All posts in "Health & Biotech"

Kitchell Tops Off UA Health Sciences Building

 

Via azbigmedia.com

The commemorative last steel beam was put into place recently at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Innovation Building project in Tucson, a world-class center designed to be the vanguard for inter-professional health professions education in the United States.

“We have experienced a tremendous evolution in the types of facilities we are building to accommodate today’s complex healthcare climate,” said Kitchell Contractors President Steve Whitworth. “Working on this facility extends our experience on hospitals and community health clinics to higher education, and we couldn’t be more pleased about contributing to the changing landscape on the University of Arizona campus.” Kitchell is the project’s general contractor.

The $165 million facility broke ground last year. Designed by Los Angeles-based CO Architects with Tucson-based Swaim Architects, the 10-story, 220,000-square-foot building is located on the west side of the Arizona Health Sciences Campus, north of the Bio5 building off East Helen Street and North Cherry Avenue. The project is envisioned to foster collaboration among multidisciplinary teams of students and faculty in all four colleges: medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Classrooms can accommodate as many as 150 people in a flexible “flipped classroom” format, which prioritizes group work over lectures. The building also includes a special events space that allows for more than 1,000 people.

 

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New Institute For Congestive Heart Failure Helps Keep Patients Out Of Hospital

 

Via azcapitoltimes.com

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital has opened its new Institute for Congestive Heart Failure that is being touted as one of the nation’s first of its kind for its comprehensive, patient-centered care.

With a goal of keeping patients out of the hospital, the Institute for Congestive Heart Failure encompasses everything from prevention and early detection using new diagnostics to an array of treatment options, including optimized medications and revolutionary, minimally invasive procedures that help the heart work better.

As the institute’s new medical director, Dr. Kris Vijay leads a multi-disciplinary team of caregivers – from nurses and pharmacists to dietitians and nephrologists (specialists in treating kidney disease).

 

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Chiropractors Want Arizona Program To Cover Their Practice

 

Via host.madison.com

PHOENIX (AP) — Chiropractors in Arizona plan to push during the next legislative session for the state’s Medicaid program to cover their care — and they are citing the opioid crisis to bolster the request.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports that Arizona Association of Chiropractic is talking with stakeholders to decide whether to ask for a pilot program or full coverage for people covered under the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS.

Currently, only people younger than 21 on AHCCCS are covered for chiropractic care.

 

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Doctor’s Research Could Buy Time For Snake Bite Victims

 

Via uk.businessinsider.com

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A researcher at the University of Arizona is experimenting with a new therapy to help treat rattlesnake bites.

Dr. Vance G. Nielsen hopes that once it is ready for humans, the therapy will be administered like an EpiPen, injected into a snakebite victim in the field to buy the person valuable time to get to the hospital for anti-venom treatments.

The therapy includes injecting carbon monoxide into the venom directly to block its effects.

“There’s a gigantic body of literature about how carbon monoxide can make things better or worse in human medicine. I was looking at the coagulation angle of it,” which there are not many people studying that aspect of it, Nielsen said.

Nielsen has successfully shown the therapy blocks 36 different kinds of venom from interacting with animal and human plasma in test tubes. He also had successful results in live animal tests for at least an hour.

Nielsen hasn’t tested to see if the effects of the treatment could last longer.

The next step in his research is to test a more EpiPen-like application method, meaning direct injection into the bitten area, on animals before any human tests are allowed.

 

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SCORE Mentors Coach Non-profits As Well As Businesses

 

Via score.org

While she was in recovery from breast reconstruction surgery following a double mastectomy, Terri Coutee began a blog that would later lead to a nonprofit. Coutee had been lucky – she was among the 23 percent of mastectomy patients who have the full range of options for breast reconstruction surgery presented to them. Through her extensive research, she was able to find the best possible surgeon and the type of breast reconstruction that was right for her.

Coutee elected to have a type of surgery called DIEP flap, in which a microsurgeon uses tissue and blood vessels from the belly to reconstruct the breasts. She calls the results of the surgery “nothing short of amazing.”

