Nine UA Health Sciences Faculty Members, Programs Named Finalists for `Influential Health and Medical Leaders’ Awards

Friday, September 18, 2015

Finalists for the Influential Health and Medical Leaders Awards have been announced by Tucson Local Media and nine University of Arizona Health Sciences-affiliated faculty members and programs are to be recognized during the publishing agency’s inaugural ceremony, Wednesday, Sept. 23.

In all, nine Tucson-based health and wellness achievement award winners will be announced during Tucson Local Media’s awards ceremony at Casino Del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road, from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

“We are thrilled with the caliber of nominations we received,” said Jaime Hood, general manager of Tucson Local Media. “There were some wonderful entries, and the judges said it was difficult to pick their top three. All of our finalists are deserving of recognition.”

Tucson Local Media owns the following publications: Explorer, Marana News, Foothills News, Desert Times and Inside Tucson Business. The award winners will be featured in the October edition of Inside Tucson Business.

“We are genuinely gratified that Tucson Local Media has chosen to recognize the leadership in health and medicine in our community,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences. “It is a satisfying industry acknowledgement to the economic vigor and impact on wellness the health sciences have upon Tucson and the state. We are humbled and honored to have such great UA Health Sciences faculty and program representation as finalists, alongside University of Arizona spin-off health organizations and other nominees. Kudos really go to everyone who works day-to-day in this field.”

UA HealLeslie Boyer, MDth Sciences-affiliated Finalists:

Advancement in Achievement in Biopharmaceuticals (Winner):

Toxicologist and pediatrician Leslie Boyer, MD, founding director of the VIPER (Venom Immunochemistry, Pharmacology and Emergency Response) Institute and associate professor of pathology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.



Achievement in Community Outreach (one of three finalists):

Sally Reel, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN, associate vice president of Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, Collaboration and Community Engagement, director of the Arizona Area Health Education Centers, University Distinguished Outreach Professor and clinical professor at the UA College of Nursing.David Alberts, MD

Lifetime Achievement in Health Care (one of three finalists):

David Alberts, MD, director emeritus of the UA Cancer Center, Regents Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, Nutritional Science and Public Health.

Achievement in Medical Research (two of three finalists): 

Fernando Martinez, MD, Regents' Professor, Swift-McNear Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Arizona Respiratory Center and the BIO5 Institute at the UA.

Cynthia A. Thomson, PhD, RD, professor at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman ColleCynthia A. Thomson, PhD, RDge of Public Health, director of the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention & Health Promotion and the Arizona Smokers Helpline and research member of the UA Cancer Center.

Achievement in Medical Devices (one of three finalists):

Bijan Najafi, PhD, MSc, professor of surgery, medicine and engineering, director of the Interdisciplinary Consortium on Advanced Motion-Performance (iCAMP), member of the UA Center on Aging, associate member of  the UA Cancer Center, scientific advisory board member of UA  Arthritis Center, member of Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA), adjunct faculty at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and adjunct faculty member at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

UA spinoff companies, SynCardia Systems LLC and Ventana Medical Systems, are the other finalists in this category.

Outstanding Health Organization (two of three finalists):

Arizona Center for Integrative MedicineLeading the transformation of health care by creating, educating and actively supporting a community that embodies the philosophy and practice of healing-oriented medicine, addressing mind, body and spirit. The center was founded in 1994 by Andrew Weil, MD.

The Heart Series - A program of the Foundation for Cardiovascular Health created by Charles Katzenberg, MD, UA Sarver Heart Center, and Edna Silva, cardiac rehabilitation RN and Tai Chi master, to promote heart disease prevention and health promotion.

Achievement in Community Outreach (Organization – one of three finalists):

Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center A public health service at the UA College of Pharmacy that takes direct calls from the citizens of 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties, providing expert medical advice on potential poisonings and venomous bites and stings to both health-care professionals and the general public, answering approximately 40,000 calls annually.

Awards also will be given for the following categories: Outstanding Health Care Executive and Outstanding Health Organization.