The Arizona Medical Association (ArMA) announced the recipients of its 2018 Healthcare Awards during the annual ArMA President’s Banquet on Saturday, June 2. The recipients were recognized for their achievements and contributions to ArMA and the Arizona healthcare community.
“This year’s recipients are genuine leaders in our community, and I applaud them for their dedication, service, and commitment,” said ArMA President, Traci Pritchard, MD.
David O. Landrith Humanitarian Award – Rudy Valenzuela, PhD, FNP
The Humanitarian Award recognizes programs and individuals who go above and beyond their given profession to help underserved communities receive medical care and other health care services that lead to the betterment of their lives. This year’s recipient, Rudy Valenzuela, is a nurse practitioner and ordained Roman Catholic priest who has dedicated his life to comforting those who need his help most. He spends mornings at his clinic in Arizona, then travels to his mission clinic in Mexico each afternoon. As a priest, his service has spanned from churches in Mexico to humanitarian work in the Skid Row neighborhood of Los Angeles.
ArMA Distinguished Service Award – Jeffrey Weber, MD
The ArMA Distinguished Service Award recognizes those individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond in their profession, making a significant impact on the community. This year’s award was presented to Dr. Jeffrey Weber, Chief of Medicine and Director of Gastroenterology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and Medical Director on the Phoenix Cancer Support Network Board of Directors. Dr. Weber has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and fundraise for sarcoma cancer in honor of his late daughter, Annie. As part of those efforts, he helped form Annie’s Connection SC, a support group serving those who have lost young adults. A year later, he co-founded Annie’s Night, which benefits an organization dedicated to finding effective treatments and cures for pediatric cancers and other blood-related disorders.
Edward Sattenspiel Award – M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD, FACP
This award is given in memory of Edward Sattenspiel, MD, a former ArMA president and champion for healthcare in Arizona, in recognition of an individual’s long-term commitment to organized medicine. In honor of his demonstrated commitment to organized medicine, this year’s award recipient is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser. He has served on the Maricopa County Board of Health, the Board for the Area Agency on Aging, as ArMA president, and currently as an ArMA AMA Delegate. In 2008 he took the organized medicine platform and founded the Private Practice Physicians’ Congress, a group dedicated to protecting and promoting the sanctity of independent private practices in the profession of medicine.
“Walk the Talk” Award – Stephen Ferrara, MD
The “Walk the Talk” Award recognizes individuals or organizations that go above and beyond in their support of issues impacting medicine and patients. The award was presented to Dr. Stephen Ferrara, a physician who has served both his local community and his country. During a tour in Afghanistan, he introduced interventional radiology (or IR) to the battlefield for the first 2 time ever. Dr. Ferrara’s introduction of IR significantly reduced the loss of life and limb of soldiers and Marines wounded in combat. He also designed a blast-mitigating seat for armored vehicles to protect troops from paralyzing injuries. Dr. Ferrara continues to support our country and is taking his commitment to public service to the next level by running for U.S. Congress.
National Service Award – Robert Orford, MD, MS, MPH
The National Service Award recognizes the time and dedication of Arizona physicians serving their colleagues and patients as president of a national association. This year’s recipient, Dr. Robert Orford, has had a long career in both clinical and organized medicine. His distinguished service includes the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) where he served as Speaker for their House of Delegates as well as ACOEM President (2008- 09). He also served as President of the International Airlines Medical Directors’ Association in 2016-2017. Dr. Orford has embraced leadership roles in organized medicine, having served on several other boards, including the Arizona Medical Association, the Aerospace Medical Association, the American College of Preventive Medicine, and the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine.
C.H. William Ruhe, MD Award – HonorHealth Continuing Medical Education
The C.H. William Ruhe Award recognizes excellence in accredited continuing medical education (CME) programs in Arizona. This award was presented to HonorHealth for developing comprehensive and strategic continuing education for its physicians, including residents and faculty. During the last year, their CME program accredited 305 CME activities; these activities have awarded over 7,600 credits to more than 2,500 physicians and 370 non-physician participants. HonorHealth aims to provide impactful and high-quality CME opportunities to its medical staff, residents and teaching faculty.
ArMA/ADHS Public Health Service Award – Kara Geren, MD
Each year, ArMA and the Arizona Department of Health Services recognize an individual or group of individuals whose contributions to public health have been significant. This year’s award was presented to Dr. Kara Geren, an Emergency Department physician who is on the frontline of healthcare. With the current Opioid Crisis, Dr. Geren developed an Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution program at the Maricopa Medical Center. This Emergency Department-based naloxone program is the first of its kind in Arizona. Through this program, patients who present to the Emergency Department who are at risk for Opioid overdose are given both education and a prescription for naloxone which is filled onsite. Dr. Geren has done an outstanding job bringing public health and emergency medicine together to improve healthcare and will continue to be a leader on many public health problems.
Sportsman Award – Christopher Yeung, MD
The ArMA Sportsman Award recognizes health care-related programs and/or individuals who improve the healthcare of our state’s athletes. The award was presented to Dr. Christopher Yeung, an ArMA member who has been involved in Sports Medicine since he opened his practice 18 years ago. His career as team spine surgeon for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, ASU Sun Devils, and 7 other professional teams reflects the trust placed in him not just by physically active weekend sports enthusiasts and golfers, but by college level and professional athletes. Dr. Yeung is also focused on spinal injury prevention and spinal rehabilitation, as well as nonsurgical treatment of the spine. As a principal investigator in clinical trials, he speaks internationally, and has published on the latest minimally invasive spine treatments.