At Flagstaff Roundtable, Sinema Discusses Solutions to Expand Health Care Access to Northern Arizona, Tribal Communities

Aug 2, 2022

Sinema sat down with health care leaders to review plans to better serve Northern Arizona’s growing population and invest in tribal care

FLAGSTAFF – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema convened a roundtable with Northern Arizona Healthcare and local stakeholders to discuss plans to expand health care access in Northern Arizona — including to tribes in the area — to better serve the community. During the meeting Sinema received an update from Northern Arizona Healthcare on their plans to build a new hospital and health and wellness village. The Senator and Northern Arizona Healthcare also discussed funding for a new wound care clinic that Sinema advocated for as a part of ongoing fiscal year 2023 appropriations discussions.
“Access to health care is essential for medically underserved communities in Northern Arizona. I’m looking forward to working with local stakeholders and Northern Arizona Healthcare who is leading the way to meet the needs of this growing community and allowing Arizonans to receive the highest-quality care closer to home,” said Sinema.  
“Today, we had the opportunity to share NAH’s vision for the future of health care in northern Arizona with Sen. Sinema. We very much appreciate Sen. Sinema taking to the time discuss with us the importance of delivering high-quality care and making the investments needed to bring the next generation of health care innovations to our patients and communities,” said Flo Spyrow, CEO and President, Northern Arizona Healthcare.

Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH) requested $5.6 million through the fiscal year 2023 congressionally-directed spending projects to build a state-of-the-art wound care and hyperbaric clinic as a part of their proposed NAH Health and Wellness Village. On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee included NAH’s request in the fiscal year 2023 Labor HHS appropriations bill, signaling growing support for the proposal.
Medically underserved communities in Northern Arizona, especially Native American tribes, face disproportionately higher rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease which can lead to untreated wounds becoming severely infected and potentially amputations. The new clinic aims to serve 9,000 wound patients a year, closer to where patients live in Northern Arizona and from the Navajo Nation.
The proposal for the new health and wellness village is supported by North Country Healthcare, Navajo Area Indian Health Service, the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation, and the Northern Arizona Leadership Alliance.
Roundtable participants included Flo Spyrow, CEO, NAH; Josh Tinkle, COO, NAH; Steve Eiss, VP of Construction and Real Estate Development, NAH; Jim Elco, VP of Strategy and Financial Planning, NAH; Tyffany Laurano, Chief Nursing Officer, NAH; Miranda Sweet, Vice Mayor, City of Flagstaff; Julie Pastrick, CEO, Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce; Gail Jackson, President & CEO, Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona; Lynette Bonar, CEO, Tuba City Regional Health Care Corp.; Christopher Curley, Board President, Tuba City Regional Health Care Corp.