Tag Archives: white house

Dr. Connie Mariano 2

Mariano transitions from White House to children’s health

Although she doesn’t, Dr. Connie Mariano could boast about her title as the first Filipino American in history to receive the rank of Navy Rear Admiral. However, when she reflects on her past, this “first” may not seem quite as significant as another first: “the first patient.” This is how Dr. Mariano, former White House physician, referred to her most important patient: the president of the United States.

Mariano served for nine years as the White House physician under President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush.

Mariano recently published a captivating book about her experiences at the White House. The memoir, titled “The White House Doctor: My Patients Were Presidents,” is written in such a way that you feel as if you’re sitting down with Mariano herself, listening to stories about her years caring for the most important patients of her medical career.

Since 2001, Mariano has lived and served people here in the Valley. After four years working as a consultant in the Executive Health Care Program at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Mariano established the Center for Executive Medicine, a medical concierge practice for CEOs and their families. Framed pictures of Mariano being sworn in as Rear Admiral and posing with Presidents and other world leaders adorn the walls of her medical office, furnished to resemble the West Wing of the White House.

While Mariano has spent her life in innovative service to others, she’s not finished yet. Recently, Mariano was nominated and chosen to sit on the board of directors for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Ever since Mariano’s younger sister came close to death at the age of 3 after accidentally ingesting poisonous liquid, Mariano, who played a vital role in saving her sister’s life, has recognized the importance of quality pediatric care.

Now, a mother of two and a stepmother of two, Mariano continues to see the need for excellent pediatric medicine and as a physician who cares for adults, oftent sees the dangerous effects of unhealthy choices that could have been prevented in childhood.

“As a parent, I can definitely see the importance of (pediatric care),” said Mariano. “But also as a physician who believes in preventative medicine, I think if you can give good care in the pediatrics world, get (children) started with good prevention of disease and good health habits, as well as educate the parents, you’ll have a healthier population.”

When discussing what excited her about the board position with PCH, Mariano said, “The most significant thing was to be part of a great team of people who are really going to make a difference in childcare here in the Valley.”

Mariano looks forward to acting as a liaison between Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the federal government and using the connections she has in Washington to contribute to the growing institution.

“There’s a reason I’m in this position in my life,” Mariano said. “The best thing to do about it is to touch lives.”

With every life she encounters, Mariano asks, “How can I help that life be better?” As a board member for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Mariano will be able to contribute to the betterment of thousands of young lives.

Wendy Jameson

Wendy Jameson – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Wendy Jameson – Co-founder and CEO, Colnatec

Jameson, who earned a 2011 White House “Champion of Change” award, has developed and launched multiple technology companies as both a consultant and founder. This includes a multinational consulting organization, her self-owned company, Potentiate, and Colnatec. Colnatec is the only company in the world designing and developing state of the art manufacturing process control sensors for thin film measurement of high temperature processes.

Surprising fact: “I’m an introvert. I’m loud and seemingly outgoing, but I’m far more comfortable with a good book.”

Biggest challenge: “Allowing myself to take some credit for Colnatec’s wins. I’m not as good at recognizing my own contributions as I am in recognizing others’ contributions.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

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How could budget cuts impact Arizona?

The White House released a list of impacts to Arizona from automatic budget cuts that are set to take hold this week.

The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers reflect the impact of the cuts this year. Unless Congress acts by Friday, $85 billion in cuts are set to take effect from March-September.

As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House didn’t have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.

The White House says the losses that Arizona would incur as a result of the automatic budget cuts include:

EDUCATION: $17.7 million in lost funding for K-12 schools. The lost funding could result in about 240 teaching and aide jobs being put at risk. Additionally, Arizona would lose about $10 million for 120 teachers and staff who help children with disabilities.

— Head Start services would be eliminated for about 1,000 children in Arizona.

— About 2,300 fewer low-income students in Arizona would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 330 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

ENVIRONMENT: Arizona would lose $2.1 million in funding for efforts to protect air and water and guard against pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.

MILITARY: About 10,000 civilian employees for the Department of Defense would be furloughed. That would reduce gross pay by $52 million.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: Arizona would lose $298,000 in grants for law enforcement.

JOBS: Arizona would lose $781,000 in funding for job-search assistance. That translates to 26,000 fewer people getting help to find jobs.

