The Department of Medicine eNewsletter The PULSE
September 2017

There is a lot happening in the Department and College of Medicine as usual. The Cerner transition takes place Oct. 1. I want to thank our amazing faculty for the engagement and leadership you have shown as we work with our clinic and inpatient staff to create the necessary workflows to continue delivering outstanding patient care.

We also are now in the thick of recruiting season for fellow and resident candidates to join our 20 ACGME-accredited physician-training programs in internal medicine and all of its subspecialties from cardiology to rheumatology.

And, by all indications, we’re doing much better at attracting more and better quality candidates, both internally and from outside the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. That is what I hear from all our fellowship and residency program directors, including Drs. Laura Meinke & Gene TrowersDrs. Laura Meinke and Gene Trowers, who head the UA Internal Medicine Residency Programs at Tucson and South campuses.

To boost retention for some of our own stellar medical students, Dr. Jil Tardiff, DOM vice chair for research, and I are working with those programs to hold recruitment sessions in October where we hope to wow them with all the dynamic, innovative initiatives across our 14 divisions. Interviewers are still needed, so please reach out to Kerith Lisa, senior program coordinator with the Tucson internal medicine residency program, to volunteer. Remember, we want to put our best foot forward. Everyone contributes to that, if only by the highly professional and charismatic way we deal with colleagues, trainees, students, etc.

That said, a new DOM Education Committee has been formed to build on this momentum. Several medicine core and key clinical faculty are on the committee, including internal medicine residency directors and associate directors, as well as Drs. Dalia Mikhael, Indu Partha, Serena Scott, Anna Stepczynski and Division of Inpatient Medicine Chief Tejo Vemulapalli. One of their efforts is to beef up our Residents-As-Teachers Program, which now has 30 active residents signed up. Look for training sessions to enhance focus on giving better presentations and other educational topics.

As we would like residents to stay on as fellows here, this is a natural way to enhance what we offer them in terms of professional development support and other opportunities. Our recent DOM Fellows Retreat (see news item below) does much the same thing for those physicians in advanced training here. As UA College of Medicine – Tucson Dean Dr. Charles Cairns said at our summer DOM General Faculty Meeting, at each level from student to resident to fellow—retention of these talented individuals increases the odds they’ll stay in the state of Arizona and contribute to the future of health care here.

Dr. Jil TardiffDr. Tardiff noted, one thing builds on another: “The bottom line is, as we try to improve the academic profile of the department, we want to build more broad-based academic fellowships. To those aims, we are increasing our percentage of fellows with significant prior research experience with a goal of identifying those who plan to follow a career in academic medicine. And, along those lines, we’re developing new programs requiring research to help facilitate progress in their academic resumés.”

This results in a greater quality of research performed at the UA Department of Medicine, which has been reflected in greater awards of research funding across all of our divisions. UAHS New Award reports for June, July and August underscore the success our faculty are having in that regard. Many of these awards dovetail nicely into initiatives of the UA College of Medicine and UA Health Sciences to accentuate our clinical and research strengths in diabetes, aging and lung care.

To that end, I congratulate you all. Let’s keep up the momentum.

Monica Kraft, MD
Robert & Irene Flinn Professor of Medicine
Chair, Department of Medicine
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson


The launch of the new Cerner electronic health record (EHR) at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and South will proceed as scheduled this weekend, with go-live set for just after midnight on Oct. 1. More than 1,200 adoption coaches will provide support over the next several weeks. See last-minute suggestions as well as links to a transition overview and archived video from Sept. 26 UA/Banner Cerner Town Hall and a mini-photo gallery of DOM staff preparing…

This year’s DOM Fellows Retreat was well attended with about 55 fellows and fellowship directors participating Sept. 19, in the UA Cancer Center’s Kiewit Auditorium. Headlining were Drs. Monica Kraft, Joe G.N. “Skip” GarciaTara CarrAnita Koshy and Sai Parthasarathy. Breakout discussion groups also were led by Drs. Keng Pineda and Omavi BaileyDr. Jil Tardiff, department vice chair for research, organized the event. See the photos, watch the video…

An overwhelming number of job seekers showed up Sept. 14 for a Banner Health Hiring Event at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson. A steady stream filled DuVal Auditorium to apply for 250 available positions posted for Banner – UMC Tucson and South clinical facilities and the UA Cancer Center at the North and Orange Grove campuses. See the photos and visit our new DOM Recruitment webpage to learn more about available jobs…

