Tag Archives: Banner Good Samaritan

Cardiac care - AZ Business Magazine April 2008

Banner Good Samaritan Recognized for Heart Program

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center has been named to the Becker’s Hospital Review list of “100 Hospitals With Great Heart Programs,” recognizing outstanding hospitals and cardiology programs in the United States.

Hospitals on the list were chosen for their excellence in heart care and research based on clinical accolades, recognition for quality care and contributions to the fields of cardiology and cardiovascular surgery. The Cavanagh Heart Center at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center continues to be recognized as a leading provider of cardiac services and vascular research. The center offers complete diagnosis, treatment and educational services, focusing on highly specialized surgical and minimally invasive heart care treatment, intensive care, telemetry, cardiac rehabilitation and cardiovascular research.

“It’s the hard work of our physicians, nurses and technicians that has earned us this honor,” said Larry Volkmar, chief executive officer of Banner Good Samaritan. “Our facility is dedicated to providing world-class heart care to the Valley through our in-facility and home care services.”

Surgeons at the heart center were some of the first in the nation to implant the left ventricular assist device to treat heart failure in patients not eligible for heart transplants. The hospital’s surgeons are also the only physicians in Phoenix who perform pulmonary artery endarterectomy to treat clot formation in the pulmonary artery. Additionally, heart and vascular researchers at Cavanagh have helped innovate several new technologies, including an implantable device that monitors the heart and alerts patients when a heart attack may be imminent — even with no symptoms. The center is also one of the few hospitals in Arizona to offer a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program for people suffering from severe aortic stenosis.

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Banner Good Samaritan and other hospitals on the Becker’s Hospital Review are working to combat this statistic through innovative clinical research, high-quality care and state-of-the-art treatments. These hospitals have also extended their services beyond the confines of their facilities by educating their local communities about heart health, helping sharpen our country’s focus on preventive care and population health.

poison

Poison centers save Arizona residents $45.5 million every year

The 57 poison centers in the United States save citizens more than $1.8 billion annually in medical costs. And in Arizona, the state’s two centers, including Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center save nearly $45.5 million every year, according to a recently released report.

“Calls to poison centers keep the vast majority of people out of the hospital and decrease the length of stays for patients who are admitted,” said Steven Curry, MD, medical toxicologist at the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center in Phoenix.

“The role poison centers quietly play in the U.S. health system often goes unrecognized, but the savings to individuals, insurers and government is truly significant, and helps keep total healthcare costs down.”

Earlier this year, the American Association of Poison Control Centers commissioned The Lewin Group to determine the value of the poison center network as a whole. For its report issued in September 2012, The Lewin Group based calculations mainly on costs that were avoided because callers received medical advice that prevented visits to emergency rooms and other providers. Also included in the calculations were shorter hospitalizations enabled by medical staff consulting with poison center toxicology experts and callers’ reduced time away from work.

The separate 2011 data for Arizona indicates the savings to AHCCCS, the state’s Medicaid system, were more than $9 million. About 20 percent of the Arizona patients whose toxic exposures are managed at home by a call to the poison center are enrolled in AHCCCS. Savings to private insurers in Arizona during 2011 exceeded $28 million.

“The life-saving work poison centers do is more important than ever,” said Mazda Shirazi, MD, medical director at the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, part of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in Tucson.

“Did you know that deaths from accidental overdoses now exceed deaths from car accidents?” he continued. “It’s easy to see the vital role performed by a hotline that provides expert medical advice about medications and toxic exposures around the clock. But we think the citizens we serve should also realize that we are not just saving lives, but also saving millions of dollars a year for them and the companies and agencies that cover the cost of their care.”

Banner Good Samaritan Hospital

Banner Good Samaritan Named One Of Nation’s 100 Great Hospitals

Becker’s Hospital Review has named Phoenix’s Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center as one of the nation’s 100 Great Hospitals of 2012. The hospital was cited for its industry leadership and clinical innovations, as well as being one of the first 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations in the country.

In order to develop the list, the Becker’s Hospital Review editorial staff accepted nominations, conducted research and considered other reputable hospital ranking sources such as U.S. News & World Report, Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals, HealthGrades, Magnet Recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipients.

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, the hospitals on the list each have a special place in the story of American healthcare and have demonstrated greatness through clinical accolades, innovation in care delivery, recent capital developments, and the offering of new services, specialty programs or technology. Ranging in size and location, the reputable hospitals each saw noteworthy accomplishments in 2011 and will continue to make strides this year.