CHILDREN: Up to 500 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care.

HEALTH: About 2,500 fewer children will receive vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza and Hepatitis B.

— The state will lose $611,000 for improving its ability to respond to public health threats, such as infectious diseases, natural disasters and other events. In addition, Arizona will lose about $1.9 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse. The state also will lose $186,000 resulting in around 4,600 fewer HIV tests.

WOMEN: Arizona could lose up to $132,000 for services to victims of domestic violence, meaning 500 fewer victims could be served.

SENIORS: More than $1 million for providing meals to seniors could be lost.

BORDER: U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not be able to keep the same staffing levels of Border Patrol agents and CBP officers. Funding and staffing reductions would increase wait times at airports and weaken security between ports of entry. The White House didn’t provide specific financial figures on how the budget cuts will affect ports of entry in Arizona.

Anne Stafford photo

Valley woman honored as a ‘Champion of Change’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Anne Stafford, Director of Communications and Development for Community Health Charities of Arizona (CHC-AZ) was honored at the White House on Friday, August 10, 2012 along with 11 other parents as “Champions of Change.” These extraordinary parents devoted their time and effort to their PTA chapters across the country and had the opportunity to share their stories with Administration officials and PTA members from across the country. The Champions of Change program was created to honor ordinary Americans doing great work in their communities.

“President Obama knows how important parent involvement is in education, and we are excited to welcome PTA leaders who are setting such great examples in their communities to the White House,” said Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President. “The PTA Champions of Change we are honoring have collaborated with school administrators and community leaders, launched innovative advocacy campaigns, and worked tirelessly to grow their local PTAs to involve more parents in their children’s education.”

 

Anne was honored as a true advocate for parental involvement in education. Her work towards creating genuine and meaningful partnerships between parents and educators has made a significant impact in her community and in the lives of children. With a focus on collaboration, communication, accountability, and equity, Anne has empowered parents to work with teachers towards greater student achievement. Among her many accomplishments during her 15 years as a PTA leader and a member of the school leadership team are the creation of a school-based Parent Involvement Resource Center and the conception and development of a community outreach program that provides free personal hygiene items to students in need. Anne has also been instrumental in the implementation of parent data nights that equip parents with a broad range of student testing information, academic benchmarks, and school accountability measures. “Community Health Charities of Arizona is honored to have Anne Stafford as part of our team,” said Karen Staley, Executive Director of CHC-AZ. “Her commitment to her community is exemplary and a great example for us all.”

white house

White House Honors ASU Alumnus As Champion Of Change

Arizona State University alumnus Angelica Vilaverde was honored as a Champion of Change at the White House on Monday. She is one of 11 individuals from Head Start programs across the country who earned the honor.

Honorees were commended for their commitment to delivering on the promise of Head Start, a comprehensive early childhood development program designed to provide education, health and social services to low income children and their families.

“Today’s Head Start Champions of Change have collectively shaped the lives of thousands of children and their families,” said Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy. “Each day, these Champions work to innovate and forge new paths to deliver the support that our most vulnerable children and families need to reach their full potential and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. This work is essential in helping our country win the future.”

While participating in a panel discussion with other Champion of Change honorees at the White House, Vilaverde cited the parent-child relationship and early education as significant indicators of children’s success. Parents that she works with represent many nationalities from Somali and Burmese refugee families to children whose first language is Spanish.

“You can’t build a house without a foundation. I feel as a teacher that we are providing that foundation for them to go on their educational journey,” she said.

Vilaverde, who earned her master’s degree in infant-family practice and her bachelor’s degree in family and human development from Arizona State University, is an Early Head Start child development specialist who works at Southwest Human Development Early Head Start and Head Start located at the Educare Arizona facility in Phoenix. She teaches children ranging in ages from 1 to 3. Involving parents in their children’s education is an important aspect of her work as is reaching goals for each child that may range from increasing vocabulary to answering specific questions.

“Angelica is truly a gifted and sensitive teacher of very young children. She is a wonderful example of the knowledge and skills that we hope the graduates of our Master of Advanced Study in Infant-Family Practice undergraduate Early Intervention Certificate acquire during their time with us,” said Robert Weigand, Angelica’s mentor, Child Development Laboratory director and Cowden Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at ASU.

Vilaverde is hoping for an expansion of Head Start in the future and for more leaders to recognize the importance and value of early childhood education.

“I think Head Start is a wonderful program because it really invests in these children to make them successful and school ready,” she said.

During the panel discussion at the White House, she also mentioned that her proudest moment was encouraging the mother of one of her students from Mexico with a degree in psychology to pursue her dreams even though the mom wasn’t confident of her English skills.

“Now she is a child development associate at one of our other sites,” Vilaverde said.

Learning that she had been named a Champion of Change was a “complete shock,” but she was excited and honored to have the opportunity to go to the White House.

“I’m glad that the Obama administration is recognizing teachers for the work that they do,” she said.

The Champions of Change program was created as part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.

For more information about the Champion of Change event at the White House, visit the White House’s website at whitehouse.gov/champions

Image Provided by Flickr

ASU Cancels Study Abroad Program In Egypt

On January 25th, Egyptian citizens erupted in violent revolution against corruption, extensive poverty, enormous national unemployment and numerous governance problems of autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak — and two Arizona State students were caught in its crossfire.

The students were studying abroad in Cairo at the time political unrest hit its threshold in late January; and with ASU’s Study Abroad Office’s help, they were pulled out of the area.

Image Provided by FlickrASU has had a long-standing relationship with the American University of Cairo (AUC) where the previously mentioned students had been studying, but as CNN reported attacks on American journalists in the area, concerns arose from families of the students involved.

“We feel confident that both students will be back in the U.S. by this weekend, weather permitting”, said Amy Shenberger, director of the Study Abroad Office at ASU.

Their decision in the cancellation was met with widespread agreement by both the U.S. government agencies involved and university partners in Cairo.

In result from years of political turmoil, Egypt reached its tipping point of strong government rhetoric from Mubarak.  Headlines of bloodied civilians and anti-riot police have scattered newspapers nationwide, giving American news affiliates reason for concern.

According to the Washington Post, the White House is aiding in the extraction of news reporters in the area, as many have been savagely beaten or detained by the Egyptian government.Image Provided by Flickr

iJet, a travel intelligence that monitors international activity for ASU’s study abroad office, has maintained communication with Shenberger to give live updates on the situation.

Shenberger also strongly advocates the continuation of its program in Egypt in future years but believes the current political atmosphere presents a clear and present danger to the students.

“We have had a partnership with AUC since 2004, and it’s our intention to maintain that going forward,” said Shenberger.

The program plans to resume once the dust settles in Egypt, according to Shenberger, and ASU will continue to monitor the situation with the students’ best interests.

“The safety and security of all of our students is our primary concern, [and] any time the danger in a location outweighs the benefits of the academic program, we take the steps necessary to ensure our students’ safety,” said Shenberger.

Rider Levett Bucknall, LEED

Is ‘Green’ The Whole Answer?

Our natural resources are limited and they are fast becoming scarcer and more costly. Thankfully, in recent years, awareness of this issue has heightened and individuals, companies and governments are making efforts towards more responsible usage of our depleting natural resources. Unarguably, we’re in the Age of Environmental Thrift, when ‘going green’ is just good practice—for the planet and for the pocketbook. The question remains, are we doing enough to minimize the use of scarce resources?

In the construction industry, environmentally responsible practices are being promoted by the US Green Building Council and others through programs like the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) rating system. Overall, 26 state and local governments—the state of Arizona among them—are mandating LEED™ certification for new construction, and President Obama is currently seeking LEED™ certification for improvements made to the White House.

Despite the rapid acceptance of sustainable design and its application on a variety of both new-build and renovation projects, the practice is limited in its ability to reduce whole earth impacts. Why? Because even though continual improvements are being made in the ways in which we use natural resources—sustainably harvested lumber, energy-efficient building systems, recycled building products—we’re still consuming! Only if the scale of resource usage stabilizes will the efficiency of how they are delivered result in reducing the net environmental impact. We need to be asking how and where we can use existing assets instead of consuming more of the earth’s limited resources to construct new assets.

Significant natural resources can be saved by capturing the remaining value and extending the life of a building rather than demolishing and replacing it. But how does one know if it is viable to extend the life of a building? The state of Arizona addressed this question in 2004 by implementing a process in which consideration must be given to ‘relifing’ existing buildings before a new government building can be procured. Rider Levett Bucknall worked with government officials to develop the legislation which, in the first six months, saved the state $26 million. The legislation has since been endorsed by the American Legislative Exchange Council as model legislation for all 50 states.



Through a relifing study on an existing Arizona state medical laboratory building, including an inspection of the current condition of various building components and their life expectancies, Rider Levett Bucknall determined that investment of approximately $4.9 million would allow continued use of the building for an additional 25 years.


‘Relifing’ is mathematically-based analysis which helps building owners and managers capture the remaining value of and extend the life of their buildings after years of service. It improves the decision making process when considering whether to renovate a building versus demolish it and build new and can be used during the design of a new building to optimize the building’s design life. Throughout the development process, it helps to minimize the use of scarce natural resources.

The Age of Environmental Thrift provides an ideal time for people to reconsider the traditional approaches to green practices, especially in the construction industry. Building owners, designers and contractors should be open to new ways of approaching old problems and be willing to implement tools to help them get the most out of our shrinking resources.


Rider Levett Bucknall is an international property and construction consultancy headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. www.rlb.com/life

McCain, America's Next Leader - AZ Business Magazine Oct. 2008

America’s Next Leader

The last time an Arizona politician stood at the threshold of the White House was 44 years ago, when Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater introduced a new form of conservative politics to America before falling under the wheels of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s campaign juggernaut.

american-next-leader 2008

Now, another Arizonan, also the Republican nominee, has the White House within his grasp.
Within weeks, Sen. John McCain will either make history or repeat it in one of the most closely watched presidential elections in modern history as he squares off against Sen. Barack Obama, the first African-American presidential nominee of either major party.

“I don’t seek the office out of a sense of entitlement. I owe America more than she has ever owed me,” McCain says. “Thirty-five

years ago, I came home from an extended leave abroad. While I was away, I fell in love with my country. I have been an imperfect servant of my country ever since, in uniform and in office, in war and peace.”

That he has made it this far is remarkable considering his campaign seemed on the verge of collapsing in the months before the Iowa caucus.

McCain had trouble getting his primary campaign off the ground. Then, after securing the Republican nomination, McCain’s campaign began to drift, says Larry Sabato, a nationally recognized political science professor at the University of Virginia.

“He was the nominee for the Republican Party long before Obama had the Democratic bid, but he didn’t seem to use that time wisely,” Sabato says.

However, Sabato believes McCain’s campaign has since tightened up considerably.

“They are making decisions quickly and rolling the dice as needed,” he says.

Deeply involved in politics since leaving the U.S. Navy in 1981, McCain was first elected into the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. He was elected into the U.S. Senate in 1986. When he was reelected for his third Senate term in 2004, McCain won by an overwhelming percentage of the vote.

In between, McCain ran for president for the first time in 2000, hoping to ride his Straight Talk Express campaign bus all the way to the White House. An underdog, he surprised supposed frontrunner Texas Gov. George W. Bush by winning the New Hampshire GOP primary. That’s when the campaign turned ugly, and in the South Carolina primary, very personal. Bush, of course, eventually won the Republican nomination and the general election.

Over the past eight years, McCain has clashed with Bush on numerous issues, but he has remained unwaveringly behind Bush on the Iraq War, telling radio talk show host Mike Gallagher earlier this year, “No one has supported President Bush on Iraq more than I have.”

McCain went on to add, “… there are many national security issues that I have strongly supported the president (on) and steadfastly so.”

Bush in turn has expressed his support for McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, giving his endorsement earlier this year and saying that McCain has the “character, courage and perseverance” to lead the country, according to an article on CNNPolitics.com.

Even Paul Johnson, the former Phoenix mayor who at one time expressed concern about McCain’s famous temper, believes the senator is maintaining a solid campaign.

“I am proud of the way he is running his campaign and the issues he’s bringing to the forefront,” Johnson says.

Besides taking flak for his temper, McCain has also been taken to task for breaking from the Republican Party on some high-profile votes, and even for his age; at 72, he would be the oldest president in U.S. history, if elected. But countering that is the fact McCain is also a respected war hero.

McCain spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War in the infamous camp dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was forced into solitary confinement, denied medical treatment and beaten by the North Vietnamese. But he maintains he is not bitter — rather he is humble.

“There is no higher honor than sacrificing for a cause greater than my own self-interest,” he says.

