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AOMA Dispatch
AOMA Dispatch

May 29, 2020


Remembering Pete
Congrats Grads

Renew Your Membership
  Rare Diseases Webinar
Legislative Sessions Ends
Reload the PAC

Fall Seminar News   Join AOMA
AOMA Awards
New Business Partner

Online CME    AOMA Calendar


Remembering Pete Wertheim

Peter Squires Wertheim, MS, DHL, passed away on May 24, 2020 following a brave battle with glioblastoma multiforme. Born November 10, 1970 in Yonkers, New York, Pete moved to Arizona in 1987. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in the science of healthcare delivery from Arizona State University.

Pete’s career in healthcare public policy spanned the legislative and government sector, private industry, and not-for profit. For 20 years he dedicated his efforts to developing and implementing good public policy. Early in his career he served as a legislative research analyst and policy advisor to the Arizona House of Representatives. His work as the Chief Legislative Liaison at Arizona Department of Health Services led to the critical funding for a new forensic unit at the Arizona State Hospital. He served in the private sector as a healthcare lobbyist and was Vice President for Strategic Communications for the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.

In 2013, Pete became the Communications and Public Affairs Manager for the City of Prescott, just six days before the tragic Granite Mountain Hotshots fire that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters. His authentic and compassionate mitigation of media relations during this painful time helped the community navigate this horrific ordeal.

Pete served as Executive Director of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association (AOMA) from June 2014 to January 2020. During his tenure with AOMA, legislative advocacy was a top priority. By developing and encouraging physicians and medical student advocates to protect and promote osteopathic medicine for patients, he achieved notable legislative victories, including expanded access to healthcare for children, medical student training opportunities, primary care initiatives, and public health programs.

Pete received numerous awards for his contributions, including the Senator Nichols Awards from the Arizona Public Health Association, the Health Policy Hero Award from the American College of Physicians, the IASIS Healthcare Chairman’s Award, the Maurice Miller Advocate of the Year Award from the Arizona Council of Human Service Providers, and the President’s Award from the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association. The Phoenix Business Journal recognized Pete with a 2019 Most Admired Leader Award for his work with the Arizona Department of Health Services and Arizona State University College of Health Sciences in developing prescriber education on the new opioid prescribing laws.

Pete, his team, and AOMA leaders helped the association rise to prominence on the national stage by earning the 2016 and 2019 prestigious Strategic Team Award and Recognition (STAR) honors from the American Osteopathic Association for innovation and excellence among state medical associations. Respected by his peers in the osteopathic world, Pete served as President of the Association of Osteopathic State Executive Directors until his diagnosis in December. Peter was a 2019 Honorary Inductee to Omega Beta Iota, National Osteopathic Political Honor Society.

Pete received a doctorate of humane letters from A. T. Still University, a distinction bestowed in recognition of his passion for advocacy and transparency in healthcare policy, his dedication to the members of the osteopathic profession, and the significant contributions he made in protecting and improving access to healthcare for Arizonans.

Pete met the love of his live, Adela Grando in 2015 and the two of them embarked on a life of adventure that was sadly cut short by his diagnosis. They enjoyed travelling the world and experiencing the great outdoors.

He spent his last days wrapped in the love of his wife, Adela. His parents, Chris and Jack, his stepmother, Cathy, his brother, John, and sister-in-law, Amber, were at his side. Pete’s family is so grateful for the support and care received during these past months from friends, colleagues, health professionals, and especially the AOMA family that he proudly served.

Pete wishes to spend eternity in Argentina, a place he visited often and his wife’s homeland. His ashes will be spread there at a later date. Pete’s family asks that if you are so moved, you may make a contribution to the Arizona Osteopathic Charities in Pete’s name at to be used for scholarships for osteopathic medical students attending medical school in Arizona.

Pete will be remembered as the wonderful person he was, personally and professionally. We all miss him, but he will remain in the hearts and thoughts of all of us who loved him so much. May his soul rest in peace.

Legislative Session Ends

At 11:21 am, Tuesday, May 26, 2020 the 2nd Regular Session of the 54th Legislature officially adjourned sine die, ending the 135-day session with a record breaking number of bills introduced and the lowest number of bills ever making it across the finish line. You will recall that the House concluded last Thursday after a difficult week of business. They sent two brand new pieces of legislation to the Senate, HB2912 and HB2913, related to limiting business liability for COVID-19 and allocating federal childcare dollars. However, the Senate did not vote on these measures, which killed them. The Senate also had a 3rd Read calendar of 29 House bills they were set to consider Tuesday, but the motion to adjourn was made by Sen. Rebecca Rios (D-27) before any of those bills were considered. The motion to adjourn was supported by all 13 Democrats, and they were joined by three Republicans including Sen. Kate Brophy McGee and Sen. Heather Carter, legislators who have consistently raised public health concerns about continuing the 2020 session during the pandemic. As a result, the motion to adjourn crossed the 16-vote threshold and it passed. 31 Senate bills are now awaiting action from Governor Ducey—these were passed in the House last week. He has ten days to either sign the measures, veto them, or do nothing, at which point they become law without his signature.

Now that regular session has concluded, it’s likely there will be at least two special sessions: one to address the state’s budget and one for COVID-19 relief matters. When these sessions will take place is anyone’s guess, but most agree the budget session must occur in June before the new fiscal year begins on July 1, and any COVID matters may take a backseat until later in the summer or early fall.

One last thing to note, now that session is over, members may begin campaigning (i.e. fundraising) for the upcoming primary and general elections—note the primary is just over 60 days away.

Below is a summary of the session:





Bills Introduced




Bills Passed




Bills Signed




Bills Vetoed




Bills Awaiting Executive Action




Bills Dead




AOMA Award Winners

The Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association Awards (AOMA) recognize outstanding service and contributions to the osteopathic medical profession in Arizona. The AOMA is proud to honor the following individuals with its 2020 Annual Awards.

  • Physician of the Year - Steve Boles, DO
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Craig Cassidy, DO, FAOCO
  • Outstanding Mentor - Denise Sackett, DO
  • Excellence in Osteopathic Medical Education - Marc Kaplan, DO
  • Resident of the Year - Marissa Jacob, DO
  • AOF Emerging Leader Award - Brandon Abbott, DO, MPH, FAAP
  • President's Award - Pete Wertheim, MS, DHL
  • Distinguished Service Award
    • Steve Barclay, JD
    • Kelli Glaser, DO, FACOFP
    • Joseph Klag, DO, FACC, FSCAI
  • Student Distinguished Service Award AZCOM - Jay Olson, OMS III
  • Student Distinguished Service Award SOMA - Darien Kinne, OMS IV

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from gathering for the AOMA Awards Luncheon and Ceremony, but this does not diminish our gratitude nor our admiration for these outstanding people. Congratulations to all the honorees.

Help Us Protect Healthcare in Arizona

We are living in unprecedented times and now more than ever we need to be on the forefront of advocating for the osteopathic medical profession and our patients.

It is going to be an extremely contentious primary season this August. There will be countless outside groups contributing in Arizona legislative campaigns. We need to ensure the election of those candidates who share our concerns about the future of healthcare and improved access to quality care in Arizona.

It is imperative we reload the AOMA PAC account so we can continue to represent and protect physicians and patients in Arizona. Please consider becoming a Gold PAC member by making a contribution of $250 to the AOMA PAC. Of course, your contribution in any amount is appreciated and will support AOMA’s efforts on your behalf.

To make your contribution, please go to

Welcome New Business Partner - WestPac Wealth Management

AOMA announces the addition of new AOMA Business Partner, offering products and services to AOMA members at preferred pricing.

WestPac Wealth Management - WestPac Wealth Partners is a financial planning firm, established in 2007 with our first location in Hawaii. We now operate in 7 states and have 9 offices with about 170 advisors and another 30 on staff. Our mission is to design and implement financial strategies that are process focused and based on sound financial principles by educating our clients to make smart financial decisions in the accumulation, protection, and enjoyment of wealth, thereby reflecting their values, love of family, and commitment to the community.

AOMA Business Partners Logo

For more information about these and other AOMA Business Partners visit the AOMA website at

Congratulations to the Class of 2020

On Friday, May 22, 2020, Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine graduated 239 osteopathic medical students during its virtual commencement ceremony.

A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona conferred osteopathic medical degrees to 98 candidates on Friday, May 22, 2020 during its livestreamed ceremony.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!


Renew Your AOMA Membership - Protect and Promote Your Profession

Thank you to all our members for your membership and support. AOMA membership is insurance for your profession and peace of mind knowing that we are working on your behalf and unwavering in our commitment to protect your best interests. The June 2020 membership cycle expires soon, so please renew your membership today.

