12 New Members Added to Arizona Telemedicine Council: A Forum for ‘Very Creative Ideas’

The visionary group comprised of legislators, health-care executives, physicians, business leaders, agency officials and others keeps the Arizona Telemedicine Program well-informed of health-care needs and opportunities in Arizona.

The Arizona Telemedicine Council – a visionary group comprised of legislators, health-care executives, physicians, business leaders, agency officials and others – recently welcomed 12 new members to the council at its quarterly meeting at the Joint Legislative Budget Committee conference room on the Arizona State Capitol campus.

The Arizona Legislature’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee established the Arizona Telemedicine Council (ATC) in 1996, shortly after the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) was established at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson.

The ATP started with eight clinical sites throughout Arizona. Now, more than 20 years later, the ATP has expanded to provide telemedicine and telehealth services to 160 sites in the state.

The council members provide “a panoramic view of what’s happening in health care in Arizona,” said Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, co-founder and director of the ATP. “The council keeps us abreast of needs and opportunities within the state that we might otherwise not be aware of.”

Dr. Weinstein co-founded the ATC with then-state Rep. Bob Burns, who now serves on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

The 12 new members of the council are:

  • Amanda Aguirre, CEO and president of the Regional Center for Border Health in Somerton, Ariz.
  • Robin K. Blitz, MD, director of the developmental pediatrics team at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix and Phoenix Children’s Hospital
  • Arizona Sen. David Bradley, of Tucson
  • Charles B. Cairns, MD, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson
  • Cara M. Christ, MD, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services
  • Deborah Dahl, vice president of patient care innovation at Banner Health in Phoenix
  • Fredda Kermes, director of clinical projects, telemedicine and professional development at Summit Healthcare in Show Low, Ariz.
  • Neal Jensen, CEO of Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center in Globe, Ariz.
  • Keith D. Lindor, MD, dean of the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University
  • Kenneth S. Ramos, MD, PhD, PharmB, interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix
  • Sandra Savage, associate director of information technology at Kingman Regional Medical Center
  • Philip J. Schneider, PharmD, MS, PhD, associate dean for academic and professional affairs at the UA College of Pharmacy in Phoenix

Dr. Weinstein was one of the people who interviewed Dr. Schneider when he applied for the associate dean position at the new UA College of Pharmacy in Phoenix nine years ago.

“I’m glad to have the opportunity to be part of the Arizona Telemedicine Council,” Dr. Schneider said. “It’s an ecumenical group, and I’m drawn to efforts that break out barriers – not only between patients and providers, but among different disciplines. It’s a forum where we can discuss people’s very creative ideas.”

The Jan. 25 meeting was the 84thquarterly ATC meeting since June 1996. Bob Burns has chaired 80 of the 84 meetings, “an amazing commitment to telemedicine,” said Dr. Weinstein.

The ATC now is comprised of 46 members.

For a list of continuing members of the Arizona Telemedicine Council (ATC): http://www.telemedicine.arizona.edu/about-us/atc

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: http://uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn)