April 2020

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FCM COVID-19 Highlights:
  • FCM faculty are involved in new research projects related to COVID-19.
  • FCM is assisting with patient assessments in local nursing homes.
  • FCM is helping to assess and provide clearance for Banner employees returning to work.
  • Several FCM faculty did a thorough review of the literature on COVID-19 at the request of Banner University Medical Center. The information helped Banner develop their policies on COVID-19.
  • The medical school faculty have developed innovative and creative ways to provide education to the medical students using remote learning tools.
  • The behavioral health science faculty are providing additional mental health support during this period of increased stress and anxiety.
  • The community engagement programs continue to develop new partnerships and operate projects serving area residents.

If you (or a program you work with) are helping with COVID-19 efforts and would like to share it with the department, please email Darci Slaten,

More Examples of FCM Confronting COVID-19:
Dr. Karen Lutrick Participates in COVID-19 Research and Education

1. Dr. Lutrick is the Co-PI for the Viral Infection and Respiratory Illness Universal Study: COVID-19 Registry and Validation of C2D2 (VIRUS). The UA is one of the sites of this international COVID-19 clinical data registry. The purpose is to learn the best way to collect health information from hospitals in the event of a public health emergency. The information will enable medical professionals to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of these practices. About 50,000 subjects will take part in this study, and the UA will enroll up to 500 subjects.

2. Dr. Lutrick received a grant from the UA BIO5 Institute and the Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) to help researchers quickly pivot their work to address the pandemic in areas related to improving the health of Arizonans. The study, Integrated COVID-19 Clinical Surveillance (ICS): Creating an Integrated Clinical Registry of Inpatient and Outpatient COVID-19 Patients in BUMC-T and Family Medicine Clinics will collect outpatient data and connect it to the inpatient data set (mentioned above). Along with Dr. Lutrick (PI), the team includes Brian Erstad, professor of pharmacy and Dean Billheimer, professor of public health. Read more

3. She created a medical student elective for public health emergency response research. The course, FCM 896V: Disaster Medicine Response focuses on providing historical context and best practices for conducting research during disasters and public health emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will get hands-on experience working in ongoing COVID-19 research.
Dr. Tejal Parikh Contributes to Development of Texting System

Tejal Parikh, MD, associate professor, is part of the project team from UAHS and the university's Data Science Institute that developed AZCOVIDTXT—a two-way texting system to gather and provide valuable information to track COVID-19 in Arizona and identify areas where more resources may be needed.
Dr. Andy Bernstein Creates 'Coffee Talks' 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Camp Wellness has become creative in how it meets the needs of its participants ("students")—individuals diagnosed with mental illness and substance use disorders. Andy Bernstein, PhD, clinical director for Camp Wellness created Coffee Talk as one solution. It's a weekly discussion group that enables students to choose topics and then practice communication skills, such as listening, articulating their own views and adapting to different kinds of communication environments.

Camp Wellness Remains On-Site for Program Participants and Alumni in Need

In response to COVID19, Camp Wellness' focus has been to reduce the burden on hospitals, the Crisis Response Center, and urgent care centers for psychiatric and non-emergent health concerns, by continuing to offer services to people with serious mental illnesses, substance use disorders and general mental health conditions in Tucson and across southern Arizona.
Sonoran UCEDD, DD Network 'Listening Sessions' Bring COVID-19 Challenges to Light 

The Sonoran UCEDD assisted in establishing Zoom listening sessions to learn more about COVID-19- related challenges facing the intellectual and developmental disability community.  Participants discuss how to address social, emotional and behavioral needs of students, learn what’s being done to address funding for day programs due to facility closures and decreasing attendance, and find respite care for family members who can no longer attend those programs. 
NARTC Collaborates on GoFundMe Campaign to Help Native Americans Affected by COVID-19

NARTC collaborated with other groups to create a GoFundMe campaign to help urban American Indian and Indigenous people in Southern Arizona who have been affected by COVID-19. Funds are used to purchase groceries and supplies from recipient wish lists. Priority is given to elders, disabled/limited mobility, medically at-risk and caregivers providing in-home care for a medically at-risk family member. 
Artworks Begins Drawing Lessons Online

On March 31, Artworks began online drawing lessons as a way to keep in touch with friends. View photos


Dr. Francine Gachupin Awarded NIH R01 Grant 

Congratulations to Francine C. Gachupin, PhD, MPH, associate professor, for her Achieving American Indian Youth Energy and Mental Health Balance (AYEM-B) National Institutes of Health RO1 grant funding! The AYEM-B program is an extension of her highly successful American Indian Youth Wellness Camp, which will now include parents and continued contact with youth post-camp. The AYEM-B program focuses on increasing healthy lifestyle among American Indian youth. The team includes Melanie Hingle, PhD, MPH, RD, Nutrition Sciences; Cynthia Thomson, PhD, RD, College of Public Health; Denise Roe, DrPH, MS, College of Public Health; Noshene Ranjbar, MD, Psychiatry; Teresia O'Connor, MD, MPH, FAAP, Baylor College of Medicine; and Vernon Grant, PhD, Montana State University.
Jacy Farkus Awarded 'Peter Likins Inclusive Excellence' Award 

Congratulations to Jacy Farkas, training director, Sonoran UCEDD, who was awarded the Peter Likins Inclusive Excellence Award for Staff from the Initiatives for Organizational Inclusion. This prestigious award honors those who have significantly contributed to enhancing the University of Arizona by creating a diverse and inclusive community. Jacy was nominated by Julie Armin, PhD, assistant professor, her colleague and mentor.
FCM Grand Rounds: 'Telemedicine and Telehealth Update: Applications that Work'

For April's FCM Grand Rounds, Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, FCAP, FATA, pioneer in telemedicine and founding director of the national award-winning Arizona Telemedicine Program provided an extensive overview of telemedicine and telehealth applications that work. View presentation


Drs. Victoria Murrain and Colleen Cagno present at ACOFP 2020 Annual Convention

Victoria Murrain, DO, associate professor, and Colleen K. Cagno, MD, associate professor, presented a virtual faculty development session at the American College of Osteopathic Family Physician “ACOFP” 2020 Annual Convention“Implicit Bias in Family Medicine Residency: What Family Medicine Educators can do to Explicitly Address It.” Originally planned as a live workshop for the New Orleans conference, it was adapted for the online audience, proving to be a valuable experience in faculty development, especially for the presenters.
FCM's First '5K Weekend Challenge' a Big Success!

Mari Ricker, MD, FAAFP, associate professor, organized FCM's first 5k Weekend Challenge, as a way for colleagues to get outside, get some exercise and have fun. Winners were randomly chosen from participants by site. Winners: UA: Alicia Allen; Abrams: Mitzy Hernandez; Alvernon Residency: Natasha Mitra; Alvernon Faculty: Anne Ryan. Each winner received a mask made by FCM Alvernon medical assistant, Katie Clavel – check out her ETSY shop, “Clavicles Creations."
Family Medicine Alumna Dr. Theresa Cullen Appointed Pima County Health Director

Congratulations to family medicine resident alumna, Theresa Cullen, MD, MS, who was appointed the new Pima County Public Health Director, effective June 1. Dr. Cullen has had a distinguished career as a public health physician, including retiring as a public health service officer from the federal government with the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. Cullen graduated from the UA Alvernon Family Medicine Residency Program in 1991.
National Arts Program Features Pamela Wagner

The National Arts Program highlighted Camp Wellness' Pamela Wagner in a recent article, University of Arizona Creates Connection Through Art. Pamela has been coordinating the UA National Arts Program "On Our Own Time" exhibit since 2017.  In the article, Pamela commented that the greatest impact is seeing the connection through art made by employees.


#LIGHT IT BLUE: Healthcare Heroes Vigil

Apr 30, 6:00 PM – 6:15 PM, MST | Live Facebook and Twitter Watch | RSVP here | Learn more

The #LightItBlue Healthcare for Heroes Vigil is a virtual vigil for fallen healthcare professionals whose lives have been lost during the COVID pandemic. The event is organized by the National Physicians Advocacy Coalition.
FCM's Cadey Harrel, MD, assistant professor, is a founding member of the National Physicians Advocacy Coalition, an advocacy group whose chief mission is to amplify physician voices to help promote physician led care within the healthcare system.
Webinar: Advancing Health Equity with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs): An Oncology Perspective

Date: Monday, May 4, 10:00 AM MST
Register by: Thursday, April 30  
Cost: Free | Register here 
Hosted by: Alliance to Advance Patient-Centered Cancer Care 

This webinar will explore what it means to work with FQHCs on pragmatic cancer-based interventions, bridging the gap between academic research and the needs of community health centers. FCM's Julie Armin, PhD, and El Rio's Nancy Johnson, RN, MSN, MS, PhD will introduce the UA's fruitful collaboration with El Rio Health. Learn More


We continue to add resources to our FCM COVID-19 Resources web page to provide a wide array of resources for faculty, staff, students, and our community. The page is updated regularly, and if you have a resource you'd like us to add, please email it to Darci Slaten, thank you! 


Looking for Presenters for UArizona Health Sciences’ “Wellness Wednesdays: A Community Connection

UAHS Corporate & Community Relations is working in collaboration with internal and external presenters to provide innovative education and wellness information. Sessions include 30-minute, interactive webinar presentations by UA faculty, staff and students and community partners. The webinars provide information and tools to support individuals during the stay-at-home order. If you have an area of wellness you'd like to present, please contact Annemarie Medina      


FCM researcher Dr. Susan Schembre and her team are continuing the recruitment of individuals with Type 2 diabetes to provide feedback on a new mobile app designed to help manage diabetes.

The study seeks to develop a new dietary assessment and intervention approach that, for the first time, integrates continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) data with a mobile diet tracker to automate personalized dietary guidance. For the safety of our participants, study activities will restart when social distancing restrictions have been lifted.



Jaime Ugalde, CRSS, started as the first peer support specialist for TIP (Targeted Investment Program). She will provide clinical/administrative support to staff and patients to include navigation of community resources to social determinants of health needs and temporarily providing clinical peer support to patients at Banner – University Medicine Family Medicine Clinic at Alvernon and eventually will be at Banner – University Medicine Family Medicine Clinic at South Campus.
Arianna Bedoya, clinical research coordinator, working with Susan Schembre, PhD, RD. She will be providing help with daily research study activities.


Ivo Abraham, PhD Alicia M. Allen, PhD, MPH Julie S. Armin, PhD
Andrew D. Bernstein, PhD James K. Cunningham, PhD Francine C. Gachupin, PhD, MPH Patricia Lebensohn, MD Myra L. Muramoto, MD, MPH Tanisha Price-Johnson, PhD Susan Schembre, PhD, RD Teshia G. Solomon, PhD Barry D. Weiss, MD

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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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