“Banner Good Samaritan is honored to be a part of this prestigious list,” said Larry Volkmar, Chief Executive Officer.  “For over 100 years, this hospital’s goal has been to provide the best care to our patients and the community.  We are proud of our numerous clinical innovations and industry leadership, thanks to a tremendous staff of physicians, nurses and employees who provide the highest quality care to our patients everyday.”

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center has 668 beds and employs almost 1700 physicians and 4400 employees.  The hospital is ranked among the nation’s leading health care facilities for nursing care through the Magnet Recognition Program, as well as ranked nationally as one of America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News and World Report.  The hospital also has one of the most sought after Graduate Medical Education programs in the United States.

Banner Good Samaritan has recorded a number of Arizona firsts, including the first Open-heart surgery in 1947; the first Kidney transplant in 1969; the first Liver transplant in 1983; and the birth of the first artificially conceived quadruplets in 1986.

For more information on Banner Good Samaritan, visit their website at bannerhealth.com.

Banner Good Samaritan

Banner Good Samaritan Earns Top Ranking For Kidney Transplant Centers

The National Institutes of Health funded a study by a Web-based service, called Konnectology which has identified the top 10 kidney transplant centers in the United States, and at the top of their list is Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.  All 246 kidney transplant centers in the United States were assessed using publicly reported data from the transplant centers and Medicare.

“We, at Banner Good Sam are very proud of this most recent accolade for our Transplant Center,” said Lauren Rutledge, Director of Banner Good Samaritan Organ Transplantation Center. “Our goal is to treat every patient dignity, respect, and excellent patient care.”

Banner Good Samaritan is Arizona’s oldest and most experienced transplant center. The first kidney transplant in Arizona was performed at the hospital on Violet Lopez in 1969.  There have been almost 3,200 kidney transplants performed at Banner Good Samaritan in the years following.

Konnectology found wide variations in patient outcomes among transplant centers. While the average survival rate for three years after transplant is high at 90 percent, survival varies widely depending on the center. The new method reveals that the risk of death is three times higher at the worst center compared to the best. A highly accurate scientific method was used to assess the transplant centers based on patient outcomes, experience and wait times.

Patients are referred to the Banner Good Samaritan Transplant Center from all over the western United States and are cared for by a skilled team of transplant surgeons and an interdisciplinary team dedicated to providing the best care available to patients requiring a transplant. The team provides an integrated approach to care that helps patients and their families before, during and after the transplant. This includes the highest standards of hospital and outpatient medical care, combined with a comprehensive network of support led by transplant nursing coordinators and social workers.

For more information about Banner Good Samaritan, visit bannerhealth.com.

Hospital Construction - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Please Do Not Disturb: Hospital Construction Zone

During hospital construction, constant planning and communication are top priorities for healthcare builders

The foremost focus in upgrading or expanding a hospital is keeping the work concealed from the patients. So says Steve Whitworth, Kitchell’s Healthcare Division manager, about hospital construction.

It’s not like adding or enlarging a store in a retail center, which might force shoppers to step around a construction barrier for a few days or have the piped-in music occasionally punctuated by a floor sander.

“In a mall, people will be inconvenienced. In a hospital, a patient’s health is at stake,” Whitworth says. “In every single project we strive to be invisible. The ability to heal depends on the environment a patient is in. It‘s the only thing that matters at the end of the day.”

The dilemma is that hospitals, as much or more than other commercial real estate structures, need to continuously get bigger and better, he says.

“Planning, planning, planning,”  is the key to keeping healthcare facilities humming smoothly while making major renovations, says Jay Stallings, associate administrator at Banner Desert Medical Center, which unveiled a major emergency department makeover in August.

That mantra is echoed by other key players — from hospital administrators to construction engineers — who are continuously upgrading and expanding Arizona’s top hospitals to address medical care’s changing needs and technology advances while keeping the work virtually imperceptible to patients and staff.

Finding solutions

Banner Thunderbird Tower - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Unlike other types of commercial real estate overhauls or tenant improvements, healthcare property renovations come with a whole host of hurdles, from meeting infection control standards to keeping emergency entrances accessible.

The biggest hurdle — no down time.

“What makes a hospital unique, is that it’s a 24/7 facility. There’s never a good time to do the work,” says Sundt Construction’s Russ Korcuska, who has been piloting hospital construction projects in Arizona for two decades.

