Pulmonary Researcher Dr. Louise Hecker Joins UA College of Medicine – Tucson

Pulmonary researcher Louise Hecker, PhD, has joined the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson as assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.

Dr. Hecker, who joins the UA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), is first-author of a study, “Reversal of Persistent Fibrosis in Aging by Targeting Nox4-Nrf2 Redox Imbalance,” published April 9 online in Science Translational Medicine.

“Dr. Hecker will be a key contributor in UA efforts to fully develop novel programs in respiratory medicine, lung biology and drug discovery,” said Joe G.N. Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences. “With her arrival, this truly is an exciting time for pulmonary fibrosis research at the UA.”

“We are very fortunate to have recruited one of the top young scientists in the field of lung fibrosis to the UA. Dr. Hecker provides unique perspectives on lung scarring, cellular deterioration with age and tissue regeneration,” said Kenneth S. Knox, MD, chief of the...

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TOPCAT Trial Tests Possible Treatment for Patients with Heart Failure and Preserved Heart Pump Function

Can Spironolactone, a drug with multiple actions on the heart and blood vessels, improve outcomes in a hard-to-treat group of heart failure patients? This was a question addressed by the “Treatment of Preserved Cardiac Function Heart Failure with an Aldosterone Antagonist (TOPCAT)” trial.

Currently, treatment is very challenging for heart failure patients who have normal or near-normal ejection fraction, a number that describes the percentage of blood pumped out of the left ventricle (the heart’s main pumping chamber) with each heart beat. Generally, above 50 percent  is thought to be a normal ejection fraction, said Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, director of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and chief of the Division of Cardiology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, who serves on the TOPCAT executive committee.

Although many effective treatments are available for heart failure patients with a low ejection fraction, no therapy ever has been shown to significantly affect outcomes in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, which accounts for about 50 percent of heart failure in the United States and is very prevalent among the...

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Kids of Steele Team Up Event with UA Coach Rodriguez

Kids of Steele will  host a special “Team Up” event with UA football Coach Rich Rodriguez on Thursday, April 10.

The event is for children 5-years through 8th grade, who will have the opportunity to participate in practice drills and other football activities with Coach Rodriguez and his staff.

The event is from 5– 6 p.m., and families are invited to stay and watch a family-friendly movie on the jumbotron at 6:30 p.m. at Arizona Football Stadium (northeast corner, Gate 2)

“Children will be able to practice like real UA  football players, while supporting cutting-edge research that improves the lives of children right here in our community,” said Cecie Davenport, Kids of Steele board member.

Kids of Steele is the family auxiliary of the UA Steele Children’s Research Center and is dedicated to teaching children the importance of community service through service projects and family-friendly fundraising events that benefit the UA Steele Center. The group has  raised more than $100,000 in approximately three years. To learn more, please visit...

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AHSC VETS Center Grand Opening April 10

EVENT:   AHSC VETS Center Grand Opening


LOCATION:  Arizona Health Sciences Center Library, 1501 N. Campbell Ave.

COST:  Free and open to the public.

The Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) Center on the Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) campus will host a grand opening at its new location in the Arizona Health Sciences Library, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, on Thursday, April 10, 4 to 5 p.m.

Gov. Janet Brewer’s office will be represented by Britann O’Brien and U.S. Sen. John McCain’s office will be represented by Rick Stilgenbauer. U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, Patty Valera from U.S. Rep. Ron Barber’s office, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Ted Vogt, former congressman and director of the Arizona Department of Veteran Services, will join former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband,...

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Heart Attack Patient Defies Odds with Tailored Surgical Treatment at UA Medical Center

When cardiothoracic surgeon Sreekumar Subramanian, MD, first saw Charles Barnes last November, he knew the odds were stacked against the patient. After suffering a massive heart attack, Barnes’ kidneys were shutting down and his heart and lungs were failing. Based on his medical condition, Barnes, who was in a coma, was given a 25 percent chance of survival.

The heart team at The University of Arizona Medical Center and the UA Sarver Heart Center sprang into action and performed “hybrid” surgical procedures tailored to his condition to save his life. Hybrid cardiac surgery combines conventional surgery and catheter-based intervention, with cardiac surgeons and cardiologists working side-by-side to achieve the optimal result for the patient.

