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MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Mindy Fain, M.D.

Picture of Mindy Fain
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Mindy Fain, M.D.

“My dad was a first generation immigrant from Latvia-with seven brothers and sisters-and was a strong believer in social justice. He always stressed the importance of education and fairness for all, and medicine appealed to me as a way of serving the impoverished and disenfranchised.”

NOMINATING CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Jim Kolbe

“DRIVING FORCE IN GERIATRIC UNDERSTANDING AND CARE”

BIOGRAPHY

Mindy Fain is pointed and passionate about health care: "Health care is a right for everyone," she declares. Since joining the University of Arizona medical faculty in 1985, she has made a remarkable difference in the availability and quality of health care in Arizona, especially among the state's burgeoning population of elderly.

Among her achievements, she expanded one of the first geriatric home care programs in Arizona, bringing social services, pharmacy support, physical therapy and sophisticated medical management of individuals who were bound to the home due to chronic illness. For its outstanding clinical programs and customer service, innovative education models and continuous improvement efforts, in 2002 Fain's program received the Under Secretary for Health's Award as a Clinical program of Excellence in Home-based Primary Care.

As medical director of Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System Home-based Primary Care (SAVAHCS) since 1988, Fain has guided this remarkable effort to provide care in their own homes for aging veterans with complex medical problems to national prominence for combining the best of geriatric medicine with the best of palliative care.

One of the first of its kind developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the program is part of the award-winning Geriatrics and Rehabilitation Care Line at SAVAHCS. The goal is to facilitate safe, appropriate, efficient and cost-effective care consistent with patient and family wishes. In addition to providing excellent care, the program annually trains approximately 28 University of Arizona post-graduate, second-year Internal Medicine residents in geriatric care during a mandatory, one-month block rotation. The program is noted for improving management of advanced heart failure, chronic obstructive lung disease and advancing dementia.

Says close colleague Dr. Linda Phillips, co-director of the Arizona Center on Aging, "I have never worked with a more supportive, respectful or knowledgeable person. Mindy's enthusiasm for geriatric medicine and her sincere concern for elderly people permeate our every interaction." The Center teaches interdisciplinary classes as well as special courses in geriatric care for medical students, and Fain has bee one of the prime movers since its inception."

Extremely active in the Arizona medical community, Fain is a member of the board and editor of the Journal of the Arizona Geriatric Society. She also contributes to the continuing education of medical colleagues and other health professionals through numerous presentations on geriatrics. A number of the state Attorney General's Task Force on Elder Abuse and Neglect, she is tireless in her efforts to raise community awareness about this growing problem and what can be done to combat it.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the New York University School of Arts and Sciences, Fain received the American Medical Women's Association "Citation for Scholarship" upon her graduation from NYU medical school. In 2000, she was named Geriatrician of the Year by Arizona Geriatrics Society and in 2004 was named the John A. Harford Geriatrics Leadership Scholar.

MILESTONES

1988

Appointed Medical Director, Home-based Primary Care Program, Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System, Tucson

1995

Appointed Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine

1996

Becomes Medical Director, University Medical Center Home Health Services, Tucson

2003

Becomes Chief, Section of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine

BORN

1952

MEDICAL SCHOOL

New York University School of Medicine

SPECIALTY

Internal Medicine/Geriatrics

LOCATION

Arizona