Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This is the time of year I reflect upon the many blessings in my life and the immense gratitude I feel for our faculty, staff, residents and fellows. Thank you for your dedication to improving the health of our patients and communities, and training the next generation of heath care practitioners.

At the annual College of Medicine – Tucson Teaching Awards ceremony last week, our department continued its tradition of having multiple members of our faculty recognized for their excellence in teaching and their service to COM's education programs: Drs. Carlos Gonzales, Paul R. Gordon, Patricia Lebensohn, Tejal Parikh and our community partner physician, Donald Smith. In addition, Dr. Ann Mathias received an inaugural College of Medicine - Tucson Clinical Excellence Award. The many COM-T awards received by our faculty speaks to the excellence of our faculty and the work that they do for our patients and our learners. We are very proud of their accomplishments and grateful that the College of Medicine has recognized their work.

Our department continues to grow! I’d like to give a warm welcome to Wendy Parent-Johnson, PhD, director of the UA Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities and family nurse practitioner, Patricia J. Estep, MSN, APN, CNP, who joined FCM in November.

In gratitude,

Myra Muramoto, MD, MPH
Professor and Chair, UA Department of Family & Community Medicine


Wendy Parent-Johnson, PhD, CRC, CESP, has joined the UA Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities as its new director. The founding director of the UA Sonoran Center, Leslie J. Cohen, JD, is retiring from the position after leading it since 2007. “It has been such a wonderful journey working in partnership with the University of Arizona and the community to further inclusion for people with disabilities,” said Cohen. “Dr. Parent-Johnson is a passionate and experienced disability leader, and I am thrilled that she will continue to develop the UA  Sonoran Center in impact and reach.”

Dr. Parent-Johnson previously worked at the University of South Dakota (USD), where she was a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, served as the executive director for the Center for Disabilities and  was the director of the university’s Leadership Education in Neuromuscular Disabilities (LEND) program. Read more>>
Patricia J. Estep, MSN, APN, CNP, family nurse practitioner. Patricia earned her master of science in nursing, family nurse practitioner sequence at Illinois State University. She will provide primary care to patients of all ages at Banner – University Medicine Multispecialty Services Clinic in Green Valley. Prior to joining FCM and Banner–University Medicine, she worked as a nurse practitioner providing acute, non-emergency medical care to patients 24 months of age and older, while working in various clinics within the central Illinois area. Patricia has a strong interest in immunizations. 



We are profoundly grateful for the 11 years of exemplary service from FCM assistant professor Leslie J. Cohen, JD. At the end of October, Leslie retired from her position as the inaugural director of the UA Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities. Leslie led the center from 2007 – 2018. She will continue in her role as FCM’s Interim Vice Chair for Community Engagement.   

“Leslie’s contributions to the UA Sonoran Center and FCM are nothing short of remarkable,” said FCM dept. chair, Myra Muramoto, MD, MPH. “The Sonoran Center has truly thrived under her leadership.”  

For example, Dr. Muramoto explained, the Sonoran Center has helped thousands of individuals with disabilities through teaching, community education, model programs and outreach. Additionally, thanks to Leslie’s direction, the center leveraged its core federal grant of approximately $500,000 to become a multimillion-dollar center, and it has continued to expand its activities and partnerships. The breadth of the Sonoran Center's partnerships are impressive, including community based non-profits, private business, state government, Native American tribes and other UA academic units. Leslie’s leadership at the national level has also increased the visibility of the Sonoran Center on the state and national levels.

What’s more, Leslie has had a positive impact on those she has led at the UA Sonoran Center.

“I joined the Sonoran Center a month after Leslie, and I’ve had the pleasure of the working alongside her for the past 11 years as she grew the center,” said Jacy Farkas, MA, training and project director at the Sonoran Center. “Leslie’s leadership and mentorship during her tenure as our first director supported my professional growth and commitment to this field. In addition, Leslie has cultivated more than 120 future leaders through the expansion of our interdisciplinary training programs. These programs provide students the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the lived experience of people with developmental and other disabilities, and demonstrate how they can make an impact through research, practice and policy to expand opportunities for everyone to belong in our communities.”  

