TREO CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE
What is your perspective on the importance of talent and workforce development as a key economic driver?
We are fortunate to have The University of Arizona in our backyard as an incubator for developing talent and expertise in the health professions and biomedical sciences. We must recruit and retain the best of these new physicians, nurses, pharmacists and researchers in Southern Arizona. At The University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus we have expanded our residency spots to better serve the community and offset an impending physician shortage in Arizona. We need even more residencies to develop home-grown talent in our state. The average healthcare worker and physician are getting close to retirement. Who will take care of us? Healthcare will continue to be one of the top job-creating industries. There is tremendous opportunity to contribute to economic development and job creation through teaching and training our future healthcare workforce.
President & CEO The University of Arizona Health Network
Why does UA Health Network invest in and support economic development initiatives?
When I think about economic development, I think about education. Excellent healthcare requires a highly educated, skilled workforce. We need strong schools and we must support education at all levels. Tucson can’t hope to attract the best and brightest without it. Regarding the TREO Blueprint Update, why is the committee you serve on in this strategic planning initiative important to you?
The Blueprint Healthcare Committee is important to our region. This committee, which includes the major providers in Tucson, provides a forum for us to look at health and healthcare issues from the community perspective. It is a great opportunity for us to network and explore initiatives that will improve the health of our community and examine opportunities to decrease healthcare costs. What is the outlook for UA Health Network and your industry in 2014?
Healthcare reform is here. That brings challenges and opportunities. Thousands of previously uninsured Americans will now be able to afford health insurance, which is a great thing. We may see increased demand for medical services by a population that has been doing without them. We are gearing up to be ready to meet that pent-up demand. Additionally, we are investing millions of dollars in technology. UA Health Network recently implemented an integrated electronic health records system that will make our care more coordinated and improve patient safety and quality. More than 10,000 physicians and staff members received training on this system, and we expect it to translate into improved patient care.
Dr. Mike Waldrum
The Tucson Region's Business Magazine