About the University of Arizona and Banner Health

Partnering to transform health care, Banner Health and the University of Arizona have you covered from every angle as your health resource. Together, we are creating nationally ranked academic medical centers, delivering the highest quality health professional training programs, combined with clinical delivery excellence and population health know-how. You can rely on us to get the whole story. 

Experts at Health Journalism 2018

Visit our experts at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference in Phoenix, April 12-15, 2018.

Click here to download photos and presentations from our panelists.

Steve Goldman, MD

Research Scientist, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson

Professor of Medicine, University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center

Dr. Goldman’s research focuses on cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology, investigating cell-based therapy for heart failure using stem cells seeded on a biodegradable patch as treatment for heart failure. He and Jordan Lancaster, PhD, founded Avery Therapeutics, a biotechnology start-up company, a University of Arizona spin-off company, to commercialize this idea.

Scheduled Panel:

The Science of Stem Cells

Thursday, April 12

11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Website

Lalitha Madhavan, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Neurology, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson

Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute and BIO5 Institute, University of Arizona

Dr. Madhavan directs a research program that broadly centers on stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop rational therapeutic strategies to tackle aging and age-related neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Scheduled Panel:

The Science of Stem Cells

Thursday, April 12

11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Website

Christopher Robertson, PhD

Professor of Law

Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, University of Arizona

Professor Robertson is an expert in health law at the intersection of law and science. He founded the UA Health Science's Regulatory Science Program, which works to accelerate clinical and translational science and train a new generation of regulators, lawyers and scientists, with support from the university’s five health sciences colleges.

Scheduled Panel:

Science of Genetic Testing

Thursday, April 12

1:45 - 3:00 p.m. 

Website

Dan Derksen, MD

Director, the Arizona Center for Rural Health

Professor and Chair of the Community, Environment & Policy Department, University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Dr. Derksen oversees the Arizona State Office of Rural Health, the Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, and the Arizona Department of Health Services First Responders opioid overdose treatment and training initiative. As principal investigator of grants in excess of $58 million over his academic career, Dr. Derksen works to improve health insurance coverage and access to health care in rural areas.

Scheduled Panel: 

States and Health Care in the Age of Trump: Wishes and Waivers

Friday, April 13

9:00 - 10:20 a.m.

Website

Sairam Parthasarathy, MD

Professor of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson

Director, Center for Sleep Disorders, Banner University Medical Center – Tucson

Sleep medicine expert Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, is medical director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, a University of Arizona professor of Medicine, and a member of the Arizona Respiratory Center, a center of excellence at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. In addition to his busy clinical practice and medical school teaching, he maintains an active research lab.

Scheduled Panel:

Is lack of sleep killing us?

Friday, April 13

9:00 - 10:20 a.m.

Website

Robert Groves

Chief Medical Officer, Banner/AETNA

Robert Groves serves as chief medical officer for Banner|Aetna, a joint venture between Arizona’s largest health care provider and one of the country’s leading insurers.

Previously Dr. Groves served as vice president of Health Management for Banner Health and chief medical officer for Banner Health Network. Groves joined Banner in 2005 as system medical director for iCare, to develop and deploy the first tele-ICU system in the southwestern U.S.

Scheduled Panel:

Can value-based care drive innovation?

Friday, April 13

10:40 a.m. – noon

Website

Chuck Lehn

President, Banner Health Network

Chuck Lehn is president of Banner Health Network, responsible for developing accountable-care solutions in Arizona and Colorado. He has been an architect in the launch of Banner’s joint venture relationships with Aetna and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona. 

In his three decades at Banner, Lehn has served in areas such as corporate finance, rural health care administration, provider network development, managed care and health plan leadership. 

Scheduled Panels:

How hospital consolidations are affecting the cost of health care     

Friday, April 13

1:40 - 3:00 p.m.

Website

Dennis Laraway

Chief Financial Officer, Banner Health

Dennis Laraway joined Banner Health in 2017 as chief financial officer. Prior to joining Banner Health, he was the executive vice president and CFO for Memorial Hermann Health System, a system of 19 hospitals operating in Houston, Texas.

Scheduled Panels:

How hospital consolidations are affecting the cost of health care     

Friday, April 13

1:40 - 3:00 p.m.

Website

Eric M. Reiman, MD

Executive Director, Banner Alzheimer's Institute

Dr. Reiman is executive director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and chief executive officer for Banner Research, the umbrella organization for research at one of the nation’s largest non-profit health systems.

He is also professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona, university professor of Neuroscience at Arizona State University, clinical director of Neurogenomics at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, and director of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium.

He is an author of more than 300 publications, a principal investigator of six active NIH grants, and recipient of the Potemkin Prize for his contributions to Alzheimer’s research.

Scheduled Panel:

What reporters need to know about Alzheimer’s

Friday, April 13

4:20 - 5:30 p.m.

Website

Allan Hamilton, MD

Executive Director of the Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center (ASTEC), University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Dr. Hamilton holds four professorships at the UA in neurosurgery, radiation oncology, psychology and electrical and computer engineering. He serves as executive director of the Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center, a multi-disciplinary think-tank at the UA Health Sciences devoted to developing new technologies and training procedures to reduce preventable medical adverse events. Dr. Hamilton conducts research and evaluation on novel techniques in the education of residents and medical students, including computer simulations, virtual environments, robotics and animatronics to enhance the acquisition of interpersonal skills and bedside manners, as well as the development of new technologies in surgery that permit minimally invasive approaches.

Scheduled Panel:

Transforming medical education: How are medical schools adjusting?

Friday, April 13

4:20 - 5:30 p.m.

Website

Esther Sternberg, MD

Director, Institute on Place and Wellbeing, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson

Dr. Sternberg is founding research director for the UA Center for Integrative Medicine and founding director of the UA Institute on Place and Wellbeing (UAIPW). She is internationally recognized for her discoveries in the science of the mind-body interaction in illness and healing, and the role of place in wellbeing. Her best-selling popular books, Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being and The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions, are informative and scientifically written for doctors and the public to deal with the complexities of stress, healing and wellness in the 21st century.

Scheduled Panel:

Newest Efforts in Integrative Health

Saturday, April 14

9:00 - 10:20 a.m.

Website Twitter

William Cance, MD

Deputy Director, University of Arizona Cancer Center – Phoenix

William Cance, MD, is deputy director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. His research focuses on focal adhesion kinase (FAK), a protein involved in cancer growth and progression. In 1993, he was the first researcher to clone human FAK and demonstrate its overexpression in invasive and metastatic cancers. Subsequently, his research has focused on defining the role of FAK in cancer and developing therapeutics that target the protein. Through his research lab in Phoenix, Dr. Cance is involved in collaborative efforts with UA and industry to develop cancer drugs that disrupt FAK activity. 

Scheduled Panel:

Cancer basics for reporters: The latest in care, research and policy

Saturday, April 14

9:00 - 10:20 a.m.

Website

Kacey C. Ernst, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Ernst’s research focuses on identifying how ecological and social changes impact the transmission of infectious diseases to design sustainable community-driven prevention and control strategies. She studies the environmental determinants of vector-borne disease transmission and control – primarily dengue and malaria. Her current research projects include an examination of insecticide-treated bednet use in western Kenya. In addition, she is studying the role of Ae. Aegypti, a mosquito that can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever, population dynamics in the potential expansion of dengue from Northern Mexico to Southern Arizona under climate change scenarios.

Scheduled Panel:

Is climate change a threat to public health?

Friday, April 13

1:40 - 3:00 p.m.

Website

Roman Lysecky, PhD

Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Arizona

Dr. Lysecky’s research focuses on embedded systems with emphasis on medical device security, automated threat detection and mitigation, runtime adaptable systems, performance and energy optimization and non-intrusive observation methods.

Scheduled Panel:

The lurking danger of medical device hackers

Saturday, April 14

9:00 - 10:20 a.m.

Website

Marjorie Bessel, MD

Chief Clinical Officer, Banner Health

Marjorie Bessel, MD, began her journey with Banner 12 years ago, and has served in progressive physician leadership positions with the organization. Dr. Bessel is experienced in a variety of areas of strategic importance in health care including hospital operations, medical-group operations, emergency operations, post-acute services, ambulatory services and physician-leadership development. She has a personal passion for empowering patients through information transparency. She is also leading work at Banner to address concerns surrounding physician burnout.

Scheduled Panel:

Finding organization in chaos of mass violence

Saturday, April 14

9 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.

Website

Elizabeth Calhoun, PhD, MEd

Associate Vice President for Population Health Sciences

Executive Director for the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center for Population Science and Discovery 

Dr. Calhoun is a professor in the Division of Community, Environment and Policy of the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Surgery at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. A nationally recognized leader in minority health and health disparities research, with a special focus on breast cancer disparities, Dr. Calhoun’s research interests include health disparities and community health, cancer health disparities and prevention and cancer patient navigation.