To honor Leslie, FCM purchased a special engraved paver that will be displayed in the University of Arizona Women’s Plaza of Honor. The UA Women’s Plaza of Honor publicly and permanently celebrates women who have made significant contributions to the history of Arizona or have enriched the lives of others. FCM also gave Leslie a sculpture featuring three people. The first person is helping a second person and together, they are helping a third person climb up a cliff. "This sculpture exemplifies the essence of Leslie’s leadership of the Sonoran Center and her career in the disabilities field," said Dr. Muramoto. "Leslie is one who does not seek titles or the limelight, but quietly goes about working through organizations, policies and partnerships that enable others to have an even greater impact on behalf of people with disabilities." Leslie, we are grateful for all that you have contributed! Read more>>



Congratulations to Ann Mathias, DO, who was selected as one of 10 college faculty members for the UA College of Medicine – Tucson inaugural Clinical Excellence Awards! These awards were established by the College of Medicine to recognize and celebrate exemplary patient care. These awards were conceived to recognize exceptional faculty members who exceed all standards of clinical excellence and inspire us regarding how we should serve and care for patients.

The selection of awardees was based on the following criteria: Delivers consistently outstanding clinical care; has a clinical commitment of approximately 0.5 FTE or above; is readily available for consultation with other faculty, demonstrating an outstanding ability to assist and share expertise with colleagues; encourages medical students and residents to ask questions and express their ideas or opinions; uses innovative methods to assure a positive clinical outcome; is humanistic in his/her approach to patient care and interaction with colleagues and other health care professionals; demonstrates a sincere commitment to patient care and patient access to care; models professional behavior with patients, staff, learners and colleagues. Well deserved, Dr. Mathias!  Read more>>
FCM Faculty Honored with College of Medicine – Tucson Teaching Awards
Congratulations to our FCM faculty members (listed below), who were recently honored for their outstanding teaching at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson's 39th Annual Faculty Teaching Awards Ceremony.
FACULTY AWARDS: These awards recognize faculty members for teaching excellence and their ability to encourage intellectual excitement, inspire the discovery of knowledge and foster critical inquiry in the classroom or lab:
Carlos Gonzales, MD: Dean's List for Excellence in Teaching
Paul R. Gordon, MD: Faculty Service Award
, Commitment to Underserved People
Patricia Lebensohn, MD: Outstanding Teacher in a Block, Year II, Longitudinal Curriculum
Tejal Parikh, MD: Dean’s List for Excellence in Teaching, Year II, Life Cycle Block; Block Director; Outstanding Achievement in Teaching by a Block, Year II Life Cycle
COMMUNITY FACULTY CLERKSHIP TEACHING AWARD: This award goes to a community faculty preceptor who has demonstrated excellence in teaching third year medical students during their clerkship.
Donald Smith, MD: Seventh Annual Community Faculty Clerkship Teaching Award

Read more>> | See event photos>>

Dejan Dukic Appointed Inaugural Nurse Practitioner Supervisor
Congratulations to Dejan Dukic, APNP, FNP-C, BSN, who was recently appointed as the inaugural Nurse Practitioner Supervisor. Dejan joined FCM in December 2017 as a nurse practitioner at Banner - University Medicine Multispecialty Clinic at Pantano. He spent time at Banner - University Medicine Family Medicine Clinic at South Campus gaining grated familiarity with primary care clinic operational processes and patient needs. Dejan will provide collaborative support for advanced practice providers and outpatient clinical teams at the Pantano, South Campus and Banner - University Family Medicine Clinic at Alvernon clinics. This will be in partnership with the medical directors, advanced practice providers and Ann Mathias, DO, FCM associate chair of clinical affairs. Congratulations, Dejan!
Dr. Alicia Allen Appointed Director of Clinical Research for the Society of Research of Nicotine and Tobacco University
Alicia Allen, PhD
, MPH, was recently appointed as the director of clinical research for the Society of Research of Nicotine and Tobacco University  (SRNT-U). SRNT-U launches in 2019 and aims to provide a central hub for resources and trainings on the latest science on nicotine and tobacco research. This central hub will be available to diverse and international audiences. As the director of clinical research, Dr. Allen will join the international leadership team to provide expertise on the development of content areas such as behavioral interventions, pharmacological treatments and biological influences (e.g., biobehavioral responses, genetics, neurobiology). Congratulations, Dr. Allen!


Neil Murphy, MD, 1985 graduate of our family medicine residency program, is based in Anchorage, Alaska, where he works at the Alaska Native Medical Center. Dr. Murphy is currently in Africa working with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders. This is his third assignment with MSF and his second in Northern Nigeria. His focus in Nigeria is working in labor and delivery. Dr Murphy and other physicians there hope this photo might inspire some of our current residents to consider future work with MSF.


