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BIOSCIENCE & HEALTHCARE

Southern Arizona continues to climb in prominence for bioscience, diagnostics and medical device companies. Anchored by its strengths of an educated workforce, access to funding and a cutting-edge research university, Southern Arizona is poised to meet the needs of companies looking to relocate or expand in the region.

Fast Facts

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Tucson-based Desert Angels ranks #1 Most Active Angel Group in the Southwest and #4 in the U.S.

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VC funding for bio firms in Arizona saw a record high in 2021

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From 2018-2020, Arizona bioscience jobs kept growing, even through the COVID-19 economic shock

ARI HALO Report, 2019

Flinn Foundation, 2021

Flinn Foundation, 2021

BIOSCIENCE

OVERVIEW

Southern Arizona is becoming known as one of the nation’s most innovative bioscience centers and is home to Roche Tissue Diagnostics, Accelerate Diagnostics, Critical Path Institute, BD and HTG Molecular, to cite just a few firms here.

Our educated workforce benefits from two top-ranked research universities and a well-respected community college. This combination forms a strong foundation for any bioscience company looking to locate in the Southwest.

With a myriad of academic and technical life sciences programs at the University of ArizonaArizona State University, and Pima Community College, the Tucson region has a young, educated workforce and first-rate training opportunities. Collaboration opportunities are numerous and cutting-edge research facilities provide a strong draw for companies from start-ups to well-established firms.

AZBio is the state affiliate in Arizona of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the preeminent national association for biotechnology companies, and of AdvaMed, the largest association representing manufacturers of medical devices, diagnostic products and medical information systems. AZBio advances the growth of bioscience companies through advocacy, connections, purchasing power and workforce development.

The region is on the forefront of bioscience, clearly defined in the Southern Arizona Bioscience Roadmap. Developed by the Flinn Foundation and Battelle, the roadmap is a 10-year vision for the future. The plan includes current strengths and strategies – such as mobilizing public and private leadership, investing in higher education, attracting a greater share of funding and developing scientific and technical talent.

FUNDING/SUPPORT

  • In 2018, The University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) and Banner Health received the largest National Institute of Health (NIH) award in Arizona history— $60 million for the All of Us Research Program.
  • $297 million – the gold-standard measure of NIH research funding hit another new high in Arizona in 2021—in dollars and national share.
  • $240 million – VC funding for bio firms in Arizona saw a record high in 2021

WORKFORCE

Tucson is home to the University of Arizona College of Medicine, a national leader in advancing health and wellness through education, research, and patient care. In addition to the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, offer numerous leading programs in areas of importance to bioscience, including biomedical research, engineering, pharmacy, nursing, optics, business, and entrepreneurship.

  • The University of Arizona’s BIO5 Institute aims to harness the collaborative power of five core research areas—agriculture, engineering, medicine, science, and pharmacy—to find bold solutions to complex problems. In the last five years, BIO5 Institute-affiliated research has brought in $363+M as a result of $47M in Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) funding.
  • Pima Community College is constructing a new state-of-the-art Center of Excellence in Applied Technology that provides the training needed for advanced manufacturing across industries, including medical device manufacturing.

THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Tucson is the home of the University of Arizona, a world-class research university with a history of working on cutting edge technology and translating it into practical applications. Projects have ranged from the development of new cancer treatments to pioneering breakthroughs in heart transplantation. The University of Arizona produces more than $750 million in annual research and is ranked as one of the top 20 public research universities in the nation.

  • Known for its exceptionally strong research and academic programs, the UA is one of only 62 members in the prestigious Association of American Universities.
  • The UA is nationally recognized for interdisciplinary graduate programs in biomedical engineering, neuroscience, pharmacology and toxicology, cancer biology, applied mathematics, genetics and more.
  • The UA’s College of Science, a national leader in Applied Bioscience programs, offers a Master’s Degree in Applied Bioscience.
  • UA Faculty includes Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners.

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

  • The Biodesign Institute, the nation’s first interdisciplinary research institute devoted entirely to innovations, has disclosed more than 500 inventions since inception.

PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • Pima Community College, the eighth-largest community college in the country, has an annual enrollment of more than 36,000 students and offers applied degree programs in bioscience topics.
  • Pima Community College offers a Clinical Research Coordinator degree, preparing students to test new medications and treatments that can help millions of patients.

