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2010 Health Care Leadership Awards

2010 Health Care Leadership Awards

Arizona Business Magazine is pleased to present and honor some of the people who bring excellence to the Valley’s health care system with Health Care Leadership Awards.

The honorees and finalists for these awards have served for years to bring quality care to men, women and children across the Valley – from hospital managers and executives, institutional and educational programs, to insurance providers and the people at the front line.

Community Outreach


Crista Johnson, MD, FACOG Refugee Women’s Health Clinic


Lucy Ranus, RN, BSN
Program Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center/Barrow Neurological Institute

Health Care Administrator


Kathleen Dowler, Community Integration, Catholic Healthcare West


Bryan Gibson, President of the South and Southwest Region for Southwest Ambulance/Rural Metro

Linda McCoy, Director of Pharmacy at Yavapai Regional Medical Center

Hospital and Medical Center


Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center


Banner Simulation Medical Center

NextCare Urgent Care

Hospital Executive


Peter Fine, CEO, Banner Health


Laurie Eberst, President and CEO, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center

David Veillette, CEO, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA)

Institution or Education


Medical Center Maricopa, Integrated Health System, Residency Training Programs Maricopa


Cigna Medical Group Chronic Health Improvement Program (CHIP)

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Graduate Advancement Program in Pediatrics (GAPP)

Insurance Executive


Robert Flores,President and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona


Robert Beauchamp, MD Senior Medical Director, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona

Robert Flores, Medical Director, Population Health Management at CIGNA HealthCare of Arizona

Nurse & Nursing Advocates


Kim Wilson


Linda Lindquist, RN Director of Critical Care Phoenix Baptist Hospital



Brian Tiffany, MD, Ph.D., FACEP


John Shufeldt, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP

Julianne Thompson, Medical Director


Legislative Impact Award & Lifetime Achievement


Roy Ryals, Executive Director, Southwest Ambulance

Joseph Rodgers, PH.D.

Outgoing AzHHA Leader John Rivers Talks About The Past, Present And Future Of Health Care In Arizona

After more than 23 years as president and CEO of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA), John Rivers announced he will be stepping down in January of next year. Arizona Business Magazine asked Rivers about his tenure at AzHHA and the challenges facing the health care system.

How has the Valley and state’s health care industry changed in the 23 years you’ve helmed AzHHA?
Health care in Arizona barely resembles what it looked like 25 years ago when I first arrived. In fact, I think it is better in every respect. Hospitals in particular are more sharply focused on cost-containment strategies, physician integration, patient safety and, of course, providing cutting-edge medical care to their patients. Hospitals have also made giant strides in better management of their human resources, particularly nurses, who are the heart and soul of good hospital care.

How has AzHHA’s mission changed over the years to adapt to the Valley and state’s evolving health care industry?
Our primary mission remains political advocacy, although the complexity and difficulty of doing that well has increased exponentially. The tremendous diversity among types of hospitals, and the even greater diversity of personalities among our CEOs, requires a great deal of adaptability on the part of the association CEO.

What are some of the biggest challenges you see facing the health care industry today?
All of us in health care are facing tremendous uncertainty about our future. Congress is on the verge of re-writing the book on government’s role in health care, and at the state level we face the greatest budget crisis in our history. With the federal and state government already purchasing about 70 percent of the hospital care in Arizona, our world will no doubt change dramatically. At a minimum, our future will require us to be more accountable, more transparent and more integrated. Also, we’ll see a seismic shift away from the revenue enhancement model to a cost-control model.

What would you say are some of AzHHA’s greatest successes over the past 20 years?
I think we have been very successful in our political advocacy and our record more than speaks for itself in that regard. More than that, I tend to define our success in terms of achieving our mission with competence and integrity — and keeping our focus on what is best for health care in Arizona and what is best for the patients served by our institutions.

Do you plan to stay involved in health care, and how?
I will definitely stay involved in a number of charitable and community service activities in which I currently participate, but I have no plans to remain involved in health care except as a citizen who cares profoundly about all that we do. I’ve spent the past 40 years of my life in health care, 25 of them in Arizona, and it’s time for me to move on and enjoy life in ways that I have not had time to do up until now. There’s more to life than driving to the office each morning and I intend to live my other dreams while I am still in good health and able to do so.


Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010