Maricopa Cty Public Health Director to be Wall of Success keynote speaker

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - With Central Arizona College's Wall of Success banquet less than two weeks away, the college has tabbed accomplished alum Dr. Bob England '76 as one of two keynote speakers for this year's event.

The 3rd Annual CAC Wall of Success Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Cafeteria on the Signal Peak Campus. The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m., with dinner and the induction ceremony commencing at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the ceremony are $50 and may be reserved by contacting Marilyn Ramirez (520-494-5296 / Seating is limited so attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets early.Dr. Bob England

This year's inductees include Nancy Caywood, the educational outreach coordinator for the FARM SMART program at the University of California, Davis; Jerald Monahan, the chief of police for the city of Apache Junction; Mike Sauceda, longtime radio personality in the Phoenix metropolitan area; and Gregg Smith, project manager-civil engineer in the Southwestern United States.

England, who serves as the director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, will be joined by Mike Candrea, the head softball coach at the University of Arizona and former Team USA head coach, as one of two keynote speakers for the event. Candrea was part of the inaugural class in 2009.

In addition to serving as a speaker, England - who could not attend his own induction ceremony last year because of a prior commitment - will be presented with his 2010 Extraordinary Alumni Achievement Award during this year's ceremony.

Each year Central Arizona College inducts outstanding alums into the Wall of Success and presents each candidate with the Extraordinary Alumni Achievement Award during a dinner and ceremony held at the Signal Peak Campus.

The first group of honorees was inducted during the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the opening of the Signal Peak Campus on November 14, 2009. A special plaque entitled Wall of Success is mounted in the Student Services Building (M) on the Signal Peak Campus to honor all of the inductees.

Many factors go into selecting Wall of Success members, including but not limited to volunteerism in the community; professional, local, regional, national or international recognition; and accomplishment in their field of expertise.

England, who has been the director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health since 2006, currently oversees all aspects of a health department that serves nearly four million residents with more than 500 employees and a budget of more than $50 million.

"I love public health," England said. "There's nothing else I could have done to touch as many people. I could have been the best doctor in a clinic and still not affected so many people."

England graduated from CAC in 1976 with an associate of science degree in liberal arts. He would go on to earn bachelor's degree in chemistry and his medical degree from the University of Arizona by 1983. He also took part in biochemistry graduate studies while at Arizona, conducting specific research in cell membrane glycoprotein biosynthesis.

"CAC was really good for me at the time," England explained. "Coming out of high school, I was not mature enough for a big university. CAC allowed me to grow at a rate that I really needed."

England would go on to embark on a distinguished medical career that continues to this day. His first position was as division director for the Disease Control Division of the Pima County Health Department, a position he started in 1987. Among his duties as division director was administration and management of the AIDS virus at a time when it reached its unfortunate prominence in society.

England would move on to many director positions and held a stint as a medical epidemiologist in the Office of HIV and STD Services with the Arizona Department of Health Services. Before long, he was widely-considered to be an expert in the state of Arizona on the issue of HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases, having co-written three publications while making hundreds of presentations on the subject.

After a three-year stint with the Milford Health Department in the state of Connecticut, England returned to Arizona as its state epidemiologist in 2002.

"I was a rural Arizona kid," he stated, "so working in a smaller community (like Milford) really appealed to me. Around that time, though, 9/11 and the anthrax letters happened and I felt like public health was getting more attention. In that sense, I felt like I was missing the party (of working in a larger community)."

Not long after his return to the Grand Canyon State, England moved over to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and held the title of medical director for a year before assuming his current role as the department's director.

England said that it was the enthusiasm of the CAC faculty members, and their ability to give him individual attention due to the college's smaller class sizes, that turned him on to the world of science.

"It was a really supportive way to start college," he said.

It is this model of support and care that England carries with him as he serves the more than four million residents of Maricopa County.

(Guy Harrison, media & marketing specialist, served as the lead writer on this story)

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814