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Virtual Summit

Pediatrics in the Red Rocks Virtual Conference



The Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AzAAP) is taking the annual Pediatrics in the Red Rocks Conference virtual in 2022 for the safety of our members and partners. The program will include one day of virtual live educational sessions along with 5 on-demand sessions for attendees, a virtual exhibit hall, a virtual poster session, and other ways for attendees to connect and communicate. Your registration in the 2022 Virtual Annual Conference and Exhibition will include the live virtual activity taking place Friday, June 24, 2022 as well as access to 5 additional on-demand sessions to be completed at your convenience within the 30-day completion period.


Need assistance registering? 
Contact us — we are here to help! 
602-532-0137 ext. 416


Anne Stafford, MA's Profile

Anne Stafford, MA Related seminars and products

Anne Stafford joined AzAAP as the Executive Director in July of 2015 and became the Chapter’s first Chief Executive Officer in 2018. As a nonprofit executive who has dedicated her personal and professional career to improving the health, education, and well-being of children and families, Anne has helped lead the chapter to several successes including being named the Outstanding Chapter of the Year. With a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and a master’s in Administration, Anne is committed to supporting pediatric professionals across the state to improve the care of Arizona children, addressing critical issues including poverty and child health, early brain and child development, and quality of care and child safety.

Jason Vargas, MD, FAAP's Profile

Jason Vargas, MD, FAAP Related seminars and products

I love being a private practice pediatrician. I have had the privilege to care for children and families and watch them grow at my practice, Cactus Children’s Clinic in Glendale, Arizona since 2004 and I hope to do it for many years to come. I have been able to cultivate my interests in child advocacy, child safety, and caring for children with special needs including Down Syndrome. I have been able to be a part of training pediatric residents, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in my office. I have been able to work with community hospitals and as a board member for Phoenix Children’s Care Network working to integrate the private practice pediatrician’s role in providing quality pediatric care for years to come. I hope my interests and experience can help in some way support our mission to improve health care for children.

I graduated from San Jose State University and Stanford University before my residency at the University of Washington- Seattle Children’s Hospital. I was born and raised in California but moved to Arizona in 2004 with my wife after her residency in Anesthesiology. We have two children and a dog. We love traveling with our children, running, and spending time with family and friends.

Merlin Channing (Chan) Lowe, Jr., MD, FAAP's Profile

Merlin Channing (Chan) Lowe, Jr., MD, FAAP Related seminars and products

Banner-University Medical Center Tucson

Dr. Lowe graduated medical school from The University of Arizona in Tucson and subsequently completed his pediatric training there as well. In 2006, he joined the faculty at the University of Arizona as a pediatric hospitalist and is the Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Banner-Diamond Children’s Medical Center. Shortly after becoming an Attending, he developed an interest in child abuse and helped lead the creation of Banner-University Medical Center’s child protection team, focused on improving the care of this vulnerable population. He currently serves as Chief of Staff at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson.

Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS's Profile

Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS Related seminars and products

Born to a poor immigrant family in New York City, Richard Carmona experienced homelessness, hunger, and health disparities during his youth. The experiences greatly sensitized him to the relationships among culture, health, education and economic status and ultimately shaped his future.  After dropping out of high school, Dr. Carmona enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967. By the time he left active duty, he was a Special Forces, combat-decorated Vietnam veteran. He then pursued a college degree and entered medical school at the University of California – San Francisco where he won the prestigious Gold Cane award as the top graduate.

Dr. Carmona became a surgeon with a sub-specialty in trauma, burns and critical care and was recruited to Tucson to establish the first trauma system in southern Arizona which he did successfully.  Later, while working full time as a hospital and health system CEO, he earned a master’s degree in public health policy and administration at the University of Arizona.  In 2006 Vice Admiral Carmona successfully completed the statutory four-year term as Surgeon General and was named vice chairman of Canyon Ranch, CEO of the health division and president of the Canyon Ranch Institute.  Dr. Carmona continues his Canyon Ranch leadership role as the Chief of Health Innovations. He also serves on several corporate boards and works with private equity and venture capital firms to identify emerging science and technology to translate to market for economic and public benefit.

Wassim Ballan, MD's Profile

Wassim Ballan, MD Related seminars and products

Dr. Ballan went to the American University of Beirut for medical school, followed by pediatric residency at SUNY upstate, Syracuse NY.   He completed his pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco in 2007 and has been in Phoenix since then. He worked as a hospital medicine physician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and then joined the infectious diseases division in 2011 and has lead the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program as the medical director since it was established in 2017, and has been the associate director of Infection Prevention and Control at Phoenix Children’s hospital since then.

