Dr. Rick Kittles Appointed Director of New Division of Population Genetics at the Arizona Health Sciences Center and UA Professor of Surgery and Public Health

Rick Kittles, PhD, a national leader on cancer health disparities and the role of genes and environment in disease, and a pioneer in DNA testing to trace the ancestry of African Americans, has been appointed director of the new Division of Population Genetics, part of the new Center for Applied Genetics at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Kittles also has been appointed professor in the Department of Surgery Division of Urology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson with a joint appointment in the Division of Health Promotion Sciences at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. He also is a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and the center’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

Dr. Kittles, who joined the UA July 7, is a National Institutes of Health-funded investigator whose research program and scientific expertise will support UA Health Sciences strategic initiatives in health disparities and precision health.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Kittles to the University of Arizona,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD...

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Video: New UA Medical Class Shares `Wildcat Pride’ During Orientation and White Coat Ceremony

A new video captures the enthusiasm of the 115 new medical students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucsonas they begin rigorous training to become much-needed physicians for our state and beyond.

Please view the video here:

The UA College of Medicine – Tucson, along with the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, a part of the Arizona Health Sciences Center, are Arizona’s only MD degree-granting institutions and serve as a health-care resource for the entire state and its people.

Three days of orientation familiarized the future physicians with the UA medical education program, the Tucson community and the Arizona Health Sciences Center campus, which also is home to the UA Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, as well as the University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus.

The formal White Coat ceremony, held Aug. 8, welcomed...

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UA’s Inaugural Class of Integrative Health Professionals Exceeds Expectations

The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) will graduate its inaugural class of Integrative Health and Lifestyle program (IHeLp) participants today.  The IHeLp program equips health professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and credentials with the skills they need to enhance their roles as crucial members of integrative health-care teams worldwide.

The 42 graduates of the IHeLp 2014 summer class began their studies in January. This 250-hour comprehensive program offers participants flexibility in scheduling with online delivery of curriculum, while joining a community of like-minded professionals. They get hands-on training at a four-day educational retreat in Tucson, which expands and applies their online learning through team building, faculty interaction and experiential exercises.

IHeLp is a six-month online certificate program that emphasizes a patient-centered approach, combining conventional and complementary treatment, including nutrition, mindfulness and physical activity; techniques to motivate change and reduce stress; manual medicine; traditional Chinese...

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Philippines Surgical Medical Mission Includes UA Anesthesiology Team

A team of six surgeons and five anesthesiologist, three from the University of Arizona, completed more than 116 major surgical procedures during an eight-day period in an area of the Philippines recovering from an earthquake and typhoon.

More than 16 million people were affected by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in November 2013. Though aid is shifting from emergency response to recovery, technical and material resources still are needed to support health-care services where the typhoon caused $16 million in damages to 571 health-care clinics.

Anthony R. Lucas, MD, chief of thoracic anesthesia and director of the post anesthesia care unit at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson  Department of Anesthesiology, traveled to the island of Bohol as part of a medical mission team to provide specialty care to those in need. Dr. Lucas has mentored residents on medical missions to Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in the South Pacific, in addition to...

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UA Department of Pediatrics and the University of Arizona Health Network Welcome Pediatric Sports Medicine Physician Dr. Mo Mortazavi

The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics and the University of Arizona Health Network welcome new faculty member Mo Mortazavi, MD, assistant professor, to the Division of General Pediatrics.
A board-certified pediatric sports medicine physician, Dr. Mortazavi is developing the first dedicated pediatric sports medicine program in Tucson—scheduled to launch Aug. 19 at the UAHN Children’s Multi-Specialty Clinic at Wilmot.

Dr. Mortazavi received his medical degree from the University of California, Davis, where he also completed his pediatrics residency. He then earned a fellowship in pediatric sports medicine at Children’s Colorado in Denver. While there, he focused on musculoskeletal injuries, concussion care and pediatric fractures. Since then, Dr. Mortazavi has expanded his practice to include exercise prescriptions for athletes with chronic illness, sports nutrition and injury-prevention programs.

As an undergraduate student at UC Davis, Dr. Mortazavi played Division IAA football as a wide receiver for four years....

