Creighton hosts Sen. Sinema, medical leaders at Phoenix campus
Creighton hosted U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, along with leaders in Arizona’s healthcare and biosciences industries, at the Creighton University Health Sciences Campus – Phoenix, which is part of the recently designated Phoenix Medical Quarter.
Sinema got a firsthand look at the state-of-the-art campus and then joined a panel with key leaders to discuss efforts to expand healthcare and bioscience in Arizona. The senator also announced that she had secured $1.4 million for Creighton in this year’s Senate appropriations for a new medical virtual reality training space that will advance innovative learning at the campus in Phoenix.
Leaders from the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, city of Phoenix, Maricopa County Community Colleges, Barrow Neurological Institute, Dignity Health Arizona Central and West Valley markets, CommonSpirit Health’s Southwest and Midwestern Divisions, District Medical Group, and Plaza Companies were all in attendance.
Sinema opened the panel by praising the work of Creighton’s health sciences programs.
“I am very excited to continue to promote Arizona’s innovation in biotech and health sciences,” Sinema said. “Creighton University has been an incredible leader, and it makes my job easier when I'm promoting Arizona's leadership.”
“I'm a lifelong learner and education was my key to success, and so I'm incredibly impressed with Creighton’s work to launch the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program here in Phoenix,” Sinema added. “I’m particularly excited about it because it allows those with a college degree to get a BSN in just 12 months.”
Creighton University President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, said the University is proud of the role it is playing along with many partners in healthcare and biosciences in Phoenix to help expand the overall workforce in these important fields. Phoenix has a significant need for more doctors, nurses and medical professionals, which Creighton is working to address.
“We were called here to help Arizona solve workforce issues in the health sciences, and we are doing that across disciplines,” he said. “We could not be more honored to be part of this exciting development.”
Sharon Harper, chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, one of the joint-venture partners in the Park Central revitalization in central Phoenix, said the convergence of world-class institutions is what made the Phoenix Medical Quarter possible.
“Partnerships, collaboration and connectivity are the best ways to really advance ideas and innovation, and that's what we're talking about today under this newly created Phoenix Medical Quarter,” she said.
Harper said that the medical and research centers in the 100-acre quarter are not unlike what you see worldwide in significant medical hubs.
“It’s a place for research, patient care, medical education, the healthcare workforce, hospitals, medical startups,” she said. “We think it's very visionary … we're on the world stage and we can be even more than that, and that's our goal. Arizona can lead this work.”
Tim Bricker, senior vice president and chief executive officer of CommonSpirit Health’s Southwest and Midwestern Divisions, said the collaborations that are taking place in the Phoenix Medical Quarter are promising for many reasons. He echoed praise for efforts to expand the healthcare workforce and better serve communities across the state.
“One of the reasons is the opportunity to meet the healthcare and wellness needs of our communities in the Southwest, especially the most vulnerable and underserved in our region,” he said. “We also have the opportunity to train the healthcare workforce in the future, and these partnerships are very much engaged to expanding that workforce.”
Kote Chundu, MD, president and CEO of District Medical Group, said an important focus is providing the best possible education for doctors in Arizona with the goal of getting them to stay in the state permanently to serve Arizona residents.
“Our goal is to retain a workforce here from a physician perspective,” he said. “Studies show that if they have their terminal training — residency and fellowships — if they are done in the state, two-thirds of doctors will stay in state.”
At the end of the discussion, Sinema said that she would continue to help identify federal resources to support strategic efforts to expand the healthcare and biosciences industries and solidify the standing of the Phoenix Medical Quarter.
“One of the things that I think is best about what we're doing in Arizona is that we're charting a new course without feeling constrained by what you're supposed to do, or what has been done in the past,” she said. “I think that is why there are more opportunities for sharing to continue this collaboration.”