Dr. Karen Herbst Takes Top Honor at 4th Annual Influential Health and Medical Leaders Awards

Group photo from 2018 Influential Health and Medical Leaders Awards banquet Karen Herbst, MD, PhD, an endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine, medical imaging and pharmacy practice science at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, was the big winner Wednesday evening, June 13, at the 2018 Influential Health and Medical Leaders Awards banquet at Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment on South Nogales Highway.

The keynote address for the event—hosted by TucsonLocalMedia, which owns the publications Inside Tucson Business, Tucson Weekly, Northwest Explorer, Marana News, Foothills News and Desert Times—was delivered by Nancy Sweitzer, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine, chief of the UA Division of Cardiology and director of the UA Sarver Heart Center.

Health care and medical science are “full of people who have devoted their lives to help the well and the less-well achieve their best possible lives,” noted Dr. Sweitzer.

Among 18 men and women honored as winners at the fourth annual event hosted at Desert Diamonds Casinos & Entertainment, 7350 S. Nogales Highway, Dr. Herbst was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

On faculty at the UA since 2013 with the Department of Medicine’s Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and director of the Treatment, Research and Education of Adipose Tissue (TREAT) Program at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, her clinical and research interests focus on adipose tissue disorders such as lipedema or Dercum’s disease. Adipose tissue is excess fat, commonly referred to as cellulite, that cannot be lost by diet, exercise or lifestyle changes. Dr. Herbst received a $1.5 million gift from the Lipedema Foundation—founded by UA graduate Felicitie Daftuar—in 2015 to launch the TREAT Program.

EXTRA INFO: Social Media

Collage of photos from 2018 Influential Health and Medical Leaders Awards banquet See additional webposts on this at the following links:

  • TWITTER: Original post with comment from keynote speaker UA Sarver Heart Center’s Dr. Nancy Sweitzer (1 photo) | Posted 10:30 a.m., June 15
  • FACEBOOK: Group shot of all winners with keynote speaker, hosts and runners up with link to Inside Tucson Business article (1 photo) | Posted 11 a.m., June 15
  • FACEBOOK PHOTO ALBUM: Photos of Dr. Herbst accepting award and Dr. Nancy Sweitzer delivering keynote address (11 photos) | Posted 6:41 p.m., June 27
  • WORKPLACE @ UA College of Medicine – Tucson: Dr. Herbst receives award (with 5 photos) | Posted 12:40 p.m., June 15
  • WORKPLACE @ UA College of Medicine – Tucson: Dr. Sweitzer gives keynote address (with 5 photos) | Posted 12:53 p.m., June 15

Photos courtesy of Inside Tucson Business. For the full list of award winners and more photos, see the following ITB article: "Local leaders honored at 2018 Influential Health and Medical Leaders Awards" | Posted June 14, 2018

“I am so excited to win the Lifetime Achievement award from Tucson Local Media,” Dr. Herbst said about the recognition.

“It really is a true honor and it is shared by my patients because I have learned just as much if not more from them as they have learned from me.  While I feel I have accomplished a lot, I am lucky to be at the University of Arizona and Banner – University Medical Center, and to be funded by the Lipedema Foundation so that I get to work with great collaborators who will help me accomplish even more.”

She noted people with adipose tissue disorders, the vast majority women, often are misconstrued as simply being overweight and frequently suffer from comorbidities such as joint pain, diabetes and cardiovascular issues. A big part of her research involves medical imaging to better characterize what is a normal and abnormal fatty deposit.

Among current studies in the TREAT Program are:

  1. Injecting a new compound to change white fat into brown fat
  2. Assessing gait
  3. Assessing how people are doing after liposuction
  4. Assessing blood vessel function
  5. Understanding differences in histology of skin and fat.

“We are doing research on fat tissue in people with lipedema and Dercum's disease, and we have enough data now that we are submitting multiple publications with our collaborators,” Dr. Herbst added.

For more on her work, see links to articles below or visit the TREAT Program website at https://treat.medicine.arizona.edu

“Banner YouTube Video Interviews Now Linked to Web Profiles for DOM Docs” | Posted May 7, 2018
BizTucson, Inside Tucson Business, Tucson Lifestyle Pay Tribute to UA Health Sciences, DOM Docs in 2017” | Posted Dec. 13, 2017
“UA TREAT Program Offers 3.5 CME Educational Course on Lipedema for Providers, Sept. 30” | Posted Sept. 11, 2017
“DOM Docs in Banner Health Videos that Promote Diversity and Inclusion” | Posted Feb. 9, 2017
“Cure for Fat Tissue Disorders Sought in UA Alumna’s $1.5 Million Gift” | Posted Dec. 15, 2015
“LA Music Awards Honors UA Physician, Researcher, Professor Karen Herbst” | Posted Nov. 2, 2015

Release Date: 
06/15/2018 - 2:45pm