Dr. Charles B. Cairns Appointed an Assistant Vice President at AHSC and Vice Dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAHA, a nationally recognized leader in emergency and critical care research, has been appointed assistant vice president for clinical research and clinical trials at the Arizona Health Sciences Center and vice dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. He is scheduled to begin his new duties at the UA in November.

He also will join the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson as professor.

Dr. Cairns will report to Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Cairns will be joining the UA in these important leadership positions with AHSC and the College of Medicine,” said Dr. Garcia. “His deep commitment to research will help us expand our health sciences research portfolio – a key component of the UA’s “Never Settle” strategic plan – and his expertise in medical education will help...

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UA First in World to Use an Amniotic Membrane Patch to Heal the Heart after Surgery

University of Arizona heart surgeon Zain Khalpey, MD, PhD, MRCS, performed the world’s first procedure using an amniotic membrane patch on a patient to help heal his heart after surgery. Based on initial positive results, the UA has launched a clinical trial to determine how tissue from the amniotic sac could be used to prevent post-surgical complications, such as atrial fibrillation, in heart patients.

Up to 40 percent of patients develop atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm) after heart surgery, said Dr. Khalpey, associate professor, UA Department of Surgery, and surgical director of the Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at The University of Arizona Medical Center. A complication possibly caused by post-surgical inflammation, AFib reduces blood flow and increases the risk of stroke and other serious complications.

Surgeons have used amniotic tissue to treat certain eye conditions for a number of years. Made from the inner layer of the placenta, which supplies blood and nutrients to the baby...

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UA Center for Integrative Medicine Awarded $1.7 Million to Advance Integrative Primary Care

The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson has been awarded a three-year, $1.7 million cooperative agreement by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Public Health and Interdisciplinary Education, to establish a Center for Integrative Medicine in Primary Care (CIMPC), the first of its kind in a movement toward integrative interprofessional patient care.

AzCIM, founded at the UA in 1994 by Andrew Weil, MD, is a world leader in integrative medicine education, research and clinical care, with training programs for practicing physicians, residents, medical students and other health-care providers. To date, the center has trained more than 1,000 practicing physicians and is delivering curriculum in 53 primary care residencies.

“AzCIM has been educating leaders in integrative medicine for 20 years now, and we are so pleased to be validated by this award as an authority that will ultimately affect how primary care is delivered,” said Patricia Lebensohn, MD...

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UA Pediatric Infectious Disease Expert Available to Discuss Respiratory Virus Affecting Children in the Midwest

Sean Elliott, MD, professor of infectious diseases with the UA Department of Pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases and a physician with the University of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s, is available to speak with the media on the outbreak of the virus, enterovirus D68, causing respiratory illness and hospitalizations among children in the Midwest.

Ten states have contacted the CDC for assistance in investigating clusters of the virus in Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky.
To schedule Dr. Elliott for an interview, please contact Darci Slaten, 520-626-7774 or

Arizona Telemedicine Program at AHSC Announces Speakers for Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase

The program for the Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase (SPSTM), to be held Oct. 6-7 at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix, has been announced by the Arizona Telemedicine Program at the Arizona Health Sciences Center, in association with the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center and the Four Corners Telehealth Consortium.

The 31 speakers include nationally recognized experts on telemedicine; telemedicine providers and users; and authorities on legal, regulatory and policy aspects.

“We’re excited to have these speakers on board -- they are among the nation’s top-tier telehealth-care leadership,” said Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, ATP director. “As well-known national speakers who know the market, their expertise, experience and innovation will make the conference inspiring.”

One of the featured speakers is Joseph Peterson, MD, CEO of Specialists On Call, who will discuss the strategic advantages of creating rural health purchasing collaboratives.

“Telemedicine has crossed the tipping point of acceptance in...

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UA College of Pharmacy Students Team Up with El Rio Neighborhood Center For Free Health Fair for Tucson Community Sept. 20

EVENT:   El Rio Neighborhood Center Health and Safety Fair
Free health screenings, health information, raffle, goody bags, more than 50 exhibitors, Spanish translators and health vendor expo.

