Head of UA Dept. of Surgery on leave; no explanation - Tucson News Now

Head of UA Dept. of Surgery on leave; no explanation

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(Source: University of Arizona Medical Center website) (Source: University of Arizona Medical Center website)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

One of the University of Arizona's highest paid employees is on leave, but the university is not saying why or for how long.

Dr. Rainer Gruessner is being paid while he's on leave.

According to UA figures from fiscal year 2012, Dr. Gruessner earned $680,667 a year.

Though Gruessner still is on the University of Arizona website as the UA Department of Surgery Chairman, a spokesperson says another physician has been appointed acting chair of the department.

Gruessner also is a UA professor in the College of Medicine.

KOLD News 13's inquiries about the situation with Dr. Gruessner led to the information being released regarding the leave of absence.

In an email, the spokesperson says no further information can be released. She said "We don't discuss employment issues."

KOLD News 13 has discovered Dr. Gruessner's patients are being referred to other doctors.

Gruessner has been at the UA since July 1, 2007.

His specialties include abdominal transplants and surgery for certain cancers.

Gruessner has an international reputation in liver and intestinal transplants.

The UA Department of Surgery has achieved many firsts recently.

It also has been working to recruit physicians who can help expand the department's surgical offerings.

Among the questions that remain unanswered is, where does this leave the programs?

In other words, will this damage the programs in any way?

There also is no word on where this leave of absence is heading.

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