AZPHA RECOMMENDS A YES VOTE ON PROPOSITION 449
Maricopa County voters are being asked to continue the property tax levy for the Maricopa County Special Health Care District. The assessment is due to expire in 2024 when its 20-year life span comes to its conclusion. The tax levy represents about 12% of the District’s revenue which is approximately $81.9M and is crucial to maintaining Valleywise Health’s mission.
Valleywise Health (formerly known as Maricopa Integrated Health System) is Arizona’s only public teaching health system and serves the needs of anyone who comes through its doors. Its mission is to “provide exceptional care, without exception, to every patient, every time.”
More than 65% of Valleywise patients are uninsured, underinsured, or covered by AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid program, or Federal Emergency Services. Annually, Valleywise serves nearly 400,000 patients with its staff of nearly 3,700 medical and healthcare professionals.
Valleywise Health was established in 1877 as a place to care for the sick in the one of the fastest growing areas in our country and is governed by an elected Board of Directors. Today, Valleywise is a growing presence for health care services in Maricopa County.
That extended system of health care consists of:
Valleywise Health Medical Center, the only hospital in Maricopa County verified by the American College of Surgeons to provide adult (Level I) and pediatric (Level II) trauma care;
The Arizona Burn Center;
Three behavioral health centers;
12 Community Health Centers – Federally Qualified Health Centers throughout the Valley;
The McDowell Healthcare Center, the largest provider of HIV primary care in Arizona, women’s and pediatric refugee health services;
The Arizona Children’s Center.
Valleywise has been working hard to keep Arizonans safe from Covid-19 and has acquired an advanced testing technology that can detect the virus in 45 minutes or less. It has conducted community education projects across the county in ten languages.
Valleywise is also home to the Arizona Burn Center, widely regarded as the finest in the US for emergency treatment and burn survivorship. First responders across the Valley routinely express their wishes to be taken to Valleywise for treatment if injured on the job.
Valleywise has expanded behavioral health services across Maricopa County, including the creation of the Valleywise Behavioral Health Center in Maryvale where medical care and behavioral health care services are administered together, at the bedside.
The First Episode Center in Tolleson serves patients and their families experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Valleywise is also the largest provider of court-ordered behavioral health testing and care in Maricopa County.
Valleywise is addressing a nationwide doctor shortage through a partnership with Creighton University Medical School, District Medical Group, Dignity Health and St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Its goal is to grow the number of new doctors, nurses and medical professionals in Arizona, which currently ranks near the bottom of all states in the number of practicing physicians per capita.
Residencies at Valleywise continue to be some of the most sought-after in the nation. As an example, each year there are 14 ED (emergency department) residencies available at Valleywise. The hospital receives 1600 applications for those 14 spots.
The Arizona Public Health Association strongly recommends a YES vote on Proposition 449.