Focuses on providing free health screenings to the Tucson community and promoting a healthy lifestyle. 

DATE/TIME: Saturday, Sept. 20, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

LOCATION: El Rio Neighborhood Center, 1390 W. Speedway Blvd., Tucson

PRIMARY SPONSORS:  The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Tucson Parks and Recreation, The Arizona Bilingual Newspaper and United Healthcare

A free Health and Safety Fair will be held Saturday, Sept. 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the El Rio Neighborhood Center at 1390 W. Speedway Blvd.

The health fair will focus on providing free health services and health information to members of the Tucson community by offering screenings for asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hearing, vision and body fat.  The screening and information booths will be staffed by more than 50 student-pharmacists from the University...

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UPH Board Accepts Recommendations of Independent Panel

The University Physicians Healthcare (UPH) Board of Directors voted unanimously today to adopt the recommendations of the independent panel that met last month on the UPH termination of Rainer Gruessner, MD.
In accordance with the panel’s recommendations, UPH will offer Dr. Gruessner the following terms to resolve the current dispute: 

The panel recommended, and UPH will accept, the reinstatement of Dr. Gruessner as a faculty member without clinical or administrative duties. In addition, UPH will pay his salary for one additional year or until he finds a new position, whichever is sooner, and retract its allegations to the Arizona Medical Board of unethical conduct by Dr. Gruessner. 

In accordance with the panel’s recommendations, UPH is willing to apologize to Dr. Gruessner, thank him for his role in building the transplantation center at UAMC, and wish him well in his future endeavors. 

The UPH Board hopes that Dr. Gruessner will join UPH in accepting the recommendations generated by the independent panel of his peers. The UPH Board looks forward to his decision.

“We accept the...

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Dr. Elizabeth Calhoun Appointed Executive Director of the New Center for Population Science and Discovery at the Arizona Health Sciences Center

Elizabeth Calhoun, PhD, MEd, a nationally recognized leader in minority health and health disparities research, with a special focus on breast cancer disparities, has been appointed associate vice president for population health sciences and executive director of the new Center for Population Science and Discovery at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Calhoun also has been appointed professor in the Division of Community, Environment and Policy of the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Surgery at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

Dr. Calhoun, who joined the UA Aug. 18, 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 Dr. Calhoun to the UA to lead the development of the new Center for Population Science and Discovery,” said Dr. Garcia. “The establishment of this center is...

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The Three Most Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation, the most common heart-rhythm abnormality, affects 2 to 3 million people in the United States, a number projected to increase to 12 million by 2050 as the population ages, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September is National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month and a good time to talk to your doctor about this condition that increases your stroke risk.

Here are three recommended atrial fibrillation (a-fib) questions from Julia H. Indik, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and a cardiologist who specializes in evaluating and treating heart-rhythm disturbances.

1. What is my risk for stroke?
Learn your CHADS-VASc  score. This is a stroke risk calculation for patients with a-fib, said Dr. Indik. Points are added if you have heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, history of stroke (even a “mini-stroke...

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UAMC to Discontinue Home Health Services in October

University of Arizona Medical Center announced today it will discontinue its home health services in the next 30 days.

UAMC Home Health currently provides approximately 400 patients with intermittent nursing care in the home. Patients who require ongoing home health care will be transitioned to the care of other home health agencies in the community.

UAMC’s 36 home health staff members include nurses, therapists, social workers and others. They will receive severance packages based on their length of service and their benefits will be continued for two months. UAMC anticipates that most will find other jobs elsewhere in the UA Health Network, one of the largest employers in Tucson with more than 6,000 employees.

UAMC is making a business decision to devote its resources to services and programs not duplicated or available elsewhere in the community, such as trauma, organ transplantation and the high-tech specialty care that make UAMC a referral center for other hospitals around the state, said Karen Mlawsky, CEO of the Hospital Division of the UA Health Network.

“We are confident our...

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