The University of Arizona Health Sciences


‘Smarter’ Brain Injury Guidelines Developed by UA-Banner Trauma Team Prove Effective, Save Money

Brain injury guidelines developed by trauma surgeons at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson are providing positive outcomes while reducing hospital stays and significantly saving money, according to a study published in the September 2015 issue of Annals of Surgery.

The journal article, “Changing Paradigms in the Management of 2,184 Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury,” describes how new Brain Injury Guidelines (“BIG”) protocols adopted by the hospital’s trauma center in 2012 to treat minimally brain-injured patients have reduced repeat CT scans by 38 percent and shaved more than a day and a half from the average hospital stay for these patients.

The five-year retrospective study and journal article suggest that  head-injured patients with miniscule brain bleeds – half the size of a pea -- may not need to been seen by a neurosurgeon, require repeated head scans or be admitted to an ICU, as is routine in many U.S. hospitals.

In fact, many of these mildly injured patients can be discharged safely from the hospital within 24 hours, said trauma surgeon Bellal Joseph, MD, associate professor in the University of Arizona...

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People on the Move at University of Arizona Health Sciences

Drs. Steven J. Barker, Karen Herbst and C. Kent Kwoh, three University of Arizona Health Sciences affiliated faculty and medical researchers, were recognized by various organizations for outstanding contributions in their fields.

UA Anesthesiology Professor Steven J. Barker, PhD, MD, Honored with Two Lifetime Achievement Technology Awards

Steven J. Barker, PhD MD, Professor Emeritus and former head of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, earns two lifetime achievement awards for his dedication and innovation in anesthesiology.

Two professional organizations, the Society for Technology in Anesthesia and the international symposium Innovations and Applications of Monitoring Perfusion, Oxygenation and Ventilation, have honored Dr. Barker with Lifetime Achievement Awards. To see more, please click...

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LA Music Awards Honors UA Physician, Researcher, Professor Karen Herbst

Karen Herbst, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, was recognized at the 25th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards for her compassionate care of people with adipose tissue disorders.

Dr. Herbst, a board-certified endocrinologist, walked the red carpet with her patient Brian Sirk who nominated her for the Producer’s Choice Humanitarian of the Year award. She was announced the winner for her “Medical Research of Rare Tissue Disorders” during a ceremony at the Whisky a Go-Go, a famous nightspot on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, in September.

Dr. Herbst is an expert in adipose tissue disorders, including lipedema, Dercum’s disease, angiolipomatosis and Madelung’s disease. She cares for people with these disorders who travel from all over the world to see her in her clinic at Banner – University Medical Center South in Tucson. Sirk suffered from Dercum’s disease for decades before being diagnosed with...

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Lisa O’Neill Named ‘2015 Gerontologist of the Year’ by Arizona Geriatrics Society

The University of Arizona Center on Aging is proud to announce that the Arizona Geriatrics Society “2015 Gerontologist of the Year” Award has been awarded to Lisa O’Neill, MPH.

Each year, the Arizona Geriatrics Society 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 gerontology. The Gerontologist of the Year Award is open to all Arizona health care professionals including nurses, social workers, case managers, therapists, psychologists and related professions. The award was presented at the society’s annual fall symposium Saturday at the Desert Willow Conference Center in Phoenix.

“I am very honored to have won this award. I am proud to be part of the distinguished ranks of Arizona Geriatrics Society award recipients and grateful for the constant support and encouragement I have received from Drs. Jane Mohler, Mindy Fain and Janko Nikolich at the Arizona Center on Aging,” O’Neill said.

As education director at the...

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New 3D Printer Enables UA Pediatric Cardiologist to Expand Teaching Methods

Michael Seckeler, MD, MSc, assistant professor, University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, is using three-dimensional printing technology to transform teaching pediatric cardiology to medical students and residents at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

Thanks to a UA Sarver Heart Center fund that supports pediatric cardiology education, Dr. Seckeler received $9,400 to purchase a Dremel 3D Idea Builder printer to create patient-specific 3D models of normal and abnormal hearts using computerized tomography (CT) and medical resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

The 3D models initially will be used to improve the educational experience for UA medical students and residents in pediatric cardiology.

“Laying a solid foundation of normal and abnormal cardiac anatomy is necessary for students learning cardiology,” explained Dr. Seckeler. “The increased availability of 3D...

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‘Back Talk: Treating and Preventing Complex and Common Forms of Back Pain’ Subject of UA Arthritis Center’s Living Healthy With Arthritis Lecture, Nov. 4

“Back Talk: How to Treat and Prevent Complex and Common Forms of Back Pain,” a free lecture open to the public, will be presented Wednesday, Nov. 4, 6 to 7:15 p.m., at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium (Room 2600), 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. The 75-minute presentation will include time for questions and answers, and light refreshments will be provided.

