A Successful Society Requires Decisive Leadership
As with any volunteer organization, strong leadership is essential for success. During July of each year, the Pima County Medical Society Elections Committee meets to begin the task of recruiting officers, Board of Directors, Resident and Student candidates. Election ballots are then mailed to vote-eligible members. Winning candidates are announced at our December Board of Directors meeting. Terms vary depending on the leadership position.
Members interested in playing a personal and more active role in the direction of the Society and organized medicine should seriously consider running for office. If interested or have any questions, please contact Executive Director Dennis Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PCMS Board of Director Candidate Profiles
President – Roy Loewenstein MD
Dr. Loewenstein served on the PCMS Executive Committee from 2015-2019 and was President in 2018. He also has served on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Medical Association.
He is a primary care internist at Rillito Internal Medicine, which is part of Arizona Community Physicians. He graduated medical school from the University of Washington and completed his residency at the University of Arizona. He is part of the faculty for the new internal medicine residency program at TMC.
He views the PCMS as a catalyst for physicians to improve health care in Pima County.
President Elect – Farshad Shirazi MD
Farshad “Mazda” Shirazi, MD, PhD, associate professor, is a clinical toxicologist and serves as the medical director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center and director of the Medical Toxicology Fellowship.
He graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1997. He completed his residency in toxicology at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas in 2000 and earned a fellowship in toxicology at the University of Arizona in 2006.
Vice President – Michael DeLong MD
Dr. DeLong is a practicing Nephrologist in northwest Tucson. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1999, he came to Tucson for his residency and fellowship, then fellowship at the University of Arizona.
He practiced at Tucson Veterans Affairs Medical Center until entering private practice. He is now a partner in Arizona Kidney Disease & Hypertension Center, where his outpatient clinic has served Northwest Tucson since 2006. He practices inpatient Nephrology primarily at Northwest Medical Center and Oro Valley Medical Center and maintains privileges at all major hospitals in Tucson. He serves as Medical Director at Fresenius Kidney Care units in Central and South Tucson with active dialysis care at these units as well as Fresenius Northwest.
Secretary/Treasurer – Wendy Huempfner MD
Dr. Huempfner is currently a board-certified OB-GYN physician transforming her practice toward consultation on Menopause and the aging woman’s health, and work.
“As a public health nurse implementing high-risk mother-Infant follow-up programs, then as a school health nurse, and Nursing Supervisor of a long-term care facility, taught me what a powerful role community health played. My experience on the Thai-Cambodian border in a refugee camp, reinforced the importance of communicable diseases and world health. In the past few years, I have been an active practitioner, administered medical practices, and developed an understanding of Specialized Physicians, Hospital Systems, the complexities of the business of everyday physicians including documentation, IT, credentialing, certifications, regulations, EMR, billing and insurance interfacing.
“I view PCMS as a collaborator of all levels of health care work including private and public sectors, all socioeconomic levels, including the needs of the homeless and shelters, bridging and supporting physicians with upcoming changes in IT, political regulations, essentially any changes affecting their day-to-day patient care flow. Also, to proactively and operationally interface with any platforms to support physicians legally, politically and economically.
I worked as a Public Health Nurse prior to attending medical school, so I have knowledge and an appreciation of how both local and distance disease ultimately affects us all. I have traveled and worked abroad in a Refugee Camp on the Thai-Cambodian Border, so have an understanding of infectious disease and cultural diversity issues. My private practice was culturally diversified.”
Board of Directors
Michael Daines MD
Dr. Daines is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Pediatrics Department. He specializes in allergy, immunology and rheumatology.
He received his medical degree and completed his residency in pediatrics from St. Louis University. He earned a fellowship from Duke University in allergy immunology. He is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. His research interest includes determining how genetic and environmental factors combine to produce allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, food allergies and eczema, discovering better ways to prevent and treat allergic disease in children.
Mateja de Leonni Stanonik, MD
Dr. de Leonni Stanonik is a board-certified neurologist with additional training in vascular/stroke neurology, neurodegenerative diseases and headache/pain, as well as neurological issues pertaining to women. She is founder of the Vita Medica Institute, which focuses on women’s neurological issues.
Dr. de Leonni Stanonik was the former Surgeon General of the Republic of Slovenia and Consul to the United States from the Republic of Slovenia. She has 15 years of experience designing and implementing telemedicine system in the U.S. and around the world. Dr. de Leonni Stanonik served as the chair for the 2014 Heart and Stroke Walk and is an adviser to the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Ryan Matika MD
Dr. Matika, Associate Professor in the anesthesiology department at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, was raised in the Chicago. After serving in the U.S. Army in Alaska, he attended Illinois State University receiving a BS in Biological Sciences. He went on to complete a Master’s program at Northwestern University and Kellogg School of Management with an emphasis in Biotechnology. He worked as a marketing and finance consultant in a consulting firm in Chicago. Changing directions, Dr. Matika entered medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago. After a transitional internship year at Evanston Hospital in Evanston, Illinois, he received a fellowship and completed the Anesthesiology residency program at the University of Arizona. Dr. Matika joined the faculty of the Department of Anesthesiology in July 2010. He has published award-winning papers.
Karissa Wasiak MD
Dr. Wasiak was the alternate Resident representative on the PCMS Board in 2022. She is now on the faculty as an Associate Professor in the Family and Community Medicine Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a candidate for the Board of Directors in 2023. She is from Las Vegas and graduated from the University of Nevada – Reno College of Medicine.
