NAH Services and Facilities Critical to Residents



September 20, 2019


nah-logo-horizontal-formatEarlier this year, I was selected to serve on the Board of Directors of Northern Arizona Healthcare. As the CEO and President of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, I have enjoyed close relationships with several NAH leaders, including the Development Officer with Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation Stephanie Giesbrecht, immediate past Chair of the Sedona Chamber.

Through these contacts, I learned that community leaders need a regional vision. No city exists in isolation. We share economic and quality of life issues with many of our neighbors, and much of our future is tied to Northern Arizona’s future. Nowhere is this more apparent than in medical services and health care.

Every economic development professional knows balanced economies don’t just happen. Economic and community life are connected and affect each other. For example, companies considering relocation look for places with an educated workforce and excelling schools for their employees’ children. If we meet those expectations, schools benefit from the influx of new families and bright young students. New businesses boost the property tax base – the primary source of school funding – so schools continue to grow and get better. Conversely, a lesser-trained workforce or substandard education mean companies look elsewhere, and schools lose the opportunities to grow and improve. The connection is real.

The same applies to medical services. Excellent medical care is crucial to attracting and retaining businesses and residents to Northern Arizona. Our youngest and oldest residents rely on access to high-quality care, so inspiring firms and families to come to the region and stay for a lifetime requires outstanding health care.

But, building a strong regional medical base also depends on attracting talented, dedicated medical professionals. These specialists are also looking for quality schools and a stable economy, too. They also seek the opportunity to develop professionally, which means access to high-quality equipment, research and peer support. It is a complex challenge.

Northern Arizona Healthcare meets the challenge with more than 3,000 doctors, nurses and other specialists covering a service area of 50,000 square miles. For Sedona and surrounding communities, the NAH Verde Valley Medical Center offers high-quality in-patient care including nuclear medicine, comprehensive surgical services and non-invasive cardiology. VVMC is also our home for cancer treatment, imaging services, and primary and specialty care. From their friendly therapy dogs to a top-notch medical library and compassionate staff, we are accustomed to their amazing patient care. The 24-hour emergency department has literally been a lifesaver for years. NAH has clearly boosted our economy and quality of life.

But challenges remain. I believe my Chamber experience can assist the NAH Board to plan critical services the Verde Valley and Sedona need to stay competitive. I look forward to working with my fellow Board members to enhance NAH as a place of healing and care, and as a regional jewel among the many gems that make Sedona sparkle.

–Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO