Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It's that busy time of year, when summer break is over and classes are back in session. The morning traffic has certainly picked up! I hope everyone had a good summer and had at least some opportunity for a little R&R.

This month I'm excited to announce the launch of Family and Community Medicine's new Facebook page! We hope you will "like" our page, and share it with others who would be interested in our Department's people and activities. By having a social media presence (finally!), we hope to connect with and engage our community, supporters and clinical partners in meaningful ways. Here's the link:

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


Nicole Person-Rennell, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor. Dr. Person-Rennell received her MD degree from Mayo Medical School, and her MPH from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. She completed her family medicine residency training at the University of California, San Fransisco (UCSF). Dr. Person-Rennell will join the residency faculty for the UA Family Medicine Residency at South Campus. Her clinical work will encompass the full scope of family medicine practice: ambulatory primary care at Banner - University Medicine Family Medicine Clinic (at the Abrams Public Health Center); in-patient/hospitalist care at Banner UMC - South Campus; and the FCM Maternal Child Health service, which provides maternity care, delivery and newborn care at Banner UMC - Tucson.

Prior to joining FCM, Dr. Person-Rennell's cared for urban, underserved, multicultural patients in a primary care setting at University of California, San Francisco and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. She also led a team of providers in management of high acuity, medically complex patients from local primary care clinics, and provided prenatal and delivery care for women, including first assisting in c-sections, complex antepartum care, and laceration repair. Her clinical and research interests include women's health, substance use disorders, intimate partner violence, care for the medically under-served, social determinants of health, and the intersection of public health and primary care, including clinical innovations for population health improvement. We are so delighted to have Dr. Person-Rennell join our FCM faculty!
Sanjay Dronavalli, MD, Assistant Professor. Dr. Dronavalli received his MD degree from the Sri Ramachandra Medical College Chennai, India, and completed his family medicine residency training at the University of Kansas Family Medicine Residency Program, Kansas City. Prior to joining FCM, Dr. Dronavalli provided medical care to underserved, multicultural patients at the University of Kansas Medical Center, as well as serving as a preceptor for medical students. Dr. Dronavalli's volunteer activities included providing sideline care to high-school sports teams and sports physicals. 

Dr. Dronavalli’s clinical and research interests include improving colonoscopy-screening completion by identifying potential barriers and interventions that improve patient compliance, nutrition relating to weight loss, and addiction medicine. He speaks multiple languages: English, Telugu and French. Dr. Dronavalli's ambulatory family medicine practice will be at Banner - University Medicine North, (a.k.a. "New North") We are delighted to have him join our new primary care practice at New North!


I became a nurse because I wanted a profession that helped others, provided job security and took advantage of my interest in science. After finishing my BSN at the UA, and working for several years as a hospital nurse, I desired more autonomy and responsibility but did not want to leave direct patient care. I started an MS at the University of Michigan with the idea of becoming a CNS in Hematology/Oncology. However, my first clinical experience was with a primary care nurse practitioner and, after watching her for one day, I was hooked!

I have provided adult (age 13 and up) primary care since the early 1990s, mostly with underserved populations. It was while working on the clinical faculty at UCLA and in homeless clinics in Los Angeles that I came to appreciate how much the deep-seated problems of my adult patients started with their difficult childhoods. Therefore, when I returned to school for my Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, I decided to pursue a second certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), allowing me to see children as well.

Currently, I provide primary care at Banner - University Medicine Family Medicine Clinic (at the Abrams Public Health Center). My practice is mostly made up of complex adults, though I also see children down to age three. As an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the UA College of Nursing, I serve on DNP Project Committees for DNP-FNP students. I also precept FNP students from several schools and coordinate the FNP student placements for our clinic.
At this time, my greatest interest is in improving healthcare access and quality through legislative advocacy. I am President of the Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council, our state professional association, which takes up much of my time. I also serve on an AZ Medical Advisory Board for the opioid crisis and give talks on a variety of topics at state and national conferences. I plan to do more work in the developing world in the future, and am excited to be going on a service trip to Haiti in 2019.


Chadi Berjaoui, MD 
3rd-year resident, South Campus Family Medicine Residency Program 
Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine
Languages spoken: English, French, Arabic
Why did you choose South Campus FM residency? I chose South Campus FM residency for its unique focus on rural medicine, global health track, integrative medicine track and the opportunity of working in a community hospital in an academic setting and providing service to the underserved. Most importantly, meeting the residents and faculty confirmed my decision to wanting to come to this program.
What do you love most about Tucson? I love the diversity of local restaurants, the hiking trails and all the outdoor activities available! Best part, the warm weather all year long.
Tell us about your family (including pets!) 3 siblings (1 younger brother and 2 younger sisters), 1 hooligan dog named Max, a red heeler always looking for an adventure and play time.
Tell us some fun facts about you! 1: Always curious and willing to try something new; 2: Love to travel; 3: Allergic to apples...weird.
Christine Chan, MD
3rd-year resident, Alvernon Family Medicine Residency Program 
Medical School: University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine
Where are you from? Honolulu, HI
Why did you choose UA Family Medicine? I chose to pursue residency at the University of Arizona Family Medicine Residency Program because of the welcoming and supportive environment created by the faculty, residents and support staff during my away rotation and on interview day. This program offers amazing opportunities in academic medicine, integrative medicine and rural/global health. But the people really make it special.
What is your favorite thing about living in Tucson? The weather, the community feel, the free/cheap parking.
What are your interests or hobbies outside of medicine? In our spare time, my husband (EM resident) and I like to play with our dog, Luna and explore our new city. I also enjoy dancing and doing crossword/jigsaw puzzles.
What are your professional interests within Medicine? Geriatric Medicine and Academic Medicine with a growing interest in Advocacy and Public Policy.
Favorite Way to spend a day off? Go hiking, eat good food, read a book, spend time with my husband and dog.
Favorite Restaurant in Tucson? My husband's cooking!
Favorite outdoor activity in AZ? Blackett's Ridge Trail



Susan Voirol, with FCM's Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities, was presented with the 2018 Rebecca McDonald Award at the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) national conference that took place in June 2018, in Florida. Susan joined the Sonoran Center in 2016, and serves as the Arizona APSE Chapter President and directs the Employment First AZ initiative. Her work in disability, transition and employment brings together multiple stakeholders – education, state agencies, local government, community provider agencies, advocacy groups, self-advocates and family members, as well as the broader public – to support and promote the belief that community-based, integrated employment should be the primary day activity for working age youth and adults with disabilities. Congratulations, Susan!
Congratulations to the RISE Workforce Development Program and Health & Wellness Center, home of Camp Wellness, who recently scored 100% on their annual audit! The Cenpatico Integrated Care auditor was particularly impressed with their intake processes, documentation of efforts to obtain paperwork from Health Homes and coordination of care during Adult Recovery Team meetings. Both programs were commended for their factual approach to progress notes and the incredible level of detail surrounding Monthly Summaries. The auditor was also highly appreciative of how well organized their electronic health records are, which makes it easier to conduct required audits.
Congratulations to FCM joint appointed faculty, Daniel Derksen, MD, who was appointed Associate VP at UA Health Sciences (UAHS), for health equity, outreach and interprofessional activities. In his new role, Dr. Derksen will collaborate across the five UA Health Sciences colleges, UA main campus, and with stakeholders and partners statewide to build on interprofessional activities that promote health equity – including social, economic, demographic and geographic factors that affect health outcomes. Read article>>

FCM's Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities is working with other developmental disability state leaders from across the nation to increase and advance leadership in cultural and linguistic competence in disability services and supports. Arizona was one of 10 states chosen nationally to be part of a federally funded Community of Practice on Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Developmental Disabilities (CoP). The goal of the project is to increase the number, diversity and capacity of formal and informal leaders to transform their state/territorial developmental disabilities (DD) systems by: (1) advancing and sustaining cultural and linguistic competence (CLC) systemically through changes in values, policy, structures, and practices; and (2) responding effectively to the growing cultural and linguistic diversity among people with DD and their families who reside in states, territories and tribal nations. Congratulations! Pictured above: Sonoran Center Director Leslie Cohen, JD (back row, on right), with the Arizona team at the recent Community of Practice Transformation Leadership Forum in Washington DC.

