Archive for the ‘Tucson Hospitals’ Category

Tucson Medical Scene…Southern Arizona VA Health Care System

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

   Yes, Tucson has a VA Hospital.  It is called the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System.

   This is the answer to the question posed by many people thinking about relocating to Tucson.  With 283 beds, the VA Hospital is a teaching hospital which provides both primary care and specialty care in surgery, medicine, neurology, and mental health.

    The Southern Arizona VA facility began as many Tucson hospital did, as a hospital to treat respiratory disorders and tuberculosis.  The facility, located on South 6th Avenue, opened in 1928 after moving from Pastime Park.

     One of 21 facilities in the country, the Tucson hospital provides polytrauma treatment (see resources) accomodating veterans with amputations, brain trauma, burns, and visual impairment. The center has a blind rehabilitation center.

    A Women Veterans Health Care Program for female veterans provides all types of women’s medical services.  The program is staffed by an all female medical team.

     Community based outpatient clinics are located in Northwest Tucson and Southeast Tucson, as well as Green Valley.  They are also located in other areas of the state:  Casa Grande, Safford, Sierra Vista, and Yuma.

    Information about eligibility requirements for VA medical benefits are available on line at the primary Southern Arizona VA Health Care System website.  This site also provides information on prescription renewals.  


Website of Southern Arizona VA


Map of Southern Arizona VA Facility

Outpatient Clinics and Locations:


Tucson Medical Scene…University Physicians Healthcare at Kino

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

    University Physicians Healthcare at Kino is a 167 bed hospital specializing in general surgery, urology, orthopeadics, and emergency care.  Located at 2800 East Ajo Way, UPH Kino is a non profit hospital serving southern Arizona.

    Totally renovated from the old Kino Hospital, , UPH Kino operates serveral outpatient clinics throughout Tucson.  It is a full service and outpatient treatment facility with more than 600 physicians anticipated in the near future.  The facility draws from the pool of medical personnel from the University of Arizona.

     Research, teaching, and clinical facilities supplement those at the University of Arizona Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacology.  UPH Kino is able to draw upon these pools of talent and offer state of the art treatment to patients.  It is also a Base Hospital for EMS and Fire Departments as well as the National Guard units.

    Integrative Medicine which combines both eastern and western medicine is supported at UPH Kino. The hospital has physicians who provide services for patients diagnosed by another physician.  Alternative medical options are offered including yoga, massage, Chinese medicine, and nutrition.  A calendar of events of conferences and seminars is available online (see resources).  Additionally, the hospital serves as a research facility for integrative medicine.

    According to the website, the mission of UPH Kino is:

    To support the educational and research missions of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center.  

    To achieve excellence in quality and cost effectiveness in providing care for each patient.

  • To treat each patient with dignity, respect, courtesy and honor the confidentiality of patient information.
  • To support innovative health related research.
  • To foster an environment in which physicians and staff are valued, recognized and rewarded for their contributions.
  • To provide services to the Southern Arizona communities and the State through educational, clinical and outreach activities.
  • To encourage teamwork, communication, cooperation and mutual respect among all health care providers, staff, administration and students at the Hospital and within the Arizona Health Sciences Center.
  •  Resources:

    UPH KIno Website:

    Outpatient clinics:

    Integrative Medicine Calendar:

    Employment Opportunities:

    Tucson Medical Scene…The Arizona Cancer Center

    Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

        “We exist to prevent and cure cancer,” is the mission of the Arizona Cancer Center, a designated comprehensive care center at the Unversity of Arizona Health Sciences Center.  The National Cancer Insitute has awarded this designation and people come from throughout the world for treatment.

        The Peter and Paul Fasseas Cancer Center, which opened in 2007, provides clinical trials, research, and treatment for cancer patients.  The state of the art facility is a part of University Medical Center and operates in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute.  The center also runs the Native American Cancer Research Partnership with Northern Arizona University.

        Patients can find clinical trials at the website listed below.  Information about various types of cancer is also available on the website:

        Appointments can be made at the Cancer Center for either oncology or radiology.  Appointment days are scheduled dependent upon the type of cancer: a breast cancer patient and a patient with prostate cancer or lymphoma may be given different appointment days. 

        The Cancer Center, a remodel of the old Tuccson General Hospital, was designed by CO Architects of Los Angeles, CA and won a citation of merit award for the design of the ambulatory cancer facility.  Photographs of the facility:


    Arizona Cancer Center:

    Native American Cancer Research Program:

    Mission- Arizona Cancer Center

    Tucson Medical Scene…Tucson Medical Center

    Monday, December 8th, 2008

       Tucson Medical Center, a 609 bed facility in a campus like setting on the east part of town, is best known for its women’s and children’s services.