Sarah Hutchison, MD; Chief Resident
3rd-year resident, South Campus Family Medicine Residency Program
Why did you choose South Campus FM residency? I wanted a program where I could get education in both inpatient and outpatient medicine. I am from Arizona and wanted to be able to learn about rural medicine in our state. I also have an interest in working with the underserved,  and South Campus provided all of these opportunities to me.
What do you love most about Tucson? I love that my friends and family are here. I love our zoo! I love our warm winters. We have a small-town feel with a city over 1 million. There is always something fun going on around the city. And of course UA Wildcat Basketball! Bear Down!
Tell us about your family (including pets!) We are an air force family. My husband does search and rescue. I have 2 children, 17 chickens, a resident Gila monster and a pound puppy.
Tell us some fun facts about you!
1: My favorite color is sparkle, turquoise is a close second
2: I’m a lifelong Cubs fan (thanks, dad)
3: I’m a Tillman Military Scholar
Brianna Grigsby, MD
3rd-year resident, Alvernon Family Medicine Residency Program 
Where are you from? Tucson, AZ     
Why did you choose UA Family Medicine? I went to medical school at the University of Arizona and loved working with everyone in the program! It felt like family! I am also interested in integrative medicine and wanted to be part of a residency program that teaches integrative medicine.    
What is your favorite thing about living in Tucson? Great trail running! I love the mountains and all the great hiking trails we have here.  
What are your interests or hobbies outside of medicine? Trail running (I run lots of trail races and ultramarathons), hiking, being outdoors and cooking healthy food.    
What are your professional interests within medicine? Integrative medicine, women's health/OBGYN
Favorite Vacation Spot? Yosemite, Mt. Rainier, anywhere beautiful outdoors
Favorite Restaurant in Tucson? Zemam's (Ethiopian), Renee's Organic Oven (great gluten-free pizza), Tumerico
“Bucket list” item? Backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail
Best Arizona getaway? Flagstaff! I love running the Flagstaff marathon and also ran the Flagstaff Sky Race this year.The aspens are beautiful in the fall!



On Nov. 8, FCM's Amit Algotar, MD, PhD, MPH, clinical assistant professor, gave an interesting and informative Grand Rounds presentation about how the impact of lifestyle modification interventions help patients prevent cancer progression and cancer recurrence, as well as take care of their survivorship related needs.  View his presentation>>
Alvernon Residency Faculty Mini-Retreat
On October 25, the UA Alvernon Family Medicine Residency program hosted their annual mini-retreat, while the residents took their in-training exam. Faculty connected over lunch and had “check-ins” about personal and professional development. The retreat featured development of feedback skills and practice through role-playing, supporting scholarly activity (special thanks to Dr. Julie Armin for facilitating that session!) and conflict resolution. The group enjoyed the concentration of faculty development topics and identified additional areas to work on in the coming months to advance the residency program and Alvernon Family Medicine.
A Tale of Two EMRs...
Jessie Pettit, MD,
Alvernon Family Medicine Residency program director and Alvernon Family Medicine third-year resident, Katie Hartl, MD, contributed to the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors, (AFMRD) Clinic First Collaborative Participant Blog. The article is titled, "A tale of two EMRs and our transition towards continuity and an improved clinic experience." Read article>>
Using Facebook to Recruit for Clinical Research Projects: A Practical Guide
On Wednesday, October 31, Alicia Allen, PhD, MPH, assistant professor, presented a Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) Seminar at the UA Cancer Center. The seminar briefly described the literature available on using Facebook (and other social media) as a means of recruitment for clinical research projects. Additionally, Dr. Allen provided a step-by-step guide on how to receive permission from the IRB to do this type of recruitment, how to place and monitor ads on Facebook and how to use Facebook tools to assess selection bias of this recruitment method. Real world examples and other possible applications were provided and discussed. View her presentation>>


CONGRATULATIONS to UA RISE Camp Wellness! They celebrated their 50th Camp on Nov. 15, with a special Jubilation Celebration. We're grateful to all who attended to celebrate this milestone, and congratulate the participants who completed the 9-week Camp Wellness program. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, FCM department chair Dr. Myra Muramoto, UA RISE director Dr. Randa Kutob, Camp Wellness director Cheryl Glass, and an alumni spoke at the event. We are inspired by Camp Wellness, which is committed to helping individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders learn to live a healthy life! View photos>>
Please Join Us! ArtWorks "Through Our Eyes" Art Exhibit Opening Reception, Dec. 7 
Please join us on Friday, Dec. 7, 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. for the ArtWorks “Through Our Eyes: Our Arizona-Sonoran Desert” Art Exhibit Opening Reception!

