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February 21, 2013

Host: José Cárdenas

First Things First

  |   Video
  • First Things First is committed to helping Arizona kids five and younger receive the quality education, healthcare and family support they need to arrive at school healthy and ready to succeed. First Things First Regional Director, South Phoenix Regional Partnership Council, Jonathon Gonzales, discusses the importance of early childhood and how First Things First is helping young kids and their families in South Phoenix.
  • Jonathon Gonzales - First Things First Regional Director, South Phoenix Regional Partnership Council
Category: Community   |   Keywords: first things first, children, ,

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Jose Cardenas: In November 2006 Arizona voters passed proposition 203, a citizens initiative that funded quality early childhood development and health. It's now known as first things first. Decisions are made by regional councils made up of volunteers who know what young kids in the communities need. We'll talk to one of the regional directors in a moment. First here's a little of what first things first is all about.

Announcer: Not just the cute years. Not just the cuddly years. 90ers of the child's brain development happens before kindergarten. So really they are the anything is possible years. Join the conversation. Visit AZfirst things first on Facebook.

Jose Cardenas: Joining me to talk more about first things first, Jonathon Gonzales, welcome to Horizonte. We gave a little of the history of first things first talking about the proposition in 2006. Give us a sense for how it came to be. We know Ed and Nadine Bash were involved but how did it come about, what was its purpose?

Jonathon Gonzales: I was working on the other side as an advocate before I came on board. The real crux of first things first is having children ready for school. It's that fundamental piece. We have all heard common core, move on when ready, but what are we doing for children zero to five, when the brain connections are developing, the strong foundations are being set, and really wanting to concentrate our efforts, initiative and our dollars around children zero to five. When we look at the work that's how we frame all the work that we do. Even at the regional level.

Jose Cardenas: One of the things that was different about this initiative, you weren't telling people this is our solution for this issue. It really was involving the community through these regional councils.

Jonathon Gonzales: You're correct. There are 31 regional councils in the state of Arizona. In south Phoenix we have 11 member council all volunteer. They have to work or live in the community. So these are folks that give up their free time to come out, engage with the community, look at the overall needs in the community, the assets. Make decisions based on those conversations with the community.

Jose Cardenas: How long has this council been in action?

Jonathon Gonzales: Since April 2008. I was won't of the founding directors with first things first back then. Going on my fifth year with the agency and my council.

Jose Cardenas: How were they selected?

Jonathon Gonzales: Good question. Many of the folks either came from school administration, really a variety of backgrounds. The initiative, some of the work done by the state board ensured that the 11-member council had a broad diversity.

Jose Cardenas: These are all 11 councils?

Jonathon Gonzales: Yes. That's the pattern for all of them. Not only the way that the statute was written, the work was presented to the state board and now to the community was really focusing on faith community seats, business seats, philanthropic seats. Running into the work we do is the diversity of the seats. It's not all school folks at the table. It's not all business folks at the table. We have a diversity of seats that are delegated out across those 11 seats.

Jose Cardenas: Who decides who the individuals will be?

Jonathon Gonzales: They apply to the council at a regional level and those applications go through interview process with the current council members. Someone from the leadership team. Those applicants are presented to state board for review and then either approval or disapproval. They go before the state board.

Jose Cardenas: Give us an explanation how the council goes about its work of determining what's needed and then once they have done that how they implement their recommendations.

Jonathon Gonzales: Well, we on a biannual basis look at the community and from that work of engaging the community we turn around and look at our strategic direction. Are we doing the work that we need to be doing in the community? This is strategy doing what it needs to be doing to address that need or leveraging that asset. A good example is our quality first program. Our quality first program really looks at the current number of child care providers in the community and then we say, we invite them into our quality improvement rating system. Part of that process is they are able to improve quality for the children so they are successful and ready to start school healthy and happy. Rather than create a whole 'nother infrastructure, establishing preschools or child care centers, we work with existing systems in the community. This is one example of how we try to leverage community assets.

Jose Cardenas: You do that by making grants?

Jonathon Gonzales: Right.

Jose Cardenas: Give an example of the grant making process.

Jonathon Gonzales: It's twofold. It can be request for grant application or inter-service agreement process. The grant application process is different traditional process for state agency where nonprofit agencies can apply to provide that service. Then we have a review committee made up of the same council members as well as some outside reviewers who we ensure they don't have conflicts, they sign disclosures, those sorts of things. Then the applicants are moved forward based on their merits to the state board for approval.

Jose Cardenas: Do you have a sense for how much money has gone into south Phoenix as a result of first thing first?

Jonathon Gonzales: Yes. Over the last five years it's been over $40 million in terms of investment in the community ranging in programs, early childhood development, home visitation, health. Some of the kinds of work that we do.

Jose Cardenas: I understand one of the initiatives is something called birth to five.

Jonathon Gonzales: Birth to five is a really great resource for families. It's statewide. It's a tool for families. Care-givers to be able to call and have access to a nurse.

Jose Cardenas: We have the number on the screen.

Jonathon Gonzales: Excellent. Anyone who has children, small children who may experience a problem they can pick up the phone and get help. If there's no one available at that immediate time you can leave a voice mail or message and they will get right back to you. One of the specialists on staff.

Jose Cardenas: Are some of the services provided in Spanish?

Jonathon Gonzales: I believe they may be an option. I would have to get the information back to you on that on the bilingual and multilingual portion of that help line.

Jose Cardenas: thank you so much for joining us. It's been a pleasure.

Jonathon Gonzales: thank you.

Las Sillas de Alamos

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  • Wooden chairs created by craftsmen from Alamos, Sonora, in Mexico are being turned into works of art by Scottsdale students and adult artists in the Scottsdale sister-city project "Las Sillas de Alamos" (The Chairs of Alamos). "Las Sillas de Alamos" is a cultural exchange project between Alamos and Scottsdale. The chairs are fashioned after a bishop's chair from the colonial church in Alamos, which was established in the 1700's. Scottsdale-Alamos City Project Coordinator Bob Rink; and Daniela Alcazar, a student artist and Alamos exchange student from Chaparral High School, discuss the project.
  • Bob Rink - Coordinator, Scottsdale-Alamos City Project
  • Daniela Alcazar - Student Artist and Alamos Exchange Student, Chapparal High School
Category: The Arts   |   Keywords: art, community, alamos, ,

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Jose Cardenas: Wooden chairs from Mexico are being turned into works of art by Scottsdale students and adult artists. Joining me to talk about this project called Las Sillas De Alamos are Bob rink, Scottsdale, Alamos city project coordinator, Daniela Alcazar, a student artist and Alamos exchange student. Let's talk generally about the student exchange program and the work with Alamos. Maybe you can give us a history of the relationship between the two cities.

Bob Rink: I believe the relationship is 25 years old. I just joined the group in the last two or three years. Each year there have been high school students going between Scottsdale and Alamos on annual basis and we have an exchange program between the elementary school students via letters and skype calls.

Jose Cardenas: And tell us a little bit about Alamos.

Bob Rink: Alamos is a colonial city in southern Sonora that's been around probably since the 1700s. It's beautiful, beautiful city in the mountains on the southern ends of Sonora.

Jose Cardenas: I understand one of the richest cities in the world at one time because of the Silver mining.

Bob Rink: Correct. I believe most of the churches and missions throughout the southwest, the United States, northwest Mexico, I'm sure a number of wars were funded by the mines of Alamos.

Jose Cardenas: So let's talk about the student exchange program. We have a picture to put on the screen of the students, I think it's the most recent class, Daniela, who went down to Alamos and your come patriots there, your counterparts.

Daniela Alcazar: Yes. That's a picture of us. We went to a competition in one of the schools nearby. We went to --

Jose Cardenas: Is this in Alamos?

Daniela Alcazar: Yes. There was an exchange student last spring break where eight students from the Scottsdale area went down to Alamos, and we stayed in the Alamos home and we went to the school and we kinds of almost integrated into the community for a week.

Jose Cardenas: Then they will be coming up here?

Daniela Alcazar: They will be coming in April.

Jose Cardenas: Bob, this particular project, how did it come about?

Bob Rink: One of our committee members was aware of communities painting cows, horses and guitars. We came up with an idea of art in chairs. That's the idea. We figured out that we could ask some carpenters in Alamos to create these chairs, a base of a chair, then we would have the Scottsdale artists and art students paint them. They still are on sale. We have sold half of them. Half are still on exhibit in Scottsdale at the Arizona artist alliance show room, which is at the 101 and Indian bends wash.

Jose Cardenas: How did you go about deciding who would participate in the painting of the chairs?

Bob Rink: One of our committee members approached a number of art organizations in Scottsdale and the artists alliance was the first one to pop up. We also approached the high school art programs which Daniela was recruited through that.

Jose Cardenas: It wasn't necessarily the students who were part of the exchange program but students who were selected specifically for this particular project.

Bob Rink: Correct.

Jose Cardenas: We have a picture to put up on the screen of people actually working on the chairs. Daniela, as I understand it, some of these you have artists working on some, you have artists, students, then somebody like you. You work by yourself on one of these.

Daniela Alcazar: It was a mix of lots of people there were adult artists. There was student artists and groups from the art program at schools, different high schools in Scottsdale, that volunteered their time and they created these beautiful pieces of art.

