Tag Archives: university of arizona medical center

transplant

UA Medical Center recognized for transplant care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona today  recognized University of Arizona Medical Center—University Campus (UAMC) with a Blue Distinction Center® designation for delivering quality transplant care as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program.  Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community.

In 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was developed to help patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs while encouraging health-care professionals to improve the care they deliver.  To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants® designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety criteria as well as transplant-specific quality measures (including survival metrics).

“UAMC is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for transplants set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program,” said Deborah Maurer, UAMC associate vice president of transplant services. “BDCT designation is an important quality indicator for patients, employers and insurers, and a validation that our efforts to strengthen our transplant programs are succeeding.”

The number of transplants – including heart, lung, liver, pancreas and bone marrow/stem cell – in the United States  have increased in recent years.  There were 28,954 transplant procedures performed in 2013, compared to 28,052 in 2012.  Today, more than 123,000 people are awaiting organ donations for transplants, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  Additionally, the department estimates  more than 20,000 people each year may benefit from a bone marrow/stem cell transplant as their best treatment option.  These transplant procedures cost the nation more than $20 billion annually at an average of approximately $500,000 each, according to the Milliman Research Report, “2011 U.S. Organ and Tissue Transplant Cost Estimates and Discussion.” 

“BCBSAZ congratulates UMAC on this recognition, along with their commitment to quality care while helping members better manage their care through the Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program,” said Vishu Jhaveri, MD, BCBSAZ chief medical officer.

Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients with higher survival rates, compared with their peers.  

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program identifies hospitals delivering quality care in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants.  These specialty areas comprise approximately 30 percent of inpatient hospital expenditures.  For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

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.

sick

What is the chance of an Ebola outbreak in Arizona?

With every response to the threat of Ebola outbreak sending shockwaves of fear, confusion, and disapproval among skeptics and concerned citizens alike, the University of Arizona has begun to equip itself to handle a potential Ebola crisis.

Dr. Andy Theodorou, a chief medical officer with the University of Arizona Medical Center, addressed an auditorium packed with medical staff: “This is a big deal. We’re going to be prepared.”

“We’re not going to get caught by surprise,” he concluded.

This plan incorporates a screening process which examines a given subject’s past travel history within the last 21 days. Further, education on the proper protocol for preventing the spread of the disease, along with how to appropriately treat a patient once they’ve been confirmed to have Ebola, will be essential steps in controlling any potential outbreaks.

Despite these precautions, Dr. Sean Elliot confirms that the risk of Ebola in Arizona, particularly the southwestern region, is especially low due to the area’s extremely low population of those from West Africa along with the low number of travelers and tourists in the area. However, he emphasized the point that “we want to reassure the public… (that) our threat assessment is zero.”

Cause for concern

One of the most worrying aspects about the possible Ebola outbreak that stands before the United States, and one which no doubt has in some part resulted in the University of Arizona’s swift response, is the precedence of outbreaks which have afflicted American society – most of which offering fewer warning signs than Ebola.

“We have to work now so (that Ebola) is not the world’s next AIDS,” announced Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, during a recent meeting of the World Bank in Washington D.C. . Many have drawn parallels between the Ebola threat with that of the AIDS epidemic which threatens millions of people worldwide today, mostly due to some similarities such as their spread through bodily fluids and latency periods.

Comfortingly, the latency period in Ebola is much shorter and contagion is only possible when those who are infected are symptomatic. Disturbingly, the range of bodily fluids which contain the Ebola virus is much broader, including congestion, saliva, sweat, vomit, and bodily waste.

In a worst case scenario, Ebola has a significantly higher chance of causing an uncontrolled outbreak situation than HIV could. But with relatively small amounts of travel through Arizona, Ebola is far more likely to impact states with dense metropolitan regions if a widespread outbreak were to occur. In fact, the Arizona Department of Health has been in the process of selecting a hospital to aid Ebola patients rather than limiting travel to those who might carry the virus.

Looking forward

While the American public is heavily divided on where the United States should stand in assistance to those who are afflicted with Ebola, as well as whether travel sanctions or quarantines should be applied or avoided, President Barack Obama has stated that mandatory quarantines for healthcare workers should be avoided at all costs.

This is motivated, in large part, to avoid discouraging organizations like the Arizona Department of Health as well as individual health workers / volunteers from aiding those who desperately need assistance. However, there is concern among skeptics that this could leave the U.S. more vulnerable to an outbreak scenario.

Given that the nation’s healthcare system will require in excess of one million new and replacement nurses by 2016 to sustain our healthcare needs (illustrated in an infographic provided by University of Arizona’s College of Nursing), the nation could be particularly vulnerable if an outbreak situation were to occur.

While a crisis may be unlikely in Arizona now, the debate between those who want to aid in the Ebola crises around the world and those who believe that the U.S. should remain isolated grows more heated in the state along with the rest of the nation.

 

Brett Chesney is an avid proponent of fitness and questionably healthy amounts of video games. Connect with Chesney on his Twitter @DammitChesney

Health Resolutions to Make Before the New Year

UAMC to Discontinue Home Health Services

University of Arizona Medical Center announced it will discontinue its home health services in the next 30 days.

UAMC Home Health currently provides approximately 400 patients with intermittent nursing care in the home. Patients who require ongoing home health care will be transitioned to the care of other home health agencies in the community.

UAMC’s 36 home health staff members include nurses, therapists, social workers and others. They will receive severance packages based on their length of service and their benefits will be continued for two months. UAMC anticipates that most will find other jobs elsewhere in the UA Health Network, one of the largest employers in Tucson with more than 6,000 employees.

UAMC is making a business decision to devote its resources to services and programs not duplicated or available elsewhere in the community, such as trauma, organ transplantation and the high-tech specialty care that make UAMC a referral center for other hospitals around the state, said Karen Mlawsky, CEO of the Hospital Division of the UA Health Network.

“We are confident our patients will be well served by the many community agencies offering home-care services,” she said. “The health-care environment is changing at a rapid pace. Many providers are adapting to these changes by focusing time and limited financial resources on core business initiatives. UAMC strives to meet the needs of the community by providing services that are unavailable elsewhere.”

TREO-Chairmans_Circle_2013

TREO adds to leadership

The TREO Board of Directors announced the following new leadership additions:

> New Vice Chairman of the Board/Chair-Elect: Guy Gunther, Vice President and General Manager, Tucson and Greater Arizona, CenturyLink. The Vice Chairman serves a key leadership role in partnership with the Chairman of the Board, and serves as Chair-Elect for the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year.

New Chairman’s Circle Members:
> Karen D. Mlawsky, CEO, University of Arizona Medical Center
> Sandra Watson, President & CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority

“We’re thrilled to continue adding top business leadership to our ranks,” said Steve Eggen, retired CFO, Raytheon Missile Systems. “We have put together the right critical mass of leaders to accelerate our economic growth.”

As CenturyLink’s Vice President and General Manager, Guy Gunther is responsible for Northern and Southern Arizona markets for voice, data, entertainment and managed services, including P&L, field operations, customer experience, direct and indirect sales channels, network development and community relations. Gunther has over 20 years of senior management experience in telecommunications, consulting firms and finance. “I am honored to become part of the leadership of this effective organization,” said Gunther. “TREO is the connective tissue in the region – promoting our assets and creating value for companies looking to establish or expand operations in Southern Arizona.”

As CEO of the Hospital Division of The University of Arizona Health Network, Karen Mlawsky oversees both The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus and The University of Arizona Medical – South Campus, as well as dozens of affiliated clinics and physicians’ offices. She previously served as vice president of oncology services for University Medical Center in Tucson and spent more than 13 years at the Ohio State University Medical Center. “Health care will likely be one of the top job-creating industries, regardless of a slow economic recovery,” said Mlawsky. “There is tremendous opportunity to contribute to our region’s economic development through teaching and training our future health-care workforce.”

Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), brings more than 20 years of economic development leadership and experience to Arizona. She and her teams have successfully attracted hundreds of companies that have invested billions of dollars in capital and created more than 65,000 quality jobs. With Governor Brewer’s visionary leadership, and a private sector board of directors made up of some of the state’s most successful CEOs, the ACA has established an aggressive five-year plan and is experiencing strong results in strengthening the state’s overall economy. “Partnering with regional groups such as TREO is critical to our overall success. TREO is central to a larger, collaborative movement in the state,” said Watson. “As a result of our strong, long-standing working relationship, we will continue to attract quality companies creating high-wage jobs in the Tucson region, benefitting the statewide economy.”

TREO Officers include:
> Chairman of the Board – Steve Eggen, (ret.) Chief Financial Officer, Raytheon Missile Systems
> Vice Chairman of the Board/Chair-Elect – Guy Gunther, Vice President and General Manager, Tucson and Greater Arizona, CenturyLink
> Immediate Past Chairman – Paul Bonavia, Chairman and CEO, UNS Energy Corp. & Tucson Electric Power Company
>  Secretary/Treasurer – Lisa Lovallo, Market Vice President, Southern Arizona, Cox Communications

TREO is governed by a 16-member Chairman’s Circle, which serves as a key advisory group for business development strategy and represents the Tucson region to national business prospects, and a 46-member Board of Directors.

TREO continues its Chairman’s Circle/Board of Directors expansion efforts begun in 2010. Economic development is a high priority, demanding increased engagement from the key companies, organizations and people that drive the Southern Arizona economy. TREO leadership recognizes the importance of providing strong thought leadership for community development and strengthening the Tucson “product” and positioning as a business center.

The above new members join other leaders providing both private and public sector perspective in accelerating economic development. For a complete listing of the TREO Chairman’s Circle and Board of Directors, visit http://www.treoaz.org/About-TREO-Board-of-Directors.aspx.

Centennial Series - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Centennial Series: Arizona’s History Impacts The Way We Live Our Lives

100 Years of Change: From ‘Sesame Street’ to scientific breakthroughs, Arizona’s history impacts the way we live our lives

During Arizona’s first century, every elementary school student in the state learned about the five Cs that drove Arizona’s economy — copper, cotton, cattle, citrus and climate.

There is a chance that if you ask Arizona elementary school students what C words drive the state’s economy now, their best answers might be casinos or Cardinals, whose University of Phoenix Stadium has been filled with fans, and hosted both a Super Bowl and a BCS championship game since it opened in 2006.

A lot has changed since copper and cotton drove the state, but that doesn’t lessen the impact Arizona’s first 100 years had on the way we live our lives today.

Here are a baker’s dozen events, people or projects from Arizona’s history, its first 100 years, that shaped the state or helped the state make history:

Gaming

In 1988, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in response to the proliferation of gambling halls on Indian reservations. IGRA recognized gaming as a way to promote tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal government.

By the end of 1994, 10 casinos were in operation in Arizona. Currently, 15 tribes operate 22 casinos in the state, creating a huge boost for Arizona tourism and the economy.

To put it into perspective, a study commissioned by the Ak-Chin Indian Community in 2011 showed that Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort alone accounts for 1,094 jobs, $36,713,700 in payroll, and a total economic impact on the community of $205,322,355. And those numbers represent figures before the resort added a 152-room hotel tower in July 2011.

Air travel

In 1935, the City of Phoenix bought Sky Harbor International Airport for $100,000. In 2010, the airport served 38.55 million passengers, making it the ninth busiest in the U.S. in terms of passengers and one of the top 15 busiest airports in the world, with a $90 million daily economic impact. The airport handles about 1,252 aircraft daily that arrive and depart, along with 103,630 passengers daily, and more than 675 tons of cargo handled.

“As much as anywhere in the U.S., Phoenix is a creature of good air connections,” says Grady Gammage Jr., an expert on Arizona’s history. “There is no good rail service (in Arizona). There are no real transportation corridors. Sky Harbor has had a huge impact.”

