At Northern Arizona Healthcare, “being better together” is one of the key values we live by. A key component of being better together is to make certain that we have the best leadership in place to move the organization forward, not just during this time of unprecedented healthcare changes and opportunities, but also in designing health and wellness models and services for generations to come. In aligning all of our values with operations at Flagstaff Medical Center, Verde Valley Medical Center and throughout NAH, we have recently restructured our leadership team to better focus on efficient patient care and effectiveness of operations. Our goals in restructuring were to move resources to those who directly care for our patients and create a system leadership structure, promoting seamless and coordinated care for our patients.
“Many healthcare systems, nearly 300 across the country, have implemented across the board pay cuts, furloughs and layoffs,” states Flo Spyrow, president and CEO. “NAH has taken a targeted approach, looking at leadership, to move resources to the bedside.”
Approximately 20 colleagues were impacted during this process. Dick Sharp, chief human resources officer, states, “The valued colleagues who were affected by this restructure have received offers of severance, outplacement/transition services, and COBRA subsidies.”
In best practice, the plan to restructure leadership had been in place prior to the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic has certainly had a significant impact. Overall, NAH remains strategically focused on strengthening the consistency of services and experience across its multiple locations in northern Arizona. This will further improve the overall experiences of patients and family members. “This may result in small scale restructuring and position eliminations from time to time, which we have been doing over the past couple years,” says Sharp. Such restructuring is common and operational practice within health systems.
Our goal at NAH is to continue to serve those whom count on us for care, and to offer job security at the highest level that we can during these trying times. Every colleague is a valued member of our team, and they each contribute to what makes NAH a trusted healthcare provider in our communities. While the financial situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, NAH is continuously working to combat pandemic-related layoffs. The organization has taken significant and proactive steps by prioritizing the reassignment of front line employees with reduced work to other duties; placing a hold on ordering non-medical and non-essential supplies; and reducing merit increases and performance-based incentives. All with the focus on keeping care at the bedside as paramount, and overall ensuring critical care services remain at a high level.
“It is my belief that the healthcare industry will be struggling with the impact of COVID-19 well into 2021,” said Cliff Loader, Northern Arizona Healthcare’s chief financial officer. “Though we’ve received funding through the CARES Act and from the State of Arizona to assist us, which has stabilized our cash in the short term, the situation is ongoing. Even though we are resuming medically necessary procedures on a limited basis, it is at a slow pace. Though we will be able to resume normal operations at some point, it will likely be a ’new normal,’” he continued.
NAH is improving health, healing people by providing always better care to every person every time across the healthcare continuum. We are committed to serving all of Northern Arizona. Flagstaff Medical Center was the busiest COVID-19 hospital in Arizona because of our commitment to serving all rural communities in need within the state. We are redesigning our future so that we can continue to be a trusted partner in health and wellness. Now, and in a post-COVID environment. Our plans include growth in many programs, as well as cost reduction opportunity. We know a “new ERA” of healthcare is coming and look forward to being ready, and partnering with those who count on us for care.
NAH is inclusive of Flagstaff Medical Center, Verde Valley Medical Center, Verde Valley Medical Center – Sedona Campus, Northern Arizona Healthcare – Camp Verde Campus, Northern Arizona Healthcare – Village of Oak Creek, Northern Arizona Healthcare Medical Group, the Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare, Northern Arizona Healthcare Orthopedic Surgery Center, EntireCare Rehab & Sports Medicine, Weight Management Clinic, Northern Arizona Healthcare Medical Group – Cardiology, Guardian Air and Guardian Medical Transport. We also provide comprehensive imaging, laboratory and pharmacy services throughout the region. Many of the services we provide, including The Taylor House and Valley View Care, receive major funding through the Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation.
For more information on NAH programs and services, visit NAHealth.com. “Like” NAH on Facebook by searching Northern Arizona Healthcare Flagstaff and Northern Arizona Healthcare Verde Valley. Follow NAH on Instagram by searching Northern Arizona Healthcare.