Jose Cardenas: Were you given any kinds of guidelines or restrictions in terms of what you could do?

Daniela Alcazar: Not really. You really just do whatever you feel that will Rae reflect an emotion, kind of like also they told us to look at really like how the Mexican and the American students like the artists how we can elaberate on that. There was lots of different types of artwork.

Jose Cardenas: Did they give you suggestions for themes?

Daniela Alcazar: Native American, there was also things about lots of modern art. There was contemporary art. Really what the artist feels would be good.

Jose Cardenas: The ends result, we have a picture of how many chairs, about 15?

Bob Rink: Correct.

Jose Cardenas: We have a picture that we'll put up on the screen. These are some of the ones that were for sale.

Bob Rink: Daniela's is on the right. The blue one, with the blue seat. That would be on the left of the screen there.

Daniela Alcazar: The one with the dream catcher.

Jose Cardenas: So Daniela, tell us about that. What were you trying to do?

Daniela Alcazar: I really like the idea of how we can incorporate like Native American with American culture, and the dream catcher and the patterns kinds of reflect the details that they put into their artwork. I know lots of history and art museums in Arizona and Scottsdale show a lot of these Native American artworks. Recently, my art group, my art club, we went on a field trip to the art museum and I saw lots of these types of art.

Jose Cardenas: That was your inspiration?

Daniela Alcazar: Yes.

Jose Cardenas: Bob, how many chairs were sold?

Bob Rink: Nine were sold on our opening evening. There are six left.

Jose Cardenas: At $300 apiece. What are you doing with the money?

Bob Rink: They will help funds our student exchanges between Scottsdale and Alamos.

Jose Cardenas: How much does it cost to sends students down there and to bring students up?

Bob Rink: You know -- I haven't been around long enough to know the dollar and cents of it all. We have transportation by bus. The home stays are in people's homes. There's a little hosting at some of the restaurants. I can't give you an exact dollar figure but it's probably $150 per student.

Jose Cardenas: This is a question for both of you. I think you may have different perspectives. Bob, it's no secret that times currently tensions have been tight between Arizona and its sister state of Sonora. Have you noticed any of that and has it impacted the work that you have been doing for the sister city?

Bob Rink: I actually tried to ignore our legislation up here and I don't think it's had any effect on my efforts. I tend to be dealing on a people to people basis as opposed to government to government, so I haven't noticed anything.

Jose Cardenas: Daniela, what about when you went to Alamos. Did you notice any difference in attitudes? Did people treat you differently because of what's been going on in Arizona?

Daniela Alcazar: No, they were very welcoming. The city is very beautiful and its culture is very rich. The community is a little different than the American community. It's a little more connected. Neighbors knew the neighbors. Everybody knew each other. Everybody would welcome me.

Jose Cardenas: You felt very welcome.

Daniela Alcazar: Yes. But also they didn't have as much materialistic things that we do. Like hot water was a problem sometimes. The school, the class rooms were a little bit differences. But it's not a set off for them.

Jose Cardenas: I apologize. That's all the time we have left. Thank you both for coming to talk about this great project. That is our show for tonight from all of us at Horizonte I'm Jose Cardenas. Have a good evening.

University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center

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  • The new University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in downtown Phoenix is expected to open in 2015. The new outpatient clinic at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus will offer comprehensive cancer services. Medical Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital, Dr. Edward Donahue, talks about the new cancer center.
  • Dr. Edward Donahue - Medical Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center, St. Joseph's Hospital
Category: Medical/Health   |   Keywords: UA, cancer, center, St Joseph, ,

View Transcript

Jose Cardenas: Thank you for joining us. The University of Arizona cancer center at St. Joseph's hospital and medical center in downtown Phoenix is scheduled to open in 2015, the latest in a series in the valley. Joining me is Dr. Edward Donahue, medical director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph's hospital. Thank you for joining us. As I understand, you currently have an appointment at St. Joe's and are practicing oncologist with a focus on breast cancer.

Dr. Edward Donahue: That's correct.

Jose Cardenas: As we noted in the introduction, there are a number of cancer centers that have opened up in the Phoenix area. Why this one? Is there a need?

Dr. Edward Donahue: I believe there is a need. The first cancer center in Arizona was form in Tucson by the Arizona cancer center in the early 1970s. We saw the Mayo Clinic come to Phoenix several years ago. They have a comprehensive cancer center. M.D. Anderson has opened a post in the east valley which is connected to their organization in Texas. But this is a very large city we live in. Cancer services are traditionally or have been at the outskirts of the city, north Scottsdale, the Far East valley. We have not had a presence in downtown Phoenix.