In her effort to ensure that other cancer survivors have the same information she did, Coutee began connecting with medical professionals on social media. Her blog became increasingly popular as breast cancer patients sought advice and guidance there. In July 2016, she turned her educational efforts into a the DiepCFoundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Coutee’s foundation supports breast cancer survivors by providing them with guidance, evidence-based research, and education about all the options available to them post-mastectomy. The foundation has an entry in Guidestar, and Coutee has raised money through Amazon Smiles, as well as fund-raising events hosted in collaboration with artists and musicians.

Coutee meets with her mentor, Nancy Hessney about once a month. Hessney introduced her to Guidestar, a service that reports on U.S. nonprofits. That gave the foundation national credibility and allowed Coutee to solicit donations through Amazon Smile.

Coutee says “My SCORE mentor has been instrumental in giving me resources for funding, assessing what else can be done to give the Foundation visibility, and continually reinforces the efforts that I am making on behalf of the Foundation.”

 

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Blue Cross Blue Shield Nixes Arizona Health Premium Rise In 2018

 

Via azcentral.com

The only seller of individual health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act in 13 rural Arizona counties said Tuesday that it won’t raise premiums next year after all.

A Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona executive said the company will instead decrease rates by about 1 percent across all its individual plans in 2018. That’s a change from an average 7.2 percent increase initially proposed in July.

Jeff Stelnik, the insurer’s senior vice president of strategy, sales and marketing, told The Associated Press the change came because of improved profitability on current plans and an assumption that the federal government will continue funding a program reducing some customer costs.

 

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VMI Acquires AMS To Put A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) In The Driveway Of Every Wheelchair User

 

Via businesswire.com

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vantage Mobility International (VMI) acquired AMS Vans, Inc., located in Tucker, Georgia, in pursuit of providing wider access to mobility vehicles. AMS is a leading provider of economy priced wheelchair accessible vehicles (“WAV”). AMS has been a leader in the mobility industry since 1999 as one of the first WAV providers to offer new and used Dodge, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen vans for sale with delivery nationwide at affordable prices.

Together, the two companies can better serve a growing and complex market that significantly helps an underserved segment of society. “AMS has developed an economy price strategy that enables them to serve a range of customers we were unable to support with our premium positioned VMI products,” said Doug Eaton, President and CEO of VMI. “Kip and his team at AMS have demonstrated that they can effectively earn the business of consumers who are looking for an economical wheelchair accessible vehicle. We couldn’t be more proud to partner with AMS.”

Kip Crum, President of AMS, said, “We are truly excited to become a part of VMI. We see this as a positive and natural next step as our industry grows and matures. We are passionate about helping wheelchair users gain their freedom and independence, and we believe partnering with VMI will give us more opportunity to do what we love to do.”

VMI has an extensive portfolio of innovative mobility vehicles based on Chrysler, Toyota, Honda and Dodge chassis, and these products are sold exclusively through a nationwide dealer network focused on delivering an enhanced consumer experience. When talking about the plans for how these two companies will be positioned, Eaton said, “VMI has no intention of merging these two brands. We will continue to operate them as separate entities due to their unique customer value propositions.”

About VMI

Vantage Mobility International (VMI) is a leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles built on Toyota, Honda, Chrysler and Dodge automobiles. It has advanced the mobility industry for 30 years with a robust portfolio of power and manual ramp conversions and platform lifts. VMI is based in Phoenix, Arizona, where its manufacturing facility utilizes Six Sigma techniques to employ continuous process improvements and deliver high quality products for personal use and commercial applications. For additional information, contact Christine Kane at VMI 602-385-5901 or visit www.vmivans.com and www.amsvans.com.

Vantage Mobility InternationalChristine Kane, 602-385-5901Christinek@Vantagemobility.com

 

 

 

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AZBW 2017 Puts Arizona Life Science Innovation In The Spotlight

 

Via businesswire.com

CHANDLER, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In 1997, Arizona Governor Jan D. Hull established a statewide focus on the state’s bioscience cluster. Now, twenty years later, Arizonans and visitors from across the United States are coming together to exchange ideas, celebrate success and gain a glimpse of even greater opportunities for innovation in the future.

Over this 20-year span, Arizona has gained a reputation as the state with the “collaborative gene” and attracts thought leaders looking to discover, develop, and deliver life-changing and life-saving innovations to patients.

