Alumni

Message from Dean Cairns: Exciting Conversations, Extraordinary Times

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Greetings, Alumni and Friends,

We have passed the 90-day mark of our partnership with Banner Health, and it’s really been an extraordinary 90 days. The first thing we’ve been able to do is to show it’s possible to have an evolving and synergistic partnership between a large not-for-profit health-care system and an academic institution.

The Academic Management Council, which is the governing board for the new Banner – University Medical Group, has now met four times, and I must tell you these meetings are characterized not only by collegiality and collaboration, but also with a shared vision of moving forward on all aspects of our mission: education, research and clinical care.

We’ve been able to approve 100 new faculty positions. We’ve exchanged a great deal of information about what the University of Arizona has to offer here in Tucson, and in Phoenix, and how we might start using the university as an innovation engine for the Banner Health system, while enhancing our educational programs at both colleges of medicine, in Tucson and Phoenix.

We’ve also shared ideas for undergraduate medical education, and how we can expand our training of residents and fellows. There is a gap in the number of residents in this state: We need an additional 1,000 residency positions in Arizona. But as a statewide system, we are now having a conversation about how we can impact the lives of Arizonans by enhancing our residency training opportunities.

It’s been very exciting to have these kinds of conversations.

Also very exciting is the plan to build a new Banner – University Medical Center Tucson adjacent to our original hospital, first known as University Hospital, then University Medical Center, then University of Arizona Medical Center – Tucson. We have reviewed conceptualizations for our new hospital, and design proposals will soon be presented to faculty, and then to the rest of the community. So we’re still pretty early in this process, but there are multiple meetings every day. It’s extraordinarily exciting. How often do you get to build a whole new academic medical center?

In this issue of Alumni News you will read about our wonderfully successful P-MAP program. P-MAP stands for Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway, a program designed by Dr. Francisco Moreno, deputy dean and Arizona Health Sciences Center assistant vice president for diversity and inclusion, with Dr. Joe G.N. “Sklp” Garcia, senior vice president for health sciences, and Dr. Kevin Moynahan, deputy dean for education. P-MAP is a one-year program designed to prepare highly qualified students from diverse backgrounds and underserved areas of our state for medical school.

In addition to these exciting developments, I continue to be impressed by the outstanding clinical and basic research being conducted by our College of Medicine faculty. One outstanding example is the research being done by the Arizona Respiratory Center, the BIO5 Institute and our Department of Medicine on the environmental and genetic causes of childhood and geriatric asthma. We expect this work to lead to novel pathways to treatment and prevention.

These really are extraordinary times.