Sept. 27, 2017

Sept. 27, 2017: Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance

Creighton University President, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ

As we near the end of our first full month of the new semester, I am pleased to share information with you today regarding the expansion of our health sciences programs in Phoenix, strategic planning news regarding a new planning co-chair and upcoming campus forums, and a reminder about the United Way campaign.

Tomorrow, there will be a public announcement in Omaha and Phoenix regarding the Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance, which officially began this month. The Creighton School of Medicine, Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS), Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, and District Medical Group, Inc., are working together to increase the number of doctors and other health professionals in Arizona in order to meet the state’s growing demand for physicians and other health care professionals.

The Alliance is designed to improve and expand current health education programs offered by each of the entities. The Alliance also will develop new academic and clinical education programs in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and allied health.

Currently, Arizona ranks 32nd in the nation in active MDs per 100,000 population. As the Alliance matures, the goal is to expand training opportunities in residencies, fellowships, and medical student positions.

St. Joseph’s and MIHS have a total of more than 400 residents and fellows who would be part of the new program. In addition, and as discussed at recent Town Hall meetings, Creighton’s College of Nursing, along with the Alliance partners, has an accelerated nursing program that received approval from the state of Arizona to enroll students for a January 2018 program launch.

For more than a decade, Creighton has been an academic mainstay in Phoenix, sending medical students to St. Joseph’s for rotations. That relationship grew in 2009 when we established a campus for third- and fourth-year medical students at the Phoenix hospital. I will provide additional updates going forward about our growth in this region of the country.

As shared by Provost Tom Murray, PhD, in an Academic Council meeting last week, Kristie Briggs, PhD, associate professor of economics in the Heider College of Business, has accepted my invitation to become co-chair of strategic planning, joining Mary Chase, EdD, vice provost of Enrollment Management and University Planning. Dr. Briggs’s appointment follows the departure of Paul McGreal, JD, from the position last month. I am grateful for her acceptance of this role and her continued work as a member of the President’s Planning Committee, where she has served since its inception over a year ago. 

As you may know, numerous campus forums will be held between now and December for the purpose of sharing more detailed information regarding individual strategic planning goals. Each session also will provide an opportunity for you to hear directly from each goal steward, ask questions, and provide feedback.

While an RSVP is not required, it would be helpful for us to know approximately how many individuals are attending each forum to ensure there is adequate seating. Find additional information regarding the topics and register online.

Finally, please remember that Monday, Oct. 2, through Thursday, Oct. 12, is the annual United Way drive at Creighton. With more than 100,000 individuals living in poverty in the greater Omaha area, United Way strives to cultivate and sustain a network of caring and active community involvement in order to provide for these individuals’ basic needs and help them achieve long-term financial stability.

In keeping with our Jesuit mission of being women and men for and with others, I encourage you to consider helping the United Way provide much-needed assistance to the many individuals and organizations it supports locally.


Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