As a follow up to my blog entry on February 18th, the full report from the community conversation on healthcare in Marana, Arizona has now been posted on our website. This event, held on February 16th at the Marana Health Center (MHC) was hosted by the Children’s Action Alliance in collaboration with the MHC, the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers, and our Center for Rural Health.
I’d encourage you to read the report. The quotes from patients, community leaders, healthcare leaders and healthcare providers from that evening are incredibly powerful. As a former practicing pharmacist myself, the quotes from the healthcare providers hit me the hardest. Here is a quote from one healthcare professional we heard that evening, speaking about interacting with patients who do not have healthcare insurance:
“It breaks my heart, as a provider, that I can’t be able to be there for them. Call me please. It doesn’t matter whether you have insurance; I’ll be happy to talk to you. But they feel guilty about calling me because they can’t pay.”
In our report, we have organized what we heard that evening into themes.
While the issues expressed by those who attended the forum are serious and, in many cases, are very complex, I believe there is reason for optimism. We tried to express this optimism in the report by concluding the report with a call for action and we have captured some of the suggested ways for improving access to healthcare in the report.
So, what are the next steps? We plan on sharing this report with key stakeholders across the state and will hopefully replicate this event elsewhere. At the end of the day, it is our hope that events like this may be a catalyst to improve access to care, the quality of care and address issues of the costs of care in rural Arizona.