News

UA Public Health Students to Assist on Super Bowl Sunday

Kristen Pogreba-Brown, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, is taking a team of graduate students to the Super Bowl on Sunday – but the team won't be there to watch the game.

The students are members of Student Aid for Field Epidemiology Response, or SAFER, and they will assist the Maricopa County Department of Public Health with surveillance for signs of infectious-disease outbreaks, foodborne illnesses and injuries.

SAFER has been providing surveillance assistance to health departments throughout Arizona for 10 years. At Super Bowl XLIX, team members will be located at every first-aid station inside University of Phoenix Stadium, working alongside emergency medical technicians from the Glendale Fire Department.

“Our students will interview every person who visits a first-aid station. And we will also be asking everyone who enters if they have had the measles vaccine,” Pogreba-Brown said.

The SAFER program at the UA College of...

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UA Department of Surgery Welcomes Back Trauma Surgeon Dr. Rifat Latifi

The University of Arizona Department of Surgery welcomes back Rifat Latifi, MD, as professor of surgery and vice chair of International Affairs. He also is an honorary professor of the medical faculty of University of Tirana, Albania.

While maintaining his academic research appointment at the UA, Dr. Latifi left the department in 2011 to direct the trauma program at Hamad General Hospital in Doha, Qatar, the only Level I trauma center in Qatar. Under his leadership, the trauma center gained national, regional and international recognition for significantly reducing mortality and morbidity and for spearheading trauma research in the region.

Dr. Latifi first came to the UA Department of Surgery and The University of Arizona Medical Center in 2003, serving as director of Surgical Critical Care and associate director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program. In 2007, he served as interim chief of the Division of Trauma, Critical Care, Burn and Emergency Surgery. Before coming to the UA, he was assistant professor of surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Dr. Latifi...

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Solidarity Day Begins with a Week of Compassion Dedicated Activities, Feb. 9

A week of solidarity for the compassionate care of patients will be celebrated on the Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) campus Monday, Feb. 9, through Friday, Feb. 13. Events are designed to bring together health-care faculty members, students and staff throughout the University of Arizona health sciences colleges.

Each year, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation honors National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Care, typically held on or near Valentine’s Day, by encouraging medical schools, patient-care institutions and other health-care organizations around the country to show their support of the importance of kindness to patients.

University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Gold Humanism Honor Society students lead the solidarity effort on the AHSC campus. The society is the foundation’s signature program and recognizes medical students, residents and faculty members who practice patient-centered care by modeling the qualities of integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and empathy.

Rachel...

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Providing Tomorrow's Medicine Today

Dr. Marvin Slepian, University of Arizona professor of cardiology, knows how to bridge the gap between the bench and the bedside.

Slepian has made the connection between creative entrepreneurship and significant health care issues to innovate and deliver solutions, such as the artificial heart, that enhance and save lives.

In his latest venture, he will help extend the linkages between UA research and the public as director of the Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation.

The center, also known as ACABI, will help researchers form collaborations, find applications for new discoveries, develop their technologies and access resources to move their innovations forward. It will focus primarily on the development of translational biomedical technologies.

"ACABI is a 'creativity engine' that will fuel translational research at the UA," Slepian said. "It will maximize the value of University research. It will translate interesting discoveries into real, practical value, and it will be an economic engine to drive new startups and new corporate efforts in Arizona."

ACABI will focus its efforts on addressing unmet needs in...

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LCME Update: Establishing a CQI System at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson

A continuous quality improvement (CQI) system is being established for the medical education program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

The CQI Leadership Team and the ArizonaMed Collaborative Action Team (AZ CAT) will support the CQI effort at the college in implementing consistent change control management best practices through the Accreditation Office. This system will support a group of leaders who will maintain a real-time pulse on the operations of the medical education program leading to the MD degree and mitigate unintended consequences through communication and coordination.

The groups will review and evaluate requests for changes or new initiatives in medical education; recommend to the appropriate governance bodies requests that should be considered for implementation; and assist in providing stewardship of the operations of the medical education program; which includes workflows/procedures that govern the curriculum, student services and educational resources.

These groups are composed of the administrators of the functional units supporting the medical education program – deputy deans, associate/assistant deans, as well...

