Tag Archives: healthcare


Population growth to drive healthcare demand

Screen shot 2015-05-01 at 11.52.41 AMTHE BROADER VIEW

The Greater Phoenix medical office market is being supported by demographic factors, with the expanding local population base fueling demand for healthcare services. These trends should continue in the years ahead, following a lull brought on by the recession. While the long-term sources of demand are in place, the healthcare industry continues to adjust to the changing regulatory climate. Mergers and acquisitions continue to impact the market, and a few large transactions by healthcare systems have made headlines to this point in 2015.


The traditional sources of medical office space demand are on the rise in Greater Phoenix, as both population growth and employment expansion have resumed in the market. The latest population figures show annual growth of approximately 1.5 percent in 2014, representing the addition of more than 65,000 residents. Employment is on a similar upswing, with approximately 50,000 jobs added each year since 2012. Healthy performance continued in the first quarter; employment in Greater Phoenix has expanded by 3 percent in the past 12 months, with 54,700 jobs having been added.

The return of population growth is sparking employment gains in population-serving sectors including healthcare. In 2014, more than 9,000 healthcare positions were added in the Phoenix metro area, the strongest year of growth in the sector since 2007. The pace of expansion slowed somewhat in the first quarter, but over the past 12 months, healthcare employment has expanded by 3.6 percent with the addition of 7,900 positions.

Screen shot 2015-05-01 at 11.53.08 AM

Vacancy in the Greater Phoenix medical office market ticked higher in the first quarter, rising 10 basis points from the end of 2014 to 18.2 percent. Despite the slight uptick to start the year, the vacancy rate has improved by 150 basis points during the past 12 months. Net absorption in that time has been more than 283,000 square feet, outpacing the delivery of new space by more than 250,000 square feet.

After trending higher over the past two years, vacancy in on-campus medical office buildings reversed course and improved during the first quarter. The rate retreated 110 basis points to 11.9 percent in the first quarter, with net absorption totaling nearly 30,000 square feet.

In off-campus buildings, vacancy inched up 20 basis points in the first quarter, but at 19.2 percent, the rate has still improved 170 basis points during the past 12 months. Net absorption in off-campus buildings over the past year has totaled more than 268,000 square feet, led by nearly 110,000 square feet in Scottsdale and more than 90,000 square feet in the Southeast Valley. Vacancy in these two regions of the market averages approximately 19 percent, but there has been rapid improvement over

the past 12 months. A year ago, medical office vacancy in Scottsdale was over 23 percent, and the rate in the Southeast Valley was over 21 percent. These areas both feature sizable inventories of medical office space, but are also home to some of the strongest population and employment growth in metro Phoenix. While construction of new space has been modest in recent years, there are some projects in the development pipeline. Two medical office projects totaling nearly 120,000 square feet in the West Valley are under way, which could cause vacancy to tick higher as the buildings come online over the next 12-18 months.

Screen shot 2015-05-01 at 11.53.20 AM

Sales of medical office condos were fairly steady in the first quarter. Half of the transaction activity during the first quarter occurred in the West Valley, with transactions in Glendale, Peoria and Surprise. The median price in these West Valley transactions was $207 per square foot, up from $148 per square foot last year. Transactions in the Southeast Valley accounted for 25 percent of the total activity in the first quarter, with properties trading at a median price of $86 per square foot, while fewer condos sold in Scottsdale, where the median price was $141 per square foot, compared to a median price of $165 per square foot in 2014.

Sales activity for non-condo medical office buildings accelerated by approximately 10 percent in the first quarter, and sales velocity has been fairly consistent since the beginning of last year. The median price in transactions during the first quarter was $95 per square foot, down from $121 per square foot in 2014. The median price has been dragged down somewhat by the mix of properties changing hands, with a few high- vacancy buildings selling. Cap rates have risen slightly over the past 12 months, averaging in the mid- to high-7 percent range.

Screen shot 2015-05-01 at 11.53.27 AM

Phoenix Children's Hospital

The effect of mergers on healthcare real estate

Healthcare in America is changing and bringing real estate with it. Healthcare networks are growing their market shares, and healthcare mergers and acquisitions have been on the rise in the first half of 2014, according to an August report by Berkery Noyes. Deal volume increased during that time by 18 percent, to the tune of $5.45B, according to the report. This is something Arizona has a front row seat to. In July 2013, Tenant Healthcare bought Vanguard Health Systems, which operates Abrazo Health Care, the second largest health care delivery system in Arizona. Last October, Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln Health Network finalized its system-wide affiliation. In August, Banner Health announced it acquisition of University of Arizona’s medical facilities and programs. Scottsdale-based Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (HTA) acquired six medical office buildings (MOBs), outside of Arizona, from ProMed Properties for $200M, the largest MOB acquisition of the first half of 2014.

“Most medical real estate in the Valley has been built around a hospital trying to draw patients into their beds,” says Ensemble Real Estate CEO Randy McGrane. “They’ve invested capital into them, and that’s how they get a return.” However, that idea, catalyzed by the Affordable Care Act, technological advances and general market conditions, is becoming outdated, says McGrane. It’s more profitable for networks to have out-patient care spread within communities, away from the hospital and closer to patients. This is evidenced by the dozens of ambulatory care facilities Banner Health has constructed throughout regions.

“Health systems and physician groups have been forced to compete for market share in the pursuit of volume and reduced overhead expenses,” says HTA’s Executive Vice President, CFO, Treasurer and Secretary Robert Milligan. “From a medical office perspective, this has resulted in tenants that are better credits, looking for larger blocks of space and focused on key locations that will help their practices generate volume. Locations that can offer these features have and will continue to benefit from this consolidation trend.”

As a result, there are more off-campus development happening. The one exception, McGrane notes, may be one at Banner Estrella, for which the medical network recently placed and RFP. Existing on-campus buildings, therefore, are suffering vacancies higher than 25 percent in some cases. Highest and best use for these buildings over time, McGrane says, includes facilities that support a hospital’s known specialties or encourage post-acute care and rehabs, which are more cost-effective to invest in, given the reimbursement systems established by the ACA.

“It’s a painful change,” McGrane says. “Ultimately, it will end up being a better system…We have so much clinical advancement, but we haven’t developed the underlying system to go with it.”

“The great thing about these larger tenants is that they are focused primarily on driving volume into their practices,” Milligan says. “This means that they are focused on office space that allows the physician to utilize the infrastructure of a hospital or surgery center and also provides for an efficient patient experience. Cost, while important, is becoming a secondary factor. We are actively investing in our buildings to attract these larger tenants who will be the long term providers of healthcare in this country.”


Orion Health opens development center in Scottsdale

Orion Health, a population health management company, announced the opening of its new development center in Scottsdale. The Orion Health ‘Center of Excellence’ will serve as the company’s North American research and solution center, supporting big data analytics technology development, focused on providing decision support to clinicians and patients, and solution support for clients’ population health initiatives.

Orion Health established the Center of Excellence to provide a combination of Product Development and SaaS Operations (Network Operations Centre [NOC]), Global Managed Services and Client Support Specialist teams) to support its North American-based clients. Projects at the Product Development Center will include big data analytics technology solution and building out SaaS-based Application Programming Interface (API) management solutions to access data and analytics, helping clients deliver enhanced patient care and improved outcomes. A team of Orion Health software engineers, architects, SaaS engineers, NOC and CSS Helpdesk operators, customer support and professional services staff will work at the Scottsdale office along with several of Orion Health’s senior executives, including Executive Vice President of Healthier Populations, David Bennett, and Vice President of SaaS Operations, Rafi Brosh.

“There has been an increasing demand for our population health management and interoperability solutions from organizations across the continent as they work to keep pace with the requirements of the continuously evolving healthcare industry. Our new Center of Excellence will allow Orion Health to continue to bring next-generation tools to healthcare professionals to enable them to provide seamless care coordination,” said Bennett. “We selected Scottsdale as the location for the hub of our solution development efforts in North America due to both the city’s renewed healthcare and bioscience focus, and the highly-skilled talent pool from nearby Arizona universities which will be essential as we look to expand operations over the coming years.”

“I’m very pleased to learn that Orion Health has chosen Scottsdale as home for its North American Development Center on the Scottsdale Cure Corridor,” said Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane. “I believe Scottsdale continues to attract quality jobs and companies such as Orion Health to the Cure Corridor as a result of a spirit of collaboration between industry and our community which exists in our great city.”

“Arizona’s robust innovation, healthcare and biotechnology ecosystems are attractive platforms for global companies seeking to build their skilled workforce, innovate and advance their businesses long term,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “We welcome Orion Health to Scottsdale as its grows its North American operations, and are excited to see the company enhance the quality of patient care across the country through its data analytics technology and software solutions for clients.”

Paradise Valley Hospital current - Copy

Paradise Valley Hospital celebrates 30th anniversary

Abrazo Health’s Paradise Valley Hospital will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a free Autumn Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 25 at the hospital, 3929 E. Bell Road.

Free food, blood pressure checks, bicycle safety, posture checks, shoe assessment for wound care are among the highlights.  A walk-in inflatable heart exhibit will educate visitors on common heart diseases.  Emergency vehicles including Phoenix fire trucks and a Native Air helicopter will be on display. Paradise Valley High School, which is located across the street, will provide a  DJ.  Historical photos and video interviews with hospital staff also will be featured.

Paradise Valley Hospital Food Service Manager Juan Carranza will conduct healthy meals demonstrations at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Paradise Valley Hospital’s cafeteria created Meals to Go, a program offering pre-packaged, healthy take-out meals that are nutritionally aligned with diabetic and/or cardiac dietary needs. Meals can be ordered 24 hours ahead and picked up at Paradise Valley and the five other Abrazo hospitals in the Phoenix area.

During three decades as a registered nurse at Paradise Valley Hospital, Andi Chronister has observed many changes in and around Paradise Valley Hospital.

