Message from Our New Development Director


Dear friends and generous supporters of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center:

I am humbled and honored to join the staff of such an incredible academic medical institution like the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center. As a long-time Tucsonan and someone whose family has been touched by cardiac disease, I personally know the value of the achievements of this center. I have witnessed, with great hope and pride, the transformation from a virtual center to a destination for patients, residents, healthcare professionals, and basic and clinical scientists.

I never dreamed one day I would be part of such a remarkable team of professionals. You would think the task of writing down my feelings would be easy. It isn’t, but here it goes.

To my colleagues at the UA Sarver Heart Center, I say thank you. You make my job a joy just to be here, but more importantly you make it even more enjoyable because of who you are and what you do every day. Your dedication and commitment to the mission of the UA Sarver Heart Center set the bar high for other units on campus and indeed around the nation. Thank you.

Dr. Sweitzer, Kalidas Madhavpeddi, and the dedicated and passionate members of the search committee and the advisory board of the UA Sarver Heart Center, thank you for placing your trust in me. I appreciate the opportunity to work with you to continue the Sarver Heart Center’s journey of discovery, excellence, and providing cutting-edge patient care. The ubiquitous phrase ‘standing on the shoulders of those who came before’ is not lost on me. I will work every day to continue the tradition of professionalism and commitment set by my predecessors.

And to you, the generous people whose gifts have made the UA Sarver Heart Center what it is today, I want to say two things. Thank you for the lives you save everyday through your philanthropy. And, I promise to do everything I can to help you fulfill your dream of a Future Free of Heart Disease and Stroke.

This part of the journey has begun. I invite you to continue with us down this path – where the promise of new life-changing clinical breakthroughs and bench-to-bedside discoveries are made possible, all while training the next generation of basic researchers and physician scientists. With your continued commitment, support and advocacy, together we’ll make all of this possible.

Thom Melendez

UA Sarver Heart Center Director of Development