Community Success Stories: Page Hospital - a place of physical, mental and spiritual healing

Jill Bullock, of the Arizona Rural Hospital Flexibility Program at the Center for Rural Health, presents the award to Page Hospital staff.

By Lynda Bergsma

Congratulations to Page Hospital in Page, Arizona, recipient of the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Recognition Certificate for Quality from the National Rural Health Resource Center.  Page Hospital was nominated by Arizona Rural Hospital Flexibility (AZ-Flex) Program Director, Kevin Driesen, who highlighted their dedication to patient-centered care and service to the local population.

Located five hours north of Phoenix, five hours east of Las Vegas, and adjacent to the Navajo Nation, the Hospital was founded in 1958 to serve workers who built the Glen Canyon Dam. Page Hospital's service area includes the City of Page (7,500 residents, 33% are American Indian) and surrounding frontier regions: north into Utah, east into the Navajo Nation, and south to Flagstaff. To the west is the Grand Canyon, and the Hospital is an essential part of the region's healthcare safety net for more than three million tourists.

Page Hospital, now a Banner Health facility, was one of Arizona's first hospitals to receive CAH designation (2002). It is supported by a hospital district and, since 1994, has been a member of the Planetree Network. Planetree partners with providers, large and small, across the continuum of care, guiding them along a path that enables caregivers to transform the health care experience they provide. For many providers, bringing Planetree’s concepts to life requires a shift not merely in operations, but fundamentally in their culture.

Partnering with Planetree has helped Page Hospital develop its capacity to become a place of physical, mental and spiritual healing. The Hospital environment is aesthetically pleasing and supportive of holistic, patient-centered care. With support of the Hospital District, Page has been able to expand its campus and services in response to growing community needs. It has adopted a variety of patient-centered care strategies including: ensuring that medical equipment is kept out of patient view; replacing staff paging announcements with soft music; giving each hospital room a couch, refrigerator, and access to outdoor patios and gardens; using artwork and décor inspired by the area's Native American population and the surrounding beauty of the canyons and Lake Powell; incorporating Native American elements such as a weaving loom and a traditional healing Hogan; and ensuring that nourishment from the Hospital's Culinary department meets religious, cultural and/or special dietary considerations.   

Slot Canyon near Page Hospital

A slot canyon near Page Hospital (Photo credit: Jill Bullock)

Page Hospital also demonstrates innovation through participation in diverse initiatives. For example, it participates in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Partnership-for-Patients Initiative. Recently, it opened an Intensive Care Unit that uses a remote monitoring system with two-way, audiovisual communication to allow staff to see and speak directly with the patient in an ICU room while the patient can see and hear a nurse on a monitor located across from their beds. Page Hospital staff has also participated in various AZ-Flex quality initiatives including a collaborative to improve medication reconciliation and efforts to achieve designation as a Level IV Trauma Center.

Navajo medicine man, George Martin of Lechee, AZ, performs a healing ceremony in the in the eight-sided Hogan at Page Hospital.

Navajo medicine man, George Martin of Lechee, AZ, performs a healing ceremony in the in the eight-sided Hogan at Page Hospital.

At the award ceremony, the Hospital's Chief Executive Officer Sandy Haryasz said, "Page Hospital is a quality hospital providing excellent patient care by excellent people. The past year was outstanding for Page Hospital. We offered new services, won national quality recognition, passed The Joint Commission accreditation with flying colors, opened Banner Health Clinic, and upgraded technology."



Lynda Bergsma, PhD, has been the Director of the Arizona State Office of Rural Health program since 1995.She is also an Assistant Professor of Health Promotion Sciences within the Health Behavior/Health Promotion (HBH


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