Dr. Francisco Moreno Assumes New AHSC Leadership Role to Advance Diversity and Inclusion in Health Care

Francisco A. Moreno, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, whose leadership has been instrumental as the deputy dean of diversity and inclusion at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, has been named assistant vice president for diversity and inclusion at the Arizona Health Sciences Center.

The Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) is committed to improving the diversity within the health sciences workforce. This commitment extends to the education, training, recruitment and employment of a diverse faculty, staff and student body that is reflective of the Arizona communities it serves.

In this new role, Dr. Moreno will continue the work he began at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and will work collaboratively with other diversity leaders at the UA Colleges of Nursing, Public Health, Pharmacy and the College of Medicine – Phoenix, to create a comprehensive network of diversity-and-inclusion initiatives, meaningful diversity-and-inclusion programs and strategies to improve the diversity of the health-care workforce statewide.   


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AHSC Awarded Grant to Reduce Health Disparities

With a population that is 35 percent Latino and Native American, Arizona suffers from staggering health disparities, made even more severe by the absence of a diverse biomedical and health-care workforce.

Looking to create a nationwide model for the development of underrepresented researchers in the biomedical sciences, the Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) has been awarded a $1.25 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to recruit, train and retain physician-scientists committed to academia.

The Arizona Pride-25 Advanced Health Disparities Training Program in Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Conditions grant will enhance diversity and capacity for health disparities research in clinical and translational health sciences by training and mentoring early-career academics who come from under-represented minority backgrounds, including people with living disabilities.

Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, will serve as the program’s director and principal investigator. Francisco A....

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UA Researchers Find Connection Between Persistent Insomnia, Inflammation and Mortality

An association between persistent insomnia, inflammation and mortality has been found by a University of Arizona research team led by Arizona Respiratory Center faculty members Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, and Stefano Guerra, MD, PhD, MPH.

The team analyzed data from a long-running UA respiratory study, the Tucson Epidemiological Study of Airway Obstructive Disease (TESAOD), which began in 1972 and has followed participants for decades. The data showed that persistent (chronic) insomnia was associated with higher levels of inflammation in the blood and a 58 percent increased risk of death.

Insomnia—difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or waking too early—is a common medical complaint that affects about 20 percent of U.S. adults. Persistent insomnia is estimated to occur in about half (10 percent) of those individuals.

The UA researchers found that, unlike intermittent insomnia, persistent insomnia that lasted for at least six years was associated with mortality. Moreover, they found that greater levels of inflammation (measured by a biomarkers in blood called C-reactive protein)...

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UA Rheumatologists Drs. Ernest Vina and Dominick Sudano Present at American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting, Nov. 14-19

Rheumatologists Ernest R. Vina, MD, and Dominick Sudano, MD, both members of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, have been selected to present at the 2014 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting, Nov. 14-19, in Boston. The conference is the premier scientific meeting for professionals involved in research or health care delivery for patients with arthritis, rheumatic or musculoskeltal diseases.

Dr. Vina will discuss his abstract, “Improvement Following Total Knee Replacement Surgery: Exploring Preoperative Symptoms and Change in Preoperative Symptoms.”  This study utilizes a large database, “The Osteoarthritis Initiative,” to determine predictors of outcome after knee replacement based on the trajectory of symptoms and patient-reported outcomes prior to surgery. Other study investigators included C. Kent Kwoh, MD, director of the UA Arthritis Center and professor of medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

will present his research findings, “...

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AZ Research Shows 9-1-1 Dispatchers Giving CPR Instruction Saves Lives

Emergency dispatchers providing life-saving CPR instructions to 9-1-1 callers prior to first responders arriving on scene dramatically increases survival from the leading cause of death, cardiac arrest, according to Arizona research presented Saturday at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Sessions in Chicago.  Cardiac arrest affects about 5,000 people in Arizona every year.

Survival in Arizona is among the highest in the United States and research is proving that the sooner someone receives CPR, the even greater their chances of surviving and returning home.

The three-year Arizona study showed that when the latest AHA’s pre-arrival telephone CPR guidelines published in 2012 were implemented throughout Arizona, the result was an increased the number of bystanders performing CPR as well as survival rates, said Bentley J. Bobrow, MD, medical director of the Bureau of Emergency Medicine Services and Trauma System for the Arizona Department of Health Services.

“If I was unlucky enough to have sudden cardiac arrest I would hope I would be lucky enough to do it in Arizona,” said Daniel Spaite, MD, who is also a co-author of the study and director of...

