UA College of Medicine – Tucson School Orientation Activities Welcome Class of 2018, Beginning July 30

Joining one of the more challenging and rewarding medical education training programs in the nation, 115 students will begin three days of orientation on their four-year, hands-on, training commitment to learn leading-edge patient care under the mentorship of distinguished clinician-educators at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

A three-day orientation beginning  Wednesday, July 30, welcomes the Class of 2018, with daily activities such as a community service-learning day, during which  the UA medical students will volunteer with local community organizations to build a sense of community and to gain an understanding of some of the  social issues  the Tucson community faces.

The goal of orientation is to develop a sense of professional identity, community and collegiality among a diverse group of future physicians. The College of Medicine – Tucson Class of 2018 includes 33 students who graduated from the UA, 40 percent of the students are Arizona residents, 25 hold graduate or professional degrees, a little over half are female and two are student-veterans.


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University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Welcomes New Doctors, Notes National Appointments

The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center welcomed two new cardiologists and recognized the national appointments of members.

Ankit Desai, MD, has joined the UA College of Medicine - Tucson and the Sarver Heart Center as an assistant professor of clinical medicine. Board certified in internal medicine and cardiology, Dr. Desai is a physician-scientist whose research on cardiovascular disparities in minorities with heart failure and pulmonary hypertension is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Heart Association. Dr. Desai’s lab uses cardiac imaging, genomic and molecular biology approaches to develop personalized treatment of pulmonary hypertension and associated heart failure.  

Previously, Dr. Desai was an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. He completed medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago – College of Medicine, internal medicine residency at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and his...

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UA Heart Surgeon Dr. Zain Khalpey Receives Grant to Understand Healing Power of Stem Cells

Zain Khalpey, MD, PhD, MRCS(Eng), associate professor, University of Arizona Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and the Tony Marnell Sr. Distinguished Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery, recently was awarded $25,000 from the Fineberg Foundation in Los Angeles to support his research toward understanding the mechanisms of how stem cell therapy works and how to maximize its potential for repairing damaged hearts.

Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as heart attack, typically occurs when the blood supply to parts of the heart is cut off by a blocked artery. This causes damage to the heart tissue, and the cells in the affected area start to die. In the days and weeks following a cardiac incident, this damaged area may grow, eventually leaving a large part of the heart unable to function properly and increasing the risk of further heart problems.

Currently, stem cell injections are being used as a treatment option for patients who have suffered a MI. Stem cells are harvested from a patient’s bone marrow and then undergo a laboratory treatment that guides them into...

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People and Programs On The Move at the Arizona Health Sciences Center

Dr. Elizabeth Krupinski Named One of Top Imaging Researchers in Nation

Contact: Rebecca Ruiz McGill; 520-624-8434

Elizabeth A. Krupinski, PhD, professor of medical imaging, psychology and public health at the Arizona Health Sciences Center, has been named a Distinguished Investigator by the Academy of Radiology Research. She also is vice chair of research and education in the Department of Medical Imaging at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, as well as associate director of evaluation for the Arizona Telemedicine Program and director of the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center.

Dr. Krupinski is one of only 46 researchers selected to receive the Academy’s 2014 Distinguished Investigator Award. This prestigious honor recognizes knowledge leaders in the field for their accomplishments in medical imaging.

“The recipients of this award have made significant contributions to the field of imaging research and are in the top 10 percent of radiology department faculty nationwide,” said Stanley Baum, MD...

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UA Researchers Study Increasing Lifespan and Immune Function

Nearly one quarter of the U.S. population will be over age 65 by 2040, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and those reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 19.2 years. Ensuring the healthy and productive lives of that very large group is becoming an urgent priority, says Janko Nikolich-Žugich, MD, PhD, co-director of the University of Arizona Center on Aging.
“Research has shown that consuming fewer calories, while maintaining sufficient nutrients, extends lifespan and there are ongoing clinical studies in humans. However, aging also is associated with increased susceptibility to diseases,” Dr. Nikolich-Žugich notes.
Now, researchers at the UA College of Medicine – Tucsonare beginning to study lifespan extension and immune function, thanks to a two-year $403,751 grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health.
“Remarkable extension of lifespan has been achieved in organisms by lowering calorie intake or...
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Going Rural: UA Medical Students Spend the Summer Training in Rural Communities

As government agencies report a higher percentage of health-related deaths in rural communities as compared with more urban areas – partially due to less access to qualified physicians and specialists – the University of Arizona is working to increase the number of physicians serving in such communities.

Through the Rural Health Professions Program, 25 students from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and UA College of Medicine – Phoenix are working in rural areas this summer under the guidance of physicians in those communities.

At the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, Carlos Gonzales, MD, associate professor of Family and Community Medicine - (Clinical Scholar Track) is the director of the Rural Health Professions Program.

The shortage of medical specialists in rural areas remains a contributor to limited access to patient care. The issue...

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National Video Awards Won by AHSC Division of BioCommunications’ Michell Bauer and Erica Coleman

Wildcat Diagnosis,” a video about the first confirmed case in 2014 of a highly contagious, seasonal condition affecting tens of thousands of people in the Tucson area, has won a Silver Award of Distinction from The Communicator Awards, which are sanctioned and judged by the International Academy of Visual Arts.

Michell Bauer, senior producer with the Medical Television and Teleconferencing section of the Division of BioCommunications at the Arizona Health Sciences Center of the University of Arizona, produced the tongue-in-cheek video that shows how the first case of March Madness was discovered by UA College of Nursing students Sara Ameli and Justin Chua. The concept for the video was created and developed by Janelle Drumwright, communications manager for the college, who also wrote the script. The patient, Manny Kin, was voiced by Nick Prevenas, associate editor with the University of Arizona Cancer Center. The March Madness symptoms included...

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U.S. News & World Report Names UA Medical Center Among Best in Nation

University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus has been ranked among the best hospitals in the nation in Geriatrics and as the best hospital in metro Tucson and in Southeastern Arizona by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

The annual U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, now in its 25th year, recognize hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging patients.

U.S. News also ranked UAMC as “high performing” in the following medical specialties:

• Cancer
• Cardiology and Heart Surgery
• Diabetes and Endocrinology
• Ear, Nose & Throat
• Gastroenterology & GI Surgery
• Gynecology
• Nephrology
• Neurology and Neurosurgery
• Orthopedics
• Pulmonology
• Urology

“I congratulate our physicians and staff, whose expertise and care have once again earned this academic medical center a spot among the best hospitals in the state and nation,” said Karen Mlawsky, CEO of the Hospital Division of...

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People and Programs On The Move At the Arizona Health Sciences Center

Dr. Frank Walter Receives Arizona’s Highest Award for Public Health Service

Frank G. Walter, MD, FACEP, FACMT, FAACT, professor of emergency medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, professor of pharmacy practice and science at the UA College of Pharmacy, and medical toxicologist for the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, has received the 2014 Public Health Service Award, Arizona’s highest award for public health service to the people of Arizona, from the Arizona Medical Association and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). The award was presented “in recognition of Dr. Walter’s dedication as an exceptional, energetic public health and preparedness advocate, providing guidance and expertise to ADHS’ emergency preparedness work.”

Dr. Walter serves as medical director for the ADHS Bureau of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and is a Governor’s Appointee to the Medical Direction Commission for the Bureau of EMS (Emergency Medical Services). Recently, he was the lead member of the Clinical Work Group to develop “Crisis Standards of Care” for Arizona. He serves as subject matter expert for...

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Baby Boomers Greatest at-Risk Group of the Silent Killer Infection, Hepatitis C; New Clinic at UAMC Offers Free Screenings

The baby boomer generation, those born between 1945 through 1965, have left a lasting imprint on American culture and now, as they move toward their golden years, a silent killer may be ravaging the health and well-being of many people in this age group.

People born from 1945-1965 are five times more likely to have hepatitis C, a virus that over time, can cause serious health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver transplantation and even death – and most people don’t know they are infected. Because of the risk of being a hepatitis C carrier, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that all people in this age group be screened for the virus.

The only way to know if someone has hepatitis C is for the individual to be tested. Now, thanks to a free walk-in clinic at the University of Arizona Health Network’s Liver Research Institute, free screening for Hepatitis C is available.

The clinic, which also offers treatment and lifetime care, is located at the University of Arizona Medical Center...

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