Jeffrey R. Lisse, MD, professor of medicine and medical director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center’s Osteoporosis Program, has been named medical director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP).

As ATP medical director, Dr. Lisse will oversee the clinical operations of the Arizona Telemedicine Program. This includes recruiting physicians to provide telemedicine services over ATP’s state-wide broad-band telecommunications network. He will preview cases to certify their suitability for management by telemedicine, conduct chart reviews, and oversee ATP quality assurance programs. Dr. Lisse also will have responsibility for maintaining contact with ATP rural site coordinators, helping train rural site physicians to serve as telemedicine case presenters and participating in ATP training programs. 

A specialist in rheumatology, Dr. Lisse’s experience with ATP has included providing tele-rheumatology for patients in rural communities for a number of years. He also has provided tele-consults with physicians and patients with rural medical sites and the Arizona Department of Corrections via the ATP network. With an ongoing shortage of rheumatologists in Arizona, the consults are crucial to the quality of care provided to patients with arthritis around the state, and ATP is working to expand both the academic and clinical aspects of tele-rheumatology, Dr. Lisse said.

Dr. Lisse’s appointment as medical director was effective March 1. He succeeds Ana Maria Lopez, MD, who was medical director of the ATP from its inception in 1996 through Feb. 28, when she left the UA to serve as associate vice president for health equity and inclusion at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, in Salt Lake City.

“It’s an honor to serve the Arizona Telemedicine Program as medical director,” Dr. Lisse said. “It’s also going to be hard to follow in Dr. Lopez’s footsteps. She set the bar very high.”

Dr. Lisse has been with the UA Arthritis Center since 2000, when he joined the UA College of Medicine – Tucson as the Ethel McChesney Bilby Endowed Chair for Osteoporosis. He was chief of the rheumatology section of the Department of Medicine from 2000 to 2013 and served as the UA Arthritis Center’s interim director from 2005 to 2008.

Prior to coming to the UA, Dr. Lisse spent 17 years at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he was professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Rheumatology. Before that, he was a staff associate at the National Institutes of Health Southwest Studies Field Section in Phoenix, while serving as an internal medicine consultant for the Phoenix and Sacaton Indian Health Service hospitals.

Dr. Lisse graduated with honors from Georgetown University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., in 1976. He completed his internal medicine residency at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in San Francisco in 1979, followed by a fellowship in rheumatology at the University of California, San Diego, which he completed in 1983.


Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, founder and director of ATP, said, “Dr.Lisse is highly respected by our medical staff as well as physicians and patients throughout the region. He is very popular among our staff and our students, and an excellent role model. Dr. Lisse is a critically important addition to our executive team.” 


Dr. Weinstein also praised Dr. Lopez’s service as medical director of ATP for the past 19 years. “I had the great pleasure of working with Dr. Lopez since she was chief resident in internal medicine here at the University of Arizona,” he said. “Her contributions to the field of telemedicine include the creation of breast cancer survivor tele-support groups, which were funded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation for years.”