For UA Department of Medicine faculty and staff members involved in clinical research seeking to get their studies listed on the UA Health Sciences Clinical Research Studies website, look for tips here. The process is simple. Just fill out the “Optional Services” page of the Research Intake Form. In other news, visit the DOM Research website main tab for a new archive of departmental lecture series…
The next lectures in the DOM Research Seminar Series focus on “Gender and Race Disparities in Osteoarthritis” and “Genetics and Phenotypic Heterogeneity in Common Diseases (Asthma, COPD, etc.)” with speakers Dr. Ernest Vina, MD, of the UA Division of Rheumatology, and Dr. Deb Meyers, co-chief of the UA Division of Genetics, Genomics and Precision Medicine. Save the date for Thursday, Oct. 12, noon-1 p.m., Room 5403, UA College of Medicine – Tucson. See link to add the event to your personal calendar...
Drs. Francisco Mora and Norm Beatty will use awards from the travel assistance fund to present research at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene annual meeting, Baltimore, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America's ID Week 2017, San Diego. See who contributed to the fund to make their trips possible—and join the list by giving today!
Flu season is just around the corner (or already here, if you ask UA Campus Health), so it's time to get your free vaccine to keep you, colleagues, and friends and family healthy. The first Banner Health flu clinic was Sept. 26, at UA Cancer Center North, with UA flu shot events on the UAHS campus Oct. 6 and 12, and multiple opportunities for flu shot clinics on Main Campus through Nov. 2…
Banner Health delayed roll-out of its new ProviderMatch, or find-a-doctor tool, on its website from today, Sept. 19, to the end of October. The move allows for a trial period to review content and ensure all physicians feel comfortable with new functionalities and how their public profiles are presented. See multiple guidance documents here…
Construction continues on schedule with expected completion of a new nine-story hospital tower at Banner – UMC Tucson for mid-2019 and the Banner – UMC North Campus outpatient care center before year-end. See photos from a recent tour of the hospital tower and a visual roundup of construction progress on UA Health Sciences’ BSRL and HSIB buildings…
A trial will look at whether a naturally occurring compound, known as angiotensin 1-7, relieves cognitive deficits after heart bypass. UA collaborators include UA Sarver Heart Center director and chief of the Division of Cardiology, Dr. Nancy Sweitzer, physiologist Dr. Meredith Hay and psychologist Dr. Lee Ryan...
Earn a graduate certificate in Global Health and Development, Health Administration, Public Health, or Clinical and Translational Research from the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. The deadline for admission to the Spring 2018 semester has been extended to Oct. 15. Use your Qualified Tuition Reduction benefit to sign up today! 
Recent earthquakes in Chiapas, Oaxaca and Mexico City, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria—all wreaked devastation and human tragedy in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and beyond. UA Health Sciences' Hispanic Center of Excellence offers ways you can assist in relief efforts throughout a region that keenly represents the beating pulse of Latin America… 
Tech Launch Arizona will host a research forum on the UA Health Sciences campus Thursday, Oct. 19, noon-1 p.m., that puts the spotlight on Avery Therapeutics Inc., a Tucson start-up that holds the license on a UA Sarver Heart Center-developed stem cell cardiac graft to treat heart failure. The event takes place in MRB Room 102 at the UA BIO5 Institute, 1656 E. Mabel St…
Cardiologists Drs. Elizabeth Juneman and Khadijah Breathett are featured speakers at the 2017 Heart of Women's Health Luncheon at Skyline Country Club, Friday, Nov. 3, 11 a.m-1 p.m. Also at the event, Dr. Gordon Ewy, director emeritus, UA Sarver Heart Center, and founder of the center’s Women's Heart Health Education Committee, will be given the Mary Anne Fay Women's Heart Health Advocate Award…
On Oct. 11, the Arizona Bioindustry Association will honor industry leaders from across the state at the Phoenix Convention Center with AZBio Awards. Many of those to be honored have deep connections to the UA and have brought UA ideas and inventions to the marketplace. Among those being recognized are the UA Division of Cardiology’s Drs. Marvin Slepian and Steven Goldman
Dr. Douglas Loy, UA professor of materials science and engineering, and graduate student Stephanie Tolbert developed a novel formulation binds oxybenzone, the active ingredient in most over-the-counter sunscreens, so it doesn't seep into the skin. The product has been licensed to MexiAloe Laboratories, of Campeche, Mexico, one of the largest suppliers of aloe vera in North America...…
The UA Treatment, Research and Education of Adipose Tissue Program hosts a free 3.5 CME course for area providers to learn about lipedema, a fatty or adipose tissue disorder. Attendees will learn how to recognize and diagnose it, the latest research and treatment options. The course is at 8 a.m.-noon, Sat., Sept. 30, at the Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road. Instructors include Drs. Karen Herbst, Serena Scott and Bobby Kalb
The University of Arizona is currently conducting clinical research to advance science to better understand obesity and diabetes, their causes and how to prevent them. Learn more about how to participate here..
The UA Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology will host two important events this fall—a Gastroenterology/Hepatology Community Meeting with area GI doctors on Oct. 17 at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch and an Inflammatory Bowel Disease Roundtable—a training workshop—on Nov. 17 facilitated by the University of Chicago’s Dr. David Rubin and Cornerstones Health of Los Angeles… 