EMPLOYERS

The Tucson region has the scientific base and the intellectual, financial and commercial leadership to become the pre-eminent location for diagnostics companies. The region is already home to internationally recognized/emerging leaders in diagnostics such as Roche Tissue Diagnostics, HTG Molecular, Accelerate Diagnostics and others, and the community has world-renowned spa destinations such as Canyon Ranch and Miraval that have unparalleled reputations for promoting healthy living. No other community has these assets combined with a world-class, top-ranked research university, a strong and culturally diverse portfolio of people, facilities and real estate, and a lifestyle that attracts and retains the Creative Class.

HEALTHCARE

OVERVIEW

Tucson has historically been a center for healthcare innovation and the base for many innovations in integrative medicine, diagnostics, medication monitoring, pharmaceutical development, wellness and pioneering healthcare reimbursement systems. Southern Arizona also has a reputation for healthy outdoor living, wellness and spas, and is consistently ranked high for hiking, biking and other outdoor activities.

FACILITIES

Southern Arizona boasts some of the most sophisticated healthcare available, including seven primary-care hospitals and the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Medical Center.

TUCSON MEDICAL CENTER

TMC Health is a non-profit all-encompassing system of care that puts its patients first. Serving communities across Southern Arizona, TMC Health is the region’s fastest-growing health system and parent company to some of the region’s most trusted and respected healthcare facilities. Tucson Medical Center, voted US News & World Report’s Best Hospital for the second straight year in 2022, licensed at more than 600 beds, has been Tucson’s locally governed nonprofit regional hospital for more than 75 years. TMC is Southern Arizona’s leading provider of emergency care and pediatric care (including Tucson’s first Pediatric Emergency Department), with intensive care units for adults, children, and newborns. Other specialty areas include women’s, maternity, cardiac care, orthopedic, neuroscience, hospice, surgical, and vascular care.

TMC Health provides primary care to southern Arizona families as well. TMCOne is the fastest-growing network of clinics providing family and specialty care, with more than 17 clinics, 100 doctors & specialists, and two urgent cares serving the community. TMC Health also serves a large portion of southern Arizona with Benson Hospital, Northern Cochise Community Hospital, Rincon Health Campus, and Rincon Neighborhood Hospital, currently under construction as part of the TMC Health system. (photo: tmcaz.com)

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and South

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center South are part of Banner – University Medicine, a premier academic medical network. The Tucson campus features a new $446 million tower with 228 private rooms, 20 new operating rooms, new diagnostic imaging and cardiac catheterization labs and beautiful views of Tucson and the Santa Catalina mountains.

Nationally recognized for providing exceptional patient care, teaching future health care professionals and conducting groundbreaking research, these institutions are the academic medical centers for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Included in our local network are Diamond Children’s Medical Center, the University of Arizona Cancer Center, specialty clinics, Banner – University Medicine North, a new outpatient complex and 5 urgent care centers around town.

The two academic medical centers are part of Arizona-based Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit bannerhealth.com/universitytucson or bannerhealth.com/universitysouth.

EL RIO COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER

El Rio Health is a national model for innovative, personalized, high-quality, integrated primary healthcare. El Rio is the provider of choice for over 126,000+ people in our community and has 13 health center locations throughout Tucson. El Rio offers a wide range of integrated services including: medical, dental, laboratory, X-ray, behavioral health, mammography, pharmacy, specialized care, telehealth, insurance assistance, free health and exercise classes, as well as other services while focusing on individual care and quality of life.

El Rio has an annual budget of $247 million, a staff of 1,700 and are accredited by The Joint Commission – National Quality Approval Gold Seal and NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). They offer comprehensive and compassionate care for all ages and stages of life – from infants, children and young parents to employees, executives and retirees. (photo: elrio.org)

NORTHWEST HEALTHCARE

Northwest Healthcare is an integrated healthcare provider committed to delivering Tucson and surrounding communities with high quality, accessible healthcare. With more than 500 licensed beds, Northwest Healthcare includes Northwest Medical Center, Oro Valley Hospital, Northwest Medical Center Houghton and Northwest Medical Center Sahuarita.The system also includes free-standing emergency centers, urgent cares, surgery centers, an inpatient rehabilitation facility, and a multi-specialty physician group with more than 100 employed providers.