FCM assistant professor, Cadey Harrel, MD, was quoted in The Daily Courier (Prescott) article, Drug ads: Companies may be selling you on a product you don’t need. “Pharmaceutical companies don’t necessarily have a person’s best interests at heart; they wish to make a massive profit,” said Dr. Harrel. "Advertising often undermines the physician-patient relationship by planting a seed of doubt about how a doctor chose a given drug." Read article>>
Congratulations to Ivo Abraham, PhD, who was promoted from Associate Editor for Quantitative Methods to Quantitative Methods Editor for JAMA Dermatology.



On August 9, Alicia Allen, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor,  was the featured speaker for FCM's August Grand Rounds. Her presentation was titled, "Smoking Cessation in Women of Reproductive Age: Current Guidelines and Ongoing Research." Dr. Allen presented about the current clinical guidelines for smoking cessation in women of reproductive age (including pregnancy) and discussed sex/gender differences in smoking behavior and cessation outcomes. She reviewed emerging literature on how the menstrual cycle, sex hormones, hormonal contraceptives and pregnancy influence smoking cessation and pregnancy, as well as discussed her ongoing research studies in this area. View presentation>>
Carlos Gonzales, MD, Associate Professor, Family and Community Medicine and Assistant Dean of Curricular Affairs, led and performed a blessing ceremony at the  UA College of Medicine – Tucson Willed Body Program's annual Tree Blessing Ceremony, that took place on Aug. 22. Medical students learn the basics of human anatomy through the Willed Body Program, which allows individuals to donate their bodies after passing so that students may gain valuable hands-on medical training. “The blessing ceremony helps students recognize that willed bodies are a gift,” said Dr. Gonzales, who led the ceremony. “We honor the sacrifice of these donors and acknowledge that their gift to the UA is not something to be taken for granted.” Read article>>  | View photos>>
FCM faculty members Paul Gordon, MD, and Patricia Lebensohn, MD, participated in the College of Medicine – Tucson’s Community Day on July 25. Dr. Lebensohn has directed Community Day for the past four years. Under her guidance, the day of service was integrated into the college's curriculum. COM-Tucson medical students learned about compassion firsthand, during the orientation from July 23-27. They faced challenges such as drafting their own living wills, an often burdensome task for patients who struggle with legalese or technology. They also briefly experienced what it's like for patients who lack income or reliable transportation. The medical students volunteered in Tucson's under-served communities and for organizations that focus on decreasing health disparities, food insecurity and homelessness. Many had taken a city bus before. But for some, it allowed them to see that buses don't always arrive on time, said Dr.  Gordon. The students who were led by Dr. Gordon packed medical kits, animal food and stuffed envelopes at the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. Read article>> | View photos>>
The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) holistic review team, in collaboration with Student Affairs and Programs, hosted the first virtual symposium on evaluating holistic admissions on Friday, June 22. This two-hour, interactive event provided holistic review advocates an opportunity to share and learn about tools, techniques, and motivation for evaluating their medical school admissions processes. FCM's Tanisha Price-Johnson, PhD, Research Assistant Professor and Executive Director of UA COM Admissions, was a featured speaker, along with Kadian McIntosh, PhD, Director of UA COM Research and Analytics. This symposium provided participants with information to assist schools with shifting from theory to practice. Participants learned how to more effectively engage executive leadership in support of holistic admissions, as well as key concepts for assessing the impact of holistic admissions. Drs. Price-Johnson and McIntosh will also lead a series of short webinars highlighting examples-in-practice, tips and lessons about evaluating the impact of holistic review starting this fall. 
On July 28, 2018, nurse practitioner Paula Christianson-Silva, DNP, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, and UA Adjunct Clinical Professor, presented "Low Back Pain: By the Guidelines" at the AZNPC Southwest Regional Nurse Practitioner Symposium in Mesa. She is the current President of the Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council (AZNPC), and currently represents nurse practitioners on the Arizona Medical Advisory Board for State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis, focused on provider education and improving access to medication assisted therapy for opioid use disorder. 



