Miles of Healing Art profiled by AZ Illustratrated

Our thanks goes out to Arizona Public Media for the awesome story that ran Aug. 12 on Arizona Illustrated about our Healing Art program. Check it out:

Find out more about TMC Healing Art. #AZPM, #HealingArt

Rock ‘N Rodeo chips in fore TMC Hospice

This year two great events came together to support one great cause. The Desert Toyota of Tucson 21stAnnual Rock ‘N Rodeo event expanded festivities with the 1st Annual Swinging fore Hospice Golf Tournament.

The two events raised more than $70,000 to support a wide range of services and programs at TMC Hospice and TMC Children’s Hospice.

Taking fun to the next level

Rock ‘N Rodeo is known for ropin’ in the fun with southwestern dancing, raffles, casino games and a tasty dinner.

Desert Toyota of Tucson is a proud, long time sponsor of Rock ‘N Rodeo,” said Brent Berge, owner of Desert Toyota. “We have a lot of fun each year, but the real reward is knowing every dollar raised supports services and programs that enhance hospice care for patients and their families.”

After an evening of two-stepping, event-goers traded in their boots and Stetsons for clubs and cleats the next morning. With amazing raffle prizes and the chance to win a new car with a hole-in-one, the Swinging Fore Hospice Golf Tournament was a real hit!

How proceeds enhance hospice care

Funds support soothing complementary therapies for adults, and also fund the We Honor Veterans and Hospice Veterans Partnership programs – helping TMC Hospice better care for, reach out to and honor veterans needing end-of-life care.

Children with life-limiting or terminal conditions and their families have special needs, and the invaluable support from Rock ‘N Rodeo and Swinging Fore Hospice means TMC Children’s Hospice can offer specialized palliative care that provides joy and comfort.

“The Rock ‘N Rodeo and Swinging Fore Hospice support a very important community need,” said Kim Fore, director of TMC Hospice. “We’re grateful for the team at Desert Toyota of Tucson, as well as every sponsor and participant who helped make this year a great success.”

How you can be a part of the fun

Keep your spring calendars open for next year’s events. In the meantime, The TMC Foundation works with TMC Hospice and TMC Children’s Hospice throughout the year to identify needs and support programs that make a positive difference for patients. For more information, contact the TMC Foundation at (520) 324-3116 or visit

We Are Champions initiative boosting community’s health care knowledge

We Are Champions patio

We Are Champions is an initiative created by the TMC Foundation to build a healthier Southern Arizona by bringing the community and health care knowledge together.

The group organizes in-depth health care presentations that cover important information regarding health and the health care system – helping each member champion stronger wellness and knowledge throughout our communities.

The presentations are conducted by health care leaders, offering the most current information about the technologies being used at Tucson Medical Center and the opportunity to ask questions and share experiences.

Luis LeonA recent discussion featured accomplished vascular surgeon Dr. Luis Leon, where the crowd learned details about the body’s vascular system and new advancements being used to treat complex vascular challenges.

Members will also receive guided tours of TMC, with information about each department and service line.

“This is a great way for our community to come together and share health care knowledge throughout Southern Arizona,” said Michael Duran, TMC vice president and chief development officer.

Future presentations are planned throughout the year, with the next being held by Dr. Michele Boyce Ley, a fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist.

We Are Champions Adaline KlemmedsonAdaline Klemmedson, steering chair of We are Champions also shared her enthusiasm, “It is my privilege to be a part of Tucson Medical Center’s We Are Champions and I look forward to watching it grow in the future, particularly with your participation. We are excited to present a lecture series, facility tours and much more.  Please join us to learn more about TMC, your community hospital.  And through this experience, you will become a more healthy and informed you!”

For more information about We are Champions, call (520) 324-2296, email Krissy King or visit the We are Champions website.


TMC provides safer sleeping environment for littlest patients

portable cribs for families in economic need

Lori Groenewold LCSW readies one of the portable cribs for a family

Too many children are still losing their lives in preventable accidents, even though since 2009, Arizona’s child mortality rate has declined by 14 percent.

The leading cause of unintentional injury and death in 2015 was suffocation, primarily through unsafe sleeping environments and co-sleeping, according to the annual Arizona Child Fatality Review

Tucson Medical Center is pleased to help provide safer sleeping environments for children who are leaving our well baby and newborn intensive care unit by providing cribs for families in economic need who don’t have a safe space for their little one to sleep.

While in the hospital, parents are taught the easy set-up of the crib and are asked to return demonstration prior to leaving. Along with ensuring babies are safe in their crib, parents are asked to always place babies on their backs to sleep, use fitted sheets and remove extra items in the crib.

This extra training for parents ensures the newborns are sleeping safely in their new home.

Last year, thanks to a generous gift from Arizona Department of Health Services Women’s and Children’s Health program TMC was able to provide 100 cribs.This year, the state has provided an additional 200 cribs, while the TMC Foundation has provided a grant for about 150.

“TMC has long been committed to improving safety for children throughout the community, from offering bike helmets to swim lessons, booster seats and car seat education,” said Hope Thomas, director of community programs for TMC.

“Providing education on a safe sleeping environment and providing a safe space for babies -instead of sleeping in a drawer or in bed with parents – is another way we are able to help prevent serious injuries and help children grow up safe and healthy.”



TMC Auxiliary presents gifts, welcomes new officers

Auxiliary Logo ProofThe TMC Auxiliary is thrilled to present gifts to TMC and announce a new installation of board of director officers! The TMC Auxiliary formed in 1949 and remains an integral part of the hospital providing volunteer and philanthropic support. TMC Auxiliary volunteers work in more than 40 areas of the hospital. In addition to giving their time, they also provide annual financial support to TMC, funding needed internal programs and projects.

The support the Auxiliary provides to TMC is truly astounding. In 2015, for example, they logged more than 78,000 hours – the equivalent of 40 full-time employees! Auxiliary volunteers made almost 1,500 heart pillows and delivered them to our cardiac patients to help them recover. They made and delivered nearly 400 walker bags and delivered them to patients in need along with almost 200 quilts for our pediatric patients and babies in the newborn intensive care unit. Additionally, they provided more than 16,000 patient-assistance visits.

On behalf of the TMC Auxiliary:

▪ Jon Schwindt presented a $50,000 check for the Joel M. Childers, M.D., Women’s Surgery Center
▪ Janet Grubbs presented a $30,000 check for breast screening services
▪ Sue Burg presented a $10,000 check for TMC’s Memory Care program
▪ Diana Bergen presented a $10,000 check for the Healing Arts program and a $4,000 check for TMC Foundation events
▪ Ginny Robbins presented a $7,500 check to provide medical massages to open heart patients
▪ Al Frizelle presented a $7,500 check to provide scholarships to patients who need Cardiac Rehab
▪ Lewis Jones presented a $6,000 check for TMC Hospice family assistance
▪ Shirley Alfano presented a $5,000 check for pediatric staff to purchase Tomas the Turtle stuffed animals for children to hold as they undergo anesthesia

IMG_4123Congratulations to the new TMC Auxiliary Officers:

▪ Dan Bailey, President
▪ Jim Kelaher, Vice President
▪ Gary Hembree, Treasurer
▪ Ginny Robbins, Parliamentarian
▪ Janet Grubbs, Volunteer Advocate
▪ Diana Bergen, Member at Large
▪ Marge Zismann, Member at Large
▪ Barbara Hammond, Member at Large
▪ Shirley Alfano, Member at Large
▪ Carole Fee, Service Coordinator
▪ Lewis Jones, Past President

TMC sincerely appreciates all of our volunteers for their time, talent and treasure!
If you are interested in joining this incredible volunteer force at TMC, please click here.

TMC’s new Women of Honor Courtyard is open – and it’s beautiful!

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The TMC Foundation is proud to announce that the TMC Women of Honor Courtyard is now open following a six-week renovation. The courtyard publicly and permanently celebrates women who have enriched the lives of others in our community. The focal point of the courtyard is the Women of Honor sculpture that embodies the spirit of every woman who has graced TMC’s hallways. It represents TMC for Women and the physicians, nursing staff and, most of all, patients and families.

The courtyard is part of the new Joel M. Childers, M.D., Women’s Center and was designed as a pathway through all stages of life. It is a serene environment for patients who are about to have a baby or undergo life-saving surgery. It provides them and their families with an aesthetically pleasing space to spend time together in a setting that feels less like a hospital. Two sets of doors and additional windows were added to the courtyard to bring more natural light into the hospital and increase access to this beautiful area.

Additionally, the courtyard allows community members to commemorate outstanding women in their lives. Please click here for information about how you can honor a loved one in a public and permanent way.

Later this month, the courtyard entrances by the women’s lobby and across from administration will close for five weeks so that crews can finish construction on Shropshire Hall, the hallway adjacent to the courtyard. During this time, the courtyard will still be accessible from Drachman Hall.

A community-wide celebration will be held in mid-January when that work is complete.

TMC is a leader in addressing women’s health care needs using advanced technology and establishing innovative programs. The addition of the new Joel M. Childers, M.D., Women’s Center allows TMC to continue to be the premier state-of-the-art hospital for compassionate women’s health care in Southern Arizona.

The Spirit of Philanthropy Lives in the Popcorn Kid

Lietha Spirit of Philanthropy

Dorothy “The Popcorn Kid” Lietha shows off the poster colleagues signed congratulating her on receiving a Spirit of Philanthropy award.

