The Arizona business, education and political leaders that went on our spring benchmarking trip to Texas Medical Center (TMC) in Houston saw several innovative initiatives and practices worthy of replicating here. But that wasn’t the entirety of the experience. They also saw programs with a very familiar feel.
“We have a lot of this in Arizona too,” Linda Hunt, CEO of Dignity Health, said at the time.
And she’s right.
Like TMC, we have many praise-worthy educational and research institutions, businesses and collaborations. We do great work in collaborative, innovation-based health care and bioscience. But exactly how competitive are we compared to Houston, or other regions in other states? Since our goal is to show relocating companies that it is a mistake to overlook Arizona, it became clear that we, as Arizona business and education leaders, needed a more precise answer to that question.
That’s why we decided to benchmark ourselves – to tour just a few Phoenix health care and bioscience assets – to determine just how we stack up to the competition.
Our fact-finding trip included 20 leaders and seven students in the health care and biosciences fields. We explored four amazing facilities and heard several presentations from education, health care and bioscience leaders.
Naturally, our trip began at Paradise Valley High School’s Center for Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) and Health Care Academy, where they are fostering future talent and leaders in health care. Students and faculty shared an amazing research and hands-on learning facility which is creating qualified workers, which business owners identify as one their most pressing needs.
We were so impressed with the students there that we extended an invitation to them to join us for the rest of the trip, to tour medical and research facilities in which they will hopefully work someday soon.
Our next stop was the 11-story, 750,000 sq. ft. Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which is ranked nationally in 10 pediatric specialties. Doctors shared details on several collaborative programs including the physician-led Phoenix Children’s Care Network, which improves care quality while effectively managing associated costs. Representatives from Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the largest pediatric neuroscience center in the Southwest, detailed its collaborative, comprehensive inpatient and outpatient neurological care and services to infants, children and teens. Doctors also shared details and progress on the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program and the Arizona Fetal Care Network program.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton joined us at TGen, our third stop. The mayor provided some inspirational remarks to the group prior to three TGen doctors sharing the cutting-edge science they are conducting to combat neurotrauma, control cancer with precision medicine and develop an entirely new cancer drug.
We concluded our Phoenix Benchmarking trip with a hands-on tour of the Center for Simulation and Innovation at The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. Our group got to learn tips on delivering babies, properly using an ultrasound and even performing an intubation. I really enjoyed seeing the excitement on the CREST students’ faces as the simulation lab showed them what the next steps of their education can be, right here in downtown Phoenix!
I thank all who took time from their busy schedules to attend and provide feedback on our local benchmarking trip. The Paradise Valley High School CREST students are also deserving of special recognition, as they came in during their summer vacation to show our group around their school. Our tour showed that we have a great collaborative health care gene, incredible assets and areas of excellence with regard to fostering talent.
Our job now is to leverage these assets to strengthen our position as an attractive region to compete not only nationally, but also globally.