Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute Director to fly donations to Navajo Nation

Nov. 8, 2023

Dr. Geoffrey Block will participate in the Navajo Christmas Airlift, flying donations collected in Tucson across the state in time for holiday celebrations.

A landscape portrait of Arizona desert scenery

Each year, pilots from across Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico are invited to participate in the Navajo Christmas Airlift, during which pilots load their planes with gifts and fly them to the Navajo Nation.

This year on Nov. 9, 10 and 11, local pilot Geoffrey Block, MD, MSc, FACP, of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute, will be flying his personal plane to the Navajo Nation with donations that the institute has been collecting through campus donation boxes since early July.

“To the best of my knowledge, the Tucson community has not yet been involved in the ongoing airlift operations,” said Block, a clinical professor of medicine and medical director of liver transplant and director of the Liver Institute. “I am pleased to participate, and I am enthusiastic about establishing Tucson’s presence.” ‘’

The Navajo Christmas Airlift has taken place every year since 1985. Pilots fill their planes with clothes, blankets, toys, school supplies, toiletries and nonperishable food. Participating pilots are responsible for collecting the donations to fill their planes for the trip, and donations are collected, sorted and distributed by the Navajo Nation’s social services.

The Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute is dedicated to research, education, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of liver disease. While delivering donations to the Navajo Nation, Block will also be providing outreach materials to educate about risks, prevention and treatment of liver disease.

“Cognizant of our institute’s unwavering commitment to treating and preventing liver disease in our community, our primary objective revolves around extending a helping hand to those in underserved circumstances,” said Block, a transplant hepatologist with an avid passion for aviation. “Collaborating in the upcoming airlift operation alongside fellow aviators, we aspire to provide the Navajo community with the assistance they deserve during the holiday season and year-round.”

“Collecting donations for the airlift has been rewarding, and I love seeing colleagues being so charitable for the holidays,” said Carina Mendoza, MA, outreach coordinator for the Liver Institute. “Giving back to diverse communities is so important to us and is something our institute is passionate about.”


Carina Mendoza, MA
Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute, College of Medicine – Tucson