Jose Cardenas: So this will be the first one centrally located?

Dr. Edward Donahue: Yes. I think it's ironic that it is. With University of Arizona being the first cancer center in the state joining forces with the first hospital in Phoenix, St. Joseph's hospital founded in 1895, so it's a great combination of our clinical services and research services offered by the University of Arizona.

Jose Cardenas: We have some artists' Reynolds rings of the building that's going to be constructed. We'll put them on the screen now. Give us a sense as the pictures come up for how this is all going to work. There will actually be two sites, the one that's pictured there is the one that will be, what, on Van Buren?

Dr. Edward Donahue: 7th street and Fillmore. That's the outpatient cancer services which will be provided in this five-story building. It will provide a full range of services from outpatient imaging, infusion services for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, there will be a breast center within the walls of the building. Interventional radiology, and cancer specific specialty areas in 10 or 12 areas.

Jose Cardenas: The inpatient care will be at St. Joseph's?

Dr. Edward Donahue: That's correct. There provide all inpatient services necessary for cancer care.

Jose Cardenas: We know that some cancers have higher rates of incidence or mortality rates in different groups. One of those is Hispanics. With respect to breast cancer tell us about this.

Dr. Edward Donahue: Well, breast cancer is the most common cans they're occurs in women, and the second leading cause of death in women in the United States. What we see is that the onset of breast cancer in our Hispanic population who have moved to the United States occurs or is detected at a much later rate than it is in people who live here in the United States. It has to do I believe with our patients, Hispanic patients not having the ability to have the screening that is afforded to other segments of the population. So most cancers that are found in Hispanic women are detected by them during self-examination as opposed to the mammogram detection done in regular type screening. Our focus has been on devising new ways to treat breast cancer but one of our new focus has to be ways to prevent breast cancer from happening. So that we can encourage women to live healthy lifestyles avoid excessive alcohol, maintain their weight, regular exercise which we know does reduce one's risk of developing breast cancer.

Jose Cardenas: There's been some controversy about the efficacy of mammograms or the age when women should have them.

Dr. Edward Donahue: That's correct. Some government standards have recommended that mammograms be performed every two years as opposed to annually as recommended by the American college of surgeons, college of obstetrics and gynecology. The one issue with screening on the two-year basis is that in the 40 to 50 age group where 10 to 15% of breast cancers occur, you are delaying that imaging to a two-year basis rather than annually. Missing the opportunity to detect those breast cancers at an earlier stage when they are easier to treat.

Jose Cardenas: You would be an advocate of more regular screening?

Dr. Edward Donahue: Yes.

Jose Cardenas: So given the location of this cancer center, does that mean that there's a greater likelihood that the population base that it will serve will be Hispanic?

Dr. Edward Donahue: It will be a part of the population base. We are an inner city hospital, if you will, and our doors are open to all who come to see us. We anticipate treating everyone here in the city.

Jose Cardenas: Let's go back to the genesis of this collaboration. It's been a long time in the making I understand. Maybe seven or eight years. How did this come to be?

Dr. Edward Donahue: Well, the dedicated efforts of Linda Hunt, Patti white at St. Joseph's hospital and the efforts of the Arizona cancer center with Dave Alberts and Thom Browne plus the support of the Arizona board of regents, Stuart Flynn in Phoenix at the college of medicine, and Weaver Hart, the new president of the University of Arizona. We laid the groundwork over the past several years and just dedicated hard work many, many hours of hard work plus negotiation to make this happen. The grounds breaking we saw earlier today is very exciting. We finally have shovels in the grounds. The building that you showed earlier on the screen will be realty in less than two years.

Jose Cardenas: In terms of the initial staffing how many will be employed at the two locations?

Dr. Edward Donahue: Employment ratio at the hospital will not change. We're going to have outpatient clinics in many different areas of breast cancer care as I mentioned earlier, and we'll have physicians at the outpatient clinic collaborating with physicians at St. Joseph's hospital and also with our community physicians throughout the valley. We will be utilizing talents of all specialists throughout the valley who currently work with St. Joseph's hospital so that their patients can receive the care they require downtown and go back to their own doctors in different parts of the community.

Jose Cardenas: Doctor, last question, do you suspect we'll see more cancer centers in the Phoenix area after this is up and running?

Dr. Edward Donahue: I don't believe so. We'll have the geographic presence downtown, in the north valley at the Mayo Clinic clinic, cancer treatment centers in the west valley and M.D. Anderson in the east valley.

Jose Cardenas: We have the valley covered.

Dr. Edward Donahue: I believe we do.

Jose Cardenas: Thank you for joining us on Horizonte.