         A survey of the classes offered for pre natal and post natal care indicate classes and information are in both Spanish and English.   Programs are available for Dads and Moms, as well as big brother and/or big sister classes.  Red Cross babysitting classes for young people 11years to 15 years are offered. Classes about childbirth, breathing, relaxation, vaginal birth and cesarean sections help the parents to be understand the process of birthing.

         Tucson MedicalCenter was designated as a Neuroscience Center of Excellence (COE) facility, according to the 2006-2007 Neuroscience Center of Excellence Survey, sponsored by Chicago-based NeuStrategy Inc.

          Two neuroscience operating rooms plus a 37 bed department are available for neurological services which also includes an eight bed intensive observation unit.  Sleep diagnosis is offered as well as neurologic and neuromuscular diagnosis and treatment.  Neurological problems  can occur from brain tumors, epilesy, strokes, and seizure.  Advanced training for registered nurses is available in the neurological department through the neurosciene internship program.

         Behavioral disorders are handled by Palo Verde Hospital, an adjuct facility of Tucson Medical Center.  Emergency crisis care combined with a plan for treatment is designed to return patients to the community as soon as possible.  The staff includes psychiatrists, physicians, nurse practioners, nurses, and behavioral health clinicians.

          Tucson Medical Center, originally on the very outlying area of Tucson, was originally established, like many Tucson hospitals, as a facility to treat tuberculosis.  Tucson’s sunshine and warm climate was considered a benefit to the TB patient.  TMC, like many other facilities in Tucson, is now in the process of expanding. 

    Tucson Medical Center:

     Employment Opportunities: 

    Classes available:

    Tucson Medical Scene…University Medical Center

    Sunday, December 7th, 2008

       University Medical Center, or UMC as it is called in Tucson, is the teaching hospital for the University of Arizona.  It is also home to one of the best nursing colleges in the nation, University of Arizona School of Nursing as well as the School of Pharmacy.   It is the largest research hospital in Arizona for the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and the School of Pharmacy.

          UMC is the major Level 1 trauma hospital for southern Arizona and  takes patients from all of Southern Arizona, western New Mexico, and Northern Mexico.  It ranks as a top hospital for patient survival and shortness of stay.  It also participates in the Southern Arizona telemedicine program which helps to save lives daily.

         Home of Cardio-West, UMC is the site of the first FDA approved artificial heart.  The cardiology department houses the Sarver Heart Center which is involved in research designed to pinpoint stroke and heart attack causes and prevention.  UMC has been named one of the top 100 hospitals in the United States for cardiovascular care.

        Transplant surgery is a speciality of UMC and includes simultaneous heart and lung transplants as well as heart transplants and lung transplants.  Liver transplants, kindney and pancreas transplants as well as intestine transplants and islet cell transplants for diabetic patients are among the procedures offered at UMC.

      Currently under construction is the Diamond Children’s Medical Center which will be a model for pediatric care.  The Steele Children’s Research Center currently has more than 100 research projects in progress which benefit the pediatric patient.

        UMC also has a variety of community outreach programs as well as health and wellness programs.  Programs can be accessed at

       UMC is a 355 bed facility located at 1501 North Cambell Avenue in the center of the city between Grant and Speedway.  It is a non profit hosptial and also supports the Cancer Center which will be discussed tomorrow. 

        For addiitional information about University Medical Center including job opportunities, check the resources listed below.

    Unversity Medical Center:


    Desert Health tips – Information about living in the desert:


    Nursing, Medical School, and Pharmacology Research:


    University Medical Center Job Opportunities:


    Tucson Medical Scene…Northwest Medical – Oro Valley

    Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

       Northwest Medical Center, the new hospital located at 1551 East Tangerine Road, fills a large void in the medical landscape of northwest Tucson.  The new hospital serves the retirement population of Oro Valley and Saddlebrook.   It is a state of the art facility and its inpatient rehabilitation facility ranks within the top 10% of such facilities nationwide.

       The hospital, only three years old, is already undergoing expansion to make room for a new 25,000 square foot cardiac center in response to the needs of the community. 

        Like it’s sister facility, Northwest Hospital on La Cholla, Northwest Medical offers many of the same primary services, but obviously, because of the population served, does not offer the birthing center or new mothers programs.   Instead, the hospital offers podiatry, urology, inpatient rehabilitation,  and orthopedics services which are better suited to an active adult population.

        Northwest, both at La Cholla and Oro Valley, provides support groups and offers the Senior Circle, a program dedicated to people 50 years and older that provides information about nutrition and exercise.  Discounts for prescriptions and eyewear, and various services in the Tucson area are included in the membership.    Membership for one year for one person is $15.00 but multiple year and multiple person memberships are available at reduced rates.

         The Oro Valley Facility provides Community Education which includes a “Commit to Be Fit” program.  Nutrition and exercise is designed to help people lead a healthy lifestyle.   Tobacco cessesation programs for the public are offered as well as programs regarding heart health.

