The University of Arizona Health Sciences


UA’s Dr. Joe G.N. `Skip’ Garcia Elected to the Board of the Association of Academic Health Centers

Joe G.N. "Skip" Garcia, MD, senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Arizona, has been elected to a three-year term on the board of directors for the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC).
The AAHC is a non-profit association dedicated to advancing the nation's health and well-being through the vigorous leadership of academic health centers. The UA Health Sciences is a member of the organization, which held its annual meeting Sept. 17-18 in Atlanta.

Dr. Garcia, the UA Merlin K. DuVal Endowed Professor and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, is an internationally noted physician-scientist, health administrator, scholar and educator. He is a leading authority on the genetic basis of lung disease and the prevention and treatment of inflammatory lung injury. A key member of the UA’s senior executive team, Dr. Garcia provides academic leadership for the UA Health Sciences colleges: the UA College of Medicine – Tucson; the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix; the UA College of Pharmacy; the UA College of Nursing; and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. He has more than 400 peer-reviewed...

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F. Daniel Duffy, MD, MACP

Duffy: Medicine’s future not determined by its past

How did the quiet world of Marcus Welby turn into the industry of healthcare? F. Daniel Duffy, MD, MACP, former dean of the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine, offered a "career's eye view" as this year's Buffmire lecturer. Mobile phone apps, accountable care organizations, retail pharmacy clinics, community health workers, and the business community's demand for health-care value are just some of the reasons Dr. Duffy feels "It's a wonderful time to be in medicine. The future is bright. The future is exciting."

Watch Dr. Duffy's full presentation, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Transition from Medicine to Health Care, online. 


About the Donald K. Buffmire Visiting Lectureship in Medicine

Initiated in 1997, the Donald K. Buffmire Visiting Lectureship in Medicine series continues the Flinn Foundation’s commitment to bring to Arizona leading practitioners and thinkers in the medical field. The lectureship offers physicians, students and community members opportunities to hear from distinguished leaders in the field of medicine and medical education. In 2008, the annual...

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UA Health Sciences Senior Vice President Outlines Major Accomplishments and Future Goals

During his “State of the University of Arizona Health Sciences” address on Tuesday, UA Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, shared the health sciences accomplishments and outlined the significant progress being made to achieve its short- and long-term goals.

He began by announcing the name change for the Arizona Health Sciences Center, which now will be known as the “University of Arizona Health Sciences.” The name change represents a move to clearly identify Arizona’s academic health center as an integral part of the UA, one of the nation’s premier research universities.

Dr. Garcia cited the many successful collaborations at the UA Health Sciences (UAHS) and the increased centralization and integration of resources across the colleges and centers. He listed centralized budgeting via Responsibility Centered Management implementation, the development of a biobank to support collaborative research, the creation of a research data warehouse to support informatics and the...

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`University of Arizona Health Sciences’ is the New Name for the Arizona Health Sciences Center; Clearly Identifies Health Enterprise as Integral Part of UA

The Arizona Health Sciences Center has a new name: the “University of Arizona Health Sciences” – a move to clearly identify Arizona’s academic health center as an integral part of the University of Arizona, one of the nation’s premier research universities.

“Our goal is to strongly identify our academic health center as a key part of the University of Arizona, which not only benefits the UA and its health sciences enterprise, but also our affiliated centers and units,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences.

“Communicating our strong connection to the University of Arizona leverages the emotional ties and pride associated with the University. And we know that many individuals, especially those in other states, often were unaware the Arizona Health Sciences Center was part of the University of Arizona. Our new name – the University of Arizona Health Sciences – is much more descriptive and definitive, and simply makes good sense.”

The re-naming effort brings the overall UA Health Sciences’ name in line with the five UA health colleges. The University of Arizona Health Sciences, the statewide leader in...

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UA Health Sciences Faculty Members, Programs Recognized as `Influential Health and Medical Leaders’

Winners of the Influential Health and Medical Leaders Awards have been announced by Tucson Local Media and five University of Arizona Health Sciences-affiliated faculty members and programs won the prestigious honor during the publishing agency’s inaugural ceremony Sept. 23.

The award winners will be featured in the Oct. 2 edition of Inside Tucson Business. Tucson Local Media owns the following publications: Explorer, Marana News, Foothills News, Desert Times and Inside Tucson Business.