The hospital has had different names and owners over the years. Medical advances such as robotic surgery and electronic medical records have transformed how patient care is delivered.  Neighborhoods and businesses filled the vacant land that once surrounded the hospital. The nearby 51 Freeway brought more traffic to the area.

But the constant at Paradise Valley Hospital has been the close-knit feeling among staff and patients.

“Patients come into the room and they look familiar to me. After we get talking, I find out that the patient’s parents were cared for here and they remember me. I’ve taken care of physicians’ families here. When I go shopping, people stop me in the store and say I remember you,’’  said
Chronister, a case manager who watched the hospital being built from her backyard and still lives close by.

Jaime Wasden, clinicial services manager for the Emergency Department, said services have improved over the years. In particular, the InQuicker program has enabled patients to wait for their emergency room visit at home and come in for a scheduled time.

One of Wasden’s favorite programs at Paradise Valley Hospital is the partnership with Paradise Valley High School. Students come observe what it’s like to be in the health-care field and nurses go to the high school health classes to show pig hearts. A new junior volunteer program for teens is underway.

“If anyone wants to work here, I want you to know that we are fantastic. We say welcome to the family,’’ she added.

Sandra Sears, who has been a registered nurse at Paradise Valley Hospital, remembers fondly when she set up the surgical instrument trays in the operating rooms on the day the hospital opened on Aug. 28, 1983.

“We have a great medical staff and nursing staff devoted to great patient care. I am very proud to be a part of the team at Paradise Valley  Hospital,’’ she added.

Paradise Valley is a 136-bed acute care, community-based hospital and is an affiliate of Abrazo Health, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

Some of its special programs include an accredited chest pain center, wound care and hyperbaric (high pressure) medicine, outpatient rehabilitation services, high-tech navigation system for orthopedic procedures, da Vinci robotic surgery and surgical weight loss.

“Our top goal is to ensure that our patients have the best experience possible. We hold customer satisfaction in the highest regard,’’ said David Tupponce, Paradise Valley Hospital CEO.

Paradise Valley Hospital’s Chief of Staff Shawn Blick, a urologist, said he enjoys the camaraderie of a small hospital.

“When a patient gets admitted to the floor, I know their care will be excellent,’’ he said.

Experts: Slow, steady economic recovery for Arizona

Our economy continues to slowly improve, with the healthcare and biosciences industry having the most potential for local employment growth. That was just one of the positive signs that came out of last week’s Economic Outlook 2015, presented by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) and Cox Communications. Nearly 800 business leaders attended the 32nd annual event at the Arizona Biltmore on Friday, September 5, 2014, to hear an analysis of the state’s economic challenges and what opportunities lie ahead for Arizona’s economy.

Attendees gained insight from local, national and global economic experts, including presentations by Dr. Quincy Krosby, Chief Market Strategist at Prudential Annuities, local Valley economist Elliott Pollack of Elliott D. Pollack & Company, and financial markets expert Jim Huntzinger of BOK Financial.

In an exclusive GPCCTV video, Pollack points out the positive developments he sees and why continued economic growth will be slow for Arizona.

Stated Pollack, “I’m more optimistic than I was a year ago. The housing market is going to improve and continue to grow, but very slowly. While it’s a little disappointing in the housing market, overall it’s not a bad picture. There is no recession on the horizon. Consumer confidence surveys are really starting to improve in a meaningful way. But essentially, things are moving forward.”

Huntzinger, executive vice president and chief investment officer of BOK Financial, provided a national perspective of the economy and his impression of improving economic indicators, the impact of events overseas and the outlook for the markets.

“I feel pretty confident about the way the economy is setting up right now,” said Huntzinger. “The U.S. economy is stable and improving. The auto industry is doing quite well. The retail industry is doing OK. Manufacturers are improving. We have a slow-growing, but deliberate economy that’s gaining some steam.”

Prudential Annuities Chief Market Strategist Dr. Quincy Krosby, a former diplomat with an impressive career in international finance, provided a global perspective and discussed the current status of industries abroad, future economic drivers and the role Phoenix plays in the global economy. In this exclusive GPCCTV video of Dr. Krosby, she shares how events on the other side of the globe can impact the entire world and American economies.

“A healthy global economy is good for all countries…we’re always optimistic,” stated Krosby. “Terrorism is the biggest worry in a volatile climate, but the U.S. economy is resilient.”

Cox Communications once again showcased its mobile technologies with the Cox Media Mobile Survey, which asked attendees at Economic Outlook 2015 to share their sentiments via text message on local industry growth, national policy and local industry growth.

Thirty-three percent of attendees who responded said that the healthcare and biosciences industry has the most potential for local employment growth.
Twenty-seven percent of respondents indicated that their number-one concern next year from an economic perspective was election results, while 25 percent of survey respondents indicated that international unrest was their top concern.
Global risks were also on everyone’s mind, with 26 percent of survey respondents citing political and social instability as the top global risk, while 18 percent of respondents indicated that fiscal crises in key economies were high on their radar.

Full results of the Cox Media Mobile Survey are available, along with the presentations and interviews from Economic Outlook 2015, at http://www.phoenixchamber.com/eo2015.

The GPCC has been hosting this event since 1982, and uses it as an opportunity to bring the community together to learn about both the global and local economic indicators. The Chamber’s Economic Development Annual Report was also presented during Friday’s event. The report communicates the Chamber’s commitment to support community businesses in their efforts to grow, retain and expand and can be found online at www.phoenixchamber.com/yearinreview.

“The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is proud to work with a strong community partner like Cox Communications to present the state of the economy from a local, national and international perspective to business leaders across the Valley,” stated Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “Although Arizona’s economic recovery remains on a slow, but steady path as the presenters stated at this year’s event, I am confident that Arizona will see continued improvements in job growth, consumer spending and economic development in 2015.”

Added Sanders, “In collaboration with the City of Phoenix and the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s PHOENIX FORWARD>> initiative will deliver a strategic and sustainable, economic development plan. This initiative focuses on strengthening and growing existing business in three key industry sectors: Health Care & Biosciences, Transportation & Logistics and Advanced Business Services. Together, we will remove barriers to success for the region’s businesses and grow Arizona’s economy from within.”


Banner Health acquiring all UA medical facilities

In a historic move that will transform the health care landscape in Arizona, the University of Arizona Health Network (UAHN) and the University of Arizona (UA) executed a Principles of Agreement document with Banner Health, to create a statewide health care organization and a comprehensive new model for academic medicine. This ground-breaking agreement will formalize discussions and is intended to lead to final definitive agreements sometime in the fall.

The proposed transaction is anticipated to generate approximately $1 billion in new capital, academic investments, and other consideration and value beneficial to UA and the community.

The anticipated transition of 6,300 employees working at UAHN’s two hospitals, the health plan and the medical group into Banner will create Arizona’s largest private employer with more than 37,000 employees.

The action follows votes from the UAHN and Banner boards of directors in support of proceeding with negotiations, as well as a vote by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) to authorize UA to also move forward with UAHN and Banner. The parties will now work together towards final definitive agreements, anticipated to be completed and signed in September of this year. The definitive agreements must also be approved by ABOR and the boards of directors of UAHN and Banner. The proposed transaction is expected to close a few months following the signing of the definitive agreements.

“We are impressed by the thoughtfulness and thoroughness that has driven the UAHN board process in determining how best to meet the future needs of those they serve. In addition, this agreement strengthens and can accelerate the discovery efforts of our Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix, leading to medical advances,” said ABOR Chair Rick Myers.

Proposed transition key elements:

• Create an Arizona-based, statewide health system that improves care for all the state’s citizens • Create a nationally leading health system that provides better care and improved patient and member experiences at lower costs through valued-based or accountable care organizations that utilize population health management models that emphasize wellness;
• Expand University of Arizona Medical Center capabilities for complex academic/clinical programs such as transplantations, neurosciences, genomics-driven precision health, geriatrics, and pediatrics while providing for investment opportunities in other areas;
• Bolster fiscal sustainability, eliminating persistent shortfalls and low operating margins currently experienced by UAHN.

In addition to solving the immediate financial needs, the proposed agreement will:

• Eliminate the debt burdening UAHN (currently projected to be $146 million)
• Provide resources for improved hospital infrastructure, including the $21 million purchase of land currently leased to UAMC and $500 million within five years to expand and renovate the medical center, and build new facilities as appropriate, such as a major, multi-specialty outpatient center to be constructed in Tucson
• Create a $300 million endowment which will provide a $20 million per year revenue stream to advance the UA’s clinical and translational research mission
• Preserve historic funding levels between the clinical and academic partners in addition to a $20 million per year enhancement.
• Allow additional funding support based on growth in revenues generated by the clinical and academic partnership.
• Improve operational efficiencies
• Secure and sustain a lasting relationship with, and commitment to, the University of Arizona, anchored by an Academic Division within Banner. The Academic Medical Centers: The University of Arizona Medical Center – University and South Campuses and Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center and the faculty practice plan, will support the growing needs of the Colleges of Medicine in Phoenix and Tucson and create a value-based delivery system;
• The Phoenix and Tucson academic medical centers will be infused with operational strength through the proposed transition and rapidly evolve into major economic drivers that will attract highly skilled, trained and paid professionals, elevating Arizona as a bioscience destination;
• Train more physician specialists and allied health professionals, including pharmacists and advanced practice nurses for Arizona;
• Provide a comprehensive platform for the development of physician-scientists who will drive discovery across basic science studies, patient-oriented clinical research, health services research, and population health;
• Enhance and elevate academic medical excellence across Arizona to national leadership levels; and
• Secure and sustain an operational foundation for the Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix that will maximize the value of the ongoing state funding received annually through legislative appropriations.

“When these respected organizations unite, the potential for delivering top-tier academic medicine throughout the state, recognized nationally, becomes a reality,” said Steve Lynn, UAHN Chairman of the Board.

