Tag Archives: Rob Gould

Dr. Miles Howard utilizes da Vinci Robotic Surgery technology at Abrazo Arrowhead Hospital.

WESTMARC turns West Valley into healthcare hotbed

There was a time when many West Valley residents had to travel to downtown Phoenix or the East Valley for specialized healthcare services and treatments.

Times have dramatically changed.

“Whether it’s specialized pediatric care, trauma care, cutting-edge heart care, or state-of-the-art cancer care, you can find some of the leading providers of those services in the West Valley,” said Rob Gould, president of Banner Health’s Arizona West Division.

You need to look no further than the Abrazo West Campus (formerly West Valley Hospital) and Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center — which are separated by less than two miles in Goodyear — to see the healthcare innovation that has taken over the West Valley. Surgeons at Abrazo West performed the first surgery in the Valley using the new da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system. In April, CTCA began the Phase II portion of a first-of-its-kind clinical trial, using a new immunotherapy treatment for patients with advanced small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and connective-tissue cancers, including breast cancer.

So how has the West Valley gone from having a reputation as a bedroom to community to one on the cutting edge of healthcare and medical research?

According to Sharon Grambow, chief operating officer of Sun Health Senior Living and immediate past chair of WESTMARC, the West Valley is well positioned for growth for healthcare organizations because of three factors:

• Demographics and concentration of seniors, who generally are high utilizers of care.

• The supply of healthcare professionals and workforce pool because of the growth of communities like Surprise, Peoria, Goodyear and Glendale.

• The changing face of healthcare which is trending away from the acute episodic incidents to more focusing on health and wellness, managing chronic disease and personal responsibility for an individuals health.

“There will be an explosion of growth away from the traditional hospital campuses,” Grambow said, “and the West Valley has the available land to support that growth.”

And writing the prescription to help the West Valley capitalize on healthcare opportunities has been WESTMARC.

Catalyst for growth

“What WESTMARC has really done well is bringing people together in a way that is starting to build a more definitive brand for the west side of town,” said Matt McGuire, president and CEO of CTCA at Western Regional Medical Center. “WESTMARC has an ability to bring thought leaders together to help better position the West Valley and really make it a place that is attractive not just to healthcare businesses, but to other businesses as well.”

By serving as the leading advocate and economic development group for the West Valley, Gould said WESTMARC has helped outside companies better understand what the west side has to offer their businesses in terms of a skilled workforce, affordable land, freeway access to major markets and a high quality of life for their employees.

“We’ve also appreciated Westmarc’s efforts to help lawmakers better understand the positive impact healthcare has on the state and why we need to do all we can to support the healthcare industry,” Gould said.

WESTMARC has really help drive the growth of healthcare, Grambow said, because it is uniquely positioned to bring together all the stakeholders — government, business and consumers — to work together for optimal outcomes.

“I am really struck by how friendly and business-minded the political leadership has been in the West Valley,” McGuire said. “WESTMARC has an extraordinary ability to bring public and private leaders together to coalesce around opportunities and unique branding that makes the West Valley an attractive place for healthcare businesses and facilities to come.”

Once healthcare companies come, economic development experts said other businesses will follow.

“Healthcare is a huge economic development driver,” said Richard Hubbard, president and CEO of WESTMARC. “Having the ability to promote high-quality healthcare facilities in the West Valley helps us attract businesses. When you can promote premier healthcare facilities, it’s really is a draw. Plus, healthcare is a very high-wage industry, so there is the added benefit of having the economic impact of having an elite industry in the region.”

Gould agreed that families and employers will often factor in the availability of quality healthcare before choosing where to relocate, “so having high quality health care institutions in the West Valley plays an important role in supporting the West Valley’s economic development efforts.”

Maintaining momentum

Experts said one of the biggest strengths the West Valley has going for it as it aims to maintain growth in the healthcare sector is its sizable and well-educated workforce, many of whom reside in the West Valley but currently leave to work elsewhere.

“That’s due, in part, to the fact that the West Valley is a great place to live and play, so it attracts a dynamic and diverse workforce,” Gould said. “Additionally, we’re fortunate to have so many terrific secondary schools, colleges and universities offering quality healthcare training programs.”

Gould said Banner enjoys a close relationship with several of them, including Glendale and Estrella Mountain community colleges, Grand Canyon University, Midwestern University and ASU West.

“Any day of the week, you can find nursing students, pharmacy students and medical students working alongside working professionals inside our hospitals, gaining the experience they’ll need to enter the workforce,” Gould said.

In addition to a built-in worksforce, another strength is the  tremendous support the healthcare industry receives from city leaders and economic development officials throughout the West Valley.

“A few years ago, for example, we completed a major $290 million campus expansion at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale,” Gould said. “You don’t get through a project of that scope and magnitude without extensive cooperation and support from the city’s economic development team, planning department and City Council. At Banner, we don’t take that support for granted, and we appreciate it when we see it.”

Healthcare leaders universally agreed.

“When I look at the mayors of the communities we serve — Avondale, Goodyear, Buckeye, Litchfield — they are all very progressive and collaborative,” said Stan Holm, CEO of Abrazo West Campus.

Not to be ignored when creating a checklist of West Valley strengths is the fact that the region has room to grow.

“The West Valley is poised for growth because the region is not land locked by anything tied to state land or Indian territories,” Holm said. “It allows businesses to continuously expand and the opening of the Loop 303 has geographically set up the West Valley to succeed for the long run.”

Don Freeman, senior project manager for healthcare for The Weitz Company said another advantage of the West Valley for healthcare facilities is the opportunity to get anchored and established in an up-and-coming market.

“Available land and economic development partners willing and able to work with real estate brokers, developers, new businesses and general contractors are the two major factors I see contributing to the growth,” Freeman said.

What’s next?

Valley residents don’t have to look any further than daily headline to see that healthcare is continuing to explode in the West Valley. In just the past five years, Gould said Banner Health has invested about $250 million to expand existing health care facilities and to build new ones in the West Valley. This figure is led by the $161 million expansion project that is nearly complete at Banner Estrella Medical Center in west Phoenix. And in June, Plaza Companies, which is based in the West Valley and is one of the premier medical office real estate firms in Arizona, announced it would help build a five-story addition to Banner Estrella Campus. It will be 70,000-square-feet initially, with future expansion capabilities up to 125,000 square feet.

“We are looking forward to this project and building a facility that will complement the success of the first Medical Plaza on the Banner Estrella campus,” said Sharon Harper, president and CEO of Plaza Companies. “This is yet another sign of the growing need for healthcare services in the west Phoenix area. For years to come, this facility will serve thousands of people in need of medical care.”

But that’s not the only growth Banner is looking at in the West Valley.

“In June, we embarked on a $2.3 million facelift of the Banner Thunderbird Medical Pavilion, a large medical office building on the campus of Banner Thunderbird Medical Center,” Gould said. “Next year, we plan to open a new Banner Health Center on the northwest corner of the Loop 101 Freeway and 75th Avenue in Glendale in the Aspera development. This center will include primary care physicians, specialists and lab and medical imaging capabilities.”

The new Banner Health facility will mark the company’s fourth in the West Valley, joining Banner locations in Verrado, Estrella and Surprise.

But Banner isn’t the only healthcare company expanding in the West Valley.

“We just finished a $26 million expansion a year ago,” Holm said. “In that, we had a south tower that was erected and the third floor was built out and we have shelf space on the first and second floors. We added operating room suites. We built out two operating rooms and have shelf space for future growth there. We are poised with shelf space to continue to grow with the community.”

At CTCA, McGuire said he is deep into the process of planning for growth.

“We initiated a five-year master capital planning process about three months ago and will be working with our board over the summer about what that will include,” McGuire said. “We are looking at options that include adding on to the existing footprint, but we also recognize where healthcare is moving, meaning much more care in the future is going to be delivered in outpatient settings.”

McGuire said than in addition to adding about 200 parking sppaces and finishing off a couple areas that are currently shelf space within the hospital, executives at CTCA are looking at adjoining acreage around the hospital for potential expansion opportunities.

“Instead of adding on, we’re exploring what it might look like to take a more campus approach for our hospital,” McGuire said. “A lot of that will be decided in coming months.”

As the healthcare industry continues to grow and medical innovation defines the West Valley, the West Valley has developed a swagger that has made it an attactive place to do business.

“The west side has also been hurt historically by its reputation as a bedroom community,” Gould said. “A thriving healthcare industry on the west side is helping change that perception. Today, in many of the communities we serve, our hospitals are the largest local employer, allowing residents to find quality, well-paying jobs in the same communities where they live and play.”

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Banner Health announces executive leadership changes

Banner Health announced a shift in hospital executive leadership in its Arizona East Region last week. These changes were effective on Monday, March 16.

The transition began with the promotion of Todd Werner, former Chief Executive Officer at Banner Gateway Medical Center and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, who was appointed to serve as President of Banner’s Arizona East Region.

Werner, along with Banner’s Arizona West Region President Rob Gould and Western Region President Jim Ferando, are part of the leadership team that reports to Becky Kuhn, Executive Vice President of Community Delivery for Banner Health.

Cascading changes include the following, all with a report to Todd Werner:

• Lamont Yoder, RN, replaced Werner as CEO of Banner Gateway and Banner MD Anderson.

• Laura Robertson, RN, moved from her post as CEO at Banner Baywood Medical Center and Banner Heart Hospital into the role of CEO on the Banner Desert Medical Center campus. This vacancy results from the recent promotion of former Banner Desert CEO Rob Gould to President, Arizona West Region.

• Julie Nunley, RN, CEO at Banner Ironwood Medical Center and Banner Goldfield Medical Center, became CEO of Banner Baywood and Banner Heart.

• Serving as interim CEO for Banner Ironwood and Banner Goldfield will be Tracy French, the Chief Financial Officer for these facilities.

healthcare

Banner Health unveils new leadership, facility names

With an approval by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) on the merger agreement to bring the University of Arizona Health Network into Banner Health, and closure of the agreement on Feb. 27, an academic-focused division will be created at Banner that will result in new facility names and leadership appointments within the division. The ABOR vote is expected to occur during the week of Jan. 26.

If ABOR approves, the closure of the agreement on Feb. 27 will launch the Banner – University Medicine Division.  It will include three academic medical centers, a physician group serving as faculty in the academic medical centers and at the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix, and other services.

New Names

The name changes for the academic medical centers and physician group after Feb. 27:

• University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, to become Banner – University Medical Center Tucson
• University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus, to become Banner – University Medical Center South
• Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, to become Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix
• University of Arizona Physicians, to become Banner – University Medical Group

“We recognize that Banner Good Samaritan employees and physicians will refer to the hospital as ‘Good Sam,’” said Banner Health President and CEO Peter S. Fine. “But, going forward, the future of this institution is clearly defined and identified in its new name as the designated academic medical center for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.”

This new division will include more than 1,400 licensed hospital beds, more than 10,000 employees, and more than 800 faculty physicians in Phoenix and Tucson.  Other divisions within Banner include Arizona West with four hospitals, Arizona East with eight hospitals and the Western Division with 14 hospitals. Thirteen of the Western Division hospitals are in six states outside of Arizona. All of these divisions also include many other Banner Health services.

Leadership Appointments – Tucson
•The merger closure will bring Kathy Bollinger into the position of President of the Banner – University Medicine Division. Bollinger is moving into this new post after six years as President of Banner’s Arizona West Division.
• Michael Waldrum, MD, current President and CEO of University of Arizona Health Network, whose role will dissolve with the merger, has chosen not to pursue an executive leadership position within Banner and will leave his post with the closure of the merger.

“While we are excited by the strengths Kathy Bollinger will bring to her role leading a large, complex and new division, we are also grateful for the inspired, dedicated and courageous leadership Michael Waldrum displayed in helping to negotiate the agreement and transition UAHN into Banner,” said Fine. “We know Dr. Waldrum will be sought after for his skills and we look forward to his continued success as a health care leader.”

“It’s been my privilege and pleasure to serve as CEO of the UA Health Network these past two years and to see this complex merger come to fruition,” Dr. Waldrum said. “I am proud to have played a part in it and am certain it will benefit Tucson, the University of Arizona, and especially our patients.  I’m leaving Tucson knowing that Kathy Bollinger and other leaders of the Banner – University Medicine Division are well poised to take academic medicine to new heights in this state.”

