Proudly Serving More than 2,400 Arizona Physicians

ASPA is unique among Independent Physician Associations because of its longevity, size, and the number of individuals that may use IPA providers. ASPA was incorporated in Arizona in 1986 as a physician-owned cooperative. It currently has more than 2,400 members who have completed a rigorous credentialing process.

Members include all major physician specialties, physical therapists, psychologists and other health care providers who practice throughout Arizona. Plans need only contract with ASPA to access a comprehensive provider network. More than 1,000,000 individuals are eligible to receive care from ASPA members through various payor agreements.

Our Mission

Expand contracting opportunities by maintaining a comprehensive network of credentialed providers located throughout the state that practice cost-effective medicine.

Maximize revenue and minimize costs by assisting physicians manage the business component of their practices and by making state-of-the-art software, practice management and other needed services available to members at competitive prices.

Elevate the status of physicians in the health care industry.

ASPA’s Management

Understanding the many factors that drive talented individuals to focus their life’s work in a particular area may not be fully understood. What is known is that commitment to an area of concentration is an essential ingredient of success. Commitment to serve the interests of physicians is the foundation of ASPA’s management staff.

<strong>Connie Richardson</strong>
Connie RichardsonExecutive Director
Connie Richardson is the Executive Director for the Arizona State Physicians Association (ASPA) a position that she has held for the past 31 plus years. Connie has been successful in assuring that all ASPA contracted payors utilize, by delegation, ASPA’s primary source credentialing program. She also developed Quick Start, a credentialing application service designed to assist health care providers to obtain initial plan contracts and hospital privileges that streamline the hospital and plan reappointment process. ASPA CVO services have also developed and expanded under Connie’s leadership.

Connie is actively involved in IPA contract negotiations, ASPA membership recruitment and specialty network development. Her 42 years of varied years of experience in the health care industry includes physician office management, hospital business office management, AHCCCS plan administration in rural communities and HMO managed care administration. Connie is on the Board for TIPAAA (The IPA Association of America); an active member of the National and Arizona Medical Group Management Associations, Arizona Association of Medical Staff Services and the National Association of Medical Staff Services. She is also a member of the National Association of Professional Women.

ASPA Staff

Connie Richardson
Director of Operations
Phone: 602-265-2524 ext. 212
Direct Fax: 623-999-1057

Karen Ellington
Operations Manager, ASPA
Phone: 602-265-2524 ext. 210
Fax: 623-999-1276

Tonya Richardson
Provider Relations – Data Entry
Direct Fax: 623-999-1055

Angie Higgins
Credentialing Coordinator
ASPA Membership -Initial/Recredentialing
Phone: 602-265-2524 ext. 222
Direct Fax: 623-999-1054

Pam Virgils
Credentialing Agent,
Application Service
Phone: 602-265-2524 ext. 218
Direct Fax: 623-999-1053

Xitlaly Solis
Compliance Officer
Phone: 602-265-2524 ext. 221
Direct Fax: 623-999-1056

Sarah Ellington
Provider Relations Specialist
3030 North Central Avenue, Suite 1106, Phoenix, AZ 85012-2707
Office: 602.265.2524 ext.117; Fax: 480.571.5740 Email:

Lin C. Hoang
Credentialing Agent
Credentialing Application Service
3030 N Central Ave #1106
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Phone: 602-265-2524 ext: 216
Fax: 480-672-2633

AZ Physicians Insurance & Investment Group (APIIG)
Phone: 602-265-2524 ext. 213
Fax: 602-265-2524

Jared Williams-Financial Planner Email:

Jeffrey Salls-Malpractice Insurance Email:

Chris Gabbard-Health Insurance Email:

Board of Directors 2023

Policy and decision making authority is entrusted to ASPA’s Board of Directors and implemented by the management staff. IPA members elect ASPA’s board members for three-year overlapping terms with representation from each of five divisions. The officers of the organization consist of a president, vice president and secretary/treasurer who are elected annually by the board members. The Board of Directors meets every month.

Sandhya Venugopal, MD
Internal Medicine
Affiliate Member: 04-17-2017
16601 N. 40th Street, Suite 229
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Cell: 480-695-3064
Fax: 855-318-3326
Seat Term Expires: 2021

Donald Paxton, MD
Internal Medicine
Affiliated Member 07/06/2020
202 E. Earll Drive, Suite 450
Phoenix, AZ 85012

Cell # (602)397-8487

Fax# (877)796-1477
Seat Term Expires: 2022

Melanie Cloonan-Schulte, MD. – Vice President

Internal Medicine

Owner Member 07-12-2004

595 N. Dobson Road Suite 76
Chandler, AZ 85224
Cell # 480-440-6112

Fax: 480-821-0837
Seat Term Expires: 2022

Ronald A. Yunis, MD
Affilated Member 04/06/1998
2023 W Bethany Home Road
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Fax: (602)415-0985


Seat Term expires: 2021

Ameeta Chowdhary, FNP
Family Nurse Practitioner
Affilated Member: 09/09/2019
10575 W. Indian Road, Suite E-103
Avondale, AZ 85392
Fax # (480)522-3522


Seat Term Expires: 2021

Rahul Bhatia, MD
Pediatrics/Peds Critical Care
Affiliated Member 07-06-2020
7517 S. McClintock Dr., Suite 103
Tempe Az 85283
Fax: 602-536-4102
Seat Term: 2024

Chatur J. Babaria, M.D.
Family Medicine
Affiliated Member 03-05-2007
22707 S. Ellsworth Rd, Suite H-103
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Cell # 480-444-9400
Fax: 480-677-4319


Seat Term Expires: 2022

Susan Lasala-Wood, DNP President
Owner Member: 03-02-2015
7609 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd. Suite 9
Scottsdale, AZ 85255-3460
Cell 602-689-5955
Fax: 480-454-4897


Seat Term Expires: 2023

A. Clark Ruttinger, DO
Family Practice/Geriatrics
Owner Member: 10-01-1999
13951 W Grand Ave, Suite 203
Surprise, AZ 850374
Fax # (623)544-4725


Seat Term Expires: 2023

Constance (Connie) Richardson
Executive Director

Karen Ellington
Operations Manager

ASPA is organized as a cooperative whose members own a single share of capital stock. Shares of membership stock are not transferable and no person may own more than one share.