The UA Center on Aging, in partnership with the Home Centered Care Institute, is offering a new program featuring a first-of-its-kind home-based primary care curriculum to health-care providers statewide. The 12-CME free training program is on the UA Health Sciences campus, Tucson, Nov. 2-3. This opportunity is part of the center’s selection as one of eight “centers of excellence” nationwide by HCCI this summer…
Hematology and Oncology
UA Health Sciences faculty and staff members in Tucson were invited to join hundreds of construction workers building Banner – UMC Tucson’s new hospital tower in a Pink Hard Hat Ribbon display Sept. 29. The event kicks off breast cancer awareness month in October. See everyone assembled to form a big pink ribbon...
Cells can enter a dormant state called quiescence, and dormant cancer cells are resistant to chemotherapy and other treatments. A team led by UA Cancer Center researcher Dr. Guang Yao has identified ways to regulate cell dormancy and “wake” these cells from their “slumber” to make them susceptible to cancer treatments. Articles on the breakthrough have appeared in Nature Communications and Oncotarget...
A Tucson health fair on Oct. 1, at San Miguel High School, 6601 S. San Fernando Road, kicks off Binational Health Month. Featuring health screenings, information and community resources, the event is sponsored by the UA Cancer Center and Consulate of Mexico to promote awareness of cancer, infectious diseases, women’s health, mental health and health-care access in the Latino community…
UA beach volleyball player Mia Mason, who survived a rare brain tumor as a 12-year-old, is paying it forward. She and her mother, Jeannine Mason, a former UA volleyball player, have established the Mia Mason Fund for immunotherapy research to support pediatric cancer research at the UA Steele Children's Research Center... 
Infectious Diseases
New websites for the UA Division of Infectious Diseases and UA Petersen HIV Clinics—developed with UAHS BioCommunications, UA Department of Medicine and division faculty and staff—are now live. See new features that underscore the division's multidisciplinary nature as well as the multiple services it offers in terms of education, research, patient care and community outreach for infection prevention…
The C Diff Foundation waived registration fees for UA participants at its fifth annual conference at UNLV. Join 200 health-care professionals to share the latest data on prevention, treatment and environmental safety related to Clostridium difficile (C. diff.)—a healthcare-associated infection, irritable bowel syndrome/disease (IBS/IBD), as well as fecal transplant procedures and more...
Integrative Medicine
UA Center for Integrative Medicine sleep and dream specialist Dr. Rubin Naiman led a comprehensive review of data about the causes, extent and consequences of dream loss, and recommendations for restoring healthy dreaming that was published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. The article, “Dreamless: the silent epidemic of REM sleep loss,” details factors affecting REM sleep and dream loss…
The inaugural issue of Lung Matters, a newsletter of activities, accomplishments and accolades for physicians and researchers in the UA Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, has been posted to the division’s webpages at the UA Department of Medicine website. Among those spotlighted are Drs. James Knepler, Afshin Sam, Louise Hecker, Monica Kraft, Stefano Guerra, Tara Carr and Sarah Patel
The Oct. 4 Living Healthy With Arthritis lecture, “Solving Problems of the Foot and Ankle,” by UA associate professor Dr. Dan Latt, will discuss foot and ankle health, how to prevent injury and overuse. It is free and open to the public. You'll also hear the latest research and recommendations for a range of issues—with an orthopedic surgery and sports medicine specialist’s inside look at advanced forms of diagnosis and treatment, including non-surgical and surgical interventions…
UA rheumatologist Dr. Ernest R. Vina was quoted in MedPage Today about significant research findings in a paper he wrote that was published in the latest issue of Seminars in Arthritis & Rheumatism. The study concludes black men are at greater risk for radiographic progression of knee osteoarthritis than black women and whites of both genders—with a need for more race- and gender-specific care interventions…
Translational Medicine
Dr. Charles Downs, a pulmonary and critical care researcher and acute care nurse practitioner, and Dr. Craig Stump, Division of Endocrinology, were the inaugural presenters Sept. 14 for the second year of the DOM Research Seminar Series, which pairs a junior and senior faculty investigator to spotlight the diverse, innovative research in the Department of Medicine. Their topics, “RAS-Induced Skeletal Muscle Insulin Resistance” and “RAGE-Induced Changes in the Proteome of Alveolar Epithelial Cells.” See the photos, view the video…
This Just In...
UA’s Felicia Goodrum named a Pew Innovation Fund investigator
Known for work on cytomegalovirus (CMV), she makes inaugural class
UA research evaluates depression treatment among dementia sufferers
Work by Dr. Sandipan Bhattacharjee receives $150K NIMH grant in August
UA’s Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton awarded 2017 Melvin R. Goodes Prize
Recognition for precision therapeutics to delay, treat Alzheimer’s disease 
UA students use CyVerse to help predict mosquito-borne disease paths
Highlights work of Arizona Research Labs, Drs. Eric Lyons, Nirav Merchant
Global Health, Founders Week events previewed in COM-T flyer
Download and share with faculty and staff—Homecoming 2017 also tagged
UA researcher earns $450,000 grant for clinical study on Alzheimer’s
Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton seeks regenerative therapeutic solution for brain
UA researcher wins St. Baldrick’s Foundation award to fight cancer
UA Cancer Center's Dr. Justina McEvoy investigates rhabdomyosarcoma
UA startup SinfoníaRx acquired by health care tech company
Publicly traded Tabula Rasa HealthCare now heads heart device firm
UA study finds non-psychotropic cannabinoids promising for pain relief
UA's Todd Vanderah, colleagues focus pain from metastatic breast cancer
College of Medicine - Tucson Department of Medicne
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