By conservative estimates, over $18 billion has been invested in the bioscience and healthcare sector by public and private sources over the last two decades. The results include new business starts, business expansions, IPOs, and multi-billion dollar acquisitions by global companies who chose to stay and grow in the state. The most recent numbers (TEConomy 2016) show that Arizona is now home to over 1,400 life science firms. New or expanded research facilities house teams that are working on solutions to address some of the world’s greatest health challenges including Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and heart disease. Arizona’s network of world-class hospitals grew as local systems expanded and new organizations entered the market. Today, Arizona is home to top-tier research facilities, world-class centers for patient care, and universities that lead in research while training the bioscience leaders of tomorrow.

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UA Startup Acquired In $35 Million Deal

 

Via tucsonlocalmedia.com

The University of Arizona startup SinfoníaRx was acquired by New Jersey-based company Tabula Rasa for $35 million earlier this month. The company came out of UA as a startup company in 2013, but its beginnings can be traced back more than a decade.

Kevin Boesen, PharmD, founder and president of SinfoníaRx, established the Medication Management Center at UA in 2006, which worked to provide medication therapy management (also known as MTM) for doctors and patients. MTM is an umbrella term for services that optimize therapeutic outcomes for patients; this can include efforts to prevent potentially negative interactions between drugs.

“In 2013, after using that experience to develop a scalable technology platform, we made the decision to spin out of the UA and changed our name to SinfoníaRx,” Boesen said in a conference call regarding the acquisition, hosted by Tabula Rasa Healthcare.

 

 

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Healthcare, Restaurant Industries Propelling Arizona Employment

Via tucson.com

Want to know what’s propelling Arizona employment?

Old people. And folks who like to eat out.

New figures Thursday show the state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate for August ticked down a tenth of a point to 5.0 percent. It has hovered in that area there for about a year.

Meanwhile the national unemployment rate went up the same amount, to 4.4 percent.

The strongest gains in the state came among bars and restaurants which has added 13,500 workers in the past year. That’s a 6.2 percent gain, compared to a relatively anemic 1.4 percent year-over-year increase in overall private sector employment.

And he said the longer-term prognosis is promising.

Health care came in a distant second with a 3.4 percent increase in overall employment in the past 12 months. But Doug Walls, research administrator for the state Office of Economic Opportunity, pointed out that Arizona continues to do far better than the rest of the nation, with just a 1.2 percent employment gain in health care over the same period.

What’s driving that, he said, are demographics.

In 2015, 15.6 percent of Arizona residents were 65 or older. He figures that will reach 19.8 percent by 2027.

Conversely, the percentage of Arizonans younger than 18 will slide from 24.4 percent to 22.2 percent over the same period, with a similar decline among those in between.

What makes that important, Walls said, is that old people spend more on health care. A lot more.

The most recent figures show that Medicare spending by Arizonans on a per capita basis — including everyone in the state — is $10,096 a year. By contrast, the same figure for private insurance, the kind of coverage for most people younger than 65, is just $4,035.

All that spending supports more than 307,000 jobs in health care in Arizona, meaning one out of every seven people are working in the private sector.

“So as we see the population age and that share of the individuals 65 and older increasing, the demand for health services and medical services should also increase,” Walls said.

By contrast, the state’s retail sector continues to lose ground, shedding another 500 jobs in August and bringing the year-over-year drop to 900. Walls said this, too, reflects a shift, though not in demographics.

“The retail industry tends to be shifting as more and more consumers are looking for e-commerce resources to meet the needs of their consumption,” he said.

This isn’t just an Arizona phenomenon. Walls said online commerce nationally was just 3.5 percent of total sales nationally in 2008; by this year it rose to 9 percent.

Elsewhere in the economy, manufacturing posted a 2.8 percent increase in overall employment in the past year despite a continued decline among companies manufacturing computers, chips and other electronic parts. There are now 1,700 fewer people working at those firms than a year ago, a 5.5 percent drop.

Construction jobs are up slightly, by 1,000, but still 57 percent less than when employment hit its peak just before the burst of the real estate bubble and the recession.

 

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