The American Indian Youth Wellness Camp successfully concluded its 26th summer residential program, focused on a healthy lifestyle at Mingus Mountain Campground in Prescott Valley, AZ. The camp was led by FCM faculty Francine Gachupin, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor. Five tribes participated: the Hopi Tribe, Jemez Pueblo, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Tohono O’odham, and Yavapai Apache Nation. Dr. Gachupin thanks all the FCM faculty who contributed to the annual crowdfunding campaign and a special thanks to the FCM business office for all their help: Deanne Kelly, Valerie Sipp, Erin Tyo and Claudia Gallego.


Join us for this upcoming art exhibit of sheer quackery proportions! Artworks' Mary Paulin Gallery presents: Art Duko, an art exhibit by Roz Weene. Opening reception is on Friday, September 7, from 1:00 to 2:30pm at Artworks' Mary Paulin Gallery, 1509 East Helen Street, Tucson, AZ 85719. The show will be open from August 27th to November 30th, 2018


Jonathan Brinks, joined FCM on July 30 as a Research Specialist at the Collaboratory for Prevention and Treatment of Metabolic Disease at South Campus. He is working with the Tobacco Cessation Brief Intervention Training for Behavioral Health Study.
Tracey Smith, Research Specialist, joined FCM at the Collaboratory for Prevention and Treatment of Metabolic Disease at South Campus on July 2nd.
Glenda Aguirre, joined FCM on July 17 as a Program Coordinator with the Sonoran Center for Disabilities.
Debbie Wilganowski-Strong joined FCM on August 13 as an Administrative Assistant within the Banner business office team.


  • Alicia M Allen, Nicole P Yuan, Betsy C Wertheim, Laurie Krupski, Melanie L Bell, Uma Nair. Gender differences in utilization of services and tobacco cessation outcomes at a state quitline. Translational Behavioral Medicine, iby083, 07 August 2018. Free access: 
  • Catherin A. Marshall, Melissa A. CUrran, Gail Brownmiller, Ambar Solarte, Julie Armin, Heidi A. Hamann, Janice D. Crist, Mika Niemala, Terry A. Badger, Daren L. Weihs. Oregon's Familias en Acción replicates benefits for underserved cancer co‐survivors through Un Abrazo Para la Familia. Psycho-Oncology,  26 July 2018
  • Julie Amin:  book review published in Medical Anthropology Quarterly. Not Quite a Cancer Vaccine: Selling HPV and Cervical Cancer. S. D. Gottlieb, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2018, 200 pp.
  • Bonnie Jerome-D’Emilia, PhD, MPH, CBCN, RN, Francine C. Gachupin, PhD, MPH, Patricia D. Suplee, PhD, RNC-OB. A Systematic Review of Barriers and Facilitators to Mammography in American Indian/Alaska Native Women. Journal of Transcultural Nursing. August 2018.
  • Batai K, Gachupin FC, Estrada AL, Garcia DO, Gomez J, Kittles RA. (2018) Patterns of Cancer Related Health Disparities in Arizona. Cancer Health Disparities 2:e1-e20. doi:10.9777/chd.2018.10019.
  • Dunton GF, O'Connor SG, Belcher BR, Maher JP, Schembre, Susan M. Objectively-Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time are Differentially Related to Dietary Fat and Carbohydrate Intake in Children.  2018 Jul 20;6:198. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2018.00198. eCollection 2018.

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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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