University of Arizona President Robert Robbins announced that the university’s medical and health sciences programs will adapt its original 100 year vision to meet Arizona’s long-term healthcare needs.
A number of new programs will target Arizona’s scarce rural healthcare and dwindling number of healthcare providers, while also working to advance research.
Telehealth expansion was one of the areas UA plans to work on through a Rural Public Health Network and Health Information Exchange program. Robbins says the university will adapt its current procedures to expand further than just the initial visit.
“We’re going to double down on that so that if you’re a patient seeing chest pain in Yuma and you go to Scottsdale for a second opinion all your records are easily accessible in this health information exchange.”
That network will work to train, recruit and retail health professionals to address the rural healthcare gap.
Other announced initiatives include improved space health endeavors through simulations in Biosphere 2, cancer research expansion and vaccine and medical device research.
“These are the things that we think are a vision for the future, but it's something that we're doing right now, today,” Robbins said.
Arizona Board of Regent Fred DuVal is the son of Dr. Merlin DuVal, who founded the College of Medicine in 1967. For him, he grew up alongside the medical school’s founding and remembers the impact the school first had in the community. He now says Arizona is growing and we need to start addressing the healthcare gap.
“What we are doing today, takes it to another level, “ DuVal said. “It will enable Arizona faculty and Arizona researchers to identify the cures of the future and make them available to Tucsonans.”