Friday, August 17, 2018

Banner - UMC Phoenix and Tucson Named Best Hospitals

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 4:19 PM

  • Banner - University Medical Center Tucson
Our local Banner - University Medical Center and it's counterpart in Phoenix have been recognized as "Best Hospitals" by U.S. News and World Report.

Banner - UMC Tucson was named number one in Tucson, number three in all of Arizona and ranked nationally in three specialties: number 36 for gynecology, 49th for pulmonology and 50th for nephrology.

"We are honored that U.S. News has recognized the hard work and dedication of our caregivers, educators and researchers at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson. Our team's continuing commitment to our patients and our community is unparalleled," said Sarah Frost, interim CEO of Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.

This year U.S. News and World Report ranked more than 4,500 medical centers across the country, with 25 specialties.

Banner - UMC Phoenix ranked number two nationally, and placed among the best in five categories including geriatrics, pulmonology, nephrology, cardiology and heart surgery, and neurology and neurosurgery.

"To be among the medical centers recognized in five specialty areas is a significant accomplishment, and is a testament to the work that our team does every day in support of building the relationship between our college and Banner," said Guy Reed, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. "Let us continue to raise the bar for our students and patients, the community, and one another."

Read the full report here.

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UA Research Finds Workplace Bias Differs for Single vs Married Parents

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 11:07 AM

  • DepositPhotos
There are many differences women and men experience in the workplace, including benefits or penalties for parenthood.

Research has shown that mothers are penalized in the workplace as it is assumed that they are less focused or dedicated because of their children.

According to the UA, research has shown that mothers in the U.S. are subject to a net wage penalty of 5-7 percent per child and they are often placed in "mommy-track" jobs, characterized by fewer opportunities for career advancement and financial security.

Men, on the other hand, benefit at work once they have children, as they are viewed as the family breadwinner.

This phenomenon is known as the motherhood penalty and fatherhood premium. Researchers at the University of Arizona studied how this changes for married versus single parents.

UA Sociology doctoral student Jurgita Abromaviciute conducted an experimental study and found that when parents are not married, the motherhood penalty and fatherhood premium disappear.

Abromaviciute discussed her research in a UA press release.
"When a woman is known to be single and when she has children, then in addition to being a caregiver, she's also a breadwinner. So, in addition to caregiving, she now also has to provide for her family and she has no one to fall back on. My research shows that single mothers are not perceived as less competent or less committed than single childless women, and they are not less likely to be hired or promoted compared to their childless counterparts. In other words, while the motherhood penalty holds for married mothers, it disappears in the subsample of single mothers."
It is important to note that while single mothers do not suffer from the motherhood penalty, they also do not receive the fatherhood premium. However, neither do single fathers, research found.

"Single fathers, in addition to being breadwinners, are caregivers to their offspring," Abromaviciute said in a UA press release. "Likely, this triggers an assumption that they are more focused on their family than a married father might be, which eliminates the fatherhood premium."

When conducting her research, Abromaviciute asked 160 college students to evaluate job applications including resumes and notes from a human resources interviewer, for fake applicants with comparable experience all applying for an upper management position with a communication company.

The students were aware of the applicants' gender, whether they were married and if they had children.

"For the subsample of single mothers and single fathers, there's no premium or penalty," she said, "which suggests that marital status operates as a strong status cue that, combined with gender and parenthood status, leads evaluators to make assumptions about one's anticipated performance at work.”

Abromaviciute said that she hopes to continue her research with a broader demographic of study participants and across a broader representation of possible jobs. 

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

National Alliance on Mental Illness Southern Arizona Receives Funding for Youth Mental Health Programs

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 2:48 PM

  • DepositPhotos
The Southern Arizona chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness recently received a grant of $210,883 from the David & Lura Lovell Foundation to fund an initiative for reducing mental illness stigma in local youth.

This grant enables NAMI of Southern Arizona to expand stigma reduction education and advocacy for youth mental health statewide. The program also works to increase help-seeking for mental issues among youth ages 10 to 24.

