TUBA CITY, Ariz. — Dr. Sophina Manheimer Calderon, family physician of Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC), is the recipient of the 2017 School of Medicine and Dentistry Alumni Humanitarian Award from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry.
Established in 2009, the award is presented annually to recognize alumni who have made outstanding contributions in their professional and civic lives. The Awards Committee, comprised of the university’s Alumni Council, commended Calderon for her life-long commitment to her home on the Navajo Nation near Tuba City, Arizona, and improving the delivery of care to patients. As a physician and educator, she has dedicated herself to improving access and making medical care better for patients at home. Calderon will be honored at a ceremony and reception during the school’s reunion weekend celebration.
“I am honored to have been recognized by the medical school that has provided me with such a strong foundation. The University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry’s biopsychosocial model of education was well-aligned with the Diné philosophy in which I was raised,” Calderon said. “I am grateful for the opportunities I received while attending the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, and I am proud to bring back those skills to my people who stand to benefit the most.”
Under her leadership at Tuba City Regional Health Care, Calderon has distinguished herself as a medical educator, an academic physician with a focus on quality of care and patient-centered health and prevention, and a leader in a large health care system that is a model for integrated medical care for the Navajo, Hopi, and San Juan Southern Paiute Tribes.
“TCRHCC is fortunate to have one of our own community member’s come back as a professional physician and provide medical service to our Native people, and we are very honored that she has been awarded such a prestigious honor for her selfless service to alieving suffering within special populations such as ours” said Lynette Bonar, CEO, TCRHCC.
Calderon works as a family physician providing care in multiple clinical settings, including the Family Medicine Clinic, Same Day Clinic, Pediatric and High School Adolescent Clinics, Emergency Department and the Mobile Medical Clinic traveling to various outlying rural communities in the Tuba City Service Unit. She also provides inpatient obstetrical care and OB continuity of care from pregnancy diagnosis to delivery.
Calderon also serves as the HIV officer for TCRHCC to coordinate HIV care and provide education for other providers and patients in the community. She also serves as co-chair of the medical staff credentialing committee to ensure that TCRHCC employs high-quality medical providers.
With a commitment to global health, Calderon also serves on medical brigades to Honduras with her University of Rochester Family Medicine Residency Program. Previously a resident physician participant, she now supervises family medicine residents on a mission to improve the health and welfare of a southwest rural community of Honduras called San Jose San Marcos de la Sierra. The program teaches its resident physicians the skills necessary to help other communities improve their health, a skill that Calderon is grateful to bring back to her hometown community of Tuba City.
Calderon is a fluent speaker of Spanish and, since returning to the Navajo Nation, has been committed to relearning the Navajo language. She has taken several semesters of Navajo language courses through Diné College in Tuba City.