Arizona Telemedicine Program and UA College of Medicine Receive Inaugural Award from Association of American Medical Colleges

AHSC Memo

Arizona Telemedicine Program and UA College of Medicine Receive Inaugural Award from Association of American Medical Colleges

ATP's Drs. Weinstein and López accept 'Readiness for Reform (R4R)' award for transformational programs in medicine


Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, founding director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and Ana Maria López, MD, MPH, ATP's founding medical director, recently accepted the Association of American Medical Colleges' inaugural "Readiness for Reform (R4R)" award on behalf of ATP and the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson. ATP was one of only three institutional winners presented with the award at the recent AAMC Annual Meeting in Denver; each institution received $5,000 to forward their innovation programs in health-care delivery.

The AAMC's R4R Initiative seeks to identify academic programs developing transformative methods of addressing patient care, health education and research issues related to implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The R4R Award is sponsored by the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals.  

During the award presentation, ATP was cited for creating "waves of innovative programs that have made a difference," including: integration of primary care between academic health-care systems and community networks; revisions of care for specific health disorders, oriented to improve quality of care; and efforts to reduce health-care costs while achieving better outcomes.

To date, ATP has received more than a dozen national and international awards for innovations in health-care service delivery models, education and clinical research leveraging information technologies.

Drs. Weinstein and López co-authored ATP's application for the AAMC Readiness for Reform Health Care Innovation Challenge with Anna R. Graham, MD, UA professor emerita, pathology, and Elizabeth A. Krupinski, PhD, UA professor, radiology, public health and psychology; to read their winning entry, visit

Arizona Telemedicine Program: Innovations in patient care and education

In addition to ATP, the winners of the 2011 Readiness for Reform Health Care Innovation Challenge are the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, for The Ambulatory Long Block: Resident training in a high functioning clinical microsystem, and the Medical University of South Carolina, for Inpatient Diabetes Standardization and Improvement in Medical Centers

About the Arizona Telemedicine Program

ATP offers a variety of services and educational programs. Since it was established in 1996, ATP has responded to some unique health challenges for the state of Arizona, including a large population based in rural or remote areas and large numbers of Native Americans, many of whom reside far from urban health centers. An additional need ATP addressed was improving health care for incarcerated individuals in the state prison system.

ATP developed and operates its own broadband telecommunication system staffed by 24/7 engineers and services a network of more than 100 health-service facilities. More than 60 clinical subspecialty services have been provided through the network, with more than 1 million consultations.

In addition to patient services, ATP provides a broad array of educational offerings, ranging from the marketing and collaborative staffing of Arizona State University's Teach Tec program training high school teachers to utilize cutting-edge communication strategies in their teaching, to broadcasting UA College of Medicine medical/surgical grand rounds to providers throughout the state, to formal training seminars on the basics of telemedicine. More than 200 continuing education CME and CE programs are offered annually as live presentations and webinars for health-care providers throughout the state and nationally.  For some of this training ATP has utilized the T-Health Amphitheater, a unique high-end videoconferencing facility at the UA College of Medicine - Phoenix, designed specifically for exercises in interprofessional interaction among health-care students. Participant satisfaction with continuing education has been very high.

Drs. Weinstein and López, both professors with the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, have teamed up to create many innovative programs at the UA over the past two decades and have been honored for their work in the traditional "three-legged stool of academia" - research, education and service.  Drs. Weinstein and López also have added a "fourth leg" - "innovation" - they believe should be acknowledged as equally important to the other three traditional areas.

Dr. Weinstein has been honored for many innovations in education. He founded and sold one of the first PC-based educational software companies in the early 1980s. He has an interest in the development of medical devices. He invented, patented and commercialized telepathology, a technology that brings specialty pathology services to tens of thousands of patients in more than 30 countries. For this, he is widely known as "the father of telepathology" and he has received the Association for Pathology Informatics Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Dr. López created ATP's innovative Continuing Education Program. She has developed innovative health-care delivery models - including same-day bundled breast cancer services - and pioneered the use of videoconferencing to create a decentralized network of rural breast cancer survivor support groups. 

In June 2011, Drs. Weinstein and López jointly received the Distinguished Service Award from the Arizona Medical Association for their development of state-wide telemedicine programs.

Contact: Jean Spinelli, (520) 626-7301