Progesterone Offers No Significant Benefit after Traumatic Brain Injury

Treatment of acute traumatic brain injury with the hormone progesterone provides no significant benefit to patients, a National Institutes of Health-funded phase III clinical trial has concluded. The results were published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine. Banner – University Medical Center Tucson was one of 49 trauma centers that participated in the study.

The study, named ProTECT III (Progesterone for Traumatic Brain Injury, Experimental Clinical Treatment), was conducted across the United States between July 2009 and November 2013. The Arizona hub had five “spokes” that, in addition to the Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, included Maricopa Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center and University of New Mexico Hospital. The study originally was planned to include 1,140 patients, but was stopped after 882 patients because there was no significant difference in patient survival or favorable outcomes in the progesterone-treated group versus the placebo-treated group. The Arizona hub enrolled a total of 96 patients.


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Biotech Entrepreneur Peter N. Allison Appointed Senior Director for Technology Innovation at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at UA

Following a national search, biotech entrepreneur Peter N. Allison, JD, has been appointed senior director for technology innovation at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona.

Allison, who joined AHSC Feb. 2, will provide leadership in connecting AHSC research faculty and programs with commercial partners. 

“I am excited to welcome Peter Allison to the UA in this important role. He brings a combination of skills and experience that will support opportunities to rapidly transform AHSC’s scientific discoveries and emerging new technologies into diagnostic and therapeutic product solutions,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences.

Allison will support AHSC and UA efforts to expand sponsored research and research service agreements in areas of strength related to applied clinical diagnostic, therapeutic and other health-related technologies. Working with UA faculty researchers and business partners, he will inventory and position AHSC intellectual property for translation into commercial applications.

“The University of Arizona always has...

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Dr. Juneman Joins UA Sarver Heart Center Faculty

Elizabeth Juneman, MD, has joined the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center as an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson, and director of outpatient cardiology.  Dr. Juneman also serves as assistant program director of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program.

Dr. Juneman conducts basic science research focused on mechanical and cellular remodeling in heart failure, particularly alterations in systolic and diastolic dysfunction in various cardiomyopathies. On the clinical research side, Dr. Juneman’s focus is in heart failure. She has served as a principle investigator on nationally funded, multi-center clinical trials, as well as her own investigator-initiated clinical trials. She has authored multiple original research publications, a book chapter, and clinical reviews. 

Currently, Dr. Juneman is collaborating with Henk Granzier, PhD, professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, and Steve Goldman, MD, professor of medicine at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson...

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Banner University Medicine Begins New Era in Academic Medicine

Under single aligned leadership and working toward a single goal of creating nationally ranked academic medical centers, Banner Health officially merged with what was formerly known as the University of Arizona Health Network to create the Banner – University Medicine Division.

This new division includes three hospitals:

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson (BUMCT), Banner – University Medical Center South (BUMCS) and  Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix (BUMCP).

The Banner – University Medicine Division supports the growing needs of the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine in Phoenix and Tucson as they attract and train more physicians and will enhance and elevate academic and medical excellence to national leadership levels.

“We are convinced that our private/public partnership will help play a lead role in the transformation of health care in our state and beyond. The academic rigor of Arizona’s premier medical education program will be combined with the clinical delivery excellence and population health know-how of the state’s leading health system. This is a formula that can elevate both the quality...

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Abdominal Transplant Surgeon Dr. Robert Harland Joins UA Department of Surgery

Robert C. Harland, MD, has joined the University of Arizona Department of Surgery Division of Abdominal Transplantation as professor, vice chair of academic affairs and surgical director of solid organ transplantation at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.

Dr. Harland comes to the UA from East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, where he served as professor of surgery and division chief of surgical immunology and transplantation. He previously was associate professor and director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. He also has been on the medical faculty at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Massachusetts. He is board certified in internal medicine, as well as surgery.

Dr. Harland has more than 20 years of experience in the management of complex patients with end-stage organ failure. In addition to kidney, pancreas and liver transplantation, his expertise includes advanced laparoscopic surgery, including donor nephrectomy, hepatobiliary diseases...

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New 3-D Mapping System Helps UA Cardiologists Improve Targeted Treatment for Arrhythmia Patients

For select patients with heart-rhythm problems, radiofrequency catheter ablation can be an effective treatment to restore a normal heart rhythm. For atrial fibrillation, the most common arrhythmia seen in clinical practice, catheter ablation therapy currently offers only modest success rates.

Determining the appropriate sites for ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation when symptoms are not well controlled by medications has been a challenge for electrophysiology cardiologists.

Now, a new 3-D mapping technology enables University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center electrophysiology cardiologists to precisely locate so-called rotor sites, electrical spiral waves that allow arrhythmias to continue.

“By seeing these rotors more precisely, we can target them with ablation catheters and improve the success of the procedure,” explained Julia H. Indik, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the UA Sarver Heart Center. “This new technology can process electrical signals from multiple locations in the...

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UAHN Named Ebola Treatment Center by CDC

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named the University of Arizona Health Network one of 55 Ebola Treatment Centers in the United States. The Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix also was named.

“It’s a great honor to be selected and it comes with a lot of hard work by our Highly Infectious Disease Response Planning Team,” said Andy Theodorou, MD, UAHN chief medical officer and a professor in the University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics. “This CDC designation represents a great responsibility. We consider it part of our mission as an academic medical center to provide cutting-edge medical care, research and leadership in any public health emergency.” 

“We’d like to thank the UA  Health Network and MIHS for stepping up to ensure appropriate treatment is available to Arizonans when faced with any infectious disease,” said Cara Christ, MD, chief medical officer, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). “Their ability to implement...

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UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Program Chosen to Join the National Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Center Network

The Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson has been selected as a member of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) Care Center Network. 

As part of the PFF Care Center Network, the Interstitial Lung Disease Program will have access to a wealth of resources for both patients and caregivers and will collaborate with 20 other academic institutions across the nation to advance the care of patients with pulmonary fibrosis (PF). 

“We are honored that the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has recognized the quality of our programs and the expertise our physicians have in diagnosing and treating patients with fibrotic lung disease,” said Gordon Carr, MD, director of the UA ILD Program and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, UA College of Medicine – Tucson. Dr. Carr also is medical director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at the University of Arizona Medical Center (UAMC), soon to be Banner...

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Tucson Rodeo Clowns to Entertain Patients at Diamond Children’s

WHEN:  WEDNESDAY, FEB. 25, 2 to 3 P.M.

WHERE: The University of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. (lobby)

In celebration of Tucson Rodeo Week, clowns from the Tucson Rodeo will entertain patients at Diamond Children’s on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m., in the Diamond Children’s lobby.

Justin Rumford (clown and barrelman), Andy Burelle (bullfighter), Wacey Muncell (bullfighter) and Dusty Tuckness (bullfighter) will entertain patients as they share funny and exciting stories about what they do in a rodeo as they protect the bull riders.

UA Medical Center Recognized for Quality in Transplant Care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona today  recognized University of Arizona Medical Center—University Campus (UAMC) with a Blue Distinction Center® designation for delivering quality transplant care as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program.  Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community. 

In 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was developed to help patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs while encouraging health-care professionals to improve the care they deliver.  To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants® designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety criteria as well as transplant-specific quality measures (including survival metrics).

“UAMC is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for transplants set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program,” said Deborah Maurer, UAMC associate vice...

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