The University of Arizona Health Sciences


People and Programs on the Move at Banner – University Medical Center

Dr. Gordon Carr Named Chief Medical Officer

Gordon Carr, MD, critical care medical director of the Intensive Care Unit at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, has been appointed the hospital’s chief medical officer.

“Dr. Carr has distinguished himself as a leader dedicated to quality and improved patient outcomes,” said Tom Dickson, chief executive officer for Banner hospitals in Tucson.

Dr. Carr is a pulmonologist and intensivist in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine within the University of Arizona Department of Medicine. He joined the faculty in 2011, starting out as medical director of the Intensive Care Unit at University of Arizona Center – South Campus, now known as Banner – University Medical Center South.

Before coming to Tucson he worked at Resurrection Medical Center, Kindred Chicago Medical Center and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, all in Chicago. He received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medical and fellowship in pulmonary disease and critical care medicine at the University of Chicago Medical...

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How the Gut Microbiome May be Key in Post-Surgery Organ Failure after Heart Surgery in Children

University of Arizona pediatric critical care physician-scientist Katri Typpo, MD, wants to improve the health of infants and children with congenital heart disease (CHD). These patients often suffer organ failure after heart repair surgery.

Toward that end, Dr. Typpo, assistant professor, UA Department of Pediatrics and the UA Steele Children’s Research Center at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, within the University of Arizona Health Sciences, was awarded a four-year, $740,000, K23 “Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development” grant by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Her mentor is Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, professor and head, UA Department of Pediatrics, and director of the UA Steele Center.

The project—“The KIND (Kids Intestinal Dysfunction in Congenital Heart Disease) Heart Study”—is a multi-center study that...

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UA Zika Expert to Speak at Partners in Public Health Luncheon, May 4

As summer approaches, anxiety about Zika is growing in the U.S. The question on everyone’s mind is: Once Zika is here, how big will the outbreak be?

Kacey Ernst, PhD, MPH, an associate professor and infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, is co-author of a recent study in the journal PLOS Currents Outbreaks that looked at the highest risk areas for Zika emergence in the United States.

Dr. Ernst will be the guest speaker at the annual Partners in Public Health Luncheon on Wednesday, May 4, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Arizona Inn, 2200 E. Elm St., Tucson.

Dr. Ernst will highlight some of the background and new findings related to the Zika virus and will delve into the work that she and team members are doing at the UA to address Zika. She will discuss the basics of Zika virus infection, current geographic spread and...

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Opioid Research by UAHS MD-PhD Student Alex Sandweiss Receives Three Awards

Research aimed at understanding how opioids activate the reward pathway leading to addiction so that an alternative non-addictive pain reliever can be developed has won three awards for Alex Sandweiss, a student in the MD-PhD Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Sandweiss was one of 130 students who participated in the UA Graduate and Professional Student Council’s 2016 Student Showcase, an annual exhibition of undergraduate and graduate scholarship demonstrating the wide spectrum and value of UA student research projects. The only student-run research exhibition of its magnitude at the UA, the Showcase includes four categories: community-society, creative expression, education and research. Entries encompass a wide variety of disciplines, including performing arts and literature. State representatives and many community members serve as judges.

Alex’s entry won three awards in the research category:

1st place, Graduate Research ($500). Judges evaluated students’ research based on quality of presentation, quality of research, value to the community and overall... [read more]

‘Decoding Osteoarthritis…New Approaches to Prevention and Treatment Using Your Brain and Body’ Subject of UA Arthritis Center Lecture, May 4

“Decoding Osteoarthritis…New Approaches to Prevention and Treatment Using Your Brain and Body,” will be presented Wednesday, May 4, 6-7:15 p.m., at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. The 75-minute presentation will include time for questions and answers, and light refreshments will be provided.

(Please note: the originally scheduled lecture, “Today, Tomorrow and the Future of Osteoarthritis Treatment” by C. Kent Kwoh, MD, director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, is postponed until the fall 2016 Living Healthy With Arthritis lecture series.)

Charles R. Ratzlaff, PhD, PT, FCAMT, will discuss non-surgical approaches to the prevention and management of knee and hip osteoarthritis with an emphasis on neuromuscular re-training. An epidemiologist and physical therapist specializing in pre-clinical diagnosis and rehabilitation of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Dr. Ratzlaff is a research assistant professor of medicine with the University of Arizona College of Medicine –...