Road travel

Another transportation milestone occurred in 1985 when the Maricopa Association of Governments approved a $6.5 billion regional freeway plan for Phoenix and voters approved a 20-year, one-half cent sales tax to fund it. By 2008, the Arizona Department of Transportation had completed the construction and Phoenix boasted 137 miles of loop freeways that link the metro area.

The loop freeways have had a significant impact on shaping Phoenix and, ultimately, Arizona, says Dennis Smith, MAG executive director.

“The loop freeways resulted in a distribution of job centers around the Valley,” Smith says. “That allows every part of the Valley to achieve its dream and have employment closer to where the homes are. That distributes the wealth throughout the Valley.”

Smith says the freeways also extended the Valley’s reach to Yavapai, Pinal and Pima counties, creating a megapolitan area known as the Sun Corridor.

Master-planned neighborhoods

Arizona is home to countless master-planned residential communities, but the first one — Maryvale — opened in 1955 in West Phoenix as the post-war years exerted their influence. Its developer, John F. Long, wanted to plan and build a community where young people could buy an affordable home, raise a family and work, all in the same area. He named the development after his wife, Mary, and its influence is felt to this day.

“Because Maryvale was a master-planned community and because John did affordable housing, the master plan included a lot of parks, school sites and shopping areas,” says Jim Miller, director of real estate for John F. Long Properties. “It really was where people could live and work. If you lived in Maryvale, you weren’t more than three-quarters of a mile from a park or school. That forced a lot of other builders to adopt the same type of philosophy.”

The first homes sold for as little as $7,400, with a $52-a-month mortgage. The first week the models went on the market, 24,000 people stopped by to take a look.

Retirement communities

A year before Maryvale opened, Ben Schleifer introduced a different lifestyle to an older demographic. In 1954, Schleifer opened Youngtown in West Phoenix, the first age-restricted retirement community in the nation, according to research by Melanie Sturgeon, director of the state’s History and Archives Division. No one younger than 50 could live there. By 1963, Youngtown had 1,700 residents and Arizona was on its way to becoming a retirement mecca.

But it was builder Del E. Webb and his construction companies that firmly established the concept of active, age-restricted adult retirement in Arizona with the opening of Sun City on Jan. 1, 1960, next to Youngtown and along Grand Avenue. According to Sturgeon’s research and a magazine observing Sun City’s 50th anniversary, about 100,000 people showed up the first three days to see the golf course, recreation center, swimming pool, shopping center and five model homes. Traffic was backed up for miles. The first homes sold for between $8,500 and $11,750. Sun City had 7,500 residents by 1964 and 42,000 by 1977, the same year Webb decided the community was big enough and he began construction on Sun City West.

Law

Ernesto Arturo Miranda was a Phoenix laborer whose conviction on kidnapping, rape, and armed robbery charges based on his confession under police interrogation resulted in the landmark 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case (Miranda v. Arizona), which ruled that criminal suspects must be informed of their right against self-incrimination and their right to consult with an attorney prior to questioning by police. This warning is known as a Miranda warning.

After the Supreme Court decision set aside Miranda’s initial conviction, the state of Arizona retried him. At the second trial, with his confession excluded from evidence, he was again convicted, and he spent 11 years in prison.

Healthcare

The first successful surgery and use of an artificial heart as a bridge to a human heart transplant was conducted at the University Medical Center in Tucson by Dr. Jack Copeland in 1985. His patient lived nine days using the Jarvik 7 Total Artificial Heart before he received a donor heart.

It also put the spotlight on Arizona as a place where cutting-edge research and healthcare was taking place.

Copeland made several other contributions to the artificial heart program, including advancing surgical techniques, patient care protocols and anticoagulation. He also performed the state’s first heart-lung transplant and the first U.S. implant of a pediatric ventricular assist device. In 2010, Copeland moved to a facility in San Diego, where he continues to make an impact on health care.

