History Highlights of the UA Steele Center

1969 – 1985

  • The UA Department of Pediatrics was established and led by Vincent Fulginiti, MD. Dr. Fulginiti established a tradition of excellence in teaching, patient care and research. He created statewide medical outreach programs and laid the groundwork for strong community partnerships.

1985

  • The late Douglas Holsclaw, Sr., and his family funded the Douglas S. Holsclaw Family Endowed Chair in Genetics. Douglas Holsclaw, Sr., was a UA alumnus and an Arizona State Senator. Senator Hosclaw was instrumental in establishing the UA College of Medicine. He and his wife, Alice, were on the founding board of the Steele Children’s Research Center. Their son, Douglas Hosclaw Jr., MD, is a retired faculty member at Hahnemann University in Philadephia, specializing in the care of children with cystic fibrosis. This Chair is held by Robert Erickson, MD, Professor of Pediatrics.

1986

  • Arizona Board of Regents approves a Children’s Research Center as a separate administrative unit; approves one-story facility.
  • Lynn Taussig, MD, appointed Director of the Children’s Research Center. Dr. Taussig was Head of the UA Department of Pediatrics and the inspiration and impetus for building a Children’s Research Center.

                                   
1987

  • Children’s Research Center Advisory Board is formed. Louise Thomas is the Founding Board Chair.
  • Under Thomas' leadership, the advisory board votes to expand plans for the Children’s Research Center to four stories (32,000 square feet): commit to raise $7 million.
  • The Steele Foundation in Phoenix made initial lead gift to the capital campaign.
  • The heirs of George & Sally Lindholm establish an endowed Chair in Genetics.  That chair is held by Murray Brilliant, PhD, Professor of Mammalian Genetics.  

1988

  • Arizona Board of Regents approves expansion of the Children’s Research Center to four stories

1989

  • Anderson, DeBartolo, Pan, Inc., selected as architects for the Children’s Research Center
  • Sundt Corporation is chosen as construction manager. Carnes Construction Inc. selected to build the Center.

1990

  • The Steele Foundation, led by Dan Cracchiolo, President, make naming gift. The "Steele Memorial Children’s Research Center" is named to honor Horace Steele and the Steele Foundation.  Horace Steele was a Phoenix businessman who formed the Steele Foundation in 1980 with the understanding that upon his death, income from the foundation would be used for charitable purposes. Mr. Steele died in 1985. 
  • Angel Charity for Children, Inc. selected the Steele Memorial Children’s Research Center as its beneficiary. Angel Charity for Children, Inc. donated $783,000 toward the building project.
  • Led by advisory board members such as Joan Kaye Cauthorn, groups of supporters began forming to share the news about the Steele Center.
  • Kresge Foundation offered the Steele Center a Challenge Grant of $500,000.         
  • Ceremonial “Roof-Breaking” Celebration.
  • Construction begins.

1991

  • Robert Erickson, MD, appointed Associate Director of the Steele Center.
  • Thomas Lloyd, MD, Pediatric cardiologist at the Steele Center is one of the nation’s first to use a non-surgical device to repair a child’s heart defect.
  • Steele Center meets Kresge Challenge and is awarded $500,000.

1992

  • Building is complete. Researchers move into new labs.                 
  • Dedication ceremony – includes a week’s worth of festivities:
    • Louise Thomas gives the dedication speech at the dedication ceremony.
    • “Mad Hatter’s Ball” and Scientific Symposium.
    • Dedication of Angel Charity for Children – Wings for Genetic Research Angel Wings for genetic research.
    • Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Led by Dr. Manuel Pacheco, UA President and Dr. Jim Dalen, Dean of the UA College of Medicine.
  • Public tours of the Steele Center begin.
  • Maxine Henig appointed new Chair of the Steele Center Advisory Board. 
  • Arizona Elks Major Projects, Inc., adopts the Steele Center as it’s major project. Makes pledge to Steele Center to donate $250,000 - $300,000 annually. Bob McCleery was President of the Arizona Elks Major Projects, Inc.
  • Lynn Taussig, MD, accepts position as President and CEO of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, CO.
  • Dr. Taussig appointed Life Member of the Steele Center Advisory Board.
  • Intergroup Healthcare Corporation, headed by Rick Barrett, donates $100,000 to an innovative research project to help children with “failure to thrive.”
  • Optimists Clubs of Southern Arizona began a 10-year partnership with the Steele Center.  The Optimists Clubs have raised funds for a transgenic facility, a special microscope and to buy equipment to help children with diabetes. 

