UArizona Health Sciences ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ Webinars Offer Community Connection during Social Distancing

The free, interactive 30-minute lunchtime webinars feature University of Arizona Health Sciences-affiliated faculty and staff members as presenters and provide information and tools to help support individuals as they navigate the new reality of Arizona’s stay-at-home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These weekly online 30-minute lectures are scheduled to continue through May 27; registration is required. After registering, a confirmation email with login information and instructions will be sent. To register for all events, please see: Detailed descriptions for each lecture and a link to individual registrations can be found here.


TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona Health Sciences this week introduces a new free webinar series, Wellness Wednesdays: A Community Connection, designed to engage the public in topics to maintain and improve their physical and mental health – both at a time of social isolation during the COVID -19 pandemic and beyond.

“We are excited to stay true to our mission to improve the lives of Arizonans by showcasing a line-up of experts that now can make a virtual appearance in the homes of community members,” said Allison Otu, MBA, executive director, Corporate and Community Relations, UArizona Health Sciences. “Our UArizona leaders are proud to share ways to decrease stress and increase health by revealing their research passions, personal advice and Wildcat spirit.”

Using data-driven, evidence-based practices, Otu said her team has worked in collaboration with internal and external presenters to provide innovative education and wellness information that impacts the identified health needs of the community. Each interactive lecture occurs from noon-12:30 p.m., Wednesdays, through May.

Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD, MPHThe first webinar, “Food is Medicine: Increase Your Immunity at Home,” is April 15 and features Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD, MPH, who will focus on wellness, prevention and how a nutritious diet can improve your quality of life. Dr. Shad, as he is known, will offer attendees practical tips for what to eat and how to optimize their diet to build immunity. A clinical associate professor, he is director of the Public Health, Prevention and Population Health program in the Department of Family, Community and Preventive Medicine at the UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

Other lectures in the series include:

  • APRIL 22Shift to Optimistic Thinking through Art: Learn How Art Plays an Important Role in Staying Positive during Stressful Times – Guest Speaker: Cynthia Standley, PhD, a professor in the Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism at the College of Medicine – Phoenix and director of the Art in Medicine program.
  • APRIL 29The Power of Breath: Transforming the Way We Perceive, Experience and Respond to Life – Guest Speaker: Sarah Beaudry, vice president of marketing and communications, UArizona Alumni Association, editor of Arizona Alumni Magazine and a certified yoga teacher.
  • MAY 6Healthy Eating at Home: Discover Tasty Smoothies, New Salad Dressings and More – Guest Speaker: Elizabeth Sparks, assistant agent at Cooperative Extension – UArizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • MAY 13Using Guided Imagery for Reducing Anxiety Related to Social Isolation – Guest Speaker: Judith S. Gordon, PhD, associate dean for research, UArizona College of Nursing.
  • MAY 20Fresh Produce Essentials: Shopping, Storing and Stretching Your Produce across Different Recipes for Multiple Weeks – Guest Speaker: Jennifer Parlin, MPHThe Garden Kitchen, a program of the Pima County Cooperative Extension Office.
  • MAY 27Staying Connected through the Generations in a Virtual World: The Value of Family Sharing and Storytelling – Guest Speaker: Lori Martin-Plank, PhD, a family and gerontology nurse who teaches remotely in the College of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program.


About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information:

Questions? Contact Annemarie Medina, director, corporate and community relations – Tucson, UArizona Health Sciences, at or 520-621-6838.

Posted in AZBio News, COVID-19 News and Info.