Dr. Lori Mackstaller Announces Her Retirement

05/08/15

Dr. Lori Mackstaller Announces Her Retirement

With mixed emotions Sarver Heart Center announced the retirement of Lori Mackstaller, MD, an internal medicine physician who for 15 years has provided primary care for many patient/friends who have complex heart conditions. “Lori has provided exemplary, personalized care for a large number of patients. Plus, she has been a stellar faculty member who has introduced thousands of first-year medical students to heart sounds on the ‘Harvey’ patient simulator and conducted cardiovascular electives for third- and fourth-year students. This is in addition to her commitment to community heart-health education, which we hope she’ll continue whenever possible,” said Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, director of the UA Sarver Heart Center and chief of the Division of Cardiology. “Replacing her may be the wrong word, but we’re working hard to identify good physicians to care for her patients.”

Seeing her seventh decade around the corner, Dr. Mackstaller decided Sept. 1 will be the start of her new life as a retiree. Yes, we can blame a man for helping her reach this decision, and they plan to kick off the retirement era with a trip to Tahiti.

“This has been a hard decision. I consider my patients my friends and we’ve shared lots of joy, laughter and sadness over these years. But, I’ve reached an age where I realize that being with someone special is very important,” said Dr. Mackstaller.

Dr. Mackstaller was raised in a one-room cabin in Soldotna, Alaska, before moving to Arizona to attend nursing school in Phoenix. She moved to Tucson in 1974 with two young children and became a charge nurse in what was then University Medical Center’s critical care unit. During the 1990s, she decided to pursue medical school and became an MD 30 years after she became an RN. She has been part of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson faculty since 2000.

Dr. Mackstaller was named the Sarver Heart Center’s Bertram Z. and Hazel S. Brodie and Edwin J. Brach Foundation Endowed Lecturer. “This endowment helped me fulfill Sarver Heart Center’s academic mission. It would be an honor to see this fund grow so another academic physician can carry on this important work,” said Dr. Mackstaller. In lieu of gifts, you can donate online from the Sarver Heart Center website – heart.arizona.edu/Mackstaller – or call the development office at 520-626-4146. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated. 

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