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Arizona Health Education Alliance

Four Impressive Partners. One Exceptional Alliance.

The Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance partnership is a framework for collaboration that will leverage expertise and resources to facilitate shared interests in collaboration across multiple disciplines of health science, clinical learning environment, research and teaching medical studentsresidents, fellows, nursesallied health and related health professionals.

Preparing Healthcare Providers For The Challenges Ahead

Arizona ranks in the bottom third of the nation for the number of physicians per 100,000 people. As one of the nation’s fastest growing states, Arizona needs more physicians and other medical professionals to meet the growing demand for services. The state is home to an aging population as well as new generations of Arizonans. The Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance addresses the medical professional shortage by strengthening and expanding Residency and Fellowship programs among its partner institutions and provides the infrastructure, support and resources to elevate those training experiences.

Surgery professionals in hospital posing for photo and smiling
Pharmacy Student Phoenix

Looking Forward

The Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance is strengthening current academic and clinical education programs in medicine and aim to eventually provide similar educational programs in nursing, pharmacy and other health professions – a natural outgrowth of Creighton University’s commitment to interprofessional health education. Additional partnerships may join the Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance in the future.

Our Mission

Train exceptional health professionals distinguished by our focus on justice in healthcare, service to others and an innovative interprofessional environment. 

About the Partners

Creighton University is a nationally ranked and recognized institution that delivers a leading health sciences education. Its interprofessional approach reflects the future of clinical care and is an extension of its classroom teaching. The School of Medicine is committed to preparing students for the medical opportunities and challenges in patient care, teaching, research and service. The College of Nursing has a national reputation for excellence in providing nursing education, a commitment to service, and being at the forefront of the ever-changing field of nursing. The School of Pharmacy and Health Professions has a rich tradition and history of being a pioneer in educating occupational therapists, pharmacists and physical therapists.

Valleywise Health has a proud tradition of being both the community safety net health care system, with a mission and commitment to serving the underserved and Arizona’s only public teaching hospital. Valleywise Health consists of Valleywise Health Medical Center, the only Level I Trauma Center in Arizona verified by the American College of Surgeons to care for both adults and children, Arizona’s only nationally verified Burn Center serving the entire Southwestern U.S., Valleywise Health’s McDowell Healthcare Center, which is the largest provider of HIV primary care in Arizona, the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic, the Arizona Children’s Center, two behavioral health centers, and 13 neighborhood Family Health Centers.

DMG is a not-for-profit entity consisting of more than 650 credentialed providers representing all the major medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. Professional clinical services encompass all physicians and mid-levels staffing a 450 bed acute hospital, a 200 bed psychiatric hospital, a large diagnostic center, 11 family health centers, a nationally and internationally recognized burn center and numerous outreach programs. DMG serves AHCCCS Complete Care patients and their families at the DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services, a first-of-its-kind Multi-Specialty Interdisciplinary Clinic (MISC) in Phoenix. More than 95 percent of DMG physicians are board certified in over 25 specialties. 

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center is part of Dignity Health, which recently merged with Catholic Health Initiatives to form the largest Catholic health care system in the country. St. Joseph’s is a nationally recognized center for quality tertiary care, medical education and research. It includes the internationally renowned Barrow Neurological Institute®, the Norton Thoracic Institute, Center for Women's Health and a Level I Trauma Center verified by the American College of Surgeons. The hospital is also a respected center for orthopedics, internal medicine, primary care and many other medical services. Founded in 1895 by the Sisters of Mercy, St. Joseph’s was the first hospital in the Phoenix area.

DHMG, an affiliate partner, comprises more than 200 physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives. Its support staff of more than 500 covers a wide variety of specialties. With 30 practice sites and four hospitals interspersed throughout metro Phoenix, it provides more than 20 subspecialty services. DHMG physician faculty take their academic commitment seriously, staying up-to-date on the latest medical information and procedures in order to ensure that students and residents have the best experience possible. 


A Governing Board made up of representatives from each partnering organization provides strategic direction in policy, budgetary and infrastructure matters. Affiliate Alliance partner Dignity Health Medical Group is also represented on the governing board. 

