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Advancing the Health Sciences Mission in 2020

Message from the Senior Vice president for Health Sciences

February 5, 2020

Building upon the distinct strengths of the University of Arizona Health Sciences as reflected in our Tomorrow Is Here campaign, we are launching several strategic initiatives in 2020 that will position us to significantly influence the global health care landscape.

I am pleased to share several highlights of the new direction we are pursuing. Last week, we announced the 29 inaugural recipients of the new Primary Care Physician Scholarship to begin meeting our goals of graduating students with lower levels of debt and expanding health care access to every corner of the state.

We recently selected the first class of our Data Science Fellows Program to develop, exchange and create data science expertise to solve cutting-edge research problems in health and biomedical sciences. Congratulations to the four fellows of our spring 2020 cohort pictured below.

2020 Spring Cohort

We are spearheading multiple efforts and building new capabilities to serve the needs of our diverse populations in Arizona. We have received approval to launch the Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center, thanks to the groundwork laid by our initiative owner, Todd Vanderah, PhD. The center will focus on drug discovery, clinical trials, technology, education and potential legislation to predict, prevent and contain addiction crises.

In partnership with the Center for Rural Health, we are on track to receive close to $4 million in grants by 2022 that will support training for health care providers treating people with substance abuse problems.

Institute for Future HealthWe are launching new cross-campus engagement programs and expanding our Arts, Health and Humanities initiative. As the nucleus for interprofessional education and collaborative learning, we are using the new Health Sciences Innovation Building to bring together students from across the Health Sciences and main campuses for integrated study, health care training and continuing education in one-of-a-kind environments, such as the new Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center: ASTEC.

HSIB also serves as a gathering place where faculty can connect with one another and with experts from various areas of campus to receive advice, direction, and inspiration for research and innovation. Stay tuned for more information about the grand opening of the Faculty Commons + Advisory on March 4.

We are advancing the frontier of digital health and expanding community outreach with our Phoenix Plan – Stronger together.

We will be working in partnership with Arizona State University to create the Institute for Future Health in Phoenix and build new joint capabilities in remote health monitoring, digital psychiatry and data science.

Town HallWe will be hosting several HealthTech Connect pop-up events in Phoenix and Tempe this spring to showcase the most advanced digital health technology and care delivery models. Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, health industry leaders and university researchers will gather to discuss key health technology opportunities and to begin developing a robust health technology ecosystem in Arizona.

This is an exciting time for UArizona Health Sciences, and I want to extend my appreciation to the Health Sciences community for being actively engaged in advancing and supporting our new vision.

I encourage you to learn more about our strategic initiatives and how they are driving us to reshape the future of health care. Please take a moment to watch one of the videos of our town halls held last week in Tucson and Phoenix. You can also keep up with our successes and achievements through the stories we are sharing on our Tomorrow Is Here website.

I look forward to updating you in the coming months on the progress we are making with our strategic initiatives as we work together to address the global health challenges of the 21st century.

Michael D. Dake, MD
Senior Vice President
University of Arizona Health Sciences