It doesn’t take the wealth of Bill Gates or Andrew Carnegie to be a philanthropist. In fact, based on the root of the word, philanthropy, which means love of man, it takes a mindset of wanting to help.

Local philanthropist Dorothy Lietha sums up her philosophy in just a few words, “I do it for the kids,” she said. “They are our future.”

Lietha is receiving a Spirit of Philanthropy Award as part of National Philanthropy Day tomorrow, Nov. 19. Each year the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Southern Arizona Chapter, hosts the local event, which is a special day set aside to recognize the great contributions of philanthropy – and those people active in the philanthropic community – to the enrichment of our lives, our community and our world.

The TMC Foundation wanted Lietha to be recognized as a way to formally acknowledge her extraordinary leadership and vision in support of Tucson Medical Center.

Most are surprised to hear about the accomplishments of Lietha, an outgoing 40-year employee who started in Environmental Services moved to Food Service and currently works in the Wellness department as an attendant in the TMC Optimal Results gym.

She began selling popcorn in the ‘80s near the hospital’s cafeteria as a way to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network, which benefits pediatric programs and services. As the self-described “Popcorn Kid,” Lietha originally charged 25 cents a bag, but eventually raised it to 50 cents. In addition, she occasionally would ask a company or vendor for a donation that could be raffled off, including baskets, stuffed animals, gift certificates and more.

The TMC Foundation reports that Lietha has contributed more than $40,000 over the years to support CMN and TMC’s smallest patients.

“Dorothy is an inspiration to us all,” said Erika Grasse, TMC director of Children’s Miracle Network. “She shows the power of what a single person with a big heart and dedication can do to positively impact her community.”

It’s not just the movers and shakers of a community who make a difference. The dedicated efforts of one person can be an example to us all.

TMC cuts ribbon for newly renovated, expanded Women’s Surgery area

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Tucson Medical Center cut the ribbon for a newly expanded operating suite for the Joel M. Childers, M.D., Women’s Surgery Center featuring the latest technology and improved workflow.

As of Monday, women coming to TMC for gynecological surgery will be cared for in the upgraded operating rooms, with dedicated waiting areas for patients and families.

The former women’s surgical suites are being revamped to continue to serve Labor & Delivery for cesarean sections.

The work has been funded through the current capital campaign, Making HerStory, the TMC Foundation’s current effort to raise $12.5 million to help centralize TMC’s Women’s Services, which have been spread throughout different areas of the hospital. Consolidating resources and creating a dedicated entry point for services will increase efficiency, enhance privacy and improve quality outcomes.

Find out more at Making HerStory.

TMC’s Michael Duran, TMC Foundation vice president, follows in the dance steps of Linda Wojtowicz

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May 5 update: During Saturday’s seventh annual Dancing With Our Stars, TMC Vice President Michael Duran won both the judges’ award and the audience award for dancing the bolero. Congratulations go out to Duran and his partner, Ramona Danielle, for the fun, the fancy footwork and the support of the Southern Arizona Diaper Bank.


Linda Wojtowicz dancing at the 2012 DWOS.

Linda Wojtowicz dancing at the 2012 DWOS.

TMC’s Michael Duran has a hard act to follow. In 2012, former TMC Chief Operations Officer Linda Wojtowicz wowed the crowd with her foxtrot at the annual Dancing with Our Stars fund-raising event for the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona, coming in second place.

Last year, TMC Foundation Trustee Anne Fulton-Cavett was a big winner and crowd favorite at DWOS, Tucson’s take on the wildly popular television program. The event pairs local “stars” with professional dancers who practice their hearts out and then hit the stage to dazzle and entertain, all for the benefit of the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona. Adding to the excitement is the audience’s participation in the voting process keeping everyone on the edge of their seats wondering which pair will take first place.

Duran dances bolero at this year's DWOS, benefiting the Southern Arizona Diaper Bank.

Michael Duran will dance bolero at this year’s DWOS benefiting the Southern Arizona Diaper Bank.

This year, Duran has taken up the challenge and the cause….

How did you get roped into all of this?

TMC has had a tradition of sponsoring this great event as well as offering up an executive to participate. After a few recommendations, I decided that I would take one for the team and dance for a good cause.

What dance will you be performing? What song?

I will be dancing a bolero to the Temptations’ Just My Imagination.

Why did you choose this particular dance?

I really have to give credit to my instructor, Ramona Daniel. She picked the song and did all of the choreography. She’s just an amazing instructor and thankfully very patient. For my part, I wouldn’t have known a bolero from a cha cha or a rumba. I remember though, about our fifth lesson, Ramona asked me why we were doing a bolero and I told her that I had no idea. She laughed and told me that it was one of the most difficult dances. All I could think was, “well, now you tell me.”

How much training/practice have you put in?

I started practicing back in February and I have had around 13 lessons since then.

Have you been studying Dancing with the Stars and dance videos for tips?

No. I don’t even watch Dancing with the Stars.

Have you always danced, or is this a completely new adventure for you?

My wife and daughter both danced ballet, and I have always appreciated dance immensely. But, for me, this is way, way out of my comfort zone. That being said, I have really enjoyed the challenge and the chance to be a part of such a moving cause.

Out of your fellow contestants who are you most concerned is going to dance off with the win?

I think I may have some good competition from Jenny Carrillo…I watched her practice on Saturday and she looked really good!

The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona, the first diaper bank in the nation, addresses a gaping hole in the social safety net by providing diapers to old, disabled and young alike. Diapers aren’t covered by food stamps and there are few resources to support the most vulnerable among us and address this little talked about need. Over the past few years the need has grown and while the Diaper Bank distributes over 600,000 diapers and incontinence supplies, the requests total over 1.5 million.

Support Duran’s effort by donating to The Diaper Bank. Add “Stuff the Box for Michael Duran” on your check or credit card donation, or vote online for him and help him take home the trophy! You can also join us at Dancing with Our Stars this Friday, May 2, by purchasing a ticket, or donate sealed packages of diapers and adult continence supplies, host a diaper drive or give to the Diaper Bank (donations of up to $200 per individual can be applied to the working poor Arizona tax credit.)

Big honors for TMC speech/language pathologist Brenda Abbey

Congratulations to TMC’s pediatric outpatient speech/language pathologist Brenda Abbey! Abbey is one of 17 professionals who have been chosen as Inside Tucson Business’ 2014 Up & Comers. The publication honors professionals who are likely to achieve positions of leadership or high standing in their organizations, industries or communities. Similarly, their accomplishments, leadership and service are likely to have a significant positive effect on their organization, industry or community during the remainder of their career.

Abbey is being honored in the bio tech/medicine/healthcare category.

TMC speech/language pathologist Brenda Abbey with the Debbault triplets: Victoria, Sophia & Cecelia

TMC speech/language pathologist Brenda Abbey with the Debbault triplets:
Victoria, Sophia & Cecelia

Abbey starting working as a speech/language pathologist at TMC in June 2006 after receiving her master’s degree from the University of Arizona Speech and Hearing Sciences program. She is a lead speech/language pathologist for pediatric inpatient care, including diagnosis and treatment for premature infants, children in the newborn and pediatric ICUs, and the regular inpatient pediatric unit. She also provides evaluation and treatment of infants through school-aged children for a variety of feeding and communication disorders. “Brenda’s expertise is in educating families and making them the center of the family interdisciplinary team,” said Mary Lou Fragomeni, TMC manager of outpatient therapies and audiology.

Abbey’s latest accomplishment is the development of a newborn ICU follow-up clinic that is unique to our community. The NICU After Care program is based on her research, and addresses a specific need for Southern Arizona’s most vulnerable newborns. Abbey coordinated with TMC’s developmental specialist Julie Seidl and the TMC Foundation to secure funding from Children’s Miracle Network.

Abbey also mentors new graduates in speech/language pathology during their introductory year, leads training for all new therapists into the NICU, and has chaired Junior League philanthropic projects. In addition, Abbey was selected as a fellow in 2013 for the first class of Arizona Leadership in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disorders, for future leaders in pediatric health care.

Abbey, along with the other nominees, will be honored during a ceremony on April 10.

Congratulations, Brenda!

New TMC prevention program helps young patients get on the right track

The 12 month old who wasn’t eating solid foods.

The 18 month old who wasn’t walking and didn’t know how to play with toys.

The 2½ year old who wasn’t talking.

The 3 year old who couldn’t follow directions.

TMC speech/language pathologist Brenda Abbey with the Debbault triplets: Victoria, Sophia & Cecelia

TMC speech/language pathologist Brenda Abbey with the Debbault triplets:
Victoria, Sophia & Cecelia

Toddlers and young children like this were filling up TMC Pediatric Outpatient Therapist Brenda Abbey’s schedule. Something with their development wasn’t quite right. Their parents were concerned. These children needed help.

Like she does with all new patients, Abbey started reviewing their medical histories and was stunned when she found a common thread: Many of these kids were either born premature or spent time in the newborn intensive care unit.

“It was happening too often,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘what is falling apart for this population, and how can we catch these developmental problems sooner rather than later so that these kids don’t need therapy?’ There had to be something better than the ‘wait and see’ approach.”

Abbey started digging. She looked closer at the records of children who spent time in the NICU – at TMC, as well as other hospitals in Southern Arizona. She reached out to her counterparts in occupational and physical therapy – how many children were they currently helping who had also been born premature or were NICU graduates?

