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SARRC Announces Dr. Cara Christ to its Board of Directors

Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Cara Christ, M.D., M.S., to its board of directors.

Dr. Christ is Chief Medical Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona where she oversees the Clinical Excellence division including Clinical Therapeutics, Provider Partnerships, Clinical Quality, Wellness and Integrated Care and Condition Management, Clinical Operations, and Prosano Health.

Prior to joining Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Dr. Christ led the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) as the longest-serving director, also having served as chief medical officer, licensing director, and deputy director of public health since joining the department in 2008.

She has been a driving force for public health advancements in Arizona. Dedicated to public and population health her entire career, Dr. Christ was inspired by SARRC’s efforts to expand services and outcomes across communities in Arizona.

“I am excited to join the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center as a member of the board of directors,” Dr. Christ says. “Over the years, I’ve witnessed the impact and exceptional support SARRC provides to our Arizona community and families, and I look forward to contributing to these efforts and expanding our reach even further.”

Dr. Christ has led Arizona’s response to numerous public health challenges, including the opioid epidemic, Zika prevention, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza, the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, and the 2015 and 2016 measles outbreaks. Dr. Christ most recently led the statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Arizona, including the administration of more than 1.6 million doses of vaccine at nationally recognized state mass-vaccination centers and the development of a statewide Surge Line to ensure hospital capacity.

“We’re incredibly honored to welcome Dr. Christ to our board, and I’m excited to learn from her remarkable background in public health,” says SARRC President & CEO, Daniel Openden, Ph.D., BCBA-D. “We’re looking forward to leveraging her extensive experience to drive forward SARRC’s mission.”

Dr. Christ is a busy mom to three school-age kids and, when she is not busy working, you will find her playing with her family in a Disney Park or training for her next runDisney half-marathon.

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