People and Programs on the Move at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson

Dec 18, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. — Among recent honors, awards and promotions at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson are the following news items:

Renowned HIV/AIDS Researcher Wins National Women’s Health Award

Elizabeth “Liz” Connick, MD, chief, Division of Infectious Diseases (Photo: University of Arizona Health Sciences)Elizabeth Connick, MD, professor, chief and fellowship program director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, was presented with the 2020 Constance B. Wofsy Women’s Health Award at the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) virtual awards ceremony in November.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the ACTG is the largest network of expert clinical and translational investigators and therapeutic clinical trials units in the world. Dr. Wofsy was founding chair of the ACTG Women’s Health Committee (a post Dr. Connick now holds), co-founder of the AIDS treatment program at San Francisco General Hospital in 1983 and a University of California San Francisco faculty member. She died of breast cancer at age 53 in 1996.

Dr. Connick is a renowned immunologist best known for her work studying HIV replication in lymphoid tissues and HIV in women and girls.

“It is the greatest honor of my life,” Dr. Connick said of receiving the award. “Constance Wofsy was an amazing person. She was one of those people who jumped in to treat people with AIDS very early in the epidemic in San Francisco and one of the first to recognize that HIV affected women.”

Dr. Connick has been a constant advocate for the inclusion of women and girls in research and clinical trials. She has served on numerous HIV/AIDS-related committees and boards for the NIH, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other organizations. She also serves on multiple editorial boards including for the Journal of AIDS, Healio Infectious Disease News and Journal of the International AIDS Society. Learn more here.

Department of Medicine’s Liver Institute Wins CDC Support for Hep C Patients

Juanita Merchant, MD, PhD, acting director, Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute  (Photo: University of Arizona Health Sciences)The Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute at the Department of Medicine, in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Health Services, has received special designation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a participant of the 340B Drug Pricing Program. This designation for the institute’s Hepatitis C Treatment Program benefits Southern Arizona patients living with hepatitis C and their providers by increasing access to services and discounted prescription drugs lacking in the area. Hepatitis C, a chronic blood-borne infection, requires ongoing medication that is expensive.

“In eliminating challenges for patients to access routine treatment, the Hep C Treatment Program team will be able to identify barriers to care and offer patients a tailored package of services,” said Juanita L. Merchant, MD, PhD, the institute’s acting director and professor and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “The Boyer Institute staff are enthusiastic about offering a service that will reduce some of the treatment barriers encountered during the course of eradicating the Hepatitis C virus.” Learn more here.

In other Department of Medicine news:

  • Julie Bauman, MD, MPH, professor and chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology and deputy director of the UArizona Cancer Center, was elected co-chair of the Cancer Prevention Steering Committee at the National Cancer Institute, a unit of the National Institutes of Health.
  • Rachna T. Shroff, MD, associate professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology, and GI Medical Oncology Section chief, GI Disease-Oriented Team leader and Clinical Trials Office director at the Cancer Center, was picked for the American Society of Clinical Oncology Leadership Development Program.
  • Internist Indu Partha, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Geriatrics, General Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine, was the recipient of the 2020 Women in Medicine Award from the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Physicians.

Psychiatry Faculty Recognized for Leadership, Vision, Career and Teaching

Three Department of Psychiatry faculty members have won national and state accolades:

Dr. Murrain to Lead P-MAP Program; Board Post for Sonoran UCEDD Aide

Victoria Murrain, DO, associate professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine (Photo: University of Arizona Health Sciences)Victoria Murrain, DO, was named director of the Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway program, a 13-month, full-time, intensive medical school preparation program designed for students who have experienced greater than average challenges in preparing to become competitive medical school applicants. Dr. Murrain also serves as the college’s vice dean for diversity, equity and inclusion and is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

In other Family and Community Medicine news:

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NOTE: Images available here – https://arizona.box.com/s/e9xgua0ybyluy2gazicvzovk5subqk1o

About the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, visit medicine.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

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