          The web pages for the Oro Valley facility and the La Cholla Facility are user friendly and offer a wealth of health information in the “Health Library”.  Information about various diseases and symptons, what to expect when one goes for certain tests, information about nutrition, a diet, weight, and stress management program, and a virtual tour of the anatomy are on line.  There is also a sympton manager in the Health Library. 

        Northwest at both Oro Valley and La Cholla,  have positions which must be filled and information regarding job application is also on the web site. 


    Health Library:

    Northwest Medical Center Oro Valley:

    Tucson Medical Scene…Northwest Hospital

    Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

       Northwest Hospital, located at 6200 North La Cholla Boulevard, serves the northwest area of town and is a part of the Community Health System, Inc.   Northwest opened Northwest Medical Center at 1551 East Tangerine three years ago and is opening Urgent Care Centers throughout the north and northwest areas of Tucson to serve this fast growing area of Tucson.  This area previously had no acute care hospital or medical facilities and yet had the greater proportion of retired people who lived in Saddlebrook as well as Oro Valley.

       Northwest has opened Urgent Care Centers at Ina and Shannon Roads;  Rancho Vistoso and Oracle which services the Rancho Vistoso/Sun City areas as well as Saddlebrook; Silverbell near Continenatal Reserve Loop which serves Del Webb’s Sunflower active adult community as well as the master planned community of Continental Ranch.  The latest Urgent Care center. La Paloma, serves the Catalina Foothills and is located at 4001 East Sunrise Drive and was opened within the past few months.

        As an acute care hospital, Northwest utilizes Genus MD, an interactive internet based online information systems about patients so that relevant medical information can be easily accessed including medications taken, allergies, medical history, or other patient information which may impact acute care.

        Northwest Hospital provides the primary services including Cardiac surgery and Rehab, Oncology, Orthopedics including knee and hip replacement, gastroenterology and nuclear science.  The Women’s Center is well known in Tucson because it caters to the special needs and problems of women and offers support groups, pre natal classes, the birthing center and support for mothers, as well as diagnostic imaging for women of all ages.

         The newly expanded Northwest Hosptial facilities supports more than 500 physicians with 30 different specialities.   Job vacancies are posted on the website which is listed below.



    Urgent Care Centers:

    Tommorrow:  Northwest Medical Center Oro Valley

    Tucson Medical Scene…Tucson Heart Hospital

    Friday, September 19th, 2008

        Tucson Heart Hospital, located at 4888 North Stone Avenue, near the intersection of Stone and River Road, is also a part of the Carondelet Network of Hospitals.  Tucson Heart is a specialized facility,  concentrating on disease management, prevention and information about heart and vascular disease.  Public outreach programs are given in nutrition, exercise and stress management.

       The 58 bed facility has private rooms which are specifically designed for every stage of “heart” care.  The staff is cross trained and a team follows the patient throughtout the stay.  The hospital performs both   diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the state of the art catheterization laboratory including:    

    Cardiac Output
    Carotid Angiogram
    Coronary Angiogram
    Electrophysiological Studies
    Left Heart Catheterization
    Myocardial Biopsy
    Oximetry Recordings
    Peripheral Angiogram
    Pulmonary Angiogram
    Renal Angiogram
    Right Heart Catheterization

    Atherectomy (Rotational)
    Balloon Angioplasty (Arterial/Venous)
    Balloon Angioplasty-Peripheral

    Ablation (Atria/Ventricular)
    ICD Insertion
    IntroAortic Balloon Pump
    Percutaneous Vena Cava Filter
    Permanent Pacemaker Insertion
    Temporary Pacemaker Insertion

    according to the website.

        Tucson Heart Hospital also offers the Heartsaver CT to the general public which is a non-invasive, easy procedure that can be done within an hour at the hospital for a cost of $99.00.  This procedure images calcium buildup around the heart which can be a precursor to severe heart disease.  People often have the procedure as a preventative measure as a “heart healthy” measure.

        The hospital employs about 365 full time staff.  Employment information can be found at the Carondelet career page listed below.   The hospital serves all of Southern Arizona and is dedicated to heart patients.

    Tucson Heart Hospital Web Page:

    Career Information:

    Other Resources: 




    Tucson Medical Scene…Carondelet Hospitals – St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s

    Thursday, September 18th, 2008

          Carondelet has three hospitals within Tucson and one in Nogales, Arizona;  St. Mary’s, St. Joseph’s, and Tucson Heart Hospital and in Nogales, Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital.

          St. Mary’s Hospital is located on the west side of town, west of I-10 at 1601 St. Mary’s Road.  The 402 bed hospital is at the intersection of Silverbell and St. Mary’s Road.  It’s origins were as a tuberculosis hospital established in 1880, but now the hospital  focuses on heart and vascular care, orthopedics and rehabilitation and general surgery.  It is a non profit hospital as is all of the Carondelet facilities, and employs in excess of 1500 people.

