Message from the UA Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

Jun 20, 2014

Advisory Councils Submit White Papers, Present Vision for AHSC Future

Greetings. I wanted to provide a brief update regarding the ongoing efforts of the four AHSC research advisory councils, which have submitted “white papers,” outlining their initial recommendations to strategically strengthen and expand our basic, clinical and translational research programs.

These white papers, which evaluate AHSC’s internal strengths and weaknesses, outside threats and opportunities in their respective areas, now are available for your review and input at /ahsc-advisory-councils

Your comments on the white papers are welcome and will assist us in achieving our goal to become the Southwest’s premier academic health center.

As you recall, we convened campus-wide advisory councils in four key research areas:

  • Health Disparities
  • Precision Health
  • Neuroscience
  • Population Health and Health Outcomes

The councils were established in response to the ABOR mandate that the UA double its research enterprise by 2020. Members were nominated based on their experience, research success and status as a “thought leader” in their respective fields. Drawing faculty members from both the Tucson and Phoenix campuses, and involving 11 UA colleges, the councils’ recommendations aim to advance the UA’s distinction and national reputation in the given domain.

Following submission of the white papers, the co-chairs of each council presented an overview of their reports to AHSC leadership. Based on feedback elicited during these presentations, and now additional feedback from faculty, we will look at implementing appropriate recommendations. We plan to host an AHSC Town Hall in early September to provide an update on these initiatives.

We already are initiating one recommendation, made by the Population Health/Health Outcomes Advisory Council, to establish a Center for Population Health Outcomes and Health Services Research. The Center will develop practical solutions to improve health outcomes, enhance access to quality health care, reduce health inequities, assess cost effectiveness and assure accountability. The Center will serve as a timely, trusted data analysis and policy source for health-care systems, the public and policy makers. Elizabeth Calhoun, PhD, MEd, who currently is professor of health policy and administration; director of the Center of Excellence in Eliminating Disparities; and co-director of the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will join us this summer to begin developing the Center.

On behalf of the entire Arizona Health Sciences Center, I want to express sincere appreciation and gratitude to the co-chairs and council members, who demonstrated professionalism, dedication and teamwork in their efforts to help advance our state’s only academic health center.

Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD
UA Senior Vice President for Health Sciences
Interim Dean, UA College of Medicine – Tucson