To maintain top-notch patient care, innovation and expansion is necessary, but upgrading existing facilities means you can’t turn off the power, the water or other utilities, you can’t block fire escape routes or ambulance entrances, you can’t let construction dust or other contaminants get in the air, and you can’t make a lot of noise or cause other disturbances that could impact patients or staff operations.

“If a surgeon is working on somebody’s brain, you can’t be creating vibrations on the other side of the wall,” Korcuska says. “It’s extremely challenging.”

That’s why planning an entire project and all possible contingencies to the tiniest detail before ever flipping a power switch is so critical, says DPR Construction’s Guy Sanders, who is just finishing up Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center’s three-story expansion of operating rooms and pre/post operative care areas.

Especially in renovating older hospitals where documentation of what’s in the ceiling and under the floor is not always complete or accurate, he says. “Knowledge of a campus is critical,” Sanders says. As is double-checking before digging.

During the Banner Good Samaritan project, he planned for alternative power sources to keep all ongoing operations running smoothly based on detailed building documentation. Still, during the planning process, he flipped a breaker and did a walk-through of the whole hospital to ensure the documentation was correct. It wasn’t.

Sanders found some equipment mislabeled and had to do some rewiring — and re-documenting.

Proper planning is crucial

Chris Jacobson of McCarthy Building Companies is just completing a major project at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. He added a new six-story tower and emergency department expansion in the spot where the old ambulance entrance stood, and then renovated all the newly vacated space after 25 departments relocated to the tower. The project is slated to wrap in January.

It has been a five-year, multi-phased project, with planning for every phase starting almost a year in advance, he says.

Jacobson and his crew had to design everything from infection, noise and dust control to fire exits — and figure out how to get workers and materials in and out of the construction sites without bringing them through the hospital. They plotted everything, “even down to which tools to use.”

“You have to get creative about how to get the work done without coming in with a wrecking ball,” he says.

The biggest challenge was how to keep the existing emergency department functioning while “de-constructing” the old ER entrance. Jacobson says the solution devised in the planning process — building a covered bridge from a new temporary ambulance entry a short distance from the construction site — was key to McCarthy landing the job.

“It was a big challenge that nobody had figured out,” he says.

And that wasn’t the only temporary structure the construction experts had to design and build before even starting the main event. They crafted fire-rated, sound-insulated  temporary walls, new directional signage,  and a complete hospital kitchen in a trailer.

They even planned and built a temporary super-structure that looked like a massive, free-standing fire escape outside the hospital tower to get workers and materials to upper floors without ever opening a hospital door.

McCarthy used a similar technique for building out Yuma Regional Medical Center’s upper floors, which were pegged for expansion space when the hospital was first built. The engineers planned and built an outdoor elevator and trash chute to keep patients and staff below from commingling with construction workers or debris on indoor elevators.

At Banner Good Samaritan, DPR had to excavate an area between the central power plant and the new expansion. Before bringing in the backhoe, Sanders employed a “vacuum” truck to suck up some of the dirt and expose the utilities.

Among the most interesting planning tools McCarthy engineers use are laser scans of a hospital’s ceilings and floors to find exactly where all the pipes, wires and ducts are located, and 3D modeling software to virtually tuck new utilities amongst the old.

“The old way was you had guys with flashlights and measuring tapes,” Jacobson says.

Sometimes engineers have to detour planned utility upgrades to avoid a virtual collision. That’s much better than having workers face a real utility roadblock and have to rethink routes in the middle of a messy construction site, he says.

If planning is atop the experts’ priority list for minimizing patient disruption during construction, keeping everybody in the loop scores a close second place.

A critical component of both planning and construction stages of any healthcare project is communication with all the stakeholders, says Stallings, whose new triple-sized, state-of-the-art emergency department took seven years from drawing board to debut.

Stallings says involving every hospital department touched by the project from start to finish made the process as painless as possible for them and especially for patients.

“This was a collaborative project with physicians, staff, clinicians, infection control, environmental services,” he says. “All were impacted. We worked hand-in-hand with the architects and construction staff. We had weekly construction meetings, sometimes daily, with all who were impacted.”

“We provide an important service to the community. We couldn’t shut down the emergency department and continue to be a hospital,” Stallings says. “In the moment when somebody needs help, we have to be there. We take that very seriously. Our approach was  transparency (to patients), collaboration, a high level of communication and training.”