Other executives of the new Banner – University Medicine Division include:
• Tom Dickson will join the Banner – University Medicine Division executive team as Chief Executive Officer at the Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and South campuses (479 and 245 licensed beds, respectively).  Dickson is moving into this role from his post as CEO of Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, a 561-bed (licensed) hospital in Glendale, Ariz. He will replace current CEO Karen Mlawsky who is moving into another senior executive role within Banner (see Phoenix area section of the release).
• Steve Narang, MD will continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix (known as Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center until close on February 27). Narang was named CEO at Banner Good Samaritan in 2013 and prior to that he served as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa.
• Jeff Buehrle, Banner’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Arizona East Division, will become the CFO for the Banner – University Medicine Division.
• Cathy Townsend RN, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Banner Boswell Medical Center, a 501-bed hospital in Sun City, Ariz., will move to Tucson as the CNO for Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and South campuses.
• Another new division appointment is Jason Krupp, MD, who will become Chief Executive Officer of Banner – University Medical Group. Dr. Krupp comes from Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, where he served as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Prior to this position, Dr. Krupp was CMO at Banner Boswell Medical Center for two years. He is also well-known in Tucson medical circles from previous positions as CMO at Tucson Medical Center and Clinical Services Chief of General Medicine at the University of Arizona.
• Robert Groves, MD, will become Chief Medical Officer for the Banner – University Medicine Division. Dr. Groves will serve in this new role while continuing his Banner system responsibilities as Vice President of Health Management, in which he provides physician leadership for population health management, medical informatics, telemedicine strategies and reliable design of clinical care delivery.
• Beth Stiner will serve as Vice President of Human Resources for the Banner – University Medicine Division. She has served as Chief Human Resources Officer for Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center and as Chief Human Resources Officer for the UAHN integration activities.

Leadership Appointments – Phoenix Area
• Rob Gould, currently the CEO of Banner Desert Medical Center, a 639-bed (licensed) hospital, will become the new President of Banner’s Arizona West Division. Gould also served as CEO of Banner Estrella and held other leadership roles at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in Alaska, which is operated by Banner Health.
• Current CEO of University of Arizona Medical Center – University and South Campuses, Karen Mlawsky will become the CEO of Banner Desert Medical Center.
• Deb Krmpotic, CEO of Banner Estrella Medical Center, a 301-bed (licensed) hospital in west Phoenix, will move to the Banner Thunderbird CEO post in Glendale.
• Courtney Ophaug, currently an associate administrator at Banner Boswell, will become the new CEO at Banner Estrella.

Other appointments into vacated positions will be announced as these positions are filled.

List of new leadership appointments:
• Kathy Bollinger, President, Banner – University Medicine Division
• Tom Dickson, CEO, Banner –  University Medical Center Tucson and South campuses
• Jeff Buehrle, CFO, Banner – University Medicine Division
• Beth Stiner, Vice President, Human Resources, Banner –  University Medicine Division
• Robert Groves, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Banner – University Medicine Division
• Cathy Townsend, RN, CNO, Banner –  University Medical Center Tucson and South campuses
• Jason Krupp, MD, CEO, Banner – University Medical Group
• Rob Gould, President, Arizona West Division
• Karen Mlawsky, CEO, Banner Desert Medical Center
• Deb Krmpotic, CEO, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center
• Courtney Ophaug, CEO, Banner Estrella Medical Center

* Division executive appointments will take effect with the closure of the merger. Between now and the closure, newly identified leaders will be introducing themselves to their new colleagues through the division as well as community leaders. However, these newly identified leaders will not become involved in operational decision-making until the merger closure.

Sun Health

Physician Joins Banner Desert Medical Center

Dr. Tristram Horton, a neurosurgeon, has joined the team at Banner Desert Medical Center as Director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery. Horton comes to Arizona from the University of Michigan, where he served in the Department of Neurosurgery as a clinical lecturer.

Dr. Horton is a neurovascular surgeon, capable of doing both open surgery and endovascular procedures. Dr. Horton is the only dual fellowship-trained physician in this specialty in the state. Dr. Horton treats patients with aneurysms, vascular malformations, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke, as well as carotid artery disease. His practice includes treatment of both adult and pediatric patients.

Early in his career, Dr. Horton completed a neurosurgical residency and neuroendovascular surgery fellowship at Penn State University. He then completed a cerebrovascular fellowship at the University of Michigan.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Horton and his unique expertise to Banner Desert,” said Rob Gould, CEO of Banner Desert Medical Center. “Neurologists and neurosurgeons have been eager to join our team since he joined us to have the opportunity to work with him.”
Dr. Horton is a member of American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, AANS/CNS Joint Cerebrovascular Surgery Section and the National Neurotrauma Society.