The Arizona Telemedicine Program Blog

On October 24th, the 2023 Arizona Telehealth Policy Summit will host national and state telehealth experts to discuss the latest on Arizona and national telehealth policies and trends. This summit will benefit healthcare leaders, administrators, regulators, providers, and other stakeholders in learning more about virtual care. Summit speakers and in-person attendees will convene at the Virginia G. Piper auditorium on the Phoenix Bioscience Core campus. A virtual attendance option will also be available.

The summit program will begin with opening remarks from Professor Tara Sklar, summit host and associate director of Telehealth Law & Policy with the Arizona Telemedicine Program; Dr. Daniel Derksen, a nationally noted health-care policy and rural health expert and associate vice president in the University of Arizona office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences; and a blessing ceremony and land acknowledgement from Dr. Carlos Gonzales, assistant vice president of Indigenous Affairs with the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

When Integrative Touch for Kids started over 17 years ago, it brought a unique approach to treatment that made a difference in care and recovery for children and their families facing chronic health conditions.

The organization’s integrative health practitioners visited patients in pediatric hospital settings to help reduce stress through meditation, breath work, acupressure, massage, and more. Away from the hospital, they held healing retreats for children and caregivers, palliative care clinics, and community clinics with the goal of transforming trauma and ending isolation in illness.

The Arizona Telemedicine Program and its Southwest Telehealth Resource Center were recognized by the United States Distance Learning Association as a “Trendsetter in Distance Learning” at its 2023 National Conference in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. Janet Major, Arizona Telemedicine Program and Southwest Telehealth Resource Center’s associate director for Innovation and Digital Health, received the award on behalf of the ATP and SWTRC.

When Holly Figueroa accepted the role of president of the Arizona Rural Health Association board of directors in July 2022, she knew the term was only a year, but hoped she could dig deep to make changes that would help the organization’s role in rural health advocacy grow in meaning and in action.

“There was a time of transition, and I didn’t always feel that I'd have the opportunity to really dig deep into what AzRHA would like to accomplish,” Figueroa said.

Image of telemedicine for pets in action

From Dr. Steven Hansen’s Arizona Humane Society office, you may have heard a sigh of relief when Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed Senate Bill 1053 into law on May 9. Beginning in August, veterinarians licensed in the state will legally be able to provide veterinary care through telemedicine, a care alternative many have become accustomed to on the human side of healthcare.

The overwhelmingly positive response to our recent webinar, Navigating Telehealth Legislative and Policy Changes Beyond the Public Health Emergency, resulted in many questions left in chat we were unable to address. Below, I present those questions, with answers I hope get to the heart of current areas we recognize as important areas for the future of virtual care in Arizona, the Southwest and throughout the country.

Alison Hughes

Looking back at Alison Hughes’ career, it’s hard not to be in awe over the roads she’s traveled with civil rights and social justice leading almost every turn that eventually led her to Tucson in 1970.

“It’s a life,” Hughes said, shrugging off the compliment with a smile in her light Scottish accent.

That life, however, took Hughes from her native Scotland to study in the United States at age 19. In the early ’60s, she worked at the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and participated in the 1963 Civil Rights March in D.C. led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.


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