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

AZ hospitals, how to attract top talent, AZ Business Magazine July/August 2011

Arizona Hospitals Share Strategies For Recruiting, Retaining Top Performers

The health care industry in Arizona managed to hold its own during the worst of the recession. But the challenges aren’t over yet.

Human resources experts have been warning companies across industries about the next big wave of change as the economic recovery takes hold: retaining the top talent that helped a company survive.

In good economic times, the health care industry often was faced with shortages of nurses and other professionals, so it’s an old hand at devising ways of attracting and retaining talent. Arizona Business Magazine asked four hospitals and health care systems about how they attract the best.

Abrazo Health Care

Currently, Abrazo Health Care’s website is the No. 1 way candidates are found when applying for an open position. Additionally, Abrazo Health Care utilizes social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to attract and hire future employees. A large number of new hires comes from referrals within the organization.

Other recruitment efforts include the new graduate development program, a unique opportunity available to 100 nursing graduates per year. This competitive program gives new nurses 12 weeks of education and training to become an acute care nurse at an Abrazo Health Care facility. New graduates entering a specialty area also will be part of a bridge program for additional training.

Another opportunity available is the nurse-specialty training program for current nurses, which is offered four times per year. Nurses can apply to receive training to transition to a specialized nursing position in the operating room, emergency room or intensive care unit.

All applicants must complete a web-based interview developed in partnership with the Gallup Organization. The assessment helps to ensure a candidate will align with the cultural environment at Abrazo Health Care.

Abrazo Health Care employs more than 5,000 people. Currently, there are 400 positions available. Abrazo Health Care offers competitive salaries, health benefits and tuition reimbursement.

[stextbox id=”grey”]Carmen Hern is regional manager of talent acquisition at Abrazo Health Care, abrazohealth.com. [/stextbox]

Banner Health

Banner Health recruits talent through strategic work force planning such as:

  • Targeted media events
  • Academic relationships
  • Social media
  • Banner Health’s website


Banner’s approach to recruiting top talent aligns with the strategies of the organization by emphasizing Banner’s vision on patient care. Its hiring incentives are centered on total rewards compensation.

The Banner journey begins with a potential employee’s first experience (the website, at an event, videos or even as a patient). Once they have joined Banner, there is an ongoing, one-year, onboarding program. Throughout their time at Banner, there are opportunities for learning, coaching and developing employees’ careers.

There are three main reasons an employee stays at Banner are:

  • The relationship with their manager
  • The people they work with
  • Learning and growth opportunities


In addition, employees have a choice in their selection of benefits. They also get to participate in a 401k plan, life insurance, food discounts, transportation discounts, and childcare at some facilities. We look at each employee’s needs to determine which benefits are best for them

Banner prides itself on having created an environment of innovation and teamwork. It offers opportunities for employees to spread their wings, in addition to pay for performance. There is compensation for all when Banner meets and exceeds goals in the areas of patient satisfaction, financial performance and employee retention.

Recognizing that Banner Health is competing with many other health care systems in Arizona for quality employees, the company tries to stay in tune with the community. Banner may have more hospitals than anyone else, but we have to pay attention because we know there are other good hospitals out there.
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Shyrl Johnston is senior director of talent acquisition at Banner Health, www.bannerhealth.com.[/stextbox]

Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Phoenix Children’s strategy to attract new talent includes expanding space, growing programs and services, and aggressive recruiting.

Phoenix Children’s continues to grow and expand, thus offering exciting new prospects for top talent in the health care industry. An 11-story patient tower, which opened in June, will raise the hospital’s bed count from 345 rooms to 626 private rooms by early 2012. The hospital also added 96 PCIU/CICU rooms, 12 operating rooms, new services and programs, innovative research supported by leading clinical trials, and advanced education/training for clinical providers.

Collaborations and partnerships with Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Mayo Clinic, Banner Good Samaritan, and a Strategic Alliance with St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center also add jobs and opportunities for attracting the best and brightest.

The hospital’s six Centers of Excellence also are growing. Phoenix Children’s is the only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in Arizona; the Children’s Heart Center is recognized as one of the nation’s best; there is the Phoenix Children’s Center for Pediatric Othopaedic Surgery; the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, with 110 licensed beds, is one of the largest NICUs in the country; the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders is Arizona’s only fully dedicated facility of its kind; and the Children’s Neuroscience Institute provides comprehensive care for children with neurological and behavioral disorders.

