The University of Arizona Health Sciences


UA Health Sciences Students Help Arizonans Navigate Health Care Enrollment

To help Arizona residents understand the insurance coverage options and financial assistance available at, two University of Arizona students founded a program to recruit and train fellow University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) students in Tucson and Phoenix as Certified Application Counselors.  

Arizona has about 75,000 uninsured and 25,000 residents who are up for re-enrollment. The  Students Helping Arizona Register Everyone (SHARE) program aims to help consumers enroll or renew enrollment in the Arizona Health Insurance Marketplace at upcoming events  across Pima and Maricopa Counties. SHARE is now a part of the Arizona Center for Rural Health Navigator Consortium, at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (COPH). They work in collaboration with the Regional Center for Border Health, Inc. and the Western Region Public Health Training Center, a COPH program sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Eric Lander, a UA College of Medicine – Tucson second-year...

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`MotherToBaby Arizona’ Urges Pregnant Women To Eat, Drink Wisely During Holidays

As invitations to holiday parties start to arrive, MotherToBaby Arizona alerts pregnant women to be cautious about the foods and beverages they sample at these get-togethers.

MotherToBaby Arizona is the new name for the free and confidential statewide public service that provides up-to-date information about the possible effects that drugs, chemicals, viruses and other exposures may have on a developing baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  The telephone service for pregnant and breastfeeding Arizona women and their health professionals was known as Arizona Pregnancy Riskline until this fall. It is a unit of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, located at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in Tucson.

“During pregnancy, it’s very important to eat a healthful, balanced diet,” says Dee Quinn, MS, director of MotherToBaby Arizona. “Particular foods and beverages also may pose risks to the unborn baby or cause illness in the mother. Because some of these foods are common to holiday menus, at this...

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UA South Campus Resident-Physicians Win Out in Medical Competition to Represent State at National Internal Medicine Meeting

Five University of Arizona South Campus Internal Medicine (IM) Residency Program members swept first place honors in the “medical jeopardy,” oral arguments and research poster competitions at the Arizona Chapter meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP), Nov. 13-15 in Tucson.

Next, the resident-physicians will represent the UA and the state of Arizona at the national ACP Internal Medicine Meeting, May 5-7, 2016, in Washington, D.C. 

“I think this tells people something about the level of the residents in the South Campus program, which has been in existence for only the past several years,” said Bujji Ainapurapu, MD, South Campus IM Residency Program associate director and an assistant professor of medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. “How they’re performing is amazing. It’s the first time, to my knowledge, a single program has won all these categories. This was achieved with the support of the UA Graduate Medical Education Office and our faculty.”

Dr. Ainapurapu, known as “Dr. A,” noted the Doctor’s Dilemma™...

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UA Awarded $2.9 Million NIH Grant for Binational Diabetes Prevention Study

The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has been awarded a $2.9 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health for a diabetes prevention study in Sonora, Mexico that will focus on the prevention of cardiovascular disease and its complications among adults with diabetes.

The world is facing a growing diabetes epidemic of potentially devastating proportions – and its impact will be most severely felt in developing nations. In response, researchers at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health are engaged in ongoing initiatives to prevent and manage diabetes and its complications in Arizona and Mexico.

The study addresses a critical health issue in Mexico and among Latinos in the United States regarding the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease among people with diabetes.

“This research not only will benefit the neighboring population, but provides important research and implementation strategies for the U.S. population and Latino population in particular,” said lead researcher...

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Haploidentical Bone Marrow Transplantation Offers Hope to Patients with Cancer and Blood Disorders

For cancer patients who need a bone marrow transplant but cannot find a donor match, a procedure called “haploidentical bone marrow transplantation” (haplo BMT) could be a lifesaver.

The University of Arizona Cancer Center Blood and Marrow Transplant Program offers haplo BMT for pediatric and adult patients at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center.

The procedure provides an alternative source of stem cells for patients who need a bone marrow transplant but cannot find a related or unrelated donor match. This means the donor doesn’t have to be a perfect match—he or she can be a “haplo,” or “half-match.” Thus, a patient’s parent, child or sibling could be a suitable donor.

Emmanuel Katsanis, MD, professor of pediatrics, medicine, pathology and immunobiology, directs the UA Cancer Center’s BMT program. Dr. Katsanis also leads the pediatric cancer research team at the UA Steele...

