University of Arizona Health Sciences has launched a new college to combat the critical shortage of doctors and medical professionals in the state.
The College of Health Sciences was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents earlier this month. It will initially provide five graduate-level degree programs, for midwifery, physician assistants, doctors of physical therapy, genetic counseling and clinical translational services.
Only 40% of primary care needs and 25% of genetic counseling needs are currently being met in the state, according to a news release from UA Health Sciences. Approximately 3.2 million Arizonans, the news release said, live in an area with health care shortages.
“The benefit of these schools is they are at a public institution that is focused on producing the needs of the state rather than making money for the college,” said Kevin C. Lohenry, interim dean of the college, in an interview with KGUN9. “We are excited to offer options for students that historically have had to leave the University of Arizona to go elsewhere for their training.”
While some of the programs are up and running, others are set to launch in 2025 and 2026. They will take an average of two years to complete.
Some of the degree programs within the College of Health Sciences and the college itself are being developed using New Economy Initiative funding provided to the UA and allocated to UArizona Health Services, according to the news release.
The College of Health Sciences is the sixth college under UArizona Health Sciences. UArizona Health Sciences also has two medical schools, and colleges of nursing, pharmacy and public health.