Gabrielle Finley

Gabrielle Finley-Hazle - Chair
President and CEO, Dignity Health - St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center


Michael White

Michael White, MD - Vice Chair 
Chief Medical Officer, Valleywise Health


Mardell Wilson smiling

Mardell Wilson, EdD, RDN
Provost, Creighton University


Bo Dunlay

Robert "Bo" Dunlay, MD
Dean, Creighton University School of Medicine


Tim Bricker

Tim Bricker
President for the Dignity Health Southwest and Midwest Division


Steve Purves

Steve Purves
President and CEO, Valleywise Health


Kote Chundu

Kote Chundu, MD 
President and CEO, District Medical Group (DMG)


David Wisinger

David Wisinger, MD
Chief Medical Officer, District Medical Group (DMG)


Generic Profile

Corey Karlin-Zysman, MD
Sr. Vice President, Physician Enterprise AZ/NV Commonspirit (DHMG)

Creighton University Health Sciences Campus – Phoenix

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To learn more about the Creighton University Health Sciences Campus – Phoenix, please visit our Phoenix campus website.

For assistance navigating campus please view our campus map.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance?

  • In September 2017, Creighton University, Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Valleywise Health and District Medical Group entered into a strategic partnership to strengthen and expand Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs administered by each institution. The Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance serves as the centralized organization administering residencies and fellowships previously managed by each partnering institution.

Why was the Alliance established?

  • Creighton University School of Medicine’s excellent reputation and presence in Phoenix provided an opportunity for Alliance members to collaborate with an academic partner to attract top-caliber faculty and students to its residency and fellowship programs and provide advanced training opportunities to medical professionals currently practicing in state.

How will the Alliance help the people of Arizona? 

  • The collaborative organization is focused on expanding and strengthening advanced medical training, accelerating research opportunities, and advocating for medical education resources. The partnership’s goal to elevate and expand Graduate Medical Education programming to new generations of physicians, nurses and allied health professionals to improve the health outcomes for our community, state and nation. Arizona currently ranks in the bottom third of all U.S. states in the number of practicing physicians per 100,000 people. With its booming population, metro Phoenix and the state need more physicians and health professionals, and those professionals need more local, high-quality training opportunities.

How is the Alliance structured?

  • Governance is led by the Alliance board of directors made up of representatives from the major partnering institutions that make up the Alliance. The board is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating the Alliance strategic plan for nurturing optimal clinical and academic learning environments. Operationally, the Alliance is led by Executive Director Erica Brown and her staff.

How is the Alliance funded?

  • Each core member of the Alliance contributes to the operation. This funding covers staffing, facility leasing, and other general operating expenses. Economies of scale will be sought as will the opportunity for strategic investment in enhanced services and programs.

How many residents and fellows train at Alliance member institutions?

  • More than 300 residents and fellows currently train at member institutions. More often than not, residents stay in the community where they complete their residency.

What role does the Alliance have in Creighton University’s planned Health Sciences Phoenix Campus?

  • Creighton University is solely responsible for its expansion plans in Phoenix but Alliance goals complement those plans. Alliance member institutions will benefit from the pipeline of future healthcare professionals trained by Creighton and Creighton benefits from Alliance programs that provide residencies, fellowships, rotations and other clinical training opportunities for Creighton learners.

Will this partnership impact current teaching and research relationships in health education?

  • Although the member institutions have primary responsibility to Creighton learners, both Valleywise and St. Joseph’s are committed to continuing to support training opportunities for students from other schools. Similarly, collaborations in research are expected to grow.

Upcoming Events

Meet the Staff

The Alliance’s daily operations are led by Executive Director Erica Brown and her staff.

Erica Brown

Erica Brown
Executive Director
Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance Staff


Rebecca Determan

Rebecca Determan
Communications Strategist
Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance Staff


Molly Erickson

Molly Erickson
Administrative Assistant
Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance Staff


Amy Ludwig

Amy Ludwig
Student Operations Manager
Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance Staff

Creighton University Health Science Campus

3100 N. Central Avenue, 7th Floor
Phoenix, AZ  85012