          The newly renovated emergency room has been expanded to care for more patients. St. Mary’s  is a certified Diabetes Care Center, provides Dialysis, Hemodialysis, and Lithotripsy.  St.  Mary’s is also part of the LIfeline Emergency Response Helicopter Program and patients are flown in from all of Southern Arizona.

         St. Mary’s works with the University of Arizona Nursing School and the accelerated BSN Program.  The hospital has been the recipient of several awards including:

    • “2007 Gold Medal “Sustained Performance Award” for excellence in the delivery of cardiovascular care to our patients awarded by the American Heart Association
    • 2005 Top Performer for care of stroke patients by American Heart Association
    • Named by Solucient Institute as one of 100 Top Hospitals in the nation (2003, 2004)
    • Recognized as “Well Workplace” by the Wellness Council of Arizona
    • Diabetes Center accredited by the American Diabetes Association
    • Fabulous 50 Nurses of Tucson (approximately 40-50% of the 50 are Carondelet Nurses)
    • Hospice – leader in national Compassionate Care of Dying consortium “

    according to the website which is cited below.


           Across town on the East Side is St. Joseph’s Hospital, located at 350 North Wilmot, between Broadway and Speedway.  This 374 bed hospital has a new Neurological Center which is state of the art.  It includes a brain and spine tumor center, facilities for seizure disorder, and an aphasia program.  Rooms are available for family members and the Center is drawing national attention.

        St. Joseph’s, founded in 1961,  also has an extensive neonatal unit as well as a Women’s Pavilion.  The hospital is also recognized for it’s Regional  Eye Center.  Like it’s sister hospital, St. Joseph’s has also been the recipient of many awards including:

             ‘Named by Solucient as one of 100 Top Hospitals in the nation (2002, 2003)

    • Recognized and honored as “Well Workplace” by the Wellness Council of Arizona
    • Diabetes Center accredited by the American Diabetes Association
    • Sole accredited Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab Program in Arizona
    • Fabulous 50 Nurses of Tucson (approximately 40-50% of the 50 are CHN Nurses)
    • 2005 Arizona Nurses Association Employer Excellence Award
    • 2005 Corporate “Champion of Heart” Award from American Heart Association ‘

    according to the website.


           Both hospitals are continuouly seeking qualified candidates for career opportunities.   A link to application forms for all of Carondelet facilities is listed in the resources below.

    St. Mary’s Hosptial Website:

    St. Mary’s Hospital Job Opportunities:

    St. Joseph’s Hospital Website:

    St. Joseph’s Hospital Job Opportunities:

    St. Joseph’s Neurological Unit:

    The Tucson Arizona Medical Scene…

    Wednesday, September 10th, 2008


        Some of the discovery of Tucson by people from throughout the United States is tied to Tucson’s medical history.  With it’s clean air and dry climate which bodes wells for “outdoor” living, Tucson was an ideal location for tuberculosis recovery facilities.  

        In the early 1900’s, people came to Tucson to experience the fresh air which aided in healing respiratory illnesses, especially tuberculosis.  These facilities, some of which were the foundation of today’s hospitals, at the time were situated on the outskirts of town.  Today they are in the center of the hub-bub of activity.  

        As a retirement destination, medical facilities are an important consideration for people thinking about relocating.  And for people working within the medical profession, job opportunities abound.  The Tucson area has ten acute care hospitals and plans are on the books for several more facilities:   one in Rita Ranch, one at Passages of Tucson,  and one in Sahuarita. 

       Tucson is  home to the University of Arizona’s School of Medicine which has extensive research facilities including world class cancer research.  U of A also boasts one of the best Schools of Nursing in the United States as well as a School of Pharmacology.   Because of the medical facilities, Tucson is the choice for many biomedical start up firms.

         Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine is situated in Tucson.  “The mission of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine is to lead the transformation of healthcare by creating, educating & actively supporting a community of professionals who embody the philosophy & practice of Integrative Medicine,” according to the website.  Spurred by Dr. Andrew Weil, the Center combines the best of western medicine with eastern medicine and concentrates on healing rather than treating disease.

       Over the next few days, I will highlight the various medical facilities which include the Carondolet network of hospitals:  St. Mary’s, St. Joseph’s, and Tucson Heart Hospital;  University Medical Center; Northwest Hospital Oro Valley and  Northwest Hospital Tucson; Tucson Medical Center;  Southern Arizona VA Health Care System; and University Physicians Healthcare at Kino.    There will be links to job opportunities also for readers in the medical field considering relocation to Tucson.

    Resources:  History 

    University of Arizona School of Nursing, School of Medicine, and School of Pharmacology

    Unversity of Arizona School of Integrative Medicine