By Mary Minor Davis –
Redefining the Healthcare Network
In its 135-year history in Southern Arizona, Carondelet Health Network has built a legacy of providing compassionate care at its three hospitals serving Tucson and Southern Arizona.
While the network has undergone significant changes over the years, it has thrived and continued to evolve with a dedication to innovation and cutting-edge treatments for patients who put their trust and faith in the hands of Carondelet caregivers.
“It’s a very bright future for the Carondelet Health Network,” said Mark Benz, CEO for the network which encompasses St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s hospitals in Tucson and Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales. “We are placing emphasis on evidence-based best practices as well as a discipline of laser focus on patient safety and quality, developing resources to build a very comprehensive network of care.”
Through all the innovation and the changing healthcare environment, Carondelet has maintained its Catholic identity through an ongoing relationship with the Diocese of Tucson, making it the only sanctioned Catholic healthcare system in the region.
Carondelet Health Network’s culture is reflected in a passion for healing and innovation. A recent rebranding introduced a new logo signified by compassionate hands upholding personalized service and healthcare excellence. A flame reflects the passion for combining leading technology with advanced healing to serve the community and the people within it.
Carondelet now operates under a joint venture formed in 2015 between Tenet Healthcare, Dignity Health and Ascension, with Tenet serving as the operator. Support and investment from Tenet have resulted in a transformation of the way Carondelet provides quality healthcare across its three hospitals, the Carondelet Medical Group, three ambulatory surgery centers and its new microhospital in Marana.
Over the past few years, Carondelet has invested in infrastructure, staffing, technology and education for both staff and the community. The hospitals are attracting well-known, respected physicians in many specialties and talented nurses and other clinical staff.
“Physicians are taking notice and inquiring about opportunities to practice at Carondelet hospitals and bringing enhanced capabilities for the benefit of our Southern Arizona residents,” Benz said.
Carondelet’s investment also means it is bringing a new type of facility to the booming Marana area. In 2019, Carondelet will open a microhospital at Interstate 10 and Cortaro Farms Road in Marana.
“Medical care continues to evolve with a consumer focus and this is a new model for bringing healthcare services into the community,” said Benz. When the new Carondelet Marana microhospital opens, it will include a 14-bed emergency department, two operating rooms and eight inpatient rooms, along with additional services.
“The Marana facility will offer a patient-friendly design with emergency and acute care services in an efficient, convenient location,” Benz said. “It’s designed to provide close integration with our other facilities for patients who may require more complex care.
“Our goal is providing an integrated system of care closer to home for those who choose Carondelet Health Network for their care. We want to be able to provide the right care, at the right time, at the right place.”
Even under the Affordable Care Act consumers were subjected to increased pressure through higher deductibles and copays making the philosophy of right care, at the right time, at the right place more important than ever.
“This is why evidence-based care, providing value for our patients, and educating our community on preventive care is so important to us as caregivers today,” said Benz. “We want to help individuals proactively manage their health, while providing the highest-quality care and service that patients expect when they use Carondelet services.”
Carondelet serves more than 450,000 patients each year. Health education and screenings – important community benefits consistent with Carondelet’s mission – are regularly offered across the network. Hundreds of educational events, screenings and presentations have been held over the years that provided thousands of community members the opportunity to be proactive in taking charge of their health.
“Regular physician visits, education and having a community that actively engages with preventative care is absolutely necessary so that people don’t get sick from things that can be prevented,” Benz said.
Carondelet is also building interest in healthcare professions by engaging students as they are coming to an age where they are looking at career options.
Carondelet works with several high schools, including University High School and San Miguel High School, both in Tucson, providing internships where students can learn about all of the potential careers in healthcare. Holy Cross works with schools in Nogales and Rio Rico, as well as Cochise College, which educates nearly 70 percent of Holy Cross’s nursing staff in its program.
With the strengthened resources now available to the Carondelet network, there has been expansion in the existing hospital programs and specialized services as well as the addition of greater technology, more treatment centers and expansion of services within departments.
“We are fortunate that we’ve been able to take advantage of resources that were not previously available for the hospitals and network to make these investments that are so important to our success and the health of our patients,” said Benz.
These are just some of the recent investments and advancements made at Carondelet:
St. Joseph’s Hospital
• Expansion and continued development of the Carondelet Neurological Institute
• Upgraded cardiac catheterization labs
• Added electrophysiology lab and services
• Advanced technology and resources for critical care and emergency room services
• New Level II trauma program to open in 2019
• Women & Infants program expansion including midwifery and natural birthing
St. Mary’s Hospital
• Expansion of the Carondelet Heart and Vascular Institute
• Addition of an accredited Surgical Weight Loss Center
• Women’s Services expansion of gynecological and gynecological oncology services
• Breast Center advancement with 3D mammogram technology and the first in Southern Arizona to earn accreditation from National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers
• Expansion of surgical robotics program for total and partial knee replacement
Holy Cross Hospital
• Recognized for its Excellence in Collaborative Emergency Services by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
• Implementation of the only inpatient rehabilitation program in Santa Cruz County
• Recognized for providing advanced breast imaging technology and expanding services for women across Santa Cruz County
For Holy Cross, the future holds great promise for patients in the southeast corner of the state. “The infrastructure investments Carondelet is making means greater integration into the network and greater access to quality care for residents of Nogales and throughout Southern Arizona,” said hospital CEO Debra Knapheide.
Benz also envisions great opportunity in the coming years. “I see us increasingly integrated across the network, working together to make sure we have complete services for our community,” he said. “I see us continuing to implement improved technology to provide the best inpatient services and care.”
Carondelet’s commitment to quality and service were recognized as St. Joseph’s Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospitals were the only hospitals in greater Tucson to receive an “A grade” for quality and patient safety in the Leapfrog Group’s Spring 2018 hospital safety report card.
“I’m extremely proud of the hard work our associates do every day to meet these high standards,” said Benz. “Our new tagline, ‘Our Specialty is You,’ is important more now than ever.”