Creighton University-Arizona Health Education Alliance

Residents preparing for surgery

About the Alliance

Creighton UniversityDignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS), and District Medical Group, Inc. (DMG), have joined together in an alliance. The Alliance, which officially launched Sept. 1, 2017, aims to increase the number of physicians and other health professionals in Arizona by improving and expanding current health education programs. Most recently, multiple graduate medical education (GME) programs consolidated under the alliance, making it one of the largest GME providers in Arizona. 

About the Partners

Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) and District Medical Group, Inc. (DMG) – two of the area’s largest health care institutions – currently provide sites for rotations for nearly 800 medical students each year. They are also home to several residency and fellowship programs, all now under the Alliance, that train physicians in their chosen specialties. DMG has the largest integrated faculty practice in Maricopa Country, with more than 500 faculty representing about 25 specialties. About 500 faculty also teach and practice at MIHS.

Creighton University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university, based in Omaha, Neb., has been providing excellence in health sciences education for more than 125 years. Today, the Omaha campus includes programs that train future professionals in dentistry, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy and physical therapy. Select programs are offered at other regional sites as well. Regionally, CHI Health is the University’s primary clinical partner. The School of Medicine has a history of excellence and innovation in both undergraduate and graduate medical education, with several new and a number of well-established residency and fellowship programs. More than 200 full-time faculty teach at the Omaha campus.

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, the first hospital in the Phoenix area, is part of Dignity Health, one of the largest health care systems in the West. The Creighton University School of Medicine has enjoyed a relationship with St. Joseph’s for more than a decade, in the form of medical students completing rotations at the Phoenix hospital. In 2009, Creighton University and St. Joseph’s established a Creighton campus for third- and fourth-year medical students. Today, this campus is the clinical home for about 100 medical students and additional visiting students each year. 

Dignity Health Medical Group (DHMG)​, an associate partner in the Alliance, comprises more than 200 physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives. Its support staff of more than 500 covers a wide variety of specialties. With 30 practice sites and four hospitals interspersed throughout metro Phoenix, it provides more than 20 subspecialty services. DHMG physician faculty take their academic commitment seriously, staying up-to-date on the latest medical information and procedures in order to ensure that students and residents have the best experience possible.  

More than 300 Creighton faculty teach at St. Joseph’s in Phoenix, which also serves as a site for several GME programs with additional associated faculty. The St. Joseph’s campus is the only Catholic medical school campus west of the Mississippi.

Meeting the Demand

Arizona ranks 32nd in the nation in terms of the number of active MDs per 100,000 population. Together, as some of the most respected health care educators and providers in the state, the alliance partners can help meet the state’s growing demand for physicians and other health care professionals. Adding training opportunities encourages more health care professionals to remain and practice in the state, leading to better patient care and community health.

Latest Developments

As of June 2018, the Creighton University-Arizona Health Education Alliance now oversees the Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs of Maricopa Integrated Health System and Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, as well as that of District Medical Group. This brings more than 30 residency and fellowship programs under the Alliance umbrella. 

Looking Forward

The alliance is developing new academic and clinical education programs in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and other health professions – a natural outgrowth of Creighton University’s commitment to interprofessional health education. A pharmacy fellowship program is coming soon. Additional partnerships may form under the Creighton University-Arizona Health Education Alliance umbrella as well.