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UA President Hart and UA Senior VP for Health Sciences Dr. Garcia Share UAHS Progress, Goals at Nov. 19 Regents Meeting

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is making major strides in health professions education and improving health throughout the state through innovation and discovery, UA leaders reported to the Arizona Board of Regents Thursday.

UA presenters President Ann Weaver Hart and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia discussed the University’s groundbreaking partnership with Banner Health and strategic investments in people, programs and infrastructure that are bringing UAHS national recognition as a high-performing academic health center.

Dr. Hart began with an operational and financial review of the UA and outlined accomplishments made under the UA “Never Settle” strategic plan, including successes resulting from the academic affiliation with Banner Health and its subsequent significant capital investments to support UA medical research and education, both in Tucson and Phoenix.

Dr. Garcia provided the Regents with an overview of advances made by UA Health Sciences, highlighting the contributions of the health sciences colleges to educating Arizona’s health-care providers and to increasing the diversity of UAHS health...

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Higher Health-Care Costs, Diminished Job Performance for Employees Who Have Trouble Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Employees who live with sleep problems are likely to have health-care costs averaging as much as  $3,000 more annually than people who normally get a good night’s sleep. Those with sleep disturbances  also are more likely to miss work and have higher rates of “presenteeism” – they show up for work but do not get as much done.

Those are some of the conclusions of a study published in the October 2015 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The study is based on employees’ answers to health questionnaires  administered as part of the Kansas State Employee Wellness Program. The data showed 56 percent of 11,700 employees who completed the surveys had some degree of trouble getting a good night’s sleep.

“I’m hoping this raises some eyebrows,” said sleep and health researcher Michael A. Grandner, PhD, MTR, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. “I would like employers to take the sleep of their employees as seriously as obesity and exercise and diet. They offer...

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UA Nurse Practitioner Provides Health Care to Underserved Patients in Clinic on Wheels

As a critical care nurse, what Elizabeth Knight, MSN, FNP-C, enjoyed most about her practice was communicating with and guiding patients to recover and steadily improve their health. The only drawback—particularly in the ICU—was that once her patients stabilized, she often never saw them again.

“I saw the consequences of all kinds of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, but I didn’t have the opportunity to work with patients long-term on improving or preventing these conditions like I do now,” said Knight, who returned to school after five years in critical care to become a nurse practitioner.

Today, Knight is a certified family nurse practitioner finishing her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees through the University of Arizona College of Nursing. She is also the lead primary-care provider for the Mobile Health Program, operated by the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the UA College of...

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Naomi Rance, MD, PhD

Founders Day honoree credits students’ contributions to her research success

Naomi Rance, MD, PhD, professor and associate head in the Department of Pathology, has been conducting studies with the goal of understanding the neuroendocrinology of hot flushes. She established the role of the neurokinin B gene in reproduction and, more recently, its role in estrogen modulation in body temperature, which she hopes will be "a significant lead" to clinical trials that will result in new and more effective treatment for hot flushes. For her outstanding research, Dr. Rance is the 2015 Founders' Day honoree. During her Nov. 17 lecture, she graciously thanked the nine graduate students from the interdisciplinary programs in Neuroscience and Physiology who have contributed to the studies over the last two decades.

"The people who drive our research forward are the graduate students," she said.

Dr. Rance’s full presentation, “Reproductive Aging and the Human Hypothalamus: From LH Pulses to Hot Flushes,” is available to view online.

University of Arizona’s Integrative Health Coaching among Nation’s Elite

The Integrative Health Coaching program at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine recently was accredited by the National Consortium for Credentialing Health & Wellness Coaches (NCCHWC), joining the ranks of only 11 other health coaching programs in the United States that have achieved this recognition.

According to the NCCHWC, an “explosion” of health and wellness coaching programs has occurred and it can be difficult to determine the expertise and quality of programs and those practicing as coaches. Therefore, the NCCHWC has established benchmarking criteria for the training and practice of health and wellness coaches.

 “The UA Center for Integrative Medicine boasts a strong foundation of faculty leaders and a long legacy of successfully training health professionals in practicing the absolute best patient care,” said Robert Crocker, MD, the Center’s director of strategic clinical planning and implementation and assistant professor of medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. “As proud as we are of what we’ve built, this recognition underscores and...

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