Top 10 Reasons to Renew Your AOMA Membership

  • 1000+ Fantastic Members
  • Advocacy for Your Profession
  • Continuing Education
  • Networking and Professional Support
  • Career Center
  • Patient Referrals
  • AOMA Digest & Dispatch Monthly E-Newsletter
  • DO Day at the Legislature
  • Business Partner Benefits
  • Best way to stay in touch with your profession




Please help us save paper and postage renew your membership online today.
Click on the Renew button.

Big news regarding the AOMA 40th Annual Fall Seminar!

You spoke and we listened. You want more opportunities to earn CME. You want choices in your CME activities. You like the option of attending in person or via the virtual program. You know you can depend on AOMA to offer high-quality, relevant CME programs.

Plan to attend the new and improved AOMA 40th Annual Fall Seminar

  • Expanded two and one-half days: November 6-8, 2020
  • CME hours available increased to 20
  • Both live, in-person and virtual livestreaming registrations will be available

The theme for the Seminar is Come Together and Dig On! AOMA designates this program for 20.0 hours of AOA Category 1-A CME credits and will report CME credits commensurate with the extent of the physician's participation in this activity. Application will also be filed for AAFP prescribed credits. This activity will be submitted for AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM. Full agenda is pending. Registration will be available soon!

 Dig On

Online CME

Missed the AOMA Annual Convention? Still need CME hours?  DOCME boasts a catalog of more than 200 different lectures in a wide variety of specialties. Earn AOA Category 1-A CME at your convenience - where and when your schedule allows. Choose the topics that are pertinent to your practice. Go to to view all the on demand offerings.

Check out these recently added titles to the AOMA online CME platform.

  • Telemedicine Update
  • Cure, Care, Comfort…or Kill? An Inside Look at Physician Assisted Suicide
  • Collaborative Care: A Model of Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care
  • Social Media & Practice Implications
  • Scoliosis and Short Leg Syndrome
  • Pancreas Cancer: Updates for the Primary Care Physician
  • Updates in Patient Experience
  • Pregnancy as a Predictor to Future Health
  • Recent Advances in Management of Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  • Labors and Losses: A Look at Maternal Mortality in Arizona
  • CBD Oil: Facts or Quacks
  • When Enough is Enough: De-Prescribing and Ceasing Preventive Testing/Screening
  • An Osteopathic Approach to the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
  • Addiction Potpourri
  • Finding Health in Gender-Affirming Care
  • Who Am I? Species Dysphoria, Otherkin, Therians, Furries and Other Identity Conundrums
  • Treating Tough Seasonal Allergies
  • Chronic Pain
  • Shifting Goals of Care Towards End of Life

Rare Disease Briefing: Access to Healthcare

The State of Black Arizona is encouraging the increased awareness, early diagnosis, and access to quality care specifically highlight rare diseases that disproportionately impact the African American population. Join providers, patients, experts, and law makers for a community conversation with Rep. Amish Shah, MD (LD 24) on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 2 pm via ZOOM.

Registration is available at For more information, call 602-888-4675 or email




Patients are Looking
for YOU!

Update Your Profile!

One of the benefits of AOMA membership is the Find a Physician public directory search. Make sure your practice information is up to date by logging in to your member profile on the AOMA website. When you do, prospective patients and potential referring physicians will be able to find you.

Not an AOMA Member?
Join today and be a part of the 98-year tradition of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association!

Membership in AOMA is an affordable vehicle to keep abreast of national and local issues, protect your professional practice, enhance your specialized skills, further your career, and be a part of the future of osteopathic medicine in Arizona.

Refer a new AOMA member and receive at $100 credit. Go to


Vaccine News


Immunization Program

CDC Immunization Schedules

AOMA Calendar of

AOMA Board of Trustees Meeting - June 27, 2020
6th Annual Flagstaff Osteopathic Medical Conference - August 15 & 16, 2020
AOMA Board of Trustees Meeting - November 6, 2020
AOMA 40th Annual Fall Seminar - November 6 - 8, 2020
AOMA House of Delegates - November 7, 2020

The AOMA Dispatch is published monthly. Direct your questions and comments to AOMA at


Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association
5150 N. 16th Street, Suite A-122
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association | 5150 N. 16th St., Ste. A-122 | Phoenix, AZ 85016
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