The University of Arizona Health Sciences


Esther Johnston, MD, working with children in Afrida

Residency Alumna Featured on NPR

Esther Johnston, MD, a 2014 graduate of the UA College of Medicine - Tucson residency in Family Medicine, was featured in a Jan. 7 NPR story about her work as family medicine director for Seed Global Health, a non-profit that has teamed up with the Peace Corps to educate doctors and other medical professionals in Africa. During her residency, she received a College of Medicine Resident Excellence and Leadership Scholarship to fund her work to promote pediatric nutrition in Kenya. Upon completing her residency, Dr. Johnston was named one of the top 12 family medicine residents in the U.S. by the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the top resident in Arizona by the AAFP state chapter. 

UA Endocrinologist Dr. Merri Pendergrass Chosen for Top State Award by American Diabetes Association

The Arizona Chapter of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) will present University of Arizona endocrinologist Merri L. Pendergrass, MD, PhD, with its CARE Award at its annual recognition event Thursday, Jan. 14, at Memorial Hall at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix.

A professor of medicine, Dr. Pendergrass is director of the Adult Diabetes Program in the Division of Endocrinology. She also is the key clinical faculty member for endocrinology in the UA Department of Medicine, a designation to accommodate a protected “academic half-day” funded by the department to mentor students and resident physicians, teach and serve a key role in training programs. She joined faculty at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson in 2013.

“I am particularly touched that someone nominated me. I am just one of many people in Tucson working to help improve the lives of people living with diabetes,” she said.

Including Dr. Pendergrass, 12 people will be recognized at Thursday’s event. “There is no fee. It’s an event to recognize all...

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Leading Nutrition Conference to Assemble World Experts in Denver in March

The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (UACIM), the worldwide leader in integrative health-care education, has opened registration for the 2016 Nutrition & Health Conference, March 21-23, in Denver, Colo. The conference brings together internationally-recognized researchers, clinicians, educators and chefs to explore good nutrition and health. This year’s faculty include Loren Cordain, PhD, founder of the Paleo Diet movement; Kathie Swift, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, a nationally recognized speaker and education director for Food as Medicine; Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, Harvard School of Public Health and author of Eat Drink and Be Healthy; Peter Green, MD, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University; and Andrew Weil, MD, director of UACIM and integrative medicine pioneer.

“We know that simple, low-cost, and low-tech lifestyle changes such as improved diet are proven to be extremely effective for both prevention and treatment of many conditions,” said Dr. Weil, whose new cookbook, Fast Food, Good Food: More Than 150 Quick and Easy Ways to Put Healthy, Delicious Food on the Table, was just published...

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‘Tomorrow’s Cures Today,’ Inaugural Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Symposium, Jan. 30

“Tomorrow’s Cures Today,” an inaugural symposium about cell therapy and regenerative medicine, will be held Saturday, Jan. 30, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson.

Presented by the University of Arizona Health Sciences, UA College of Medicine – Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, the free event is open to UA faculty, staff and students as well as health professionals and the public.

According to the National Institutes of Health, regenerative medicine is a rapidly developing field with the “potential to transform the treatment of human disease through the development of innovative new therapies that offer a faster, more complete recovery with significantly fewer side effects or risk of complications.” Regenerative medicine includes growing tissue to repair or replace human tissues or organs lost due to age, disease, damage or congenital defects.

The symposium will feature internationally renowned speakers from Stanford University, Washington University and Shriners Hospital in St. Louis, and the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute, in...

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University of Arizona Arthritis Center’s 2016 Living Healthy With Arthritis Conference Addresses ‘Pain and Your Brain,’ Jan. 23

The role of the brain in the pain and inflammation of arthritis will be addressed by David M. Labiner, MD, keynote speaker at the University of Arizona Arthritis Center’s 2016 Living Healthy With Arthritis Conference.

The conference will be held Saturday, Jan. 23, 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (check-in begins at 8 a.m.), at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson.

Dr. Labiner is professor and head of the Department of Neurology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and professor of pharmacy practice and science at the UA College of Pharmacy.

A lunch roundtable, “How Physical Stress and Cardiovascular Health Impact Brain Health and Cognition … Inflammation is the Key,” will feature UA Arthritis Center Co-Founder  Eric P. Gall, MD, MACP, MACR; UA Cognition and Neuroimaging Laboratory Director Lee Ryan, PhD; and Mike Siemens, MS, director of exercise physiology, Canyon Ranch Health Resort.

The conference also will cover...

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UA Pediatric Pulmonary Center Receives $1.69M Grant from Maternal and Child Health Bureau to Train Leaders to Care for Kids with Pulmonary Disorders

The University of Arizona Pediatric Pulmonary Center has received a five-year, $1.69 million renewal grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

First funded in 2000, the UA Pediatric Pulmonary Center (UA PPC) serves as a regional and national resource center for training and educating the next generation of leaders who care for children with chronic pulmonary disorders within the disciplines of medicine, nursing, nutrition, social work, pharmacy and family advocacy.

“In addition to training the next generation of leaders, this important grant allows the UA PPC to provide technical assistance to governmental and non-governmental agencies involved in maternal and child health,” said Mark Brown, MD, professor, UA Department of Pediatrics and director of the UA Pediatric Pulmonary Center. “We also provide continuing education to maternal and child health professionals in our region—Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawaii and the six U.S. Pacific Island Territories.”

PPC training programs promote comprehensive, family-centered and culturally sensitive...

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The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson has seen many advances and accomplishments s

Shaping the Future of Medicine: The College of Medicine – Tucson

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson has seen many advances and accomplishments since it was founded in 1967, and this publication—Shaping the Future of Medicine [PDF]—captures the history and highlights of the College and each of its departments.

Within the pages of the COM – T report, you’ll learn …

which artificial body part was the developed here and recognized as one of the nation’s 10  most important medical advances in 1976; how a single photon of light may eventually help prevent and treat a disease with no current cure; about new technology that shows fine details of breast tissue without added radiation to breast cancer patients;

and much, much more about the people, programs and ground-breaking research at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson!

Remembering Victims of 2011 Tucson Shooting

A bell-ringing ceremony to remember the 19 people killed or wounded in a mass shooting at a Tucson shopping center five years ago will be held Friday morning, Jan. 8, 2016 on the lawn of Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, 1501 N. Campbell Ave.

The brief ceremony for the hospital’s physicians and staff will start at 9:50 a.m. and include a prayer by hospital Chaplain Joe Fitzgerald and a reading of the names of each victim, followed by a bell-ringing by one of the shooting survivors at precisely 10:10 a.m., the moment when the gunman opened fire five years ago at a crowded “Congress at your Corner” event hosted by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

There also will be brief comments by hospital CEO Tom Dickson and an update on the proposed January 8thmemorial in downtown Tucson by Crystal Kasnoff, executive director of  The January 8th Memorial Foundation.

After the shootings in 2011, the wounded were rushed to University Medical Center, now Banner – UMC. Then as now, the hospital operates the only Level 1 trauma center in Southern Arizona.

A grieving Tucson decorated the hospital lawn with thousands of flowers, candles and messages of hope...

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Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase to Feature Top Health-Care Innovators and Telehealth Leaders

In response to the great success of the first Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase (SPS) in October 2014, the award-winning Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) is organizing the second SPS, to be held June 21-22 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix.

SPS 2016 again will focus on building partnerships for bringing quality medical specialty services directly into hospitals, clinics, private practices, schools and other entities, 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.

“Telehealth services are a rapidly growing segment of the telemedicine industry, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested in service provider start-ups,” said Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, ATP director. “This is the only national meeting specifically focused on clinical telehealth services.”

The ATP has confirmed a roster of nationally known health-care leaders and innovators as speakers, including:

Richard S. Bakalar, MD, managing director, Advisory Services in Healthcare Solutions, KPMG, LLP Pat... [read more]

Banner Health implements visitor restrictions

In response to increasing rates of influenza and other seasonal illnesses across the nation, Banner Health will implement visitor restrictions at all of its hospitals, including Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center South.

Effective Dec. 28, the following restrictions will be implemented:

•    Do not visit the hospital if you have fever, cough, vomiting or diarrhea
•    No visitors under the age of 13
•    Siblings who do not have cold and flu symptoms may visit a new baby in the Obstetrics Unit
•    Children 12 and under must be supervised by an adult at all times in public waiting areas and cafeterias
•    Please wash or sanitize your hands frequently while at the hospital

All Banner Health employees, employed physicians, volunteers and students received a flu vaccination by Dec. 1. Those who were unable to receive the vaccination because of medical or religious reasons are required to wear a mask while in care settings (such as hospitals) during the flu season.

Banner Health encourages everyone over the age of 6 months to receive the flu vaccine to protect...

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