Banner – University Medicine, one of the most recent outcomes of Never Settle, is expected to transform the health care landscape in Arizona.
Banner – University Medicine, one of the most recent outcomes of Never Settle, is expected to transform the health care landscape in Arizona.

Banner – University Medicine to Transform Care

A groundbreaking agreement between the University of Arizona Health Network and Banner Health is now complete, resulting in the Banner – University Medicine division, a comprehensive new model for academic medicine.
March 2, 2015

The purchase of the University of Arizona Health Network by Banner Health, a partnership that is considered a new model for providing medical services, research and education, is now complete.

Finalized on Friday, the Banner – University Medicine division is one of the most recent pivotal outcomes of Never Settle, the UA's strategic plan, and is expected to transform the health care landscape in Arizona. The deal also makes Banner Health the largest private employer in Arizona, with more than 37,000 employees.

"This merger is revolutionizing academic medicine and will benefit the entire state of Arizona," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart.

"The nation's health care industry is witnessing accelerating change, which is being felt in Arizona with the demands resulting from the aging of the population, greater need for doctors and increased health care costs," Hart said. "Banner – University Medicine will be on the forefront of helping our state address these challenges, and as the UA's clinical partner for our two medical schools it will allow us to extend our mission to both advance medical education and transform health care to meet new and existing demands."

Key elements of the finalized deal include: 

  • The Banner – University Medicine division, a health system anchored in Tucson and Phoenix, providing an Arizona-based, statewide health system to Arizonans.
  • Three hospitals, which have undergone name changes:
    • The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus is now Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.
    • The University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus is now Banner – University Medical Center South.
    • Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix is now Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.
  • An expansion of medical center capabilities for complex academic/clinical programs, such as transplantations, neurosciences, genomics-driven precision health, geriatrics and pediatrics.
  • A $500 million injection of capital to support construction and renovations of the 44-year-old medical center on North Campbell Avenue in Tucson over the next several years.
  • A $300 million endowment to provide a $20 million annual revenue stream to advance the UA's clinical and translational research mission.

Banner Health has had a long history of affiliation with the Arizona Health Sciences Center and its Colleges of Medicine in both Tucson and Phoenix. Over the decades, hundreds of UA medical school graduates have furthered their medical education in residencies at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, formerly Banner Good Samaritan.

Now, under aligned leadership and working toward a single goal of creating nationally ranked academic medical centers, the new division will support the growing needs of the UA Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix.

Among other collaborations, Banner's three academic medical centers and UA College of Medicine faculty will oversee graduate medical education for about 1,000 physicians statewide each year in a variety of residency and fellowship programs. All eligible programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, which establishes exacting national standards for approval and assessment of graduate medical education programs.

"We are convinced that our private/public partnership will help play a lead role in the transformation of health care in our state and beyond," Hart said. "This is a formula that can elevate both the quality and management of care for our state's citizens along with the reputation of Arizona as a national leader in health care."

Rebecca Ruiz, a UA information specialist coordinator, contributed to this story.