From left, Gastroenterology fellows David Kim, MD, Avin Aggarwal, MD, and Azadeh Fotouhie, MD; Frances Drake, RN; Linda Gonzalez, administrative associate; Steve Goldschmid, MD, division interim chief; Archita Desai, MD, institute interim director; and Jason Gass, data entry specialist
New signage was put in place Jan. 31 to recognize the renaming of the University of Arizona Liver Research Institute last year in recognition of its founding director, Thomas D. Boyer, MD.
Dr. Boyer, who served as chair of the UA Department of Medicine from 2008 to 2014, died Jan. 11.
The research center has been known as the UA Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute since early last fall. The name change, approved by the university last summer, was announced at the Skyline Country Club retirement party for UA gastroenterology professor John Cunningham, MD, and Dr. Boyer on Aug. 12. To read more about Dr. Boyer's career, including profiles of him in BizTucson and Tucson Lifestyle magazines and a photo gallery from the retirement party, see this article.
UA Facilities workers Adam Jacobs (above right) and Danny Rodriguez (below left polishing Gastroenterology sign) finish installing the new signage.
The change was requested by UA Department of Medicine Chair Monica Kraft, MD, and UA Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Interim Chief Steve Goldschmid, MD, who had been a coworker of Dr. Boyer’s since their days at Emory University. For more about Dr. Boyer's career and legacy, click here.
Signage for the division (left) also was upgraded to match the institute signage design.
The institute is led currently by interim director Archita Desai, MD, who joined the UA faculty and research staff in August 2014.
Dr. Desai offered this tribute to her late mentor:
“As we are all feel the loss of Dr. Boyer, celebrating how he touched my own life might offer a brief glimpse into how impactful Dr. Boyer has been. When I first started, fresh out of fellowship, he towered over me, a giant in the world of hepatology. Others warned; he’s tough they would say. Naively, I disregarded their warnings and went to him. First when I needed his support my grant applications; with time when I need his advice on the direction of my research or help managing a patient. It turned out his door was always open for folks like me. He always had a witty one sentence answer backed by a lifetime of lessons learned. In the darkest of days when I had lost a patient, he rejuvenated my spirit. Even after 30 years of practice his heart still ached for the young patients we lost to liver disease and fueled his desire to improve our specialty. Our last year together was punctuated by leaves of absence and loss. With his return though he showed his resilience and strength again – “Get your K23 (grant application) in and I’ll cover for you.” His generosity extended to my family with whom he shared to the gift of music and love for spicy Indian food. I’m grateful to have my life and career touched by Dr. Boyer but know I’m only one in a generation of doctors, trainees, nurses, transplant staff and patients that he impacted.”
Above right, Lisa Laughlin and Linda Gonzalez (plaid jacket), admins for the Liver Institute and Gastroenterology Division inspect the finished product
In other news, two new members have joined the Liver Institute, Gloria Schneider, NP, as clinical staff and Maria Santa Cruz as a research specialist. See the facility's “Faculty & Staff” webpage to learn more.
“Celebration of Life for Late Past DOM Chair, UA Liver Institute Founder Dr. Tom Boyer, Jan. 21” | Posted Jan. 15, 2018
“(Message on Dr. Tom Boyer’s Death) Sent on behalf of Charles B. Cairns, Dean, UA College of Medicine – Tucson” | Posted Jan. 17, 2017
“Accreditation Alliance Allows Las Vegas GI Fellows to Learn about Liver Care at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson” | Posted Dec. 2, 2015
“AHSC Top News Items of the Week include Tucson Lifestyle ‘Top Docs’ Issue, with Features on Drs. Merri Pendergrass, Tom Boyer” | Posted Sept. 4, 2015
“Baby Boomers Greatest at-Risk Group of the Silent Killer Infection, Hepatitis C; New Clinic at UAMC Offers Free Screenings” | Posted July 14, 2014