During the ceremony, Steve Pope, the Arizona Local Media general manager and publisher announced the following UA Health Sciences-affiliated Winners:

 Advancement in Achievement in Biopharmaceuticals:

Toxicologist and pediatrician Leslie Boyer, MD, founding director of the VIPER (Venom Immunochemistry, Pharmacology and Emergency Response) Institute and associate professor of pathology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

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UA Sleep Researcher Authors Section on Sleep Disparities in Congressional Report

Racial and ethnic minorities, especially African Americans, are more likely to sleep six or fewer hours each night and to suffer the adverse health outcomes of insufficient sleep, according to the 2015 Kelly Report on Health Disparities in America, released Friday by the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust.

Among the high-profile contributors to this year’s report is Michael Grandner, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the Department of Psychiatry’s new Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Dr. Grandner wrote the “Sleep and Health Disparities in the American Population” section of the report, available online at The official Congressional analysis of the state of health disparities in the United States offers a blueprint for reversing negative health trends in communities of color.


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Community Education Program, “We’ve Got the Beat: An Update on Atrial Fibrillation” to be held Oct. 17

It’s a condition that affects 2 to 3 million people and is related to about one-fifth of all strokes in the United States. The number of people with atrial fibrillation is projected to increase to 12 million by 2050 as the population ages. If you have atrial fibrillation or know someone who does, you’re not alone.

“In atrial fibrillation, the heart rate tends to be fast and irregular. While some patients experience no symptoms, many have heart palpitations, a sensation of the heart racing or skipped beats.  In addition, the condition carries an increased risk of stroke,” said Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, director of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and chief of cardiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson. “It’s no wonder that people want to learn more about this condition. In fact, it represents one of the most visited health topics on the Sarver Heart Center website.”

The community is invited to learn more during a special education program –  “We’ve Got the Beat: An Update on Atrial Fibrillation,” on Saturday, Oct. 17, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., in DuVal...

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‘Exercise Essentials for Healthy Aging’ Subject of UA Arthritis Center’s Living Healthy With Arthritis Lecture, Oct. 7

“Exercise Essentials for Healthy Aging: An Orthopaedic Surgeon’s Inside Look at Being Smart About Staying Active,” a free lecture open to the public, will be presented Wednesday, Oct. 7, 6-7:15 p.m., at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium (Room 2600), 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. The 75-minute presentation will include time for questions and answers, and light refreshments will be provided.

Movement is medicine—whether you are a walker or a weekend warrior, the importance of staying active remains at the forefront of a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a regular regimen of physical activity can significantly increase your chances of healthy aging, both physically and mentally. Research has shown that regular physical activity, even at a moderate level, remains one of the most important lifestyle factors for maintenance of good health as we age. For those with joint pain, injury or limitations, this may be a tall order.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is an increasing need for more information on helping...

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Dr. Daniel Persky Named Associate Director of Clinical Investigations at UA Cancer Center

Daniel Persky, MD, a leading physician-scientist in the field of lymphoma translational research, has been named associate director of clinical investigations and director, Clinical Trials Office (CTO), at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Dr. Persky will work closely with UA Cancer Center leadership to enhance clinical and translational research efforts.

A distinguished clinical research specialist, Dr. Persky is an associate professor of medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. He specializes in hematology/oncology, particularly in lymphoid malignancies, such as lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and others. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, subspecialty of medical oncology, and is a research member of the Therapeutic Development Program at the UA Cancer Center.

“Dr. Persky brings tremendous experience and expertise to this position. His work will allow the UA Cancer Center to deploy innovative initiatives to the clinical trials phase, and that is imperative in our fight to cure cancer,” said UA Cancer Center Director Andrew Kraft, MD.


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Dr. Rifat Latifi Receives Prestigious American College of Surgeons/Pfizer International Surgical Volunteerism Award

Rifat Latifi, MD, trauma surgeon in the University of Arizona Department of Surgery, received the 2015 American College of Surgeons (ACS)/Pfizer Surgical Volunteerism Award for his work on establishing telemedicine and e-health programs in underdeveloped nations, especially those recovering from conflict and in need of major rebuilding of their health-care systems.

The award is presented to ACS fellows and members who are committed to giving back to society though significant contributions to surgical care as volunteers and whose altruism, vision, leadership and dedication provide models to emulate and whose contributions have made a lasting difference.

Dr. Latifi’s telemedicine program began in Kosovo in 2000, where the medical infrastructure was destroyed during the war in 1999. He and his collaborators built a state-of-the-art telemedicine program that included technical infrastructure, virtual-education programs and videoconferencing capabilities. It also included an electronic library that uses the Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI), a World Health Organization program that...

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