For the past four years, Phoenix Children’s Hospital has been steadily and aggressively increasing recruitment of nationally known physicians and superior staff. Medical staff at the hospital has increased to include more than 1,000 pediatric specialists with 40 pediatric specific specialties.

Recent prominent additions, to name a few, include: David Adelson, MD, a renowned neurosurgeon, recruited to lead the Children’s Neuroscience Institute at Phoenix Children’s; Richard Towbin, MD, a top neuro-radiologist who has served at children’s hospitals in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Michigan; Lee Segal, MD, who came from Hershey Children’s to initiate the Center for Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery; Heidi Dalton, MD, section chief critical care, who was recruited from Children’s Medical Center in Washington, DC; and Tamir Miloh, MD, a hepatologist recruited from Mt. Sinai, NY, who will create and lead Arizona’s first pediatric liver transplant center.

[stextbox id=”grey”]Jane Walton is head of media relations at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, www.phoenixchildrens.com.[/stextbox]

UA Healthcare

UA Healthcare is a private, nonprofit health-care entity located in Tucson. It was formed by the merger of two highly respected and well-established organizations: University Medical Center (UMC) and University Physicians Healthcare (UPH). The organization consists of the largest physician practice plan in Arizona, including a Health Plan Division, two academic medical centers and Southern Arizona’s only Level 1 Trauma Center.

UA Healthcare employs more than 6,000 people and is ranked one of the top 10 employers in Southern Arizona. University Medical Center was the first hospital in Arizona to earn the Magnet designation — the American Nurses Association’s highest honor for nursing excellence. The designation recognizes hospitals that provide the best nursing care and a supportive, professional environment. As the only academic medical center in Arizona, UMC offers many opportunities for professional growth, personal enrichment and career development.

UA Healthcare’s 2011 benefits package is designed to promote wellness and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. UA Healthcare considers staff members to be its most valuable resource and it is dedicated to providing a culture that keeps patients healthy.

The system provides managers with the tools required to retain its first-rate staff. It offers learning opportunities that ensure high levels of patient and employee satisfaction, as well as a strong financial position. UA Healthcare gives total rewards that are competitive in the Arizona employment market. UA Healthcare ensures individual and group accountability for performance, rewards and growth through ongoing communication.
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John Marques is vice president for human resources at UA Healthcare, www.azumc.com.[/stextbox]

Arizona Business Magazine July/August 2011

Healthcare construction

Healthcare Facilities: Just What The Doctor Ordered

Construction of healthcare facilities in Arizona boldly forged ahead in 2010, despite an economy that refuses to rebound and uncertainty over the impact of federal healthcare reform.

Officials figure that Arizona’s population will continue to grow and age, and because of the new federal law more people will have access to health insurance, which indicates a greater need for healthcare facilities.

Major players in the healthcare field from the Metro Phoenix area to outlying rural communities are investing in the future in a big way. Arizona healthcare facility projects with a total estimated cost of nearly $1B are finished, nearing completion or in the planning stage.

Banner Health has four projects totaling almost $300M: Banner Ironwood in Queen Creek, Banner Good Samaritan in Phoenix (expansion), and the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and Banner Gateway Medical Office II in Gilbert.

“You might say we’re in the business of being futurists,” says Peter Fine, president and CEO of Banner Health. “The risk of investments is not for the faint of heart.”

Technology a Driving Force in Healthcare Facilities

There is concern regarding healthcare reform that focuses mainly on how reimbursements will occur. Federal officials are pushing for more accountability in patient care outcomes, tying reimbursements to those efforts. As a result, information technology is becoming a key factor.

Mark Peterson of SmithGroup, a design and engineering firm, is working with clients to create healthcare facilities that play a direct role in patient care. It’s called evidence-based design.

“We’re providing clients with building solutions that support their patient-care mission and can be proven that there is a direct correlation between building design and improved patient outcomes,” Peterson says.

While the need for healthcare facilities most certainly is growing, some say the bad economy is resulting in a slight decrease in the utilization of hospitals. Experts say people are going to their doctor more and using hospitals less than they did a few years ago, especially those who have lost their jobs and may not have insurance coverage for an expensive hospital stay.

Another trend, experts say, is an industry focus on the word “healthy,” rather than the word “sick.”

“With a focus on healthy, what does this landscape look like?” queries MaryAnn Guera, CEO of BioAccel, a nonprofit organization that drives economic development through commercialization of late-stage basic and applied research in the life sciences. “Health or sickness? The look of the buildings we need will change around that.”