Added Michael Waldrum, M.D., UAHN President and CEO, “I’m especially pleased that this proposed transition will infuse stability and energy into our organization. This will benefit our patients, faculty, staff and students as we pursue excellence. Ultimately, we’re moving from a situation in which we can only maintain status quo, to a situation in which we can create a premier Academic Medical Center.”

This proposed transition is occurring amidst a period of profound transformation in health care that is driving organizations to adopt innovative ways to not only improve health care with a strong emphasis on wellness, but to do it at a lower cost.

“With health care here in Arizona and across the nation facing new challenges and opportunities every day, this agreement will allow the Arizona Health Sciences Center and the entire UA to advance our mission to provide education, conduct research and enhance patient care that will transform health care at the state and national level,” said Ann Weaver Hart, President of the University of Arizona. “Combining the world-class care at UAHN and Banner will better meet the needs of patients in Arizona and throughout the region, while also providing tremendous learning experiences for students at the University of Arizona. By forming this collaboration we will accomplish more for Arizona’s residents and for the advancement of medical knowledge and practice than we could do in isolation.”

The University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine and Banner Health have a long history of successful affiliation through the Graduate Medical Education program at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix. Each year, Banner and the UA Colleges of Medicine collaborate in the training of nearly 260 physicians in five residency programs and in numerous fellowships.

Added Peter S. Fine, President and CEO of Banner, “We’re honored that the UAHN Board of Directors strategically sought Banner to create Arizona’s first statewide health system to help strengthen medical education. Banner’s vision is to sustain a position of national leadership. This opportunity to join with a premier academic organization significantly advances Banner towards this vision. In addition, we’re especially mindful of UAHN’s legacy of excellence in Tucson and throughout the state, which must be maintained, nourished and strengthened.”


Fisher & Phillips Adds New Practice Group

Fisher & Phillips LLP announced that it has formed a new Government Solutions Practice Group to help employers who are faced with a fluid and evolving legislative and regulatory regime at the federal, state and local levels of government. The practice focuses on labor and employment legislation and regulations in areas such as: workplace discrimination; employee privacy; wage and hour; employee compensation; trade secrets; employment contracts and terms; unionization and organization efforts; healthcare; immigration; workplace accommodations; employee leave; workers’ compensation; workplace safety; affirmative action; and employee benefits.

Practice Group Chairman Rick Grimaldi of the firm’s Philadelphia office said: “It’s critical that employers remain well-informed about proposed legislation and regulation at any level of government. Our clients want their opinions heard by Congress, the executive branch, and state and local governments, and we plan to help facilitate that.”

The Government Solutions Practice Group is comprised of 26 attorneys who are well versed in the area of government affairs. These attorneys will partner with employers to assist them with navigating and advocating for their interests in the modern legislative and regulatory arenas. Grimaldi added: “By partnering with our firm’s government affairs attorneys, our clients will stay apprised of legislative developments impacting their interests. This gives them a voice for fair and appropriate policymaking at all levels of government throughout the country.”

Working across the firm’s nationwide footprint, the practice offers an array of services including:

· Filing amicus curiae briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court, other federal and state courts, and the National Labor Relations Board
· Representing employer views during formal rule-makings by federal, state and local regulatory agencies by filing comments on behalf of clients, assisting clients to file their own comments, and/or testifying before federal, state and local legislative committees and subcommittees
· Ensuring the availability of high level legal and technical resources to support the important efforts of legislators and executive office staff who are (a) defending employer and employee rights against special-interest groups espousing an “anti-employer” or “pro-union” agenda, and (b) supporting balance in employment and labor laws
· Providing a voice for clients with federal, state and local government officials at general-interest trade associations and business organizations, and with other policy groups and natural allies on labor and employment issues
· Supporting positive initiatives, and opposing and/or improving initiatives that would inappropriately restrict employers and business
· Monitoring relevant legislation introduced in Congress, state legislatures and key local municipalities, and providing regular updates on legislative and regulatory activity

Through these services, the attorneys in the Government Solutions Practice Group partner with clients to cooperatively protect and promote their interests, at all levels of government, in the area of labor and employment legislation and regulations.

The attorneys have been posting updates to the firm’s Government Solutions Blog at www.fpgovernmentsolutions.com.

Ron Genovese, founder and designated broker of GPE.

Op-Ed: A healthy advantage

The Affordable Care Act has upended the healthcare landscape, and along with it, the office footprint for many physician practices. Fast-changing technology and related healthcare reform requirements are also shaping tomorrow’s medical spaces.

Meanwhile, demand for medical office buildings will increase up to 20 percent by the middle of this decade, estimates the Urban Land Institute. During the next 10 years, demand for space is expected to increase by more than 60MSF.

Are you ready to take advantage of the ongoing shifts in healthcare real estate? Most owners are finding it difficult to make smart real estate acquisition decisions amid these seismic shifts.

The average medical office building tenant understandably focuses on patient care — not real estate. Current and future owners of medical office buildings will find themselves navigating challenges brought on by the new healthcare laws, all while working with hospitals or hospital-employed physicians. Prospective owners may lack the local knowledge of hospital politics and other facts necessary to make smart acquisition decisions.

That’s why working with companies such as GPE gives buyers a healthy advantage. From working within the hospital systems to working with doctors and medical users, to leasing, developing, marketing, selling and consulting, GPE’s staff offers a full complement of skills, experience, and above all, local knowledge of Arizona’s medical office market. Choosing to work with an expert in healthcare real estate will get the answers to questions many buyers don’t even know to ask.


GPE Releases Metro Phoenix Healthcare RE Market Overview

As we end 2013 and begin 2014, the question healthcare landlords and tenants are asking is, “How is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) going to affect me as it is implemented?” Providers continue to remain uncertain of their practice’s future by requesting shorter lease terms and renewal terms. Healthcare organizations such as Banner Health (“Banner”) have been purchasing medical office buildings and retail centers near their hospitals at “bottom-of-the-market” prices and becoming owner-users of these properties. On Feb. 15, 2013, Banner purchased 755 E. McDowell Rd., a 93,411 SF property for $6,169,742 ($66.05 psf) near Banner Good Samaritan Health Center in Phoenix. Near Banner Baywood Health Center, Banner purchased a 103,411 SF retail center called Cooper Village, located at 6704-6744 E. Broadway Rd., Mesa, for $4M ($38.68 psf) on April 4, 2013. On the provider side, Banner has been purchasing practices and placing them in these properties.

The leasing statistics in the Phoenix market prove to show little change from Third Quarter 2013 to 4Q 2013. The average lease rate remains steady in the 4Q at $21.99 full service from $21.72 in the 3Q, according to CoStar. The average lease rate has been at this level for most of 2013 and the vacancy remains at +/-30%. The above data is comprised from 324 medical office buildings consisting of 10KSF or more, for a total of 12,580,074 SF.

Sales Activity

In the 4Q 2013, the medical office/investment sales continue to improve as we see larger properties change hands and little or no distressed assets traded. According to CoStar, there were a total of 12 medical office sales transactions in the  4Q, 2013 including three large investment sale transactions; owner/users including John C. Lincoln Healthcare Network and two others that purchased smaller medical office buildings; only one REO sale; and the remaining are smaller investment sales of Class-C medical office buildings. The total sales volume for the 4Q 2013 was $57,496,412, with an average price per square foot of $143.44, decreasing from $204.80 in the 3Q, 2013.

Details for the three large investment sale transactions for the Fourth Quarter 2013 are below:

Copper Point , 3530 & 3570 S. Val Vista Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85297

93,961 SF building sold Dec. 27, 2013 for $108.56 per SF for a total of $10.2M. Built in 2008, WCCP Copper Point, L.L.C. purchased this property from Investment Equity Development, L.L.C. Kathleen M. Morgan, CCIM and Trisha A. Talbot of GPE Commercial Advisors are leasing this property.

Mercy Medical Commons, 3645 S. Rome Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85297

46,732 SF building sold Dec. 23, 2013 for $303.86 per SF for a total of $14.2M. Built in 2010, MedProperties, L.L.C. purchased this property from Gilbert Mercy Medical Partners.

McAuley Building, 500 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013

168,511 SF building sold Oct. 24, 2013 for $123.41 per SF for a total of $20,795,381. Built in 1994, Heitman, L.L.C. purchased this property from LaSalle Investment Management in a bulk portfolio sale, including MOB assets in Arizona and California.

Senior Housing Supplement

Senior housing continues to be a “hot” topic as we continue to retire “baby boomers” in record numbers. Questions of how the changes in healthcare will affect the services offered in this healthcare segment, and how the real estate for this industry needs to change and/or grow to meet the current and upcoming demand are still being discussed.

The demands for senior housing is not only defined by need, but especially for independent and assisted living the delineation starts with public versus private pay. Then, within private pay, a number of models and demographics are affected by a variety of income levels. According to the Senior Care Investor, November, 2013 forecasting the supply and demand of senior care facilities, decisions will have to be made on whether to remodel, sell and/or reinvest into developing new facilities.

Relating senior housing demands to our local market, in November 2013, the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing and Care Industry (NIC) reported that Phoenix is among the top five markets with assisted living properties under construction. The top five markets account for 43 percent of the assisted living construction nationwide.

In other local news, Encore on First, a tax-subsidized senior-housing complex located in downtown Mesa, opened in December 2013. Encore located at 25 West First Avenue Mesa, Arizona is a five-story, 81-unit complex offering its residents the opportunity to walk to nearby venues including the Mesa Arts Center, restaurants and future light rail, according to the Arizona Republic. One Encore resident pays $550 monthly for her apartment with the federal tax credits offered for this facility.

CoStar reports two senior care facility transactions in the 4Q, 2013.

Casa Valle, 5516 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

13,580 SF rehabilitation center sold for $92.05 per SF for a total of $1.25M. Built in 1949, Crossroads, Inc. purchased this property from Primer Paso, L.L.C.