He also believes this experience, as well as his leadership in the Senate Armed Services Committee, makes him the most-qualified candidate to be commander in chief.

McCain’s domestic platform for his potential presidency begins with a goal to present greater opportunity and prosperity for workers and their families.

“That agenda will ensure those workers are employed by businesses that invest in innovative technologies, are not strangled by excessive regulation, are not burdened by high taxes, do not face rising health costs that squeeze wages, and sell more products and services in world markets,” he says.

On the foreign policy front, McCain has made no secret of his support of the war in Iraq, but he admits, “I do not want to keep our troops there a minute longer than necessary to secure our interests. And I believe we can achieve that goal, perhaps sooner than many imagine, and must give Gen. (David) Petraeus and our troops the necessary time to succeed in Iraq.”

He adds that if elected president, he will ensure “al-Qaeda has no safe haven anywhere in the world, including Afghanistan, where U.S. and NATO forces continue to root out and eliminate the threat of remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.”

McCain promises that with him at the helm, American families will be secure from threats domestic and foreign. “I will take on our damaging dependence on imported oil and make sure that oil will never again be a weapon against us,” he says. “America’s workers will be secure in the fact that they have portable health insurance and pension benefits, allowing them to move from job-to-job, job-to-home, and job-to-retirement without fear of losing their financial safety net.

“They will be secure in the knowledge that if the economic foundation of their employer or industry shifts, they will be prepared to make the transition to a new job and have access to community college-based training programs that provide the skills to acquire and hold a better job for the 21st century.”

McCain does not deny that there are major economic challenges that must be confronted and he has plans to amend these crises. “Americans are suffering under high gasoline prices, rising food prices, a housing crisis, and tough credit conditions that threaten even the ability of our students to get their college loans,” he says.

As part of McCain’s approach to ease consumers’ current pain, he pushed for a summer gas tax holiday and to stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He has also proposed his so-called HOME Plan to provide robust, timely and targeted help to those hurt by the housing crisis. In addition, he called for a Justice Department task force to investigate wrongdoing in the mortgage industry.

To ensure that college remains a reality, McCain has proposed a student loan continuity plan that will coordinate policies with the states to keep the credit crunch from hurting students.

McCain also promises to address the challenge of rising health care costs by “transforming the health care system to focus on quality, cost, and being responsive to the needs of American families.” He adds: “Furthermore, I will not leave difficult tasks like securing our border, entitlement reform, or fixing our schools for another generation of leaders to solve.”

McCain has lofty goals for the future and security of America and its people. But he has one major obstacle standing between himself and the White House. In the minds of many Americans, the sheer fact that McCain would be replacing another Republican — and a highly unpopular one at that — is a detriment to his campaign, according to Patrick Kenney, professor and chair of Arizona State University’s political science department.

“The Republicans have been in power since 2001 and ‘peace and prosperity’ is not going well,” Kenney says. “The economy is down, the war is not entirely supported and (McCain) is linked to Bush’s war and economic program.”

For his part, Obama is hoping the link to Bush will work in his favor. He released a television spot in late July titled “The Low Road,” in which, The Huffington Post reports, “the Illinois Democrat (is) playing his trump card: tying McCain to George W. Bush, both in politics and in policy.”

However, Arizona’s other senator, Jon Kyl, believes McCain’s connection to Bush and the war has a positive side. “He was instrumental in helping Bush with the surge strategy after he returned from Iraq and saw first-hand the things that weren’t being done properly to win the war,” Kyl says.
It is this military expertise and experience that Kyl believes will help McCain gain support from veterans.

“I think that all Americans appreciate his service and it will help prepare him to make decisions and winning strategies in the war,” Kyle says. “It helps identify him with leadership, experience, courage and independence.”

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Grant Woods, the former Arizona attorney general from 1991-1999, thinks it is that very independence that makes McCain the ideal man to lead the nation. “He will never be a scripted, always ‘on’ message candidate,” Woods says. “This is frustrating to the professionals, but makes him more attractive to real people because he is a real guy.

“We face great international challenges militarily and economically,” Woods continues. “I believe his lifetime of service gives him the judgment we need to lead the country at this time. He has the experience to make his own decisions.”

As Election Day draws near, Americans will be responsible for making their own decisions, as well. Regardless of the outcome, change is on the horizon — and that is exactly what the American people seem to want for the future.