Metro, Rural Areas See Activity

Jason Meszaros, vice president of Irgens Development Partners, says healthcare projects in the Phoenix area represent the only type of development “that has any legs.”

Compared to previous years, construction has fallen off somewhat, some medical condos are back on the market, and there is still a desire for medical office space on or near medical campuses, he says.

For Irgens, which is building a 51,000 SF medical office facility in Gilbert, and for most others in the field, activity in 2011 should be fairly moderate, Meszaros says. Healthcare reform, the economy and population growth are all factors.

“The healthcare reform act throws a little bit of uncertainty into it,” he says. “People are a little apprehensive to make a long-term commitment.”

Healthcare facilitiesEven so, there is no shortage of building activity in the healthcare field, not just in the metropolitan areas, but in rural parts of the state, as well. Money for these ongoing projects comes from various sources, including tax-exempt bonds, operating reserves, philanthropy and the federal government.

For example, Phoenix Children’s Hospital embarked on a $588M expansion project in 2008, which will be 90% completed by the end of 2010. Officials expect to have the ambulatory clinics open by January, and hope to occupy the 11-story patient tower by June, increasing the number of beds to 626 from 345.

Bob Meyer, Phoenix Children’s Hospital CEO, says the project is funded primarily with $320M in tax-exempt bonds, plus operating reserves, fundraising and philanthropy.

There were 900,000 children in Maricopa County in 2003 when Phoenix Children’s began planning for expansion. That number has increased to 1M, and by 2030 as many as 1.7M kids will be living in the Phoenix Metro area.

“That’s why we’re building the building,” Meyer says.

At the same time, people are living longer. The population over 80 continues to grow almost exponentially, creating an increase in demand for medical services.

“That’s what has most people in the industry concerned,” Meyer says. “Hopefully there will be magic drugs, but in today’s technology it’s going to be a challenge.”

Nathan Anspach, senior vice president for medical economics at John C. Lincoln Health Network, expects capital budgets to see increasing pressure from information technology investment. Basically, that means less money for hospital construction and more money earmarked for IT improvements.

“IT investments are going to be required as part of the healthcare reform act, and that will impact capital construction,” Anspach says. “Healthcare systems are all looking at IT investments for electronic records and electronic measures like WiFi, and that’s going to cramp the construction budget.”

Recognizing the growing importance of IT, John C. Lincoln is building a $6M data center adjacent to its new administrative headquarters in the North Valley near I-17. The 4,000 SF building is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011. Susan Fuchs, media relations specialist, says the new facility will provide “a more secure environment for data management and electronic medical records.”

“It’s the wave of the future,” she says.

An Investment for Arizona’s Future

At St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, affiliated with Catholic Healthcare West, Bob Campbell, vice president for business development in Arizona, says, “We are looking at making investments in our whole continuum of services, everything from physicians’ offices, outpatient services, joint ventures, hospitals that we have, and health plans that we operate.”

Suzanne Pfister, vice president of external affairs, says CHW is moving toward partnerships, not solely construction projects. She mentions a joint venture with SimonMed, an outpatient medical imaging system.

“Under healthcare reform, we see more of a push toward preventative, lower-level healthcare, less expensive healthcare,” Pfister says. “What we’re looking at is — how can the right patient be in the right place? Maybe that’s not a hospital. Maybe it’s urgent care, or into family practice with an after-hours clinic.”

In partnership with United Surgical Partners, CHW is building an orthopedic surgery hospital at 40th St. just south of Loop 202. The 75,000 SF facility is expected to open next spring.

Other healthcare facilities in the planning stage include a 16,000 SF cardiac catheterization lab at Chandler Regional Medical Center, and a 145,000 SF expansion of the patient tower adding about 100 beds.

“Connecting the dots between construction and healthcare reform is really going to force hospitals to partner more with community physicians and outpatient options,” Pfister says.

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center launched a $71M expansion of its surgical services department. When completed in 2012, there will be 20 state-of-the-art operating rooms, 76 preoperative and postoperative bays, a new waiting room with technology to keep families apprised during the surgery process, plus other amenities, according to Banner Good Samaritan CEO Larry Volkmar.

In outlying areas, construction is underway at what will be called Florence Hospital at Anthem northwest of Florence, says Gilbert Hospital CEO David Wagner. Completion of the 96,000 SF building, which will include an 18-bed correctional unit, is targeted for next summer.