Wayne J. Morgan, MD, CM, FAAP's Profile

Wayne J. Morgan, MD, CM, FAAP Related seminars and products


I am a senior clinical scientist and pediatric pulmonologist with research interests including asthma, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary physiology, epidemiology, and pediatric sleep medicine.  My skills as a respiratory physiologist have been critical to the success of the Tucson Children’s Respiratory Study (TCRS) which is a four-decade long NIH-NHLBI funded birth cohort study of respiratory health from infancy through adulthood.  I co-founded the ATS-ERS Committee on lung function in infants and preschool children and have broad experience in collaborative clinical research having been a principal investigator in both the ICAS and ICAC NIAID inner city asthma research networks and lead investigator on two of the core research studies in these networks.  I also have extensive experience with multicenter pulmonary function testing having chaired the Equipment and Physiology Committees of the NHLBI CARE, the NIAID ICAC, and NHLBI Asthmanet networks.  I was also the pediatric co-chair of the 2012 NHLBI-NIAID Asthma Outcomes workshop. I have also been active in cystic fibrosis clinical research and am founding chair of the national DSMB of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a member of the CF Foundation Registry and Comparative Effectiveness Research Committee,and was founding chair of the Epidemiologic Study of Cystic Fibrosis. I have played a central role in the development and conduct of the Tucson Children’s Respiratory Study over the past four decades as a pulmonary physiologist and epidemiologist. I serve on the Executive Committee of the NHLBI-ORBEX primary asthma prevention study. I also practiced sleep medicine for 30 years and have conducted research in the epidemiology of pediatric sleep disorders.  I have extensive experience in monitoring clinical trials in my role as Chair of the CFF DSMB which oversees 30-40 clinical trials each year and as an NIH/NHLBI DSMB chair.

Joanna Kowalik, MD, MPH's Profile

Joanna Kowalik, MD, MPH Related seminars and products

Joanna Kowalik, MD, MPH is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who is board certified by American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, in both, Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is Creighton University SOM Psychiatry Clerkship Director and Valleywise Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry. Dr. Kowalik is Valleywise Emergency Psychiatry Rotation Supervisor and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Director. She is an experienced child and adolescent psychiatrist with a demonstrated history of working in various clinical settings. She has dedicated her professional carrier to patient care, as well as educating and mentoring medical students, residents, and child psychiatry fellows. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Assistant Professor at the Creighton University School of Medicine. Dr. Kowalik served as the President of Arizona Psychiatric Society 2013-2014. Her clinical interests include psychosomatic medicine, ethics, neurodevelopmental disorder, and trauma-related disorders.

Dr. Kowalik has many years of experience in emergency psychiatry, child psychiatry, neurodevelopmental disorders, psychosomatic medicine, teaching, mentoring, administration, as well as policy development and implementation.

Kendal Smith, MD's Profile

Kendal Smith, MD Related seminars and products

Kendal L. Smith, MD, is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow at Creighton University Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program in Phoenix, Arizona.  An Arizona native, she attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and received Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology. She earned her Medical Doctor degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. She completed her Psychiatry Residency training at the University of Texas in Tyler before returning to Arizona for the Child Fellowship.  In July, Dr. Smith will be starting her second year of Fellowship. She will be starting a new position as the Fellowship Vice Chief which she was awarded for her strong leadership and organizational skills. Her professional interests include child and adolescent psychiatry, inpatient psychiatry, Consultation Liaison Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and integrative mental health.  Her specific interests within child and adolescent psychiatry include mood disorders - particularly bipolar spectrum illness, first episode psychosis, and trauma-related disorders.

Salil Pradhan, MD's Profile

Salil Pradhan, MD Related seminars and products

Salil Pradhan is a native New Yorker, now raising his family in The Valley of The Sun.  He graduated from New York Medical College and moved to Phoenix to complete his residency training at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital/Maricopa Medical Center Pediatric Residency Program.  Dr. Pradhan has always been a committed physician educator, now with two decades of experience in teaching residents and medical students.  He has served as medical director for the acute care pediatric service line at Arizona Children’s Center at Valleywise Health Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona for the past 15 years.  His current clinical scope includes practice in the in-hospital pediatric ward setting as well as in the nursery, caring for well newborns, as well as “step-down” patients from the NICU.  In addition, he staffs a half-day clinic focused on post-discharge care of patients seen in the Pediatric Emergency Department, Urgent Care setting, and Pediatric Wards.  In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Pradhan participates in institution and department level patient safety and quality improvement committees.  When not at the hospital Dr. Pradhan teaches at The University of Arizona School of Medicine, providing clinical expertise and opinion to the application of basic sciences.

Dr. Richard Lander, MD, FAAP's Profile

Dr. Richard Lander, MD, FAAP Related seminars and products

Richard Lander, MD., FAAP

Springfield Pediatrics

Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University and Dentistry of New Jersey former chair AAP Section of Administration and Practice Management former chair AAPP Payers Advisory Advocacy Committee.

Sarjita Shukla, MD, FAAP's Profile

Sarjita Shukla, MD, FAAP Related seminars and products

Dr. Shukla is a Pediatric Hospitalist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where she has been practicing since 2008.  She was born and raised in Texas, and attended medical school at Texas A&M University College of Medicine.  After medical school, she relocated to Arizona for her pediatric residency training at Phoenix Children’s Hospital / Maricopa Medical Center Pediatric Residency Program.  She graduated from the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine Fellowship, obtained board certification in Integrative Medicine, and has implemented and is Medical Director of a new Integrative Medicine consult service at Phoenix Children’s.  She is currently enrolled in the Academy of Pediatric Integrative Medicine Academy Scholar Certification Program for Pediatric Integrative Medicine.  She is chair of the Medical Staff Provider Wellbeing Committee and co-chair of the GME Wellness committee.  Her primary professional interests are in wellness, integrative medicine, and education.

Jennifer Farabaugh, MPH Related seminars and products

Jennifer graduated from Arizona State University with a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Human Development and Communication. She later completed a Master’s in Public Health from Grand Canyon State University. Over the past 20 year, Jennifer has worked in many facets of the healthcare industry, most recently focused on advocacy and wellbeing program development for pediatric and med-peds residents and fellows.

Christina Ash, MA's Profile

Christina Ash, MA Related seminars and products

Ms. Christina Ash is a Program Administrator with Phoenix Children’s Hospital and manages three fellowship programs. She has worked with Phoenix Children’s for 12 years and directly within the realm of GME for the past 6 years. She holds two national certifications for GME/ACMGE and Medical Staff/Joint Commissions. Ms. Ash developed and chairs the Phoenix Children’s Program Administrators Collaborative for 5 years and also developed workshop training programs for new coordinators. Recently selected for Co-Lead and Mentor for the AP-APPD Western Region, she is looking forward to continued collaboration within the GME world. Ms. Ash has completed a degree in Cultural Anthropology, and is currently completing a graduate degree in Sociology with continued pursuit of a doctoral degree in socio-cultural anthropology. She has a strong interest in research, including multiculturalism and antiquated religions of the middle east and Mediterranean, as well as pediatric palliative care.

Alissa Darden, MD, FAAP's Profile

Alissa Darden, MD, FAAP Related seminars and products

Dr. Alissa Darden was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and completed her undergraduate studies at Wellesley College. She attended The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed her internship and residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. After residency, she relocated to Phoenix, Arizona to begin her career as a Pediatric Hospitalist. She is currently a member of the Hospital Medicine Division at Phoenix Children's Hospital. She is double board certified in Pediatrics and Hospital Medicine. Her academic interests include medical education, educational scholarship and diversity/inclusion. She was a member of Cohort 10 in the Educational Scholars Program. She is an Associate Program Director in the Phoenix Children's Pediatric Residency Program Alliance. In addition, she has served as the Chair for Diversity and Inclusion for Graduate Medical Education since 2018. She is married with two beautiful children and enjoys sports, creative writing and baking.

Vasudha L. Bhavaraju, MD's Profile

Vasudha L. Bhavaraju, MD Related seminars and products

Dr. Vasu Bhavaraju is the Chief Medical Education Officer (CMEO) and a Pediatric Hospitalist at Phoenix Children’s. She is originally from New Jersey, attended college and medical school in Pennsylvania, and then headed west in 1999 to train at the Phoenix Chidren’s Pediatric Residency Program. Dr. Bhavaraju discovered her focus in in medical education over a decade ago and has had a number of educational leadership roles. Since being named CMEO in 2020, she oversees all of PCH educational programs ranging from university to graduate to continuing medical education. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor at University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix and Creighton University School of Medicine. One of Dr. Bhavaraju’s professional interests are in mentorship and exploring creative and innovative ways to teach.

Course Credit

AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM  
The Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is accredited by the Arizona Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics designates this other educational activity (internet live and enduring) for a maximum of 10.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

MOC Part 2 Points  
Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the activity, with individual assessments of and feedback to the learner, enables the participant to earn 5.00 MOC points in the American Board of Pediatrics’ (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABP MOC credit.

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