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Creighton, major Phoenix health care providers announce new health education alliance

Creighton to oversee and broaden medical education programs at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s and Maricopa Integrated Health System

Phoenix HospitalCreighton University School of Medicine, Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS), and District Medical Group, Inc. (DMG), have announced a new alliance aimed at increasing the number of physicians and other health professionals in Arizona in order to meet the state’s growing demand for physicians and other health care professionals.

The Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance, which was officially launched Sept. 1, is designed to improve and expand current health education programs offered by each of the entities. The alliance will also develop new academic and clinical education programs in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and other health professions.

Currently, Arizona ranks 32nd in the nation in terms of the number active MDs per 100,000 population. As the alliance matures, officials say the goal is to expand training opportunities in residencies, fellowships, and medical student spots. Having more training opportunities increases the likelihood that more physicians and other health care professionals who have studied in Arizona will remain and practice in the state.

“Arizona is home to some of the best and most cutting-edge medicine in the nation,” said Patty White, president and CEO of Saint Joseph’s Hospital Medical Center. “With this affiliation, we have the opportunity to continue to cement that reputation by increasing the numbers of doctors and other health care professional who will want to make Arizona their home.”

St. Joseph’s and MIHS have a total of more than 400 residents and fellows in 22 medical and surgical specialties who will be part of the new program. In addition, Creighton University’s College of Nursing along with the alliance partners, has developed an accelerated nursing program, which has received state approval to enroll students in January of 2018. Other nursing programs are planned for the future. 

“This is an exciting partnership that brings together a university recognized for providing outstanding training for students in the health sciences and health care providers known for their impressive history of caring for members of the greater Phoenix community,” said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ.

For more than a decade, Creighton University, located in Omaha, Nebraska, has been an academic mainstay in Phoenix, sending medical students to St. Joseph’s for rotations. That relationship expanded significantly in 2009 when the Jesuit, Catholic University and St. Joseph’s established a Creighton campus for third- and fourth-year medical students at the Phoenix hospital. The St. Joseph’s campus is home to almost 100 Creighton medical students.

“MIHS has been a leader in medical education since 1952, when we began our first residency program. Today, MIHS trains more than 400 physicians a year in 12 Graduate Medical Education programs,” said Steve Purves, MIHS president and CEO. “With this affiliation, we will continue to build that reputation by increasing the numbers of doctors and other health care professionals who will train in Arizona and stay in Arizona.”

Through the new alliance, Creighton’s role in Arizona will expand again, to become the sponsoring entity for the broader partnerships. While Creighton’s relationship will be enhanced, the partners will continue to offer educational training to students from other universities and programs.

“This partnership will be instrumental in providing for Arizona’s health care workforce needs and allowing us to continue to recruit excellent faculty for our medical students and residents,” said Dr. Kote Chundu, president and CEO of District Medical Group, which has over 650 credentialed providers representing all the major medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties.

About Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
Located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is a 586-bed, not-for-profit hospital that provides a wide range of health, social and support services with special advocacy for the poor and underserved. 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 Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, the Norton Thoracic Institute, a regional campus of Creighton University’s Medical School and the first Level I Trauma Center in Arizona verified by the American College of Surgeons. U.S. News & World Report routinely ranks St. Joseph’s among the best hospitals in the United States for neurology and neurosurgery. For more information please visit our website at

About Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS)
Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Maricopa Integrated Health System 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. MIHS consists of Maricopa Medical, 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 United States, MIHS’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. To learn more about MIHS, please visit

About District Medical Group, Inc. (DMG)
District Medical Group is a not-for-profit entity consisting of over 650 credentialed providers representing all major medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. DMG prides itself on clinical excellence. Over 95% of District Medical Group physicians are board certified, in more than 25 specialties. Patient satisfaction surveys consistently rate the physician performance above the national average. DMG physicians have garnered both local and national acclaim for their contributions, including service on advisory boards, appointment to governors’ councils, election to top leadership positions in national associations, and recognition as innovative leaders in medicine. DMG, the physician organization for MIHS, has lead the way in training medical residents throughout the system and its ambulatory settings and sets the bar high in providing high quality care to patients.

About Creighton University
Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, enrolls more than 4,200 undergraduates and 4,300 graduate and professional students among nine schools and colleges. No other university its size offers students such a comprehensive academic environment marked by personal attention from faculty-mentors. Jesuit and Catholic, it affords incomparable interprofessional health education and bridges health professions programs with law, business and arts and sciences – all on one walkable campus. Creighton has been top-ranked by U.S. News & World Report for more than 20 years.


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