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‘Early Origins of Asthma and COPD,’ Nov. 25

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the topic of a free public lecture, “Early Origins of Asthma and COPD,” by Fernando D. Martinez, MD, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, noon to 1 p.m., in DuVal Auditorium, University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. (Please note: There is a parking fee of $1.50 per hour, cash only, in the UAMC–University Campus visitor/patient parking garage.)

Dr. Martinez is a world-renowned researcher and clinician with significant projects that study the natural history of childhood asthma, and the role of genetic, physiological, immunological and environmental factors as determinants of the risk for asthma in early life. He is Regents’ Professor, director of the Arizona Respiratory Center, director of the UA BIO5 Institute and Swift-McNear Professor of Pediatrics.

The lecture is part of Founders Day, an annual event commemorating the founding of the UA College of Medicine, which was dedicated Nov. 17, 1967. During the event, Dr. Martinez will...

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UA College of Medicine - Tucson Teaching Awards Recognize Top Educators

Honoring peer- and student-nominated faculty awardees, the 2014 University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Faculty Teaching Awards will be held Thursday, Nov. 13, noon to 1 p.m., in DuVal Auditorium.

Faculty members will be recognized for Outstanding Teacher in a Block, the Dean’s List for Excellence in Teaching, Outstanding Use of Educational Technology and Staff Support of the Year winners, among others.

“Outstanding teaching is an integral part of the UA College of Medicine’s mission and is deserving of significant recognition,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean, UA College of Medicine – Tucson. “These awards recognize faculty members for teaching excellence and their ability to encourage intellectual excitement, inspire the discovery of knowledge and foster critical inquiry in the classroom or lab.”

Maria H. Czuzak, PhD, UA Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, will be honored for the student-nominated Outstanding Use of Educational Technology Award. Dr.Czuzak gives credit to a partnership with AHSC BioCommunications for the recognition. “Biomedical...

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Heart Surgeon Dr. Nicole R. Sydow Joins UA Department of Surgery

Nicole R. Sydow, MD, has joined the University of Arizona Department of Surgery as clinical instructor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Dr. Sydow has a special interest in the treatment of aortic valve disease, including coronary artery bypass grafting, minimally invasive aortic valve replacement, aortic surgery and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures. TAVR is a new technology that provides a treatment option for many patients who are too frail to undergo open heart surgery for aortic valve stenosis. With TAVR, physicians provide aortic valve replacement via minimally invasive approaches, including percutaneous procedures (intervention without an incision).

Additionally, Dr. Sydow’s clinical research interests include extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and adult cardiac surgery outcomes.

Dr. Sydow joined the department after completing an advanced cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at the UA. She completed general surgery residency training at the Cleveland Clinic and earned her medical degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.


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Surgeon and Researcher Dr. Eugene Chang Joins UA Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

The newly formed Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, is pleased to announce that Eugene H. Chang, MD, FACS, has joined the faculty as associate professor.

Dr. Chang comes to the UA from the University of Iowa, where he served as assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery since 2010.  Dr. Chang earned his medical degree at Brown University in the Program for Liberal Medical Education (PLME), and completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of Iowa, which has been ranked in the top 10 otolaryngology training programs over the past 25 years.

Dr. Chang is one of a few  surgeon-scientists in otolaryngology who combines an active clinical practice with extensive research expertise to help understand the basic processes of sinus disease and to develop future therapies and treatments.  His clinical and research areas focus on endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery.  He specializes in primary and revision endoscopic sinus surgery,...

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CDC Director of Global Health to Discuss His First-Hand Experience with the Ebola Epidemic

Tom Kenyon, MD, MPH, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center (CDC) Center for Global Health, will give a firsthand update on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa to health professionals on Friday, Nov. 14, Noon to 1 p.m., at the University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. Dr. Kenyon will be available to talk with media from 11 a.m. to noon.

(PLEASE NOTE: Dr. Kenyon’s presentation, “The Evolving Ebola Epidemic in West Africa: An Update From CDC,” is open only to health professionals and the media, not the general public.)

Dr. Kenyon has made several visits to the Ebola-affected countries in West Africa since the epidemic started in July.

He has been with the CDC since completing his pediatrics residency at the University of Arizona in 1994.

Dr. Kenyon also is a volunteer faculty member who frequently teaches in the “Global Health: Clinical and Community Care” course offered each summer through the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s Office of...

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