1993

  • Anthony Philipps, MD, UA Professor of Pediatrics and Section Chief of Neonatology, is appointed Acting Director of the Steele Center. Dr. Philipps maintains his clinical work taking care of premature babies and his research while leading the Steele Center during this transitional period.
  • University Medical Center performs its first pediatric liver transplant on 9-year-old Erica Diaz. Erica’s care was supported financially by the Tucson Elks Lodge #385 and medically by pediatric nephrologists at the Steele Center.
  • Father’s Day Council Tucson hosts Fathers of the Year event to raise money for juvenile diabetes research at the Steele Children’s Research Center. Since then, Father’s Day Council Tucson has raised more than $2.5 million for diabetes research and clinical programs at the Steele Center.

1994

  • Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation provides funding for research on Niemann-Pick Type C disease at the Steele Center. This is the first lab in the country funded by the Parseghian Foundation.
  • Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities donates $100,000 to the Steele Center.


1995

  • Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, joins the Steele Center as Director. Dr. Ghishan moved from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, where he was Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics/Research and Director of the Division of Gastroenterology and the Clinical Nutrition Research Center.
  • Caitlin Robb Foundation forms, in memory of the daughter of Ross and Jennifer Robb of Mesa, who died of neuroblastoma when she was 2-years-old. The Caitlin Robb Foundation donates funds to neuroblastoma research at the Steele Center.
  • Michael Graham, MD, arrived from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., to become Director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the University Medical Center.
  • Dr. Graham performed the state’s first umbilical cord blood transplant, using umbilical cord cells instead of bone marrow to treat a child suffering from leukemia.
  • Using data collected by the Arizona Respiratory Center, researcher shows that babies of mothers who smoke at least 20 cigarettes a day are much more likely to suffer from ear infections than babies whose mothers don’t smoke or smoke less.  Researchers also learn that babies who are exclusively breast-fed for the first four months of life are less likely to develop ear infections.

1996

  • Arizona Elks hit $1 million milestone.           
  • Steele Center Director, Dr. Fayez Ghishan, receives prestigious MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) award from the National Institutes of Health. He was one of only three researchers in the area of pediatric gastroenterology in the country to receive this award.
  • St. Luke’s Board of Visitors funds pediatric education programs linking Phoenix and Tucson.  With their support, Phoenix teenagers with their sights set on medical or scientific careers had the opportunity to work in our resea4rch labs for the summer.
  • The Steele Center was one of the sites to test a new drug to help prevent Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a common, sometimes fatal disease affecting infants and children. With data from the Steele Center and other centers, the drug, RespiGam, was approved by the FDA in 1996.
  • The Steele Center receives $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and Human Development, part of the NIH, to study growth factors in human breast milk. This research may lead to improved diets for premature babies. 
  • The Steele Center establishes a Child Abuse InfoCenter to make the latest child abuse prevention information available to professionals across the state. The Arizona Elks recently funded a new segment for this website to offer parents information and suppor             
  • Dorothy Novak was named a life member of the Steele Center Advisory Board.  Dorothy (now deceased) was a long-time supporter of the Steele Children’s Research Center and volunteerism in general. University Medical Center gives a Volunteer of the Year award each year in her memory.      
  • Virginia Furrow, MD was named a life member of the Steele Center Advisory Board.  Virginia, a retired pediatrician, has an active interest in children’s health issues and has been a generous and loyal supporter of the Steele Center. Each year the Vernon and Virginia Furrow awards are given to College of Medicine faculty members for excellence in teaching.

1997

  • The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), chooses Tucson as one of the seven sites in the country to study asthma among low-income children. The grant represents a collaboration between the Arizona Respiratory Center, the UA Department of Pediatrics and pediatricians in the community.

1998

  • W.M. Keck Foundation awards $1.1 million to establish Keck Bioimaging Core Facility at the Steele Center.
  • The University of Arizona establishes the first pediatric center in the nation to research alternative therapies in pediatrics. This effort is funded by a $5 million grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and is a collaboration with the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine.The Steele Center also established the nation’s first fellowship program in pediatric integrative medicine.
  • Mort Freedman appointed Chair of the Steele Center Advisory Board.
  • Steele Center Advisory Board hosts first “Field of Dreams” event with support from the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Chicago White Sox and the Colorado Rockies.  Judy and Vince Smedes served as event chairs. 
  • Maurice Zee, MD, named Life Member of the Steele Children’s Research Center Advisory Board. Dr. Zee was a long-time pediatrician and great supporter of children’s causes. Dr. Zee died in 2001 at the age of 88.  An award has been established in his memory. Each year a 2nd year resident is chosen for the Maurice Zee “Compassionate Pediatrician” award.
  • As the Steele Center increases its statewide presence, a separate Phoenix advisory board was formed.
  • Robyn DeBell became the founding chair of the Phoenix Advisory Board of the Steele Center.  Robyn’s close friend and neighbor, Louise Thomas, first introduced Robyn to the Steele Center. When Robyn moved to Phoenix, she mobilized a group of supporters in Phoenix and Paradise Valley.                     
  • Steve Lynn appointed Chair of the Steele Center Advisory Board. Steve was a partner with Nordensson Lynn Advertising: now he is an executive with Tucson Electric Power. 
  • Father’s Day Council Tucson hosts Fathers of the Year event to raise money for juvenile diabetes research at the Steele Center. 

1999

  • Scott and Laura Eller donate $2 million to the Steele Center to endow the Elissa D. Eller Chair in Juvenile Diabetes to honor their daughter, Elissa, who has the disease. The endowed chair will help recruit a world-class physician/scientist to lead the comprehensive program in juvenile diabetes.
  • With start-up funding of $50,000 from Virginia Furrow, MD, the Steele Center Advisory Board establishes the Director’s Endowment for Innovative Research.  This fund allows the Steele Center Director to provide seed funding to promising and innovative research projects within the Center.
  • Arizona Elks hit $2 million milestone in donations.
  • Jerry and Kathy Zillman found Tee Up For Tots, Inc., to raise money for pediatric cancer research and to help families of cancer patients. They fund the Courtney Page Zillman fellows in pediatric cancer in memory of their daughter, Courtney, who died from neuroblastoma at the age of 4. Tee Up For Tots raises $50,000 with its inaugural golf tournament.
  • Louise Thomas appointed Life Member of the Steele Center. Louise was the founding chair of the Steele Center Advisory Board and founder of Angel Charity for Children, Inc.  
  • The Active 20/30 Club of Southern Arizona honored the memory of Melody Luyties by renaming their endowment The Melody Luyties Memorial Active 20/30 Club Endowment Fund.”Melody was an active member of the organization, serving as Philanthropy Chair for two years and lost her battle with cancer in 1999. 
  • Mrs. Laura Bush visits the Steele Children’s Research Center while on the presidential campaign trail. Her visit was kindly arranged by Richard and Stella Schaefer.

2000

  • The Diamond Foundation makes leadership gift of $310,000 for the Diamond Microarray Core Facility. This new technology will advance the study of genetics at the Steele Children’s Research Center.        
  • Phoenix Women’s Board hosts first annual fashion show featuring “Children Helping Children.” They adopt the name PANDA – People Acting Now Discover Answers. Founding chairs are Robyn DeBell and Penny Gunning.  This event now raises more than $100,000 annually for the Steele Children’s Research Center.
  • “Racing for a Cure” event named in memory of Raymond Dixon, a 13-year-old junior drag racer who lost a 10-year struggle with leukemia this year.  Raymond’s Race – Racing for a Cure raised more than $40,000 for the Steele Children’s Research Center. This funding was used to renovate a waiting room to create the Ronald McDonald Family Room – a place of respite for families of critically ill children. Peggy Rowley was the board member who began this fundraising event for the Center.             
  • Steele Center adds Reach Out and Read program to the pediatric clinic.  This program teaches children and parents the importance of reading and offers free books to children who come in for well child check-ups.
  • Joan Diamond appointed Life Member to the Steele Center Advisory Board.
  • The Steele Center hosted the first annual continuing medical education conference on Pediatric Integrative Medicine. The three-day conference was attended by 350 pediatricians from across the nation.
  • The Steele Center hosted a special dinner to honor baseball owners Jerry Colangelo, Jerry Reinsdorf and Jerry McMorris for their contributions to children’s health.
  • Steele Center Special Events committee hosts first Morning for Children’s Health event, to share information about parenting and children’s health with the community. Kathleen Kirk-Anderson serves as event chair; and Gail Lovitt as co-chair. Supporters were Canyon Ranch, Gadabout Salon and Day Spa and Warehouse Vitamins.
  • Dick Whtiney became the Chair of the Phoenix Advisory Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center. Dick is a UA alumnus and a n attorney with Gust Rosenfled P.L.C. He has held a leadership role with many Phoenix organizations such as the Florence Crittendon Home and the Arizona Community Foundation.

2001

  • Ray Novak, MD, becomes the new Chair of the Steele Children’s Research Center Advisory Board. Ray is a psychiatrist, businessman and one of the founding members of Canyon Community Bank. He follows the path charted by his parents Dorothy and Milan Novak, now deceased, who were strong supporters of the Center.      
  • Angel Charity for Children Inc., pledges $750,000 to create the Angel Wing for Children with Diabetes at the Steele Children’s Research Center.
  • The Pasqua Yaqui Tribe donates $75,000 toward the Angel Clinic gift to the Steele Center.
  • Grand Opening of the Arizona Elks Clinic for Children and Young Adults on the third floor of University Medical Center. The clinic was completely renovated making it a better space for patients, parents, doctors, and nurses, thanks to the largesse of the Arizona Elks.
  • A group of students from Catalina Foothills High School organized “Feet for the Future.”  Led by Shannon Morrison and the Student Council, the walkathon brought hundreds of students and parents together to raise more than $3,000 for pediatric cancer research. The group also hosted the walkathon in 2002 with similar results.
  • Grand opening of the Ronald McDonald Family Day Room. This room provides a place of respite and resources for families of critically ill children.  It was made possible by the family and friends of Raymond Dixon, UMC Friends and the Ronald McDonald House. It is staffed with volunteers from Ronald McDonald to help families feel at home in the hospital.

