The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson presented the winners of the 2021 Faculty Excellence Awards at the August 11 Faculty Excellence Reception. The ceremony continues the College's commitment to recognize and honor outstanding service in clinical care; diversity equity and inclusion; research; and graduate medical education.
“The faculty at the College of Medicine – Tucson are doing extraordinary things in all the College’s missions. There are so many deserving of recognition—we have to find more ways to recognize and spread the word about all the excellent work and impact our faculty are creating. These awards are hopefully just the beginning,” says Alice Min, MD, assistant dean of Career Development. “The Faculty Excellence Awards were established to recognize the phenomenal work and contributions these faculty are making,” she added.
Faculty were asked to nominate peers with a letter of support describing how the nominee's contributions demonstrated excellence in one of the mission areas. Several committees including the Faculty Diversity Advisory Committee, members of the Dean’s Research Council, past residency program directors, and a clinical faculty panel reviewed the nominations and selected the winners.
Following are the recipients of the 2021 College of Medicine – Tucson Faculty Excellence Awards:
Clinical Excellence Awards
Laura Stephens, MD,
Title: Assistant Professor, Pathology
What the nominator said: "Dr. Stephens is the Medical Director of the blood bank, a trusted colleague, and an honored pathology teacher. Dr. Stephens’ work with convalescent plasma therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic helped patients and earned the recognition of the Banner Chief Clinical Officer.”
Bhupinder Natt, MD
Title: Associate Professor, Medicine
What the nominator said: “Dr. Natt is the medical director of the Medical ICU at Banner-UMC South and is committed to airway management education for fellows and residents. Dr. Natt’s expertise with ECMO helped patients with the most serve effects of COVID-19.”
Awards for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Carlos Gonzales, MD
Title: Associate Professor, Family and Community Medicine
What the nominator said: “Dr. Gonzales has advanced diversity, equity and inclusion at the College for decades. As the Director of the CUP clinics, he has shaped this program into one of the highlights of the MD program.”
Patricia Lebensohn, MD
Title: Professor, Family and Community Medicine
What the nominator said: “Dr. Lebensohn is an advocate for underrepresented minority students and continues to redesign the longitudinal curriculum of the College so students might better understand health disparities that affect their communities.”
The Department of Family and Community Medicine
What the nominator said: “The department embeds DEI into their mission statement and includes efforts across multiple domains: community outreach and service, leading and serving on college committees, curriculum innovations, research, and de-biasing student, resident and faculty recruitment.”
The Department of Psychiatry
What the nominator said: “The department weaves principles of DEI into the fabric of daily work as clinicians, educators, researchers, and administrators. Faculty strive to innovate behavioral health treatment through applied scientific research, rigorous education and training, responsive community outreach, and compassionate service that is inclusive, equitable, anti-racist, and dedicated to social justice."
Research Excellence Awards
Michael Grandner, PhD
Title: Associate Professor, Psychiatry
What the nomination said: “Dr. Grandner’s work in clinical trials has led to numerous publications—as well as the development of sleep-related devices, supplements, behavioral interventions, educational programs, and inventions and patents.”
Deepta Bhattacharya, PhD
Title: Professor, Immunobiology
What the nomination said: "Dr. Bhattacharya strives to create an interdisciplinary sense of community and is a public relations champion for science and a scientific approach to pandemics."
Awards for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education
Laura Meinke, MD
Title: Associate Professor, Medicine
What the nomination said: “Dr. Meinke is a fierce and outspoken advocate for the importance of graduate medical education and for her residents personally.”
Jason Curry, DO
Title: Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
What the nomination said: “With a commitment to integrity and a passion for education, Dr. Curry creates a safe learning and working environment.”