Location: UA Campus Recreation Center (in the new REC Oasis Lounge & Art Gallery), 1400 E. Sixth St.

Come and enjoy viewing the beautiful artwork made by our ArtWorks artists, meet the artists, learn about the art-making process, celebrate the new gallery and enjoy refreshments! A short presentation will take place from 4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Artwork and merchandise will be for sale.
Native American Research and Training Center (NARTC) Hosts Cancer Survivor Celebration and Blessing of the Indigenous Therapeutic Landscape and Healing Garden
On Thursday, November 15, the Native American Research and Training Center (NARTC) hosted a Cancer Survivor Celebration. The event included a welcome blessing, review of grants, projects and programs, creating a therapeutic landscape, a blessing ceremony to celebrate the survivors, an awards presentation and a feast. NARTC and UA Cancer Center Outreach dedicated the NARTC Therapeutic Landscape. NARTC faculty, Dr. Patrisia Gonzales, and NARTC community partners, Miguel Flores, Jr. and Dr. Penn Elys Droz developed projects from the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention that have led to the development of NARTC’s Indigenous Therapeutic Landscape and Healing Garden.
Tucson Indian Center Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) Completed
FCM's James Cunningham, PhD, Francine Gachupin, PhD and Nicole Yuan (College of Public Health) successfully completed the Tucson Indian Center Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The purpose of the CHNA was to document behavioral risk factors, primary care utilization, inpatient hospital stays, emergency department admissions and mental health care needs of Urban American Indian/Alaska Native people living in Tucson, AZ. Pictured left to right: James Cunningham, Jennie Becenti (TIC Health Director), Nicole Yuan, Evelyn Ybarra-Pablo (TIC Executive Assistant/Human Resources Manager), Francine Gachupin, Rodney Palimo Sr. (TIC Board Chairman), Jacob Bernal (TIC Executive Director)
Linkages "Building Bridges" Luncheon
People received a dose of inspiration at the Building Bridges awards ceremony, held on November 20th at the Westin La Paloma. The annual event was presented by Linkages, an organization that works to link businesses to people with disabilities and wounded warriors. Banner – University Medicine purchased a table for the event, and participates in the Linkages program through the UA Sonoran Center's Project SEARCH. Linkages has been around for 20 years., and their work 'links' employers with great talent. The luncheon honored the disability employment progress—with an employee, employer and employment support professional of the year. The Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities greatly appreciates Banner Health for their sponsorship of the event and also for partnering in Project SEARCH! Leslie Cohen, JD, former director of the Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities, serves on the board of directors for Linkages. View keynote speaker>>
Pictured left to right: Jackie Hunter (Banner Director Diversity and Inclusion), Wanda Moore (Sarver Heart Center), Leslie Cohen and Laura Schweers (Sonoran Center for Excellence).



FCM researcher Alicia Allen, PhD, MPH and Uma Nair, PhD at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH), were awarded a $347,000 two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse to explore how the timing of a quit date during the menstrual cycle may improve smoking-cessation rates among women using a combination of telephone-based behavioral counseling and nicotine-replacement therapy.”We know that craving and withdrawal can vary across the menstrual cycle, but we don’t yet know if targeting a specific menstrual cycle phase to quit smoking will help women quit,” said Dr. Allen. Read more>>


Veronica Lopez, joined Workforce Development Program on November 5 as an administration assistant.


