Happy Autumn! Here is a summary of recent stories published about the Steele Center, the Department of Pediatrics
and Diamond Children's. Want to receive updates as they happen? Please follow us on Facebook.

15th Annual Tee Up for Tots Supports Pediatric Cancer Research

The 15th annual "Tee Up For Tots" golf tournament raised approximately $90,000 for its "Family Support Program" and pediatric cancer research at the Steele Center. Jerry and Kathy Zillman founded Tee Up For Tots in 1999, to honor their daughter, Courtney Page Zillman, who passed away from neuroblastoma on November 25, 1999. Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops in the nerve tissue. Since the devastating loss of their daughter, the Zillmans have supported the Steele Center and created the "Courtney Page Zillman Fellowship," which supports a promising young graduate student for two years to conduct pediatric cancer research at the Steele Center. They have raised more than $1 million for pediatric cancer research conducted by Steele Center researchers over the past 15 years. Read more  Read AZ Star article  View slideshow

19th Annual Fathers of the Year Awards Dinner and Gala Raises $100,000 for Type 1 Diabetes Research and Programs

Father's Day Council Tucson celebrated five outstanding Tucson fathers at its 19th annual "Fathers of the Year Awards Dinner and Gala" on June 14 at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. The event raised approximately $100,000 for type 1 diabetes research, clinical programs, faculty recruitment and the "Father's Day Council Tucson Endowed Chair for Type 1 Diabetes" at the Steele Center. Read more 


Steele Center Receives 5-Year Grant, Enabling High School Students to Participate in the 'Summer Institute on Medical Ignorance"

The Steele Center has received a 5-year research education grant enabling high-school students from around Arizona to participate in the "Summer Institute on Medical Ignorance," known as SIMI, at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson. The program gives students hands-on basic science research experience working as paid scientists with physicians and researchers throughout the UA College of Medicine - Tucson. Each student has a mentor in the lab, guiding the research project. Read more  

'Gabe's Chemo Duck Program' Donates 'Chemo Duck' to Diamond Children's to Help Reduce Fear of Cancer Procedures and Treatments in Children

A child with cancer endures many procedures and treatments that can be both painful and scary. One of the many procedures patients undergo is having a "port" surgically implanted in their chests-which makes it much easier to have blood drawn, receive chemotherapy and other medications. This surgical procedure, like others, may terrify a child. A new program launched at Diamond Children's seeks to minimize a child's fear about receiving a port and other procedures related to their treatment. Read more  View news clip

Dr. Brenda Wittman is an Award-Winning Figure Skater

It's 2:45 a.m. - long before the sun rises - and pediatric hematologist/oncologist Brenda Wittman is driving to Scottsdale. She is not driving up there to see patients, however. She''s making the drive so she can get two hours of practice in for her favorite activity: competitive figure skating.
About six times a month, Wittman makes this early morning trek to Scottsdale, and then returns to Tucson to begin seeing her young patients at 9:30 a.m. "It's a challenge, but worth it," Wittman says. As a pediatric hematologist/oncologist, and an assistant professor in the Section of Hematology/Oncology/BMT in the Department of Pediatrics, Wittman takes care of children with cancer and blood disorders.  Read more

First Pediatric Integrative 'Medicine in Residency' Program Launched Nationally

The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) has launched the first national online pediatric integrative medicine (PIM) curriculum, designed to embed PIM education into residency training."The program is the first of its kind in pediatrics and will allow pediatric residents to learn integrative approaches along with their conventional medical training," said Hilary McClafferty, MD, FAAP, director of the Pediatric Integrative Medicine in Residency (PIMR) and assistant fellowship director at AzCIM. "We are thrilled to have such a strong group of pilot sites involved and hope this pilot project will help propel the wave of interest and momentum building in this important field of pediatrics."  Read more   View news clip

First Day of School is First School Day Ever for Tucson Girl, 9


Leukemia. Cancer. Two words nobody wants to hear, especially when it comes to a child.

But 55 to 60 children in Southern Arizona are diagnosed with cancer every year, said Dr. Emmanuel Katsanis, a pediatric oncologist at Diamond Children's. Up to 15 of them, like Zay, have acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of leukemia. When she was 4 years old, Azayliah, pronounced like azalea, started getting recurring colds.  Read more   

Harping for Health

KGUN | Harpist David Pavolovich has been providing music therapy to patients at hospitals for decades. The non-profit agency Shine On Tucson is supporting his musical gift to kids and their families here at Diamond Children's at the University of Arizona Medical Center. He goes to the hospital five times a week to bring comfort to both children and adults. Pavolovich plays his harp in patients' rooms and in hallways to help ease concerns about doctor treatments and hospital stays. Pavlovich knows that studies show music can help stabilize heart rates, regulate blood pressure and help people breath easier.  View news clip

ECMO Program, Led by Dr. Robin Meyer, Receives Award for Excellence in Life Support

The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Services Program at The University of Arizona Medical Center - University Campus and Diamond Children's has received the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support.Granted by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization, or ELSO, the award signifies a commitment to exceptional patient care and demonstrates an assurance of high quality standards, specialized equipment and supplies, defined patient protocols and advanced education to all staff members. The medical director of the overall program is pediatric intensivist Dr. Robyn Meyer, a UA associate professor in the critical care section of the department of pediatrics. Read more 


Department of Pediatrics Welcomes New Faculty

The following individuals recently joined the department and The University of Arizona Health Network: Top row (from left): Sofia Khera, MD (Section: Hospital Medicine); Stephen Metz, MD (Section Hospital Medicine); Marie Olson, MD (Section Hospital Medicine); Mridula Aggarwal, MD (Section: Hospital Medicine); Bottom row (from left):  Andrea Hobson, MD (Section: Neonatology); Jeffrey Rein, MD (Section: Hospital Medicine); Lesta Whalen, MD (Section: Critical Care); Michael Seckeler, MD (Section: Cardiology)  More info here, here and here.

Tracy Goggin Promoted to Assistant Administrator - Clinical Operations, Pediatrics

Tracy Goggin has been appointed assistant administrator - clinical operations, pediatrics.
Goggin will oversee the pediatric service line revenue cycle to include non-payor contract negotiations and management, as well as work closely with The University of Arizona Health Network corporate leadership on global corporate projects. Goggin recently was appointed project co-lead for ICD-10 Coder Education, project lead for Outpatient Practice Plan Coding Alignment and Subject Matter Expert for EPIC conversion.Goggin has worked with the University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics since 1995. Read more

More Babies Born Dependent on Prescription Drugs

KVOA | There is a new disturbing problem with an increase of infants born dependent on prescription pain killers. At Diamond Children's we found an increase in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome cases. In the past, doctors used to see one or two cases a year. Now, every month at least one baby is born dependent on prescription drugs. The symptoms are heartbreaking. "They scream and they cry and they pull their legs up and they're visibly in discomfort," says Dr. Alan Bedrick, Chief of Neonatology.  View news clip
UA Steele Children's Research Center
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Tucson, AZ 85724