The University of Arizona Health Sciences


UA Physician-Researchers Specializing in Chronic Pain Help Patients Discontinue Use of Potentially Addictive Prescription Drugs

University of Arizona Health Sciences pain specialists are offering patients effective treatments for chronic pain, most often without prescribing drugs, such as Percocet, Oxycontin and other opioid-based medications that when used over a long period of time could lead to addiction.

In several cases, patients whose pain rendered them unable to work have been able to resume working.

Mohab Ibrahim, MD, PhD, and Amol Patwardhan, MD, PhD, both assistant professors in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, are the doctors who direct the Chronic Pain Management Clinic, an outpatient clinic at Banner – University Medical Center South.

“Pain clinics nationwide are under-utilized,” Dr. Mohab said. “Patients think pain clinics are simply a place to go for prescription medications. Our program offers a full range of diagnostic services and advanced therapies to alleviate pain and improve physical functioning.”

One example is the spinal cord stimulator, a small, implantable device that resembles a heart pacemaker, and sends electrical signals to the brain to block the sensation of pain....

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Partnering with Rural Communities to Recruit the Next Generation of Health Care Professionals

More than 200 girls in third through eighth grades at 15 schools in Flagstaff and at five other sites in northern Arizona enrolled in the program Girls on the Run will end their training with a 5k run, part of a health curriculum they have been learning in the 10-week empowerment program.

The 5k event will be held in Flagstaff at Buffalo Park, 2400 N. Gemini Rd., on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 10 a.m. Girls on the Run is a national program that teaches the role of teams, healthy relationships, self-esteem, confidence and how to positively connect with and shape the world through community engagement.

Girls on the Run is one of many community partnerships the Arizona Area Health Education Centers Program (AzAHEC) endorses to improve health outcomes in Arizona’s rural areas. AzAHEC is a sponsored program of the University of Arizona Health Sciences, Arizona’s academic health sciences center.

The AzAHEC collaborates with five statewide Arizona AHEC regional centers to support the...

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Gala Raises More Than $160k to Improve Children’s Health

The 5th annual “I Think I Can” gala, benefitting the UA Steele Children’s Research Center and Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center, raised more than $160,000 for pediatric clinical and research programs.

Approximately 400 people attended the whimsical, lively, fun-filled and entertaining event that featured the theme, “I Think I Can” from the children’s classic book, “The Little Engine That Could.”

The event took place Oct. 16 at The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. It was hosted by former UA Wildcat and San Antonio Spurs basketball player Sean Elliott and his wife, Claudia. The UA Jazz Trio and Tucson Circus Arts provided entertainment.

“I’m deeply grateful to the members of the Steele Center advisory board who worked countless hours to make this event a success,” said Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, director of the UA Steele Center and physician-in-chief for Diamond Children’s. “I’m also thankful to the University of Arizona...

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Dr. Harvey Meislin Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine

Harvey W. Meislin, MD, professor of emergency medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, has been awarded the 2016 Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine (AACEM) Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented at the AACEM annual retreat dinner Feb. 22 in Tempe.

“Dr. Meislin has dedicated a lifetime to promoting the specialty of emergency medicine through his leadership, mentoring and creative spirit. He has altered the course of the specialty for the better in many ways,” said Samuel Keim, MD, professor and head of the UA Department of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Meislin was appointed head of the Section of Emergency Medicine when it was established by the UA College of Medicine in 1980. He advanced the section to full department status in 2001 and continued as the Department of Emergency Medicine head until 2011. Dr. Meislin founded the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center (AEMRC) in 1990 and served as the center’s director.

Among the many leadership roles he has held during his career, Dr...

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Dr. Jeannie Lee from UA College of Pharmacy Named Geriatrician of Year

Jeannie K. Lee, PharmD, assistant head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and an associate professor in the same department, has been named the 2015 Geriatrician of the Year by the Arizona Geriatrics Society.

Each year, the AzGS recognizes and honors exemplary and outstanding health-care professionals who are passionate about caring for older adults and have made significant contributions in the field of geriatric medicine or gerontology. Nominees are evaluated based on their demonstration of exemplary interprofessional geriatric practice or education, their impact in the community or place of employment and their scope or length of service.

Dr. Lee is also a research associate and faculty member of the UA Center on Aging in the Arizona Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In nominating materials for the award, Dr. Lee is praised for working tirelessly to train and mentor pharmacists, student pharmacists and others, including medical, public health, social work and nursing...

