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.
Tucson-based Desert Angels ranks #1 Most Active Angel Group in the Southwest and #8 in the U.S.
(ARI HALO Report, 2019)
Bioscience firms received nearly $200 million in venture-capital funding, and NIH grants to universities, research institutes, and firms totaled $263 million in 2019
(Flinn Foundation, 2020)
Arizona added 9,696 bioscience industry jobs between 2016 and 2018, an 8.3% growth rate compared to the 3.6% national growth rate.
(Flinn Foundation, 2020)
Southern Arizona is becoming known as one of the nation’s most innovative bioscience centers and is home to Roche Tissue Diagnostics, Accelerate Diagnostics, and Critical Path Institute, to cite just a few firms with headquarters 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 Arizona, Arizona 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.
The emerging bioscience industry supports research collaborations, partnership identification, international outreach programs and technical assistance. Strong support from groups such as the Bioscience Leadership Council of Southern Arizona (BLCSA) and the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio), help drive the bioscience economy, mobilizing leadership committed to collaboration, results and economic growth.
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.
- 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.
- Venture Capital funding for Arizona bioscience firms hit a record high in 2019 at nearly $200 million, even as bioscience funding slipped nationally.
- National Institute of Health (NIH) grants to universities, research institutes, and firms hit a new high in 2019, totaling $263 million.
- Between 2016-2019, Arizona led the country in National Institute of Health (NIH) funding growth.
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.
- There are over 2,000 graduates of Life Science/Science majors at the University of Arizona & Arizona State University.
- Arizona State University is ranked 8th amongst institutions without a medical school for R&D expenditures.
- 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 $600 million in annual research and is ranked as one of the top 25 public research universities in the nation.
- For the 2018 Fiscal Year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) ranked The University of Arizona in the 20th among all universities for research and development expenditures within the Science and Engineering category and 25th for earned Doctorates. No. 1 in astronomy and astrophysics expenditures, No. 5 in the physical sciences and No. 6 in NASA-funded activity.
- 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’s Colleges of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Science, and Engineering produced over 2,000 graduates in 2019-2020. 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
- Ranked 7th amongst institutions without a medical school for research and development expenditures (NSF, 2019).
- 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 40,000 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.
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, MSDx 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.
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.
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
Tucson Medical Center is home to Tucson’s first Pediatric Emergency Department, with top-notch intensive care units for adults, children and newborns. Other specialty areas include women’s, maternity, cardiovascular, orthopaedic, neuroscience, hospice, imaging and senior services. TMC is home to the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, the Cancer Care Center of Southern Arizona and the Children’s Clinics for Rehabilitative Services, a private, non-profit corporation, affiliated with TMC and University of Arizona Health Network.
TMC earned certification as a Primary Stroke Center, accreditation as a Chest Pain Center, and the Gold Plus Achievement Award for stroke programs from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. (photo: tmcaz.com)
Banner Health (formerly University of Arizona Health Network) brings together two academic hospitals and their affiliated clinics, as well as a health plan division and the medical practice of physicians from the UA College of Medicine, under a name that reflects the organization’s commitment to academic medicine and excellent clinical care.
Banner University Medical Center includes a Level One Trauma Center that serves Arizona and New Mexico. In 2010, the Diamond Children’s Medical Center began serving families in the region. The Diamond Center unites the exceptional pediatric resources of Banner Health with those of The University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center to provide advanced health care for children and their families. Additionally, in 2011, the Behavioral Health Pavilion at what is now known as Banner University Medical Center South opened it doors. The $57 million, 200,000+ square foot facility includes an expanded emergency room, a Pima County Superior Court courtroom for mental-health hearings, 48 acute-level psychiatric beds, an outpatient psychiatric clinic and two helipads. (photo: bannerhealth.com)
Established in 1984, Banner Casa Grande Medical Center is a full-service, non-profit, hospital committed to providing quality health care to the Casa Grande Valley as well as the surrounding areas in a caring and compassionate environment.
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 95,000+ people in our community who are served at one of our 11 campuses. Their health care teams offer anyone seeking excellent care a range of services including: medical, dental, laboratory, X-ray, behavioral health, mammography, pharmacy, insurance assistance, free health and exercise classes, and other services at a single location.
They focus on individual health and quality of life. El Rio has an annual budget of $136 million, a staff of 1,100, has enrolled over 95,000 patients and is primed for greater growth with our downtown opening of Health On Broadway in partnership with Tucson Medical Center and the new Cherrybell campus in 2018. They 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. Eighty-four percent of El Rio’s patients have some sort of private health care coverage and those with no insurance access our sliding fee scale. (photo: elrio.org)
Northwest Medical Center
Northwest Medical Center (NMC) is a 300-bed hospital located at 6200 N. La Cholla Blvd., while offering facilities and services throughout Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, Green Valley and the Vail and Rita Ranch areas. Their goal is to provide high-quality care and easy access to healthcare. Convenience is also important and NMC offers patients the opportunity to save their spot in line in the emergency room or at a Northwest Urgent Care so they can comfortably wait at home instead of in the waiting room.
With more than 600 physicians on its medical staff, NMC offers a wide range of healthcare services including emergency services, orthopedics, neurosurgery, oncology, heart and vascular care, gastroenterology, robotic-assisted surgery, inpatient rehabilitation, labor and delivery, diagnostic imaging, wound care, urgent care, pregnancy outreach programs and more. (photo: northwestmedicalcenter.com)
Oro Valley Hospital
Oro Valley Hospital (OVH) is a 146-bed hospital located at 1551 E. Tangerine Road and serves patients from Oro Valley, Marana, Tucson, Catalina, Oracle, San Manuel, and Mammoth. The hospital’s goal is to provide high-quality care and easy access to healthcare services. Oro Valley strives to make it easier for patients to wait at home instead of in an ER or urgent care lobby until a doctor or other clinical professional is available.
OVH has more than 350 physicians on its medical staff and provides a wide range of services including emergency, orthopedics, neurology, heart and vascular, gastroenterology, inpatient rehabilitation, diagnostic imaging, senior behavioral health, sleep center, cardiac imaging, general surgery, ophthalmology, urology, urgent care, occupational medicine, sports medicine and more. As of October 2015, OVH is also the only Tucson hospital to offer robotic-assisted partial knee replacement procedures. (photo: innovationparkaz.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 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 and pharmacy. MHC is the state’s oldest community health center. They began in 1957 as a one-room clinic in a Marana cotton field where the medical staff cared for migrants, local agriculture workers and poverty-level people seeking medical services. Today, the MHC Healthcare service area covers 600 square miles with 15 locations.
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.
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Susan Dumon | Senior Vice President, Economic Competitiveness
Daniela Gallagher | Vice President, Economic Development
Southern Arizona Diagnostics Industry Report
Pima Community College – Allied Health Programs
Sun Corridor Inc. Blueprint Update – Healthcare Recommendation