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Sun Life Family Health Center

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By Jonathan Willms, DO
Chair of OB/GYN, Sun Life Family Health Center

Prior to the development of the pap test, woman commonly developed cervical cancer and died from it. In the 1940s, the pap test was developed as a way to screen not only for cervical cancer but also the precancerous changes that could lead

to cervical cancer. Now, significantly fewer women develop cervical cancer as a result of our ability to identify changes and target them so they cannot become cancerous.

The idea we can identify risk factors for illnesses and changes that could lead to serious health problems is what makes a well-woman exam so important. A well-woman visit is a focused visit where we screen for potentially dangerous conditions and discuss important topics like nutrition and exercise. Although these are very important to work through together, they can often be overlooked when women come in for problem-focused visits. The well-woman visit allows time to discuss these topics.

The tests offered vary based on age and individual circumstances. Typically, testing for sexually transmitted infections is offered to woman of all ages. The pap test begins at age 21 and occurs every three to five years when normal. Screening

mammograms start between age 40 and 50 but sometimes earlier, depending on family history of breast cancer. Screening for colon cancer should begin by age 50. Women in their 60s are often offered a test to screen for bone density to identify those at risk for fractures.

All these tests are designed to detect changes that, if left alone, could turn into cancer. It is always better to catch precancerous changes or early stage cancer than diagnose cancer later in its course. These screening tests have all been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of developing cancer.

Unfortunately, we do not have good screening tests to detect many cancers in their earliest stages. I’m often asked about how we can screen for ovarian cancer. To date, there is no good screening test for ovarian cancer. We can, however, request a consultation with a genetic counselor when a woman’s family history suggests an underlying genetic condition like the BRCA 1 or 2 mutations.

In addition, to screening for cancers, we discuss vaccines. One of the newer vaccines is the HPV vaccine, which covers women (and now men) against the most common strains of the human papilloma virus that causes genital warts and cancer. Not only is HPV associated with cervical cancer, but it also is linked to throat cancer, anal cancer and penile cancer in men. As more men and woman are vaccinated, these cancers will become a thing of the past.

I know, with a busy schedule, it is difficult to make time for things like a well-woman exam. It’s easy to think if you feel fine you don’t need to do it. However, if we’re able to detect a potentially serious medical condition early or before it becomes a problem, you’ll save yourself a lot of time in the end.


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Submitted by Tyrae Word (Behavioral Health Consultant at Sun Life Family Health Center)

Spring symbolizes new life or new beginnings for many. As we enter the season of “new” we should take the opportunity to put ourselves first and strike a balance in our lives. As anything, it is often easier said than done, as there are endless demands placed on our time. Yet, to be able to meet these demands or take care of others, we must also take care of ourselves. Mental health is as important as physical health. While we often associate taking caring of ourselves with eating healthy and working out, we forget that it also means keeping our mind healthy. Here are 10 things we can do for our mental health.

1 Value yourself:
Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects, or broaden your horizons. Do a daily crossword puzzle, plant a garden, take dance lessons, learn to play an instrument or become fluent in another language.

2 Take care of your body:
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to:
• Eat nutritious meals
• Drink plenty of water
• Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
• Get enough sleep.

3 Surround yourself with good people:
People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group.

4 Give yourself:
Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. You’ll feel good about doing something tangible to help someone in need — and it’s a great way to meet new people.

5 Learn how to deal with stress:
Like it or not, stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills: Exercise, take a nature walk, play with your pet or try journal writing as a stress reducer. Also, remember to smile and see the humor in life. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.

6 Quiet your mind:
Try meditating. Relaxation exercises and prayer can your state of mind outlook on life. In fact, research shows that meditation may help you feel calm and enhance the effects of therapy.

7 Set realistic goals:
Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and don’t over-schedule. You’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you progress toward your goal.

8 Break up the monotony:
Although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road-trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures or try a new restaurant.

9 Avoid alcohol:
Keep alcohol use to a minimum. Sometimes people use alcohol to “self-medicate” but in reality, alcohol can only aggravate problems.

10 Get help when you need it:
Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives. Putting all or some of these tips into place can improve your overall health. It can take as little as a minute to help improve both mental and physical health by using simple strategies. Too often our minds are traveling at the speed of light bouncing from thought to thought, many of which are stressful. Taking a full deep breath or focused breath can help relieve tension and lead to physical relaxation. All we have to do is start.

Reference: https://www.uhs.umich.edu/tenthings

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Integrated Behavioral Health and a Family Practice Provider collaborate on patient care.

By Dr. Matthew Bertsch, PharmD. and Dr. Chinwe Chukwurah, M.D.
Sun Life Family Health Center

The opioid crisis has had an effect on many people around Arizona, and around the country. Although the problem with opiates is not a new one, it certainly has developed much traction recently. With governors, legislators, our national congressional representatives, our senators and even our president talking about the issue, it has garnered a lot of mainstream attention. Opiates/opioids, often used interchangeably, are not new, and neither is drug abuse. However, the attention on the crisis has made health care challenging, even to Sun Life Family Health Center.

Patient education
It really is not all about the opiates though. Drug abuse, legal and illegal, has run rampant for decades. People who abuse have abused promethazine with codeine for its pleasurable and sedative effect; have abused dextromethorphan for its mild euphoria or extreme hallucinations depending on dose; and have abused other medications meant to treat neuropathic pain for its marijuana-like effects. Drug abuse is not new.

The laws and technology in our state have changed, and there is now an Arizona Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program for the safety of patients. Prescribers are now required to check the prescription monitoring program. Prescribers will also be required to prescribe addictive medications electronically. Continuing education will be required for providers as a part of maintaining their license. Prescription doses will also be limited and new opioid packaging requirements have been implemented.

The scrutiny around opiate prescribing has led to opioid refugees, those who have had to abandon their addictions to prescription opiates and have turned to illegal street drugs. Patients have turned to both methamphetamine and heroin. Because of all of these overdoses, both legal and illegal, access to the life-saving overdose drug naloxone has increased as well.

Sun Life
At Sun Life Family Health Center, we practice pain management responsibly. While our primary care providers have autonomy in pain management, their decisions are guided by policy and proper clinical judgment using guideline-based therapy.

Dr. Chukwurah and Dr. Bertsch consult about Pain Management at Sun Life Family Health Center in Casa Grande.

What makes us unique, however, is our integrated approach to pain management. We have a team of integrated behavioral health specialists who work with our patients, as many times symptoms can be managed at a behavioral level as opposed to prescribing a medication. This is where our Mindful Alternative Pain Program comes into play. MAPP is a series of classes that focus on alternative and natural ways to cope with issues associated with pain.

Clinical pharmacy has made a huge impact on the approach to pain management within Sun Life. Clinical pharmacy has teamed up with primary care providers to review dosing of pain medications of the patients we serve. Clinical pharmacists also provide education to patients about opiates, discuss pain goals with patients, check dangerous drug interactions and consult with providers to ensure proper therapy for patients. The goal of this collaboration is that patients learn to manage their pain and reduce their dependency solely on medications.

Sun Life’s community pharmacists assist in the process by providing a thorough review of the prescriptions sent by the providers to one of our six pharmacies. Although this is not different from how other pharmacies should operate, Sun Life pharmacies have the advantage of being in close proximity to the clinical pharmacy team, the behavioral health team and the primary care provider.

Pain management is a complicated subject. We have seen that with this collaborative, interdisciplinary approach, medication use is decreasing, and there is an overall decreased risk for medication-related problems. Patients benefit when health care providers set an example and work together to ensure proper care of our patients who are in need.

Matthew Bertsch, PharmD., is the director of pharmacy and Chinwe Chukwurah, M.D., is the medical director at Sun Life Family Health Center.

This article appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

James Underwood

Sun Life Family Health Center welcomed James M. Underwood, DO, to the organization’s location on Bowlin Road.

Underwood earned his Bachelor of Science degree in human ecology in 1987 from Rutgers University. In 1995, he completed his doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Ohio University. In 1999, he completed his residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron.

Underwood is board certified with the American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics. He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, Ohio Osteopathic Association and Ohio State Medical Association.

He moved to Arizona in May. He and his wife of 23 years have four children. In his free time, he is actively involved in church, loves spending time with his family, and he enjoys playing keyboard, cooking and baking.

This item appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.

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By Andrew H. Jones
Community Relations Coordinator, Sun Life Family Health Center

Summer break is upon us and in the age of cell phones and video games, it isn’t hard for kids to find something to do on a hot summer day. However, spending too much time with a phone or video game remote control in hand isn’t ideal for anyone, especially when there is plenty of good old-fashioned fun to be had. Here are a few fun and safe activities for children of all ages, to keep them free from boredom and turn a boring day into an amazing fun day.

1. Make a Family Flag — Cut a large rectangle from an old white sheet or pillowcase. Use markers and/or paint to make your own family flag.

