Karen W. Teel, M.D. Lectureship

2013 Keynote Speaker – Randal C. Christensen, MD, MPH

RandalCharlesChristensen Randal Charles Christensen, MD, MPH
Vice President of Medical Staff, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Interim Division Chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Phoenix Hospital
Medical Director of the Crews’n Healthmobile

After graduating from the University of Arizona with a B. A. in Sociology, Randal Christensen earned both his M.D. and his M.P.H. degrees from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1995.  He then began a four year combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics program in Phoenix, Arizona.

Upon graduating from his residency program, Dr. Christensen began working for Phoenix Children’s Hospital as the Medical Director of the Crews’n Healthmobile, a mobile medical van that delivers medical care to homeless youth and teens. In addition, he currently holds a Clinical Assistant Professorship at the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine as well as the Arizona State University School of Nursing.

This variety of experience is the perfect foundation for someone whose life and work is dedicated to improving the lives of children everywhere, whether that takes the form of direct care or teaching the next generation of pediatricians.

Education has always been a priority for Dr. Christensen and essentially, he is teaching on a daily basis.  His involvement includes medical students, nursing students, and residents from several different programs in Arizona.  Peer and community education is also quite important for Dr. Christensen and he has been asked to speak to the media and at CME conferences on such topics as Adolescent Health Care, Wilderness Medicine Topics, Disaster Planning, Our Role in Katrina, and Violence in the Media.

Dr. Christensen has exercised his leadership abilities on behalf of many community organizations. As the Medical Director for Camp AZDA, one of the largest camps in the U.S. for children with diabetes, he has taken a team approach to expanding numbers of children and staff at camp while providing a safe and perhaps life changing experience for these children.  Other memberships include the Executive Board for VisionQuest 20/20 (an organization with a mission to insure all children have proper vision screening through enhanced technology), and the Advisory Board for Healthcare for the Homeless.

But his contributions extend far beyond the walls of Phoenix Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Christensen organized a team to deliver medical care to those affected by Hurricane Katrina.  Within 10 days of the storm, his team was meeting with officials in Louisiana and began delivering healthcare to individuals on the 11th of September 2006.  Their team saw more than 330 clinical visits. Most of these patients were in dire need for primary care and had not seen a doctor since the storm.  The team delivered thousands of dollars of medications and supplies to the devastated area.  Systems and procedures set up by his team are still in place today in multiple other mobile medical centers around the country.

Evident throughout his career is Dr. Christensen’s strong desire to care for those children that have no voice.  These underserved populations are the driving force behind all his aforementioned activities as well as his yearly trips to Washington, D.C. to advocate for children.  Today, perhaps the most important and greatest endeavor is his current position as the Medical Director of the Crews’n Healthmobile.  This ever-expanding program serves the homeless children in Phoenix and the surrounding communities by providing comprehensive medical and social services via a mobile medical center – essentially a doctor’s office on wheels. Dr. Christensen and his team reach out to thousands of children and adolescents living in poverty on the streets of Arizona.  By caring for them now in a holistic manner benefits the taxpayers, hospitals, emergency rooms, the public health and most importantly the child.