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Kavanagh was wrong about Maricopa Integrated Health Systems

In the midst of debate over private prisons, state Rep. John Kavanagh made a comment that reflects an unfortunate misconception about public hospitals.

In last week’s Arizona Capitol Times, the Fountain Hills Republican was quoted as saying, “When I get ill, I don’t go to the Maricopa County Medical Center. I go to the Mayo Hospital.”

Rep. Kavanagh, we cordially invite you and every other lawmaker in Arizona to visit the Maricopa Medical Center to see the top-ranked programs and meet our excellent physicians and nurses that make Arizona’s only public hospital a true community asset.

Maricopa Medical Center is a critical institution whose positive ripple effects reach every person in the community, including those who may never set foot in the hospital itself.

On any given day, any individual or family in the Southwestern U.S. could suddenly find themselves in need of Maricopa’s esteemed Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma center or top-ranked Arizona Burn Center. As a dedicated former law enforcement officer in New York, Rep. Kavanagh certainly can appreciate the extraordinary, often life-saving care so many Arizona police officers and firefighters have received in our trauma center.

Maricopa also directly affects the quality of care in many private doctors’ offices across the Valley, serving as the largest teaching institution for doctors in Maricopa County. About 60 percent of the physicians who train at Maricopa remain in Arizona. Many of our training programs are in partnership with some of Arizona’s finest hospitals. We collaborate with St. Joseph’s, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Banner Good Samaritan, Phoenix Baptist and Mayo Clinic.

True, we can’t compete with Mayo on appearances. Yet Maricopa’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians and therapists excel every day and provide excellent care to every resident of our community who needs it. And we take pride in wisely managing the resources entrusted to us by the taxpayers of our county.

-Bil Bruno, Board Member and Chairman, Maricopa Integrated Health System District 1
-Alice Lara, Board Member, Maricopa Integrated Health System, District 5

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