Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Supervisors to discuss relocating TB clinic

Citizen Staff Writer



A move of the Pima County Health Department Tuberculosis Clinic from downtown to near University Physicians Hospital at Kino will be discussed Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.

The clinic is on the first floor of the Pima County Health and Welfare Building, 150 W. Congress St.

The move would be to a county-owned building near the Herbert K. Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road.

The center treated 23 patients with active tuberculosis last year, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said.

The move is needed primarily because of the “lack of appropriate air handling for this type of clinic,” Huckelberry wrote in a memorandum to board members Friday.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection, generally in the lungs, but it also can affect spinal areas and the brain. It is spread when a person with active tuberculosis coughs, sneezes, spits or breathes in close proximity to others.

The county TB clinic also serves as a screening center for the disease. It screened 2,715 persons between July and December. The screenings are sometimes required for employment in health and child care facilities. TB screening is required for gaining admission to area homeless shelters.

Huckelberry said several locations were studied as potential new homes for the clinic. A county-owned building opposite the Abrams Health Center appears the most suitable, Huckelberry said.

“Initial reviews by TB Clinic staff have been favorable to both the proposed layout, as well as the proposed methodology to achieve exceptional air quality compliance,” he told the supervisors.

Tucson’s arid climate has served as a haven for tuberculosis sufferers since the Southern Pacific railroad arrived here and improved outside access to the area in 1880.

Tucson Medical Center started as a clinic for tuberculosis sufferers. The Desert Sanitarium opened on 300 acres in 1927.


When: Tuesday starting at 9 a.m.

Where: Pima County Administration Building, 130 W. Congress St.

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