The connection she found – was alarming.

Abbey, along with TMC Developmental Nurse Specialist Julie Seidl, knew what had to be done. Using their combined 46 years of experience, they created the NICU After Care Program. The pair works together to identify babies who are about to be discharged from the NICU and who qualify for the program. These included babies who are having a hard time feeding or had been drug exposed, as well as babies born before 35 weeks gestation. “Research shows that babies born before 35 weeks gestation are at a higher risk for having language and cognition delays later in life,” Abbey explained.

“Our program is essentially developmental follow-up,” said Seidl. “It’s not a new concept, but historically it’s been an expensive model.” Seidl cited a similar program that lost state funding a number of years ago.

“This tracking is so important, and we didn’t want any family to shy away from receiving this help because they couldn’t afford it. We knew that if we could offer this program to families free of charge, it would help improve the outcomes for these children,” explained Abbey.

The two turned to the TMC Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network for support.

“When Brenda and Julie approached the TMC Foundation about funding this program, their research painted a picture of a serious need for this population. We believe this will be a pivotal program for the development of these children,” said Erika Grasse, TMC Children’s Miracle Network Director. “We applaud the efforts of these therapists, and all TMC staff who are able to identify problems or trends when it comes to our patients, and then offer a solution. We felt compelled to do what we could to help these therapists, in turn, help these children and their families. It’s the right thing to do, and we couldn’t have funded the NICU After Care program without CMN dollars. ”

The voluntary program requires the baby to return to TMC about two weeks after discharge. Abbey and Seidl will examine the infant’s feeding and do a developmental screening. Behaviors and tendencies that may seem like “no big deal” to mom and dad can signal red flags for the child’s speech, hearing or gross motor development.

The Debbault Triplets Victoria, Sophia & Cecelia

The Debbault Triplets
Victoria, Sophia & Cecelia

“We are able to identify problems in children this young. If the child prefers to move their head to one side, for example, we’re able to diagnose torticollis, a stiff neck that results from a child having a side preference. We’re also able to tell if a baby’s head is becoming misshapen. If we are able to catch these things early and educate the parents, we may be able to get that child on a preventative track as opposed to waiting until they’re a toddler when the problem becomes much more prevalent, and the therapy track is much more complicated,” explained Seidl.

Parents are asked to bring the child back at 4-6 months of age, at the first birthday, at 18 months and finally – around the second birthday.

Four to six months of age is a big transitional time for a child’s feeding, motor and developmental skills. “At that age, I can’t tell if a child is going to have a speech and language delay later in life – but research tells me they are at higher risk. So I want to see them,” said Abbey.

The 2-year mark is also an important milestone because, as Abbey explains, premature babies should have caught up with their age-matched peers by age 2. That’s when “the playing field is leveled.”

At each visit, the NICU After Care team emphasizes education. They teach these families what to look for and help them learn what certain behaviors mean. They’ll tell them what to expect in the coming weeks and what to do if they don’t see their child doing certain things.

The two started tracking the first babies as part of this program in November 2012. Already, they’ve seen their work – and their push for prevention – pay off. “We’ve had families who need to bring their babies in once a month because of the education they’ve received rather than having to bring their child in for therapy once or even twice a week when the child is older,” said Abbey.

In November 2014, the first babies turn 2 and the team will have hard data on how this program is making a difference. Until then, the NICU After Care Team will continue to advocate for these children, and serve as a lifeline for their parents.

New leadership for the TMC Foundation Board of Trustees

A new year brings a fresh face and new leadership to the TMC Foundation Board.  Christine Aronoff is now serving as chairwoman and Tricia Lohse is the newest board member, both helping the TMC Foundation’s efforts in support of Tucson Medical Center. 

Christine Aronoff  TMC Foundation Chairwoman

Christine Aronoff
TMC Foundation Chairwoman

Aronoff has been on the TMC Foundation Board since 2009 in addition to working at Wells Fargo Bank, where she’s been for the past 17 years.  Aronoff is currently Senior VP and wealth manager.  She has a strong background in accounting (CPA), commercial lending, brokerage and management but her niche is the financial management and coordination of high net worth family relationships, which makes her a valuable asset to the TMC Foundation Board.  “During my time as chairwoman, I hope for successful fundraising as well as continuing to enhance TMC’s already strong reputation in the Southern Arizona community.  I am proud to be involved with a hospital that is so invested in the community,” she said. 

Michael Duran, Vice President & Chief Development Officer with the TMC Foundation said, “Christine’s enthusiasm and tireless support for TMC will serve her well in the role of board chair.  I know I speak for everyone at TMC when I say how excited we are to have her as chair and we look forward to her leadership.”