Country Meadow Guest Home, 2815 W. 48th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008

5,016 SF skilled nursing facility sold for $69.78 per SF for a total of $350,000.  Built in 1949, Bahati, L.L.C. purchased this property from an individual investor.

Vince and Kate, CBRE

CBRE Hires Kate Morris and Vince Femiano

CBRE has hired First Vice President Kate Morris and Vice President Vince Femiano, the top healthcare tenant brokerage team in the local commercial real estate industry, to join the firm’s Healthcare Services Group in Phoenix, Ariz. The duo will focus their attention on the dynamic local healthcare market, and will be providing services to healthcare systems, practice groups, healthcare providers, medical building owners, and others in the ever-changing healthcare industry.

I’m excited to welcome Kate and Vince to the team. They are a perfect addition to our Healthcare Services Group,” said Craig Henig, CBRE’s senior managing director and Arizona market leader. “Their years of experience and skill sets make them a powerful partnership that will allow for unrivaled service to our clients in the healthcare sector.”

Morris and Femiano come to CBRE from Transwestern where they headed up the company’s Healthcare Practice Group in Phoenix. They specialize in tenant advisory services for healthcare and medical clients, and have established themselves as the preferred provider of healthcare real estate services for over 800 physicians in the local market. Among their many major assignments, they are responsible for the oversight of transactions for a six hospital healthcare system in Phoenix and a four hospital healthcare system in Chicago, Ill., serving as the single point-of-contact for all real estate related operations. Additionally, they are growing their agency platform and working with one of the leading healthcare REITs in the nation.

The duo specializes in offering all-encompassing real estate services to healthcare clients, with an emphasis on tenant advisory, agency and investment services. They are particularly well-versed in Stark compliance issues, as well as all aspects of leasing, building purchases, dispositions, strategic planning, transaction management, consulting and other facility-related transactions as they relate to medical service providers and healthcare organizations.

CBRE’s Healthcare Services Group provides a comprehensive real estate services offering to leading healthcare systems locally and across the country. CBRE’s integrated approach aids clients in reducing cost and unlocking capital, while being sensitive to the patient experience. Members of the Healthcare Services Group recognize the significant challenges facing the healthcare industry and the need to carefully balance cost management with patient satisfaction. An integrated approach to real estate services will allow Morris and Femiano to provide clients with innovative, market-leading solutions that leave no stones unturned in searching for economic opportunities.

Morris holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University of Chicago.

Femiano holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.

Photo by Gregg Mastorakos

Healthy Side Effect: ACA's impact on CRE, sustainability

Mark Stapp, professor of real estate practice and executive director of Arizona State University’s Master of Real Estate Development program.

There’s another trend growing out of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) emphasis on wellness. Mark Stapp, a professor of real estate practice and executive director of Arizona State University’s Master of Real Estate Development program at the W.P. Carey School of Business, says the trend can benefit Arizona’s economic development efforts.
“You say sustainability, and people think about energy, green building and conservation,” he says. “In reality, sustainability also includes a healthy workforce. When the workforce is healthy, productivity increases.”
Stapp says a combination of Millennials’ lifestyles combined with an aging boomer population means changes in development patterns. “Improved healthcare and an emphasis on wellness shifts where and what space is in demand. The population wants healthy places to live.”
Stapp sees the trends as drivers bringing populations closer to city centers. He also believes a healthy community is a big economic development selling point.
“The movement (in the Affordable Care Act) is to maintain and improve health rather than fix it,” he says. “This is crucial with the shortage in primary care physicians. It also means that healthy living is going to become integrated in other areas of the community.”
Stapp sees new business models developing around the ideals of healthy living. “As (the ACA) evolves, its policies will change and encompass a broader range of health care and wellness options. Integrative healthcare will become far more important,” he says.
What this means to economic development, Stapp explains, is that healthy cities are more productive.
“Supporting healthy lifestyle choices becomes a competitive advantage,” he says. “This is a direct shift of a portion of healthcare responsibility from insurance companies to communities.”
Changing the types of medical practices and patterns will also change building design and usability. “Real estate has value to support an activity,” he says. “If an activity goes, so does building value.”
Stapp sees a gradual change in office environments. “There is a shrinking demand for space. Can medical campuses withstand the test of time?” he asks. The bigger pie, in terms of health care and wellness, he says, is to look ahead to rapidly emerging trends that may make today’s medical office infrastructure useless.
“People are capital,” says Stapp. “Businesses are going to protect capital, and that is going to lead to adaptation when the demand creates new opportunities with different office uses.”

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Phoenix.  Photo / Gregg Mastorakos

Healthy Outlook: Affordable Care Act means new healthcare opportunities in CRE

“Tastes great!”
“Less filling!”
The old beer adage flavors trends in healthcare commercial real estate entering the Age of Affordable Care Act (ACA). There are tasty opportunities for new types of healthcare real estate and a glut of less-filled medical office buildings (MOB) that may result from consolidations.
Healthcare providers are looking for patient-luring, high technology facilities and they want to pay less for the capital development. Facilities will be smaller, more flexible and expandable. Look for an airline-style hub-and-spoke system.
The new law and changes in healthcare delivery are also going to affect real estate — building sales and leasing, and the value of physician practices and clinics. Many existing medical office buildings will have to re-adapt. Some older facilities may be destined for scraping and redevelopment into other uses.
Deadline on evolving trends

Healthcare has been evolving over the past decade and ACA merely deploys previously evolving trends. All healthcare providers are now implementing change. To understand the future trends in healthcare, the ACA backend effect has to be understood.
Cars and people both run better with 5,000 mile oil changes and 25,000 mile tune-ups — for people, it’s periodic blood tests and annual physicals. It costs significantly less to deal with preventive healthcare for people than treating preventable illnesses.
“The top five illnesses in terms of cost and numbers are lifestyle-related and preventable,” says Mark Stapp, professor of real estate practice and the director of the Master of Real Estate Development programs at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Stapp says ACA’s focus on wellness is going to have “profound effects on medical real estate and economic development.”
While most political and public discourse focus on the consumer side of the law, healthcare providers are gearing up for what the law means in terms of delivering healthcare and the facilities required for delivery. ACA deploys three fundamental healthcare delivery changes:

1. Creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO)
2. Emphasis on keeping people healthy
3. Using hospitals for only the most acutely ill

Meeting the standards of care financially rewards healthcare providers; failing to meet the new standards results in financial penalties. The solution is a model deployed by Banner Health in the Valley — deliver healthcare into neighborhoods using a hub-and-spoke system. This is one reason Banner has built six health centers across the Valley.
Private sector healthcare organizations are not the only ones affected by the law. The Maricopa Integrated Health Service is considering a bond issue to fund its strategic plan. If passed, resulting construction and renovations will enhance its already-existing hub-and-spoke healthcare delivery system.
With thousands of Arizonans obtaining health insurance for the first time, there is an increased demand for healthcare providers. That component of ACA alone would seem to make MOBs an ideal real estate investment. The reality is, to obtain efficiencies, older buildings may not work.
“There are a lot of medical office buildings and clinics that are going to be functionally obsolete; and not just old ones,” reports Tom Weinhold, managing director of Cassidy Turley’s healthcare practices group. “Owners are going to have adapt to general office use or possibly tear offices down and replace them with other uses. Medical infrastructure has requirements today that some buildings cannot accommodate.”
Stapp says it could be a double-whammy in an already over-built office market.
“General demand for office space is decreasing,” he says. “Real estate has value from supporting an activity. If that activity goes, so does the value. The changes in medical care are driving changes in building design.”
Stapp says there are prospects because of ACA, too.
“Much of the public discourse is focused on the healthcare delivery, but there are rippling opportunities,” he says. “The emphasis on wellness is going to more broadly open that field. Community design, how and where people live, transportation options will all change development patterns. The population wants a healthy environment and business will find opportunities in that demand.”

Development opportunities

“The days of the ‘build it and they will come’ hospital towers are over,” suggests Layton Construction’s Steve Brecker, executive vice president-healthcare. “Owners large and small are looking at their dollars much more carefully than before. There is a bigger analytical process in the decision to build or renovate a facility.”
Brecker’s comment, which comes from the firm’s nationwide perspective, is that no healthcare organization is overbuilding. Everything is right-sized for staff efficiency. “Interiors are the focus today. Unlike the ‘70s and ‘80s, a lot of forethought goes into everything from the lobby design to the comfort of the waiting areas,” he says.
At McCarthy Building Companies, Vice President of Business Development Chris Jacobson has a similar observation. “It’s a lot less expensive to build a clinic in an outlying area and bring healthcare to the patients as opposed to forcing patients to drive a long distance to a medical center,” he says. “The outlying clinics capture market share for a provider, and feed more acutely ill patients into the central medical center.”
This is the gist of the hub-and-spoke system deployed by Banner.
“Banner is the trendsetter,” Jacobson says. “They are using an accountable care model (as an ACO) and emphasizing wellness to save money.”
Banner’s Vice President of Development and Construction Kip Edwards says, “We’re going to deliver care at the most convenient and accessible level to our patients. This means not only clinics, but online, telemedicine and other support and educational services.
“What we’re doing is putting physicians, PAs and nurses into a neighborhood setting, so that a patient does not have to wait to see a doctor. In the current system, you’re sick today. You call the doctor and can be seen in three days or next week. You’re not sick next week, you’re sick today. Banner is developing the facilities so a patient can get into the doctor today at the place where all his records are located. Then, if he needs x-rays, prescriptions and a lab test, it’s all in one place; no more running all over town.”
“What all this means for designers and builders is that owners are cautious and we’re not seeing new mega projects,” says Steve Whitworth, healthcare division manager for Kitchell Development. “Most projects these days are in the $5M to $10M range. We’re seeing outpatient space expansion, practices combining and technical upgrades.”

