LCME Update: Establishing a CQI System at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson

A continuous quality improvement (CQI) system is being established for the medical education program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

The CQI Leadership Team and the ArizonaMed Collaborative Action Team (AZ CAT) will support the CQI effort at the college in implementing consistent change control management best practices through the Accreditation Office. This system will support a group of leaders who will maintain a real-time pulse on the operations of the medical education program leading to the MD degree and mitigate unintended consequences through communication and coordination.

The groups will review and evaluate requests for changes or new initiatives in medical education; recommend to the appropriate governance bodies requests that should be considered for implementation; and assist in providing stewardship of the operations of the medical education program; which includes workflows/procedures that govern the curriculum, student services and educational resources.

These groups are composed of the administrators of the functional units supporting the medical education program – deputy deans, associate/assistant deans, as well...

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Anthony 'Tony' DeFrancesco Appointed Senior Director of Operations for Arizona Health Sciences Center

Health-care executive Anthony “Tony” DeFrancesco, RD, MS,  FACHE, has been appointed senior director of operations for the Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

DeFrancesco, who joined the UA Jan. 5, will provide senior-level leadership in support of AHSC projects and change-management initiatives, including facility/space planning, clinical research operations, shared service units and responsibility-centered management implementation. He reports to Mike Jonen, senior associate vice president for health sciences, AHSC.

“I am extremely pleased that Tony has joined the UA in this important leadership position with AHSC,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine -- Tucson. “He brings strong leadership and management skills that will support our clinical, clinical research and education program development and integration efforts with AHSC strategic clinical partners, including Banner Health, the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Tucson, and Dignity Health St. Joseph’s...

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Hillary Franke, MD, UA Pediatric Intensivist Completes Integrative Medicine Fellowship through the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

Hillary Franke, MD, MS, associate professor, UA Dept. of Pediatrics, is the first pediatric intensivist in Tucson to complete the two-year fellowship program in integrative medicine from the Arizona Center Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson, making her one of the 120 pediatricians nationally with this specialized training.

According to the internationally-recognized UA Center for Integrative Medicine, integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies. 

“The fellowship focuses on the use of what we used to call ‘complementary’ methods of treatment, using an evidence-based medicine approach,” said Dr. Franke. “Integrative medicine implies the union of these complementary approaches with standard medical care. Integrative medicine focuses on the mind, body, and spirit of the individual. The field has incredible potential in pediatrics due to its...

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Dr. Wayne Jacobsen Appointed Head of Anesthesiology at UA College of Medicine – Tucson

Wayne K. Jacobsen, MD, FCCM, has been appointed head of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. After serving as interim head since 2013, he was appointed the department head on Jan. 5. 

Dr. Jacobsen, who also is UA professor of anesthesiology, previously served as director of the department’s residency program for nine years and prior to that was chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, Calif. 

Dr. Jacobsen joined the UA anesthesiology team in 2004 as professor of clinical anesthesiology and associate head for education. In 2005, he also became director of the anesthesiology residency program. Dr. Jacobsen’s research interests include ischemic reperfusion and medical education. He replaced Steven J. Barker, MD, PhD, who served as department head since 1995.

“Dr. Jacobsen’s leadership and dedication to medicine and medical education will help to advance the clinical experience, educational opportunities and research programs at the UA Department of Anesthesiology," said Joe G.N...

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UA Arthritis Center Receives $6.1 Million 5-Year NIH Grant to Help Identify Treatments for Osteoarthritis

Researchers at  the University of Arizona Arthritis Center at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson are working to identify treatments to slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA), supported by a recent $6.1 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

The most common cause of disability in the aging population, OA is a complex condition involving not only the breakdown of cartilage in joints but also changes in adjacent soft tissue and bone beneath the cartilage, leading to debilitating joint pain and stiffness and often pain in surrounding muscles and ligaments. The public health impact of knee OA, in particular, is expected to increase dramatically. No cure exists and no FDA-approved drugs are available to prevent development or halt the progression of the condition.

The study, “Risk of Incident Knee OA & Clinical Outcomes Based on Imaging Biomarkers,” builds on two ongoing studies, the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) and the Pivotal OAI MRI Analyses (POMA), an ancillary proposal to the OAI. The OAI was...

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Abbett Family Foundation Donates $115,000 to UAMC Diamond Children’s

The University of Arizona of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s received a donation of $115,000 from the Abbett Family Foundation.

Foundation trustees Jeffrey Abbett, his sister, Renee Abbett, and Tim Wilcox, principal, Sonora Investment Management, visited Diamond Children’s on Jan. 15 to acknowledge the donation, which was made in December.

"The Abbett Family Foundation is proud to support the efforts of Diamond Children's in providing the highest quality of care for the children and families in our community," said Jeffrey Abbett.

The funds will be used to:
• Purchase one C-Mac intubation video laryngoscope intubation system;
• Purchase six interactive gaming systems on roving carts for patients on the pediatric hematology/oncology and pediatric medical/surgical units;
• Support the Child Life program and purchase supplies ($25,000);
• Purchase other medical equipment and support additional Child Life program needs ($22,000).

“The C-Mac is a state-of-the-art...

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New Banner division drives new names and leadership appointments

With an approval by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) on the merger agreement to bring the University of Arizona Health Network into Banner Health, and closure of the agreement on Feb. 27, an academic-focused division will be created at Banner that will result in new facility names and leadership appointments within the division. The ABOR vote is expected to occur during the week of Jan. 26. 

If ABOR approves, the closure of the agreement on Feb. 27 will launch the Banner – University Medicine Division.  It will include three academic medical centers, a physician group serving as faculty in the academic medical centers and at the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix, and other services.

New Names

The name changes for the academic medical centers and physician group after Feb. 27:

University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, to become Banner – University Medical Center Tucson University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus, to become Banner – University Medical Center South Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, to become Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix University of... [read more]

UA Steele Children’s Research Center Receives $2 Million from CDC to Continue Identifying Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Arizona

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Steele Children’s Research Center received a four-year, $2 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to continue its Arizona Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program (ADDSP).

The ADDSP is part of a multi-site effort to track autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and intellectual disabilities (ID) among U.S. school children. 

ADDSP has conducted ASD surveillance in Arizona since 2000 as part of the Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring (ADDM) Network. The UA pediatrics team reviews thousands of special education and clinic records each study year to report on the number of 4- and 8-year-old children with ASD and/or ID and on the demographic and behavioral characteristics of the affected children. In study year 2010, ADDSP reported that approximately 1 in 64 8-year-olds living in Maricopa County had ASD, an increase from 1 in 154 children in 2000.   

The study is led by co-principal-...

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Jennifer Flores Appointed Associate Vice President and Chief Health Sciences Development Officer for the Arizona Health Sciences Center

Veteran fundraiser Jennifer Flores has been appointed associate vice president and chief health sciences development officer for the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Flores, who was appointed following a national search, joined the UA Jan. 5 and will provide senior strategic leadership and operations performance management of AHSC development activities. She reports to Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

“We are excited to welcome Jennifer to the UA to lead AHSC philanthropic and charitable giving activities,” said Dr. Garcia. “She has an outstanding track record as a fundraising professional and a keen appreciation for – and understanding of – our unique clinical services, health professional education and training, and health-related community outreach and engagement missions.”

“It is my great pleasure to join the University of Arizona and the AHSC leadership team,” said Flores. “This is a very exciting time for the University and its health sciences enterprise and I...

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UA’s Dr. David Harris Appointed Executive Director of New Biorepository at Arizona Health Sciences Center

David T. Harris, PhD, professor of immunology at the University of Arizona, has been appointed executive director of the new Arizona Health Sciences Center Biorepository.  

Following a national search, Dr. Harris was selected to establish and lead the AHSC Biorepository, which will provide centralized, state-of-the-art specimen collection infrastructure and offer concierge-level technical and regulatory expertise to principal investigators engaged in research biospecimen activities. 

Dr. Harris brings more than 20 years of experience in biobanking to the repository, including establishment of the first cord blood stem cell bank in the United States in 1992. He also has extensive experience in adult stem cell banking, as well as the banking of other cells and tissues.

“I am excited by the opportunity to position my scientific research and technical and regulatory knowledge in the area of biospecimen collection and biobanking toward the development of a critical research resource for AHSC faculty and trainees,” said Dr. Harris. “The AHSC Biorepository will be a catalyst for research by providing the strategic collection and timely dissemination of...

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