Ivo Abraham, PhD
  • Almutairi AR, Alkhatib NS, Oh M, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Babiker HM, Cranmer LD, McBride A, Abraham I. Economic Evaluation of Talimogene Laherparepvec Plus Ipilimumab Combination Therapy vs Ipilimumab Monotherapy in Patients With Advanced Unresectable Melanoma. JAMA Dermatol. Published online November 21, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.3958
  • Gharaibeh M, McBride A, Alberts DS, Erstad B, Slack M, Bootman JL, Abraham I. Economic evaluation for the UK of systemic chemotherapies in first-line treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer. PharmacoEconomics 2018;36:1333-1343.
  • Alkhatib N, Ramos K, Gharaibeh M, Slack M, Erstad B, Karnes J, Klimecki W, Sweitzer NK, Abraham I. Economic evaluation of genetic testing for Arg389 in the management of stage III/IV heart failure. Expert Review of Precision Medicine and Drug Development 2018;3:319-329.
Alicia M. Allen, PhD, MPH
  • Allen AM, Lundeen K, Murphy S, Spector L, Harlow B. Web-Delivered Multimedia Training Materials for the Self-Collection of Dried Blood Spots: A Formative Project. JMIR Formativ Research. 2018 (Nov 05); 2(2):e11025. Read Abstract>>
Sommer Aldulaimi, MD, FAAFP
  • Koleski J, Aldulaimi S, Moran E. From Dehydration to Fractures: Medical Issues Faced by People Crossing the United States: Mexico Border. J Immigr Minor Health. 2018 Oct 19. doi: 10.1007/s10903-018-0827-1. [Epub ahead of, print] PubMed PMID: 30341478. Read abstract>>
Julie Armin, PhD
  • Marshall CA, Curran MA, Brownmiller G, Solarte A, Armin J, Hamann HA, Crist JD, Niemelä M, Badger TA, Weihs KL. Oregon's Familias en Acción replicates benefits for underserved cancer co-survivors through Un Abrazo Para la Familia. Psychooncology. 2018 Oct;27(10):2405-2411. doi: 10.1002/pon 4841. Epub 2018 Aug 15. PubMed PMID: 30047167. Read abstract>>
Paul Gordon, MD, MPH
  • Parikh T, Czuzak M, Bui N, Wildner C, Koch B, Leko E, Rappaport W, Adhikari S, Gordon P, Gura M, Ellis S. Novel Use of Ultrasound to Teach Reproductive System Physical Examination Skills and Pelvic Anatomy. J Ultrasound Med. 2018 Mar;37(3):709-715. doi: 10.1002/jum.14408. Epub 2017 Sep 28. PubMed PMID: 28960370. Read abstract>>
  • Lin S, Walters E, Nguyen C, Gordon P. Residents’ Perspectives on Careers in Academic Medicine: Obstacles and Opportunities. Family Medicine. 2018;50(3): 204-11. Read abstract>>
  • LaGrandeur J, Moros M, Dobrick J, Rahimian R, Siyahian A, Tomlinson E, Gordon P. TotShots: An innovative pediatric free clinic providing high patient satisfaction to the underserved. Family Medicine. (in press).
Jennie Joe, PhD, MPH
  • Stoner L, Matheson AG, Perry LG, Williams MA, McManus A, Holdaway M, Dimer L, Joe JR, and Maiorana A. Social contributions to cardiometabolic diseases in indigenous populations: an international Delphi study. Public Health (2018).
  • Keynote: Harnessing cultural capital and the regulated practice of traditional practitioners in one allopathic arena. October 15, 2018. International Conference on Traditional Medicine, Phytochemistry and Medicinal Plants. Narita, Japan.
Jerome F. Koleski, MD
  • Koleski J, Aldulaimi S, Moran E. From Dehydration to Fractures: Medical Issues Faced by People Crossing the United States: Mexico Border. J Immigr Minor Health. 2018 Oct 19. doi: 10.1007/s10903-018-0827-1. [Epub ahead of, print] PubMed PMID: 30341478.  Read abstract>>
Elizabeth A. Moran, MD, MPH
  • Koleski J, Aldulaimi S, Moran E. From Dehydration to Fractures: Medical Issues Faced by People Crossing the United States: Mexico Border. J Immigr Minor Health. 2018 Oct 19. doi: 10.1007/s10903-018-0827-1. [Epub ahead of, print] PubMed PMID: 30341478.  Read abstract>>
Tejal M. Parikh, MD
  • Parikh T, Czuzak M, Bui N, Wildner C, Koch B, Leko E, Rappaport W, Adhikari S, Gordon P, Gura M, Ellis S. Novel Use of Ultrasound to Teach Reproductive System Physical Examination Skills and Pelvic Anatomy. J Ultrasound Med. 2018 Mar;37(3):709-715. doi: 10.1002/jum.14408. Epub 2017 Sep 28. PubMed PMID: 28960370. Read abstract>>
Shana Semmens, MD
  • Semmens, S., Higgins, E. and Coyne, P. A Treatment for Refractory High Ileostomy Output. Journal of Pain and Palliative Pharmacotherapy. Epub Nov 5 2018. DOI: 10.1080/15360288.2018.1529011

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UA Department of Family and Community Medicine · 655 N. Alvernon Way, Ste. 228 · Tucson, AZ 85711 · USA

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