Clinics are being absorbed

Banner, along with Vanguard, Cigna and other major providers, are buying up medical practices to be those family clinics.
“Some of the practices are going to stay in their office condo or leased space,” reports Weinhold. “We’re seeing the big providers saying to doctors, ‘We’ll take your debt and administration, give you some up-front money, and you can work for us.’ Sometimes, there will be an agreement to keep current space for three to five years.”
The consolidations and acquisitions have completely chilled the market for medical practice sales. Although not CRE, many physicians and groups used to plan on a practice buy-out — with or without real estate — that would fund retirement.
“That’s just not the case anymore. No one wants to buy a medical practice except the accountable care organizations,” Dave Peterson says. The owner and designated broker of Arizona Business Intermediaries, LLC, has seen the market grind to a near halt, “It used to be I could take on a practice listing, send it out to a direct marketing list of other physicians and close a deal. Small physician practices used to value at two- to three-times earnings. Now, it’s sometimes less than one times earnings.”
Peterson says that the big healthcare organizations are buying practices on set formulas and with some upfront money. In the end, he says, the now-employee doctors will move into a neighborhood or community clinic.
“There are two impacts on the value of practices and the interest of physicians being their own boss,” he adds. “The first is [ACA]. It’s putting practices in the position of only one interested buyer — large healthcare organizations. The second, which a lot of people don’t consider, is the cost of medical school and its related debt. All of this makes working for a healthcare organization on salary appealing.”
It also causes medical practice values to plummet — dental clinics, cosmetic surgeons and other discretionary practices are not affected by ACA.

New opportunities

“With the emphasis on efficiency and limited dollars, today’s builder is a construction manager and trusted advisor,” observes Layton Construction’s Brecker. “We’re not waiting for plans and giving estimates, we’re involved in the design to use our experience to help the owner and architect design a project that delivers what’s needed for the dollars available. It’s different than just a few years ago.”
Hamilton Espinosa at DPR talks about ROI and efficiency, “As providers are pushing healthcare into the neighborhoods, they are going to spending less to build or remodel. At the hospitals and medical centers, major renovations are not going to be funded unless there is a return on investment.”
Espinosa says full-time equivalent employees and energy are the biggest operating costs for a healthcare system.
“If we can show that a renovation is going to increase staff efficiency and cut energy cost, the owner is going to be willing to put more capital into the project,” he adds.
This is another example of the builder becoming part of the overall design team early in the process. Builders may have an opportunity for more development money if offsetting operational savings are part of the construction project.
Following the Banner model opens other opportunities.
“John C. Lincoln is developing a freestanding emergency department (off Carefree Highway and I-17, Phoenix). Scottsdale Healthcare is building neighborhood clinics and urgent care centers,” points out Kitchell’s Whitworth. “The freestanding (emergency department) is the seed of a future hospital. Dignity (Health) is doing the same thing in Glendale.”
Kitchell is also using new construction techniques to build medical facilities. “It started with the Chandler Regional (Medical Center),” Whitworth explains. “We’re building modules in a warehouse and then bringing them to the site for installation. There’s a safety factor by cutting the number of people interacting onsite. Because healthcare organizations are almost using the same template for interior work, there is a cost savings building offsite.”
Kitchell does not have its own facility, but uses partner warehouse space or on occasion, leases space, for the offsite panel construction.
“We’re constantly looking for new ways to do things to reduce costs and increase quality,” he says.

New moves for service delivery

Other healthcare providers are getting ready to implement ACA strategies. Rather than acquiring practices and building all its own clinics, the Mayo Clinic seeks to affiliate and partner. This move is not at the exclusion of building its own clinics, but in addition to greenfield facilities. Mayo has affiliations with the new cancer center at Yuma Regional Medical Center and the Sierra Vista Regional Health Center is developing a Mayo telemedicine connection.

John C. Lincoln Health Network North Mountain Hospital in Phoenix. Greg Mastorakos

John C. Lincoln Health Network North Mountain Hospital in Phoenix. Greg Mastorakos

“We’re putting less focus in inpatient services,” reports Cheryl Lisiewski, director of facilities project management for Mayo Clinic. “Our remodeling and expansion are creating a better environment for outpatient services and increased examination space.”
Mayo is undergoing a nearly $350 million expansion on the Phoenix campus with a proton beam therapy facility and new cancer center.
“We’re looking to develop new clinical offices, but primarily, the expansion allows us to renovate and backfill offices for departments that are now in compressed spaces,” she says. The expansion does generate some new inpatient beds, but it’s almost exclusively designed to meet outpatient needs.
The investment on campus is not preventing Mayo from reaching into the community. “We may develop stand-alone and primary care facilities,” explains Lisiewski. “We’re also interested in strategic partnerships for the Mayo Care Network. It’s similar to what we’ve done in Minnesota and Wisconsin.”
Mayo Clinic expects to announce its first primary care clinic in an outlying community in the near future. Negotiations were not completed at press time. Mayo’s model is good news for MOB leasing, but on a small scale compared to the number of facilities. Its partnerships mean working with existing practices or newly consolidated groups.
“There isn’t a relationship between MOB office space that will be delivered and population growth,” cautions Weinhold. “Well-located space is being snapped up by REITs at premium prices. Outlying MOBs are seeing values decline. It’s not just a simple conversion to switch an MOB to a general office.”
“There are a lot of different vehicles being used,” he adds. “Walgreens, CVS and Walmart are developing in-store mini-clinics. The urgent care centers, FastMed and NextCare, are going into retail center end caps. NextCare has started building on retail pads.”
These options are not good news for owners of Class-B and -C office space.
“I had physicians who were buying medical office buildings before and during the recession,” recollects Arizona Business Intermediaries’ Peterson. “Now they want to get out, but they’ll be lucky to recoup the purchase price on some of those properties. It’s not just recession-pricing, it’s that the buildings are going to be empty under [ACA].”
“The big problem, too,” explains Cassidy Turley’s Weinhold, “is that a medical office is not

Banner Estrella Hospital, in Phoenix, during construction phase. Courtesy of McCarthy

Banner Estrella Hospital, in Phoenix, during construction phase. Courtesy of McCarthy

adaptable to a general office. Owners are going to need to come into these office condos and gut the place. It’s unlikely once vacated there are enough small practices to take up the space that’s going to be available.”

New buildings, new opportunities

“New businesses are going to model around the new ideas that come out of [ACA],” projects Stapp at the W.P. Carey School of Business. “There’s a huge impact from wellness, because healthy people reduce healthcare costs. This is going to create opportunities for wellness business — and these businesses are going to need facilities. For example, there is a shortage of primary care physicians. This increases opportunities for complementary integrative medicine. That opens the door to small niche practices not impacted by ACA.”
“Our marketing is going to change for healthcare,” McCarthy’s Jacobson advises. “Without the big projects, we need to adapt to smaller projects and facility upgrades. Cost is going to be a big driver in the process.”
Jacobson say smaller facilities provide opportunities for builders to take on multiple projects using big medical center experience: “The materials and systems are the same for the health centers. Redundancies are not required, but the electrical and HVAC still function the same way as a hospital.”
Jacobson sees opportunities with delivering healthcare into rural areas, “Telemedicine, robotics and web services may not means anything more than a room in a rural clinic, but the backbone is going to require central facilities like call centers and data centers.”
Whitworth echoes that comment, “We have a benefit at Kitchell that we can call a medical professional any time, 24/7, and they’ll tell us whether to take two aspirin, get to an emergency department or make an appointment for a doctor. That medical professional has to be located in a facility somewhere.”
“Banner is going to spend $15B over the next 10 years renovating its medical centers and building clinics,” concludes Banner’s Edwards. “Sometimes, we might find a facility we can renovate or repurpose. Other times, we might have a greenfield building. Occasionally, we might lease space.”
Multiply that by the number of healthcare organizations in Arizona, and the future of healthcare CRE has some potential.
“I just don’t see it happening next year,” says Espinosa.

Eric Jay Toll is a freelance writer based in Scottsdale. He covers CRE, development and construction, business, medical and travel news for a variety of publications. His work appears in AZRE, Az Business, USA Today, CardioSource World News, and Toll is the senior correspondent for Arizona Builder’s Exchange. Toll spent three decades as a land planner, including 17 years in public agency development and economic development department management. He lives in Phoenix.

David Derr

David Derr Joins Shepley Bulfinch

Shepley Bulfinch is pleased to welcome healthcare planning and design leader David H. Derr, AIA, as a principal in the firm’s Phoenix office, where he will lead the healthcare practice in the Southwest.

In announcing the appointment, Shepley Bulfinch president Carole Wedge said: “David’s strategic understanding of regional and national healthcare trends are a real strength as we advances our presence in the expanding healthcare markets of the West and Southwest.”

David has led healthcare planning and design projects that span the US and the Middlle East, with experience in expanding firms’ healthcare practices. His notable project work includes a replacement medical center for Kaiser Permanente (San Leandro CA); the flagship ambulatory care center for Group Health Cooperative (Bellevue WA); and a proposed cardiac center in Bahrain.

“As a healthcare architect who is keenly aware of the fundamental impact of design on the quality of care, I’m particularly pleased be helping lead Shepley Bulfinch’s healthcare practice,” said David. “Shepley has the rare ability to bring planning, clinical best practice, design excellence, and execution together in its facilities.”

David is a member of the AIA and the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH). He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree Ohio University.

Judy Rich

Judy Rich – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Judy Rich – President and CEO, TMC Healthcare

Rich has held roles in healthcare that range from staff nurse to CEO. Rich joined TMC HealthCare nearly 10 years ago and was COO for Tucson Medical Center until 2006 before she was named president and CEO of the 650-bed nonprofit hospital in 2007.

Surprising fact: “I often come to TMC on the weekends when my daughter is volunteering with Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids, introducing the ranch’s rabbits, chicks and other small animals to TMC’s pediatric patients.”

