotein E (APOE4) gene, the major genetic risk factor for developing late-onset Alzheimer’s. Each additional copy of the gene significantly increases a person’s chance of developing the disease.

“We are extremely grateful to the NIH and our wonderful research volunteers for their support,” said Dr. Eric M. Reiman, BAI Executive Director and one of the study’s principal investigators. “From the beginning, this study has been driven by our interest in finding treatments to prevent or end Alzheimer’s as quickly as possible, and to provide the information and tools needed to do just that.”

By studying individuals at three levels of genetic risk, researchers have been able to get a sneak peek at the changes associated with the risk of Alzheimer’s. As study participants begin to reach older ages, researchers hope to further clarify the extent to which characteristic brain imaging and other biological changes are associated with subsequent clinical decline. Additionally, researchers hope to further clarify the number of at-risk persons needed to conduct prevention trials, as well as share this valuable resource with other researchers and further develop the methods needed to test the range of promising treatments as quickly as possible.

This longitudinal study began in 1994, soon after researchers discovered the APOE4 gene’s contribution to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. They have been following approximately 200 healthy volunteers with varying copies of the APOE4 gene, starting between the ages of about 50-65. Every two years, participants are monitored using an extensive battery of brain imaging, memory and thinking tests. A growing number of participants have also been providing cerebrospinal fluid samples. As many of the volunteers reach older ages, a growing number are now at risk for developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. This disease progression will give researchers the opportunity to characterize the extent of change in various biomarker and cognitive measurements. Data will be used to evaluate potential treatments that could combat amyloid plaques, which are strongly associated with Alzheimer’s, as well as help inform the design of future prevention trials.

“Like Dr. Reiman, I am excited about the opportunity we have been given to help advance the study of preclinical Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Richard J. Caselli, Professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and the study’s other principal investigator. “We also look forward to the chance to share our data and samples with other researchers to help advance the scientific fight against this terrible disease.”

The study has had a profound impact on Alzheimer’s prevention efforts. It has helped shape the field’s understanding of the progressive brain changes that precede the clinical onset of Alzheimer’s by almost two decades. It has also served as the foundation for the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative, an international collaborative formed to accelerate the evaluation of promising but unproven therapies. Data from this longitudinal study has also contributed to the development of the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer’s Association research criteria for pre-clinical Alzheimer’s. It has also provided key information for the first reconceptualization of Alzheimer’s as a sequence of biological changes that progress over a person’s lifetime.

“By providing insights into the earliest Alzheimer’s-related changes to brain function and structure, this study is contributing to the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’ Disease goal of finding effective interventions by 2025,” said Dr. Neil Buckholtz, of the National Institute on Aging, which leads the NIH research program on Alzheimer’s.

This work also includes researchers from Arizona State University, University of Arizona and the Translational Genomics Research Institute, organizations that are partners in the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium. Dr. Eric M. Reiman of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Dr. Richard J. Caselli of Mayo Clinic are the two principal investigators.

Alzheimer’s is a debilitating and incurable disease that affects as many as 5 million Americans age 65 and older, according to a number of estimates. Without the discovery of successful prevention therapies, the number of U.S. cases is projected to nearly triple by 2050.

Mayo Medical Schools Expands to Arizona

UA College of Medicine Accredited Through 2022

The medical education program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, designed to train the next generation of highly skilled physicians dedicated to improving patient care and advancing the state of medical knowledge, has earned accreditation through 2022, a full eight-year term.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accreditation authority for MD programs in the United States and Canada, announced the decision and identified a number of institutional strengths within the college that are distinctive and worthy of emulation. The LCME is jointly sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA).

The UA College of Medicine – Tucson graduates 115 medical doctors each year and is led by Interim Dean Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, who also serves as UA senior vice president for health sciences. The college’s medical education program is led by Kevin Moynahan, MD, deputy dean of education.

In January, more than 100 faculty, students, administrators and staff from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson (UA COM – Tucson) met with the LCME survey team during its site visit to determine accreditation eligibility.

“This achievement would not have been possible were it not for the tremendous leadership, teamwork and effort put forth by all. We are grateful to our UA COM – Tucson LCME project leadership team, to those students, faculty and staff who participated in the survey visit, as well as to the numerous students, faculty and staff who participated in the COM self-study process,” said Dr. Moynahan.

In addition to awarding the college accreditation for a full cycle, the 19 LCME members, who are medical educators and administrators, practicing physicians, public members and medical students appointed by the AAMC and AMA, determined that the college has a number of institutional strengths:

· The LCME found that the student-developed and student-administered Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) program, implemented by the UA College of Medicine in 1979, provides an exceptional number and variety of community service and service-learning opportunities for medical students. The CUP program provides UA medical students the opportunity to gain clinical experience by working with medically underserved populations. CUP was described by numerous medical students as a major influence in their decision to attend the college.

· The LCME also noted the development and implementation of an effective system of confidential and easily accessible personal counseling for its students, assisting them in adjusting to the ongoing emotional demands of a medical education. The UA COM – Tucson counseling program received high praise from students in the 2013 AAMC Graduation Questionnaire, in the independent student analysis and in conversations with students during the survey visit.

· In addition, the UA COM – Tucson Societies Program provides a strong longitudinal experience with a trained faculty mentor. Mentors are chosen from among the college’s most distinguished clinician-educators who teach students interviewing, physical examination and patient care skills at the patient bedside, helping students to develop clinical thinking, documentation and presentations and professionalism skills.

The LCME defines areas of strengths as those that reflect an aspect of the medical education program that has been shown to be critical for the successful achievement of one or more of the program’s missions or goals or a truly distinctive activity or characteristic that would be worthy of emulation.

The UA College of Medicine – Tucson provides state-of-the-art programs of medical education, groundbreaking research opportunities and leading-edge patient care. Together with the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, the two colleges are Arizona’s only MD degree-granting institutions serving as a health care resource for the state and its people.

Founded on the campus of the University of Arizona in 1967, with an initial class of just 32 students, the UA College of Medicine – Tucson today has graduated more than 3,900 physicians. College of Medicine students, faculty, staff and alumni continue more than 45 years of service in advancing medical care and knowledge in Arizona—and around the world.