- Associated Press - Saturday, December 12, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - The University of Arizona’s medical school in Phoenix has made changes to a 30-year agreement made earlier this year with Banner Health after an accreditation board raised questions about aspects of the school’s partnership with the hospital.

The Arizona Republic reports (https://bit.ly/1YbfrRk) that the school sent a list of steps it has taken and steps it plans to take address several areas of of non-compliance cited by the Liason Committee on Medical Education in June.

Two areas of non-compliance relate to the school’s alliance with Banner Health, which acquired the two-hospital University of Arizona Health Network in Tucson for more than $1 billion.

“We are totally committed to the success of the College of Medicine-Phoenix,” said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. “I’ve kind of staked my professional career on the success of this college.”

In a document sent to the Liaison Committee, the school said it has appointed Dr. Stuart Flynn, dean of the Phoenix medical school, to a joint Banner Health-UA council. He’ll join in overseeing clinical and academic appointments as a member of the council, the newspaper reported.

Banner Health said it supports Flynn’s appointment on the committee.

“We’re very pleased by the appointment of Stuart Flynn to the academic management council,” said Bill Byron, Banner Health spokesman. “He brings a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and energy to this collaboration.”

The school also amended its contract with Banner Health to ensure medical school deans have full authority over clinical training appointments for third- and fourth-year students at both the Tucson and Phoenix campuses.

The Liaison Committee is the U.S. Department of Education-approved accrediting body for medical schools.

During a visit to the Phoenix campus in June, the committee warned that the “preliminary” accreditation status granted to the school in 2012 was in jeopardy, and the committee rejected the school’s run at advancing accreditation to the mid-tier “provisional” level.

Flynn said a new decision on the accreditation advancement will come from the Liaison Committee in February after it evaluates the changes.

“I’m confident that this February they will move us forward to provisional accreditation with these changes,” he said.

The school aims to earn full accreditation in October.

The school also plans to add new academic department chairs at the Phoenix school to address issues raised by the Liaison Committee.


Information from: The Arizona Republic, https://www.azcentral.com

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