The United States of America is an aging nation, and given that age is a significant risk factor for heart disease, this demographic looms large as we plan future cardiovascular medicine services at the University of Arizona Division of Cardiology, UA Sarver Heart Center and Banner – University Medical Center clinical facilities in Tucson. Nationally, 20 percent of the population is age 60 or older. Statewide, that figure is projected to hit 25 percent by 2020. The implications are enormous for cardiovascular disease patient care, prevention education and workforce development. Read on to learn more about how we’re working together to address it…

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

Cardiology

The Division of Cardiology includes nationally recognized faculty in cardiovascular medicine, heart failure and transplant cardiology, advanced coronary and structural interventions, cardiac imaging, resuscitation sciences, and electrophysiology. These physicians and physician scientists are committed to advancing patient care, collaborating with basic scientists to bridge bench-to-bedside knowledge and pursuing multidisciplinary and cutting edge clinical and population research in cardiovascular disease.

A diverse group of fellows comprise our fellowship programs in Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology.

As the heart of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, the cardiology faculty and fellows work closely with the more than 135 heart center members from across campus. Disciplines represented in the center include cellular and molecular medicine, immunology, physiology, biomedical engineering, nursing, pharmacology, cardiothoracic surgery, neurology, pediatric cardiology, vascular surgery, emergency medicine, endocrinology, pathology and radiology. Medical students, residents and fellows with interest in cardiovascular research are encouraged to pursue opportunities with mentors within the heart center, and to compete for investigational research awards offered through the Sarver Heart Center.

Established within the UA College of Medicine in 1968 by its first chief Frank I. Marcus, MD, the division and its faculty have been involved in some impressive "firsts," such as:

  • Discovering that radiofrequency energy was a safer substitute for DC energy in eliminating arrhythmia sites in the heart.
  • Performing the world’s first successful bridge-to-transplant procedure using an artificial heart.
  • Demonstrating and promoting chest-compression-only CPR as a resuscitation method that doubles survival from sudden cardiac arrest.

We look forward to many more innovative advances in cardiovascular care to come.

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