Family, Diabetes Physician Offices Open in Abrams Center on Dec. 5

“This is an opportunity to help our patients and their families improve the quality of their lives, be well and healthy,” said Karen Mlawsky, co-CEO of The University of Arizona Health Network.
Two new University of Arizona Medical Center physician offices specializing in diabetes and family medicine are set to open Dec. 5 at the Pima County Herbert K. Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road, adjacent to The University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus.
 
“This is an opportunity to help our patients and their families improve the quality of their lives, be well and healthy,” said Karen Mlawsky, co-CEO of The University of Arizona Health Network.
 
The two office spaces, encompassing 22,000 square feet of leased space on the main floor of the Abrams Center, includes patient exam rooms, an exercise room, demonstration and preparation kitchens and a classroom. The facilities were made possible in part by Pima County with funding provided by past bond efforts to enhance and expand the behavioral and medical needs of Pima County residents.
 
“These facilities are just what our community needs. Patients will have access to primary and preventive medical care, as well as the educational tools to improve their current health conditions,” said Sarah Frost, UAMC – South Campus administrator.
 
The new Family and Community Medicine Physician Offices feature 36 examination rooms, three procedure rooms and one treatment room with three bays. There are three consultation rooms, a shared lab draw station, and two resident-attending preceptor rooms. The offices are designed as a “medical home” that will provide comprehensive care in one convenient location. In addition to family physicians, a psychologist, social worker and case manager will be on staff.
 
“This model allows patients to move through our system with ease,” said Stephanie Roberts, RN, nurse manager for the Family and Community Medicine Physician Offices.
 
“We’re excited about the opportunities this location will provide,” said Tamsen Bassford, MD, head of the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine. “High-quality health care is highly interdisciplinary and addresses a wide range of issues that impact patient wellness. This new location provides an exciting opportunity to practice in a new way,” she said.
 
The Diabetes Physician Offices include nine examination rooms, two podiatry examination and procedure rooms and one cardiology procedure room. In addition, there is an ophthalmology examination room, one telemedicine room and a shared lab draw station so patients will not have to travel to another location for blood work and other tests. With an emphasis on education, there is also a patient and family education room on site.
 
“Our goal is to coordinate with our colleagues in the community to improve diabetes care,” said Merri Pendergrass, MD, the director hired to run the Diabetes Physician Offices.
 
A major cause of illness in Pima County, diabetes affects 25.8 million children and adults in the United States – 8.3 percent of the population, according to the American Diabetes Association. In addition, it led the list of top health issues locally, as reported in the recent Pima County Health Needs Assessment.
 
“This facility allows us to focus on the specialized care required for diabetes,” said Dr. Pendergrass. “You can’t take care of blood sugar without taking care of the foot problems associated with diabetes, and you can’t take care of the feet without taking care of the blood sugar,” she said.
 
Planning for the project began in 2010 and included more than 100 meetings with key stakeholders. The rooms are designed to focus on a collaborative provider, patient and family approach, and include computer stations in each examination room for completing mini-consultations, said Joellen delaVara, chief of outpatient services at UAMC – South Campus.
 
The two office spaces share a classroom for patient and community education sessions, an exercise room for patient education in physical conditioning, a preparation kitchen for nutrition and meal preparation and a demonstration kitchen for meal cooking and instruction.
 
To schedule an appointment at either clinic, please call 520-874-APPT (2778). 
 
About The University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus
The University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus, formerly known as University Physicians Hospital, is part of The University of Arizona Health Network, the state’s premier academic medical system with hundreds of physicians, 6,000 employees, two hospitals and dozens of physician offices in Southern Arizona. The 245-bed teaching hospital and physician offices at UAMC – South Campus, 2700 E. Ajo Way, are managed by The University of Arizona Health Network under a long-term agreement with Pima County. Its mission is Advancing Health and Wellness through Education, Research and Patient Care.