Kavitha Yaddanapudi MD
Dr. Yaddanapudi is Associate Professor and Chief of the Cardiothoracic Imaging Division at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, a fellowship trained Cardiothoracic and Nuclear medicine radiologist who is double boarded in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine. After completing four years of fellowship training at Cleveland Clinic, she worked as an Assistant Professor of Radiology and Internal Medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital. She also served as Co-Chief of Thoracic Imaging at Stony Brook. She trained at Cleveland Clinic with fellowships in Nuclear Medicine, Cardiovascular Imaging, Thoracic Imaging and Musculoskeletal Imaging.
Melissa Zukowski MD
Dr. Zukowski is Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Education at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson. She attended the University of Arizona College of Medicine and continued her training with her residency in pediatric emergency medicine at the University of Arizona. She received her MPH with a focus on maternal and child health.
Dr. Zukowski worked at TMC in the Emergency Department from 2012-2017 and was director of the Pediatric Emergency Department for three years. She moved to Banner UMC Medical Center last year.
“I have loved being back in academic medicine over the past year and a half where I direct the Peds ED. I love teaching the medical students and residents. Teaching has always been a strong passion of mine.
I am also highly involved with our work with Sexual Assault and Child Abuse here in Tucson and am involved with the Children’s Advocacy Center.”
Her interests outside of her practice include time with her family — husband Tom and 3-year-old daughter, Sophia. They enjoy traveling and cheering on the Wildcats during basketball season. Bear Down!
Jennifer Berg Stepp MD
Dr. Stepp came to Tucson from Ahwatukee to train in the University of Arizona Family and Community Medicine program because of the focus on integrative medicine and providing preventive care in under-served communities.
“I am particularly drawn to preventative medicine and rural medicine. I am passionate about closing disparity gaps of underserved and resource limited populations.”
Her bucket list items include learning American Sign Language and visiting the Christmas Market in Vienna.
Sameer Suhale Me MD
Dr. Suhale is a resident in the University of Arizona Family and Community Medicine program. He chose the program for the integrative medicine education. He is also interested in mental health in primary care medicine.
He is from Chicago and enjoys the warm weather of Tucson for most of the year. He also enjoys being near national parks. Some of his bucket list items are visiting the Pyramids of Giza, traveling to Japan and seeing Mt. Fuji and to go to Jerusalem.
(Student profiles may be updated. Please check back for possible additional information.)
.I am a first-generation immigrant from Colombia pursuing a career in medicine to serve underrepresented communities and improve systemic conditions, so individuals everywhere can receive the help they need. I have been living in Tucson for 6 years and consider Pima County my home. I attended the University of Arizona as an undergraduate student and received a Bachelor of Science in Physiology as well as a Bachelor of Art in Spanish Literature. Currently, I am a second-year medical student at UA College of Medicine. In the past year, I have served as a Clinic Coordinator for Shubitz Family Clinic, a free primary care clinic at the College of Medicine that aids in addressing health disparities concerning access to high-quality and affordable medical care. Additionally, I focused my research on prioritizing the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in artificial intelligence technologies for cancer control to prevent exacerbation of existing health disparities.
As Student Representative, I aim to represent the student body at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and improve communication between students, physicians, and other medical professional in Pima County. As I work toward my medical degree and grow as a healthcare provider, I want to continue serving my community, especially those are most vulnerable, so we can advance health equity within a broader context of patient diversity and social justice. Through Pima County Medical Society, I believe all levels of health care can collaborate to address the needs of our community and make a real difference.
As I begin medical school, I know the journey to becoming a physician is long and full of turns. But I hope to always remind myself of my “why” whenever I feel lost. My “why” is service. Caring for patients who otherwise would be at risk to go without care. Bridging the urban – rural health care disparity in Arizona, through service and policy changes. This is my “why.” And Pima County is my community, and I want to better understand it through working with mentors and the medical community. As a board member of the PCMS, I hope to work together to bridge accessibility gaps and ensure physicians are heard and given the resources they need.
In my free time, outside of medicine, I enjoy watching movies, spending time with family and traveling. My favorite recent place I travelled to was Flagstaff. I enjoyed the beautiful hikes, old-timey downtown and cooler weather.
I was born and raised in Arizona. I completed two bachelor’s degrees in Applied Biological Sciences and Psychology, a certificate in Cross-Sector Leadership and a Master of Science in the Science of Health Care Delivery with an emphasis in health policy. Currently, I am a first-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine — Tucson. My interests within the health care field include the intersection of maternal/child health and health policy. I have local institutional policy experience changing the way Registered Dietitians screen for postpartum depression at my local WIC clinic, state-level policy experience interning for a Maricopa County Board of Supervisors candidate as a health policy adviser, and federal policy experience publishing in Health Affairs on food insecurity in college students during COVID-19 and doing research on federal farm to school programs and how federal school policy impacts childhood obesity. In addition, I have worked in a pediatric breastfeeding clinic as a scribe and was the Director of Client Services for the Phoenix Cancer Support Network, where I have worked with underserved patients all over Arizona connecting them to various community resources.
As a medical student, I intend to continue my work in health policy and advocacy as President of UA’s American Medical Association and Co-Founder and Policy Chair of the Health Policy & Advocacy club at my medical school. I am currently working on creating policy writing workshops for medical students to be able to translate their advocacy work into publishable pieces and continuing my research on childhood obesity policies such as farm to school. Additionally, I am the Lead Coordinator for UA medical school’s free LGBTQ+ clinic, where I will be leading the effort to provide free health care and address the social determinants of health in this vulnerable community. I would be honored to have your vote for the opportunity to serve as Student Representative on the Board of Directors for Pima County Medical Society and expand my impact in policy and advocacy to Pima County at-large.