“With suicide now the second leading cause of death for ages 10 to 24, we want young people to know they are not alone and there is hope for their future” said H. Clarke Romans, executive director of NAMI Southern Arizona. “Stigma is still the greatest deterrent to seeking help.”

This NAMI funding comes in addition to a recent block grant received from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The block grant is to bring an educational program called “Ending the Silence” to schools in Pima, Cochise, Santa Cruz and Pinal Counties.

Since 1983, NAMI has worked to treat mental illness in a professional and medical fashion, stating, “These mental disorders are like any other medical condition; they are common AND treatable.”

Schools and other youth-serving organizations can contact NAMI Southern Arizona to request the 50-minute “Ending the Silence” presentation for their students by calling 622-5582 or emailing

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ducey, Republicans Leave $56 Million For Child Care Sitting On the Table

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 9:49 AM

  • Courtesy of Bigstock

Doug Ducey and his Republican legislative cronies had $56 million in federal money waiting to be spent to help cover the cost of child care and early childhood education for low income families. They refused to spend it.

The state didn't have to put up a penny. All it had to do was add a $56 million line item to its budget, and more low income children would have access to child care services. Ducey and the Republican legislative leaders knew the money was there, they were urged to put it in the budget by child care advocates and by Democrats in the legislature. They just decided not to do it.

When a story in the Sunday Star brought the unspent $56 million to my attention, I contacted Michelle Crow, Southern Arizona Director of the Children's Action Alliance, for more details. Next I talked to Democratic Rep. Randy Friese, who represents LD-9, my legislative district, to find out why the money didn't make it into the budget. The more I learned, the worse things got.

In March the federal government included $5.2 billion in its budget to increase the quality of child care and early childhood education across the country. Arizona's cut of the funds is $56 million, which is supposed to be added to the $125 million Arizona already receives to subsidize child care and early childhood education for children from low income families.

Right now, there's not enough money to subsidize child care for all the children who need it. As bad or worse, the amount the state allocates per child doesn't cover the child care provider's costs. The state Department of Economic Security's "Reimbursement Rates for Child Care" schedule is based on what the services should cost. The problem is, the reimbursement rates haven't changed since 2000. The state is still using an 18 year old rate schedule created at a time when the minimum wage was $5.15 an hour. Today it's $10.50.

It's actually worse than that. The DES reimbursement is only 75 percent of going rate in 2000. It's no surprise Arizona has among the lowest reimbursement rates in the country.

Continue reading »

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Tired Of Those Annoying Political Phone Calls And Fliers?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 4:04 PM


Are you tired of all those political robocalls and calls from earnest volunteers? Did you know, they're tired of talking to you too?

Are you tired of all those glossy, oversized postcards from candidates touting their accomplishments — and maybe running down their opponents? Did you know, they're tired of sending them to you too?

Just vote. When campaigns find out you've sent in your ballot, they'll leave you alone. No more (or almost no more) calls. No more (or almost no more) oversized postcards. You can sit back with the beverage of your choice and watch the political circus unfold before your eyes, knowing you've done your patriotic chore. Better yet, volunteer for the candidate(s) of your choice and be one of those phoners or the doorbell ringers helping to get out the vote.

Send in your ballot!

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UA Receives Grant to Help Bilingual Children's Speech

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 3:16 PM

  • BigStock
Children who are bilingual can be misdiagnosed regarding speech impediments due to a lack of knowledge among experts. University of Arizona Associate Professor Leah Fabiano-Smith recently received a $2.5 million grant to help solve this issue.

Speech-language pathologists, or SLP's, have many standardized tests they can use to assess English-language-only children, but there is only one test for bilingual children.

"School-based speech-language pathologists, or SLPs, are required to provide culturally competent services to all children, including those who speak both English and Spanish," Fabiano-Smith said in a UA press release. "They face a great clinical challenge: accurate identification of speech sound disorders in children who speak two languages."

With the 5-year grant from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, Fabiano-Smith will continue her research to reduce health and educational disparities for bilingual children.

Fabiano-Smith and her research team have partnered with Sunnyside Unified School District, which has about 82 percent Latino students, to make solid determinations if students need help with pronunciation due to being bilingual, or due to a speech disorder.

"SLPs have some confidence when assessing bilingual children whose primary language is English, but lack confidence when assessing bilingual children whose primary language is Spanish," Fabiano-Smith said in a UA press release. "What helps is if you look at both the English and Spanish of Latino children together, instead of just looking at one or the other to make a diagnosis. By combining skills in both languages together, you get a much more accurate diagnosis."

Research focusing on bilingual children's education is becoming increasingly important in Arizona and nationwide as the percentage of bilingual children increases. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Latino children make up 25 percent of U.S. elementary school students. This number is expected to reach 30 percent by 2030.

The research grant will help Fabiano-Smith address an increasingly time sensitive issue.

"We are in danger of misdiagnosing a generation if this problem is not solved now," Fabiano-Smith said in a UA press release.

UA President Robert C. Robbins acknowledged the grant, mentioning the commitment the UA has to students of all ages and linguistic backgrounds.

"The UA's status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution is driven by our commitment to the academic success of every member of our community, and Dr. Fabiano-Smith’s work with bilingual children is a vital contribution to this part of our mission," Robbins said. "I am very excited by what this grant will enable."

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Dorm Days: UA Students Move In This Week

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 9:55 AM

Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
  • University of Arizona
  • Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall
It's that time of year again, the traffic is picking up, there are more bicycles to look out for, Target at El Con will soon be packed and just about every restaurant and bar along University is starting to buzz. The students are back, and they are moving into the dorms this week.

General move-in days are:

Aug. 15, 7 a.m. - noon
Aug. 16, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Aug. 17, 7 a.m. - noon
Aug. 18, all day

UA Housing and Residential Life are gearing up to move in more than 6,800 students into the 23 dorms for this upcoming fall semester. Classes start August 20. Find more information here.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

A Review of David Garcia's Book, "School Choice"

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 4:03 PM

  • Courtesy of BigStock
Full disclosure: I have already stated my support for David Garcia for governor on The Range. Today I sent in my ballot with the bubble filled in next to Garcia's name.

Thursday, a post on Blog for Arizona by Larry Bodine sent minor shockwaves through the Democratic primary race for governor. Bodine wrote a scathing review of a book David Garcia wrote titled School Choice, which will be published September 28. According to Bodine, Garcia's book is pro-school privatization and, in the words of the headline "a Blueprint to Dismantle Public Education."

Bodine's post was the first I heard of the book. I asked him if he would share his review copy with me, and he did gladly. I read the book — or to be completely honest, I read the beginning carefully, then skimmed the rest of the 196-page book attentively enough to understand its content.

Bodine's depiction of the book is, in a word, wrong.

Of the people who have had a chance to read the book and comment on it in the media, I probably have the most experience reading education books. I have amassed a significant number of postgraduate units in the field, and I've continued reading education works, ranging from blog posts to articles to books, on a daily basis. Though I have expressed my support for Garcia, I also know how to read these kinds of texts for content and possible political leanings without letting my personal opinions interfere.

What Garcia has written is a book on the history of school choice beginning in colonial days and continuing through 2017. It is meant to be an objective overview of the subject, and it succeeds in that regard. If I had never heard of David Garcia and read this book, I wouldn't know his personal opinions on the subject. Though it is written for general consumption, it would be a valuable book to assign in any college course on the history of education, from Education 101 through graduate school.

I'm not the only one to arrive at the conclusion that Bodine's post is a distortion of the contents of Garcia's book. Brahm Resnik, one of Arizona's top journalists, came to a similar conclusion. So did Maria Polletta of the Arizona Republic. I'll quote some of what they wrote at the end of the post.

Continue reading »

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@ AVA: Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater Sun., Aug. 19, 7-10 p.m. Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road.

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