Back pain is one of our society’s most common medical problems. Nearly 80 percent of Americans suffer from back pain in their lifetime. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health, about one-fourth of U.S. adults experience at least one day of back pain in any three-month period. While back pain can be caused by a number of factors, a major contributor to back pain can be osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Join Patrick Bouley, PT, MS, DPT, as he discusses non-invasive ways to treat and prevent back pain. Discover how you might be causing your own back pain and learn safe...

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Tucson Man, Without a Heartbeat for 17 Minutes, Thanks his Rescuers, Medical Team

A  70-year-old Tucson man who suffered sudden cardiac arrest while driving his car is alive today after a dramatic rescue by Pima County Sheriff’s deputies and life-saving medical care provided at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.

Robert Freel, a retired physiologist, was driving alone near Oracle and River Road on Sept. 28, 2015, when he passed out. His car drifted to a stop, blocking traffic. Deputy Jeremy Butcher stopped to investigate and found Freel slumped unconscious in his locked car. With the help of a couple of good Samaritans, he used a sledge hammer to shatter the car window. Deputy Nicholas Phaneuf arrived as they were getting Freel out of the car. Once he was on the ground, the deputies alternated the delivery of chest compression only CPR, the no-breaths technique developed at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center. 

They continued CPR until paramedics arrived and transported Freel to Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, a nationally accredited Chest Pain Center. For a 17-minute period, Freel was without a pulse but emergency physicians were able to resuscitate him at the hospital. He was whisked to the cardiac catheterization...

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The Skin Cancer Institute at the University of Arizona Cancer Center Presents the Sixth Annual Melanoma Walk, Nov. 7

The Skin Cancer Institute at the University of Arizona Cancer Center will present the sixth annual Melanoma Walk on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 2 to 6 p.m., at the University of Arizona Cancer Center – North Campus, 3838 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. The event opens at 2 p.m., and the walk starts at 4 p.m. The goal for Melanoma Walk 2015 is to raise $60,000 to fight melanoma.

The 1.5 mile walk is family- and pet-friendly and includes free skin cancer screenings by appointment, fundraising prizes and giveaways, music, a silent auction and activities for children. Proceeds from the walk support melanoma research, community outreach, education and patient care in Arizona.

Registration for Melanoma Walk 2015 is $30 for adults, $15 for children ages 6-12 and free for children under 5 years. You also may register as a “Skin Cancer Prevention Friend” (SPF) for $100; membership in the SPF Program includes one free registration and gives you the opportunity to support the Institute’s prevention and cure activities. Team leaders will receive two free passes to the Arizona-...

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UA Anesthesiology Professor Steven Barker Honored With Two Lifetime Achievement Awards

Steven J. Barker, MD, PhD, professor emeritus and former head of the University of Arizona Department of Anesthesiology, has been honored with lifetime achievement awards from two professional organizations.

The Society for Technology in Anesthesia (STA) honored Dr. Barker, professor emeritus of anesthesiology and aerospace and mechanical engineering and former head of the UA Department of Anesthesiology, with the J.S. Gravenstein Award for lifetime achievement in the area of technology in anesthesia. Founded in 1988, STA is an international organization of physicians, engineers, students and others with an interest in anesthesia-related technologies. Both academic medicine and industry are well represented in the society. During the upcoming STA annual meeting, to be held Jan.6–9, 2016, in Palm Beach, Fla., Dr. Barker will deliver a presentation and be presented with the award.

In addition to the prestigious Gravenstein Award, Dr. Barker was recognized with the 2015 Innovations and Applications of Monitoring Perfusion, Oxygenation and Ventilation (IAMPOV) Lifetime Achievement Award at a symposium in Japan, Oct 2-4. Dr. Barker is a member of the organization’s...

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UA Rheumatology Chief Takes Top Asian American Faculty Award

Rheumatologist C. Kent Kwoh, MD, director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center has been named the UA Asian American Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association (AAFSAA) top professor for 2015.

The AAFSAA Outstanding Faculty Award will be presented to Dr. Kwoh, who is the Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Chair of Rheumatology, chief of the UA Division of Rheumatology, and a professor of medicine and medical imaging at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, at the organization’s 26th Annual Scholarship & Awards Dinner Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center (TCCC), 1288 W. River Road.

The event, held in partnership with the UA Alumni Association and Asian American Cultural Association — a UA student club, begins at 6 p.m. with appetizers and tours of the TCCC. The dinner program begins at 7 p.m. with a dance to follow at 9 p.m. Tickets are $75 ($50 of which is tax deductible as a contribution to the AAFSAA scholarship and grants program and AAFSAA scholarship endowment...

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