Biggest challenge: “As CEO, it’s important to zoom in to understand the seemingly minute details of operations, as well as zoom out to see the organization from the 10,000-foot level. Balancing between the two is challenging and takes discipline.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

HEALTHCARE REFORM: Deadline for Employers to Provide Exchange Notice

The deadline for employers to distribute the Exchange Notice to employees is Oct. 1, 2013. Additionally, employers are required to provide the notice to each new employee hired on or after Oct. 1, 2013, no later than 14 days after the employee’s start date. The notice must be distributed regardless of whether the employee is full-time or part-time. Employers not offering group health plan coverage must also provide the notice:

Delay In Employer Mandate

On July 9, 2013, the IRS released Notice 2013-45 to provide a one year delay for employers with 50 or more employees. Employers will not be liable for employer mandate penalties until 2015.


The changing role of nurses

They are the healthcare providers that will see 22 percent job growth – more than any other occupation – through 2018. They are the communicators. They bridge the gap in the medical industry. They are the part of the healthcare team that makes sure that the right patient is in the right place getting the right thing done.

They are nurses and they are now taking on more specialized roles, applying advanced technologies and filling voids created by an anticipated shortage of primary care physicians.

“We are encouraging our nurses to return to school to advance their degree,” said Deborah Martin, senior director of professional practice at Banner Health. “Patients are much more complex in our hospitals, as well as in the home and our communities … Nurses need to have higher levels of education to manage these complexities in all settings where nurses practice. Advanced degrees are now required for our upper level nursing managers.”

About 10,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age every day, fueling the long-term demand for specialized nurses. To help fill that need, Arizona State University implemented the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) concentration.

“It will prepare nurse practitioners to deliver primary care to adults throughout their lifespan with increased emphasis on care of the aging population,” says Katherine Kenny, clinical associate professor and director of the DNP program at ASU.

Johnson & Johnson’s website lists more than 3,000 capacities in which nurses can be employed — from school nurses to jailhouse nurses. Nurses practice in hospitals, schools, homes, retail health clinics, long-term care facilities, battlefields, and community and public health centers. Everywhere there are people, there are patients, and everywhere there are patients, there are nurses.

“Nurses are becoming more influential in the policy changes that are occurring with the Affordable Care Act,” Kenny says. “More nurses are practicing in ambulatory care settings and public and community health.”

Arizona educational institutions are now offering a wide range of educational opportunities which support the nursing profession’s challenge to improve patient care outcomes for individuals, systems, and organizations. And because of skyrocketing healthcare costs, preventative care and education have become integral elements in reducing chronic illness and minimizing re-hospitalization.

“Nurses are now specializing in everything from palliative care and managing chronic illness, to maintenance and preventative care,” says Ann McNamara, dean of Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing. McNamara says students at GCU are spending more time concentrating on home healthcare and hospice in their new hands-on simulation labs, complete with live actors, computer-operated mannequins, and dynamic patient scenarios.

Angel MedFlight provides air medical transportation services from bedside to bedside.  The company’s CEO, Jeremy Freer, says “[Our] nurses are able to put all the components of the puzzle together and make the medical flight process more efficient, effective and compassionate.”

Nurses are also assessing the long-range healthcare needs of patients.

“Where once the hospital nurse’s prime responsibility was to provide the best care possible that the patient needed at that moment, now the nurse is also focused on what happens next,” explains Maggi Griffin, vice president of patient care services at John C. Lincoln Health Network.

Griffin says that patient discharge planning and post-hospitalization follow up are other key roles of the evolving nursing profession.

Advancements in technology have significantly enhanced patient care in recent years.  Nurses now have the ability to monitor patient conditions remotely, and electronic health records enable nurses to track, evaluate, and document patient information.

“Technology is opening doors to deliver nursing care in new and innovative ways, often serving as a second set of eyes to enhance patient safety or monitoring patients from their homes,” says Deborah Martin, senior director of professional practice at Banner Health. Martin adds that Medication Bar Coding is another example of how technology is helping nurses be more effective and prevent errors.

Due to the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in general, nurses are becoming more involved in a patient’s primary care.

“As advanced practice providers of healthcare, nurses with master’s and doctoral degrees are able to deliver high quality care to patients in their own individual practice,” Martin says, “as well as work side by side with physicians to provide care in a more cost effective manner.”

“As the major component of hospital rosters, nurses’ salaries account for a significant part of any hospital budget,” Griffin adds. “With financial stresses coming from the economy, from government healthcare program budget cuts and from other areas, nursing is much more tightly controlled.”

A decade ago, nursing shifts were scheduled regardless of room occupancy. Currently, industry experts say those staffing schedules fluctuate based on patient population in each unit.

The other major shift is in the demand for specialized nurses. Julie Ward, chief nursing officer at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, says specialties have nurses working in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

“We are also exploring roles for nurses to shepherd groups of patients through the maze of care,”  Ward says. St. Joseph’s nurses make follow-up phone calls to patients to ensure the patient is safe and able to follow their discharge instructions, Ward says.

Still, the primary evolution of the nursing industry has been in higher education. Gone are the days when nurses were simply bedside attendants. Now, they are replacing the expensive medical doctors and are running their own practices as Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) and in other upper level specialties. Most hospitals are encouraging their nurses to return to school to improve their knowledge base and advance their degrees.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM) launched a two-year initiative to respond to the need to assess and transform the nursing profession. The IOM appointed a Committee on the RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing for the purpose of producing an action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing. Through its deliberations, the committee developed four key messages:

* Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.

* Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.

* Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.

* Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and information infrastructure.

“We are encouraging our nurses to return to school to advance their degree,” Martin says. “Patients are much more complex in our hospitals, as well as in the home and our communities. As noted by the IOM, nurses need to have higher levels of education to manage these complexities in all settings where nurses practice. Advanced degrees are now required for our upper level nursing managers.”

Translatinal Accelerator looks to invest in Arizona bioscience companies, 2008

BioAccel Challenges Entrepreneurs to Solve Healthcare Problems

BioAccel, a 501(c)3 non-profit and Arizona’s premier resource for healthcare innovation, is announcing the BioAccel Solutions Challenge to solve medical and health delivery problems in Arizona, stimulate new company formation and increase investment in the industry.

BioAccel will publicly release a vetted list of key healthcare problems, or “needs,” identified by industry practitioners and leaders, aimed to challenge entrepreneurs to create innovative solutions to solve them. The needs are expected to focus on improving patient care and health outcomes by using medical devices, molecular diagnostics and potentially health IT, and will be released this summer.

Qualified applicants will receive a $50,000 investment from BioAccel if they succeed in receiving matching funds from investors during a competitive and lively Investment Day event. Successful groups will then have $100,000 in proof-of-concept dollars to form companies to address these patient care needs.

“Necessity is definitely the mother of invention. There are a lot of very talented entrepreneurs in Arizona whose are poised to solve difficult challenges that face the healthcare system. They simply need to be informed about well qualified healthcare needs, so they can apply their creativity to finding solutions to real problems,” said MaryAnn Guerra, CEO of BioAccel. “The BioAccel Solutions Challenge program unlocks the innate nature of entrepreneurs to innovate new products as well as provide the capital and support they need for early-stage success.”

Upon announcing the needs, BioAccel will be hosting Q&A sessions across the state as well as a webinar to support the groups.

“We’re encouraging groups across the state to form in anticipation of the release and to start thinking about how they will create innovative solutions,” said Kelvin Ning, Associate Director of Business and Technology Development at BioAccel.

The final Investment Day event is targeted for the end of 2013.

“The BioAccel Solutions Challenge is bringing together innovators and investors across the state to drive economic development, while at the same time addressing critical needs that face our medical community. Our focus is to catalyze this interaction and stimulate the growth of new enterprises and novel products,” Guerra said.  The BioAccel Solutions Challenge organizes problem, solution and market need, along with the resources needed to support validated outcomes.

As part of the BioAccel Solutions Challenge, winners will receive mentorship and support from BioAccel’s extensive business and financial network. Winners will also have access to BioInspire, BioAccel’s device incubator in Peoria, which provides affordable space and support for medical device technologies.

“BioAccel’s objective is to create sustainable companies that produce valuable products that are needed in the marketplace. Our hope is that these companies progress into our commercialization programs and beyond,” said Dr. Ron King, Chief Scientific and Business Officer at BioAccel.

In addition to creating jobs and new companies, the BioAccel Solutions Challenge will drive the organization’s Technology Advancement Program (TAP) that is focused on creating a more robust and qualified technology pipeline.

The TAP and New Venture Development Programs are commercialization programs unique to BioAccel, which are designed to specifically address the well-known Valley of Death that separates discovery from commercialization. Beyond access to BioInspire and capital, embedded within these programs is BioAccel’s due-diligence process, network of local and national subject matter experts, and healthcare business expertise.



MomDoc Names New COO

MomDoc, a well known staple in women’s health care in the Valley, has named Lori Linder its new Chief Operating Officer. Linder is a familiar face in the healthcare field. She will assume responsibilities in early May.

Linder has more than thirty years experience working with Banner Health, Arizona’s largest health care system. She has served as Chief Financial Officer for Banner Ironwood Medical Center since the center opened. She also functioned as Banner’s Interim CEO. She provided leadership when Banner opened Cardon Children’s Medical Center and served as the CFO at Banner Desert Medical Center as well.

“I am very excited to be joining an organization of the caliber of MomDoc. With 33 years in healthcare administration, I hope that my experience can assist MomDoc in these changing and challenging times in American healthcare,” she says.

MomDoc CEO Nick Goodman is pleased to have Linder at the helm. “Healthcare is changing rapidly. As leaders in women’s health medical care it is our honor to work with Lori Linder. She brings to the MomDoc leadership team considerable depth of knowledge on the full cost spectrum of the entire continuum of care.”

Linder brings a wealth of experience to the position of COO at MomDoc as well as a Bachelors of Science in Accounting and a Masters of Business Administration, Finance and Healthcare from Ohio State University. MomDoc hired Linder after tremendous year over year growth within the practice.

