Heritage: The Story of St. Mary's Hospital, 1880-1980
By Leo G. Bryne and Sister Alberta Cammack, C.S.J
Chapter II Modern Medical Complex
Joint Health Planning
As with the Joint Hospital Drive, Tucson continued to meet health needs through community planning. In the early sixties, administrative officials from different hospitals together with the Pima County Medical Society and the Board of Supervisors wrestled with the problem of County patients. For years Tucson Medical Center and St. Mary's had cared for indigent obstetrical patients. Dr. O'Hare, on the Board of Governors for Pima County Hospital, proposed that the two private hospitals also care for all the acutely ill indigent, leaving the County Hospital to minister to the health needs of the chronically ill, the tubercular, the psychiatric, and the convalescent patients. The added expense of having County patients in the private hospitals was not acceptable to the Supervisors, They also felt that the closing of the clinic and surgery at the County Hospital and changing it from general care to long-term care was unreasonable. They agreed however, to establish 10 teaching beds each at St. Mary's and Tucson Medical Center to be used for indigents. They also agreed to add three more full-time doctors to the County Hospital staff to ease the burden of the voluntary attending physicians. Supervisor Pete Rubi also proposed that a hospital planning committee be formed to study long-term solutions to health needs. Such a committee was not formed at this time, but it became apparent to concerned community leaders and businessmen of the Tucson Community Council that some sort of coordination and planning was necessary. In 1963, the Hospital Planning Council for Greater Tucson was brought into being. In 1964, this Council authorized a special study of existing health facilities: to establish the needs of the community for a 10-year period; to compare needs with current plans for expansion and development of hospital and medical facilities, and to provide criteria to evaluate plans as they were formulated and received by the Board.
Continue with Chapter II Modern Medical Complex Critical Care