2. Make a Puppet Theater — Turn a card table on its side or us a large cardboard box. Make your own paper bag or sock puppets, or simply use dolls and stuffed animals.

3. Paint Rocks — Find rocks and paint funny replicas of your family. Make sure to add googly eyes.

4. Play Tabletop Soccer — Pick teams and have teams sit at opposite ends of a table. Use a ping-pong ball for the soccer ball. Players move the ball by blowing it. To score a goal, a player must blow the ball off the opponent’s edge of the table.

5. Indoor Campout — Hang sheets or blankets over tables or chairs. Let children hangout, snack, and nap in the “tent.”

6. Measure Things — How tall are you? How long is the table? How big around is the tree? How wide is the sidewalk? Give your child a tape measure and work together to find out.

7. Make Paper Airplanes — Look up instructions online on how to make different types. Fold some paper airplanes and hold a contest to see which flies the farthest or stays afloat the longest.

8. Neighborhood Watch — Using old boxes, build a giant robot to protect the neighborhood from “Aliens from Outer Space.”

9. Bowling — Maybe it’s the simple nature of the sport and the obvious lack of tension in the building that puts everyone at ease. Laugh at the gutter balls, and cheer for each other’s strikes.

10. Water Balloon Baseball — My favorite, and even teens will have trouble resisting this silly task of trying to hit a wobbly water balloon with a bat. Your yard will be littered with broken balloon pieces afterward, so entice clean up by offering an ice cream treat to each kid who helps out.

11. Play a Classic Card or Board Game — Playing cards is not only fun, it is a great way to keep kids thinking. A few of my kid’s favorites include; war, slap jack, 21, Rummikub, Monopoly, Catch Phrase, or even pull out the old school domino set.

12. Cook Off or Bake Competition — Anything involving food are always a hit with kids. Putting together a lunch or dinner is also a great way to practice teamwork. Better yet, try a food-tasting contest and have Mom or Dad choose the best tasting dish without knowing whose is whose. Loser does the dishes.

13. Library Story Time — Check with your local library for fun activities, they typically do several for each age group and you can find the ones that are of interest to your child.
14. Movie Marathon — Select a movie series to watch. A few suggestions that my kids love are, the Avengers, Batman, or the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Get everyone’s favorite ice cream and/or make popcorn. Make it a special event (Tip: check your local library for movie rentals).

15. Volunteer Work — Whether it’s helping at a food bank, or the public library, volunteers are always in need. It is important your children learn that the world really does not revolve around playing video games or silly apps on their phone. There are plenty of fun and rewarding opportunities to volunteer your time. Working side by side with your teen that involves sacrifice for the benefit of another will provide work experience, making new friends, and fun!

Take advantage of summer break and have fun spending quality time with your children. Let your children decide what they would like to do as an activity. You may learn something new about them, and possibly even yourself. Let them take control and participate with enthusiasm! If you can create an experience that includes just one of these activities you will be off and running to fun filled moments and creating memories.

Sun Life Family Health Center wishes you and your family a fun, safe and healthy summer break. To learn more about our office locations and hours, visit www.sunlifefamilyhealth.org.

1. Lauren Piro. (2017). 40 Boredom-Busting Activities to Do With the Kids. Retrieved from www.goodhousekeeping. com/home/craft-ideas/how-to/g1389/diy-kids-activities/?slide=24
2. The Myria Editors. (2017). 33 fun summer activities for kids and families. Retrieved from https://myria.com/33-fun-summer-activities-for-kids-and-families
3. Woman’s Day Staff. (2018). Fun Summer Activities That Won’t Break the Bank. Retrieved from www.womansday.com/life/work-money/tips/g1212/summer-activities/?slide=2

Children have a lot of energy to release, be active with them! #OneSmallChange


By Andrew H. Jones
Community Relations Coordinator
Sun Life Family Health Center

As parents we never hesitate to schedule regular routine checkups for our children, but as adults we often times put aside our own health needs, and too often, we only see a doctor when we are sick.

People are changing their ways and are becoming more conscious about their health with improvements in diet, exercise and regular health check-ups. A routine and regular health check-up is a detailed test of your body, which should be done annually to monitor your health, reduce your risk of getting sick and detect any potentially life-threatening health conditions and/or hidden disease in your body and lower its effect with early treatment, or best-case scenario prevent it. Routine health checkups have many advantages as it will increase your lifespan by getting the right health services, screening and treatments your body requires.

Importance of Routine Health Check-Ups

Many serious health problems do not have any symptoms but can be found during a routine health check-up. Therefore important to have health checkups often. Any serious illness found in its early stage is much easier to cure. Early detection also enhances chances of survival.

Without routine health check-ups, you cannot regulate some health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, etc. Having a regular health check-up can improve your quality of life and help you avoid a serious problem such as cancer, osteoporosis, heart diseases, etc.

Routine check-ups for women such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cervical screenings and a breast exam will help to detect the signs of diseases at most treatable stages.

A regular scheduled check-up is also a good time to get up-to-date information on new medical technologies that are available.

A routine health exam helps to maintain and keep one’s medical history up to date. A clear and complete medical report can help to detect hereditary and early health problems.

Regular checkups help to strengthen the awareness of medical problems and encourage you to act on signs and symptoms to avoid potential health problems.

According to research, people with a poor diet, who use tobacco, that misuse/overuse alcohol, and/or have a lack of physical activity are more prone to death. Some of these deaths could be preventable with regular routine medical check-ups.

Other than these benefits, a regular health check-up gives an opportunity to talk with your doctor about healthy lifestyle choices. You can also review any immunizations that may be due, or learn about new optional vaccines that may not even be on your radar. During this time, you may also discuss emotional problems like depression and stress. These health checkups help the patient to reduce risks of major illness slipping through the cracks and enable you to worry less about any potential risks.

Sun Life Family Health Center welcomes you to learn more about the healthcare services we offer. Sun Life offers continuous and comprehensive healthcare to individuals and the entire family. In addition to providing care when you are ill, we will also help you achieve a healthy lifestyle and work with you to help prevent future illness.


To help fill up your future medical calendar, these are the recommended ages for adult screenings and vaccines. It is important to become familiar with these lifelong milestones and coordinate a routine yearly schedule to maintain your overall health and wellness.

20 – The age when the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends beginning annual skin cancer screenings.

21–29 – The age when women should begin getting a cervical screening every three years, according to the ACS.

30–65 – The age when women should begin getting a cervical screening combined with an HPV test every five years, according to the ACS.

50 – The age when men should begin getting prostate screenings, according to the ACS. Also the age when men and women should schedule their first colonoscopy.

60 – The age when men and women should get the shingles vaccine, according to the CDC, which recommends getting the vaccine regardless of whether you recall having had chickenpox.

65 – The age when men and women should receive the pneumococcal vaccine, according to the CDC. In addition, the age when women should get a bone density scan.

70 – The age when men should get a bone-density scan.



Create a Medical Routine for yourself and your family. Monitor your health, reduce your risk of getting sick and detect any potentially life-threatening health conditions with routine check-ups.




By Andrew H. Jones
Community Relations Coordinator
Sun Life Family Health Center

WHAT is Integrated Behavioral Health?
Integrated Behavioral Health is a program available to patients within Sun Life Family Health Center that provides services as part of their overall good health care. The purpose of this service is to offer assistance when stress, worry, or emotional concerns about physical or other life problems are interfering with someone’s daily life.

WHO is the Behavioral Health Consultant and WHAT kinds of problems can they help with?
The BHC is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or a Licensed Psychologist (LP) with specialty training who works as a member of the primary care team. This team approach allows us to consider physical, behavioral, and emotional aspects of health. For example, BHCs can help develop plans for behavioral change programs, such as smoking cessation or other lifestyle modifications. BHCs can also help with emotional or behavioral problems such as family or relationship difficulties, bereavement, excess stress, depression, anxiety, or anger problems.

WHAT should I expect when I see the Behavioral Health Consultant?
You can expect the BHC to ask you specific questions about your physical symptoms, the emotional concerns you are experiencing, your behaviors, and how all of these might be related. You can expect your appointments to be no longer than 30 minutes, in general, and for the BHC to provide brief solution-focused interventions. You can also expect to be seen in the exam room or in a comfortable office at Sun Life and the BHC will maintain a close working relationship with your primary care provider in offering the best overall care. Remember: Your primary care provider remains in charge of your health care – the BHCs primary job is to help develop and implement the best integrated health care plan for YOU!

HOW is this service different from Mental Health?
The services provided by the BHC serves as another part of your overall health care. Follow up sessions will be scheduled as necessary and dependent upon your specific situation. If you request, or if the BHC thinks you would benefit from specialty mental health services, the BHC will provide a referral. Documentation, assessments and recommendations will be written in your electronic health record.0

Sun Life Family Health Center welcomes you to learn more about our Integrated Behavioral Health Department and the services rendered. Sun Life offers continuous and comprehensive healthcare to individuals and the entire family. In addition to providing care when you are ill, we will also work with you to help achieve a healthy lifestyle and help prevent future illness. For more information, call our Sun Life Family Health Center location today at (520) 836-3446.