The procedure was risky because Barnes, who had several heart attacks starting in 2006 and had previous cardiac bypass surgery, was critically ill with severe lung and kidney dysfunction, and re-operating on a patient who has had previous heart surgery is challenging.

The tailored...

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Rita Ellsworth Appointed Director of BioCommunications at Arizona Health Sciences Center

Rita Ellsworth, MS, who has more than 28 years of experience in web development, graphic services, “new-media” development and other communication services, has been appointed director of the Division of BioCommunications at the Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC).

Ellsworth, who reports to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, replaces John Hall, PhD, who recently retired after a 36-year career at AHSC BioCommunications – the last four years as director. 

Since 2003, Ellsworth previously served as coordinator of web development and graphic services for AHSC BioCommunications, supervising graphic designers, illustrators, programmers and web designers.

In her new role, she manages a creative team that provides a comprehensive range of media planning, creation, production and support services to assist in the instructional, research, patient care and public service missions of the University of Arizona’s Tucson-based health professions colleges:  the UA College of Medicine – Tucson; the UA College of Nursing; the UA College of Pharmacy; and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College...

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Dr. Andrew Weil to Prepare, Sample Healthy Recipes at UAMC Café

Andrew Weil, MD, founder and director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, will prepare his Tuscan kale salad and sample his own recipes, prepared by hospital chefs, that are soon to be included on the inpatient room service menu at the University of Arizona Medical Center on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 10 to 11 a.m., in the UAMC - University Campus Café.

The recipes are drawn from Dr. Weil’s 2012 cookbook “True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure,” which he co-wrote with business partner and restaurateur Sam Fox and executive chef Michael Stebner. Fox, Stebner and Dr. Weil have opened two True Food Kitchens in Phoenix and are scouting out another restaurant site in Tucson.

“A hospital may think they can’t serve gourmet health food such as this, but they can,” said Julie Kennedy Oehlert, RN, UAMC vice president of Patient Experience. “Hospitals shy away from it because they think it’s too...

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People on the Move: UAMC - South Campus Inpatient Psychiatric Leadership

Vicki Knight, MD, recently rejoined the University of Arizona Health Network as inpatient medical director for Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Services at the University of Arizona Medical Center - South Campus. She replaces Richard Rhoads, MD, who continues as medical director for the Crisis Response Center (CRC), adjacent to the Behavioral Health Pavilion at South Campus.

Previously a UAMC inpatient psychiatrist and UA assistant professor of clinical psychiatry, Dr. Knight left last year after two years here to be medical director of behavioral health at Marana Health Center. Before that, she worked in community psychiatry at the Indian Health Services, Arizona Department of Corrections, and Magellan Health Services in Phoenix. She completed her psychiatric residency at Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, Texas, and earned her medical degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her prior work included being a medical ethicist at the American Medical Association, a staffer at The Joint Commission and a paralegal.

Dr. Rhoads became interim...

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Becker’s Hospital Review: UAMC Among ‘100 Great Hospitals in America’

University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus was named today to the 2014 list of “100 Great Hospitals in America” compiled by Becker’s Hospital Review, a Chicago-based trade publication.

UAMC – University Campus was one of three Arizona hospitals named to the annual list and the only one in Tucson. It is the third year UAMC has been included. The complete 2014 list can be seen here:

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, hospitals included on its 100 Great Hospitals list are home to many medical and scientific breakthroughs, provide best-in-class patient care and are stalwarts of their communities, serving as academic hubs or local mainstays. “They are among the most prominent, forward-thinking and focused health-care facilities in the nation,” said Heather Punke, list editor.

To develop the list, the publication conducted research, considered nominations and evaluated hospital ranking sources such as U.S. News & World Report, Truven Health Analytics’ 100 Top...

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Center for Integrative Medicine Launches Lifestyle Transformation Program Series

Filling a need to develop full integrative teams that partner with their patients and treat the whole person rather than just the symptoms, the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) has launched its lifestyle transformation program series, opening integrative study opportunities to a much larger group of health professionals than those who previously were eligible for AzCIM offerings. The series includes the Integrative Health and Lifestyle program (IHeLp) and the Integrative Health Coaching certification program.

The first IHeLp class of 43 health professionals began online in January and will end in July.  The class includes registered nurses, dietitians, psychologists, master’s of social work, physical therapists, and a number of other licensed health professionals in emergency medicine, family medicine, geriatrics, neonatal, women’s health, oncology, pain management, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, public health and surgery.


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