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‘Beyond Cancer’ Event on Jan. 30 will Focus on Finding Joy after Treatment

Beyond Cancer: Finding Joy, a unique event for cancer survivors, family, friends, caregivers and the Tucson community presented by Community Cancer Connections at the University of Arizona College of Nursing, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort at 7000 N. Resort Drive in Tucson.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 340,000 cancer survivors reside in Arizona alone. Although many programs exist to support patients undergoing cancer treatment in the Tucson community, very few are available to help cancer survivors reclaim their lives after treatment is over. In response to this unmet need, the first annual Beyond Cancer event was held in 2015.

The focus of the 2016 event is “finding joy” after cancer treatment. Presenters will include keynote speaker Ann Marie Chiasson, MD, MPH, CCFP, from the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, and...

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UAHS Partners with Chicanos Por La Causa To Raise Funds to Diversify Health-Care, Nov. 13

To help build a more diverse health-care workforce representative of the population it serves, Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (CPLC) has partnered with the University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) in a special golf fundraising event. The CPLC 19th Annual Southern Arizona Scholarship Golf Tournament will take place on Friday, Nov. 13 at the Randolph Golf Club Complex.

Arizona suffers from a significant deficiency of minority health-care professionals. With a population that is 35 percent Latino and Native American, creating a diverse biomedical and health-care workforce could make a significant impact on health outcomes. 

The tournament will raise money for scholarships to be awarded to ethnic-minority UAHS students pursing degrees in medicine, nursing, pharmacy or public health to increase and diversify leaders in healthcare. All proceeds will go directly toward full scholarships for UAHS students. The event is sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona, Food City,...

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UA-Led Research: Prevention of Macular Degeneration Possible

 A University of Arizona-led study on age-related macular degeneration – the eye disease that gradually destroys the ability to read, drive, write and see close-up in 30 percent of older Americans – likely will lead to a way to delay or prevent the disease, researchers say.

The study led by co-principal investigator Brian S. McKay, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology and vision science and cellular and molecular medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, found that patients who take levodopa, or l-dopa, a common treatment for Parkinson’s disease, appear far less likely to develop macular degeneration. And if they do develop the disease, it is significantly later in life.

L-dopa is a naturally occurring molecule that is made in pigmented human tissue, including the iris of the eye, and has a role in maintaining healthy macula, the part of the retina that provides the most visual acuity. A synthesized form of l-dopa is used to treat Parkinson’s and movement disorders.

“It is likely that this will lead to a way to prevent age-related macular degeneration...

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Bolstering Research in the Health Sciences, UAHS Selects 7 for Career Development Awards

To bolster academic careers in clinical and translational research, the University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) has selected seven junior faculty for career development awards to support their research.

The UAHS Career Development Awards provide the selected scholars with mentorship, research training and salary support of $75,000 for up to two years, including funding for research activities including lab supplies and tuition and fees for enrolling in courses related to their research. The award also covers travel expenses to attend one or more academic conferences.

“We are in our second year of Career Development Awards, bringing us to a total of 15 University of Arizona Health Sciences junior faculty researchers working on an array of clinical or translational research studies supported by these awards,” said Monica Kraft, MD, chair of the UA Department of Medicine and the Robert and Irene Flinn Professor of Medicine. “We are committed to the success of these outstanding young investigators.”

“These studies will lead to new clinical trials and the...

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Dr. Naomi Rance to be Honored at UA College of Medicine-Tucson’s 2015 Founders Day, Nov. 17

Naomi Rance, MD, PhD, professor and associate chair of the Department of Pathology, is the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson’s 2015 Founders Day honoree for her groundbreaking research in the neuroendocrinology of menopause.

As honoree, Dr. Rance will give the Founders Day lecture, “Reproductive Aging and the Human Hypothalamus: From LH Pulses to Hot Flushes,” on Tuesday, Nov. 17, noon to 1 p.m., in DuVal Auditorium, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. The lecture is free and open to the public. (Please note: There is a parking fee of $1.50 per hour, cash only, in the Banner – UMC Tucson visitor/patient parking garage.) A light lunch will be served. Please RSVP to by Thursday, Nov. 12.

The Founders Day lectureship was established in 1979 to commemorate the founding of the UA College of Medicine, which was dedicated Nov. 17, 1967, and to recognize and honor the...

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