Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The University of Arizona Announces Restructuring Plans for Health Sciences

[Source: AHSC Office of Public Affairs, University of Arizona] - University of Arizona President Robert Shelton today announced a major restructuring of the University’s health sciences area. The plan will create a new position of Vice President for Health Affairs, to whom the deans of each of the Arizona Health Sciences Center colleges will report.

In addition to the new organizational structure, Dr. Keith Joiner, who has served as dean of the College of Medicine since March 2004, has announced that he will step down from his position and return to the faculty, where he holds professorships in medicine; cell biology and anatomy; and public health.

“With the Phoenix campus now established and important structural changes completed at our Tucson campus, it is a perfect time for new leadership in the college and for me to return to my professional interests as a physician scientist,” said Joiner. “My major focus now will be on directing the statewide program – Health Research Alliance Arizona – a unique initiative in Arizona linking universities, research institutes, hospitals, community clinics and more.”

Shelton praised Joiner’s contributions to the college. “We are most grateful for the good work and hard decisions that Keith Joiner has brought to his tenure as dean,” said Shelton. “He has made important improvements to the college and to advancing health care in our community.”

With the announcement of Dr. Joiner’s resignation, Shelton has appointed Dr. Steve Goldschmid, head of the Department of Medicine, as the interim dean of the College of Medicine campus in Tucson.

Executive Vice President and Provost Meredith Hay is overseeing the search for the new Vice President for Health Affairs, and has appointed a search advisory committee that will review and meet with finalists. An appointment to the new position is expected by the start of the fall semester.

“The new Vice President for Health Affairs will focus on advancing The University of Arizona’s health care delivery capabilities, health professional education, and citizen access to state-of-the-art patient care,” said Hay. “We believe this change will greatly enhance our ability to serve the entire state.”

The Vice President for Health Affairs will be responsible to the President for the coordination and the administration of overall academic and medical services in The University of Arizona College of Medicine at both Tucson and Phoenix; the colleges of Pharmacy, Public Health, and Nursing; the Arizona Cancer Center; and all agreements with University Medical Center (UMC), the University Physicians Healthcare (UPH) and UPH Hospital at Kino. The VPHA will work in partnership with the Executive Vice President and Provost in the development of strategic academic priorities for the health sciences academic units and in the execution of the plans that result.

“This restructuring is going to facilitate better coordination of all areas of the Arizona Health Sciences Center,” said Shelton. “Our health sciences enterprise is an extraordinarily complicated and sophisticated effort. The changes we are making will allow the University to improve the quality and efficiency of what we offer in teaching, research and patient care, and make us a better university.”

Hay noted that once the Vice President for Health Affairs is appointed, searches will be launched to permanently fill the dean positions at both the Tucson and Phoenix campuses of the College of Medicine.

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