News Column

People and Programs on the Move at the Arizona Health Sciences Center

August 8, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 8 -- The University of Arizona issued the following news release:

The University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine has received a $30,000 grant from the Academic Insurance Funding, Limited (AIFL) Risk Management Process Improvement Fund. The grant will support advanced training of emergency nurses to provide the specialized care needed between the time patients come to the emergency department and are transferred to the intensive care unit.

A number of factors can determine the amount of time it takes for critically ill patients to transfer from the emergency department (ED) to an intensive care unit (ICU). This "boarded" time is a vulnerable one for the patient. The grant will support training of nurses to optimize care during the boarding period so that patients experience better outcomes.

"A collaborative ED-ICU model facilitates a seamless transition on the continuum of critical care, allowing for better care delivery and outcomes. In order for this to function, we need to provide our nurses with extensive critical care education," said Jamie Moskowitz, RN, MSN-ED, clinical nurse specialist, Department of Emergency Services, University of Arizona Medical Center - University Campus.

"Optimizing care of these patients in the ED leads to decreased ICU admissions, level of care needed in the ICU, ICU length-of-stay, mortality and critical care costs," said Jarrod Mosier, MD, UA assistant professor of emergency medicine and internal medicine, and director of the EM/Medical Critical Care Program at the University of Arizona Medical Center - University Campus. "We are working closely with our intensivists and ICU nursing colleagues to try to blur the lines between the ED and the ICU so that patients receive the optimal care from the time they enter the emergency department."

Dr. John Sakles Elected to Society for Airway Management (SAM) International Airway Faculty

John C. Sakles, MD, professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson, has been elected to the International Airway Faculty of the Society for Airway Management (SAM).

Candidates for the SAM International Airway Faculty are nominated by the SAM Research Committee and voted upon by the SAM Board of Directors in recognition of their international standing in the field of airway management. Among the duties of elected faculty are assisting other SAM members seeking guidance with research projects as well as facilitating collaborative research in the field of airway management. Dr. Sakles is one of only seven elected individuals.

Dr. Sakles has spent his career focusing on the clinical, educational and research aspects of emergency airway management, with an emphasis on the "difficult airway." He is a world-renowned airway expert and has been on the forefront of research in new technologies, particularly the role of video laryngoscopy for emergency intubation. He has published numerous articles in the field of emergency airway management on such topics as video laryngoscopy, airway pharmacology, surgical airway management and remotely assisted "telebation." His papers have become some of the most cited works in the field. Dr. Sakles has been a faculty member on the widely acclaimed "The Difficult Airway Course: Emergency" for more than 15 years, and serves as a reviewer for airway manuscripts for the Annals of Emergency Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine and the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

"John richly deserves this award," said Peter Rosen, MD, who is considered the "Father of Emergency Medicine" and currently is a visiting professor at the UA. "He has become one of the best known and most respected airway experts in the world. This is a great tribute to his energy and creativity. He has more expertise in this field than anyone I have ever met. He is one of the best teachers and a terrific resource for our program."

Dr. Rifat Latifi and International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation Receive $512,000 USAID Award for Trauma and Emergency Service Reforms in Albania

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) continues to support the international work of Rifat Latifi, MD, FACS, professor of surgery with the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson, by granting another $512,000 to assist the Ministry of Health of Albania to improve the governance and organization--as well as to create prerequisites and capacities for the implementation--of emergency and trauma medical care in Albania.

The trauma and emergency component falls within the Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program of Albania (ITeHP-AL), a multi-year program directed by Dr. Latifi that has resulted in the establishment of a nationwide telemedicine network connecting the nation's 11 regional hospitals with three tertiary hospitals. Two more tertiary hospitals are set to join the network in 2014. In fall 2011, the ITeHP-AL leadership received a week-long training session, hosted by theArizona Telemedicine Program and the UA College of Medicine - Tucson. The structure and components of the program closely resemble the Arizona Telemedicine Program, one of the best worldwide models for organizing telemedicine and e-health programs.

The International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation (IVeH) (, a not-for-profit organization, uses telemedicine and advanced technologies to assist in rebuilding medical systems of developing nations. The IVeH vision is to transform health care and medical education worldwide through establishing telemedicine networks using advanced medical technologies.

The IVeH mission is to establish self-sustainable telemedicine and e-health programs and to rebuild medical systems in the developing world, one nation at a time, using telemedicine, advanced technologies, cultural exchanges and collaboration as a platform. In collaboration with the Albanian government, USAID, the local medical infrastructure and the University of Arizona Medical Center's Trauma Center will help to transform the Albanian trauma and emergency system into an effective and efficient program.

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