Tip of the Month: Learn to identify your own emotions for a healthier you!


Davis L. Plunkett

Mr. Plunkett is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW 11772). He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1994 in Psychology from Franklin Pierce University, Rindge, New Hampshire. He received his Master’s in Social Work at San Diego State University, San Diego, California, in 1999.

Mr. Plunkett joined Sun Life Family Health Center in 2010 to develop and manage Integrated Behavioral Health services at Sun Life.

Born in Methuen, Massachusetts, Mr. Plunkett moved to Arizona in 2003. He enjoys fitness and travel.


Sarah Aldridge

Dr. Aldridge received her Bachelor of Science degree in 2010 in Psychology from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. She received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, in 2015. She completed her residency in Indianapolis, Indiana, at Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center.

Dr. Aldridge is a board certified Psychologist and member of the National Register of Health Service Psychologist. She joined Sun Life Family Health Center in May of 2017. She enjoys learning and trying new things and is skillful in problem solving and responsiveness to patients. She brings a high level of motivation and is excited to be part of the Sun Life team.

Born in Anderson, Indiana, Dr. Aldridge just recently moved to Arizona in 2017. She enjoys playing tennis, running, hiking, walking her dogs, reading, and baking.



By Andrew H. Jones
Community Relations Coordinator
Sun Life Family Health Center

Nonprofit Organizations Are Everywhere

Almost every cause or charity you can think of has a nonprofit organization that you can support and donate money to. But, you may be thinking, “I work hard for my money, why should I give it away!” Although on the surface this seems like a valid point, there are benefits in donating to a nonprofit organization. Not only does it feel good but you may also be able to receive a tax reduction.

So How Do You Choose A Nonprofit To Support?

First and foremost, choose a specific cause that you feel is important and are passionate about. Whatever the cause, by donating to a nonprofit organization, you are directly helping produce a remedy for a problematic issue at hand by giving monetary support.

Plus it feels good, there’s no doubt about it, “dang it feels good to help others and donate to a nonprofit organization.” Don’t keep that good feeling a secret. Let your friends and family know that they too can feel good by donating to a charity that matters to them.

Plus You Might Get A Tax Deduction

Depending on the size of your donation and the type of nonprofit you choose you may even get a reduction on your income taxes. If you are considering donating to a charity, do some research before you give. You can check out sites like www.guidestar.org to make sure the charity you have chosen is a verified nonprofit who will put your donation to good use.

So How About Choosing Sun Life?

Sun Life Family Health Center is asking you to support your local community health center. In the past year, the organization served 46,578 individuals, many of whom would have no access to care if it were not for Sun Life Family Health Center. You may be surprised to know that last year 2016, 30% of Sun Life’s patients cared for were children. 1,195 children were served through Sun Life’s Community Dental program. Sun Life participates in the Reach Out and Read program, our pediatricians give a book to each young pediatric patient at his or her well-child visit. In addition, in 2016 through Sun Life’s dedication to wellness and education we provided 3,344 people with diabetic education classes. This year 2017, marks Sun Life’s 4th annual Crucial Catch free breast cancer screening event in partnership the American Cancer Society and the National Football League.

What many people do not know about Sun Life is that in addition to primary care services, Sun Life also offers Integrated Clinical Pharmacy as well as, Integrated Behavioral Health Services that provides care and treatment for an average of 18 patients daily for anxiety, depression, and PTSD. In addition to these services throughout our 13 locations, Sun Life continues to offer patient assistance programs.

In 2016, 58% of donations came directly from Sun Life’s very own staff. This is testament that at Sun Life, our staff truly abides by and believes in our mission to provide high quality health services, wellness and education to all people.

We are asking for your support and generosity in helping us make a difference in your community. We want to do so much more. Your donation can help Sun Life Family Health Center make a big difference.

If you are interested in donating to Sun Life Family Health Center, contact Renee Louzon-Benn, Director of Community Outreach by email at Renee.Louzon-Benn@SLFHC.org or call for more information (520) 381-6366.

Please Consider A Donation To Sun Life Family Health Center.

by -
Travis Robinette

By Travis Robinette

On behalf of the patients, staff, and Board of Directors of Sun Life Family Health center, I would like to thank the residents of Pinal County for your generosity in supporting our first fundraising event this month.