Entertainment

Joan Ganz Cooney, who received her B.A. degree in education from the University of Arizona in 1951, was part of a team who captured the hearts and imaginations of children around the world with the development of Sesame Workshop, creators of the popular “Sesame Street.” Now in its 42nd season, the children’s television show uses puppets, cartoons and live actors to teach literacy, math fundamentals and behavior skills. Today, Cooney serves as a member of Sesame Workshop’s executive committee. In 2007, she was honored by Sesame Workshop with the creation of The Joan Ganz Cooney Center, which aims to advance children’s literacy skills and foster innovation in children’s learning through digital media.

Military bases

Williams Air Force Base in Mesa, which broke ground for its Advanced Flying School on July 16, 1941, allowed more than 26,500 men and women to earn their wings. It was active as a training base for both the U.S. Army Air Forces, as well as the U.S. Air Force from 1941 until its closure in 1993.

It also opened the door for other military training bases in Arizona, including Luke Air Force Base; which employs more than 8,000 personnel and covers 4,200 acres and is home to the largest fighter wing in the world, the 56th Fighter Wing; Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, home to the A-10 Thunderbolt II, which was used in combat for the first time during the Gulf War in 1991, destroying more than 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 military vehicles, and 1,200 artillery pieces; and Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, which specializes in air-to-ground aviation training for U.S. and NATO forces. In 1990, almost every Marine that participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm trained at Yuma.

Solar power

Solar power has the potential to make Arizona “the Persian Gulf of solar energy,” former Gov. Janet Napolitano once said. But despite the overabundance of sunshine, the industry didn’t take root in the state until the end of the last century.

The first commercial solar power plant in the state came in 1997 when Arizona Public Service (APS) built a 95-kilowatt, single-axis tracking photovoltaic plant in Flagstaff. In 1999, the City of Scottsdale covered an 8,500-square-feet parking lot with photovoltaic panels, to both provide shaded parking and generate 93 kilowatts of solar power.

Arizona installed more than 55 megawatts of solar power in 2010, doubling its 2009 total of 21 megawatts, ranking it behind California (259 megawatts), New Jersey (137 megawatts), Florida (110 megawatts), and Nevada (61 megawatts).

Water

Construction of the Central Arizona Project — which delivers water to areas where 80 percent of Arizonans reside — began in 1973 at Lake Havasu. Twenty years and $4 billion later, it was completed south of Tucson. The CAP delivers an average 1.5 million acre-feet of water annually to municipal, agricultural and Native American users in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties.

“Without the CAP, we wouldn’t have the population we have today,” says Pam Pickard, president of the CAP board of directors. “We wouldn’t have our economic base. We wouldn’t have the industry we have.”

But the CAP wouldn’t have been possible without another milestone that occurred nearly 60 years earlier — Hoover Dam and its reservoir, Lake Mead, 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Hoover Dam, constructed between 1933 and 1936, tamed the Colorado, which Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s official state historian, says was even more erratic than the Salt River. The dam created reliable water supplies for Arizona’s Colorado River Valley and, eventually, Central and Southern Arizona via the CAP.

Sports

On April 24, 2000 Arizona Gov. Jane Dee Hull signed a bill that created the Arizona Tourism and Sports Authority (initially known as the TSA). Later, it was renamed to the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority.

The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority was instrumental in the constructions of University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals and an anchor of Glendale’s sports complex. The development of the stadium, also home to the Fiesta Bowl, marked a shift in the economic landscape of the West Valley and Arizona sports. The Stadium has already hosted one Super Bowl and will host a second in 2015.

The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority has also been instrumental in Cactus League projects — including Surprise Stadium, Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Tempe Diablo Stadium, Scottsdale Stadium, Goodyear (Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds) and in Glendale (Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.) The economic impact of Cactus League baseball is estimated at $350 million a year.

“There’s no doubt about it, sports is an integral part of any destination tourism package,” says Lorraine Pino, tourism manager at the Glendale Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our tourism literally exploded over the past few years.”

Isabelle Novak, Noelle Coyle and Tom Ellis contributed to this story.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012