Ronald Weinstein Obituary (2022) – Tucson, AZ


A pioneer in the development of telemedicine, founding director of Arizona’s statewide telemedicine program and executive director of the T-Health Institute of Phoenix, died of heart failure on December 3, 2021 in Banner – University Medical Center in Tucson. He was 83 years old.

Dr. Weinstein was born in Schenectady, New York and received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. A Massachusetts General Hospital-trained pathologist and bladder cancer expert, he became chairman of the pathology department at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago at the age of 36 in 1975 and was recruited from the University of Arizona in 1990 to be chairman of the pathology department. He is a professor of pathology and medical imaging at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, a professor of public policy at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, and a professor of pharmacy-science at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona. ‘Arizona. a lifelong teacher and mentor to countless students ranging from high school students to healthcare professionals.

Considered a founder of the field of telemedicine, Dr. Weinstein was involved in his first telemedicine cases in 1968 as a resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Having invented, patented and marketed robotic telepathology in 1986, he was already known as the “father of telepathology” upon his arrival in Arizona. His vast body of work and research in this area is the basis of telepathology programs in more than 35 countries.

In 1996, Dr. Weinstein co-founded the Arizona Statewide Telemedicine Program (ATP) with Arizona State Representative Bob Burns. Based at the University of Arizona in Tucson, ATP created the Arizona Rural Telemedicine Network, which linked 160 sites in 70 rural communities to UofA. During its 25-year existence, it has provided over 1.4 million teleconsultations, providing needed clinical services to hundreds of thousands of patients statewide, and has developed standards of practice in telemedicine on the better way to provide care at a distance, followed by the establishment of telemedicine training programs. Recently, with the Covid-19 pandemic serving as an innovation accelerator and over a billion telemedicine visits in 2020, ATP successfully advocated for the passage of landmark “Telehealth Omnibus” legislation by the Arizona State Legislature which was enacted by the Governor of Arizona in May 2021. Nationally, the adoption of HB2454 has catapulted Arizona to the forefront in terms of enactment of a progressive law on telehealth.

Dr Weinstein has also been an international leader in telemedicine for nearly half a century, as a consultant on the development of national telemedicine programs in China and Japan in the 1990s and later as a member of the board of directors of the International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation, in the Balkans and the nation of 10 islands of Cape Verde. In addition, he was the main architect of the successful national telemedicine program of the Republic of Panama. His pioneering role in telemedicine from the late 1960s to the 1980s and leading the University of Arizona’s health sciences program since the 1990s earned him the Healthcare Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award. Phoenix Business Journal last winter. He has also received numerous other honors, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Pathology Chairs, the Eliphalet Nott Medal (Union College’s Distinguished Service Award), the Distinguished Service Award from the Arizona Medical Association, the Leader of Arizona Year in Public Policy Award from the Arizona Capitol Times, the KF Mostofi Distinguished Service Award from the International Society of Urological Pathology, the Lifetime Teaching Award from the College of Medicine of the University of Arizona, the Association for Pathology Informatics Award of Excellence, the US Distance Learning Association’s Hall-of-Fame Award, and the title of President Emeritus of the American Telemedicine Association as a Telemedicine Pioneer . In addition, he has served as president of four other national professional organizations, including the United States and the Canadian Academy of Pathology, and is the author of over 600 professional publications.

In addition to his wife and lifelong partner Mary, Dr. Weinstein is survived by his daughter, Katherine Weinstein Miller (Craig Miller); his son, Dr. John Weinstein (Brian Mikesell) and his grandsons, Miles and Oliver Miller and an extended family he cared deeply about. His greatest pride was in his children – in their professional accomplishments, the families they have built, and the work they do in service to others.

A Celebration of the Life of Dr. Weinstein will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 16, 2022 in the Health Sciences Innovation Building on the Arizona Health Sciences Campus. In lieu of flowers, his family is asking for donations to be made to the Dean’s Excellence Fund at the College of Medicine – Tucson. Arrangements by EVERGREEN MORTUARY.

Posted by Arizona Daily Star on January 2, 2022.

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