Anne Fulton-Cavett TMC Foundation Immediate Past Chairwoman

Anne Fulton-Cavett
TMC Foundation Immediate Past Chairwoman

Aronoff inherits the chair from Anne Fulton-Cavett, who has been on the board since 1997 and recently wrapped up a two-year term as chairwoman.  “It has been my honor and privilege to serve as chairwoman.  The Foundation staff is an incredible team and I already miss not speaking with them weekly, if not daily!  I am passionate about the care our superb community hospital provides and fundraising for TMC has been rewarding.  I am proud of what we accomplished and I look forward to Christine’s capable leadership as I pass the torch,” said Fulton-Cavett. 

Duran said, “Anne’s leadership has been defined by her long-standing relationship with TMC that began years ago when her mother would bring her to the hospital when her mother was a resident physician.  Her longevity with TMC has assisted her to understand and articulate our mission better than anyone I know.”

“I admire the people who are on the board,” said Aronoff.  “They carry themselves with the highest level of professionalism and passion for the mission of TMC.  They are very giving, and they inspire you to do more.  Anne is a perfect example of that.  I served under her leadership, and under the leadership of David Cohen.  Somebody needs to carry the torch, and continue guiding the path that these role models helped establish.  I’m honored to step up and help in this way and grateful to have the support of my family and my employer, Wells Fargo Bank, as this role takes time from both,” she said.

When asked about her leadership style, Aronoff said she wants to continue to lead by example but knows there is still much to learn.  She is eager for the challenge.   

Peter and Christine Aronoff with their kids Nathan and Alexandria

Peter and Christine Aronoff with their kids Nathan and Alexandria

“I have some big shoes to fill,” she said.  “Anne is a great leader.  She manages her professional life, family and finds time to make a difference in the community.  I feel deep gratitude to TMC, and this is my way of giving back to the community,” she said.  That gratitude stems from her experience of becoming a new mom – when her now 12-year-old son Nathan was born at TMC.  “He had to be in the NICU for about three weeks.  The staff and nurses were truly miracle workers for my son.  I am deeply appreciative for them, and am proud to be able to give back in this way.” 

Tricia Lohse TMC Foundation Board Member

Tricia Lohse
TMC Foundation Board Member

The compassion from clinical staff that inspired Aronoff to serve is also what drew Tricia Lohse to the TMC Foundation as a new board member.  Lohse recently wrapped up a nine year stint as an EMT instructor for Pima Community College.  Now, she works full time for a dozen private foundations in Tucson that are family operated.  Her latest commitment with TMC allows her to blend her fundraising talents with her passion for medicine.  “I am most impressed with the pediatric work TMC does,” she said.  “My 5-year-old nephew has been in TMC as a patient a few times.  The care units are amazing.  The people are spectacular.  I’ve been in and out of every other hospital in town, and the compassion at TMC is not paralleled.  Structurally, a hospital is a hospital.  But you cannot change the devotion.  You can’t reproduce devotion at the level that TMC has.”

Lohse has spent a significant amount of time volunteering for non-profits in the Tucson area, and feels strongly about supporting TMC’s mission as a community hospital.  She’ll bring a unique background in grant-making to the TMC Foundation.  “My experience will allow me to prove why we need to ask for money.  Grant-making is right up my alley.  I’m also looking forward to the committee work, and more immediately – Rock ‘N Rodeo!

Michael Duran TMC Foundation Vice President & Chief Development Officer

Michael Duran
TMC Foundation Vice President & Chief Development Officer

“We are thrilled to have Tricia join us on the TMC Foundation Board of Trustees,” said Duran.  “Her youth and infectious enthusiasm will help us reach out to a younger philanthropic audience.  Recruiting the next generation of philanthropists is an important next step for the evolution of the TMC Foundation.”

Aronoff is especially excited about the upcoming Mega Raffle, which is back for a second year.  “It’s a big step outside normal fundraising.  It was exciting bringing people into TMC in that way last year, and I’m looking forward to doing it again.  When the winners were announced, it was so fun hearing about their connection to TMC,” she said.

No doubt, there are some long days ahead for both ladies.  Aronoff, who is also a mom of two busy kids, said she thrives on multitasking, and filling her day until it’s about to burst.  “It’s all I know,” she said.  “It’s important to me that my children see me helping out the community.  Whenever I leave for a meeting, I tell them that mom is doing this to help other people, including other kids.  They are very supportive and look forward to helping in their own way.”

Quilt for a Cause sews up a six-figure contribution to fight women’s cancer in Tucson

306172_487358104657020_2049047639_n[1]It’s incredible that little squares of fabric, a lot of time, and loving hands could help raise $125,000 to fight women’s cancer in Tucson.  With more than 200 people in attendance, that’s exactly what happened during the annual Quilt for a Cause silent and live auction at Tucson Medical Center earlier this month.

