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 Director, Board of Mediation, 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 email@example.com.
PCMS 2022 Board of Director Candidate Profiles
President – Christina Arredondo MD
Dr. Arredondo was elected to the PCMS Board of Directors in 2017. She was on the Relocation Committee overseeing the move to the new administrative office and has participated in the Walk with a Doc program.
She is the Medical Director of psychiatry at El Rio Community Health Services and also served as Medical Director of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Health Services Division. She is psychiatric preceptor for medical students at a University of Arizona College of Medicine — Tucson student-run behavioral health clinic for those without insurance. She completed the Train the Trainer program for buprenorphine. She hopes to help health care providers address the opioid crisis. She is board certified in Community and Public Psychiatry and with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
President Elect – Roy Loewenstein MD
Dr. Loewenstein served on the PCMS Executive Committee from 2015-2019 and was President in 2018. He is a member of the Arizona Medical Association Board of Directors and serves on the board of Arizona Community Physicians.
He is a primary care physician at Tucson Internal Medicine. He graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Arizona Medical Center.
Vice President – 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 toxicology at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas in 2000 and earned a fellowship in toxicology at the University of Arizona in 2006.
Secretary/Treasurer – 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 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.
Board of Directors
Mohamed Ahmed MD
Dr. Ahmed holds the Arizona Elks Endowed Chair of Neonatology and is Associate Professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
He is a graduate of Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt. His training in neonatal medicine included a residency at the University of North Carolina and a fellowship at Duke University Medical School. He has published several articles on pediatric and neonatal medicine in during the past eight years. He is board certified with the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Pediatric and Neonatal-Prenatal Medicine.
Ubair Ahmed MD
Ubair Ahmed, MD, is a pulmonologist working in a private practice. He is currently Chief of Pulmonary Medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital.
He obtained his Medical Doctoral Degree from the Dow Medical College, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Ahmed performed his internship at Dow Medical College Civil Hospital and completed his residency at the Harlem Hospital Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons-Columbia University, New York, New York, and completed fellowship training in Pulmonary Medicine at Harlem Hospital Center and Critical Care Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, New York, New York.
“I feel qualified to serve as board and executive committee member and willing to work to help support the medical staff during these challenging times in Pima County and the state of Arizona.”
Jeremy Chastain MD
Dr. Chastain is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Arizona Department of Anesthesiology. He attends both adult and pediatric patients and is one of a limited number of pain providers trained to help the pediatric population.
He attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a BS from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and worked in research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and at the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He made the decision to apply to medical school and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2012 and completed his residency in anesthesiology at St. Louis University Hospital in 2016 and completed his pain management training with a fellowship at the University of Colorado Denver in 2018. Before coming to Tucson, he served practiced pain management and was Medical Director of the Englewood Surgery Center.
“I hope to carry the spirit of teamwork and progress by working on the Pima County Medical Society Board of Directors. I think that I would be a good addition to the board because I work hard, I am cooperative and I have a different perspective.”
Jasleen Chhatwal MD
Jasleen Chhatwal, MD, has been an integral part of the medical staff at Sierra Tucson since 2018, serving as Director of the Mood Program and Associate Medical Director before being named Chief Medical Officer in January 2020. Dr. Chhatwal came to Sierra Tucson by way of the University of Arizona Department of Psychiatry where she continues to serve as an Assistant Professor. She believes each individual has a unique, authentic story and is grateful to all those who have entrusted her with their stories.
As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Chhatwal is responsible for managing the medical department, which includes psychiatrists, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, as well as overseeing the integrative care team and applied neuroscience department. She strives to ensure consistent, high-quality patient care through the optimization of internal processes that help increase provider facetime with patients. In addition, Dr. Chhatwal leads the facility’s mental health education outreach efforts at national and international conferences and seminars to promote the importance of integrated and integrative care for successful, sustainable recovery.
Dr. Chhatwal completed her residency training in psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, also serving as Chief Resident. Here she trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, psychopharmacology, neuromodulation and various emerging modalities. She further completed fellowship training in Integrative Medicine from the renowned Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Post residency, Dr. Chhatwal stayed on at her alma mater working in a combined community and academic setting. Here she provided inpatient and outpatient services, while also serving as associate and then interim medical director of inpatient psychiatry services at Banner University Medical Center – South Campus.
Rebecca Franzi-Osborne MD
Dr. Franzi-Osborne has been a member of the PCMS Board of Directors for three years and is a candidate for her second term. She is a primary care physician with MDVIP in Tucson.
After graduating from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, she completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She has represented PCMS on the Arizona Healthcare Advocacy Coalition and participated in the Walk with a Doc program.
Wendy Huempfner MD
Dr. Huempfner is currently a board certified OB-GYN physician and 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 I have an understanding of infectious disease and cultural diversity issues. My private practice was culturally diversified.”
Bellal Joseph MD
Bellal Joseph, MD, FACS, is the Martin Gluck Endowed Professor of Surgery, professor of neurosurgery, Chief of the Division of General Surgery and Chief of the Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, Burns, and Acute Care Surgery at the University of Arizona. He is also the Vice Chair of research for the Department of Surgery.
Dr. Joseph has authored more than 310 peer reviewed publications and 30+ books chapters. His research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Department of Defense and DARPA. His areas of expertise encompass traumatic brain injury, transfusions and factor replacement in trauma patients; frailty; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Dr. Joseph is a member of numerous national associations, he is executive director of GeriTrac for the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, president of the Arizona Trauma Association, and Vice Chair of the Committee on Trauma in the State of Arizona. Dr. Joseph is also a member of the steering committee of the National Trauma Research Action Plan (NTRAP). His passion lies in nurturing the professional development and growth of aspiring young surgeons.
He graduated from the Saba University College of Medicine. He was Chief Resident at the Henry Ford Hospital and received a fellowship in trauma and critical care surgery at the University of Maryland.
Michael Ori MD
Dr. Michael R. Ori is an Emergency Medicine Specialist with Sound Physicians Emergency Medicine of Arizona. He graduated with honors from University of Arizona College of Medicine in 2012. He has nine years of experience in emergency medicine and is affiliated with several local hospitals.
Anil Prasad MD
Anil Prasad MD is practicing at Foothills Pathology. His training includes a residency in anatomic pathology at Henry Ford Health Systems in Detroit, Fellowships at Mayo Clinic in cytopathology and surgical pathology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He has also been a clinical associate professor of pathology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
Amanda McKeith MD
Dr. McKeith is a resident in the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Community Medicine program. She practices at the South Campus. She plans to practice as a primary care physician after completing her residency. She recently participated in the PCMS Walk with a Doc program.
Karissa Waskiak MD
Dr. Wasiak is from Las Vegas and graduated from the University of Nevada – Reno College of Medicine. She is practicing in the University of Arizona College of Medicine Family Medicine and Community Medicine program.
“I was also excited about the clinic immersion scheduling, research opportunities, and emphasis on underserved populations. Plus, I wanted a program that allowed me to practice and improve my Spanish skills.”
(Student profiles may be updated. Please check back for possible additional information.)
Mary Ann Alonzo
I am a third-year medical student at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, and I am currently doing rotations in Tucson. I believe I would be able to fulfill the responsibilities of a student representative if I am granted the opportunity. Prior to medical school, I worked in the clinical research industry focused on metabolic disease. I served as a liaison for the laboratory and maintained communication with clinical research coordinators and study managers. In this time, I learned to effectively communicate with different members of a team, all the while remaining open to any constructive criticisms that would ensure the clinical trial would run more smoothly. I believe I can apply these qualities to the obligations of a medical student representative. I am passionate about providing quality healthcare to the communities I serve. I am prepared to take on this role and prove myself to be a valuable member of the team.
Leen is a third-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine — Tucson.
I am a third-year medical student at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am originally from Chicago and moved to Tucson to complete my clinical rotations at multiple hospitals and clinics in the area. Throughout my time here I have been able to volunteer at a variety of COVID vaccination clinics and get involved with community events such as Tucson Meet Yourself. I hope to continue to pursue my residency training in the state of Arizona. My weekends consist of exploring the vast amount of hiking paths Tucson has to offer and indulging in the amazing food. It would be a pleasure to serve the Pima County Medical Society as a student representative.
Derek is a medical student at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine.
I’m a non-traditional medical student running for Student Representative within the Pima County Medical Society. My family immigrated to this country from Belarus, and I was raised by my grandfather, whose struggles with health care coverage and care for during his bouts with dementia along with my mother’s tireless service as a nurse. They inspired me to pursue a career in medicine.
I’ve served as a United States Air Force Medic for nine years and my service has brought me in the past out to Arizona and across the nation. I’ve recently come off a one-year COVID-19 leadership deployment where I helped lead and advance operations from early response, testing, education to vaccinations. In tandem, I’ve served as an EMT for more than six years and was working up until my deployment as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, helping increase access to complex ophthalmic treatments at no cost to my patients. While at medical school, I’ve taken on a position in the Honor Code Committee and Clinic Manager of our Commitment to Underserved People clinic to continue my service before self and hold others to the highest standards of medicine.
I hope to bring my experience, passion for teaching and medicine as well as community service to PCMS to grow as an empathic and trustworthy future physician-executive rooted in my beliefs of reducing health care disparity and molding the future of medicine entrenched in ethics, scientific advancement and cultural humility.
Aarzoo Rakesh Kumar
Aarzoo is a first-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine — Tucson.
Pantea is a medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine — Tucson.
Annette Thao Mai
Annette is a medical student at the University College of Medicine — Tucson.
A graduate of St. Gregory College Preparatory School in Tucson, Coco received a Bachelor of Science Degree in biology from Brandeis University. She has attended the Zuckerman College of Public Health receiving a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. She entered the University of Arizona College of Medicine — Tucson in 2018 and has a Masters of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. She is currently in the Medical Scientist Training Program. Her goal is to become Physician and Health Services Researcher with expertise in geriatric models of care, health administration and epidemiology. Her memberships include American Medical Student Association (AMSA), Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA), American Geriatric Society (AGS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Healthy Brain Research Network (HBRN) Alzheimer’s Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART).
I am an MD-PhD candidate at University of Arizona in my first year of medical school. I am currently the CUP-clinic supplies coordinator and Secretary for the Tucson chapter of AMA. Additionally, I am involved in the mobile vaccine clinics, St. Andrews clinic and Honor committee at College of Medicine — Tucson. Prior to school, I worked as an ABA-tutor assisting children with special needs with activities of daily living. This position showed me the importance of community service and advocacy for those with specific needs and challenges. Prior to COVID-19, I led a collaboration with Chinle High School and the Many Farms Tribal Chapter in the Navajo Nation investigating methods of removing uranium from pooled groundwater. While working with fellow scientist in the Navajo Nation I saw the power of creativity in problem solving. I hope to be elected to this position in order to gain valuable mentorship as I participate in meetings with senior leaders. I ultimately hope to use the lessons I cultivate from community engagement as a physician-scientist and leader in the medical community.
Salma is a medical student at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine.