The University of Arizona Health Sciences


Dr. Charles B. Cairns Named Dean of UA College of Medicine – Tucson

Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAHA, a nationally recognized leader in emergency medicine and critical care research who has served as interim dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson since February 2015, has been appointed dean of the college, effective April 11.

“As interim dean for the past 14 months, Dr. Cairns has provided outstanding leadership stability and played a critical role in the transition of the college’s clinical practice group under the University’s Academic Affiliation Agreement with Banner Health,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences. “His leadership skills and passion for academic excellence have been recognized and embraced by everyone at the college and by our colleagues within the University and from Banner Health,” said Dr. Garcia.

“It is an exceptional honor to be asked to serve as the eighth dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson, following in the leadership footsteps of such icons as Merlin DuVal and James Dalen,” said Dr. Cairns. “The faculty, staff and trainees of the college are an incredibly talented group who demonstrate daily a passion for discovery and...

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‘The Science of Consciousness’ Conference Asks Big Questions, April 25-30

After 23 years, the seminal conference “Toward a Science of Consciousness” now is simply “The Science of Consciousness” (TSC), the world’s largest and longest-running gathering related to consciousness and perceived reality. But as consciousness cannot be observed, explained nor commonly defined, is there now truly a science of consciousness? Are we there yet?

We do, finally, have proper questions. Is the brain a computer? When, where and how did consciousness evolve? Can we have free will, or are we just “along for the ride?” Will consciousness be reproduced through brain mapping, trans-humanism and/or artificial intelligence? Or, has consciousness “been here all along”? Does the brain “tune into” conscious precursors existing naturally in the universe? What are the implications of either view for the nature of existence, and mental, cognitive and spiritual disorders?

These questions will be debated in plenary and concurrent talks, posters, exhibits, workshops, parties and performances at TSC beginning Monday, April 25, 9 a.m., through Saturday evening, April 30, at Loews Ventana Canyon, 7000 N. Resort Drive, Tucson, Ariz.

Nine hundred...

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UA College of Medicine - Tucson names new associate dean for student affairs and admissions

George Fantry, MD, has been named associate dean for student affairs and admissions at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. Dr. Fantry will begin in this role in July 2016.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with great colleagues and staff, working to create an environment and overall experience that will allow each student to flourish academically, personally and professionally, leading them to a successful residency match and pursuit of their career goals," Dr. Fantry said.

Dr. Fantry plans to build the student affairs and admissions teams’ strengths and further enhance services to students, including optimizing communication and accessibility, providing consistent and collaborative career guidance and mentorship, and encouraging wellness and life balance.

"I’m extremely pleased to be able to announce a successful conclusion to our national search for a permanent associate dean for student affairs and admissions," said Deputy Dean of Education Kevin Moynahan, MD, FACP. "Dean Chuck Cairns and I would like to thank the search committee and the numerous faculty, students and staff who participated in the search. I have no doubt that Dr....

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People and Programs On The Move at Banner – University Medical Center

Valley Fever Clinic Opens in April

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson will open a Valley Fever Clinic in April staffed by John Galgiani, MD, director of the University of Arizona Valley Fever Center for Excellence.

Dr. Galgiani, a professor in the UA Department of Medicine, has been treating and researching Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) for the past three decades. In addition to treating patients, he operates a UA research lab focused on the detection of the fungus in the environment, increasing the sensitivity of diagnostic tests for patients, and the development of a vaccine to prevent the disease in both humans and animals.

Two-thirds of all Valley Fever infections in the United States are contracted in Arizona. For an appointment at the outpatient Valley Fever Clinic at Banner – UMC Tucson, please call 520-694-8888.

Hospital Volunteers To Be Feted April 8

Banner – University Medical Center will thank and honor its amazing volunteers at a luau-themed reception Friday, April 8, as part of National Volunteer Appreciation Month in April.

More than 500 volunteers donate their time to assist patients...

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UA Arthritis Center and UA Athletics Team Up For 2016 Desert Diamond Bear Down Luncheon, April 21

Arthritis is the most debilitating disease in society today. Every day, 53 million people experience the effects of this insidious ailment; 140,000 people with arthritis will visit their doctors; and 3,750 joints will be replaced due to the damage caused by arthritis.

The University of Arizona Arthritis Center wants to end all of that. But combating arthritis requires a team effort – and that’s why the UA Arthritis Center is teaming up with the UA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for the game-changing 2016 Desert Diamond/University of Arizona Arthritis Center Bear Down Luncheon, to benefit the Center and its research efforts to find a cure for arthritis.

