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Pima Medical Institute Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebrations with Tucson Campus Event

Pima Medical Institute Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebrations with Tucson Campus Event

Career Education Review

TUCSON, Ariz. (May 5, 2022) – Pima Medical Institute officially kicked off its 50th Anniversary celebrations with an event at its flagship Tucson, Ariz. campus. Hundreds of people, including alumni, current students, employers, and family members of the founders were on hand. The event also featured remarks from Pima Medical leadership, employer partners and political dignitaries.

Founded in 1972 by Richard Luebke Sr., and his wife JoAnn, Pima Medical Institute has been dedicated to the mission of improving people’s lives by providing the best value in medical career education. That mission stays at the forefront of everything Pima Medical does, even now, 50 years later.

What started humbly in a small classroom for Nursing Assistant students has blossomed into a campus location spanning more than 75,000 square feet. The Tucson campus features hands-on labs and classrooms, an unrivaled nursing simulation lab with stadium seating, and technology throughout to prepare students for real-world situations.

“It was my father’s dream to do something non-traditional, to give students an option,” said Richard Luebke, Jr., Chairman of the Board, Pima Medical Institute. “He wanted to provide an option for people outside what traditional colleges were doing. This really was his dream and vision and he built it all around a family concept. He would be so proud to see so many people enjoying themselves and being family here today. It’s a real tribute to his legacy.”

That legacy has grown to include 17 campus locations across the western United States and a robust online division. Luebke Sr.’s desire to provide for his family by providing educational opportunities for other families has become a reality, ten-fold.

During the event, long-time Pima Medical employee John Gilbert read a touching speech from his daughter Stephanie Nelson. Nelson is a graduate of Pima Medical and a granddaughter of its founder. She was unable to attend, but her speech read, in part, “I know firsthand that school isn’t always smooth sailing. I would remind current students to ask for help from those around you, and take advantage of programs on campus, like the Pima Pantry, which provides nonperishable food items to students, if you need it. Now more than ever there are so many opportunities in the field of healthcare. Opportunities that could literally change your life.”

It went on to say, “I guess you could say I am not only a member of the family that founded Pima Medical; I am truly a member of the Pima Medical family. Since my first program, I have also gone on to complete Pima’s Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences degree.”

Alumni and student support as well as community partnerships are instrumental in the long-term success of Pima Medical Institute. One of Pima Medical’s longstanding employer partners is Tucson Medical Center.

“Tucson Medical Center has been serving the community for nearly 80 years, and now we are neighbors,” said Kara A. Snyder, RN, PhD, Director of Perioperative and Endoscopy Services, Tucson Medical Center. “It couldn’t be a better partnership as we work together to co-create what our future healthcare workforce needs to be successful and how we can inspire people at all levels and all ages to consider healthcare as their industry of choice.”

The event was capped off with Pima Medical Institute’s President, Liby Lentz reading a proclamation from the City of Tucson officially declaring April 21, 2022 as Pima Medical Institute Day.

This was the first of many events to celebrate Pima Medical’s 50th anniversary, with campus events continuing throughout the remainder of the year.

Pima Medical Institute offers certificate, associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs—all in the healthcare field. It also has a vigorous online learning division. Programs focus on medical, dental and veterinary careers. For more information about Pima Medical and its programs, visit

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