The handmade quilts were received primarily from the Tucson Quilters Guild.  Others came from across the country, Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom. 

“The quilts were made with love and were accompanied by touching stories about the quilters’ source of inspiration.  In most cases they were made in memory of a loved one or friend who had died, or as a way to honor a survivor of either breast or gynecological cancers.  Rather than making a monetary donation, quilters enjoy using their art of quilting to raise money to help fight women’s cancers,” said Jennie Coleman, Quilt for a Cause president. 

The TMC Foundation was one of the recipients of this year’s auction proceeds.  The money will help support TMC’s mammography services for uninsured women, plus the annual gynecological oncology conference for physicians in honor of the late Joel Childers, M.D. 

St. Elizabeth of Hungary’s Health Center was another recipient of this year’s auction proceeds.

544457_487243101335187_1980270525_n[1]“We feel so honored to be on the receiving end of the unique and heartwarming efforts of this organization,” said Michael Duran, TMC vice president, Chief Development Officer.  “The quilts were absolutely stunning in TMC’s hallways.  It was fun to see patients, visitors and staff stop and admire them in amazement of all the work that went into them.  What a gift – not only to be able to enjoy them, but then to have them help women who are going through so much.  Thank you to the people who worked tirelessly to organize and raise this money.”

Click here to see KVOA News 4 Tucson’s coverage.

Trusts, wills, tax laws and charitable giving…a TMC Foundation tutorial.

As a part of the The TMC Foundation Planned Giving Council educational series on trusts, wills, tax laws and charitable giving strategies, the public is invited to attend the next installment on Tuesday, Sept. 18, entitled, Your Financial Health…A Planning Check Up.

The seminar will be held from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Tucson Medical Center’s Marshall Conference Center. Anyone wishing to attend may call (520) 324-3717 to RSVP or register online at A complimentary lunch will be provided.

During the seminar, Bill Asdell of O’Connell & Associates, P.C. and John Levin of  Levin Financial & Insurance Services, LLC will speak about how donors can maximize their legacy using different investment vehicles  as well as answering questions from the audience. They will also cover how to match values with the legacy one wishes to leave behind.

“We are really trying to help our community come to terms with their values when it comes to estate plans. We want the community to understand the nuances that currently exist to ensure that when you pass, you leave the legacy you really want to,” said Julie Wolfe Beadle, Director of Major Gifts at TMC. “The Planned Giving Advisory Council represents stellar volunteers who are in the business of helping folks understand the difference between a  will, a bequest and a trust is,  as well as providing income streams for folks who have retired”.

Costco Wraps Up Children’s Miracle Network Campaign

Southern Arizona Costco stores raised more than $102,000 during this year’s campaign for to benefit Children’s Miracle Network.

With every dollar raised in Southern Arizona staying here to benefit local programs for the littlest and most vulnerable among us, the resources help provide life-saving equipment and vital health services for children served at TMC for Children.

Tucson Medical Center has been part of Children’s Miracle Network for nearly 30 years.

“As the biggest warehouse club in the country, Costco’s compassion is matched only by the size of its warehouses,” said Erika Grasse, the director of Children’s Miracle Network. In May, Costco participates in a month-long miracle balloon campaign at all of its warehouses in the United States and Canada, as well as in other creative fundraising efforts, such as an annual tea, shown here.

“We are grateful for the dedication Costco employees showed, as well as for the generosity of its members in supporting our efforts to care for children,” she said.

Headquartered near Seattle, Costco Wholesale has raised more than $137 million for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals since becoming a sponsor in 1988.

This year’s gift will help support the Block By Block, Miracles Happen capital campaign, which funded a $12.5 million renovation and expansion of TMC for Children that included private rooms, state-of-the-art equipment and a friendly environment for kids.

Vonnie Steed, the regional marketing manager for Costco, said the company supports the mission of children’s hospitals.

“We are all touched by what they do and what they offer families,” Steed said, noting hospitals provide a safety net for families most in need.

“Our employees have really embraced it and every year, we just keep doing better and better. It just goes to show what you can accomplish if you’re passionate about something,” she said.

Darling Benefactor Leaves Lasting Legacy

Burt Darling in one of the family rooms he named at Peppi’s House, TMC’s inpatient hospice facility.

Tucson Medical Center has lost a great friend and benefactor with the recent passing of H. Berton Darling.

Mr. Darling was a highly regarded local home builder and land developer. He and his family were also strong supporters of the hospital, including donating the final portion of funds needed to complete the $4.5 million construction of Peppi’s House, our beautiful inpatient hospice facility.

In a 2007 TMC Foundation On Center article, TMC Vice President and Chief Development Officer Michael J. Duran said, “His generosity cannot be overstated. Bert has helped us create this beautiful state-of-the-art facility that will provide comfort for Southern Arizona families for years to come.” (Read full story at Darling Gift Puts Peppi’s House Over the Top.)