This unique event, sponsored by Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment, will be held Thursday, April 21, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 6360 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson.

Since it began in the early 1980s, the UA Arthritis Center (UAAC) partnership...

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UA Emergency Medicine Researchers to Study Quicker, More Accurate Detection of Bacterial Infections in Infants with Fever

University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine researchers have joined a nationwide, multicenter collaborative study to develop a quicker, more accurate diagnostic test to better treat “febrile” infants – babies 2 months or younger – with serious infections.

The goal of the study, which is through the federally funded national research consortium, Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), is to validate a test that will rapidly determine if an infection is bacterial or non-bacterial, thereby sparing many newborns from unnecessary antibiotics, invasive procedures (such as lumbar punctures) and hospitalizations, said and the study’s principal investigator at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

“The technology we are working to develop will help us shorten the hospital stay, avoid painful procedures and give a better answer for what is causing the fever. This will be the most important research on how to treat febrile infants with fever in the last 30 years,” said Dr. Leetch.

Annually, about 500,000 babies ages 2 months or younger with high fever are taken to emergency departments across the country....

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UA Cancer Center Researchers Advocate new Approach To Treat Rare Tissue Disorder

Researchers at the University of Arizona Cancer Center are advocating a new treatment approach for a rare connective tissue disorder called “Scleredema of Buschke.”

Scleredema of Buschke causes decreased range of motion, decreased sensation, pain and poor physical appearance, mostly around the shoulder and neck areas.

In a recent case study published in the journal Advances in Radiation Oncology, Tijana Skrepnik, MD, Silvija Gottesman, MD, and Baldassarre Stea, MD, PhD, demonstrated radiation therapy (RT) as a simpler way to manage this rare condition, focusing on one treatment option rather than a multitude of approaches. According to the paper, “RT is convenient, brief, noninvasive and well-tolerated.”

Radiation Therapy is a high-energy beam of X-rays focused on a specific area to destroy abnormal cells, with every effort made to preserve normal tissue.

“The reason why this approach can prove more successful than established methods of treating Scleredema of Buschke is because it has very few (if any) systemic...

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A Message from the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

I am writing to follow-up on my March 17th communication announcing the departure of Dean Stuart D. Flynn, MD.  Dean Flynn’s last day of service to the University will be April 15, 2016. I want to again express my appreciation to Stuart for his leadership and commitment to building an outstanding new medical school – the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.

I recently met with the members of the College’s leadership team to solicit their input, and will soon announce the formation of the committee that will lead the national search for our next Dean. In the interim, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Kenneth S. Ramos, MD, PhD, as Interim Dean of the College of Medicine – Phoenix, effective April 18, 2016.

Many of you have come to know Dr. Ramos from his role as UAHS Associate Vice President for Precision Health Sciences and Director of the Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine. He also has served as Director of the College of Medicine – Tucson MD/PhD program and was co-Principal Investigator (together with Dr. Charles Cairns and me) of the UAHS Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) application...

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UA College of Medicine – Tucson Ups Its Commitment to Fight Opioid Epidemic

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson has committed to enhancing its opioid and addiction education to align with the newly released U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

“Students currently learn about acute and chronic pain management, opiates and addiction, and as we revise our curriculum we will readdress the content in light of the new guidelines,” said Deputy Dean of Education Kevin Moynahan, MD, FACP.

According to the CDC, the rate for drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2013, and the overuse and abuse of opioid painkillers is a major public health problem that kills nearly 15,000 Americans each year.

For more information about the recent White House announcement, visit

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UA College of Medicine – Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Co-Sponsor Inaugural Desert Lung Disease Conference, April 15-16

For most people, the idea of having lung cancer or end-stage lung disease sounds like a death sentence.

 That’s not the case, according to surgeons Samuel Kim, MD, and Scott Lick, MD, two physicians at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center (UMC). They have organized the inaugural Desert Lung Disease Conference, to be held Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, at the J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd., Tucson, to discuss treatment options clinical practitioners might consider for their patients.

Dr. Kim said topics will range from “Imaging and Bronchoscopy for Lung Failure” to “Minimally Invasive Surgery for Lung Cancer,” with other themes including COPD, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis and hypertension, medical imaging, radiation therapy and surgical considerations for lung transplantation.

“This event allows us to showcase our premier clinical programs at Banner – UMC and provide education to trainees, nurses and physicians,” said Ken Knox, MD,...

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