Areas of specialty include bariatric surgery, complete cardiac care, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedic surgery, pulmonology and thoracic surgery, digestive diseases, behavioral health, urogynecology and more. Each hospital facility offers complete diagnostic imaging and laboratory testing.  (photo: northwestmedicalcenter.com)

CANYON VISTA MEDICAL CENTER (SIERRA VISTA, AZ)

Located in the beautiful high desert of southeastern Arizona, Canyon Vista Medical Center commits to serve residents in Sierra Vista, Ft. Huachuca, Cochise County – a population of more than 131,000 people, and our surrounding communities. They are situated in the San Pedro River Valley, 75 miles southeast of Tucson.

Canyon Vista Medical Center was founded in 1963 as Western Baptist Osteopathic Hospital on what was then the eastern edge of Sierra Vista. Growth and advancing technology dictated building our new 177,000 square foot hospital at 5700 E Hwy 90. Completed in 2015, their facility offers Emergency Services with a Level III Trauma Unit, Women and Children’s Services, Level II Nursery, Surgical Services/ Outpatient Surgery Center, Rehabilitation Services and more.

CARONDELET ST. MARY’S HOSPITAL

Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, serving Tucson’s west side, not only offers a full spectrum of acute care to residents, but specializes in modern and minimally invasive heart and vascular surgery, stroke care, personalized cancer treatment and emergency care.  Originally established in 1880 by the Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet, today St. Mary’s is a 400-bed Catholic hospital and tertiary medical campus whose award-winning care is accessible to communities across Southern Arizona.

CARONDELET ST. JOSEPH’S HOSPITAL

Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital serves residents throughout the Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties.  Established in 1961 and located just northeast of N. Wilmot Rd. and E. Broadway Blvd., the east side Tucson medical campus offers specialty care such as neurology, orthopedics, cardiology, women’s health, and cardiac, pulmonary and physical rehabilitation. St. Joseph’s is also home to Carondelet Neurological Institute (CNI), dedicated to the treatment of brain and spinal injuries and illnesses.

HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL (NOGALES, AZ)

Holy Cross Hospital is a cornerstone of the Nogales, Arizona, community, providing emergency care, general surgery, labor and delivery services and important health and wellness education for residents throughout Santa Cruz County. This 25-bed critical access hospital, first established in 1960, has been a part of the Carondelet Health Network since the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet began managing the hospital in the early 1980s.

A 25-bed critical access hospital, Holy Cross Hospital provides general medical/surgical services, 24-hour emergency care, rehabilitation, mammography and ultrasound. They also offer advanced technology such as teleradiology and lithotripsy programs. Other services include Inpatient and Outpatient Surgical Services, Birthing Services, Diabetes Care & Community Education, Hospice Outpatient Services, Inpatient and Outpatient Diagnostic Imaging Services and more.

MHC HEATHCARE

MHC Healthcare, formerly Marana Health Center, is dedicated to providing excellence in integrated health services to the communities they serve. MHC houses a number of care specialties and providers – from primary care to radiology, dental care to pediatrics, women’s health, behavioral health, and pharmacy. MHC is the state’s oldest community health center, getting their start in a cotton field in 1957. Today, the MHC Healthcare service area covers 600 square miles with 16 locations throughout Marana, Oro Valley, Catalina, Picture Rocks and the Tucson metro area.

WORKFORCE

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

The Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) is home to the state’s colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health. AHSC is recognized for its research Centers of Excellence including the Sarver Heart Center, Arizona Cancer Center, Arizona Respiratory Center and the Center for Phytomedicine Research.

PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

PCC Nursing offers stackable training from Nursing Assistant to the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AAS in Nursing). Through partnerships with local universities, PCC Nursing offers options for students to complete their Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) at the same time as their AAS in Nursing at half the time and cost of the traditional university pathway.

EMPLOYERS

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Connect With Us

Want to learn more? A member of Sun Corridor Inc.’s Business Development team will respond to any written inquiry within one business day.

Susan Dumon

Senior Vice President, Economic Competitiveness
Email or Call 520.243.1950

Daniela Gallagher

Vice President, Economic Development
Email or Call 520.243.1938

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