UA College of Medicine – Tucson Looks to Increase Faculty Diversity From Within

Release Date: 
May 26, 2015

With a goal to expand the number of faculty-clinicians representative of the population of Arizona, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Faculty Fellows Program is seeking to recruit new fellows and mentors.   

The Faculty Fellows Mentoring Program is an initiative developed collaboratively between the College’s Office of Faculty Affairs and its Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the program seeks to increase the engagement, retention and promotion of faculty members from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and offers individualized mentorship, career planning, research training, networking and funding for professional development.

The Faculty Fellows Program is recruiting new faculty fellows from within the college and the application deadline is Friday, June 5

The program is one of many health-care diversity “pipeline” programs created by or supported by the Arizona Health Sciences Center that aims to decrease health disparities and improve health outcomes for Arizonans.

Francisco A. Moreno, MD, professor of psychiatry at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and the assistant vice president for diversity and inclusion at the Arizona Health Sciences Center, co-leads the Faculty Fellows Mentoring Program with another diversity champion at the college, Anne Wright, PhD. Dr. Wright oversees all aspects of the college’s Faculty Affairs Office, including designing and implementing career and leadership development programs, faculty recruitment and promotion and the enhancement of faculty diversity.

The first cohort of faculty members celebrated the successful completion of the program on May 5 with 11 fellows empowered with improved teaching skills, the tools to increase scholarly productivity and funding success, as well as greater awareness of how to pursue leadership opportunities and promotion.

Fellows and mentors both expressed enthusiasm for the program, citing greater understanding of the need and challenges in creating a diverse health-care workforce and the benefits of mentorship for early-career faculty clinicians. Both also expressed an appreciation of the program for providing clear strategies for career advancement that can be shared throughout the college.   

2015 Fellows:

Faiz Anwer, MD, assistant professor of medicine and a member of the UA Cancer Center

Christian Bime, MD, MSc, assistant professor of medicine and a member of the Arizona Respiratory Center

Samuel Campos, PhD, assistant professor of immunobiology and an associate member of the UA Cancer Center

Paola Devis, MD, assistant professor of radiology, Department of Medical Imaging

Francine Gachupin, PhD, MPH, CIP, assistant professor and assistant director of both the UA Cancer Center Health Disparities Institute and the Native American Research and Training Center

Marisa Menchola, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology.

Valentine Nfonsam, MD, MS, assistant professor of surgery and a memberof the UA Cancer Center

Violet Siwik, MD, assistant professor of family and community medicine and interim associate dean of student affairs

Sasha Taleban, MD, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program

Amelia Villagomez, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry

Natalie Whitfield, PhD, assistant professor of pathology

2015 mentors:

Abraham Jacob, MD, associate professor and vice chair of the Division of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and director of the UA Ear Institute

Jesse Martinez, PhD, professor of cellular and molecular medicine and radiation oncology, a member of the UA Cancer Center and director of research education and facilities

Carlos Galvani, MD, director of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery and associate professor of surgery

Judith Gordon, PhD, associate professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, and associate head for research

Jane Mohler, MSN, MPH, PhD, associate professor of geriatrics, associate director of the Arizona Center on Aging, co-director of the Arizona Geriatric Education Center

Samuel M. Keim, MD, MSc, professor and head of the Department of Emergency Medicine

Mindy Fain, MD, professor of medicine;chief of  the Division of Geriatrics, General Medicine and Palliative Medicine; and executive director of practice innovation in health sciences

Jennie R. Joe, PhD, professor of family and community medicine, director of the Native American Research and Training Center and an associate member of the UA Cancer Center

Myra Muramoto, MD, MPH, professor and head of the Department of Family and Community Medicine

Felicia Goodrum Sterling, PhD, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology and cellular and molecular medicine

Alexander G. Chiu, MD, professor and chair, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

To learn more about the Faculty Fellows Program, please email Lydia Kennedy, MEd,