When he arrived in Arizona in 2013, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association President and CEO Greg Vigdor brought more than 30 years of experience in the evolving and ever-changing healthcare industry.
With two years in Arizona under his belt, Az Business magazine sat down with Vigdor to hear his thoughts on industry trends and challenges, the Affordable Care Act and AzHHA’s mission to better healthcare in our state.
AZ Business: What is your personal mission as president and CEO of AzHHA?
GV: Our vision as an organization is to make Arizona the healthiest state in the nation. It is my job to push us toward the changes we need to make to ensure we achieve that vision. That means finding out how we can pursue better care and better results at lower costs.
AB: What are some of the biggest challenges you face in accomplishing these goals?
GV: The good news is the healthcare industry is in its most exciting transformation in history; it is continuing to reinvent itself. The challenge is we have to be constantly trying to figure out how to get from here to there, where we want to be. We have to take the innovations that we’re seeing now and figure out how to lead them, operationalize them and capitalize on them. That can sometimes be difficult in such a resource-challenged environment that we have in Arizona. The state budget is a challenge that is concerning as well. We need better answers for state funding in the future.
AB: What are some of the trends you’re seeing in the industry on a local, national and global scale?
GV: It’s exciting to see innovative processes happening overall in organizations to improve patient care. We know patient care can be better, more effective and cheaper. We have the ability to remake patient care and delivery with new technologies we now have.
The focus now is not on the illness care alone, but rather on making people healthier. Chronic disease management is a prime example. People are living longer but are now dealing with chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease that have to be managed over long periods of time with treatments as well as everyday care.
AB: What impacts of the Affordable Care Act are you seeing in Arizona hospitals?
GV: As far as the long-term impact, the jury is still out. It has been successful in terms of getting more people covered and getting more people into the system if they need care. That is a good thing, simply from a moral aspect. However, when it comes to the changes our healthcare system needs, we need a more detailed blueprint than the act has provided thus far.
AB: What are your thoughts on the recent collaborations that are taking place among local hospitals and with universities, entrepreneurs and global leaders?
GV: I’ve been in this industry for 35 years and these recent collaborations are some of the most encouraging things that are occurring in the state. This trend of working together for the common good can bring a lot more scale of change and speed of change when you bring it across the community. I’m a big fan of that, and that is a large part of what AzHHA does an organization.