HonorHealth’s Tradition of Impact

by Tyler Butler

The word honor conjures up all kinds of thoughts about respect, ethics and pride. Whenever honor is brought into a conversation, the assumption is that a place of integrity and distinction is being described. This is exactly the case where Valley hospital group HonorHealth is concerned.

Since 2013, HonorHealth has been serving the Valley. However, its legacy of helping the community goes much further back than that. Originally founded in 1927, Desert Mission, a crucial component of HonorHealth, was started as a respite location for those suffering with tuberculosis. Now this location, along with the entirety of this entity, has grown to do much, much more.

This progress is evident at the Desert Mission location where the organization has developed a food bank, adult day care center, five-star childcare center for community members and employees, and is adding a living-well financial literacy housing program. Through this newest program, the organization’s intention is to better equip those in troubling circumstances for long-term success. With its partners at St. Joseph the Worker, HonorHealth is working hard to keep this community working hard.

Today, the totality of HonorHealth includes five medical centers; extensive outpatient and community services; and more than 200 clinical trials to advance care for cancer, heart disease, brain and spine injuries. The organization’s dedication continues to grow more fervent and has found much success through innovation and by bringing programs to fruition that the community truly needs.

One example of HonorHealth’s commitment to solutions can be found at its John C. Lincoln location. The emergency room team there noticed that an astounding number of homeless patients were being treated. By adding a tracker in their records, they were able to more clearly define those patients visiting this locations’ emergency room that were homeless. Over the course of a year they collected and observed this data, and they found that many homeless patients were visiting the ER for behavioral and substance abuse issues. They recognized that there was a need for a partner to address this issue.

HonorHealth quickly turned to Circle the City, a nonprofit that focuses on helping the homeless. Working collaboratively, they developed a hybrid program to address this problem. A navigator was placed in the hospital’s emergency room in order to more effectively identify those patients who were homeless. This full-time accredited professional enabled the hospital to help these patients develop a plan for their healthcare moving forward — thus allowing these individuals to access the correct level of care based on their needs while freeing up valuable emergency room resources for those in need of critical care. Additionally, the program has launched the use of a mobile unit positioned to serve those homeless patients with behavioral and primary care needs. Through this solution, they are providing a valuable service on site where those who require help live.

And just as each patient is unique in the care that they need, HonorHealth recognizes that the varied needs are different for each geographic location where its hospitals operate. The organization’s programs are all uniquely formulated for the communities where it operates and toward the needs the community has communicated.

So, when Luke Air Force Base Hospital closed and the organization began getting special requests for training, it paid close attention. HonorHealth recognized that active duty personnel and reservists who needed trauma medical training were left with nowhere to learn or practice. The Scottsdale Osborn location heard this cry and started a two-week program with battlefield training. Realizing this need was greater than anticipated, the savvy team at HonorHealth went after and were awarded two congressional appropriations for dedicated medical training centers.

Today, this location also holds a 10-week program for nurses and a one-year accredited critical care fellowship for trauma and ICU skills. Furthermore, the team found as these programs have grown that they have also served to better prepare community members with disaster and emergency preparedness. To date, more than 2,000 service members have received training at this facility.

At HonorHealth, the organization is committed in every way imaginable to the health of the community. As Michelle Pabis, vice president of Government and Community Affairs for HonorHealth, says, “The best thing about being a part of HonorHealth is that you really see day in and day out the impact we have, not just on the front lines of patient care, but the approach we have in the community and what we do.” Whether through its dedication to excellence in services or its innovation in solving community crises, HonorHealth’s commitment to the Valley is unwavering and always evident.

Over the past year, HonorHealth has activated its 11,500 employees through its Ambassadors Movement. And through its National Day of Service on November 9, the organization will establish and share five different opportunities for employees to get involved and give back. From helping to build a community garden to cleaning up trails and assisting the elderly, HonorHealth will activate its employee power through some crucial projects, matching the hospitals with valuable community partners.

Tyler Butler, founder and CEO of 11Eleven Consulting, is a corporate social responsibility practitioner and expert leader in the corporate citizenship space. She has served on numerous national and local boards and is often cited as a subject matter expert by Forbes, Entrepreneur, U.S. News & World Report and more.

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