Physician illustration 1.jpg

What Arizona Docs are Saying...Rural Health in Arizona

From Print Issue - Summer 2021
  • AZP TW
  • AZP FB
  • AZP IG

To help make improve access to high quality integrated healthcare to rural communities. - Arthur Chou, MD

 

I grew up in Rural areas and it is where I always wanted to work and practice. - Jose L. Vega III, MD

 

I have a passion for serving communities like the one I was grown and cultivated in, Yuma, AZ.  In addition, I am bilingual and enjoy providing care to Spanish speaking patients and more. - Mary Garcia-Kumirov, MD

 

Family ties to the area on and around Navajo Nation. Opportunity to bring services to traditionally underserved and marginalized communities. - Mathew Nelson, DO

 

I grew up in a rural town in Washington state and felt that rural areas often lack access to healthcare and other resources. - Janeen Bjork, MD

 

I like to help patients to be healthier and make a difference in their lives. - Ching Wang, MD

 

I was drawn to the peaceful lifestyle, the leadership of the organization and the knowledge that I was needed and could make an impact on the community I was to serve. - Darlene Melk, MD

 

I like the more relaxed pace, short commute, chance to get to know people better. - J.R. LaVoy, MD

 

I love helping underserved patients in the area that I am from. - Benjamin Williams, DO

 

I have worked in northern Arizona since 2004. I enjoy the diversity and complexity of rural medicine and rural communities. - Ann Newland, MD

Why do you work in rural Arizona?

Meadow
Meet the participating Physicians:
Arthur Chou, MD.jpg
Arthur Chou, MD

Practice: Horizon Health & Wellness | Apache Junction, AZ

Phone: (833) 431-4449

Website: hhwaz.org

Jose Vega III, MD.jpg
Jose L. Vega III, MD

Practice: Sunset Health | Yuma, AZ

Phone: (928) 819-8999

Website: mysunsethealth.org

Darlene Melk, MD.jpg
Darlene Melk, MD

Practice: Chiricahua Community Health Centers | Douglas, AZ

Phone: (520) 364-1429

Website: cchci.org

 

Lack of access to essential resources, like specialty care and mental health services. - Mary Garcia-Kumirov, MD

 

Lack of readily available resources for my patients such as specialized diagnostic testing. - Mathew Nelson, DO

 

Distance to travel to specialists and lack of specialists willing to come into town. - Janeen Bjork, MD

 

Lack of certain specialized care. - Ching Wang, MD

 

It is very difficult to retain good primary care providers.  In addition, it is hard to see patients struggle to get the services they need due to our rural location. - Darlene Melk, MD

 

Difficulty recruiting skilled staff, distance to sub specialists in the city. - J.R. Lavoy, MD

 

Difficulty getting patients into specialists and lack of resources. - Benjamin Williams, DO

 

Recruiting and retaining highly qualified clinicians! – Anne Newland, MD

Low reimbursement rates, challenges with recruitment, and tendency for systems to be urban-centric when trying to develop policies that will affect rural areas. - Arthur Chou, MD

 

Availability and access to certain specialists. - Jose L. Vega III, MD

What is your biggest frustration about rural health in Arizona?

Meadow
Meet the participating Physicians:
Benjamin Williams, DO.jpg
Benjamin Williams, DO

Practice: Creek Valley Health Clinic | Colorado City, AZ

Phone: (435) 900-1104

Website: creekvalleyhc.com

Anne Newland, MD.jpg
Anne Marie Newland, MD

Practice: North Country Healthcare | Northern AZ

Phone: (928) 522-9400

Website: northcountryhealthcare.org

Janeen Bjork MD.jpg
Janeen Bjork, MD

Practice: Canyonlands Healthcare | Page, AZ

Phone: (877) 645-9675

Website: canyonlandschc.org

Ching Wang, MD.jpg
Ching Wang, MD

Practice: Sunset Health | Yuma, AZ

Phone: (928) 819-8999

Website: mysunsethealth.org

 

 

If you are looking to serve a rural community with excellent food choices and easy access to the cultural haven that is Mexico, then practicing in Nogales, AZ is for you. – Mary Garcia-Kumirov, MD

 

Beautiful area, work-life balance but not for everyone. – Janeen Bjork, MD

 

