CME —Peds in the Desert


The Department of Pediatrics hosts an annual CME conference for physicians and allied health providers featuring speakers from diverse specialties and care delivery settings. Our conference aims to educate on updates and advances in clinical subspecialty care, as well as exploring topics of community health, tribal and rural health, and public health. Our featured speakers range from the legal sector to pediatric experts in their respective fields. The aim of our conference is to provide valuable education while fostering our community and ultimately improving pediatric care in the state of Arizona. We feel thankful that we have been able to provide this service for over two decades.



Pediatrics in the Desert 2023 is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 2023.




Speakers and Topic List

Autism in Girls
Sydney A. Rice, MD, MSc
Division Chief and Professor of Behavioral & Developmental Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics University of Arizona
Dr. Sydney Rice is a Professor of Pediatrics in the University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a doctoral degree in Medicine from the University of Arizona, and a master’s degree in health evaluation sciences from the University of Virginia. She worked for several years as a general pediatrician on the Arizona-Mexico border as part of the National Health Service Corp. During this time, she developed a particular interest in children with special needs and policy issues related to their care. She then took a position on the faculty at the University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics working as a primary care provider for children with special health care needs and serving as a medical director for the Children’s Rehabilitation Services. She works clinically on many different multi-disciplinary teams with children with varied disabilities. She teaches in the UA medical school in both the basic science and the clinical medical curricula. She is active with the American Academy of Pediatrics as an editor of an online publication for developmental pediatricians, PREPDB.  She is also active in the Arizona chapter of the AAP and multiple community and state boards.
Sleep Medicine for the Primary Care Pediatrician
Dan Combs, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, University of Arizona
Director, Pediatric Sleep Medicine, Banner University Medical Center, Tucson
Dr. Combs is board-certified in pediatrics and sleep medicine.  In addition to his clinical practice in sleep medicine, he is an NIH-funded researcher with current studies on novel medications for obstructive sleep apnea as well as improving the clinical trial experience for people with Down syndrome.
Break with Coffee and Tea
Acute and Chronic Hepatitis
Keith Hazleton, MD, PhD
Interim Division Chief and Assistant Professor of
Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition,
Department of Pediatrics University of Arizona
Neonatal Fever: Past, Present and Future
Aaron Leetch, MD, FAAEM, FACEP, FAAP
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics
Program Director, Combined EM&Peds Residency
University of Arizona College of Medicine
Banner University Medical Center - Tucson 
Dr. Leetch is an associate professor of emergency medicine and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Arizona. He is the program director for the Combined Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics residency and is the course director for the Advanced Pediatric Emergency Pre-Hopsital Care course at the University of Arizona undergraduate college of medicine, He has a passion for medical education at all levels of pediatric emergency training with a focus on recognizing sick kids. 
Nutrition to Target the first 1000 days
Christina J. Valentine, MD, MS, RD, FAAP
Professor/Neonatologist, Department of Pediatrics/ Division of Neonatology
Medical Director, Perinatal Nutrition
Banner University Medical Center, The University of Arizona
Break with Provided Lunch 
What is Medical Simulation? A look inside Arizona Simulation Technology & Education Center (ASTEC) at University of Arizona Health Sciences 
Jill Keegan, BSN, RN 
Simulation Education Specialist, ASTEC 
University of Arizona Health Sciences 
Dr. Peter Crowe Honorary Lecture - 
Hydrocephalus and Chiari
Lauren Simpson, MD, MPH
Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Banner Tucson
Break with Coffee and Tea
Pediatric Arrythmias
Omar Meziab, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Cardiology and Electrophysiology, University of Arizona
Banner University Medical Center - Tucson
Common Pediatric Hospitalizations
Lauren M. Naile, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Hospital Medicine,
Department of Pediatrics University of Arizona

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson designates this live activity for a maximum of 7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Dr. Valentine has disclosed relevant financial relationships as a Chief Medical Officer for Reckitt. Her slides were reviewed and the content was found unrelated to the business lines or products of this company. 
All other Faculty, CME Planning Committee Members, and the CME Office Reviewers have disclosed that they do not have any relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies that could constitute a conflict of interest concerning this CME activity.

The Annual Pediatrics in the Desert conference has been approved for 0.70 CEU by the University of Arizona’s Continuing and Professional Education.