“This exciting time in healthcare will allow proven models that take into account best practices, best outcomes and cost reduction measures to take the lead in discussions rather than fee schedule based systems; with Lori MomDoc will continue to innovate so that patients can get the care they need, from those they want to see at the time and place they want to be seen,” adds Goodman.

MomDoc is recognized in Arizona for its six practices with fifteen offices. Under the MomDoc umbrella are Drs. Goodman and Partridge, OB/GYN in the valley for over thirty years; MomDoc Women for Women, a practice with all female providers; Healthy Pregnancy Perinatology, specializing in high risk pregnancy; Mi Doctora, a fully Spanish speaking women’s healthcare practice; MomDoc Midwives, where midwives provide excellent hospital based deliveries; and SHE, Sexual Health Experts, unique to Arizona, featuring an emphasis on women’s sexual health.

Health Insurance

Scottsdale Healthcare, John C. Lincoln form affiliation

Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln Health Network have endorsed a letter of intent to form a system-wide affiliation to better meet the healthcare needs and thus improve the health of the communities they serve.

The nonbinding agreement between the two non-profit organizations allows both to pursue an exclusive negotiation during a due diligence period in order to create a combined health system. Discussions are anticipated to be complete by July 31.

The new non-profit system, which would be called Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network, would include five hospitals with approximately 10,500 employees, 3,700 affiliated physicians and 3,100 volunteers. Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network would also include an extensive primary care physician network, urgent care centers, clinical research, medical education, an inpatient rehabilitation hospital, an Accountable Care Organization, two foundations and extensive community services.

Both John C. Lincoln and Scottsdale Healthcare have a strong reputation and history of providing high quality care for the residents of Phoenix and greater Scottsdale. The non-profit health systems share similar visions and cultures, and both are Magnet organizations, a national recognition of providing the highest standards of patient care.

“This affiliation will provide resources to further develop the current high quality care in the hospitals and community healthcare facilities, enhance our geographic presence and honor the legacy of each organization. Our shared vision is to become a fully integrated, locally controlled, world-class health system,” said Scottsdale Healthcare President & CEO Tom Sadvary.

John C. Lincoln Health Network and Scottsdale Healthcare are financially strong, operationally successful and committed to meeting local health needs. Both organizations have been developing integrated delivery systems to expand services beyond acute care.

“Each of our organizations is known for quality and collaboration with community partners to promote the well-being of the communities we serve. The combined Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network will allow us to provide more cost effective healthcare and to thrive during this period of rapid change as a result of national and local health reform as we continue to develop a full continuum of  services beyond acute care,” added John C. Lincoln Health Network President & CEO Rhonda Forsyth.

Upon completion of the affiliation agreement, the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network governance will be focused on their shared vision which includes:

·         More convenient access to acute and preventive care.
·         Increased coordination of medical care.
·         An expanded network of high quality primary care and specialty physicians.
·         Creation of a single electronic health record that can be accessed at all levels of care throughout the affiliated health network.
·         Improved patient outcomes through shared best practices.

“This affiliation will attract top medical talent by providing opportunities for physicians and other providers to lead the transformation of care delivery, and will enhance our leadership role in medical education and clinical research,” said Scottsdale Healthcare Board Chair Steven Wheeler. “Together we can provide a more comprehensive array of services by applying our combined resources to strengthen our clinical capabilities.”

Forsyth added that maintaining Magnet designation of the system hospitals provides a work environment that attracts top talent.

“As major provisions of the Affordable Care Act continue to take effect, we have the opportunity to shape the future of healthcare in the Valley by cost effectively using our respective resources to enhance our impact in the communities we serve,” said Forsyth.

“We want to maximize our ability to improve the health of our community and create more access to care. A more robust health network with primary care physicians, specialists and partnerships with other healthcare organizations will add capabilities for providing patients with a full continuum of coordinated healthcare services,” said John C. Lincoln Health Network Board Chair Frank Pugh.



Arizona Could Hit Full Economic Recovery in 3 Years

We’re finally on the path to full economic recovery, and Arizona may get there in about three years. That’s the main message from experts who spoke today at the 49th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon co-sponsored by Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business and JPMorgan Chase.

About 1,000 people attended the event at the Phoenix Convention Center, where economists painted a generally brighter picture for 2013.

“As of September, Arizona ranked fifth among states for job growth, and the Phoenix area was fourth among large metropolitan areas,” said Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Arizona is expected to add 60,000 jobs in 2013, led by professional and business services, retail, hospitality and health care. We should finally dip below 8-percent unemployment in 2013 — down to 7.6 percent.”

McPheters added, as long as the national economy doesn’t drag us down, Arizona may see 2.5-percent growth in its employment rate next year. The state had 2-percent growth this year. Despite the jump, Arizona has gained back less than a third of the jobs it lost during the recession. McPheters believes it will take another three years to return to pre-recession employment levels.

In 2013, McPheters expects improved 5-percent growth in personal income, up from just 4 percent this year. He projects retail sales will go up 6 percent, from 5 percent this year. He expects Arizona’s population to rise 1.5 percent, and he believes single-family housing permits will shoot up a whopping 50 percent, with the local housing market now on the mend.

Both McPheters and Beth Ann Bovino, deputy chief economist at Standard & Poor’s, hinged their forecasts on whether the national economy can really pull forward; otherwise, Arizona will go down, too. The biggest question out there is whether Congress can avoid the “fiscal cliff” – where automatic spending cuts would kick in, just as various tax cuts expire. Bovino says that could plunge the United States back into recession and push national unemployment back above 9 percent by the end of the year.

“If we can avoid the fiscal cliff, then it looks like the economy could finally be in a self-sustaining recovery,” said Bovino. “We expect this year’s gross domestic product (GDP) to hit 2.1 percent, stronger than previously projected. For 2013, we’re looking at about 2.3 percent. Reports also show a stronger jobs market and signs that households are willing to buy big items, such as cars and homes.”

Bovino adds the U.S. unemployment rate was at 7.9 percent in October, and she sees signs more people are joining the workforce and getting jobs. However, she says the labor participation rate is still near a 30-year low, meaning more people will still be coming back to the workforce to look for jobs, keeping the unemployment rate low for a quite a while. Despite this, Bovino expects the national unemployment rate to drop to 7.6 percent next year.

She also has a good outlook for the national housing market, with housing starts already up 45 percent this September over last September. Bovino referenced a report that 1.3 million homes rose above water – with the value going higher than what was owed – in the first half of this year alone. She expects residential construction to go up almost 19 percent in 2013.

In the financial sector, Anthony Chan, chief economist for private wealth management at JPMorgan Chase & Co., says corporations remain flush with cash. They’re waiting for some clarity on where the market will go as a result of the fiscal-cliff situation and other factors.

“U.S. corporations are reluctant to go through global mergers and acquisitions or make big investments until they have a clearer picture,” said Chan. “Corporations are keeping high cash balances, in order to deal with the uncertainty. They’re making near-record profits in some cases, and many values on the stock market look good. However, everyone’s waiting to see what will happen.”

He said high-yield investments, such as bonds, and gold remain relatively attractive. The U.S. dollar keeps falling against currencies from emerging markets, as monetary agencies work through different strategies of dealing with the rough economy.

In the local housing market, Elliott D. Pollack, chief executive officer of Scottsdale-based economic and real estate consulting firm Elliott D. Pollack and Company, also drew some conclusions.

“Even though about 40 percent of Arizona homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, we’re starting to see a recovery,” said Pollack. “The single-family-home and apartment markets look great. Industrial real estate has improved quite a bit. Only office and retail have quite a way to go.”

Pollack adds new residential foreclosure notices are down almost 70 percent from the peak in 2008. Phoenix-area home prices are up more than 35 percent over last year. New-home sales are also doing well, with 67 percent of the local subdivisions active today projected to be sold out in less than a year. Builders are going to have to work to meet the demand, with less land and labor available.

Pollack sees a strong rental presence, with about 22 percent of local single-family homes being used as rentals right now. That’s up from less than 12 percent just a decade ago. Landlords appear to be buying up many single-family homes, and more people are moving to the area.

“In the absence of a fiscal cliff, things should continue to improve over the next several years,” said Pollack. “By 2015, things should be normalized. As I like to say, we’re only one decent population-flow year away from the issue being resolved.”

More details and analysis from the event, including the presentation slides, are available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com.

exterior image

Banner Health building four new health centers

Community and elected officials from four east Valley communities joined Banner Health leaders on a “whistle stop bus tour” on Thursday visiting the future sites of four Banner Health Centers which will provide new jobs and highly-coordinated patient care in convenient, neighborhood locations.

The four new centers, a $45.2 million investment by Banner Health, will bring new medical services to markets with a demonstrated need for additional primary care in the east Valley. The centers, including sites in Gilbert (Warner and Gilbert roads), Queen Creek (Ellsworth Loop and Ocotillo roads), Chandler (Alma School and Willis roads), and east Mesa (Crimson and Baseline roads), are anticipated to open in mid-2013.

Each 21,000-square-foot facility will offer a mix of primary care services for everyone in the family. Depending on the community, this may include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and, in some cases, Obstetrics and Gynecology. In addition, rotating physician specialists are expected to be scheduled onsite to meet patient needs.

Basic imaging and laboratory services are available onsite at each center for added patient convenience. Electronic medical records at all centers are accessible from all of Arizona’s 14 Banner hospitals and other Banner facilities. Each Banner Health Center will have the capacity for future growth in both size and staff. The architect for the east Valley health centers is HMC Architects and the general contractor is Kitchell.

“We look forward to providing residents in the east Valley quality and convenient care that is close to where they live,” said Jim Brannon, Chief Executive Officer for Banner Medical Group. “Our care will be patient-focused and stress preventative care for the entire family.”

All east Valley Banner Health Centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Ensemble Real Estate Solutions - Autumn Storm

Storm Joins Ensemble Real Estate Solutions As Healthcare Landlord Rep

Ensemble Real Estate Solutions hired Autumn Storm as the company’s Healthcare Brokerage Services Landlord Representative responsible for securing and managing landlord representation listings.

Storm brings extensive real estate experience, most recently holding an Analyst position at Lefevers Viewpoint Group Advisors where she analyzed and appraised large-scale commercial real estate projects.

Prior to Lefevers, Storm was an Analyst/Researcher with Canterra Consultants, Synthesis Development and ESI Corporation where she worked on projects such as analyzing market and financial feasibility for the redevelopment of a hotel site owned by the City of Albuquerque, conducting a comprehensive supply and demand analysis for the redevelopment of the City of Apache Junction’s downtown and analyzing the best use and financial feasibility for a redevelopment project owned by the Housing Authority of Maricopa County.

Storm’s diverse experience will bring value to Ensemble’s clients with the analyses of buy and/or lease scenarios, preparing annual property budgets, securing and managing listings, and negotiating lease rates and terms.

Storm holds a master of Real Estate Development degree from Arizona State University and became an LEED Accredited Professional in 2008.

Storm can be reached directly at (602) 385-2854 or via email at: astorm@ensemblere.com.

bioscience - economic outlook - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Strength Of Bioscience Helps Brighten Arizona’s Employment Outlook

Bioscience brings strength to Arizona’s employment opportunities.

Arizona’s economic doldrums are finally starting to appear in the rearview mirror.

“Here in Arizona, the state ranked No. 12 in job creation (in 2011),” says Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business. “That’s a vast improvement from last year at this time, when it ranked No. 40.”

Twenty percent of the Phoenix-area companies interviewed for a Manpower Employment Outlook Survey plan to hire more employees during the second quarter of 2012, while just three percent expect to reduce staff.

Leading the charge in Arizona job growth is technology, healthcare and bioscience, Ernst says. “We’ve also seen manufacturing pick-up substantially in the last month with roles in accounting and finance,” he added.

According to Manpower spokesperson Frank Amendariz, other job prospects for the next quarter appear best in construction, transportation, utilities, wholesale and retail trade, information, financial activities, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality.

“Employers expect stronger employment prospects compared with one year ago,” Amendariz says optimistically.

“There’s a lot more optimism among hiring managers than in years past,” says Andy Ernst, regional vice president of Robert Half International, a specialized staffing services company. “Businesses are looking to hire. As the economy continues to regain its foothold, we anticipate an uptick in hiring as more companies look at ways to market themselves to attract new candidates and retain key members of their team. We anticipate the next 3-4 years being very good on the job front here in Phoenix.”

But no sector has shown the strength or potential that bioscience has shown. During the post-recessionary period of 2009-10, bioscience jobs in Arizona increased by 7.4 percent, compared with a 1.8 percent decline for the state’s overall private sector, according to a new performance analysis of Arizona’s bioscience sector, commissioned by the Flinn Foundation.

The annual study by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice found that since 2002 Arizona has outpaced the nation in generating bioscience jobs and firms, and in winning National Institutes of Health grants, the gold standard for biomedical research funding. Even venture-capital funding, long a challenge for Arizona’s bioscience sector, was on an upswing in the past year.

“Through the most trying economic circumstances of our lifetimes, bio in Arizona more than held its own,” says Walter Plosila, senior advisor to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. “The bioscience sector is past the ‘promising’ stage. It is now becoming integral to Arizona’s future.”

Since Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap was launched in 2002, bioscience jobs in the state have grown 41 percent to a total of 96,223, versus 11 percent growth for the nation as a whole. Those jobs pay an average annual wages of $55,353, 29 percent higher than the overall average for private-sector wages in Arizona.

With those jobs comes the demand for a better educated workforce.

“In the Phoenix market, there is high demand for experienced professionals with four-year degrees or more who have 2-3 years experience working in their field,” Ernst says. “The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers 25 and older is 4.2 percent and even lower from some specialties such as IT, accounting and finance.”

While the investment in education is paying off for Arizona’s workers, the investment of time and energy in developing a cohesive plan to further the state’s bioscience industry is paying dividends for the state’s workforce and its economy.

Martin Shultz, chair of the statewide steering committee that oversees the Bioscience Roadmap, applauded the commitment of Arizona leaders. “Over the past decade, officials ranging from school principals to mayors to three governors have made long-term investments in our state’s future by supporting the biosciences,” Shultz says. “The excellent return on those investments is undeniable.”

For more information on the Bioscience Roadmap, visit the Flinn Foundation’s website at flinn.org.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012


Arizona’s Top Lawyers – 2012 Healthcare – Intellectual Property

Arizona Business Magazine used its own research, solicited input from legal experts, and referenced professional ratings and rankings to determine the legal professionals who made the 2012 Top Lawyers list.

[stextbox id=”grey”]


Banking Healthcare
Business/Corporate Law Intellectual Property
Construction Litigation Mergers and Acquisitions
Real Estate
Environmental Law Securities and Corporate Finance
Estate and Trust Litigation Tax



Charles L. Arnold ◆ Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold LLP
602-277-2010 ◆ frgalaw.com
Arnold specializes in mental health and elder law, serving the developmentally disabled, the mentally ill, and the elderly.

Susan D. Brienza ◆ Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, P.C.
602-440-4885 ◆ rcalaw.com
Brienza is especially involved in issues concerning herbal products for women, and in biotechnology and nanotechnology issues.

Richard B. Burnham ◆ Gammage & Burnham PLC
602-256-0566 ◆ gblaw.com
Burnham has developed an extensive commercial litigation, administrative law and legislative practice which has evolved to emphasize health care reimbursement matters.

Frederick M. Cummings ◆ Jennings Strouss
602-262-5903 ◆ jsslaw.com
Cummings has extensive trial experience in the areas of health care, medical malpractice and medical products liability defense litigation.

Richard Davis ◆ Mesch Clark & Rothschild PC
520-624-8886 ◆ mcrazlaw.com
Davis’ practice areas include healthcare and cases that involve products liability, condemnation matters and medical malpractice.

Bill Drury ◆ Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA
602-307-9900 ◆ rcdmlaw.com
Drury has a strong track record of success in defending medical malpractice and negligence claims, regulatory claims and administrative claims.

Barry D. Halpern ◆ Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
602-382-6345 ◆ swlaw.com
Halpern’s practice is focused in business and health care matters.

Roger N. Morris ◆ Quarles & Brady LLP
602-229-5200 ◆ quarles.com
Morris is chairman of Quarles & Brady’s Health & Life Sciences Industry Group.

Lawrence J. Rosenfeld ◆ Greenberg Traurig
602-445-8502 ◆ gtlaw.com
Rosenfeld has more than 35 years of experience in the areas of health law and administrative law.

Beth J. Schermer ◆ Coppersmith Schermer & Brockelman PLC
602-381-5462 ◆ csblaw.com
Schermer’s legal practice concentrates in health care transactions, regulation, and operations.


Karin Scherner Aldama ◆ Perkins Coie LLP
602-351-8270 ◆ perkinscoie.com
Aldama focuses her practice on commercial and appellate litigation, with particular emphasis on complex commercial cases and issues relating to intellectual property protection, privilege law, choice-of-law, and cross-border litigation.

Glenn S. Bacal ◆ Bacal Law Group PC
480-245-6233 ◆ ipdepartment.net
Bacal Law Group focuses on intellectual property, including litigation, administration, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, noncompetes, rights of publicity, and appellate advocacy.

George C. Chen ◆ Bryan Cave LLP
602-364-7367 ◆ bryancave.com
Chen’s practice includes litigation, licensing, counseling, and prosecution of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, Internet, cybersquatting, and other intellectual property matters.

Bruce Converse ◆ Steptoe & Johnson
480-257-5274 ◆ steptoe.com
Converse is a member of the Litigation Department and Intellectual Property group. He has a broad range of experience in commercial litigation at both trial and appellate levels.

John E. Cummerford ◆ Greenberg Traurig, LLP
602-445-8377 ◆ gtlaw.com
Cummerford’s practice focuses on the legal and business needs of established and emerging growth companies, with particular emphasis on software, Internet, hardware and related businesses.

R. Lee Fraley ◆ Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
602-382-6250 ◆ swlaw.com
Fraley offers clients a unique blend of intellectual property counseling, IP rights enforcement and defense, as well as aggressive negotiation of IP-related transactions and acquisitions.

Robert J. Itri ◆ Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8019 ◆ gknet.com
Itri focuses on intellectual property and securities related litigation, arbitration and enforcement proceedings, contract, trade secret, business tort and shareholder litigation.

Ron Kisicki ◆ Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
480-659-2213 ◆ woodsoviattgilman.com
Kisicki is admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent Office, and concentrates his practice in intellectual property law.

Peter Kozinets ◆ Steptoe & Johnson
480-257-5250 ◆ steptoe.com
Kozinets concentrates his practice on complex litigation, with particular focus on media and constitutional law, intellectual property litigation and commercial disputes.

Brian W. LaCorte ◆ Ballard Spahr LLP
602-798-5449 ◆ ballardspahr.com
LaCorte’s practice is focused on patent, trademark, and copyright litigation as well as IP transactional work.

Albert L. Schmeiser ◆ Schmeiser, Olsen & Watts
480-655-0073 ◆ iplawusa.com
Experienced in all areas of intellectual property protection, transfer and enforcement, including preparation of patent applications and prosecuting same, patent appeals and interferences.

Maria Crimi Speth ◆ Jaburg & Wilk P.C.
602-248-1000 ◆ jaburgwilk.com
Speth assists clients in protecting their intellectual property through preventative measures to avoid disputes, and taking aggressive measures when disputes arise.

Arizona Business Magazine has used its best efforts in assembling material for this list, but does not warrant that the information contained herein is a complete or exhaustive list of the top lawyers in Arizona, and hereby disclaims any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein.

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012