We extend our sympathies to his family. Mr. Darling and his wife, Mary, left our community a much better place and their legacy will never be forgotten.

The Path Back to Recovery for the Heart

Cardiac Rehabilitation Services at TMC

For professionals bent on improving the health of the community, it’s not enough to save someone’s life through angioplasty, bypass surgery, valve repair or stent replacement. Patients need a path back to recovery, and they need to learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle that will keep their heart problems from recurring. That is the mission of TMC’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.

The 5,000 square-foot facility, located at the El Dorado Health Campus, offers state-of-the-art equipment – including treadmills, cross-trainers, recumbent bikes, row and Biodex machines – plus expert supervision and monitoring by a staff dedicated to helping cardiac patients move forward. “We provide a top-notch program from start to finish,” says Mark Gaxiola, supervisor of TMC’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. “Our goal is to first make sure the patient is safe. We utilize exercise and education as the primary interventions to improve the functionality of the heart and give the patient the ability to combat heart disease.”

Once authorized by a patient’s physician, cardiac rehabilitation can start in the hospital, as soon as the patient recovers from the acute phase of illness. Staff members educate the patient on coronary-artery disease, risk factors and important lifestyle changes. A prescription for home exercise and activities is also presented to the patient and family members at the bedside.

In the next phase, patients can attend one-hour exercise sessions at the El Dorado facility two or three times a week for up to 18 weeks. Sessions are vigorously monitored for heart rhythms and blood pressure, as the staff continues to tweak and adjust the intensity of each workout. Patients are ecstatic about their results, and many become life-long fitness enthusiasts.

A 2010 Mayo Clinic study of 2,400 stent-procedure patients found that cardiac rehabilitation reduced mortality rates by 46 percent! That’s results! “Improving patient health and quality of life through exercise is what our team lives for,” says Gaxiola. Unfortunately, while the services are beneficial, he says the El Dorado facility only sees about 30 percent of patients who could benefit. The problem? – Awareness. “I think the most important thing we can do as a department and hospital is to communicate the benefits and accessibility of cardiac rehabilitation services to our community and its physicians. We are here for you!”

Many patients who have seen the benefits firsthand have started a Friends of Cardiac Rehab program, under the auspices of the TMC Foundation. They help support the facility and bring more people through its doors. The group has already raised $30,000 for new equipment, and has a goal of putting a team together to ride in the annual El Tour de Tucson race. “They have supported us in so many ways,” says Gaxiola. “They volunteer their time and effort and help create awareness in the community for what we do and who we are.”

92.9 The Mountain is Covered with Miracles

We wrapped up our three-day Radiothon with Jennie & Chris of 92.9 The Mountain with pledges and donations of $207,811.08 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Baby Ryan blows a kiss

(Photo: Baby Ryan blows a kiss to thank all of the people who made miracles happen this week.)

Marylou Fragomeni, manager, pediatric therapies, thanked Jennie and Chris and all of the people who allow her to care for the children of Southern Arizona. Her team cares for children everyday, but they couldn’t do it without the support of the people who donated this week.

You heard the CMN Radiothon live over 92.9 The Mountain from the lobby outside TMC’s Pediatric Emergency Department, starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, through this afternoon. We laughed, we cried, we have been inspired by the strength of families facing extraordinary challenges.

Children emptied their piggybanks, employees dug deep to give, 92.9 The Mountain listeners called in donations, local businesses stepped up. And, Jim Click extended everyone’s donation by matching donations up to $25,000.

So many individuals, organizations and businesses volunteered to answer phone calls and collect donations – and thanks to them and our generous community, TMC’s children’s programs will continue to thrive.

From your social media team, thank you for your engagement. Thank you for making miracles happen!

Supporters can continue to donate, by contacting the TMC Foundation at 324-5982 or


Kid Friendly Imaging!

TMC’s Imaging Services makes sure that kids have a little bit of fun when they need imaging services in the hospital. From a mobile X-Ray machine that takes the form of a fire truck to a specialized pediatric fluoroscopy unit. The Imaging staff does what it can to make kids comfortable.

The fluoroscopy unit and waiting room are decorated specifically for pediatric patients with equipment that reduces radiation used on kids by 80 percent. That combined with the child friendly décor and amenities such as a TV/DVD system provide a more pleasant experience for kids.

The fluoroscopy machine was upgraded recently through a grant from the TMC Foundation. The technology now allows for digital pulse fluoroscopy, a digital fluoroscopy loop and dose monitoring system. The dose monitoring system records the level of radiation each child receives, providing physicians with better information upon which to make decisions. The unit boasts a team of specially trained radiological technologists, a child life specialist, diagnostic nurses and radiologists dedicated to the area every day.

Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461