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Anthony 'Tony' DeFrancesco Appointed Senior Director of Operations for Arizona Health Sciences Center

Health-care executive Anthony “Tony” DeFrancesco, RD, MS,  FACHE, has been appointed senior director of operations for the Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

DeFrancesco, who joined the UA Jan. 5, will provide senior-level leadership in support of AHSC projects and change-management initiatives, including facility/space planning, clinical research operations, shared service units and responsibility-centered management implementation. He reports to Mike Jonen, senior associate vice president for health sciences, AHSC.

“I am extremely pleased that Tony has joined the UA in this important leadership position with AHSC,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine -- Tucson. “He brings strong leadership and management skills that will support our clinical, clinical research and education program development and integration efforts with AHSC strategic clinical partners, including Banner Health, the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Tucson, and Dignity Health St. Joseph’s...

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Hillary Franke, MD, UA Pediatric Intensivist Completes Integrative Medicine Fellowship through the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

Hillary Franke, MD, MS, associate professor, UA Dept. of Pediatrics, is the first pediatric intensivist in Tucson to complete the two-year fellowship program in integrative medicine from the Arizona Center Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson, making her one of the 120 pediatricians nationally with this specialized training.

According to the internationally-recognized UA Center for Integrative Medicine, integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies. 

“The fellowship focuses on the use of what we used to call ‘complementary’ methods of treatment, using an evidence-based medicine approach,” said Dr. Franke. “Integrative medicine implies the union of these complementary approaches with standard medical care. Integrative medicine focuses on the mind, body, and spirit of the individual. The field has incredible potential in pediatrics due to its...

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Wayne K. Jacobsen, MD, FCCM

Dr. Wayne Jacobsen Appointed Head of Anesthesiology at UA College of Medicine – Tucson

Wayne K. Jacobsen, MD, FCCM, has been appointed head of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. After serving as interim head since 2013, he was appointed the department head on Jan. 5. 

Dr. Jacobsen, who also is UA professor of anesthesiology, previously served as director of the department’s residency program for nine years and prior to that was chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, Calif. 

Dr. Jacobsen joined the UA anesthesiology team in 2004 as professor of clinical anesthesiology and associate head for education. In 2005, he also became director of the anesthesiology residency program. Dr. Jacobsen’s research interests include ischemic reperfusion and medical education. He replaced Steven J. Barker, MD, PhD, who served as department head since 1995.

“Dr. Jacobsen’s leadership and dedication to medicine and medical education will help to advance the clinical experience, educational opportunities and research programs at the UA Department of Anesthesiology, said, Joe G.N...

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UA Arthritis Center Receives $6.1 Million 5-Year NIH Grant to Help Identify Treatments for Osteoarthritis

Researchers at  the University of Arizona Arthritis Center at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson are working to identify treatments to slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA), supported by a recent $6.1 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

The most common cause of disability in the aging population, OA is a complex condition involving not only the breakdown of cartilage in joints but also changes in adjacent soft tissue and bone beneath the cartilage, leading to debilitating joint pain and stiffness and often pain in surrounding muscles and ligaments. The public health impact of knee OA, in particular, is expected to increase dramatically. No cure exists and no FDA-approved drugs are available to prevent development or halt the progression of the condition.

The study, “Risk of Incident Knee OA & Clinical Outcomes Based on Imaging Biomarkers,” builds on two ongoing studies, the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) and the Pivotal OAI MRI Analyses (POMA), an ancillary proposal to the OAI. The OAI was...

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Abbett Family Foundation Donates $115,000 to UAMC Diamond Children’s

The University of Arizona of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s received a donation of $115,000 from the Abbett Family Foundation.

Foundation trustees Jeffrey Abbett, his sister, Renee Abbett, and Tim Wilcox, principal, Sonora Investment Management, visited Diamond Children’s on Jan. 15 to acknowledge the donation, which was made in December.

"The Abbett Family Foundation is proud to support the efforts of Diamond Children's in providing the highest quality of care for the children and families in our community," said Jeffrey Abbett.

The funds will be used to:
• Purchase one C-Mac intubation video laryngoscope intubation system;
• Purchase six interactive gaming systems on roving carts for patients on the pediatric hematology/oncology and pediatric medical/surgical units;
• Support the Child Life program and purchase supplies ($25,000);
• Purchase other medical equipment and support additional Child Life program needs ($22,000).

“The C-Mac is a state-of-the-art...

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