Message from the Chief

The Sarver Heart Center, in 2016, has launched a 10-year vision to grow our well-established excellence in five focus areas that I believe embody the future of cardiovascular medicine. The Division of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine—as the center’s core clinical enterprise—is integral to this vision, as each area includes a focus on clinical excellence along with excellence in research and education.

Advanced Heart Disease, including heart failure, mechanical circulatory support, pulmonary hypertension and heart transplant. While many heart diseases are becoming less prevalent, as treatments and prevention improve, heart failure continues to grow. At the University of Arizona, we are focused on leading new discovery and providing cutting-edge care to these sickest of cardiac patients.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Resuscitation. Since Dr. Gordon Ewy and Dr. Karl Kern first championed chest-compression-only CPR more than 20 years ago, nearly 3,000 lives have been saved in Arizona alone. Research continues to focus on our goal of saving those who suffer cardiac arrest.

Health Disparities. Most current heart disease treatments are based on research in which women, minorities and older persons were often underrepresented. As a result, accepted treatments may not provide the same benefits to these groups who carry different risks and manifest disease differently. By better understanding population differences, we can improve outcomes in all people with heart disease.

Precision Cardiovascular Therapies. We are working to better understand disease variation between people in order to more precisely target and simplify treatment of complex heart diseases. A recent grant from the American Heart Association supporting analysis of blood samples from heart failure patients is helping work toward this goal. 

Cardiovascular Health and Wellness. Tucson, Arizona, is a community that values healthy living done in a way that respects ourselves and our planet. In the next 10 years, we will be working with community partners to make Tucson a destination for cardiovascular disease prevention and healing, augmenting current knowledge of heart-healthy behavior with new discoveries from the Sarver Heart Center and our faculty within the Division of Cardiology.

It is an exciting time at the University of Arizona and Banner University Medicine, host for our primary clinical teaching facilities, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and South campuses. We are positioning ourselves to lead the future of clinical care in cardiovascular medicine, paving the way with important translational discoveries, and educating the next generation of cardiovascular specialists and scientists.

Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD
Director, UA Sarver Heart Center
Chief, Division of Cardiology, and Professor, Department of Medicine
University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson