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Arizona Health Champion Award

All of Us UArizona-Banner's “Arizona Health Champion” award series aims to recognize health professionals, researchers, health educators, and community partners who are promoting health research, public health initiatives, diversity in research, and increased access to health programs and education for underserved communities. 

Meet the Awardees

Meet the awardees of the All of Us UArizona-Banner "Arizona Health Champion" award. Want to nominate a health champion? Email us at

Berta Carbajal

Berta is a native Arizonan who has served the Hispanic community in Phoenix, AZ as a third generation ‘Promotora de la Salud’/ Community Health Educator for over 50 years. Since 2004, she has been a promotora with the Universityof Arizona and Arizona State University, as a research specialist. Currently, she provides awareness and educational research programs on Alzheimer’s and other related dementias, work that she dedicates in her beloved mother’s memory. In 2009, she founded the Promotores HOPE (Helping Other Promotores Excel) Network, which is dedicated to providing a forum for education and collaboration and to celebrate the unselfish service of all promotores. Berta proudly serves on several boards, task force groups and leadership councils as a Promotora de Salud/Community Health Educator continuing her work with the Hispanic community and serving Maricopa County.

Sairam Parthasarathy, MD

Sairam Parthasarathy, MD serves as the Contact Principal Investigator for the NIH-funded Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID Disparities for the state of Arizona. As part of this effort he is working with 3 other PIs in Northern Arizona University (Dr. Sabo), Arizona State University (Dr. Oesterle), Mayo Clinic (Dr. Doubeni) and Arizona Community Health Worker Organization (AzCHOW; Ms. Meraz) to address health disparities related to acute COVID, long-COVID, and vaccinations. This program has been working hard since September 2020 to address the disproportionate burden of COVID-related disparities borne by people of color in the state of Arizona. Arizona CEAL program is part of 21-state alliance of CEAL programs across the nation that is addressing health disparities in their state. The Arizona CEAL program dovetails with the NIH-funded Long-COVID program (RECOVER) adult cohort in Arizona for which Dr. Parthasarathy serves as one of the Multiple PIs.

Jesus “Chucho” Ruiz Vai Sevoi – Eudeve (Opata) Tlamanalcah 

Over the past 20 years, Jesus “Chucho” Ruiz Vai Sevoi – Eudeve (Opata) Tlamanalcah has transformed the lives of countless youth through a “La Cultura Cura” (“The Culture Cures”) approach with grassroots organizing and youth engagement, and later as an employee of Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC). Chucho has always answered the call to meet the needs of the Chicana community as cultural advisor, authentic community leader, and “barrio intellectual.” In the last seven years, Chucho has been intentional in engaging men and boys through collaborations with local community organizations, leading discussions on the meaning of healthy masculinity. 

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Jimmy Thomason

Jimmy Thomason is the executive director of the Aunt Rita’s Foundation, an organization “dedicated to the elimination of, and suffering from, HIV and AIDS” (Aunt Rita’s Foundation). Jimmy’s previous experience includes work as the Vice President of Global Human Resources at Bank of America, in human resources for Hilton Hotels, and assistant to the CEO at The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona. Throughout his career, Jimmy has served in multiple advocacy roles for the LGBTQ+ community and has earned awards for his volunteer work from organizations like Southwest Center, one-n-ten, Phoenix Pride, Aunt Rita’s Foundation, and more.

Jimmy also served as a panelist in our recent "Myths, Stigmas, and Barriers in LGBTQ+ Health" webinar, where he helped us confront, dispel, and correct common LGBTQ+ health myths.

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David Coon, PhD

David W. Coon, is an associate dean of research initiatives, support, and engagement and professor in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, the director of the Center for Innovation in Healthy & Resilient Aging and co-lead of Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement for Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He received his PhD from Stanford University and is the recipient of the Rosalynn Carter National Leadership in Caregiving Award and the 2016 President's Medal for Social Embeddedness. Coon leads research projects and designs and evaluates interventions, such as CarePRO and EPIC, for culturally diverse older adults with chronic disease. His work has been recognized by the American Psychological Association, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Administration on Aging’s Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program, and more.

Ann-Marie Alameddin 

As President and CEO of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA), Ann-Marie Alameddin keeps her expertise with the needs of both Arizona hospitals and patients alike at the forefront of her work. With an extensive background in community service and organizing, she is well-versed in bringing people and organizations together not only to exchange ideas, but to take affirmative action and achieve desired results in driving health policy.

Ann-Marie was recently recognized for her work during the COVID-19 response with a Health Care Heroes Award from the Phoenix Business Journal and was named one of the 2020 Most Influential Women by AZ Business Magazine. Despite the challenges COVID-19 created for healthcare, Ann-Marie led policy and advocacy efforts to protect Arizona hospitals by securing hospital payment increases of $1.2 billion; expand telepharmacy for small rural hospitals...

Michele Halyard, MD, FASTRO 

Dr. Michele Y. Halyard was appointed as the Suzanne Hanson Poole Vice Dean of the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in April 2013 responsible for operational integration of the three campus of the Mayo’s national medical school in Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida.  In addition Dr. Halyard, is the inaugural Dean of the Arizona Campus of the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine which opened in July 2017. 

Dr. Halyard is a professor of radiation oncology in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Sciences and is board-certified in therapeutic radiology. Her area of expertise is in the treatment of breast cancer. Dr. Halyard became a member of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, in 1989 and went on to chair the department...

Karen Lutrick, PhD

Karen Lutrick, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Family and Community Medicine in the College of Medicine – Tucson with expertise in disaster medicine research, Latinx health, and dissemination and implementation sciences. Additionally, she is the Director of the National Foundation of Emergency Medicine, which supports the development of young career academic Emergency Medicine scientists by expanding research, advancing best practices and clinical excellence, and engaging in multi-institutional research in Emergency Medicine.

Read more about Dr. Lutrick's work with the Arizona Healthcare, Emergency Response, and Other Essential workers Surveillance (AZ HEROES) Study.

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