Tag Archives: sheraton phoenix downtown


Clinical trials change Arizona’s bioscience, business sectors

Last November, Arizona voters resoundingly passed Prop. 303 making it legal in Arizona for companies and physicians to provide terminally ill patients the “right to try” investigational drugs or therapies outside an FDA approved clinical trial.    While it sounded good in the short description provided to voters, in reality, it is unlikely to provide the outcomes one might expect since the manufacturers, physicians, pharmacists, and hospitals are required to follow the federal processes that govern these investigational treatments.  Proposition 303 did not change that.

What Are Clinical Trials?

The clinical trials process is an important step in the discovery, development and delivery pathway that leads to new life saving and live enhancing innovations.  Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for patients. These studies also may show which medical approaches work best for certain illnesses or groups of people. Clinical trials produce the best data available for health care decision making and the studies follow strict scientific standards. These standards protect patients and help produce reliable study results.

Today, in Arizona, there are 1,380 ongoing clinical trials according to ClincialTrials.gov which is the national database provided by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.  These studies cover a wide range of therapies and conditions.  Through the dedicated work of innovators, healthcare professionals, and patients, we are learning more about the safety and effectiveness of future treatments.

ClinicalTrials.gov  is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world and currently lists 187,600 studies with locations in all 50 states and in 189 countries.

How can we speed the path to innovation and give more patients access to life changing innovations?

On April 29th, members of Arizona’s life science industry and members of the community at large will gather the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown for the 2015 AZBio Expo which will focus on clinical trials in Arizona. Event details and ticket information for the 2015 AZBio Expo on April 29, 2015 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown are available at AZBioExpo.com.

Thanks to the support of leaders in Arizona’s life science community, practicing physicians, patients, and caregivers are invited to register for the full day conference free of charge with discount code “AZBusiness.”

The program is designed to provide an update on what Arizona’s clinical trial landscape looks like today and what is could grow to be in the future.  The program includes:

• An Introduction to The Clinical Trials Process by Mark Slater, PhD, Vice President, Research at HonorHealth Research Institute

• A keynote presentation by Matthew Huentelman, PhD, Associate Professor, Neurogenomics Division and Head of the Neurobehavioral Research Unit at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)

• A keynote presentation by Glen Weiss, MD, MBA, Director of Clinical Research & Medical Oncologist, Western Regional Medical Center, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

• A View of Arizona’s Clinical Trials Landscape by Joan Koerber-Walker, President and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association and Chairman of the AdvaMed State Medical Technology Alliance in Washington, DC.

• A Discussion on Funding Clinical Trials led by Joan Koerber-Walker with Terry Urbine, PhD of the  UA College of Pharmacy, Jeremy Shefner, MD, PhD of the Barrow Neurological Institute, and Teresa Bartels from Gateway for Cancer Research.

• A Discussion on Engaging Patients in the Process led by Greg Vigdor, President & CEO, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association with  Brian Browne of Banner Research, Barbara Kavanaugh of the Arizona Myeloma Network, and Marcia K. Horn of the International Cancer Advocacy Network

• A Discussion on Growing Arizona’s Clinical Trials Base led by Nazneen Aziz, PhD,  Chief Research Officer and Senior Vice President, Phoenix Children’s Hospital with  Joan Rankin Shapiro, PhD of the UA College of Medicine Phoenix), and Linda Vocila, BSN, RN of TD2.

• Rapid Fire Presentations featuring Arizona companies with active clinical trials here in Arizona and around the world including:  Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,  Capstone Therapeutics,  the Center For Sustainable Health at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University,  Cord Blood Registry,  Insys Therapeutics, Inc., and  NuvOx Pharma.

By focusing on clinical trials together, we can help find answers for the people who matter most, the patients.


DLA Prepares attendees for Cultural Transformation

An outstanding lineup of speakers and topics will headline the 13th Annual Diversity Leadership Alliance conference, set for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, November 7, at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown.

Speakers Jermaine Davis, April Lewis, Carol French, Mesha Mott, and Meleika Wadley will lead engaging workshops catering to a diverse and multigenerational crowd.  Featured topics include, Cultural Transformation, Positioning Women for Success, 7 Habits of Highly Successful Teens, and Countering Bias.

In collaboration with AZ Society of Human Resource Managers (AZSHRM) the conference is coupled with a highly coveted Diversity Leadership Award that highlights the work of outstanding individuals and organizations.  The learning provided on diversity and inclusion strategies, and six plenary sessions by world-renown facilitators, breakfast and lunch, as well as great networking opportunities, has attracted in excess of 1,000 participants.

“This conference is a must for human resources professionals, diversity officers, business owners, community and business leaders, students, teachers, and anyone interested in diversity and inclusion, managing and mentoring diverse workforces, and effective strategies. We are proud to present the conference to the community at a deeply discounted rate of $69 thanks for our various partners,” said Joanna de’Shay, DLA executive director.

A conference schedule and registration is available here.

What: Diversity Leadership Alliance 13th Annual Conference

When: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., Friday, November 7th, 2014

Where: Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, 300 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ

Cost: $69

Rooftop Garden

District American’s Rooftop Garden Continues To Grow

Out with the old, and in with the new.

No, this isn’t referring to Sheraton Phoenix Downtown’s many guests checking in and out of the 1,000-room hotel, but instead the produce found on its burgeoning rooftop garden.

Rooftop gardenFound in areas such as New York, Chicago and even Montreal, rooftop gardens aren’t too common in Metro Phoenix, but the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown and District American Kitchen and Wine Bar are changing that.

“For as big as we are, we’re always worried about our footprint,” says Chef Jay Bogsinske of District American Kitchen & Wine Bar. “This is something that’s very unique to hotels. No one as big as we are is doing this; it makes our food better for it.”

Growing strong since 2009 on its fourth-floor patio, this rooftop garden has been a plan of the Sheraton’s since day one.

“This was built into the budget, even in the beginning, because the passion was there for it,” Bogsinske says. “It was part of the original vision, to go after District American. When they started digging in the ground, this was already put together in their minds.”

With about 60 different types of produce grown throughout the year, the Sheraton strives to prove that even a 1,000-room hotel can become self-sufficient, sourcing local, fresh ingredients.

According to Bogsinske, the hotel is completely self-sufficient on radishes, chocolate mint, lemon grass, oregano, curry, thyme, rosemary, sage and bay leaf. He adds that with all of the garnish coming straight from the rooftop garden, picked fresh that day, this keeps the restaurant to season.

“A lot of hotels are not as quite in tune to the season as we are,” Bogsinske says. “The garden keeps us grounded, so we plan our dishes around that.”

Rooftop gardenFrom artichokes, corn and peanuts, to sage, lavender, chives, rosemary, thyme, curry, celery and oregano, all of the cooks are involved in cultivating the garden. Fifteen to 20 hours per week go into maintaining the garden, which includes harvesting, planting and composting.

“Me and one other person will come up here everyday or every other day,” Bogsinske says. “It’s a moment of zen from going 200 miles an hour downstairs to coming up here and taking care of it. There’s nothing better than something you love with your hands, a craft you take care of.”

But it’s not just the District American team who tend the garden; they’ve partnered with Singh Farms, a 20-acre, sustainable farm located in Scottsdale. This is where District American sources its nutrient-rich soil.

“We save all of our scraps and are part of the composting program at Singh Farms,” Bogsinske says. “We get better growth than most people because of the strength and nutrients of the soil.”

According to Bogsinske and Katie Brashear, complex director of public relations for Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, the relationship between District American and Singh Farms is unique ― built and strengthened over time. They say it’s not just about buying and eating local, but, more importantly, educating one’s self in learning to grow and sustaining a garden.

“Sheraton is a corporate hotel, but we have so much passion about what we do and that resonates from the hotel to the culinary side, and we follow through,” Brashear says. “It’s everything from starting with the soil to the inception, to cultivating and nurturing, so we have the freshest product identical to what you can find, quality-wise, at Singh Farms.”

Currently, the garden is at 75 feet, with plans to add another 30 feet by the end of this year. Bogsinske says that they hope to double its size in the near future.

To view the rooftop garden for yourself, visit District American at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown.


If You Go: District American Kitchen and Wine Bar
320 N. 3rd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 817-5400