To commemorate 40 years of providing healthcare excellence to communities in Pinal County, we planned our first inaugural “For the Love of Chocolate” 3-mile Fun Run / Walk in Maricopa on March 5. We look forward to growing this annual event.

Over 200 registered for the event. Runners and walkers all received a race shirt, medal, and a goodie bag filled with five chocolate treats, and a chance for a “selfie with Oompa Loompas” and “Wilhelmina Wonka.” Monies raised will go toward making healthcare accessible for everyone.

Every year, Sun Life strives to advance its mission to deliver comprehensive, high quality services to all people in need of affordable, accessible, and culturally effective healthcare. At Sun Life, we want Pinal County residents to know how much we appreciate their support, so that we can continue to make a difference in the well-being of our patients, their families and our communities.

Travis Robinette is the CEO of Sun Life Family Health Center.

Submitted photo
Submitted photo

The Sun Life Fun Run drew 145 runners for the 3-mile race at Copper Sky. Photo by Scott Bartle

Nearly 200 people registered for the inaugural Sun Life Fun Run in Maricopa on March 5. There were 145 runners in the 3-mile race, with 121 finishing. Others completed a mile, with two running and others walking around the lake at Copper Sky Regional Park.

See photos in Community gallery at InMaricopa.com/Photos

Adam Hunt, 41, of Maricopa set a hot pace early and won the 3-mile race by almost a minute.

Everyone who finished received a medal and goodie bag of chocolate treats and other swag. The race was tagged “For the Love of Chocolate.”

The event was a fund-raiser for the nonprofit Sun Life Family Health Center.


  1. Adam Hunt, Maricopa, 18:10 (winner – overall and age 40-44)
  2. Miguel Calderon, Maricopa, 19:19 (winner – age 35-39)
  3. Robert Hoxie, Gilbert, 20:52 (winner – age 50-54)
  4. Steve Haschke, Maricopa, 23:16 (winner – age 55-59)
  5. Sarah Vincent, Casa Grande, 24:07 (winner – age 14-17)
  6. April Crimmins, Casa Grande, 24:56 (winner – age 45-49)
  7. Jesse Loring, Phoenix, 25:36
  8. Douglas Pratt, Maricopa, 25:51 (winner – age 30-34)
  9. Maisey Behrends, Maricopa, 25:54 (winner – age 25-29)
  10. Thelma Whaling, Casa Grande, 26:29
  11. Marleen Vincent, Casa Grande, 26:46
  12. Bobby Corrales, Phoenix, 27:11
  13. Jared Hatchard, Tucson, 27:39
  14. Erik Jackson, (unknown), 27:45
  15. Walter Keeler, (unknown), 27:47 (winner – age 65-69)

    Miguel Calderon of Maricopa picks up his second-place medal.
    Miguel Calderon of Maricopa picks up his second-place medal.
  16. Marie Noelle Recalde, Casa Grande, 27:53
  17. Ethan Mitchell, Casa Grande, 28:19 (winner – age 9-10)
  18. Eric Loring, Chandler, 28:26
  19. Colleen Flynn, Maricopa, 28:49
  20. Janalee Hauptman, Phoenix, 28:59
  21. David Hays, Maricopa, 29:08 (winner – age 60-64)
  22. Robbie Bechtel, Casa Grande, 29:21
  23. Dylan Leavell, Casa Grande, 29:29
  24. Colleen Bechtel, Casa Grande, 29:33
  25. Tammy Stricklin, Florence, 30:21
  26. Tomeko Williams, Litchfield Park, 30:56
  27. Brenda Hiebert, Phoenix, 31:00
  28. Norma Petit, Arizona City, 31:52
  29. Norma Montijo, Arizona City, 31:52
  30. Yuridia Jimenez, Casa Grande, 32:14
  31. Hector Montijo III, Arizona Ciety, 32:30
  32. Shelly Hogan, Maricopa, 32:58
  33. Cheyenne Wolven, Florence, 33:28
  34. Jennifer Arvizu, Casa Grande, 33:29
  35. Estrella Villatro, Casa Grande, 33:36
  36. Sheri Camp, Maricopa, 33:37
  37. Elijah Vincent, Casa Grande, 33:58 (winner, age 8 and under)
  38. Angelica Rivas, Eloy, 34:10
  39. Daniel Whaling, Casa Grande, 34:52
  40. Shirley Marie Kelly, Maricopa, 34:57
  41. Debbie Hinshaw Ponchzko, (unknown), 35:08
  42. Gary Bixler, Maricopa, 35:31
  43. Jody Wiggins, (unknown), 35:45
  44. Michelle Fogarty, Casa Grande, 38:12
  45. Cindy Reinhard, (unknown), 38:17
  46. Heather Recalde, Casa Grande, 38:29
  47. Jel Recalde, Casa Grande, 38:31
  48. Bernie Birk, Maricopa, 39:02 (winner – age 70 and over)
  49. Roy Wolven, Florence, 40:00
  50. Yolva Perez, San Manuel, 40:19
  51. Candi Sheffield, San Manuel, 40:22
  52. Francine Juan, Casa Grande, 40:45
  53. Gwen Estrada, Phoenix, 40:48
  54. Sylvester Juan, Casa Grande, 41:11
  55. Brian Montez, Maricopa, 41:31
  56. Veronica Montez, Maricopa, 41:39 (winner – age 18-24)
  57. Celena Shields, Maricopa, 42:30
  58. Ken Shields, Maricopa, 42:31
  59. Dalian Meraz, Maricopa, 42:58 (winner – age 11-13)
  60. Ciselly Meraz, Maricopa, 43:00
  61. Norma Garcia, Casa Grande, 45:00
  62. Kristie Wooley, Florence, 45:11
  63. Jeffrey Wooley, Florence, 45:11
  64. Diann Prechel, Casa Grande, 45:12
  65. Jeannie Day, Maricopa, 45:20
  66. Sarrah McWilliams, Maricopa, 45:59
  67. Tim Omeara, Maricopa, 46:00
  68. Aaron Winkle, Tucson, 46:18
  69. Jenna Murphy, Chandler, 46:34
  70. Jessica Murphy, Chandler, 46:38
  71. Jonathan Murphy, Chandler, 46:49
  72. Becky Gutierrez, Casa Grande, 47:33
  73. Anabel Bevan, Casa Grande, 47:34
  74. Trish Friberg, Gilbert, 47:37
  75. Doug Briggs, Scottsdale, 47:39
  76. Jel Robert Recalde, 48:11
  77. Monica Wolven, Florence, 48:13
  78. Yolanda Marucut, Casa Grande, 48:21
  79. Karla Yonts, Maricoap, 49:34
  80. Crystal Windle, San Tan Valley, 49:34
  81. Bethany Bryant, Florence, 49:35
  82. Mark Yonts, Maricopa, 49:35
  83. Stephanie Palafox Salazar, Mricopa, 49:37
  84. Dee Johnson, Florence, 49:41
  85. Karen Worrell, Maricopa, 50:00
  86. Leeanna Jensen, Maricopa, 50:37
  87. Craig Jensen, Maricopa, 50:44
  88. Claudia Alvarado, Casa Grande, 51:29
  89. Brenda Cruz, Sells, 51:34
  90. Paul Mitchell, Casa Grande, 51:45
  91. Edith Villalobos, Casa Grande, 51:46
  92. Alex Cruz, Sells, 52:01
  93. Elizabeth Andrews, Chandler, 52:12
  94. Willie Pearson, (unknown), 52:13
  95. David Lopez, Mesa, 52:14
  96. Lauren Sanders, Marana, 52:20
  97. Matthew Bertsch, Marana, 52:22
  98. Anthony Lopez, Mesa, 53:03
  99. Jessica Flores, Maricopa, 53:23
  100. Olivia Gilmore, Maricopa, 53:23
  101. Matthew Vincent, Casa Grande, 53:49
  102. Zachary Mitchell, Casa Grande, 53:57
  103. Brandon McKee, Phoenix, 55:48
  104. Kathy Arguelles, Maricopa, 56:17
  105. Reyna Villegas, Casa Grande, 57:07
  106. Victoria Iniguez, Casa Grande, 57:17
  107. Rubi Machado, Eloy, 57:38
  108. Cynthia Suarez, Casa Grande, 57:54
  109. Michelle Tapia, Maricopa, 58:01
  110. Joyce Butts, Maricopa, 58:27
  111. Kelly Johnston, Maricopa, 58:28
  112. Debra Vigil, Casa Grande, 1:00:11
  113. Dymrie Martinez, Casa Grande, 1:00:43
  114. Alena Martinez, Casa Grande, 1:00:43
  115. Mary Jane Vargas, Casa Grande, 1:00:44
  116. Guadalupe Gonzalez, San Tan Valley, 1:01:11
  117. Gloria Estrada, Maricopa, 1:01:17
  118. Jennifer Bustos, Maricopa, 1:01:18
  119. Eva Meraz, Maricopa, 1:01:19

120: Destyni Bustos, Maricopa, 1:01:19

121: Brenda Lopez, Mesa, 1:01:35

Mayor Christian Price with Director Eddie Estrada at Center for Women opening.

Sun Life Family Health Center has expanded services in Maricopa and opened a Center for Women.

Sun Life opened the doors to its new family health center on Bowlin Road by the Copper Sky Multigenerational Complex in July. The old location on the southwest corner of John Wayne Parkway and Hathaway Avenue was renovated to be the new center for women.

“About 36 years ago, Sun Life opened their first office in Maricopa,” Sun Life Medical Director Robert Babyar said. “We are proud to be part of Maricopa’s heritage, and even prouder still to continue to grow to meet the community’s healthcare needs.”

Building a women’s center in Maricopa has been a goal for Sun Life management for nearly eight years. The nonprofit organization has women-specific clinics in Casa Grande and Apache Junction as well, but never had the space to put one in Maricopa until the new family health center was completed.

The new center provides full obstetrics and gynecology services on site. Ultrasounds and advanced laparoscopic robotic surgeries are available at Sun Life Casa Grande’s facility.

“We are happy to initiate services here in Maricopa,” Sun Life Center for Women Director Eddie Estrada said. “We will offer services to everyone. No one should be denied services because they don’t have great insurance.”

The Sun Life Center for Women is located at 44765 W. Hathaway Ave. It is open from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.



This story appeared in the February issue of InMaricopa News.

Part of the team at Sun Life Maricopa Center for Women, which opened Nov. 11: from left to right: Director of Ob/Gyn Dr. Eddie Estrada, Front Desk Clerk Rocio De La O, Front Desk Clerk Maisey Behrends, Medial Assistant Barbara Thompson, Danielle Jennings, WHNP, RN Team Lead Jessica Murphy, Brittany Hope (phlebotomist/lab).

By Lindsey Gemme, Sun Life Family Health Center

To meet the needs of a fantastic community, area nonprofit healthcare organization Sun Life is thrilled to announce the opening of its newest location in Maricopa.

The Maricopa Center for Women opened Wednesday, Nov. 11, in Sun Life’s former family practice office at 44765 W. Hathaway Ave. Dr. Joseph Edwards, MD, and Danielle Jennings, women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP) are on staff.

Dr. Joseph Edwards
Dr. Joseph Edwards

Edwards completed his medical education at the Universidad Autonoma DeGuadalajara, Facultad DeMedicine, in Guadalajara, Mexico, and State University of New York, Binghamton/ Upstate Medical Center in 1979. His internship was completed in 1980 and residency completed in 1981, both at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California. Dr. Edwards is a Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, and a fellow of the American College of Gynecologists. He joined Sun Life Family Health Center in 2007.

Jennings joined Sun Life’s Center for Women in 2015 and has been working at Sun Life’s Center for Women in Casa Grande. Born in Seattle, Wash., she moved to Arizona in 1997 and pursued a nursing career in obstetrics. She accumulated 18 years of labor and delivery experience, most of that time spent working at Chandler Regional Medical Center.

Jennings graduated cum laude from the University of Washington with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 1993. She completed her nurse practitioner training through the University of Cincinnati. She is certified as a women’s healthcare nurse practitioner and is certified in inpatient obstetrics and electronic fetal monitoring.

Edwards, Jennings, and the rest of the Maricopa Center for Women staff will be providing the Maricopa community the following services:
•    Prenatal care for both low and high risk pregnancies
•    Delivery at Banner Casa Grande or Chandler Regional hospitals, based on patient choice
•    In-office ultrasound for both OB and GYN patients
•    In-office lab draw for patient convenience
•    Wellness with yearly exams
•    All types of family planning including the Depo Provera shot, and IUDs, Nexplanon (subdermal implant)
•    Testing for and treatment of urinary stress incontinence
•    Minimally Invasive gynecologic surgery via robotic equipment

“The Maricopa community has been extremely supportive of our expansion, welcoming our new staff and making us feel an important part of the community. It is our goal to make Sun Life the area provider of choice to serve the medical needs of the community,” Sun Life CEO Travis Robinette said

The Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

To make an appointment, call 520-788-6100. Sun Life’s family practice and pediatric services are also available at their new office location on West Bowlin Road.

For more information about Sun Life’s services and other locations in Pinal County, visit their website at www.sunlifefamilyhealth.org.