AHCJ 2018

Banner Health is proud to be a host of Health Journalism 2018, the Association of Healthcare Journalists' premier training event for reporters interested in covering health care, medical  research, public health issues, consumer health, ethics and the business of health care.

We welcome the opportunity to provide accurate and timely information so journalists can better educate the public on health care issues. Check out the b-roll of AHCJ field trips

Banner Health conference participants
(Bios, headshots, presentations, story ideas)

Charlie Agee, MD, vice president, Care Management and chief medical officer, Academic Delivery, Banner Health

In his role as vice president of Care Management and chief medical officer for Academic Delivery, Dr. Agee provides leadership and oversight of Banner’s clinical efforts with particular focus on our expanded academic relationship.
Prior to his current position, Dr. Agee was vice president of Clinical Stewardship, directing case management, clinical supply chain management, physician care coordination and clinical revenue integrity. 
Previously he was chief medical officer for Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center and served as the first CMO for Banner Estrella Medical Center.  During his 18-year career in obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Agee served as chief of staff for Banner Thunderbird Medical Center.
Agee is a graduate of the University of Arizona, attended medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle and completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix.

Marjorie Bessel, MD, chief clinical officer, Banner Health

Marjorie Bessel, MD, began her journey with Banner 12 years ago, and has served in progressive physician leadership positions within the organization.

She initially served as chief medical officer for several hospitals, then moved into the Arizona Division chief medical officer role, before accepting vice president roles for Continuum Management and Clinical Integration. She most recently served as vice president/chief medical officer for Community Delivery. 

Dr. Bessel is experienced in a variety of areas of strategic importance in health care, including hospital operations, medical-group operations, emergency operations, post-acute services, ambulatory services and physician-leadership development.

She has a personal passion for empowering patients through information transparency. She is also leading work at Banner to address concerns around physician burnout.

Her clinical background is as a hospitalist and she maintains board certification and active staff privileges. 

Dr. Bessel earned a B.S. in biology, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University and she attended Rush Medical College in Chicago, where she was presented with the James B. Herrick award for most outstanding performance in internal medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Rush- Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago and was honored by continuing for an additional year in the capacity as chief resident.

Bessel named chief clinical officer for Banner Health

Moneesh Bhow, MD, medical director of the Emergency department, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix

Moneesh Bhow, MD, has served as medical director of the Emergency department of Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.

In addition to overseeing the Emergency department, he was named assistant medical director for MedLink, an International SOS Company, in 2007 where he provides medical assistance to airlines and trains new providers at locations in the U.S., South Africa and China.

Dr. Bhow first joined Banner Health and MedLink in 2004. He is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

He received his medical degree from the State University of New York at Downstate in 2001 and completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

Ready-to-edit video interview of Dr. Bhow speaking about MedLink operations
B-roll footage of MedLink in action at BUMCP

MedAire contact: kara.oconnell@medaire.com

John N. Galgiani, MD, director, Banner - University Medical Center Valley Fever Center of Excellence

John Galgiani, MD, is director of the Banner – University Medicine Valley Fever Program, a University of Arizona professor of medicine in infectious diseases, and the founding director of the UA Valley Fever Center for Excellence.
He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts in Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis.)
Dr. Galgiani earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Stanford University and his medical degree from Northwestern University. He completed his internship in internal medicine at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle and residency at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif., as well as a fellowship in infectious diseases at Stanford.

He sees patients at Valley Fever clinics at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.

Ready-to-edit on-camera interview: Galgiani gives the basics on Valley Fever.

Mark Gimbel, MD, surgical oncologist, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center

Mark Gimbel, MD, is a surgical onolcogist at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.

He graduated from the University of Maryland, interned at the University of Florida - Jacksonville, and completed residencies at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

He spent two years as a surgical residency fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and completed a surgical oncology fellowship at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.

Robert Groves, MD, chief medical officer, Banner|Aetna

Robert Groves serves as chief medical officer for Banner|Aetna, a joint venture between Arizona's largest health care provider and one of the country's leading insurers.

Previously Dr. Groves served as vice president of Health Management for Banner Health and chief medical officer for Banner Health Network.

Groves joined Banner in 2005 as system medical director for iCare, Intensive Care, to develop and deploy the first tele-ICU system in the southwestern U.S.

Dr. Groves attended medical school at the Medical College of Georgia and completed his residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Subsequently he completed fellowship training in Critical Care Medicine and Pulmonary Disease. 

Dennis Laraway, chief financial officer, Banner Health

Dennis Laraway joined Banner Health in 2017 as chief financial officer.
Prior to joining Banner Health, he was the executive vice president & CFO for Memorial Hermann Health System.
Laraway has also served as CFO for Scott & White Healthcare and CFO for St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center (Dignity Health).
He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from King’s College. 

Chuck Lehn, president, Banner Health Network

Chuck Lehn is the president of Banner Health Network and has executive oversight for Banner's insurance division. He is responsible for developing accountable-care solutions in Arizona and Colorado and has been an architect in the launch of Banner's joint-venture relationships with Aetna and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona.
In his three decades at Banner, Lehn has served in such areas as corporate finance, rural health care administration, provider network development, managed care and health plan leadership.
Lehn has a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and a master’s in health care administration from the University of Minnesota.

Frank LoVecchio, DO, associate medical director of Banner Poison and Drug Information Center

Frank LoVecchio, DO,  is the associate medical director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center; vice-chair for Research at the Maricopa Emergency Medicine Residency and professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. 

He is board certified in medical toxicology, emergency medicine and medical forensics. He has been a keynote speaker for conferences around the United States, and has provided interviews for media outlets including National Public Radio, The Los Angeles Times, Web MD and The Chicago Tribune.

He is currently the primary investigator on four National Institute of Health grants, including one of the largest emergency-medicine grants ever awarded by the NIH. Dr. LoVecchio is one of the founding members of Center for Toxicology and Pharmacology Education and Research (CTPER).

He received his medical education at the New York Institute of Technology and earned a masters in public health at Harvard University.


Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, medical director, the Center for Sleep Disorders at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson

Sleep medicine expert Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, is medical director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, a University of Arizona professor of Medicine, and a member of the Arizona Respiratory Center, a center of excellence at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.
He received his medical degree from Madras Medical College in Chennai, India, and completed his internal medicine residency and fellowship in pulmonary critical care medicine at Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago.
In addition to his busy clinical practice and medical school teaching, he maintains an active research lab.

Eric M. Reiman, MD, executive director, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute

Dr. Eric Reiman is executive director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and chief executive officer for Banner Research, the umbrella organization for research at one of the nation’s largest non-profit health systems. He is also professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona, university professor of Neuroscience at Arizona State University, clinical director of Neurogenomics at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, and director of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium.
He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at Duke University and received his psychiatry residency training at Duke and Washington University.
He is an author of more than 300 publications, a principal investigator of six active NIH grants, and recipient of the Potamkin Prize for his contributions to Alzheimer’s research.
Under Dr. Reiman’s leadership, researchers and institutional leaders in the state established the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium, the leading model of statewide collaboration in Alzheimer’s research.
He and his colleagues have also begun to establish the Arizona State University-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center, an exceptionally large basic and translational research program in the fight against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
In 2006, Dr. Reiman and his colleagues established the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in order to help accelerate the evaluation of Alzheimer’s prevention therapies, establish a new standard of comprehensive dementia care for patients and family caregivers, and forge new models of collaboration in biomedical research.

Michael Simons, MD, medical director, Banner Telehealth

Michael Simons, MD, has served as Banner Health’s medical director of Telehealth Services since 2017. In this capacity, he is both a clinical leader and, in partnership with a dyad administrator, supports the development of strategies, policies and practices to ensure the highest quality and efficacy for Banner’s telehealth programs.

When Simons first joined Banner in 2006 he was a bedside intensivist and Medical Director of Critical Care Services for Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix.

He received his medical degree from Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Ready-to-edit video interview: Dr. Simons discusses how TeleICU helps patients
B-roll footage: TeleICU in action

Philips contacts:

Pierre Tariot, MD, director, Banner Alzheimer's Institute

Director of the Banner Alzheimer's Instiute, Dr. Tariot has investigated and lectured extensively on multiple aspects of diagnosis, therapy and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and has published more than 250 papers on these topics.

He has served as an author for several studies that have led to Food & Drug Administration  approval of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Tariot has led efforts to refine how behavioral changes in dementia are measured. He has contributed to large multicenter trials of a range of treatments for these neuropsychiatric features. 

Along with colleagues Jessica Langbaum, PhD, and Eric Reiman, MD, Dr. Tariot leads the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative, which is credited with helping launch a new era in Alzheimer’s prevention research. Dr. Tariot also leads the Banner Dementia Care Initiative, a program designed to demonstrate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of standardized care for persons with dementia in a large health care system. He is a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 

Dr. Tariot has earned many awards throughout his career, including the:

  • American Geriatrics Society New Investigator Award for Neuroscience

  • Arizona Geriatrics Society Geriatrician of the Year

  • National Institute of Mental Health Geriatric Mental Health Academic Award

  • UCLA Turken Research Award 

He recevied his medical education at University of Rochester School of Medicine in Rochester, New York. He held medical residencies at National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wisconsin

Andreas Theodorou, MD, chief clinical education officer, Banner Health

Andreas Theodorou, MD, is chief clinical education officer for Banner Health and professor and vice chair of Pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.
Because of his extensive clinical and research experience, Dr. Theodorou was named one of four co-principal investigators for the joint Banner Health/University of Arizona efforts to support the  All of Us Research Program.
In July 2016, the University of Arizona and Banner Health were selected as one of four initial Regional Medical Centers in the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program, a cornerstone of the Precision Medicine Initiative.
UA and Banner investigators have worked with leaders across the country to finalize scientific priorities at the national level as well as focused locally on building the program infrastructure.
The All of Us Research Program has launched its pilot phase at several Banner Health hospitals and will be offered at many of Banner’s hospitals and outpatient facilities over the next five years.