Medium size city, balance of work and life, less stress, no rush hour, close to several large cities within driving distance, organization's mission. – Ching Wang, MD

 

Great opportunity to develop innovative programs, make a large positive impact on those who really struggle to get access to high quality care, hone their clinical skills with highly complex patients, enjoy the benefits of rural towns (low traffic, great outdoors, great cost of living), and be an important and influential member of small and tight communities.  – Arthur Chou, MD

 

Our health center offers a reasonable pace (lower volume) with support staff in place to assist with bridging barriers to care.  We offer providers the opportunity to participate in leadership or provider led projects. – Darlene Melk, MD

 

The overall ambiance of our practice, since we just completed a complete remodeling of the facility & are building a new facility at our 2nd location. – J.R. Lavoy, MD

 

Great location with plenty of outdoor activities nearby with an awesome team and people that desperately need care. – Benjamin Williams, DO

 

Practicing in a rural community lets you grow your skill set as a clinician because you have to be able to handle a wide variety of conditions and complaints. You are also able to be more connected to the community you serve because you get to know leaders very quickly. – Anne Newland, MD

I cannot imagine a more rewarding experience than building sustainable bridges across the oft-times deep chasms between illness and wellness... and we have a Walmart! – Mathew Nelson, DO

Lifestyle and more enjoyment of your own time. – Jose L. Vega III, MD

What is your pitch to recruit physicians to practice in your town?

Meadow
Meet the participating Physicians:
Mathew Nelson, DO.JPG
Mathew Nelson, DO

Practice: Canyonlands Healthcare | Page, AZ

Phone: (877) 645-9675

Website: canyonlandschc.org

Mary Garcia-Kumirov MD.jpg
Mary Garcia-Kumirov, MD

Practice: Mariposa Community Health Center | Nogales, AZ

Phone: (520) 281-1550

Website: mariposachc.net

Avatar 96
J.R. LaVoy, MD

Practice: Desert Senita Community Health Centers | Ajo, AZ

Phone: (520) 387-5651

Website: desertsenita.org

Meadow
Meet the participating Physicians:
Benjamin Williams, DO.jpg
Benjamin Williams, DO

Practice: Creek Valley Health Clinic | Colorado City, AZ

Phone: (435) 900-1104

Website: creekvalleyhc.com

Anne Newland, MD.jpg
Anne Marie Newland, MD

Practice: North Country Healthcare | Northern AZ

Phone: (928) 522-9400

Website: northcountryhealthcare.org

Janeen Bjork MD.jpg
Janeen Bjork, MD

Practice: Canyonlands Healthcare | Page, AZ

Phone: (877) 645-9675

Website: canyonlandschc.org

Ching Wang, MD.jpg
Ching Wang, MD

Practice: Sunset Health | Yuma, AZ

Phone: (928) 819-8999

Website: mysunsethealth.org

How does telehealth improve the care you deliver?

It is crucial to reach patients in rural areas since transportation can be a major social determinant of health (SDOH).  – Arthur Chou, MD

 

It helps patients with busy schedules and who have difficulty with access to transportation be able to be cared for. - Jose L. Vega III, MD

 

It provides patient with an alternative model of care, especially those still weary of close contact with others in the era of COVID-19. – Mary Garcia-Kumirov, MD

 

Provides patients with a safe and convenient avenue to care. It removes barriers and provides wider access. – Mathew Nelson, DO

 

Has been especially important with COVID and allowing patients the safety of getting care from their homes. – Janeen Bjork, MD

 

Access medical care with less exposure, travel and/or work. – Ching Wang, MD

 

Allows to see patients who live remotely and have trouble seeing our providers in the clinic. – Darlene Melk, MD

 

We have a limited number of patients who have the necessary skills & equipment to participate in telehealth activities. – J.R. Lavoy, MD

 

Increased availability to specialty care without the 6-hour drive to Phoenix. – Benjamin Williams, DO

 

Telehealth can make it easier for patients to see their providers, if they have good broadband access! – Anne Newland, MD

DON'T FORGET TO CATCH THE NEXT WHAT ARIZONA DOCS ARE SAYING IN THE Fall 2021 ISSUE

Interested in having your voice heard by your fellow peer physicians in Arizona? Contact us at information@arizonaphysician.com