UA Battles Breast Cancer with Research, Advanced Treatments and Team Approach

Nearly two decades ago, Deborah Goswitz’s youngest child beat leukemia when he was only 3 through a groundbreaking drug trial at the University of Arizona Medical Center.

When Goswitz was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer last spring, this 61-year-old mother of three knew the aggressive team approach offered by the highly skilled UA medical and surgical specialists was what she needed.

Goswitz knew the Breast Health team at UAMC and the University of Arizona Cancer Center combines the latest research, treatment and experience in the battle against breast cancer. She enrolled in a promising drug trial and underwent a mastectomy performed by Michele Ley, MD, director of breast surgery at the UA Department of Surgery, who removed the cancer in April.

Led by Dr. Ley, the breast program includes surgeons Amy L. Waer, MD, and Rebecca K. Viscusi, MD. The three perform as many as 60 breast cancer surgeries each month. Their ongoing research and participation in...

[read more]

Dr. Mary Koithan Selected for Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing

Mary S. Koithan, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, associate professor and associate dean for professional and community engagement at the University of Arizona College of Nursing, has been selected for fellowship in the prestigious American Academy of Nursing, one of the highest honors in the nursing profession.

She is one of 168 nurse leaders who will be inducted as fellows on Oct. 18, during the Academy’s annual meeting and conference in Washington, D.C. Selection criteria for this honor include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care, and influence on health policies and the health and wellbeing of all.

Dr. Koithan is an internationally recognized leader in whole-systems healing and research methodologies. Her research is focused on integrative therapeutics and integrative nursing, particularly in chronically ill populations. She and coauthor Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN, FAAN, recently published ...

[read more]

UA Rural Health Conference and Performance Improvement Summit

EVENT:        UA Rural Health Conference and Performance Improvement Summit
                     41st annual conference focuses on access to health care in Arizona’s rural communities.

                      FRIDAY, AUG. 8, 8 A.M.-1 P.M.

LOCATION:  Wigwam Resort
                     300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park, Ariz.

Access to health care in Arizona’s rural communities is the focus of the 41st Annual Rural Health Conference and Performance Improvement Summit, Thursday, Aug. 7- Friday, Aug. 8, at the Wigwam Resort, 300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park, Ariz.

Hosted by the Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, the conference brings together a statewide audience of health-care providers, policy makers, academic, county and community health professionals, administrators, hospitals...

[read more]

New System in Arizona Dramatically Improves Survival from Cardiac Arrest

A new system that sent patients to designated Cardiac Receiving Centers dramatically increased the survival rate of victims of sudden cardiac arrest in Arizona, according to a new study.

The study, published Thursday in Annals of Emergency Medicine (, shows that the survival rate increased by more than 60 percent during the four-year period of the effort, from 2007 to 2010.  More importantly, when the results were adjusted for the various factors that significantly impact survival (such as age and how quickly emergency personnel reached patients after their cardiac arrest), the likelihood of surviving more than doubled.  In addition, the likelihood of surviving with good neurological status also more than doubled. 

This statewide effort was accomplished through the Save Hearts Arizona Registry and Education-SHARE Program, a partnership involving the Arizona Department of Health Services, the University of Arizona, and more than 30 hospitals and 100 fire departments and emergency medical service agencies.  The SHARE...

[read more]

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.


[read more]

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...

[read more]

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...

[read more]

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...

[read more]

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...
[read more]

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 was so concerning that theUA program was...

[read more]