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Class 37 Reports on
March Class Days
Gary Baker, SVP of Hospital Operation for HonorHealth (Class 18) led off with an overview of healthcare delivery and logistics in Scottsdale. Issues of staffing shortages came up several times as a way to give context to the challenges HonorHealth faces coming out of the pandemic. He also brought up the Blue Zones community initiative - it was the first time I had heard of it, along with several others in the class. It was a topic we would revisit several times throughout the day, and wound up being one of the most interesting points we covered.
Next up were our Day Chairs: Liz Kaplan, CFRE, Senior Director, Development at University of Arizona, College of Medicine, Phoenix (Class 27); Kara Greene, HonorHealth, Brand Director, (Class 33); and Roxanne Flynn, HonorHealth, Director Military Partnership, Trauma Outreach and Bioskills Laboratory, (LEGENDARY CLASS 37). In case it wasn’t clear, Roxanne is part of the current class and for this (and other reasons) is totally awesome.
You know how sometimes you hear someone’s bio and it makes you reassess all your life choices? Like, relative to this person, you feel like you’ve done very little of note throughout your life? Ok, now multiply that by three. The Day Chairs are three inspiring, accomplished, and engaged women, and I’m grateful for the work they put in to make the day so interesting. Also, Roxanne is in Legendary Class 37, so that’s cool.
Group project time! We split into groups and were given healthcare-related scenarios to think/discuss/work through. Most scenarios were something Roxanne had personally dealt with over the past few years, and were intended to help us see the scope and scale of the challenges healthcare professionals have to address. It was pretty eye-opening for me, especially to see the ways others in the class have had real world roles to play (public safety, emergency management, etc.). Did I mention Roxanne is currently in Class 37?
Then Dr. Shad spent an hour with us. This was a really, really meaningful session for several in our class. Dr. Farshad Fani Marvasti is the Medical Director of Integrative Medicine at HonorHealth and the Director of Public Health, Prevention and Health Promotion, UA College of Medicine-Phoenix. He had also just spoken at SXSW, naturally. Speaking of naturally, his whole thesis is the idea of Food as Medicine. This is not some state-of-the-art newly discovered concept; this is about identifying the foods and habits that contribute to overall health. From whole cultures to family home remedies, food as health has been around for ages as a method of preventative care. The implications of really applying a Food as Medicine concept today, though, indict the whole healthcare system, the way we educate healthcare professionals, and cultural-wide conversations about what we eat and the accessibility of nutrition. Dr. Shad does what is called Integrative medicine, which combines diet, social support, and medical care. It looks for dietary and lifestyle changes before, or at least alongside, pharmaceutical solutions. The whole presentation was inspiring and convicting. Many of his slides had images of good, natural foods next to processed, unhealthy “franken foods” (his term, not mine.) I’m not going to lie, though, some of those images of burgers and fries had me thinking, “that looks so delicious.”
After that we were taken to space. The Executive Director, APEX Aerospace Surgery and Medicine, Dr. Mira Milas, spoke to us about the work she is doing with Dr. Eric Peterson - both at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - to train space-ready flight surgeons. Doctors in space! As more people start spending time in space, the need for medical care, even acute medical care, will continue to increase. Much of what we talk about in Scottsdale Leadership is decidedly earthbound. Dr. Milas brought a unique perspective highlighting how vision, resiliency, and competency are characteristics that apply to everyone in leadership, regardless of whose (or what's) orbit you are in.
Upon reentry, we learned about NOAH (Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health), another valuable resource in Scottsdale that many may not know about. Michael Pearson, NOAH’s Director of Marketing and Engagement (Class 32), shared with us about the growth of the organization from its inception in 1997 as a part of HonorHealth to the work they did last year with over 250k people in the community, Valley-wide. As a Federally Qualified provider, they are able to service everyone: those with insurance as well as those who are under or uninsured. This summer they plan to open food lockers at their Cholla location to address food insecurity issues in the community.
“Should healthcare be a human right?” That’s how our next speaker started his time. He wanted to get our blood flowing and our interest perked after lunch. He very much succeeded. Craig Kartchner, HonorHealth’s Associate Vice President, Marketing, Consumer Growth and Engagement, hit us with some knowledge. From stats about HonorHealth’s bottom line and staffing to context about premiums and the overall value proposition of healthcare, Craig situated for us the difficulty and complexity of America’s healthcare system. As much as some of the class were enthralled by Dr. Shad, I was riveted by this conversation. One’s health is a deeply personal thing, and for all the similarities people may share, it’s a deeply individual thing, as well. It is also incredibly expensive to deliver some kinds of care, people have in some cases very limited options, and care is often needed unexpectedly. I could have continued this conversation the rest of the day, but couldn’t because we had to go learn how to do an IV.
Not on people, though! We were able to learn first-hand from HonorHealth’s Military Partnership. This group trains first responders and active duty nurses in acute care-type settings to provide experiences that emulate emergency and battlefield situations. The volunteers and staff ran our class through several scenarios, from practicing starting and IV to intubation and wound assessment. I learned to stick a needle in a simulated vein! Now, if I’m ever in an emergency, I feel confident I could stick a needle in a simulated vein there, too. Roxanne (Class 37) also talked about the scope and outcomes that have come with the HonorHealth Military Partnership, which is unique in nation.
Am I allowed to talk about the helipad? We got to go up to the helipad. It was very cool, and the 40+ of us walking through the hospital to get up there looked very conspicuous. However, I am extremely grateful for opportunities like these! If nothing else, Scottsdale Leadership is about perspective. It’s about being able to look differently, and in depth, at the elements that create a healthy community. SL is about elevating the conversation about our city beyond everyone’s assumptions to a place where we look in detail at all the factors and how they connect and conflict. Standing on that helipad with the rest of Legendary Class 37 gave me a different perspective on the city, and I’m grateful for the view.