Proposition 449 was approved by voters a few weeks ago. It would continue to provide 12% of the Valleywise annual budget through special secondary county property taxes for the next 20 years. Valleywise Health is a comprehensive healthcare system with locations throughout the Valley, serving Maricopa County for 140+ years.
We talked with the President and CEO of Valleywise Health, Steve Purves, about what the money goes towards and how it helps the community.
“[Prop] 449 provided operational support for our mission, and it continues to exist in tax for another 20 years. And that, that means a lot to us and helps ensure that our role as a teaching hospital and as a safety net can continue well into the future,” said Purves.
The Valleywise health center is “an anchor of our health system” and it provides many care facilities within the centers.
This also includes community health centers that are all, “federally qualified health centers that serve vulnerable patients throughout the county,” said Purves.
As COVID-19 affected lives everywhere, it also impacted the way their medical centers operate.
“It caused us to do some things that are pretty extraordinary like for example, setting up a very robust tele-health program so that our patients didn’t have to access our facilities in order to access primary and specialty care services,” said Purves.
Purves is grateful for the medical professionals working with patients every day, “they have gone just absolutely above and beyond in fighting this… so we’ve learned a lot about you know how this disease progresses.”
Since the pandemic, and switching to remote health consultations, about 15% of the Valleywise workforce is providing care remotely and that is something that may stay around after the pandemic.
Valleywise has adapted to the current times but is concerned for their financial future. They also do not want to overwhelm their health care professionals.
But, they are hopeful they will get through this and will be provided with the necessary funding to keep going.