Influential Health & Medical Leaders 2018

All of the finalists posed for a group photo to celebrate the work and service that they provide for the Tucson community. Each finalist was nominated for the outstanding work that they do. 

Measuring success in the health and medical industries is a difficult task to manage. Do research grants and other funding sources mean good work is being done? What about notoriety and name recognition? According to the 18 men and women honored as winners at the fourth annual Influential Health and Medical Leaders Awards, success is most clearly measured in patient impact. 

Recognized at Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment on Wednesday, June 13, talented doctors, nurses and medical practitioners were recognized for their service to the Tucson community.

“Tucson Local Media and Inside Tucson Business cherish the opportunity to recognize the hard-working men and women in the health and medical fields throughout Southern Arizona for all that they do,” said Tucson Local Media President and Publisher Jason Joseph. “Though we recognized more than a dozen nominees at our ceremony, each of our finalists should be considered a winner for their contributions to the betterment of Pima County.”

Keynote speaker Nancy Sweitzer, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, said that health care and medical science are “very special industries, full of people that have devoted their lives to help the well and the less-well achieve their best possible lives.”

 “These people share the most basic of values, to relieving suffering, and to create a quality of life in the process,” she said.

Event emcee Cheryl Horvath, the newest fire chief of the Tubac Fire District, praised each finalist for their valuable contribution to directly from the general public—those whose lives have been directly impacted by the work of each nominee.

 “[Nominations] come from your colleagues, co-workers, patients, family and friends who think you are special enough to be deserving of this award,” Horvath said.

It’s that dedication to clients and family that drives winners like A New Creations Woman’s Clinic Owner Cheryl Abraham—who won in the Outstanding Health and Fitness category. 

The Florida native cited a need to communicate with patients in order to create a course of action that works for all involved. She thanked everyone who has helped her reach the stage Wednesday night. 

“As a medical provider, I think we need to look a little beyond the medical part of it, and we need to look holistically and need to kind of look into the whole broad spectrum of what’s going on in people’s lives,” Abraham said. 

Dr. Emil Annabi of Pima Pain Center, who won in the Outstanding Pain Management category, thanked his patients for all they do to make his work special.

“Sometimes, we get blindsided, we put blinders on but ultimately, I think this (award) really goes to our patients,” he said. “Because truly without them we don’t have really the blessing of practicing medicine. So, thank you to all of you.” 

2018 winners and finalists 

Outstanding Children’s Care: George Hobeich, M.D.; Hoebeich Pediatrics

Dr. Zebulon Delp; Old Pueblo Pediatrics

Dr. Sosan Moussa; Catalina Pediatrics

Outstanding Chiroporactic: Dr. Aaron Scheff; Chiropractic Balance Center

Robert T. Brook, D.C., DABCN, FACFN, Lac; Brook Chiropractic Neurology

Outstanding Dental: Dr. Mark McMahon; Coyote Dental

Dr. Kirt Kacer; OrthoPros

Dr. Sharad Pandhi; Smile Perfection

Outstanding Dermatology: Pima Dermatology

-Dr. Katherine Orlick, M.D.; Foothills Dermatology & Plastic Surgery

-Skin Spectrum

Outstanding Eye Care: Dr. Sean McCafferty; Arizona Eye Consultants

-Dr. Jason Levine; Arizona Eye Consultants

-Dr. Martin Worrall, M.D.; Retina Center

Outstanding Health and Fitness: Cheryl Abraham, FNP;

A New Creations Woman’s Clinic

-Michelle Thatcher, NMD; Tucson Naturopathic Family Medicine

-CARF International (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities)

Outstanding Heart/Neurology: Dr. Jeanette Wendt; Territory Neurology & Research Institute

-Dr. Ronald Kline; Southwest Advanced Vascular

-Dr. Thomas F. Norton; Center for Neurosciences

Outstanding Nurse: Valerie Rittenhouse, RN; Oro Valley Hospital

-Annette Karlsberg, RN; Oro Valley Hospital

-Cynthia Carlson, RN, MSN, FP

Outstanding Oncology/Radiology: Dr. Alton Hallum III; Arizona Oncology Associates

-Janet Bruce, NP-C; Arizona Oncology Associates

-Dr. Joseph Buscema; Arizona Oncology Associates

Outstanding Pain Management: Dr. Emil Annabi; Pima Pain Center

-Donna Garrett; Star Cryotherapy

-Jennifer Parks; Jade Star Acupuncture

Outstanding Physical Therapy: Dr. Nolan Shifren; Shifren Physical Therapy

-R&R Physical Therapy

-ProActive Physical Therapy

Outstanding Plastic Surgery: Dr. Jaime Moenster; Dermatology & Plastic Surgery of Arizona

-Dr. Richard Hess; Hess & Sandeen Plastic Surgery

-Dr. Sven Sandeen: Hess & Sandeen Plastic Surgery

Outstanding Senior Care/Hospice: Casa de la Luz Hospice

-Senior Homecare of Tucson

-CareMore Health

Outstanding Veterinarian: Kayla R. Boyer, DVM; Speedway Veterinary Hospital

-Dr. Annie Adams; University Pet Clinic

Outstanding Medical Research: Dr. Becky G. Farley, PT, MS, Ph.D.; Parkinson Wellness Recovery

-L. Rodney Anderson, M.D.; Medical Lead Investigator

-H-H. Sherry Chow, Ph.D.; University of Arizona Cancer Center

Outstanding Outreach: Margaret Higgins, Ph.D.; The Haven

-Paige Hector, LMSW; Paige Ahead Consulting

-Tohono O’odham Nation Health Care

Outstanding In-Patient Facility: Northwest Healthcare

-Carondelet Health Network

-Cornerstone Hospital of Southern Arizona

Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Karen Herbst, Ph.D., M.D.; Banner-University Medical Center

-Dr. John Racy, M.D.; University of Arizona College of Medicine

-Thomas Biuso, M.D., FHM, FACP; United Healthcare

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