Poster Fair Header


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA). The Southern Arizona AHEC at El Rio Health (SAAHEC) is accredited by ArMA to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

SAAHEC designates this live activity for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

None of the individuals in control of the educational content for this activity have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

Registration Open!

CME is available for physicians – see the credit designation statement on the left for details. 

Both in-person, and virtual participant registration options are available. Register for each session “a-la carte” style, or choose half-day or whole-day session bundles. Scroll to view agenda details.

About the Summit

The Southwestern Primary Care Research & Innovation Summit celebrates the champions of “Health Equity for All”  by showcasing innovations in practice-based research, quality improvement, and patient-centered primary care and community-engaged health programs from community health, academic and other organizations in the Southwestern United States.

Our goal is to bring together primary care clinicians, researchers, patients, public health professionals, students, academics, and others to share their projects, passion, commitment, and enthusiasm for transforming patient care through community collaboration and patient-centered approaches.

This is a hybrid continuing education event. Registration will be available for both in-person and virtual attendees. There is no cost to attend this activity! 

  1. Feature Regional Community-Oriented Primary Care Innovations:
    Showcase research, quality improvement, innovations, and lessons learned from diverse community-oriented initiatives and projects that facilitated meaningful improvements in patient care, health equity, and community health outcomes.
  2. Network:
    Create a forum for building opportunities around facilitating, coordinating, and improving integration of Quality Improvement and Research in primary care operations through highly interactive, discussion-based workshop sessions.
  3. Create Tomorrow
    Highlight future healthcare leader’s scholarly contributions to the healthcare community and connect learners to faculty, projects, and potential future employers at diverse healthcare sites throughout the southwest region.

Specifically, this event is designed to disseminate best practices in community oriented primary care by featuring projects, works in progress, and care delivery models that:

  • Address public health priorities, health equity, and social determinants of health
  • Make diversity and inclusion intentional
  • Collaborate with and empower communities – projects founded on partnerships and forge trust with patients and community-based partners to shape priorities and services based on assessed health needs and social determinants of health.
  • Foster meaningful patient partnerships – projects that embed the patient/family voice and the lived experience of patients in program development, delivery, and evaluation.
  • Facilitate innovations in team-based systems change – models that develop the capacity of multidisciplinary teams to facilitate evidence-based, sustainable improvements in patient care; team-based innovations in processes and workflows based on collaborative learning, co-creation of innovations, and coordinated change.
  • Address rural health disparities
  • Advance integrated approaches to patient care

The 2024 Research & Innovation Poster Fair – a central focal point of the Primary Care Research & Innovation Summit – represents El Rio’s 8th annual of its kind. This virtual showcase will go live for the public in mid-April 2024 as the official “kick-off” activity for the Summit, setting the stage for the live, multi-session continuing education activity on May 8, 2024. All posters are submitted digitally and will be hosted on an immersive, interactive virtual platform. 

Learn more


El Rio Health – Manning House Ballroom
450 W. Paseo Redondo
Tucson, AZ 85701

Virtual Attendee Website: (link and login instructions provided upon registration)

summit agenda

TUES - 05.07.24

Pre-Summit Workshop: Role of IRBs in Fostering DEI in Research
5:30 - 6:30p

Exploring Ways to Foster Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Research

Director, Human Subjects Protection ProgramUniversity of Arizona

During this workshop, learners will discuss how IRBs can support more inclusive research, the IRB’s role in increasing diversity in research, and how researchers can approach subject selection with an equity lens. 

Virtually, or in person at: 
El Rio Manning House
450 E. Paseo Redondo
Tucson, AZ 85701

Snacks & Refreshments will be provided for in-person attendees! 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the foundational principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and their significance in the realm of research.
  2. Explore best practices for integrating DEI principles into various stages of the research process, from design to implementation and analysis.
  3. Gain familiarity with research methodologies and strategies that promote inclusivity, address biases, and ensure diverse perspectives are accounted for in research endeavors.

WED - 05.08.24

The "Main Event"

7:30 - 8:30a

In-person attendees:
Registration Opens at 7:30a. Coffee, refreshments, and breakfast are included! This session is your opportunity to:

  • Network with colleagues
  • View featured posters 
  • Meet & greet with recipients of the 2024 Poster Awards

Virtual Attendees:
Please log in to the attendee website by 8:20 to check in for the first session.

8:30 - 9:00a

DIO & Director of Medical and Health Profession Education
Director of Family Medicine Residency Program
El Rio Health

9:00 - 10:15a

The Health Equity Journey: An Actionable Framework for Identifying & Closing Gaps in Equity

Director, Health Equity Initiatives
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)


NCQA Accreditation is broadly accepted as the seal of approval in healthcare. Because the evaluation process is performed by an external organization, accreditation status delivers an impartial opinion about the healthcare organization’s standard of quality. Learn about NCQA Health Equity Accreditation and how it helps health systems advance health equity by:

  • Aligning staff and leadership to meet equity goals.
  • Identifying gaps in care, including data, policy and practice.
  • Standardizing processes to improve the quality of care provided to all members.
10:15 - 10:45a

Navigating Social Determinants of Health Needs Through an Innovative Population Health Model

Prevention Manager
Mariposa Community Health Center

Community Care Coordination Manager
Mariposa Community Health Center

Information Services Manager
Mariposa Community Health Center


10:45a - 12:00p

Navigating Afghan Health-Seeking Behaviors: Exploring Barriers and Cultural Dynamics

Program Supervisor,
Services to Afghan Survivors Impacted by Combat (SASIC) program
JFCS of Southern Arizona

Case Management Coordinator,
Services to Afghan Survivors Impacted by Combat (SASIC) program
JFCS of Southern Arizona<br>

Pediatric Medicine
El Rio Health

12:00 - 12:45p

In-person attendees enjoy a catered lunch and some time to network!

12:45 - 2:45p

Advancing Health Equity for Transgender and Gender Diverse People

This discussion incorporates the lived experience of Transgender and Gender Diverse people who will share their personal life experiences and their experiences interacting with the healthcare system. 

Pediatric Medicine
El Rio Health 

Associate Medical Director, Family Medicine
El Rio Health

PATIENTS with diverse lived experiences

2:45 - 3:00p

Get up and move… hydrate, etc. But come back for the Poster Awards & Talk Show up next!

3:00 - 4:30p

Join us as we formally honor the recipient of the Best Overall: Carlos M. Flores, Create Tomorrow Award and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place recipients of the Community Impact, Innovation, and Relevance Awards.

Submitted posters are evaluated and scored by qualified reviewers in a blind peer-review process to determine the winners. Following the awards presentation, recipients will talk about their projects, findings, and lessons learned during the Poster Awards Talk Show – a moderated interview with El Rio’s Chief Clinical Officer, Douglas Spegman, MD, MSPH, FACP.

4:30 - 5:00p

Chief Executive Officer
El Rio Health


Director, Human Subjects Protection Program
University of Arizona, Research Innovation & Impact

DIO & Director of Medical and Health Profession Education
Director of Family Medicine Residency Program
El Rio Health

Director of Health Equity Initiatives
National Council on Quality Assurance (NCQA)

Lizzie Garcia

Session 1 presenter

Prevention Manager
Mariposa Community Health Center

Michelle Morales

Session 1 presenter

Manager of Information Services
Mariposa Community Health Center

Miriam Morales, MPH, BSHA

Session 1 presenter

Manager of Care Coordination
Mariposa Community Health Center

Annie Kunz, LCSW

Session 2 presenter

Program Supervisor – Services to Afghan Survivors Impacted by Combat (SASIC)
JFCS of Southern Arizona

Omid Rahimi, MD, MPH

SESSION 2 Presenter

Case Management Coordinator – Services to Afghan Survivors Impacted by Combat (SASIC)
JFCS of Southern Arizona

Alona Sukhina, MD

Session 2 Presenter

Pediatric Medicine
El Rio Health

Jess Hensel, MD, FAAFP

Panel Presenter

Associate Medical Director, Family Medicine
El Rio Health

Tracey Kurtzman, MD

Panel Presenter

Pediatric Medicine
El Rio Health

Chief Clinical Officer
El Rio Health

Clint Kuntz, DBH


Chief Executive Officer
El Rio Health

Presenting PARTNERS

2024 Planning committee


Erin Dougherty, PhD, MPH

Manager, Grants & Research
Committee Co-Chair

El Rio Health

Felipe Perez, MD, FAAFP

Director, Medical Residency Program
Committee Co-Chair


Tara Radke, MPH

Chief of Grants & Research

El Rio Health

Desirée Rose

Director of Continuing Medical Education


Marisa Rowen, PharmD​

Pharmacy Associate Director

El Rio Health

Lori Ritter

Quality & Innovation Coordinator

Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc.

Darlene Melk, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Mariposa Community Health Center

Angelica Serrano

Director of Population Health

Mariposa Community Health Center

Philip Williams, MD

Associate Medical Director


Karen Weber, DO

Senior Medical Director

San Ysidro Health

Nikol Lang, MPH

Research Specialist

San Ysidro Health

Linda Salgin, MPH

Senior Program Manager

TMC Health

Sean Elliott, MD

Pediatric Infectious Disease


Christine Morgan, EDD, CHES

Assistant Professor
Residency Education Manager