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UAMC Earns Perfect Score in Transit Time Project to Improve Delivery of Newborn Screenings to State Lab

The University of Arizona Medical Center was among 35 hospitals honored Aug. 7 in Phoenix by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), for reducing delays in reporting newborn screening tests to the state.

Although the Legislature did not mandate ADHS create a newborn screening program until 1993, Arizona has conducted widespread newborn screening for certain disorders since 1979. Bloodspot specimens from newborn heel pricks are analyzed to determine likelihood of 28 genetic and metabolic conditions, ranging from sickle cell anemia to cystic fibrosis. While parents may refuse, state law requires hospitals send a blood sample from every newborn infant to the Arizona State Laboratory for testing within 24 hours or the next working day – usually within 48 hours of birth. A December newspaper report noted, however, about a third of blood samples collected in 2012 at 17 of 42 Arizona hospitals took five days or more to arrive at the state lab.

The Transit Time Project, an improvement effort that got under way in January, takes its name from the lag – or transit time – in bloodspot specimen deliveries to the state lab....

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Dr. William ‘Scott’ Killgore Joins Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson

William “Scott” Killgore, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist whose research focuses on understanding the brain systems involved in emotional processes and cognitive performance, has been appointed professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Dr. Killgore’s work combines neurocognitive assessment with state-of-the-art neuroimaging methods, including functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to study the role of emotion in complex cognitive processes, such as moral judgment, decision-making and risk-taking. He also is interested in how these brain-behavior systems may be affected by environmental and lifestyle factors, such as insufficient sleep, nutrition, light exposure, physical activity and stimulants, such as caffeine. Dr. Killgore has explored the role of sleep as a mediator of psychological and emotional health and the potential role of insufficient sleep as a contributor to psychiatric disturbance, emotional dysregulation and risk-related behavior.

“Scott Killgore is an eminent scientist and...

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Arizona Telemedicine Program at AHSC Appoints National Advisory Board for Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase

The award-winning Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) at the Arizona Health Sciences Center of the University of Arizona has announced the appointment of the National Advisory Board of the Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase (SPSSM), to be held Oct. 6-7 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix.

The 24 nationally recognized thought leaders and health-care innovators have made major strides in the telemedicine arena. Members of the board are:

• Joseph S. Alpert, MD, professor of medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson; editor-in-chief, The American Journal of Medicine

• David C. Balch, MA, chief technology officer, White House Medical Group, Washington, D.C.

• Rashid Bashshur, PhD, senior adviser for eHealth, eHealth Center, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor

• Anne E. Burdick, MD, MPH, associate dean for telehealth and clinical outreach, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

• Robert “Bob”...

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Noted Physician-Scientist Dr. Monica Kraft Appointed Chair of Department of Medicine at UA College of Medicine – Tucson

Monica Kraft, MD, an internationally renowned physician-scientist who specializes in translational asthma research, has been named chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. She is scheduled to begin her new duties at the UA in December.

Dr. Kraft will join the UA after serving as chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care and as the Charles C. Johnson, MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Duke University. She also is director of the Duke Asthma, Allergy and Airway Center.  While at Duke, Dr. Kraft also served as the Department of Medicine’s vice chair for research from 2009 to 2013.  In this role she implemented several important initiatives to support the department’s research endeavors and, as co-principal investigator, was instrumental in the re-submission and renewal of Duke’s National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA).

“We are thrilled that Monica Kraft will be joining the Arizona Health Sciences Center in a key leadership position within the College of Medicine, said Joe G.N...

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People and Programs On The Move At the Arizona Health Sciences Center

UA Emergency Medicine Receives Training Grant to Improve Care and Outcomes of Critically Ill Patients

The University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine has received a $30,000 grant from the Academic Insurance Funding, Limited (AIFL) Risk Management Process Improvement Fund. The grant will support advanced training of emergency nurses to provide the specialized care needed between the time patients come to the emergency department and are transferred to the intensive care unit.

A number of factors can determine the amount of time it takes for critically ill patients to transfer from the emergency department (ED) to an intensive care unit (ICU). This “boarded” time is a vulnerable one for the patient. The grant will support training of nurses to optimize care during the boarding period so that patients experience better outcomes.

“A collaborative ED–ICU model facilitates a seamless transition on the continuum of critical care, allowing for better care delivery and outcomes. In order for this to function, we need to provide our nurses with extensive critical care education,” said...

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