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Making Precision Medicine a Reality: Genomics Researchers Discover Road Map to Disease Origin

TUCSON, Ariz. – Researchers are one step closer to understanding the genetic and biological basis of diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis – and identifying new drug targets and therapies – thanks to work by three computational biology research teams from the University of Arizona Health Sciences, University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt University.

The researchers’ findings – a method demonstrating that independent DNA variants linked to a disease share similar biological properties – were published online in the April 27 edition of npj Genomic Medicine.

“The discovery of these shared properties offer the opportunity to broaden our understanding of the biological basis of disease and identify new therapeutic targets,” said Yves A. Lussier, MD, FACMI, lead and senior corresponding author of the study and UAHS associate vice president for health sciences and director of the UAHS Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics (CB2).

The researchers...

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The James E. Dalen, MD, MPH, Distinguished Lecture for Health Policy Presents Dr. Victoria Maizes, Internationally Recognized Leader in Integrative Medicine, May 6

Victoria Maizes, MD, executive director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and professor of clinical medicine, family medicine and public health, will present the James E. Dalen, MD, MPH, Distinguished Lecture for Health Policy titled, Wellness in Action: Integrative Medicine Meets Public Health.”

The free lecture is open to the public and will be held Friday, May 6, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in DuVal Auditorium at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, 1501 N. Campbell Ave.

In Tucson and nationwide, a remarkable set of initiatives, ranging from school-based mindfulness programs to community gardens are being implemented and producing meaningful change. Dr. Maizes will describe these exciting developments as well as the UA Center for Integrative Medicine programs that can enhance well-being and improve the health of our society.

Dr. Maizes is internationally recognized as a leader in integrative medicine. She stewarded the growth of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine from...

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UA Physician and UA Med Student Embark on ‘Bike Listening Tour’ to Learn What Rural America Thinks about the Affordable Care Act

Jane Erikson for the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

When the Affordable Care Act is in the news, it’s usually politicians or prominent health-care policy “wonks” doing the talking.

Paul Gordon, MD, MPH – professor and former chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson – wants to know what other folks have to say; specifically, those who live in rural America, where their voices seldom are heard beyond town lines.

On Thursday, April 21, Dr. Gordon will fly to Washington, D.C., and pick up his bicycle and gear, which he shipped ahead. On Friday, April 22, he will begin a two-month bicycle tour from the nation’s capital to Seattle, stopping daily to learn what people think of what is commonly called “Obamacare.”

He’s not looking for physicians or people enrolled in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), although he will not exclude them from being interviewed. He will not disclose what he thinks of the ACA, and he will not try to correct anyone who makes an inaccurate statement about the Act.

He simply wants to hear and record...

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Second Annual ‘Eat Dessert First Day,’ April 21, Honors Memory of Dana Morgan and Raises Funds for Pediatric Cancer Research

The second annual Eat Dessert First Day (EDFD) takes place on Thursday, April 21, to honor the memory of pediatric cancer patient Dana Morgan; to celebrate family and friends; and to raise funds for childhood cancer research at the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center

Scott and Michelle Morgan created Eat Dessert First Day in honor of their daughter Dana, who passed away on Jan. 22, 2015, at the young age of 10, from complications associated with treatments intended to eradicate leukemia. Dana would have turned 12 on April 21.

On April 21, participants eat dessert first for lunch or dinner while celebrating the presence of family and friends in their lives,” said Dana’s mom, Michelle.

In addition to eating dessert first on April 21, EDFD participants are encouraged to donate $12 or more to support the pediatric cancer research program at the UA Steele Center, a Center of Excellence within the...

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UA Sarver Heart Center Minority Outreach Health Advocate Wanda Moore Says Knowledge is Power in Regard to Heart Disease

As an African American woman who heads the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Community Coalition for Heart Health Education, Wanda Moore is very aware that she is in one of the highest risk groups of dying from heart disease. She also believes and advocates that lifestyle risk factors are manageable.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, heart disease disproportionately afflicts African American women, killing about 50,000 each year. For Moore and her committee members, knowledge is power and the good news is women can lower their heart disease risk by as much as 82 percent by addressing these risk factors:

Smoking – about one in five African American women smokes. After one year of quitting, heart disease risk drops by more than half.High blood pressure (hypertension) – about 37 percent of African American women have high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke and heart failure. Healthful eating, including low salt intake, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and moderate alcohol consumption can help, plus taking medication if prescribed.

“Heart disease, diabetes, obesity and inactivity are risk...

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