Dr. Valerie Kading appointed COO at Sierra Tucson

Sierra Tucson, an internationally renowned leader in behavioral and mental health care, has appointed Valerie M. Kading, DNP, PMHNP-BC, as its chief operations officer.

Dr. Kading will lead Sierra Tucson’s nursing, behavioral medicine, pharmacy and integrative services teams. In addition, she will be responsible for Professional Relations, Alumni Relations and Connect365, Sierra Tucson’s continuing care program featuring an effective and user-friendly interactive management system that keeps residents connected and accountable for one full year following treatment.

Dr. Kading joined Sierra Tucson in June 2015, and she was promoted to chief medical operations officer in 2016. She went on to being named Sierra Tucson’s interim chief medical officer before serving in her current role.

With honors from New Mexico State University, Dr. Kading earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Her doctoral studies focused on optimizing health care systems and policies, transitional methods and evidence-based practices, health care organization innovation, epigenetics and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Prior to her time at New Mexico State University, Dr. Kading graduated with honors from the University of Arizona with a master’s degree and a bachelor of science in nursing, as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Barrett, The Honors College appoints new vice dean

Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University has appointed Nicola Foote, Ph.D., as its new Vice Dean.

Dr. Foote comes to ASU and Barrett from Florida Gulf Coast University, where she was Associate Dean for University-Wide Programs and Faculty Engagement and a Professor of Latin American and Caribbean History. Her position in the Office of Undergraduate Studies included oversight of the University Honors College.

Dr. Foote has years of experience teaching courses on the history, politics and culture of the Caribbean, Colonial Latin America, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. She is also the editor and an author in five books and has 16 peer-reviewed articles in Latin American and Caribbean history, including most recently Sources for Latin America in the Modern World. Dr. Foote has extensive experience with summer and term-time study abroad, and has led several of these trips to England and Wales, Trinidad and Tobago, China and the Galapagos Islands.

“Nicola Foote has immense experience in honors programs and leadership that will be immediately applicable at Barrett Honors College,” said Mark Jacobs, Dean of Barrett Honors College at ASU.  “Her studies and publications give her a global perspective that will help with our new Global Initiatives program and add real value to our executive team.”

Dr. Elizabeth Ferguson named Designated Institutional Official

Elizabeth Ferguson, MD, a highly regarded surgeon and educator at Maricopa Integrated Health System, has been named Designated Institutional Official (DIO) of the Creighton University–Arizona Health Education Alliance.

In her new position, Dr. Ferguson will supervise all Graduate Medical Education programs under the Alliance, a collaboration of MIHS, Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, District Medical Group, Inc., and Creighton University School of Medicine.

“We are very fortunate to have such an accomplished physician and insightful leader step into the role of Designated Institutional Official,” said Dr. Joann Porter, Associated Dean for Graduate Medical Education for Creighton University. “She brings with her a level of professionalism, integrity and compassion that makes her a role model for upcoming physicians and other health care professionals. I am extremely grateful and proud that Dr. Ferguson has accepted this position.”

“Medical education is something I am passionate about,” Dr. Ferguson said. “With more people training in Arizona, we can potentially provide for the citizens of Maricopa County and Arizona more physicians who are going to stay here and spend their professional lives here.”

The consolidation, which was effective June 1, means that 325 GME residents will be under the Alliance’s umbrella.

In addition to ensuring a healthy clinical learning environment for all residents and fellows, Dr. Ferguson will lead continuous improvement for resident engagement/satisfaction; training and quality improvement; developing and maintaining excellent working relationships; and advocating for the value of GME for the Alliance. She will report to the Creighton University School of Medicine Associate Dean for GME and the Arizona Alliance Executive Director.

Weitz adds senior business development manager in Arizona

National general contractor and construction management firm The Weitz Company has added to its business development team in the Southwest.

Kirk Fonfara, a 15-year A/E/C industry professional, has joined Weitz as a senior business development manager. He has worked in both the public and private sectors building and maintaining relationships. Fonfara will work within the company’s business unit that operates out of Phoenix where he will partner with The Weitz Company Business Development Manager Samantha Pinkal.

“Kirk has joined the Weitz team to broaden our market presence throughout Arizona and the Southwest,” said Kimberly Davids, general manager of The Weitz Company. “Kirk’s personality is the right fit for our culture and will be key to building successful partnerships that lead to exceptional projects.”

Prior to joining The Weitz Company, Fonfara spent 13 years on the engineering side of the industry working at both Kimley-Horn and HDR Engineering. He is an engaged member of several local and national organizations, including NAIOP, Urban Land Institute Arizona, International Council of Shopping Centers and the Fiesta Bowl.