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Barrett's Studies GERD Studies Other GI Studies


Southern Arizona VA HealthCare System

The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) is a teaching hospital located in Tucson, Arizona. It also serves four community based outreach clinics in Casa Grande, Safford, Sierra Vista, and Yuma, Arizona. SAVAHCS consists of Medical, Surgical, Neurological, Psychiatric, and Geriatric Sections as well as Hospice, Rehabilitation, and the Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center. We have affiliations with 42 academic institutions and are the primary affiliate of the University of Arizona's Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. 

The hospital is located on 116 acres of land south of downtown Tucson. Original buildings were constructed in 1928 and ongoing construction includes clinical additions completed in 1956 and 1986, an ambulatory care building in 1978, a Geriatrics, Extended Care and Rehabilitation Center in 1991, and a mental health building opened in 1997. A $25 million, two-story Ambulatory Care building is scheduled for completion in early 2002.

GI Section



Richard E. Sampliner, MD

SAVAHCS Gastroenterology Section is headed by Richard E. Sampliner, MD. Dr. Sampliner is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona. He stepped down as Chief of Gastroenterology at the University of Arizona's Health Sciences Center in September 2000 after serving as their Section Chief for more than a decade. 

Dr. Sampliner is an internationally respected authority on Barrett's esophagus - the premalignant lesion for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus - and is focusing his current research in this area. He hopes to perfect a cost effective, clinically practical  technique to eliminate Barrett's esophagus, lowering the risk of esophageal cancer for individuals in this high risk group. 

Dr. Sampliner has been awarded national and regional grants for research in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), risk factors for colon polyps, colon cancer prevention, duodenal ulcer treatment, and hepatitis B. 

Ronnie Fass, MD

Ronnie Fass, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona, and serves as the Director of the GI Motility Laboratory at SAVAHCS and the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. 

Dr. Fass has presented numerous national and international lectures on esophageal motility, functional bowel disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Barrett's esophagus. 

He has received many national and regional grants for original research in areas relating to esophageal sensation, brain-gut interaction in GERD, the effect of stress on symptom perception in GERD, mechanisms responsible for functional heartburn, and work surrounding Barrett’s esophagus. 


These two physicians are supported by a dedicated team of highly skilled nurses, research assistants and administrative personnel.

Contact Information

Postal address
3601 S. 6th Avenue (111G-1), Tucson, AZ 85723-0001
Electronic mail
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Barrett's Studies GERD Studies Other GI Studies


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