Wed, July 17

Hospital achieves 70 years of service to community

Rob Thames, NAU President/CEO

Rob Thames, NAU President/CEO

COTTONWOOD -- Verde Valley Medical Center is celebrating its 70th year. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Sedona Medical Campus

In a gathering at the VVMC Outpatient Lobby Tuesday evening, employees, the public and donors heard from the leaders of the recently-created central board, enjoyed refreshments and toured the facility.

Rob Thames, NAH President and CEO, reviewed the 70-year history of the Verde Valley Medical Center, born in 1945 as 24-bed small country clinic, called Marcus J. Lawrence. More beds were added 10 years later, as well as the addition of long-term care and other services.

Twenty years ago another milestone marked the joint venture of MJL and Flagstaff Medical Center to create the Sedona Medical Campus as well as the formation of NAH Northern Arizona Healthcare. The name change from MJL to VVMC came with the establishment of the new wing in 1995.

Charles Marr, chairman of the Northern Arizona Healthcare Board, joined the history with the mission for the future. He said the celebration recognizes not just 70 years, but the "outstanding individuals working within this hospital to care for their family, friends and neighbors with exceptional care, while transforming the health of the communities we serve."

He said to further that mission, the entities official dissolved the three former separate boards to form a single board under the NAH banner.

"The boards of the Flagstaff Medical Center and the Verde Valley Medical Center stepped aside to create a new Northern Arizona Health Care Board, one board charged with aligning the services of both hospitals to serve the people that live in Northern Arizona."

"Efficiency is an area where we can improve," said Marr, "and operating as a unified health care system will allow us to do just that. The health care industry is changing at a rapid pace and for NAH to stay responsive and competitive, we must align operations across all of our locations wherever feasible."

Marr said that President Rob Thames has already "made great strides toward this goal. From the board viewpoint, we see how our new alignment is enhancing our healthcare by encouraging our talented staff throughout NAH to come together to problem-solve, standardize and promote the best practices throughout the system."

Sue Maiden, chief nursing officer and interim administrator, was also recognized.