Statement on Proposition 449
The Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) believes that access to excellent health care is critically important to our shared quality of life. We believe that institutions working to improve the health and wellbeing of Arizonans are vital to the long-term health of our communities. Because of this, health innovations represents the single largest category of grantmaking across ACF’s philanthropic agenda. Our investments in health innovations over the last five years exceed $100 million, but philanthropic resources serve to augment, not replace, the critical public investment necessary to care for Maricopa County residents—including some of our most vulnerable—which is why ACF supports Proposition 449.
As the public health system for the fourth largest county in the US, Valleywise (formerly known as Maricopa Integrated Health System) annually serves nearly 400,000 patients, over 65% of which are uninsured, underinsured, or covered by AHCCCS (Arizona’s Medicaid program), or Federal Emergency Services. Valleywise’s 3,700 medical and healthcare professionals provide critical behavioral health services, adult and pediatric trauma care, HIV primary care, women’s and pediatric refugee health services, and manage what is widely regarded as one of the finest burn centers for emergency treatment and burn survivorship in the country. Through a partnership with Creighton University Medical School, District Medical Group, Dignity Health, and St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Valleywise is also working to grow the number of doctors, nurses, and medical professionals in Arizona, which currently ranks near the bottom of all states in the number of practicing physicians per capita.
Proposition 449 is a measure to continue the existing Maricopa County Special Health Care District property tax levy to provide sustainable support to Valleywise for an additional twenty years. When the levy was first approved by voters in 2004, it generated approximately $30 million in revenue, and today it generates approximately $80 million each year for Valleywise’s critical community services. ACF is endorsing Proposition 449 to ensure that Maricopa County’s most vulnerable residents continue to receive reliable, quality health care services.
About Valleywise Health
Valleywise Health is Arizona’s only public teaching health system and serves the needs of anyone who comes through its doors. Its mission is to “provide exceptional care, without exception, to every patient, every time.”