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Kavanagh clarifies remarks on Maricopa Integrated Health Care

I wish to apologize to the staff of the Maricopa Medical Center for implying that it was a poorly performing hospital. It is not.

In a recent Arizona Capitol Times article (12/11/09), I criticized Department of Corrections officials for asserting without proof that private-prison operators cannot run maximum-security prisons. My criticism included the quote, “When I get ill, I don’t go to the Maricopa County Medical Center. I go to the Mayo Hospital.” My intent was to show that the private sector can perform at high-performance levels, not to malign the public sector.

My statement was based upon the excellent reputation of Mayo, a negative media stereotype of public hospitals in poor neighborhoods and my own experiences driving a New York City ambulance during the late 1960s and early 70s, while working my way through college. But the stereotype is just that, a stereotype, and this is not New York City in the 60s.

There are high- and low-performing hospitals in both the private and public sectors. My research shows that Maricopa Medical Center is a high-performing public hospital. In fact, if I was to become ill today I would drive past some private hospitals to be treated at the Maricopa Medical Center – although now under an assumed name.

-John Kavanagh is a state representative from Fountain Hills.

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