Sarver Heart Center Winter Newsletter Packed Full of Notices for Cardiology Achievements

Image of Sarver Heart Center Newsletter for this story.A woman diagnosed with a congenital heart condition at age 69 is the lead story in the latest edition of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Newsletter.

Issue No. 78 for Winter 2019 came out at the beginning of March as recent snows were still melting on surrounding mountain ranges around Tucson. Click on image at right to read this edition.

Patricia Fickett (center) is pictured on the front page holding a model of her heart made with a 3D printer that enabled physicians to repair the defect they had discovered. With her are Fickett’s husband Chuck Fickett (2nd from right) and part of the multidisciplinary UA College of Medicine – Tucson team that made it all possible, (from left) Raj Janardhanan, MD, a professor of medicine and medical imaging, faculty member of the Division of Cardiology and the center, and medical director, non-invasive cardiac imaging and echocardiography, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and South; Franz Rischard, DO, associate professor of medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program, Banner – UMC Tucson and South; and Michael Seckeler, MD, associate professor, Division of Pediatric Cardiology.


“Note from the Director”

Among topics covered, Center Director Nancy Sweitzer, MD, PhD, reports several investigators have won NIH funding and the Clinical Research Program has grown to more than 70 active trials, including multiple Phase I and Phase II trials…


“Heart Series Publishes Participants’ Data, Collaborates with El Rio”

Charles Katzenberg, MD, and Heart Series collaborators published a paper in the American Journal of Medicine (August 2018) showing that 105 Heart Series participants were able to lose weight, lower their blood pressure and improve their lipid values. Afterward, only one out of 105 participants experienced a hospitalization, necessary for the placement of a coronary stent. Now, El Rio Health Center is hoping to achieve similar results with its patients…


“2018–19 Investigator Awards Foster Career Development”

Receiving awards up to $25,000 each:

  • UA Sarver Heart Center Investigator Awards - Dr. Khadijah BreathettWomen of Color Research Award – Khadijah Breathett, MD | “Addressing Individual Provider Bias in Selection of Advanced Heart Failure Therapies in Racial/Ethnic Minorities”
  • Steven M. Gootter Foundation Award – Jared Churko, PhD | “Modelling Exercise Induced Stress with ACM Engineered Heart Tissues”
  • William J. “Billy” Gieszl Endowment for Heart Research – Brett Colson, PhD | “Role of Nox4 in Duchene Muscular Dystrophyrelated Dilated Cardiomyopathy”
  • Finley and Florence Brown Award – Jessika Iwanski (MD/PhD candidate)| “Examining the Role of Cyclase-associated Protein 2 in Cardiomyocyte Thin Filament Function and Contractility”
  • Novel Cardiovascular Research Awards –
    ○ Lei Mi-Mi, PhD | “Leiomodin-2 Regulates Cardiac Thin Filament Length and Function”
    ○ Stefanie Mares Novak, PhD | “Elucidating the role of the RNA binding protein, FXR1, in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy”
    ○ John M. Ruiz, PhD | “Hispanic Ethnicity and Southern Border Proximity as a Moderators of Cardiovascular Risk and Resilience: Ethnicity, Stress, and The Relational Environment Study (ESTRES)”
    ○ Samuel Shi | “Investigating the Expression Profile and Sex Differences of Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptor Subtype 1 in the Cerebrovasculature Following Acute Ischemia and Reperfusion””
    ○ Danielle Spencer-Bearham | “Quality of Life and Functional Capacity Study in Pre-MI and Post-MI”


[NOTE: The above article can also be found online here.]

Story on "Association of Black Cardiologists Honor UA Medical Student"“Association of Black Cardiologists Honor UA Medical Student”

Ikeotunye (Ike) Chinyere, who is pursuing an MD/PhD degree at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and is a member of the Goldman Research Lab, is a recipient of the Dr. Richard Allen Williams Scholarship for Medical Students ($5,000)…


New Electrophysiology Suite debuts at Banner – University Medical Center TucsonClinical Updates

  • “Advanced Electrophysiology Cardiac Catheterization Lab Up and Running”
  • “Another Milestone for UA/Banner Tucson Structural Heart Team”
  • “Dr. Jason Karnes Named Director of Scientific Programs for All of Us Research”


“The UA Sarver Heart Center Welcomed Three New Faculty Cardiologists in September”

The center welcomes Tushar Acharya, MD, MPH, Olivia Hung, MD, PhD, and Nader Makki, MD


“Community Partner Updates”

  • UA President Dr. Robert Robbins presents award to Dr. Nancy SweitzerCheryl Alli was acknowledged by the Community Coalition of Heart Health Education for nine years of dedication to community outreach and chest-compression-only CPR training…
  • UA’s Alpha Phi Sorority invites Sarver Heart Center to present on heart disease research and education during sorority’s Red Dress Gala 2018, held on Family Weekend in October…
  • Spanish-language training materials are now available for community CPR training sessions—made possible by a collaboration between the REACT Group, UA Hispanic Center of Excellence, Sarver Heart Center and a grant from the UA Area Health Education Centers…
  • UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins (right) presents the Mary Anne Fay Women’s Heart Health Advocate of the Year Award to Dr. Nancy Sweitzer, with Ms. Fay at left…


For the latest news from the UA Sarver Heart Center, click here.

“New Director of Scientific Programs Named for All of Us Research Program at UA-Banner” | Posted Dec. 5, 2018
“Another Milestone for UA/Banner Tucson Structural Heart Team—First-Ever Bicuspid TAVR-TEE Procedure with No Contrast” | Posted Oct. 10, 2018
“UA Division of Cardiology, Sarver Heart Center, Banner – UMC Welcome Three New Faculty Members” | Posted Oct. 2, 2018
“UA Medical Students Create Life-Saving CPR Training Videos in Spanish” | Posted Sept. 19, 2018
“Open House for New Advanced Electrophysiology Suite Set for Sept. 13” | Posted Sept. 5, 2018

Release Date: 
03/12/2019 - 10:00pm