Scheduled Panel:

Geography and health disparities: Resources for reporters

Saturday, April 14

10:40 a.m. - noon

Website

Andreas Theodorou, MD, FCCM, FAAP

Chief Clinical Education Officer, Banner – University Medicine Division

Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs and Quality, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson

Andreas Theodorou, MD, is the chief clinical education officer for Banner Health and professor and vice chair of Pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Because of his extensive clinical and research experience, Dr. Theodorou was named one of four co-principal investigators for the joint Banner Health/University of Arizona efforts to support of the All of Us Research Initiative.

Scheduled Panel:

Precision Medicine's New Initiative

Saturday, April 14

10:40 a.m. – noon

Website

Kenneth Ramos, MD, PhD

Associate Vice President, Precision Health Sciences

Executive Director, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine

Professor of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Dr. Ramos is recognized throughout the world for his scientific contributions in the areas of genomics, precision medicine, environmental health sciences and toxicology. With training in pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology and medicine, Dr. Ramos is helping to navigate the changing landscape of medicine and health care. He leads several translational, clinical research and educational programs that integrate diverse approaches to elucidate genomic mechanisms of disease and novel therapies for several oncologic, pulmonary and vascular diseases.

Scheduled Panel:

Precision Medicine's New Initiative

Saturday, April 14

10:40 a.m. – noon

Website

David H. Beyda, MD

Chair and Professor, Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

David H. Beyda, MD, is chair and professor in the Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism and director of the Global Health Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. Between 2004 and 2015 Dr. Beyda made 62 medical trips through the non-profit organization he created, Medical Mercy, to deliver care to children and families in third world countries. He is the author several books, including “Border Crossings” and “Covenant Medicine.” Dr. David Beyda has been in the trenches, treating patients around the world.

Scheduled Panel:

Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons from disease outbreaks

Saturday, April 14

10:40 a.m. – noon

Website

Charlie Agee, MD

Vice President of Care Management

Chief Medical Officer - Academic Delivery, Banner Health, University of Arizona

In his role as vice president of Care Management and chief medical officer for academic delivery, Dr. Agee provides leadership and oversight of Banner’s clinical efforts with particular focus on our expanded academic relationship. Prior to his current position, he led Clinical Stewardship, directing case management, clinical supply-chain management, physician care coordination and clinical revenue integrity

Scheduled Panel:

Has increased scrutiny made hospitals safer?

Saturday, April 14

10:40 a.m. - noon

Website

Patricia Harrison-Monroe, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Psychiatry, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Dr. Harrison-Monroe is director of community outreach and clinical development for the UA Department of Psychiatry in Tucson and is responsible for educational initiatives that enhance the understanding of behavioral health and reduce the perception of stigma within underserved communities on a local and statewide basis. She is responsible for the development of innovative clinical service lines toward the expansion of behavioral health services and the development of a Center of Behavioral Health Excellence. She also is director of the Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICenter), where she oversees clinical services provided to individuals in the early stages of psychotic illness and their families. 

Scheduled Panel:

Despair, disparity and #MeToo: Reporting on women's mental health

Saturday, April 14

3:00 - 4:20 p.m.

Website

Cynthia A. Thomson, PhD, RD

Professor, University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Director of the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion

Director of the Arizona Smokers' Helpline. 

Dr. Thomson is a nutrition scientist and registered dietitian who leads a focused research program in lifestyle behaviors and cancer survivorship, with an emphasis on obesity-related cancer. She is the principal investigator for the multi-site, NRG Lifestyle Intervention in ovarian cancer Enhanced Survival (LiVES) Study, the largest trial ever undertaken to evaluate the role of diet and physical activity in promoting progression-free survival among women previously treated for ovarian cancer. As a cancer-prevention scientist, co-lead of the UA Cancer Center Cancer Prevention and Control Program and a Fellow of the Obesity Society, her research emphases include lifestyle interventions in cancer survivorship, as well as behavioral interventions for weight control and metabolic regulation in cancer prevention.

Scheduled Panel:

Nutrition, obesity and countering clickbait

Saturday, April 14

4:40 - 6:00 p.m.

Website

John Galgiani, MD

Director, Banner - University Medicine Valley Fever Program

Professor, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson

John Galgiani, MD, is director of the Banner – University Medicine Valley Fever Program, a University of Arizona professor of medicine in infectious diseases, and the founding director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence.

He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts in Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis.) and he sees patients at Valley Fever clinics at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.

Scheduled Panel:

Valley fever and other regional diseases: A struggle for awareness

Sunday, April 15

9:00 - 10:20 a.m.

Website Twitter