Joe G. N. "Skip" Garcia, an internationally noted physician-scientist, health administrator, scholar, educator and elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, has been appointed senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Garcia, who also will serve as an endowed UA professor of medicine, will assume his new duties Sept. 1.
“Dr. Garcia brings tremendous talent and expertise to the University of Arizona, and we’re thrilled he has agreed to lead our complex and growing health sciences enterprise," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart.
Dr. Garcia joins the UA from the University of Illinois, where he served as the vice president for health affairs and the Earl M. Bane Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).
As the UA senior vice president for health sciences – and a key member of the UA’s senior executive team – Dr. Garcia will lead the strategic integration of undergraduate and graduate education, research, service and clinical activities among the UA health colleges, centers and clinical affiliates.
He also will be charged with the critical task to ensure the UA realizes its goal to become an international leader in biomedical research.
"Our nation is undergoing major changes in the delivery of health care, so this is a critical time for the UA health colleges and our clinical partners," Hart said. "We are confident that Dr. Garcia will take the Arizona Health Sciences Center, including our two medical schools in Tucson and Phoenix, to new heights of growth and success.”
Dr. Garcia will provide academic leadership for the Arizona Health Sciences Center colleges, which include: the UA College of Medicine – Tucson; UA College of Medicine – Phoenix; UA College of Pharmacy; UA College of Nursing; and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. He will report to Hart, and work in close collaboration with UA Provost Andrew Comrie and Michael Waldrum, The University of Arizona Health Network's chief executive officer.
"I am thrilled to join the UA, and look forward to working with the deans, faculty and staff at our Tucson and Phoenix campuses, as well as with our many partners, as we address the severe health-care challenges and health disparities confronting our state and nation," Dr. Garcia said.
Dr. Garcia also will have direct oversight of the University of Arizona Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center headquartered in and serving the entire state of Arizona.
“The unique combination of health sciences colleges, teaching hospitals, research centers and statewide outreach programs position the Arizona Health Sciences Center to become a national leader in translational biomedical research and interprofessional health sciences education," Dr. Garcia said.
"I also look forward to developing an even closer relationship with The University of Arizona Health Network to ensure the successful integration of our shared missions of education, research, patient care and community outreach," he said.
As vice president for health affairs at the University of Illinois, Dr. Garcia oversaw the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health), a $1.2 billion health sciences and clinical enterprise. He also provided oversight of the University of Illinois Hospital and community-based clinics. His prior leadership positions include director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University (1998-2005), chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago (2005-2009), and vice chancellor for research at UIC (2010-2012).
Dr. Garcia is an accomplished physician-scientist with nearly 400 peer-reviewed publications and leads a talented team of scientists, many of whom will join him at the UA. He has an expansive portfolio of NIH-sponsored research and continues to direct large federally funded programs. Also, he is internationally recognized for his genetic-based research on lung disease and for development of novel therapies for critically ill patients with acute inflammatory lung disease.
And Dr. Garcia is a passionate advocate for the training of physician-scientists and is an active supporter of minority medical and science students. He has nurtured many minority students at UIC, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago, guiding them into MD and Ph.D. programs.
Dr. Garcia earned his Bachelor of Science in biology at the University of Dallas in 1976 and received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1980.
Also, he completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa hospitals and clinics (1980-1983) and completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Albany Medical College (1983-1985).