WINTER 2021 

Dear Friends,

I want to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Holidays and a healthy New Year!

As you know, we are committed to advancing the health of individuals and families from all backgrounds and cultures.

We can’t do that alone.

The support of friends like you powers FCM’s community engagement, education, research, and delivery of exemplary primary care. You help us improve the health and well-being of patients and families throughout Arizona and beyond. 
The coronavirus pandemic continues to hit populations with limited access to health care especially hard. Toward that end, I'd like to highlight two programs that have made a significant impact over the past year—our Mobile Health Program, and the newly-named Wassaja Carlos Montezuma Center for Native American Health
Each time you make a gift to FCM, you fuel a healthier future for those we serve. Thank you again for being our passionate advocate and philanthropic partner.

With deep gratitude,

Ann Mathias, DO
Interim Chair
Dept. of Family and Community Medicine
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson
UArizona Health Sciences 


Mobile Health Program Provides Covid-19 Vaccinations to Rural and Border Communities


In 2021, the FCM Mobile Health Program (MHP) partnered with the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) to provide Covid-19 vaccinations to hard-to-reach and underserved communities in Arizona, as part of the MOVE UP (Mobile Outreach Vaccination and Education for Underserved Populations) program. 

The MOVE-UP program  and our Mobile Health Program work together to provide Covid-19 vaccines to rural and border communities that otherwise have access challenges. The program started in small farming communities in Maricopa County and has since moved to deliver vaccination events in Cochise County and Santa Cruz County, with other counties being added. Most recently, the program has been providing vaccinations to Mexican citizens along Arizona’s southern border. Over the past six months, more than 42,500 vaccine doses have been given to Mexican residents of all ages at Arizona’s southern ports of entry. Nogales, Douglas and Naco are among the participating ports.

“Everyone here, everybody wants the vaccine," said Amy Blackburn, RN, and clinical lead for the Mobile Health Program, pictured here with a patient. "Some people are crying when they receive it, they’re so thankful,” she said. Read more about MHP's vaccination clinics

For more than 40 years, FCM's Mobile Health Program (MHP) has provided health care services to underserved populations throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona. Founded by health pioneers Augusto Ortiz, MD, and his wife, Martha Ortiz, the MHP is supported by the Ortiz Endowment and additional gifts from individual FCM donors. In 2021, donations helped the Mobile Health Program deliver primary, preventative and prenatal care services to hundreds of people in need. 

NARTC Becomes 'Wassaja Carlos Montezuma Center for Native American Health'

On Oct. 22, 2021 FCM held a special dedication ceremony that renamed the Native American Research and Training Center (NARTC) the Wassaja Carlos Montezuma Center for Native American Health.” 

The Center was renamed in honor of Arizona's first Native American physician, Wassaja Carlos Montezuma. Wassaja was born into the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in Four Peaks, Arizona, in 1866. His parents named him Wassaja, which means “to signal” or “to beckon.” He died in Arizona from tuberculosis on January 31, 1923. He earned his medical degree from Chicago Medical College in 1889. Dr. Montezuma is considered to be one of the first Native American activists who advocated for abolishing the reservation system so that American Indians could manage their affairs, land and resources. 

The mission of the Wassaja Carlos Montezuma Center is to provide American Indians with training, assistance, and to conduct respectful research to benefit the health and well-being of Native people, families, and communities. One of the primary objectives of the Wassaja Carlos Montezuma Center is to promote active participation and partnership with Native American communities in all research and training programs.

In 2020, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and family members gave their permission for NARTC to be renamed in honor of Dr. Montezuma. The renaming of NARTC honors Dr. Montezuma’s achievements, advocacy, and enduring impact on American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Watch video about the Wassaja Carlos Montezuma Center 

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

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