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Special Health Care District Board Votes to Accept Proposition 480 Plan

September 28, 2016

In a step toward expanding high quality health care services available to Valley residents, the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors today voted unanimously to accept a Proposition 480 plan with objectives it aims to achieve between now and 2022. 

“We are excited to be moving forward with a plan that will help MIHS sustain its historic role as Maricopa County’s community health care system,” said Susan Gerard, Chairman of the Special Health Care District Board. “I want Maricopa County residents to be assured that MIHS has made significant steps toward financial health and is now prepared to move forward in developing the next phase of our health care system.”

MIHS has accomplished more than $50 million in cost savings in the last two years while at the same time improving quality. These cost savings have been made possible through MIHS’s dedicated employees and physician partners, who have broken down institutional barriers and found creative ways to improve the organization’s performance.

MIHS’s remarkable turnaround has attracted national interest. President and CEO Steve Purves documented the organization’s effort in the summer 2016 newsletter of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

“Voters’ overwhelming support of MIHS energized our team by affirming that Maricopa County residents really believe in our organization,” Purves said. “We have acted to create sustainable results that allow us to move forward with Proposition 480 planning. I want to thank both our Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors and Maricopa Health Centers Governing Council for their continued guidance and support and to our employees and physician partners for this amazing effort.”

Maricopa County voters in 2014 approved Proposition 480 by an overwhelming 63 to 37 percent margin to develop, improve and expand MIHS healthcare facilities for outpatient and behavioral health care throughout Maricopa County, and replace the system’s outdated teaching hospital, Maricopa Medical Center, which includes a Level I Trauma Center and the Arizona Burn Center.

The Proposition 480 plan offers MIHS staff, stakeholders and the general public insight regarding our community health system’s direction in the coming years while recognizing the need to adjust to rapid changes within the healthcare industry. The plan is available on MIHS’s website.

The Proposition 480 Implementation Planning Finding and Recommendations report approved today:

  • Recommends a greater emphasis on providing care outside the hospital walls, integrating behavioral health care with medical care to treat the whole person.
  • Sets a construction timeline between now and 2022 for development of neighborhood health centers, specialty centers and an acute care and behavioral health campus.
  • States that implementing the strategic capital plan will improve MIHS’s future financial position and enhance its ability to meet community need.
  • Ensures a modern, efficient network of services and facilities in which to train the next generation of physicians, nurses and allied health professionals.

Development of the Proposition 480 plan was a collaborative effort amongst Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors, Maricopa Health Centers Governing Council, staff, our medical partners, community leaders, economic development officials, and healthcare industry experts.

Proposition 480 followed recommendations of an independent 15-member Bond Advisory Committee that spent months studying Maricopa County’s public teaching hospital and health care system and conducting extensive public hearings across the county. The panel was chaired by William Post, retired chairman and CEO of Pinnacle West Capital Corp., the parent company of Arizona Public Service.

The Bond Advisory Committee concluded that MIHS’s current healthcare facilities are insufficient for the organization to meet its voter-mandated mission and 21st century public teaching hospital and health system vision. The Maricopa Medical Center, the most visible part of MIHS, was built in the late 1960s.

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