                       
2002

  • Angel Charity for Children donates $790,000 to the Steele Center. The Steele Center hosts a thank you party at the Stilwell House with generous support from the family of Carlos Flores. 
  • Construction of Angel Wing for Children with Diabetes is complete.
  • Maxine Henig named Life Member of the Steele Center Advisory Board.  Maxine joined the Steele Center advisory board in 1990 and served as board chair for six years. 
  • Arizona Elks hit $3 million milestone in donations to the Steele Center                                          
  • Pediatric oncologists in Phoenix and Tucson collaborate to offer children with cancer access to new clinical studies, testing new treatments for pediatric cancer. Called ACTION (Arizona Children’s Therapeutic Investigational Oncology Network). This collaboration is funded by the Flinn Foundation, the Arizona Research Consortium, the Caitlin Robb Foundation and the Michael Landon Children’s Cancer Fund.
  • The Marvin Lewis Pediatric Teaching Center opens. Marvin was a much-loved, Grand Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks.  He had a dry wit and a big heart. The Arizona Elks chose to name the teaching center at the Steele Children’s Research Center after Marvin because he taught so many about giving. The Marvin Lewis Pediatric Teaching Center meets the needs of pediatric residents and medical students.
  • The Steele Foundation makes its second major gift to the Steele Children’s Research Center. The Steele Foundation has created the Horace W. Steele Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research, which will be held by the Steele Center Director.
  • Eddie and Nadine Basha made a lead gift to create the Louise Thomas Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research.
  • Mel and Enid Zuckerman made a major gift toward the Louise Thomas Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research.
  • The Arizona Elks Major Projects., Inc. pledge support to create the Arizona Elks Endowed Chair in Neonatology at the Steele Children’s Research Center.
  • Kim Sterling became the Chair of the Phoenix board of the Steele Children’s Research Center. Kim is the Director of Shareholder Relations at Phelps Dodge Corporation. The mother of two children with Cystic Fibrosis, now adults aged 27 and 32, Kim has a passion for reaching out to other families dealing with serious illness.
  • Ann Fritz, oncology researcher and former tennis professional, hosted a tennis tournament, Raise a Racquet for Kids, at the Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club to raise money for pediatric oncology research. With doubles matches, a pro-am, silent auction, and tennis activities for kids, the event raised more than $25,000 for pediatric cancer research.
  • The Steele Center celebrates 10th anniversary with gala event at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. 

2003

  • Sherman Garver, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, received the first “Investigator Award” from the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation to pursue his studies of the causes of Niemann-Pick Type C disease.
  • The clinical trial of anticancer drug 17AAG begins. This drug shows promise in delivering targeted, less toxic cancer treatment for kids.
  • The Deanne M. Diamond Pulmonary Function Lab is established from a donation made in honor of Joan and Donald Diamond’s 50-year anniversary.

2004

  • Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan is awarded the prestigious 2004 Shwachman Award. This award honors a physician-scientist who has made major, life-long scientific or educational contributions to the field of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition in North America.
  • The Sara Courtney Memorial Walk/Run was founded after the untimely death of 26-year-old Sara Courtney due to complications from juvenile diabetes. The firs annual Sara’s Walk raised $45,000 to fund diabetes education and research at the Steele Center.
  • The Steele Memorial Children’s Research Center drops the word “Memorial” from its name, becoming the Steele Children’s Research Center. The puzzle logo is revised to emphasize the Steele name. This marketing strategy positions the Steele Center for more distinctive national recognition, as opposed to the former more generic, Children’s Research Center. 
  • Under the leadership of Dr. Ghishan, the UA Department of Pediatrics moves up from 65 to 21 in the NIH (National Institutes of Health) national rankings. This ranking is based on research grant funds awarded by the NIH.
  • The Father’s Day Council Tucson celebrates its 10 year anniversary, with almost 1 million dollars raised for diabetes research at the Steele Center.
  • The Tucson Advisory Board organized the Dove Mountain Golf Tournament, which raised $67,000 for the Louise Thomas Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research.

2005

  • Dr. Ghishan celebrates his 10-year anniversary at the Steele Center!
  • After an extensive, nationwide recruiting effort, Dr. Emmanuel Katsanis is named the first “Louise Thomas Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research.”
  • Andrew Norell became the Chair of the Steele Center’s Tucson Advisory Board. Andy is an attorney with the law firm of Campbell, Yost, Clare & Norell, P.C. Andy is very interested in children’s health issues, and was one of the founders of Tu Nidito Children’s Hospice.
  • The 6th annual PANDA Fashion Show generates $250,000 for pediatric cancer research and to establish a “White Coat Fund” at the Steele Center.  Since its inception, PANDA has raised almost $850,000 to support equipment and research in the areas of genetics, cardiology, neonatology, gastroenterology and oncology.
  • For the second year in a row, Desert Christian Middle School students conduct a walk to raise more than $10,000 for pediatric cancer research.

Highlights: 2005 - 2014>>