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ASU, Maricopa Integrated Health System enhance partnership

July 21, 2009


 Arizona State University and Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) have developed a strategic partnership that will advance the objectives of their shared academic missions. The initial priorities of the partnership will focus on metabolic disorders, health policy, women's health, family violence, health disparities research and mental health.

"ASU is proud of its strong collaborative partnership with MIHS, and we are excited to expand our alliance with a focus on advancing medical education and research in Arizona," says ASU President Michael Crow. "Through the tactical alignment of leading-edge academic programs, research initiatives and personnel, ASU and MIHS will be empowered to provide critical medical education and innovation to the people of Arizona."

The joint initiative supports interdisciplinary biomedical research and education programs. ASU will establish a process to provide faculty appointments to academic/research physicians and will include both teaching and research responsibilities. Joint research proposals will be coordinated and submitted between ASU and MIHS, and the two will share resources in terms of grant writers, staff support and financial assistance.

In addition, the partnership will include the development of an interdisciplinary graduate program in translational research with graduate faculty from both ASU and MIHS. Courses will provide laboratory and clinical experiences at both institutions.

"Maricopa Integrated Health System is honored to embark on this enhanced partnership with ASU in the areas of medical education and research that will ultimately benefit our community," says Betsey Bayless, chief executive officer of MIHS. "Our shared academic vision will also further enhance cooperative research and education programs."

ASU's alliance with MIHS has steadily grown since its inception in 2006 that began between the WOMEN'S CARE CENTER at MIHS and College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation at ASU. It now includes the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC), Center for Health Information and Research, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Center for Metabolic Biology and Department of Psychology at ASU.

Today, educational programs include a Master of Health Sector Management offered through ASU's School of Health Management, the only accredited program in health administration in Arizona. A collaboration between Counseling and Consultation, ASU and MIHS offer training to advanced psychiatric residents in the MIHS Psychiatric Residency Program.

Joint faculty development has already been initiated, and Crista Johnson, MD, MSc, a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan Medical School is both on the clinical faculty at MIHS and Faculty Research Affiliate at SIRC .

A generous grant from the J. W. Kieckhefer Foundation established the Clinical Partners Fellowship at ASU and currently supports two Ph.D. students, Lubayna Fawcett and Eman Yarrow, who are working on a study of immigrant women.

Research endeavors to date include the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, which explores complex factors influencing minority health and contributing to initiatives for improving minority health and reducing health disparities among the racial and ethnic minorities of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. An outgrowth of a pilot project Familias Sanas, a study of Latino mothers' utilization of interconception care through culturally grounded education.

A research grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research supports ASU researchers in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation in a program that reduces cardiovascular risk among Hispanic women through physical activity.

Another team of researchers at ASU are focused on the decision-making process of primary care physicians in low-income communities to diagnose mental disorders and deliver psychiatric care. The research will provide a foundation for education and training programs for primary care physicians on how to effectively diagnose and manage mental disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

About MIHS: Maricopa Integrated Health System is headquartered in the heart of Phoenix. The cornerstone of the system is Maricopa Medical Center (MMC), a major teaching hospital with a history dating back more than 100 years. Best known for its critical care services, the hospital offers Level One trauma and intensive care for adults, babies and children. Two in-patient psychiatric care centers with nearly 200 beds provide services in behavioral medicine. MIHS is also home to the nation's second largest burn treatment facility, the Arizona Burn Center and the Arizona Children's Center at Maricopa Medical Center and 11 family health care centers throughout the Valley and an attendant care program.

Media Contacts:

Michael Murphy
Director of Communications
Maricopa Integrated Health System

Judy Keane
Manager of Public Relations/Public Affairs
Maricopa Integrated Health System

Sheilah Britton
Communications Director
Office of the Vice President for Research at ASU