During his career, Dr. Palmer Evans delivered 8,000 babies, treated more than 10,000 patients and helped turn around Tucson Medical Center.

Last week, he was honored for his lifetime of work in the medical field with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Influential Health and Medical Leaders ceremony at Casino del Sol.

Tucson Local Media hosted the awards ceremony, an event aimed to shine a positive light on the innovative and critical work done by members of the health care industry. Throughout Tucson, nominations were submitted in nine different categories for the most influential and important medical executives, nurses, doctors, researches and anyone else involved in the field.

Winners were honored in front of a crowd of their peers; who are considered some of the top professionals 

sionals in their respective fields. The categories included outstanding health care executive, achievement in medical research, achievement in biopharmaceuticals, achievement in medical devices, achievement in community outreach for individual and for organizations, achievement in wellness programs, outstanding healthcare organization and lifetime achievement in health care.

The final award of the night, the lifetime achievement award, marked the pinnacle of success for anyone in the medical field. 

Lupita Murillo, emcee for the event, said “the quality of our finalists in this category is proof of how lucky we all are to live in Tucson.” Tucson Local Media received 12 nominations for the award, and eventually narrowed the field down to three.

The finalists were Dr. Palmer Evans, longtime OB/GYN doctor now affiliated with Tucson Medical Center, Dr. David S. Alberts, director emeritus, University of Arizona Cancer Center and regents professor of medicine, and Dr. Dietmar Gann, affiliated with the Tucson Heart Group.

Each of the three men has worked tirelessly for decades to not only improve the field of medicine as a whole, but to guarantee the exceptional treatment of each of their individual patients over their long careers. 

Evans won the lifetime achievement award, and is the first person to do so. Evans began practicing in Tucson as an obstetrician/gynecologist in 1974, a position he held for 25 years. During his time as a practicing OBGYN, Evans assisted with the births of over 8,000 children. 

 He also began his administrative career during the same time, joining the administrative staff at Tucson Medical Center in 1996 before retiring in 2005. At the bequest of the TMC board of trustees, Evans returned as chief medical officer in 2007 before retiring again three years later. Despite a second retirement, Evans has continued as a senior advisor for TMC.

Evans is a graduate of Temple University School of Medicine and continued on to complete his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. 

He is a faculty member of the Arizona Healthcare Leadership Academy as well as a member of the Board of the Pima County on Aging. In 1993, Evans was awarded the Wyeth-Ayerst Award from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for his work on The Arizona Placental Project.

“I’m very moved by receiving this award,” Evans said while on stage. “You know, I’ve had a great career, I had the opportunity early on to take care of many women in this community, and a lot of times helped deliver their babies.”

Evans reflected on just how many people in the Tucson area he helped deliver, telling an anecdote of once meeting a women during a conference he had helped deliver some years before. Now “retired” again, something he said his wife tells him he is failing to actually do, Evans works both nationally and locally with accountable care organizations to help provide for patients and their families. 

 Though Evans won the award for lifetime achievement, each individual and company winner demonstrated the true passion and dedication required to be an influential leader in the health and medical fields.


The winners during the event were:

Achievement in Biopharmaceuticals — Dr. Leslie Boyer with the University of Arizona VIPER Institute

Achievement in Medical Devices — Syncardia Systems LLC

Achievement in Medical Research — Dr. Fernando Martinez, a University of Arizona regents professor and director of the BIO5 Institute.

Achievement in Community Outreach Organization — Save the Cord Foundation

Achievement in Community Outreach Individual — Jane Bakos, executive director of St. Elizabeth’s Health Center

Achievement in Wellness Programs — Banner University Medical Center Heart Series Program

Outstanding Health Organization — CODAC Behavioral Health Services

Outstanding Health Care Executive — Dr. Francisco A. Garcia, director of the Pima County Health Department

Lifetime Achievement in Health Care — Dr. Palmer Evans

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