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Arizona Health Education Alliance 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.