Other rural projects include the 75,000 SF Marana Health Center for MHC Healthcare, slated for completion in March, and the $4.2M Superstition Mountain Mental Health Center in Apache Junction.

Meanwhile, USDA Rural Development, an arm of the federal Department of Agriculture, has committed $28.6M, including loans, for Arizona healthcare projects this fiscal year, says spokeswoman Dianna Jennings.

Other projects aided with federal funds are: the Pinal Hispanic Council Clinic in Coolidge, Copper Queen Rural Health Clinic in Palominas-Hereford, and the La Paz Regional Hospital in Parker.

Peterson says the economy is having an impact on the way people approach their own healthcare, and that’s having an impact on new hospital construction.

“Private sector clients are moving ahead with strategic plans for future master planning
and how best to position their organizations in urban areas,” Peterson says. “That’s true in Phoenix and Tucson and a little bit in Northern Arizona. It’s all about capturing the market and having the best possible response to healthcare reform and emerging changes to the economy.”

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2010

2010 Health Care Leadership Awards

2010 HCLA – Insurance Executive

Honoree: Richard Boals

Richard Boals
President and CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Richard Boals, President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of ArizonaAs president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) since 2003, Richard Boals is dedicated to ensuring that the health care needs of 1.3 million beneficiaries are met and exceeded.

He leads a team of managers and staff totaling 1,500 in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and Tempe. He joined BCBSAZ in 1971, and has served in a variety of capacities.

Among his initiatives, Boals pioneered a proactive program to provide health and wellness information to plan members, as well as the community. Under his guidance, BCBSAZ introduced a free online resource that provides access to certain HealthyBlue resources, including tools and services that can help individuals make better health decisions.

Boals’ trusted and effective leadership has established BCBSAZ as a health insurance leader in Arizona. He is committed to providing improved quality of life to Arizonans by delivering a variety of health insurance products and services to individuals, families, and small and large businesses.

In 2005, Boals introduced the Walk On! Challenge, a free, annual 28-day exercise challenge in February designed to motivate Arizona fifth-graders to include exercise in their daily routines. Participation in the program has increased each year by an average of 20 percent, with more than 45,000 participants in the 2009 Challenge. Since its inception, BCBSAZ has registered more than 130,000 students from 474 Arizona schools.

Boals regularly supports the fundraising efforts of nonprofits that provide programs and services to the military and their families.

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Finalist: Robert Beauchamp, MD

Senior Medical Director
UnitedHealthcare of Arizona

Dr. Robert Beauchamp, senior medical director for UnitedHealthcare of Arizona, is a member of the health plan’s senior leadership team and is its top clinician in Arizona. A major goal is to improve care while holding down costs. Robert Beauchamp, MD Senior Medical Director UnitedHealthcare of Arizona

His responsibilities include patient care, staff supervision and physician relations. He focuses on ensuring the appropriate use of medical services and improving clinical quality, efforts that promote positive patient outcomes and lower costs. He oversees three local medical directors and a team of nurses who serve patients in Arizona and Utah. Beauchamp makes weekly stops at three hospitals — Banner Good Samaritan, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and John C. Lincoln North Mountain — to review patient cases and meet with nurses and physicians.

Through his efforts, he has helped to improve patient care and limit patient readmissions. This enables patients to return home as soon as they are healthy, reuniting with family and friends.

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Finalist: Robert Flores, MD

Medical Director, Population Health Management
CIGNA HealthCare of Arizona

Robert Flores, MD Medical Director, Population Health Management CIGNA HealthCare of ArizonaAs medical director of population health management for Cigna Medical Group, Dr. Robert Flores has direct oversight of CIGNA HealthCare of Arizona’s Chronic Health Improvement Program (CHIP).

Flores and his team developed CHIP in 2007, after observing that patients with chronic conditions — especially those with certain combinations — often received fragmented care, were more likely to be seen in the emergency room, and were often hospitalized. As a result of Flores’ efforts, approximately 1,000 patients currently are enrolled in CHIP. Outcomes studies show that CHIP members have reduced their hospital admissions and bed days by about 55 percent. Flores has been working in his current position since 2001, and full time in the health care industry since 1999.

At Cigna Medical Group, his department is responsible for quality initiatives across 28 locations and more than 200 practicing doctors, nurses or health care professionals.

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